Two escape plane crash during test flight in California desert

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A pilot and a passenger safely ejected before their single-engine turboprop crashed during a test flight June 4 in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, a spokesman for the plane’s developer said.

Both occupants are OK after successfully deploying their parachutes before the GA10 aircraft crashed about 15 miles west of Edwards Air Force Base, according to Earle Boyter, a North American official of Australia’s GippsAero.

The 10-seat experimental utility plane was likely destroyed, Boyter said.

It had taken off from Mojave Air and Space Port, about 85 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector was dispatched to the crash site, said agency spokesman Ian Gregor. The National Transportation Safety Board will also investigate.

GippsAero manufactures single-engine utility aircraft. The firm based in Morwell, Australia, is owned by Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group.