Several reports reach me about the FAA and Eclipse. The first concerns FAA "Supplier Control" audits, recently held at Eclipse. Seems no one in ABQ was too bothered about measurement of incoming parts. Except the FAA, who appear to have found not one but a whole load of non conforming items. Remember, its Eclipse who determine what 'conformance' is, since they provided the suppliers with the original specs.
It gets worse.
The local FAA office has (allegedly) been told to route all Eclipse reports through Washington, where 'someone' is 'filtering' any damaging or disruptive elements out.
The outcome? Sloppy procedures in Eclipse go on, and (it appears) FAA types, as well as concerned aviation professionals, get very unhappy. Mad enough to contact me, anyway....
And another thing.
If the bits don't fit together too well, they tend to fall off. I got this in the past 24 hours, have been unable to confirm it (I do live in Ireland, after all....) but thought people should be aware of the issues that are at stake. Apologies in advance if it I'm wrong, but when aircraft safety is at risk, I think it's worth reporting it.
A friend of a flight instructor reports the following incident from a taxi way @ Boca Raton, FL:
The weather has gotten bad so everyone was lined up waiting for IFR filing and clearance. I was in an Piper holding behind Eclipse Jet who was number one for takeoff. After receiving the IFR instructions, reading them back, the pilot in the Eclipse was given the OK to taxi on to runway. As power was applied the turbines spooled up and the aircraft started moving. As the aircraft creeped along making its turn to align itself with the runway heading, all of a sudden a loud crash was heard as the ENTIRE ENGINE NACELLE came shooting off across the runway landing way off in the grass! The student I was instructing asked in all seriousness, "is that supposed to happen?" I laughed and said "No."
The Eclipse pilot apparently sheepishly asked for a taxi back to the FBO. I wonder how many "slight" issues like these have been seen in usage of the grand Eclipse Jet.
Now, I don't know about you but if it's true, that story sure scares the hell out of me...