Clinton, Cosby among speakers at Katz service
NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Luke Schiada speaks during a news conference at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., Monday, June 2, 2014, regarding the investigation into a plane which plunged down an embankment and erupted in flames during a takeoff attempt there on Saturday night. Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, and six other people died in the crash. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
PHILADELPHIA - Former President Bill Clinton is among more than a dozen politicians, business leaders and education advocates expected to speak at a memorial service for philanthropist and Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz.
Katz and six others died when his private jet crashed during takeoff late Saturday night in Bedford, Massachusetts.
The memorial service will be held on Wednesday morning at Temple University in Philadelphia, where Katz was an alumnus and trustee.
Other scheduled speakers are former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, comedian and fellow Temple trustee Bill Cosby, Katz's son Drew, and author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose home Katz had visited earlier Saturday.
The service comes a day after a National Transportation Safety Board official said data from the flight recorder show the plane reached minimum takeoff speed but never lifted off the ground before it plunged into a ravine and burst into flames.
The data also showed a rise in brake pressure and the deployment of thrust reversers, suggesting an effort by the crew to slow or stop the doomed aircraft.
Lead investigator Luke Schiada said information retrieved from the Gulfstream IV's cockpit voice recorder picked up a conversation between the pilot and co-pilot about an aircraft control issue. He would not elaborate and stressed that investigators had not yet determined the cause of the crash.
The chief pilot was James McDowell, of Georgetown, Delaware, authorities said. Spouses identified two of the crew members as flight attendant Teresa Benhoff, 48, of Easton, Maryland, and co-pilot Bauke "Mike" de Vries, 45, of Marlton, New Jersey.
The other victims were identified as Katz's neighbour at the New Jersey shore, Anne Leeds, a 74-year-old retired preschool teacher; Marcella Dalsey, the director of Katz's son's foundation; and Susan Asbell, 67, the wife of a former New Jersey county prosecutor.
Information from the black boxes is still being analyzed and a preliminary report on the crash could come within 10 days, the NTSB said. A final report would not be completed for months.
Associated Press writer Bob Salsberg in Boston contributed to this report.