SAVANNAH, Ga. – Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has resumed the G650 flight-test program, following a temporary suspension of flying after an April 2 accident. The first flight since the accident took place May 28, with Serial Number 6001 flying for 1 hour and 39 minutes. The crew included senior experimental test pilots Jake Howard and Tom Horne and Flight Test Engineer Bill Osborne.
“We have conducted all the necessary reviews to assure ourselves that we can safely resume the flight-test program at this point,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “We have worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration in this process and received the agency’s concurrence to resume flight testing. 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.”
To date, the G650 flight-test program has accomplished 470 flights, accumulating 1,560 hours towards the estimated 2,200 hours required for certification. Gulfstream resumed flying with the four remaining flight-test aircraft. The company still anticipates certification in 2011, with service entry in 2012, as was originally planned at the aircraft’s public launch in 2008.
Gulfstream continues to cooperate with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in its investigation.