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Lessons Learned From G650 Crash Probe -- NTSB Reccomendations

Lessons learned from the fatal April 2, 2011, crash of a Gulfstream G650 test aircraft in Roswell, N.M., could bolster safety for airframers and flight test departments globally if recommendations handed down yesterday by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are adopted. ( More...

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bbabis 2
I think a bigger point was missed. The flight test team was clearly bowing to pressure or at least the wishes of the marketing department to get the airplane in the air in as short of distance and at as slow of airspeed as possible for competitive advantage. They knew the stalling speed of the wing in the air. Vr and V2 must be safely above this speed. The planning for and the reliance on ground effect to alter flight characteristics during the landing sequence is normal. Relying on it for the takeoff sequence is suicidal. Apparently they were given two warnings of the regime they were experimenting with but failed to recognize them. Accidents are very sad, particularly ones that should not of happened. May the crew rest in peace.
s20609 1
An excellent synopsis. One additional NTSB finding I consider most significant was: the expressed Program pressures to meet schedule and performance targets without completing the engineering investigation of the previous role events.
Wingscrubber 1
Scary stuff... I know test pilots are supposed to push the envelope, but you can't beat the stall speed.
sparkie624 0
LOL, surprised Rosewell did not come in to the reasoning... Simulating a Single Engine Take Off.. That just sounds crazy.... Scraping the wing on the ground... That kind of stunt should be saved for the Simulators.
bentwing60 2
Sparkie, had they known, they probably would have saved it for the sim. Had one existed. Sims are based on certified airplane performance doctrine. What else is there? If you don't think marketing sometimes drives certification, you never flew a t-tail piper of the 70's, 80's genre. Granted, it's a leap from a Piper to a Gulfstream, but to match the numbers in the performance data for those airplanes, required a test pilot on every flight. T-tails were the rage and piper said, we'll give em one or two. They were a flop and history proved it. Seen a small GA t-tail lately. The point is they were trying to validate some market driven numbers that didn't exist and it didn't work out. If you think test pilot work is for the faint of heart, go to Edwards and look at all the street names named after dead test pilots. You didn't hear about it so often back then because it was routine, you don't hear about it so often now because it is not!


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