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Tue, Jul 25, 2006

Aero-News Alert: Victims In UT Spectrum Jet Crash Identified

Plane Was Sole Prototype

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 07.25.06 2000 EDT: Austin Blue, president of Spectrum Aeronautical LLC, identified the two victims of Tuesday afternoon's crash of the Spectrum 33 prototype as Glenn Maben, director of flight operations at Spectrum Aerospace LLC, and vice director Nathan Forrest.

 

The plane that was lost was the sole prototype of the very light jet, introduced last November at the NBAA Conference in Orlando, FL.

There are no indications as yet what happened to bring the plane down.

"It was a test flight. We've had many test flights. I don't know what went wrong with this one," said Blue, speaking to KSL-TV as he was enroute to Utah from the company's California headquarters.

ORIGINAL REPORT

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 07.25.06 1930 EDT -- Aero-News has learned two persons onboard the prototype Spectrum 33 very-light jet have died, after the plane crashed for as-yet unknown reasons off an airport runway in Spanish Fork, UT Tuesday afternoon.

KLS-TV reports the accident occurred about 4:15 local time. Spanish Fork police report jet fuel was spilled on the runway, and photos of the accident scene indicate the aircraft may have rolled as it departed the runway.

BACKGROUND

About the same cabin size of Cessna's Citation CJ-2+ and offering up to 10-place seating, Spectrum Aerospace told ANN in January its VLJ entry offers top speeds in excess of 415-knots, non-stop range of 2,000 nautical miles yet weighs in at a low 7,300 pounds gross takeoff weight. At maximum weight, the 33 can reach its typical cruising altitude of 45,000 feet in a direct climb of only about 20 minutes.

The Spectrum 33's first flight occurred on January 7, 2006 from Spanish Fork's relatively short 5700 ft runway.

Linden Blue, CEO of Spectrum Aeronautical, told ANN at that time he had high hopes for the Spectrum 33 commenting, "Citations are out of my range, and Lears are certainly as well. So is the King Air. I figured if we could make something significantly different in terms of weight and cost, it was worth doing. If all we could do was make a Citation that was maybe 5 or 10 percent better, that's just beating your head against the wall -- you've got to make a substantial improvement or it's not worth doing."

It is not yet known what impact Tuesday's loss of two valued members of the Spectrum team... and the prototype... will have on the program.

ANN will have more on this story as information becomes available.

FMI: www.spectrum.aero

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