Effect of Grob SPn Crash on Cert. Schedule Unclear

 - December 15, 2006, 9:16 AM

It wasn’t immediately clear how the Grob SPn light business jet program will be affected by yesterday’s crash of the second prototype near the company’s airfield in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, killing chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45, the sole occupant. The Williams FJ44-powered aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff while returning to the runway and was destroyed. It first flew September 29 and had logged 28 flight hours. A third SPn is under construction and was scheduled to join the flight-test program early next year. In a statement issued today, Grob said that before the accident it expected SPn certification during the third quarter of next year, but the possible effect on the certification schedule “cannot be foreseen for the moment.” Grob announced the $7.1 million, nine-seat SPn program at last year’s Paris Air Show. This crash is the third this year for a light jet prototype. Two crewmembers escaped serious injury when their Excel-Jet Sport-Jet prototype crashed on June 22. But the July 25 crash of a Spectrum Aeronautical S-33 killed both crewmembers.