NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on G650 Crash

 - April 7, 2011, 11:00 AM

The flight-test Gulfstream G650 that crashed in Roswell, N.M., on Saturday “was performing a takeoff with a simulated engine failure to determine takeoff distance requirements at minimum flap setting” at the time of the accident, according to an NTSB preliminary report released this morning. The two test pilots and two technical specialists aboard were killed in the crash, and the twinjet was destroyed. The report said the aircraft slid approximately 3,800 feet from where the first wing scrapes were seen on Runway 21 at Roswell International Air Center Airport, and struck several obstructions before it came to rest on fire, but upright about 200 feet from the airport’s control tower. In a statement issued this morning, Gulfstream pledged its cooperation with the NTSB. “We are participating fully in the aircraft investigation, and will resume flying the G650 only when we and the [FAA] are satisfied it is safe to do so,” said Pres Henne, Gulfstream’s senior vice president for programs, engineering and test. The airframer noted that all other certification and production work on the program would continue. Earlier this week, Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics expressed his sympathy for the families of the crew, along with his confidence in the 650 program. The accident G650, S/N 6002, had accumulated more than 425 flight hours since it first flew in February last year.