A Gulfstream G650 development aircraft has crashed on takeoff, killing all four occupants on board during flight testing at Roswell, New Mexico, on Saturday morning (April 2).
The aircraft, N652GD, was conducting breaking takeoff performance tests when the accident occurred, with the G650’s right wing tip striking the runway just after it became airborne.
“The plane had just lifted off when the right wing struck the concrete. The plane hit the ground again and the landing gear collapsed,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford was reported as saying.
Gulfstream has confirmed the deaths of experimental test pilots Kent Crenshaw and Vivan Ragusa and technical specialists David McCollum and Reece Ollenburg.
“We mourn the loss of our colleagues and friends and extend our deepest sympathies to their families,” said Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo. “The Gulfstream team has already rallied to support the people these men left behind, and we know that the local and aviation communities will do the same. On their behalf, we ask for your kindness, support and understanding as they, and the rest of the Gulfstream family, grieve the passing of these fine professionals.”
The accident will be investigated by the US NTSB.