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Accident Report Detail

 
Crash During Experimental Test Flight, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation GVI (G650), N652GD

Executive Summary

‚ÄčOn April 2, 2011, about 0934 mountain daylight time, an experimental Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation GVI (G650), N652GD, crashed during takeoff from runway 21 at Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, New Mexico. The two pilots and the two flight test engineers were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by Gulfstream as part of its G650 flight test program. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.


Probable Cause

The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was an aerodynamic stall and subsequent uncommanded roll during an OEI takeoff flight test, which were the result of (1) Gulfstream's failure to properly develop and validate takeoff speeds for the flight tests and recognize and correct the V2 error during previous G650 flight tests, (2) the G650 flight test team's persistent and increasingly aggressive attempts to achieve V2 speeds that were erroneously low, and (3) Gulfstream's inadequate investigation of previous G650 uncommanded roll events, which indicated that the company's estimated stall AOA while the airplane was in ground effect was too high. Contributing to the accident was Gulfstream's failure to effectively manage the G650 flight test program by pursuing an aggressive program schedule without ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of team members had been appropriately defined and implemented, engineering processes had received sufficient technical planning and oversight, potential hazards had been fully identified, and appropriate risk controls had been implemented and were functioning as intended.


Accident Location: Roswell , NM    
Accident Date: 4/2/2011
Accident ID: DCA11MA076

Date Adopted: 10/10/2012
NTSB Number: AAR-12-02
NTIS Number: PB2012-910402