Seven People are Dead After a Gulfstream G-IV Crashes During Takeoff at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts

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Bedford, Massachusetts - May 31, 2014

Billionaire Lewis Katz, the co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and three friends, were among the seven people killed when a small plane crashed on Saturday night. The Gulfstream G-IV private jet crashed as it was taking off from Hanscom Field at around 9:40 p.m. It was on its way to Atlantic City International Airport. Two pilots and a flight attendant were also killed. Authorities say the plane failed to get airborne and went through a fence before hitting a gully and catching fire.

According to CNN, Katz was returning to his New Jersey home after attending a fund-raising event held at the Boston-area home of author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Crash Updates

Investigating What Went Wrong in the Hanscom Field Gulfstream Plane Crash
A Q&A with Aviation Attorney Ronald Goldman

All of the passengers were from New Jersey. According to

  • Lewis Katz, 72, of Longport, was co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and former owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets and the NHL's New Jersey Devils
  • Susan K. Asbell, 68, of Cherry Hill and Margate, was a member of the planning committee of the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County
  • Marcella M. Dalsey, 59, of Haddonfield, was the executive director of The Drew A. Katz Foundation and president of The KATZ Academy Charter School in Camden
  • Anne B. Leeds, 74, of Longport, was Lewis Katz's neighbor and longtime friend, who lived directly across the street. She had been invited on the trip at the last minute.
  • The flight crew has been identified, according to CBS News:

James McDowell, 51, originally from Georgetown, Delaware, the chief pilot
Bauke "Mike" de Vries, 45, of Marlton, New Jersey, co-pilot
Teresa A. Benhoff, 48, of Easton, Maryland, flight attendant

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator Luke Schiada said a witness reported that the plane "never left the ground" before crashing through a fence and into a gully, immediately catching fire. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration information shows that the aircraft was owned by SK Travel, LLC of Raleigh, North Carolina. Information provided by FlightAware indicates that weather likely wasn't a factor in the crash.

At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the crash. An investigation is underway. The NTSB will be analyzing the plane's cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR).

An aviation lawyer familiar with private jet crashes is wondering why a highly sophisticated airplane like a Gulstream IV, with two qualified pilots, ran off the end of a runway at high speed? Ronald L. M. Goldman headed the legal team that represented one of the executives killed in the July 31, 2008 Hawker Beechcraft BAE 125-800A crash at Owatonna, Minnesota. That flight was operated by East Coast Jets. It crashed after pilots attempted a late go-around with an insufficient amount of runway to work with. The flight captain, first officer and six passengers from an Atlantic City, New Jersey entertainment company were all killed in the crash.