Grob Aerospace has released further details on the fatal accident of the SPn light jet that resulted in the death of its chief test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud.
Capt Guillaumaud was performing a demonstration flight aboard the second SPn test aircraft (D-CGSP) in the second sortie of the day. The accident occurred at 13:15, shortly after he took off from the manufacturer’s factory in Mattsies-Tussenhausen, in the Bavarian countryside of Germany. Guillaumaud was the sole person on board.
Grob says it is working closely with the German civil aviation authority and accident investigation team to determine the cause of this accident. Grob says it "remains committed to the programme and production of aircraft number three will continue."
The possible impact on the certification programme cannot be foreseen for the moment, Grob chief executive Niall Olver says.
D-CGSP first flew on 29 September and had to date accumulated a total of 40 cycles and 28 flight hours, the Swiss-headquartered company says. The first prototype (D-CSPN) has to date logged around 300 flight hours in 450 cycles.
Olver describes Capt Guillaumaud as "a superb pilot and a close personal friend". He added: "Our thoughts and condolences are with his partner and family.” He had flown flew a total of about 260h on both SPn prototypes and was said to really enjoy the aircraft's characteristics.
Capt Guillaumaud had 25 years’ experience in flying, 18 of them in the French air force and air force test centre. He has been involved in experimental flight tests for nine new aircraft types for manufacturers including Adam Aircraft, HP Aircraft and Diamond Aircraft.