Thursday, April 24, 2008

America really IS the land of the Free....

... and the home of the BRAVE.

I have been under considerable pressure over the past week, as I'm sure you will all understand. But nothing like those on our 'Roll of Honour'.

For new readers of our blog, a little background is necessary. A number of people, supporters of Eclipse and known to some as The Faithful, have a long history of defending Vern Raburn on the blog.

One of the more visible has been 'Ringtail'. Herewith a posting from his wife, earlier today. I felt it deserved greater visibility, called the Johnson's and asked their permission to do what you see here. You will gather that it was freely given.

Greetings from Ringtail's wife- Becky Johnson. My loving husband is David Johnson (Ringtail). The reason I am posting is since Vern selected our name (Ringtail) from this blog, he (Vern,,) must be checking this site very often since the "honor roll" was announced. So Vern- now that you know our personal identities, are you satisfied? You can call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to get more detailed information from the horse’s mouth, (directly in other words). Then Google can refocus its efforts on its stock price. Although we (Ringtail and I) have our opinions about Eclipse, we are not affiliated with Eclipse in any way. If you were to read my husband's (Ringtail) comments, which we will be glad to provide you with your own personal copy; you will find that we supported Eclipse alongside other bloggers: Ken Meyer, Alexa, Mirage and Cessna421. Everything we posted on this blog was based on our own opinion gleaned from reading and participating on this blog and other aviation magazines and news articles. People have the rights to say what they want and I believe you have initiated an opposition on that right. I also encourage you to participate on this award winning blog. This blog has provided a very interesting debate amongst very impressive individuals. Just like Hillary Clinton can lie about Bosnia snipers and today WSJ article shows she made 10 million for her campaign, all people can express themselves openly. I again question why this action has occurred. Thank you for your time, Becky J, wife of David Johnson (Ringtail)

I thank you, Becky and David, on behalf of the blog, and bloggers everywhere.

Please note I've (just) deleted the Johnson's home phone number, as suggested by a more experienced blogger - Shane

Monday, April 21, 2008

Our 'roll of honour'

Following the last post, showing that Eclipse had decided to turn to the law, I have been thinking about several matters.

First, the groundswell of support from both within and without our small community has been very pleasing. Thanks to one and all. Several offers from legal types have reached the inbox, but I think that one of our own is entitled to carry the torch for us all. Gunner has made it quite clear that he is willing and able to do so, even though he didn't 'make' the list. I applaud his efforts and would recommend that, at least for round one of the action, we take him up on his offer.

Second, whilst many people have contacted me to see if they were included, not everyone listed has done so. This may be for the very simple reason that they don't know they are ON the list. After taking advice from others, herewith the listing. It was presented to me as a scanned copy of the court original, and was re typed (by me) exactly as you see it here, errors and all...


So, there you have it. 28 (or 29) bloggers, all of whom have somehow managed to annoy Vern. Those of you familiar with the past might remember all of the above, but I can't. I've checked, and several of the names have have NEVER posted on this blog. I am also 'amused' to see members of 'The Faithful' included. Wonder how that will play on the (very secretive) Eclipse owners website...

Friday, April 18, 2008

We really should be flattered...

This evening, I was having a nice meal, Chinese as it happens. Literally seconds after I opened the fortune cookie, which told me that 'An Admirer will soon contact you' my BlackBerry (a Pearl, for those that need to know) chirped at me.

This had arrived, headed 'Google Legal Support', and made my week! I just hope it's true....


Google has received a civil subpoena that demands information regarding
the source of anonymous comments posted on your blog The case, entitled Eclipse Aviation
Corporation v. John Doe; Jane Doe; et al. has been filed the Superior
Court of California, County of Santa Clara, case number 108CV110380. A
copy of the subpoena is attached to this message.

To comply with the law, Google intends to provide IP address information
for the postings and comments at issue, unless you or the anonymous
commenters send us a copy of a motion to quash (or other formal objection
filed in court) via email to by May 9, 2008 at
5pm Pacific Time.

Thus, we ask that you post this notice on your blog temporarily until the
due date listed above, in order to allow the anonymous parties to step
forward if they so choose.

For more information about the case or demand for information, you or the
anonymous commenters may wish to contact the party seeking this
information at:

Angela F. Storey
Miller, Morton, Caillat & Nevis LLP
25 Metro Drive, 7th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110

Phone: 408-292-1765
Fax: 408-436-8272

Unfortunately, Google is not in a position to provide you or the
anonymous commenters with legal advice.

If you have other questions regarding the subpoena, we encourage you to
contact your attorney.

Thank you,

Google Legal Support

There is an attached PDF, which lists an 'honour roll', most of whom have posted NOTHING here. Some are for identities I can't even remember from our original home. I should say also that no 'sources' are part of this action. It is ONLY directed at people who posted directly on the blog. It seems to be very out of date and I'm actually feeling left out, as they didn't include me.


