Telemetry Data Could Reveal Why Gulfstream G650 Crashed
As the investigation continues into the fatal crash of a Gulfstream G650 during a test flight on April 2, the NTSB has said it might be more than a year before the cause of the accident is determined. However, Tom Latson, the NTSB investigator in charge of the accident, confirmed with AIN that the flight-test G650 involved in the crash, S/N 6002, was equipped with a telemetry data downlink. This could provide investigators with a trove of additional clues, above and beyond those from the twinjet’s CVR and FDR, though the NTSB declined to reveal what telemetry data it has in hand. Latson did say that the Board will be conducting an “extremely thorough investigation.” Aside from Gulfstream, other parties to the investigation include the FAA, Parker Aerospace (manufacturer of the aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight control system), Rolls-Royce and the German Accident Investigation Bureau (the 16,100-pound-thrust BR725A1-12 engines on the aircraft were manufactured in Germany). Financial analysts are expecting more details about how the crash will affect the G650’s planned late 2011 certification, and a sense of when flight tests will resume, during Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics’s first-quarter investor call on Wednesday.