G650 Deliveries Still Planned for 2011 Despite Crash

After getting peppered with questions from investor analysts yesterday about how the April 2 crash of a flight-test G650 would affect the aircraft program, Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, finally relented. “I’m not going to go into much more than I’ve already said about the 650, except to reiterate that at this point, I said we would deliver approximately 12 green 650s this year, and I’m still in a place in the year where I believe we can do that.” In his earlier prepared remarks during the first-quarter investor call, he echoed previous company statements about the crash, namely that the accident took the lives of four “dedicated” Gulfstream employees; that the NTSB is in charge of the investigation, thereby limiting what he could say; and that G650 flight testing has been suspended temporarily, though the company is “moving forward” with all non-flying certification work and consulting with the FAA and NTSB on when flight testing can resume. But after stating that G650 deliveries are still on track for 2011 during the Q&A session, he added: “Obviously, the type certification and the FAA restart with the NTSB authorization is elemental to that. But at this point, I’m quite comfortable suggesting that we can carry out the plan.”

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