Saturday, April 2, 2011

Breaking: FAA confirms Gulfstream G650 Roswell test accident

Breaking: FAA confirms Gulfstream G650 Roswell test accident: "
_MG_7796 Gulfstream G650   N652GD

5:45 PM ET: The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed a Gulfstream G650 test aircraft crashed at 9:30 AM MT on its takeoff roll on runway 15 at Roswell International Air Center Airport in Roswell, New Mexico, killing all four aboard.

According to FAA spokesperson Lynn Lundsford, the aircraft had been out spending the morning - 2.5 hours - conducting brake testing when the aircraft had been cleared for takeoff. On the roll the aircraft had 'just gotten airborne' when the right wingtip struck the ground, causing the aircraft to lose altitude, collapsing the gear, skidding on the runway and catching fire. (Update: Winds were 10kts and under at the time of the accident)

Two test pilots and two test engineers were onboard the aircraft at the time. Both NTSB and FAA investigators are enroute to the scene. Gulfstream is expected to release a formal statement on the accident shortly.

A source familiar with the accident says that N652GD was the airframe involved and was operating as Gulftest 31 at the time.

5:59 PM ET: Gulfstream Aerospace has confirmed the accident as well, saying the aircraft was conducting takeoff-performance testing at the time. Gulfstream Aerospace president Joe Lombardo released a short statement, saying:
'Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were lost,' said Joe Lombardo, president, Gulfstream Aerospace.

The accident is under investigation by Gulfstream, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

'We are cooperating 100 percent with the investigation,' Lombardo said.

6:11 PM ET:
The aircraft, N652GD, was also known as S/N 6002, one of test aircraft in the certification campaign for the new ultra-long range business jet. The aircraft first flew from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport on February 25, 2010.

6:18 PM ET: At the time of the September 2009 roll-out of the first G650 S/N 6001, aircraft T2 (6002), was being prepared in final assembly.

Gulfstream G650 N652GD T2 S/N 6002"

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