However, there are a few of our current crew listed. Contact me at the usual address, for those of you who want to know if you are one of those 'flattered' by Vern. You may wish to respond to the 'civil action' at the address listed above. 

The inbox ( has several fresh remarks from suppliers, pilots and customers. As I check them out, I'll post them to this thread. All I can say now is that the future would appear darker than ever down ABQ way.

On a personal note, I'm off on the boat for the weekend. I have a rule (rigidly enforced by 'she who must be obeyed') of no email or web while on the water. I'll check in later on Sunday, and respond to those of you who choose to contact me. Don't forget I'm in the 'GMT' time zone, so for most of you that will be very early Sunday morning.

Happy sailing (and flying, of course) to all.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lest we forget

There ARE owners and/or pilots out there, using E500's. Most of these souls, who have contacted the blog email are reluctant to be quoted. Seems they feel that Vern or their current employer (or both) might take offence. I know from direct experience that the E500 'club' is a small fraternity and feels under pressure. Indeed some correspondence I've had points to over sensitivity on their part. I wonder who is pulling the strings and trying to make people feel uncomfortable?

However, there is a picture which I am now in a position to paint for you. Understand that this is a composite view, based on many emails and my own research. I have also been working on it for some time, during which events predicted here came to pass. I should also state that I've had help from 'others' in putting this together. You know who you are and a big 'thank you' from me.

The early problems with the aircraft are mostly resolved. The windshield 'issue' has gone away, the brakes, while still not 'rock solid' are fine and the general finish (inside and out) is considered fit for purpose' if not top quality. You know what they say, you gets what you pays for. CG limits, fuel loads, gross weights etc are all pretty much as expected and no real hassle. The engines are generally praised, with excellent performance and reliability.

The Avio to AvioNG upgrade is, at best, not clear. Some of the owners are still not sure when the work will actually get started. While Avio seems generally to work well, there are reports of failures, with both in flight and on the ramp 'surprises'. It would appear that this is the area of most concern, longer term. A number of people have expressed a desire for the G1000, with comments along the lines of 'why not go the whole way' after the G400W was announced.

Here my picture begins to darken a little, for Eclipse. The training program is tough. Very, very tough. Everyone has commented on that, in similar terms. Parts of the program in the Level D simulator(s) are causing some confusion, by not matching the aircraft as well as expected. One of my sources was also critical of the course content in general.

Everyone complains about Eclipse 'managers'. It seems that the troops, from first contact through the sales process and on to training and maintenance are good guys and girls. But, and it's a recurring theme, the 'managers' seem to go out of their way to make life difficult for everyone.

Without exception, all the owner and/or pilots comments express concern about the future. They seem nervous in particular about AvioNG, and when it will be delivered. There are (nasty) comments on the cost of 'JetComplete' and what's covered. When something does fail (and machines, by their very nature, will break down) there seems to be a delay in getting things sorted. Several reports reach me of 'half fixed' at first attempt, with a suspicion that the staff are not sure what to do next.

Remember, if an owner or pilot manages to contacts me, they generally are concerned about something. It's a bit of an effort to get to this blog, find out who to contact and then exchange emails to build up a bit of mutual trust. What's remarkable, however, is that the same things are being conveyed to me by different people.

And to cap it all, in the last 24 hours yet another 'Special Offer' hits the inbox. You are all familiar with the form of Vern Raburn, but this one tops the lot for its' cynical and deliberate attempt to rush the unwary into a decision. A decision they are sure to regret.

Headed 'Early Position Offer to Customers' it attempts to drag depositors (but only those who have not already paid in their 50%) forward to this summer. This 'opportunity' arises because of delays in EASA certification, and is not the result of cancelled orders. Oh no, that would never happen. However, the aircraft involved will be without the Garmin 400W's announced last week, when first delivered. Of course, the mugs (sorry, customers) are assured that the G400W's, will eventually be supplied. On Tuesday as usual, I suppose.

Hurry, hurry, it's a limited time offer, etc etc.

It's the middle of April. Cash must be getting tight again...

The trees are budding here in Ireland, which is always green but especially so at this time of year. I wish each and every one of you a gentle Spring weekend, away from your everyday cares.

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's not Friday the 13th, is it?

Contents of the email notice sent to E500 owners.

Thanks to several owners who contacted me to share this. I was preparing a posting from pilots and owners, but thought this was more important. Please note I've edited out only the reference to the conference call that took place earlier today, simply to shorten it a bit.

Subject: Eclipse Aviation Updates Avio NG with Dual Garmin® GPS 400W Units

Dear Mr.,

We began 2008 - our tenth year - with the news that we had made history by becoming the fastest general aviation jet aircraft manufacturer to produce its first 100 airplanes. This achievement was quickly followed by the expansion of our partnership with ETIRC Aviation to extend the global reach and impact of the Eclipse 500®. Since that time, we have received certifications for two Level D Full Motion simulators and our Part 142 pilot training program. We also celebrated the opening of the Eclipse Service Center at the Albany International Airport in New York.

