Al Marsh

Gulfstream 650 test flights resume

May 28, 2011 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Gulfstream Aerospace has resumed testing of its new 650 flagship after the April 2 crash of a 650 test aircraft that took the lives of the pilots and engineers aboard. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is continuing. Tests will be conducted with a limited flight envelope while the investigation is in progress. The reduced envelope will limit use of low speeds and increase V speeds. The crash occurred as the aircraft was performing a single-engine takeoff–simulating loss of an engine after liftoff.┬áThe test flight took place May 28, with Serial Number 6001 flying for 1 hour and 39 minutes. The crew included senior experimental test pilots Jake Howard and Tom Horne, and Flight Test Engineer Bill Osborne.┬áThe company still anticipates certification in 2011, with entry into service in 2012, as originally announced in 2008.

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