October 25, 2012
By Jim Moore
The NTSB has requested a response from Gulfstream Aerospace, the FAA, and the Flight Test Safety Committee to a set of 10 recommendations adopted Oct. 10, and distributed Oct. 23, following a fatal 2011 crash during a test flight of the G650.
Board members on Oct. 10 criticized Gulfstream for pressing forward with the flight test program without a full analysis of stalls that occurred on two previous flights that nearly led to crashes. Four people were killed on April 2, 2011, in Roswell, N.M., when a G650 stalled and crashed just after liftoff during a single-engine takeoff test.
The NTSB has requested a response within 90 days from Gulfstream, the FAA, and the organization of test pilots and industry groups, that details what actions have been taken, or are planned, to address the specific recommendations.
The recommendations collectively seek to ensure that all manufacturers follow a standardized set of procedures based on best practices for flight test programs. The NTSB advised the FAA to work with the Flight Test Safety Committee to “develop and issue guidance” that addresses issues detailed in the NTSB report on the crash. Flight tests deemed “high risk” should be coordinated with airport and safety officials to ensure adequate firefighting and rescue resources are readily available, the NTSB recommended. The board also recommended that Gulfstream commission an audit by independent safety experts to assess test program safety before another test program is undertaken, and distribute to other manufacturers the lessons learned from development of a flight test safety program.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Safety and Education,
Flight Display Systems now lets passengers control their cabin environment and entertainment from a wearable device that looks like a watch.
Here’s a riddle: What job requires a private pilot certificate, but never asks you to leave the ground?
Does automation lead to a lack of professionalism? The acting NTSB chief thinks it does, and calls for a new approach to the man-machine interface.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>