Plane in Conn. Crash Was Inverted, Speeding

NTSB preliminary report includes witness accounts

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2013 11:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Before crashing into a home in East Haven, Conn., the aircraft in the fatal crash was upside-down in what sounds like a nightmare scenario. According to a preliminary NTSB report, a witness "saw the airplane at the end of a right roll. The airplane was inverted and traveling at a high rate of speed, nose first, towards the ground" in the vicinity of the Tweed-New Haven Airport, where pilot Bill Henningsgaard was supposed to land. The former Microsoft exec, his 17-year-old son, and two children on the ground were killed.

Another witness, who lives two houses from the crash site, saw the plane coming down at a 90-degree angle, NBC Connecticut reports. Less than two minutes before the plane went down, Henningsgaard told the control tower he was "in visual contact" with the airport and preparing to land, WTNH reports. A few seconds before the crash, the air traffic controller made a brief transmission, according to the report, but "no further communications were received from the accident airplane." The report also states that at the time of the accident the wind was gusting up to 22mph, and visibility was at 9 miles with overcast clouds at 900 feet.

In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, an NTSB senior air safety investigator confers with emergency responders on the scene of Aug. 9, 2013 morning's crash.
In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, an NTSB senior air safety investigator confers with emergency responders on the scene of Aug. 9, 2013 morning's crash.   (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)
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