A multi-engine, 10-seater propeller-driven plane crashed in a working-class neighborhood in Oak Charter Avenue, a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport, Connecticut as it went in for a landing on Friday, killing up to six people, according to accident investigators. The Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B aircraft was en route from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport and crashed at 11:25 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to CBS New York, National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Robert Gretz said there were casualty reports of two or three people in the plane and two children ages 1 and 13 inside a home at 64 Charter Oak Avenue. Local state authorities were immediately at the scene looking for victims.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said earlier Friday that the focus of the recovery efforts is the home basement because the plane’s fuselage entered one of the houses. Gov. Malloy added that the plane may also be carrying two passengers. The two people found in the plane wreckage were confirmed as former Microsoft executive and Christian Bill Henningsgaard, 54, and his son, Maxwel, 17, who was set to graduate in 2014. The father and son duo was on itinerary to tour colleges on New Haven and East Coast. Henningsgaard has been flying the plane for six to seven years.
According to Christian Bill Henningsgaard’s brother Blair Henningsgaard of Astoria, Oregon, “My brother was retired from Microsoft, and had set up a nonprofit in Seattle to assist underprivileged youth. His son, Max, was a brilliant student; he was active in crew, and was gentle, just a very nice kid.”
Federal Aviation Administration has it that, Henningsgaard was operating normally and tried to land Tweed-New Haven Airport but it was not executed. The plane was circling back and attempting a second landing when it crashed and engulfed two houses in flames. It was a rainy and windy morning but it only takes about 30 minutes Teterboro to Tweed. According to Lori Hoffman-Soares, Tweed’s airport manager, Henningsgaard has not issued any distress call and had been in communication with the air traffic. There is no indication that the plane has ran out of fuel either.
The Seattle-based pilot was the son of former Astoria Mayor Edith Henningsgaard-Miller and brother of City Attorney Blair Henningsgaard. Having worked 14 years for Microsoft as Vice President, he also served as board directors for social service organizations Eastside Path and Youth Eastside Services. He was also the treasure of his church council, according to his bio on SVP’s website.
Christian Bill Henningsgaard is survived by his wife Susan Sullivan, and daughters Eleanor and Lucy. Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas