Four bodies have been pulled from the site where a small plane plunged into two Connecticut homes, a fire official said Saturday. Those presumed dead are the pilot, a former Microsoft executive, his teenage son and two children in a home struck by the plane.
The victims’ bodies were recovered from the wreckage late Friday night, Chuck Licata, assistant chief of the East Haven Fire Department, told the Los Angeles Times. Two were removed from the plane and two from one of the two houses it tore open. Licata said officials don’t expect to find any other victims.
The multi-engine, propeller plane crashed into the two small homes in East Haven just a mile from Tweed New Haven Airport midday Friday. The plane’s body plunged halfway into a home holding two children, ages 1 and 13, and its wing struck the roof of the home next door. The plane's fuel caught fire and set the homes ablaze.
The remains of the victims, expected to be positively identified later Saturday, were sent to the Connecticut medical examiner’s office as the National Transportation Safety Board continued to clear the crash site and examine debris.
The deceased pilot, Bill Henningsgaard, 54, and his son Maxwell, of Medina, Wash., had been on an East Coast trip to visit colleges, according to a Bellevue, Wash., nonprofit group where Henningsgaard had served as executive director.
“Bill walked the talk to make our community stronger,” the organization, Eastside Pathways, said in a statement.
The pilot’s brother, Blair Henningsgaard, described him as “a very careful pilot” who took up flying after retiring from Microsoft.
“This is the third plane he’s owned,” he told Connecticut’s WTNH television. He confirmed that his brother had been involved in a plane crash once before, in 2009, after a fuel system on his plane malfunctioned.
Blair Henningsgaard described Maxwell as a “highly intelligent, personable young man” who rowed crew.
The 10-seater plane, a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B, flew out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and crashed around 11:25 a.m., Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said.
A spokesman for the NTSB said the agency's first report on the investigation would be released within five to 10 days.