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Grob Aerospace remains committed to the spn program. Company mourns loss of Chief Test Pilot Gérard Guillaumaud

It is with deep regret and sincere condolences that Grob Aerospace must report the loss of its Chief Test Pilot, Captain Gérard Guillaumaud.

Captain Guillaumaud, aged 45, was performing a demonstration flight aboard the spn test aircraft D-CGSP. This was the second flight of the day for this aircraft. The accident occurred shortly after he took off from the manufacturer's Mattsies-Tussenhausen, German facility on

Wednesday 29 November at 1315 local time. He was the sole person on board.

Captain Guillaumaud had 25 years' experience in flying, 18 of them in the French Air Force and Air Force test centre. He had flown a wide range of aircraft from Mirage F1 fighter jets to light aircraft and helicopters and had performed a total of about 260 flight hours on the spn type.

He was both a popular and highly respected individual who had strong expertise in test flying. Captain Guillaumaud has been involved in experimental flight tests for nine new aircraft for manufacturers including Adam Aircraft, HP Aircraft and Diamond Aircraft. He was

an expert in JAR/FAR23 aircraft development and certification, flying a range of aircraft from light propeller aircraft to fighter jets.

Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver said: "Our heartfelt sympathies go to Gérard's family. He was a superb pilot and a close personal friend. He so enjoyed flying the sp n. Our thoughts and condolences are with his partner and family."

Gérard flew a total of about 260 hours aboard the two spn aircraft. Grob Aerospace is working closely with the German Civil Aviation

Authority and accident investigation team to determine the cause of this accident. Grob Aerospace remains committed to the program and production of aircraft number three will continue. The possible impact on the certification program can not be foreseen for the moment, Niall Olver stated.

The second spn test aircraft first flew on 29 September this year and had to date accumulated a total of 40 cycles and 28 flight hours. The first aircraft (D-CSPN) has to date logged about 300 flight hours and 450 cycles.

About the spn

The spn, boasts an impressive range and payload for an aircraft in its class. With six passengers and single pilot, the aircraft can serve 1,800 nm (3334 km). The aircraft features a total cabin volume of 405 cu.ft (11.5 m?) – the largest in the light business jet class by a fair

margin, and a large passenger door.

Early sales success for the industry's new generation light business jet has raised market interest with its unique operating characteristics. This includes being able to operate on unimproved runways (gravel or grass), traditionally the domain of a turboprop, requiring a balanced field length of just 3,000 ft (914 m) at maximum take off weight.

The spn will also be certified for single pilot operation, and is equipped with an avionics suite more advanced than that of any other aircraft close to its class. Honeywell's integrated all glass cockpit sets new standards for simplicity, reliability and technology. Two rear-mounted

FADEC controlled Williams FJ44-3A engines deliver 2,800 lbs (1,270 kg) of thrust.

The aircraft carries a price tag of €5.8 million. Prior to the accident the certification program for European EASA during the third quarter of 2007 and for US FAA certification during fourth quarter 2007 was on target. First customer deliveries are to commence in the fourth

quarter of 2007.

Press release issued by Grob Aircraft AG on November 30, 2006


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