We've had a busy first quarter building 55 airplanes – that's 54% of last year's total production in 25% of the time. The rest of 2008 is shaping up to be equally exciting. I'd like to share a major item we are currently finishing development on for you.

Avio NG Integrated with Garmin GPS Technology

This summer, we will update Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ to include dual Garmin® GPS 400W units. Once integrated with Avio NG, the Garmin units will enable us to deliver updated Avio NG capabilities this summer, with all of the functionality commitments we've made to you available by the end of this year.

The GPS 400W units provide enroute and terminal GPS navigational guidance with autopilot coupling and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capabilities for Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approaches. The units also offer integrated navigational source selection and flight path overlay integrated on Avio NG's navigational displays.

The GPS 400W units enable delivery of Flight Management System (FMS) functionality, when they are combined with the Eclipse 500's integrated performance computer, weight and balance tools, and moving map features. These integrated functions provide the navigational capability for private and commercial operations worldwide.

We expect FAA-certification of the new Avio NG configuration this summer. This certification will occur as an amendment to the Eclipse 500 type certificate. Aircraft with the integrated GPS 400W units will be delivered shortly after certification is received. At our own expense, Eclipse will retrofit every in-service Eclipse 500 with the dual GPS 400W units during Avio NG retrofits already scheduled or planned. Customers with Avio NG-equipped aircraft will receive the GPS 400W retrofits, as well, and at no cost.

Integration of the Garmin GPS 400W units is a low technical risk. Similar installations on European customer aircraft have been successful, and an Eclipse 500 flight test aircraft outfitted with the Garmin GPS 400W units is currently undergoing in-flight developmental testing for certification purposes.

The pilot and co-pilot keyboards (if installed), were originally designed as a secondary input method for future FMS functionality. Installation of the GPS 400W units now eliminates the need for keyboards, allowing the GPS 400W units to be located below the Primary Flight Displays (PFD). Avio NG will also no longer include remote-mounted GPS units. The dual COM/NAV/GPS antennas will be replaced and upgraded with Beta 3 capability, enabling future operational capabilities for NextGen technologies. It is important to note that for those of you with Garmin GNS 430 and GNS 530 series experience, the GPS 400W has 100 percent of the FMS capabilities of a GNS430/530 but without the radio and navigational functions (already installed with Avio NG).

Future functionality including electronic checklists linked to crew alert messages, XM weather integration on Avio NG's digital moving map, enhanced performance management, and more will be provided as future software updates. The file attached to this e-mail includes an image of the Eclipse 500 flight deck with the GPS 400W units and a schedule outlining when the additional Avio NG functionality will be released.

Eclipse will retrofit all in-service customer aircraft with the GPS 400W configuration at no charge to affected customers. The plan to accommodate the various retrofit configurations is well underway. We are adding additional capacity to our service center network to accelerate the retrofit process. A detailed schedule outlining our plan for upgrading all of the various configurations of aircraft will be published by June 1, 2008.

The inclusion of dual Garmin GPS 400W units into Avio NG now represents the final and permanent Avio NG configuration for the Eclipse 500. We will no longer pursue our own custom FMS solution. The GPS 400W represents a low technical risk solution that enables expeditious delivery of essential functionality to your aircraft. We are extremely excited about our expanded partnership with Garmin, the leading GPS provider in the world, and we are proud that they now perform an integral role on the Eclipse 500.

Optional Equipment Change

We've received many requests to combine two of our optional equipment packages. Beginning immediately upon certification of the new Avio NG configuration, Eclipse will combine the Part 135 and co-pilot packages and offer them as one Commercial Operations Package.

The combined package will include:

A third independent Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) system;
40 cubic-foot oxygen tank to replace the standard 22 cubic-foot tank;
A co-pilot quick-don oxygen mask;
Second handheld microphone;
Three AC power outlets; and
Passenger briefing cards.
The Commercial Operations Package will be offered at $29,995 USD and weigh approximately 17.3 pounds. Retrofits of the new package into existing customer aircraft containing the previous Part 135 and/or co-pilot package will also be available.

Conference call details deleted from here by Shane

We are committed to delivering your aircraft with the functionality and capability that we have promised. Integrating the GPS 400W devices is just one of the ways we remain committed to our vision of providing you with the best in performance, innovation, and value.


Vern Raburn
President and CEO

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Something coming on Friday...

The following from turboprop_pilot. It may be the Garmin 400W 'announcement', which of course has already been trailed here on the blog. Thanks TP...

Received this tonight (used to be a depositor)

Dear Mr.,

Eclipse Aviation will discuss some exciting changes to the Eclipse 500® Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ system during an exclusive customers-only teleconference this Friday, April 4, 2008. Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn will detail these changes and answer customers' questions about Avio NG's recent developments.

The teleconference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time and will run approximately one hour. Customers interested in attending can register in advance at or by calling (888) 869-1189 or (706) 643-5902.

We look forward to sharing our updates to Avio NG with you.


Eclipse Aviation Sales