Gulfstream has announced the re-start of its G650 flight-test program, following the tragic April 2 crash of a test aircraft which killed all four occupants onboard.
“We have conducted all the necessary reviews to assure ourselves that we can safely resume the flight-test program at this point,”Gulfstream Programs, Engineering and Test senior vice president, Pres Henne said in a statement. “We have worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration in this process and received the agency’s concurrence to resume flight testing,”
G650 S/N 6001 was the first aircraft to resume flight testing, completing a 1 hour, 39 minute flight on May 28. Since then, all four test aircraft have resumed flying, with the company still expecting to achieve certification this year, followed by service entry in 2012.
“It is our responsibility to move forward with the flight-test program, and we will do so in a safe and prudent manner. The G650 will enter service as the flagship of our product line, where it will represent the very best in business aviation technology,” Henne added, with Gulfstream still cooperating with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into its investigation of the earlier crash.
Gulfstream claims that its G650 flight-test program has completed 470 flights to date, accumulating 1560 hours towards the estimated 2200 hours required for certification.