Pilot in deadly US wreck survived earlier crash
Updated: 2013-08-11 16:30
Fire and rescue personnel stand amidst the aftermath of a plane crash between two homes in East Haven, Connecticut, in this August 9, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]
HARTFORD, Connecticut - The plane accident that killed four people in a Connecticut neighborhood was not the first crash for the pilot, a former Microsoft executive who was taking his teenage son on a tour of East Coast colleges.
The pilot, Bill Henningsgaard, was killed along with his son, Maxwell, and two children who were in a house struck by the small propeller-driven plane on Friday. Their bodies were all recovered from the crash scene.
East Haven police on Saturday released the names of the crash victims, including Henningsgaard, 54, of Medina, Washington; his 17-year-old son; 13-year-old Sade Brantley and 1-year-old Madisyn Mitchell, who lived in the East Haven home hit by the plane.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Patrick Murray said Saturday the plane was upside down when it struck a house at about a 60 degree angle. He said the pilot was making his first approach to the airport and did not declare an emergency before the crash.
After removing the wreckage and before analyzing any data, he said at a news conference in New Haven, "We don't have any indication there was anything wrong with the plane."
A preliminary NTSB report on the crash is expected within 10 business days. A more in-depth report could take up to nine months.
On Saturday night, dozens of people turned out for a vigil at Margaret Tucker Park to honor those who died in the crash. Among those in attendance was the woman who lost two children when the plane struck their house.
Mayor Joseph Maturo told the crowd at the vigil that the show of support was a great tribute.
"I think this is a great tribute to a great town," the mayor said, "a caring town, a loving town. A town that comes out when things are down and people need you."
Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement that the vigil was a "profound statement of the ties that bind East Haven and our entire state together as one community".
"When a family suffers an unimaginable tragedy, we come together and pray that they have the strength they need to carry on," Malloy said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families tonight who are suffering from grief and loss."