Aviation safety officials are treating the Saturday night plane crash that killed billionaire Lewis Katz and six other people as an accident, though they aren't ruling anything out yet about the unusual crash. Katz, 72, and a partner just won a contentious battle for control of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News last week. Katz, three guests, and three crew members were returning from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Atlantic City.
On Sunday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that the Gulfstream IV jet crashed into a gully 2,000 feet past the end of the runway at Hanscom Field, without ever having taken flight. For unknown reasons, the jet crashed through a chain-link fence and into an antenna before careening into the gully and bursting into flames.
Katz and his three guests — retired schoolteacher Anne Leeds, 74; Marcella Dalsey, executive director of the Drew A. Katz Foundation, 59; and Boys and Girls Club of Camden board member Susan Asbell, 68 — had just attended a fundraising event at the house of historian Doris Kernes Goodwin and her husband, Michael Goodwin. Katz made his fortune investing in parking lots, the financial industry, and real estate, before becoming part-owner of the New York Yankees and owner of the New Jersey Nets and Devils. Yankee Stadium observed a moment of silence during Sunday's game in honor of Katz. His son, Drew Katz, will take his place on the Philadelphia newspaper boards.