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
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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Aug 21, 2013 11:59 AM CDT
Microsoft/Crash ! The Idiot probably learned to fly using MS Flight Simulator. Crashing was inevitable.
Aug 20, 2013 5:54 PM CDT
Poor taste here but one has to wonder if a former Microsoft exec upgraded his plane's avionics to the latest version of Windows & it locked up on him in flight.. sorry, my bad. Could have been pilot error in the literal sense as well I guess. A tragedy either way. Very sad.
Aug 20, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
Wake turbulence or possibly a downdraft, considering the local weather