NORFOLK, Va. -- Three people were killed after a small plane crashed at Norfolk Botanical Garden Wednesday morning, Virginia State Police told WTKR. The plane was found in the Enchanted Forest section of the garden. The plane, a Cessna-sized Mooney M-20, lost contact with Norfolk International Airport at about 4:30 Wednesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed. The plane was found at the Norfolk Botanical Garden about three hours later. The garden and airport are adjacent properties. The garden opens to the public at 9 a.m.
In the immediate hours after the plane lost contact with the airport, search and and rescue crews looked for the small plane in the Chesapeake Bay.
Virginia State Troopers and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are at the crash site and conducting an investigation. Michael Buxton, the pilot, had two passengers on the plane. A Buffalo station reported that Ted Reinhardt was on board the plane. Reinhardt was a drummer who performed in several bands, mostly jazz-fusion; among one was Spyro Gyra.
The other passenger on board was identified by the paper as William Shaver, 60, of Holland.