BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Data from the flight recorder on a jet that crashed over the weekend in Massachusetts, killing Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz and six other people, show the plane reached minimum takeoff speed but never lifted off the ground before it plunged into a ravine and burst into flames, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Tuesday.
The data also showed a rise in brake pressure and the deployment of thrust reversers, suggesting an effort by the crew to slow or stop the doomed aircraft.
"There are indications that the brake pressure was rising, consistent with deceleration, and we're also observing tire marks on the runway," said Luke Schiada, lead investigator for the NTSB.
Information retrieved from the Gulfstream IV's cockpit voice recorder picked up a conversation between the pilot and co-pilot of the about an aircraft control issue, Schiada said, but he would not elaborate and stressed that investigators had not yet determined the cause of the crash.
The Saturday night crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, killed Katz and six others on his private jet.
The chief pilot was James McDowell, of Georgetown, Delaware, authorities said. Spouses identified two of the crew members as flight attendant Teresa Benhoff, 48, of Easton, Maryland, and co-pilot Bauke "Mike" de Vries, 45, of Marlton, New Jersey.
The other victims were identified as Katz's neighbor at the New Jersey shore, Anne Leeds, a 74-year-old retired preschool teacher he invited on the trip just that day; Marcella Dalsey, the director of Katz's son's foundation; and Susan Asbell, 67, the wife of a former New Jersey county prosecutor.
The information from the black boxes, which were recovered from the wreckage Monday night, was still being analyzed at the NTSB lab in Washington, officials said. A preliminary report on the crash was possible within 10 days, the NTSB said, but a final report would not be completed for months.
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