Four Gulfstream employees killed after test aircraft rolls over and crashes in a fireball

>> Monday, April 4, 2011



By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:22 AM on 4th April 2011

Four Gulfstream employees were killed in a fireball after their test twin-engine luxury business aircraft crashed at an airport.

Officials with the plane company said that two Gulfstream pilots and two flight-test engineers died in the crash at Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico.

The company said in a statement that the Gulfstream G650 was doing takeoff performance tests at the time of the crash.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the plane had just taken off when it rolled and slammed into the runway on Saturday.

She said the plane's gear collapsed and the craft burst into flames.

The four who died have been named as 64-year-old Kent Crenshaw and 51-year-old Vivan Ragusa - both pilots - and technical specialists David McCollum, 47, and 48-year-old Reece Ollenburg.

Roswell Fire Department officials said there were no other injuries reported on the ground.

Joe Lombardo, president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, said: 'Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were lost.'

Gulfstream reportedly began taking orders on the nearly $60million G650 jets in April 2010 with delivery expected sometime next year.

Mr Lunsford said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the cause of the crash.

Mr Lombardo added: 'We are cooperating 100 per cent with the investigation.'

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