Flightglobal's John Croft filed two in-depth feature articles after reviewing the documents for nearly a week. The first article is posted below, and the second will appear later. More updates also will follow as part of our news coverage from Geneva, Switzerland, the site of next week's EBACE convention.
Factual documents recently made public by the US National Transportation Safety Board reveal that Gulfstream Aerospace did not fully investigate two wing-drop incidents that preceded the 2 April 2011 fatal crash of a G650 in Roswell, New Mexico.
Aircraft 6002, the second of five flight test aircraft in the programme, scraped its right wing seconds after becoming airborne. It then ploughed along the ground, caught fire and eventually became engulfed in flames as it exited the runway on the right side. The two pilots and two flight test engineers - who were all killed inside the aircraft by smoke and soot inhalation and burns - were performing the ninth and final test of the day as part of Flight 153, a heavy take-off weight field test performance flight with 10˚ of flaps and the right engine at idle to determine lift-off and climb-out speeds that would later be used for US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification runs. The tests are needed to develop procedures that pilots will follow after engine failure late in a take-off run.