The National Transportation Safety Bureau has confirmed there were seven people on board a plane that crashed on takeoff Saturday night out of Hanscom Field in Bedford, MA. The investigation is focused on finding the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
NTSB Aviation Investigator Luke Shiada addressed the media Sunday afternoon. Shiada didn’t have a lot of information but said they are in the fact-finding stages of the investigation.
The plane, a Gulfstream IV, was headed to Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey. It has been confirmed the aircraft was a private plane.
Seven individuals were on board the plane at the time of the crash: two flight crew members, one pilot and four passengers.
It is unknown if the plane every left the ground. Shiada says a witness indicated the plane never became airborne. The aircraft went down an embankment into a gully with water making recovery difficult, he added. There are tire marks on the runway extending about 2,000 feet from the paved runway. Shiada said the plane rolled into grass, struck an antenna, then struck a fence before landing in the gully.
The bodies of the victims of Saturday night’s crash are currently being removed from the wreckage. The victims have yet to be officially identified. Shiada said the Boston Medical Examiner’s office is on scene and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office will be releasing the names. It is not known at this time when that will happen.
Earlier Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed the death of co-owner Lewis Katz as one of the seven killed in the accident.
The NTSB is gathering information for its investigation including: looking into the background of the pilots and their experience, reviewing the plane’s maintenance history, as well as documenting the plane at the site of the crash, as well as looking at the plane’s systems and structure. They are also looking at weather, surveillance video and talking to witnesses.
There are several sources of video at Hanscom they will also be reviewing.A preliminary report on the crash of the initial factual information gathered in these initial stages of the investigation will be released by the NTSB in 10 days.