The Sport-Jet prototype crashed late last month during flight testing in Colorado Springs, Colo., leading the company to suspend work on the jet until the accident investigation is complete. During takeoff the plane suffered an uncommanded roll at low altitude, possibly induced by wake turbulence or a weather phenomenon such as a microburst, according to company officials. Flying the airplane was James Stewart, a retired F-16 pilot. John Welty, an A&P mechanic, accompanied Stewart in the test flight. Both men were taken to the hospital as a precaution; both were released. While a good portion of the aircraft was damaged, the carbon roll-cage fuselage of the jet provided protection for the occupants, according to an insurance expert.
The single-engine, four-place jet was set to make its debut at this month’s AirVenture in Oshkosh.