ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Four Gulfstream employees were killed Saturday in a fiery crash of a test twin-engine luxury business aircraft at an airport, authorities said.
Officials with the Georgia-based plane company confirmed that two Gulfstream pilots and two flight-test engineers died in the crash. Their names and other background information weren’t immediately released.
The company said in a statement the Gulfstream G650 was doing takeoff-performance tests at Roswell International Air Center 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. He said the plane’s gear collapsed and the craft burst into flames.
Fire Department officials confirmed the fatalities and said there were no other injuries reported on the airport grounds.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were lost,” said Joe Lombardo, president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
Gulfstream reportedly began taking orders on the nearly $60 million G650 jets in April 2010 with delivery expected sometime next year.
Lunsford said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the cause of the crash.
“We are cooperating 100 percent with the investigation,” Lombardo said.