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Henry Howard Dies in Plane Crash

November 14, 2002

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SAN ANDREAS, Calif. (AP) _ Henry Taylor Howard, a pioneer in the satellite television industry, died Wednesday when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff. He was 70.

Also killed was Howard’s 37-year-old stepson, Brian Files. A third man, Dean Hollingsworth, 37, who was sitting in a back seat, was flown to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. His condition was not immediately available.

Howard created the first known home satellite television system in 1976, according to the Alexandria, Va.-based Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association.

Using an antenna and receiver he built at his San Andreas home, he pulled in C-band signals intended for pay-TV cable customers.

``We’re shocked and saddened at the loss of Taylor Howard,″ said SBCA President Andy Wright. ``He was the father of satellite television, a founding member of this organization, and a visionary and a friend.″

Howard, the SBCA’s founding chairman, was also a professor emeritus of his alma mater, Stanford University, where he taught electrical engineering.

Authorities said he was at the controls when his Beechcraft went down at about 1 p.m.

It had just taken off from the Calaveras County Airport when it plunged at a steep angle into a rocky field of a nearby ranch, according to Calaveras County sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Anderson.

The cause of the crash was not known. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were on their way to the crash site Wednesday night.

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