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Crew may have tried to slow jet before crash in Massachusetts

Air Transportation DisastersTransportation IndustryNational Transportation Safety Board
Black box, cockpit voice recorder recovered from wreckage of Massachusetts plane crash that killed seven
Crew might have been trying to abort takeoff before Gulfstream IV plane crash in Massachusetts

The crew of the plane that crashed in Massachusetts, killing seven people, may have tried to slow or stop the jet, according to information released Tuesday by investigators studying the wreckage.

The thrust reversers on the Gulfstream IV were applied before the plane veered off the runway as it attempted to take off, investigators said.

At a briefing at Hanscom Field, 20 miles from Boston, Luke Schiada of the National Transportation Safety Board would not say whether investigators believe the pilot was trying to abort the takeoff Saturday night. However, the application of the thrust reversers and increased brake  pressure before the crash -- details gleaned from the flight data recorder -- suggest an attempt to stop the jet.

"There are indications that the brake pressures were rising ... and we also observed tire marks on the runway," Schiada said. He also said that some cockpit conversation indicated the crew was discussing an "aircraft control issue," but he would not elaborate.

All seven people on board the plane -- three crew members and four passengers -- died when it skidded off the pavement and crashed into a gully at about 9:40 p.m. as it was about to leave for Atlantic City, N.J. The victims included media executive Lewis Katz, who last week successfully bid to become a principal owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

Investigators on Monday night recovered the jet's black box and cockpit voice recorder. Both will be sent to Washington for analysis, and Schiada said it could be three or four days before investigators produced a transcript of the conversation in the cockpit in the 49 seconds between the jet's roll down the runway and the point of impact.

Schiada said the jet never left the ground and reached a speed of 165 knots, or about 190 mph, before crashing. 

On Tuesday, investigators pulled the Gulfstream's two engines from the marsh where the jet came to rest.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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