Glenn Mull, owner of Mull Farms and Feeding in Pawnee Rock; his wife, Elaine; their daughter Amy Harter; and granddaughter Samantha Harter were killed Monday when the Gulfstream 690C they were in crashed while preparing to land, said Lori Gibson, a spokeswoman for the family. She did not release the victims' ages.
The family was traveling to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show in Nashville and had taken off earlier that day from the Great Bend Municipal Airport.
"In light of this tragedy the family is in the process of coming to terms with the shock of this loss and also addressing the immediate needs and concerns of the employees, business and community," the family statement says.
Glenn Mull's sister, Jeanine Haynes, also read a separate statement Tuesday during a conference call for family members, business associates and media later. Haynes said the loss created a "tremendous void" for the family, which asked for privacy.
"Our family suffered a horrific loss with the deaths of Glenn and Elaine Mull, their daughter Amy and their granddaughter Samantha Harter," Haynes said in her statement. "Each of the four independently represented love, humility and generosity that we will carry with us in the healing process."
Haynes said she didn't expect anyone in "our family of employees" to lose their jobs because of the deaths. The family's company operates a feedlot in Pawnee Rock, Gibson said.
Haynes said plans were being finalized to cover the responsibilities that Glenn Mull, his wife and daughter had at the company, Haynes said.
"The confidence and respect they imparted to our invaluable staff will undoubtedly continue in their absence," she said.
The plane had taken off from Great Bend Municipal Airport at 2:45 p.m. and crashed about 5 p.m. 10 miles south of John C. Tune Airport in Nashville. The flight was bound for Tune Airport but missed its first approach and was preparing for a second one when the aircraft crashed, police in Nashville said. The plane hit trees on the right side of the YMCA before crashing into the ground.
No one was injured inside the YMCA, said Jessica Fain, a spokeswoman for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent two investigators to the accident scene Tuesday. Safety board spokesman Eric Weiss said investigators were scrambling to move the wreckage to a more secure location, ahead of a possible ice storm.
Weiss said investigators will be sifting through the wreckage for any electronic device containing a GPS, such as a smartphone or tablet — "anything that can paint an electronic picture of the last moments of flight."
Weiss said the wreckage was about 50 to 100 yards from the YMCA on the west side of Nashville, and the crash pattern was 150 yards long.
Martin Miller, manager of the Great Bend Municipal Airport, said Tuesday that Mull was an experienced pilot who had kept the small plane at the Great Bend airport for more than a decade.
"It's just a very sad thing," Miller said of the crash.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran in a statement described Mull was a "devoted husband, father and grandfather."
"Both he and his wife Elaine were well-known for their generous spirit and commitment to improving Pawnee County. Glenn, Elaine, their daughter Amy and granddaughter Samantha will be greatly missed," Moran said.
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