BOSTON — The crew of a private jet that crashed in Massachusetts, killing Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz and six other people, did not perform a flight control check before attempting takeoff, a federal report issued Friday suggests.

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board on the May 31 crash at Hanscom Field outside Boston also indicated a possible problem with a mechanical gust lock system on the Gulfstream IV, which protects aircraft components from wind damage while planes are parked.

The plane would have been unable to take off had the lock been engaged, according to aviation experts.

“Review of (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 report stated.

The report did not identify a probable cause for the crash, and investigators have said a final report could take months to complete.

NTSB investigators previously said data from the Gulfstream IV’s flight data recorders indicated the plane reached takeoff speed but never lifted off before it went off a runway, crashed into a gully and burst into flames. Cockpit voice recordings revealed comments from the crew concerning “aircraft control,” the NTSB said.

According to the preliminary report, flight data showed evidence that the gust lock was engaged during the taxi and attempted takeoff, though the handle that locks the device was found to be in the forward or “off” position.

“There is some evidence that there was a problem with the gust lock system,” said aviation consultant John Cox, a former pilot and accident investigator.

Crew members, however, may not have been aware of the issue without a flight check.

“There is circumstantial or physical evidence that the elevator was locked and that the crew would not have known it because they had not performed the fight control check,” Cox said.

Pilots typically check wing flaps, elevators and other components before takeoff to make sure they are working.

There was no evidence of catastrophic engine failure, the NTSB report said.