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