The brakes of a private jet crashed as it tried to take off on Saturday, killing Lewis Katz and six other people near Boston, had been applied at the time of the accident, a U.S. transportation official said on Tuesday.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Luke Schiada told reporters that a review of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Gulfstream jet showed that the aircraft had reached 191 miles per hour (307 kph) on the runway before the brakes were applied.
“There are indications that the brake pressures were rising consistent with deceleration and we also observed tire marks on the runway,” said Schiada.
Officials refused to speculate on what could have caused the crew to want to slow the plane.
Killed in the crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, about 20 miles (35 km) northwest of Boston, were Katz, 72, the co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, three of his friends, the plane’s pilot and two crew members.
The revelation came as family and friends prepared for a star-studded memorial to Katz.
Former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Cory Booker and Bill Cosby were expected to speak at the event at Temple University in Philadelphia Wednesday morning.
The plane rolled into the grass, struck an antenna that is part of the airport’s instrument landing system, crashed through a chain link fence and down an embankment into a gully, according to federal investigators.