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Former Microsoft VP thought dead after his plane crashes into Connecticut homes

Bill Henningsgaard, a former sales VP at the computing giant, is presumed dead, along with his 17-year-old son and two younger children, after his plane crashes into two homes while approaching an airport.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
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Edward Moyer
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Henningsgaard, right, with Jim McGinley, director of the Encore Fellows Program, a fellowship program designed to help retired, high-level executives put their experience and skills to work for nonprofits. Social Venture Partners

A former Microsoft executive, along with his 17-year-old son and two younger children, are presumed dead after the man's small plane crashed into two Connecticut homes Friday.

Bill Henningsgaard, 54, held various marketing and sales positions at the computing giant -- including vice president of sales for the western United States, Australia, and New Zealand -- before leaving in the early 2000s to focus on philanthropy. He was on a trip to explore college options with his son when his plane went down while approaching Connecticut's Tweed New Haven airport. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

An East Haven Fire Department official told the Associated Press that four bodies -- two from the plane and two from one of the houses -- had been recovered. The bodies have yet to be identified by the medical examiner, but two children -- a 1-year-old and a 13-year-old -- have been missing since the plane crash.

Henningsgaard's brother told CNN there was no reason to think anyone other than Henningsgaard and his son were aboard the plane, and Social Venture Partners, a philanthropic organization that Henningsgaard worked with as a board member, posted an item on its blog Friday evening lamenting over Henningsgaard's death.

"Many of you know first-hand how the extraordinary and visionary leadership of Bill Henningsgaard was visible all over this community," reads the item from SVP, a group of partners who pool their money to have greater charitable impact on local nonprofits. "He worked tirelessly to build partnerships and facilitate efforts that put us on the path of engaging the community to actively support every child, step by step, from cradle to career. Bill walked the talk to make our community stronger."

We have a request out to Microsoft for comment and will update this post when we hear back.