Germany’s Federal Bureau of Air Accident Investigation (BFU) has provided some initial findings from its inquiry into the crash of Grob Aerospace’s second SPn jet prototype on November 29 last year. The early conclusions show that the investigators now have a fairly clear idea of how the accident happened, but they are not yet completely sure why it happened.
Grob G180 SPn
Grob Aerospace has restarted the flight-test program for its SPn jet, just short of three months after the crash of its second prototype on November 29. The first SPn prototype took to the air again on February 23 from the company’s headquarters at Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany.
Initial findings from German aviation authorities on the crash of a Grob Aerospace SPn Utility Jet prototype say flutter might have played a role in the Nov. 29, 2006 accident. According to a report from the manufacturer, the German Federal Bureau of Air Accident Investigation said that parts of the twinjet’s tail control surfaces were found some 1,300 feet from the impact site, indicating the aircraft shed them in flight.
Structural failure appears to have caused the fatal crash of the second Grob SPn prototype near the company airfield in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, on November 29. Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver confirmed to AIN last month that the elevators and left-hand stabilizer separated from the aircraft before impact and were found “several hundred feet” behind the main wreckage.
Certification of the Grob SPn Utility Jet will be delayed by a few months, according to a statement released last week, 16 days after the fatal crash of the company’s No. 2 prototype that killed chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud. “We hope to be able to continue with flight test shortly,” said Grob CEO Niall Olver.
The world of business aviation woke up to a surprise here at the Paris Air Show today with the unforeseen launch of a highly versatile new private jet. The all-composite Grob SPn Utility Jet is both a niche-filler and challenger, offered by its developers as the long-awaited successor to Raytheon’s Beechcraft King Air workhorses and a more-industrious alternative to the emerging crop of light executive jets.
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.
Structural failure appears to have caused the fatal crash of the second Grob SPn prototype light jet near the company airfield in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, on November 29. Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver told AIN that the elevators and left-hand stabilizer separated from the aircraft before impact and were found “several hundred feet” behind the main wreckage. “We know they separated,” said Olver, “but we don’t know why.”
Execujet and Pilatus (Stand C104) have terminated their PC-12 relationship, the two companies announced last week. Execujet used to represent Pilatus’ single-turboprop business aircraft in Africa, the Middle East and Scandinavia–both for sales and support. A transition plan will be set up to ensure support continuity.
Burnet Interiors has made the interior of the Grob SPn cabin mockup that showgoers can see here on the German airframer’s exhibit (Booth No. 578). In the near future, the Swiss-based VIP cabin specialist will bid for series production.