Grob SPn Destroyed In Crash, Pilot Dead

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One of the two Grob SPn Utility Jets flying prototypes was destroyed during a “demonstration flight” near the company factory in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany on Wednesday, Grob CEO Niall Olver confirmed to AVweb. Chief SPn test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45, the sole occupant aboard the aircraft, was killed. Guillaumaud was a former French air force pilot and a graduate of the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, Calif. The crash occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time shortly after takeoff, according to witnesses. Guillaumaud was demonstrating the aircraft’s flight performance to a group of invited company guests on the ground. After what appeared to be a normal takeoff, the aircraft turned to rejoin the landing pattern when it plunged into a meadow approximately 4.5 miles from the runway. A photo in the local newspaper, the Mindelheimer-Zeitung, shows that the wreckage of the all-composite jet was confined to a small area and completely destroyed by a post-impact fire. Grob and German authorities are investigating.