Fatal Gulfstream prototype crash

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Very sad news for the test crew and company. :( http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2011-04-02/gulfstream-g650-crashes-new-mexico-leaving-four-people-dead-0
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Condolences to those bereaved - being a prototype test crew has its risks
Very sad news for the test crew and company. :( http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2011-04-02/gulfstream-g650-crashes-new-mexico-leaving-four-people-dead-0
Condolences to those bereaved - being a prototype test crew always has its risks but it's still very sad news when it actually claims lives. pprune has some suggestions of marketing/commerical controversies about the true model but it's looking as if it is definitely a G650. It is unlikely though speculation is rife on pprune that serious customers will 'go off' the G650 orders but it may mean customers waiting a little longer. Gulfstream are serious business jet manufacturers and they will get on top of the problem following the investigation which will be aided by it being within the airport.
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IIRC, Gulfstream lost a test crew years ago, as did Bombardier. The GA test pilots don't get a lot of recognition for their work. RIP and condolences to all involved.
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Oh dear ! .... This is not the news we want to hear .... But to move forward we all have to take risks .... and live with the results ?? RIP to all concerned :( Keith.
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Gulfstream Aerospace, located in Savannah, Ga., has confirmed the crash of a Gulfstream G650 flight test aircraft at Roswell International Air Center, N.M., Saturday morning, April 2. Four lives were lost in the accident. The following statement was released by the company early Saturday evening: “Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. confirmed today that a Gulfstream G650 crashed Saturday morning during takeoff-performance tests in Roswell, N.M. Two Gulfstream pilots and two Gulfstream flight-test engineers died in the crash. ‘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.” FAA Southwest Region spokesman Lynn Lunsford of the told AOPA Pilot that the aircraft, N652GD, had just taken off when the right wing hit the ground. The aircraft crashed back to the runway, collapsing the gear. “The aircraft skidded for quite some distance,” Lunsford said. “It came to rest 35 to 40 feet from the tower.” Lunsford said the aircraft had been in the pattern for at least two hours. It was his understanding that the aircraft was conducting brake testing.
Klick for complete text
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I don't get it. Folks have crawled out unscathed from much more mangled wreckage than that. Aside from fire damage, the fuselage looks intact. So sad. :(
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Now that the wreckage is visible - I too ponder why no survivors ?
I don't get it. Folks have crawled out unscathed from much more mangled wreckage than that. Aside from fire damage, the fuselage looks intact. So sad. :(
Now that the wreckage is visible - I too ponder why no survivors ? As reflected upon by Bmused55 there have been survivors from far worse crashes, and this was within the airport just short of the tower. Fire attendance could not have been delayed as they have been thanked by the Mayor for their part. It must be awful for the bereaved to see the video footage and wreckage as they must have the same grief stricken questions - why no survivors ?
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The Gulfstream G650 involved in the fatal crash that killed four company employees on 2 April was at a high angle of attack just before its right wingtip made contact with the runway, say those directly familiar with events of the accident. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says the wind was 15kts "directly from the left side of the aircraft" when the aircraft began its takeoff roll on Runway 21 at approximately 09:30 local time at Roswell International Air Center Airport in New Mexico. Wingtip scrape marks appear on runway 21 roughly 1520m (5,000ft) before the end of the 3,960m (13,000ft) runway, which "lead toward the final resting spot approximately 3000 feet from the first marks on the runway," says the NTSB. Witnesses near the scene say they saw the G650's landing gear collapse followed by "sliding on the ground with sparks and smoke and subsequent full involvement with fire while it was still moving," says the NTSB. The aircraft then "came to rest upright and fully involved in flames approximately 61m (200 ft) from the base of the airport control tower". Airport rescue and fire fighting teams responded quickly to the fire, which they fought for 15min after their arrival. S/N 6002, registered N652GD, the second of five test aircraft validating the new large-cabin ultra-long range jet , had been out conducting 2.5h of take-off performance and braking evaluations prior to the accident, taking off on runway 21 with teardrop turns to downwind landings on runway 3 prior to the accident. Participating along with the NTSB, is German safety investigator BFU, as the twin Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR700-725A1-12 engines are manufactured in Germany. Additionally, engine-maker Rolls-Royce and Parker Aerospace, which supplies the aircraft's fly-by-wire flight control system, are also party to the investigation along with Gulfstream.
Source!

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Now that the wreckage is visible - I too ponder why no survivors ? As reflected upon by Bmused55 there have been survivors from far worse crashes, and this was within the airport just short of the tower. Fire attendance could not have been delayed as they have been thanked by the Mayor for their part. It must be awful for the bereaved to see the video footage and wreckage as they must have the same grief stricken questions - why no survivors ?
Although the Fuse is Ally, the Floor (And lots of other bits including the Cockpit floor and all the panels in the 'pit) are CFRP. Gives off very very toxic gases once alight and burns very easily once alight. Overcome by fumes or very high temperature I would suspect. RIP. Was that their only 650 prototype?

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Very, very sad news. As stated here already, its easy to forget in these days of very safe and reliable aircraft, that the risks taken by these test pilots is very real. Indeed, its thanks to those pilots and supporting technicians, and the risks that they take, that we have those safe and reliable aircraft today. May they all rest in peace :(