The Fatal Crash at Botanical Garden

Reads: 1339  | Likes: 4  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 1

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

An informational article, written and edited by The Ghost-Bull, about a heart-breaking plane crash that occurred in Norfolk, Virginia of the United States, early 2015.


The Fatal Crash at Botanical Gardens




“It’s literally a washing machine as soon as we go through the cloud deck. The cloud deck’s 1,200 feet. Before that, everything’s very easy, but once we get to 1,200 feet, it’s a washing machine.”, radioed to the air traffic control by Michael Buxton, not long before his life reached an end. In a 1975 M-20F, “Mooney”, two—William Shaver and Ted Reinhardt—were flown by their pilot, Michael Buxton, in hopes of landing on a runway. There were no survivors. The plane crash occurred on March 4th of 2015, nearly 7 years in the past, but they are not forgotten.

During the darkest hours of Wednesday morning, the plane was to land at S.E.A.(Suffolk Executive Airport) a little after 3 O’clock, though complications of weather conditions caused a failed approached. By 3:24 A.M., Michael Buxton, radioing to the Air Traffic Control, requested to touch grounds on “Runway 23”, at Norfolk International Airport. Reinhardt, Shaver, and their pilot were flying their way, back, to Virginia from Florida. Taking off at Key West International Airport around 8:30 P.M., they eventually refueled at Palatka Municipal Airport in northern Florida before their leave, at 11:57 P.M., for Virginia.

Aged at 61, Michael Buxton, was a resident of Portsmouth, Virginia. Along with having experience of flying a plane, he was a local phycologist for children. Ted Reinhardt, 62, was a jazz fusion drummer and a resident of Buffalo, New York. 60-year-old, William Shaver was, too, a resident of Buffalo. Shaver, Reinhardt, and Buxton were childhood friends of Buffalo, New York.

Deborah Childs, partnered to Buxton for 11 years, says “It was long overdue for them to get together, again.”. William Shaver was urged to go by his wife after finally feeling pain-free from back surgery. Often busy, Reinhardt made time to get together, once again.

In February, 2015, the 3 had left “Suffolk Executive Airport” of Suffolk, Virginia, destining to Florida’s “Key West International Airport”. March 3rd, Tuesday, they began their way of returning to Virginia. Planned to land at S.E.A., a little after 3 O’clock A.M., Wednesday, the atmosphere was extremely fogged by a warm-front pushing through the territory. Soon, he destined to Norfolk International Airport, as already mentioned.

Buxton’s reply when Air Traffic Control asked if he was experiencing equipment issues, after the first attempt to land did not succeed, is of him giving the foggy condition a comparison to a washer machine. Air Traffic Control was alerted by the pilot, at 4:05 A.M., about the plane, harshly, having a half-an-hour flight worth of fuel. 8 minutes passing, the Mooney was at an altitude of 200 feet, approximately 0.7 nautical miles North of “Runway 23” before Buxton informed, through the radio, that he could see the runway.

The verbal ‘green light’ to land was given to him by the Air Traffic Controller. Shortly, communication had been lost as radar contact had fallen. The Mooney tracked West, seconds later, at an altitude of 200 feet. Contact with the pilot was no-longer, even with several attempts made by the traffic controller, following the sudden drop of signal. First responders were called by Air Traffic Control due to the impossibility of reaching the plane by radio contact.

Released by Julian Williamson, Chief of Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Battalion, the plane’s distance from the runway was around 2 miles when Buxton’s final transmission was made, before contact with the tower fell into dust. The missing, M-20F, aircraft was found by the Virginia State Police, confirming N.I.A.(Norfolk International Airport), around 7:20 A.M., of them locating the plane. In the Enchanted Forest section of Azalea Garden Road, Botanical Garden, the small aircraft was found upside-down. Educated from investigation, the peak of a tree was struck by the single-propellered plane, flipping the aircraft before it crashed to the ground. All aboard were pronounced ‘dead’ at the scene.

The M-20F was registered to Jim Beauchamp, a resident of Corapeake, North Carolina. Beauchamp described Michael Buxton as a very competent and conscientious pilot—flying with him many times, even to Key West. Regularly, he’d lend him the plane. To “Quiet Birdmen”, a national aviator group, Buxton had been the current leader of the Norfolk chapter, said by Jim Beauchamp, also. Wednesday, later in the day, Deborah Childs notifies that she’s flown with Michael in various types of weather, throughout numerous flights.

Ted Reinhardt, William Shaver, and Michael Buxton will, forever, be remembered by many as they are resting free of agony. Extremely horrifying situations occur daily, with no warning at times. Any day may be your last, or of a loved one. Often as possible, reach out to those you love. May they, each, rest in peace.



Written by Troy “The Ghost-Bull” Powell

Submitted: December 20, 2021

© Copyright 2023 The Ghost-Bull. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:




Fri, March 4th, 2022 2:16am

Facebook Comments

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Book / Thrillers

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Short Story / Thrillers

Book / Fantasy

Other Content by The Ghost-Bull

Article / Non-Fiction

Article / Non-Fiction