Grob resolute after crash destroys SPn prototype

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Chief test pilot killed as aircraft comes down near factory during demonstration flight

Grob Aerospace's second SPn light jet prototype was destroyed on 29 November during a demonstration flight near the company factory in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany. Chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, the aircraft's sole occupant, was killed. The accident occurred at 13:15 local time shortly after take-off, say witnesses.

Guillaumaud was piloting a demonstration flight aboard the second SPn test aircraft (D-CGSP) in the second sortie of the day. Grob says it is working closely with the German civil aviation authority and accident investigation team to determine the accident cause.

Niall Olver, chief executive of the Switzerland-headquartered company, says: "We remain committed to the programme and production of aircraft number three will continue. The possible impact on the certification programme can not be foreseen for the moment."

The second prototype (the first aircraft to fly with Honeywell's Primus Apex integrated avionics), made its maiden flight on 29 September and had accumulated a total of 40 cycles and 28 flight hours, says Grob. The first prototype has logged around 300 flight hours in 450 cycles.