FLUTTER IS SUSPECTED as the cause of the in-flight break-up of a Bede Jet BD-10 turbojet-powered light aircraft, which killed the pilot (Flight International, 11-17 January).

The aircraft was being used for flutter testing in a programme intended to lead to certification of the BD-10 for production by Peregrine Flight International as the PJ-1.

Incapacitation of the pilot, Peregrine founder Michael Van Wagenen, a fire or explosion have all been ruled out as a cause of the accident.

The crew of a chase aircraft, a Canadair CL-41G, did not witness the break-up because its aircraft had been unable to keep up with the BD-10 during the high-speed test run.

Source: Flight International