One of Gulfstream's G650 ultra long-range business jets crashed on the runway at Roswell, NM, on Saturday, fatally injuring the two test pilots and two flight test engineers on board. The FAA said the accident happened after the jet attempted to lift off, struck a wingtip on the runway, which caused the gear to collapse and the large jet to burst into flames. The NTSB is on the scene and investigating.
According to a short release issued after the crash, Gulfstream said that the airplane had been conducting braking and runway performance tests — such trials are often conducted at Roswell. There is no word on why the airplane went out of control.
On Sunday Gulfstream announced the names of the victims of the tragedy. They are, experimental test pilots Kent Crenshaw and Vivan Ragusa and technical specialists David McCollum and Reece Ollenburg. All four were residents of Savannah.
The G650, Gulfstream's flagship bizjet, is scheduled for FAA certification next year.