NTSB: Pilot Error May Have Contributed to Crash That Killed Lewis Katz

This aerial photo from Monday, June 2, shows wreckage from where a plane plunged down and erupted in flames during a takeoff attempt at Hanscom Field on Saturday night in Bedford, Mass. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)

This aerial photo from Monday, June 2, shows wreckage from where a plane plunged down and erupted in flames during a takeoff attempt at Hanscom Field on Saturday night in Bedford, Mass. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its first report on the Gulfstream IV jet crash that killed Lewis Katz and six others on May 31st. From the first, brief report on the crash, we can infer that pilot error may have contributed to the crash.

“Review of FDR [flight data recorder] data parameters associated with the flight control surface positions did not reveal any movement consistent with a flight control check prior to the commencement of the takeoff roll,” the reports said. “The flap handle in the cockpit was observed in the 10 degree detent. FDR data indicated a flap setting of 20 degrees during the takeoff attempt.”

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Drew Katz to Sell Interest in Inquirer, Daily News

Drew Katz, left, son of Lewis Katz, right, walk with philanthropist H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest to a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Lenfest and businessman Lewis Katz are taking over Philadelphia's two largest newspapers with an $88 million auction bid. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Drew Katz, left, son of Lewis Katz, right, walks with philanthropist H.G. “Gerry” Lenfest to a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Drew Katz is selling his interest in Interstate General Media, the company that his late father Lewis Katz won at auction just two weeks ago after a furious months-long fight over the ownership of Philadelphia’s major newspapers. The announcement Tuesday night appears to leave Gerry Lenfest, Lewis Katz’s partner in the bidding, the sole owner of those newspapers.

“Because of the turmoil of the last 10 days, I have made a decision that it would be in the best interests of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com for me to sell my interest in the company,” Drew Katz said in an email Tuesday night. “I believe strongly that the organization would be in excellent hands under the ownership of Gerry Lenfest now and in the years to come.”

The announcement came hours after a report at BigTrial.net that Drew Katz had fallen out with Lenfest in the days since his father’s death, allegedly feeling he’d been elbowed out of decisions concerning the future of the papers by the older man — and resenting, reportedly, that Lenfest hadn’t offered any personal condolences about Lewis Katz’s death in a plane crash a week after the bidding concluded.

Drew Katz denied he’d had any falling-out with Lenfest.

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Lewis Katz Took Responsibility. Philadelphia Needs More Like Him.

Plane Fire

I didn’t personally know Lewis Katz but clearly this was a man who exemplified the best of our city: a leader, a business success, a charitable man, a good man, a family man. His “story is amazing” and he performed “many acts of kindness” according to Ed Rendell, up until his last act of buying the Inquirer and Daily News, where he “… knowingly overpaid tens of millions of dollars of [his and his partner Gerry Lenfest’s] own money to ensure that both papers would live on in Philadelphia and would have total journalistic freedom.” The enormous outpouring at his memorial service this week only proved how much he was loved and will be missed.

As a business and community leader Lewis Katz did his job well. The city cannot afford to lose men like him. Sadly, his loss only reminds us of what’s left behind. People who we look to as leaders who are not doing their jobs. Three examples …

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Four Things We Know About Drew Katz

Drew Katz (left) and his father, Lewis Katz, walk to Judge Patricia McInerney's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Drew Katz (left) and his father, Lewis Katz, walk to Judge Patricia McInerney’s courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Anyone who’s shared a conference table with Lewis Katz knows the imposing shadow the man could cast over a boardroom. Topping out at a lanky 6’2″, his frame often clad in a suit that cost more than a used Hyundai, it often felt as if Katz, a man who had intermittently owned pieces of the New Jersey Nets, the New York Yankees, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, was more skyscraper than human being.

Only time will tell if Drew Katz, tall like his father, has what it takes to lead Philadelphia’s largest newspapers into the future without his dad around.

Lewis Katz is gone, dead at 72 after his private jet crashed at an airfield outside of Boston on Sunday less than a week after he’d won an auction to purchase the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com for $88 million with billionaire philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Lenfest confirmed to the Inquirer on Sunday that Katz’s son, Drew will assume his father’s position with the company moving forward. The younger Katz was thrust into the spotlight yesterday as he delivered an emotional eulogy at the moving memorial services for his father.

Due to a warped and deeply disturbing twist of fate, Drew Katz, a business mogul and philanthropist in his own right, has become one of the most powerful men in Philadelphia media almost overnight. Here’s what we know about him so far. Read more »

LIVE: Coverage of the Lewis Katz Memorial

katz-memorial-speakers-TUTV-booker-goodwin

Good morning. This is where you can find our live coverage of the Lewis Katz memorial. It can also be viewed online here. The event starts at 11 a.m.

11:02 a.m.: A string quartet is playing. The stage features a Temple University podium and several chairs behind it.

11:10 a.m.: Neil Theobald,  president of Temple, welcomes the crowd. Says they’ll hear from a few of Katz’s friends. They’ll speak individually, but create a powerful whole image of Katz’s life. Theobald mentions other victims of the crash that killed Katz: “They’re in our hearts and in our prayers.”

Katz was given honorary doctorate at recent commencement. “Success isn’t about material things. Work matters, but family matters more,” he told grads at that event.

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Black Boxes Recovered from Crash That Killed Katz

This aerial photo from Monday, June 2, shows wreckage from where a plane plunged down and erupted in flames during a takeoff attempt at Hanscom Field on Saturday night in Bedford, Mass. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)

This aerial photo from Monday, June 2, shows wreckage from where a plane plunged down and erupted in flames during a takeoff attempt at Hanscom Field on Saturday night in Bedford, Mass. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)

“The black boxes from a plane crash that killed Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz and six others over the weekend have been recovered, according to the National Transportation Safety Board,” NBC 10 reports.

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