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Former Microsoft exec killed in plane crash

The Daily Astorian reports Henningsgaard was flying the multi-engine, propeller-driven plane that struck two small homes a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport. (Microsoft Alumni Foundation )
The Daily Astorian reports Henningsgaard was flying the multi-engine, propeller-driven plane that struck two small homes a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport. (Microsoft Alumni Foundation )
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Updated: 8/10/2013 10:32 pm
EAST HAVEN, Conn. (KIRO) -- Two people killed in a small plane crash into a home in Connecticut were from the Seattle area, and one of them was piloting the plane.

According to the Daily Astorian, the local victims are former Microsoft executive Bill Henningsgaard and his son, according to Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, who was with the Henningsgaard family Friday as news spread.

Starting in 1988, Henningsgaard worked for fourteen years at Microsoft in a variety of marketing and sales positions.

The Daily Astorian reports Henningsgaard was flying the multi-engine, propeller-driven plane that struck two small homes a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport.

Two homes were engulfed in flames.

Two children in one of the houses, ages 1 and 13, are missing, authorities said.

The plane, a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B, flew out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and crashed at 11:25 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Tweed's airport manager, Lori Hoffman-Soares, said the pilot had been in communication with air traffic control and did not issue any distress calls.

"All we know is that it missed the approach and continued on. There were no distress calls as far as we know," she said.

According to a profile on the Microsoft Alumni Foundation website, Henningsgaard spent time working for the company in Europe before returning to the headquarters in Redmond.

After leaving the company, he helped start the not-for-profit organization, Eastside Pathways, which helps students in the Bellevue School District to be successful from “cradle to career.”

For 15 years, Henningsgaard served on the board of Youth East Side services. Executive Diretor Patti Skelton-McGougan said he pushed the organization to expand so it could help more children. “He's intense, he's made so much happen in the community,” she said. “But he’s always done it with a big, big heart. It’s such a loss for the whole community.”

Henningsgaard was piloting a plane in 2009 when it crashed into the Columbia River during a mechanical failure.  He and his mother were rescued.
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