All three crewmembers perished when their Gulfstream IV crashed on landing at Le Castellet Airport (LFMQ) in the south of France on Friday at 3:18 p.m. local time. The twinjet, registered as N823GA, was being operated by U.S. charter firm Universal Jet Aviation on a Part 91 positioning flight from nearby Nice. There were no passengers aboard the aircraft.
Local media reports suggest that the aircraft broke in two, with the forward fuselage ending up in a pond and the rear section coming to rest among trees. At least one of the two sections caught fire. Images of the wreckage show the thrust reversers were in the deployed position.
A short statement from the Var département prefecture said that there were no passengers on board the long-range business jet and that the three killed were American crewmembers, two men (aged 24 and 60) and a 30-year-old woman. A Universal Jet Aviation spokesman confirmed to AIN that the accident aircraft belonged to the Boca Raton, Fla.-based charter company. “We currently have no further details concerning the circumstances of this incident…[and] we are cooperating with all investigative agencies,” he said. “Our focus at this time is supporting the needs of the crew and their families.” The French bureau of air crash investigations (BEA) has yet to release factual information for this accident.