Gulfstream IV Crash Kills Seven

** NTSB investigators at the site of the Gulfstream IV crash.** NTSB

Seven people in a Gulfstream IV were killed Saturday night in a fiery crash at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts, approximately 20 miles northwest of Boston. Hanscom is one of the busiest business aviation airports in the country and is a popular destination for bizjets going into Boston but wanting to avoid Logan International.

The airplane was reportedly attempting a routine takeoff on Runway 11 around 9:40 p.m. when it ran off the runway and crashed into a deep gully in a wooded area. An airport employee who witnessed the accident told investigators the jet never left the ground, while local residents reported hearing a loud boom at the time of the crash. The jet traveled 2,000 feet past the end of Runway 11 before finally coming to a stop. Witnesses reported seeing a fireball as high as 60 feet in the wake of the crash.

Two crewmembers, one cabin attendant and four passengers — including co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lewis Katz — were on board the jet at the time of the accident. There were no survivors.

The crash underscores the continuing risk of landing and takeoff operations to the business aviation segment. While the cause is unknown, Saturday's crash reminded many of a 2008 crash of a Lear 60 in Columbia, South Carolina, after the jet ran off the end of the runway following a high-speed tire blowout.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were on the scene of the crash over the weekend, working to recover the wreckage and the black box recorders. They said the accident investigation is in the very early stages, and the cause of the crash is not yet known.

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