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...


Shane Price said...

For those of you listed, Gunner needs to know your postion with regards to his offer of legal support.

Please contact him directly at

This will the point of 'first contact'. He will follow up with each of you as you make yourselves known. I will of course pass on those who contacted me over the next few hours. Gunner has engaged with a noted lawyer, whom I'm assured is 'like a dog with a bone' when it gets to matters of this nature.

In the meantime, be aware that the INTERNATIONAL press are on the case. I'm dealing with several serious publications, of which more anon.

Finally, the blog email continues to hum with interesting items.

When I've had a chance to catch my breath....

.... I'll be back.


Dave Ivedorne said...

Apparently the sincerest form of flattery is filing suit. It would be worth noting that the mechanics of the legal system do not necessarily obey the rules of common sense, and that the caselaw which is applicable to anonymous online speech is still very much a work in progress.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, even in my wildest dreams. Relying on anything I suggest to protect your identity would be the highest form of foolishness.

On the surface, the situation looks like Eclipse is filing a subpoena in a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) action. A look at the casefile shows that it is partly a contract action (think NDAs), and partly a non-contract action in pursuit of injunctive relief (probably trying to get the blog shut down due to the suspected participation of others who are under NDA).

The "contract" part of the suit would not be SLAPP in the strictest sense of the term, but would have the same effect. Not having seen any of the court filings, I can only make wild-assed guesses as to what Eclipse's angle is - and I will, some other time.

Meanwhile, here are some SLAPP related links to help you understand the issues & law involved:

A somewhat discouraging case is First Cash v. John Doe. From EFF's page:
"John Doe is an anonymous poster on an internet message board who made some statements critical of Plaintiff First Cash, a Texas-based chain of pawn shops and check cashing services. First Cash sued doe in Texas, claiming breach of contract, on the claim that Doe "may have been" an employee who signed a confidentiality agreement...

...Outcome: The Court rejected both the SLAPP motion and the motion to file Doe's declaration under seal. This case demonstrates the need to develop either caselaw or legislation to allow anti-SLAPP motions to protect John Does when the subpoena seeking their identity is issued in California even when the underlying case is in another state."

I prefer to believe that H.B. Fuller v Doe, as cited by Al in the previous post, applies here:

Thanks to Gunner for his generous offer to "lead the charge" here, but caution that I do not believe that Handgun Control applies, for many reasons.

Would you like the combo?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Only #2 on the list?

I am so disappointed.

This is a personal challenge to Darth Campbell.

Come back to us Jim, cast off the power of the dark side and take the lead for the domestic aviation media.

Real, investigative journalism, just like back in the day with US Aviator, Happy Miles, the Lost Airmen, Dave Ronnenberg and the Mini 500.

You can say no to the Vernperor, and reclaim your identity in the process.

Gunner said...

I heartily agree that the caselaw in the HCI suit has nothing to do with this. It was mentioned only because I happen to be the only individual I know who ever took the fight TO HCI.

Nor do I think it's productive to engage too deeply into whether the complaint has legal merit or what precedents apply. I've learned to leave my legal acumen on the courthouse steps.

Here's where we stand at present, should the Community wish me to pursue.

- We'll have the actual complaints from NM and CA by tomorrow.

- While I don't need to know the identities of everyone on the list, we WILL need one person to step up and identify himself for the response to be filed. I suggest this be someone who has no business relationship with Eclipse.

As to this latter, I did propose that I simply register here as "ColdWetMackarelofReality", "gadfly" or, maybe, "bill e. goat". In that manner, I might respond to the complaint personally.

Unfortunately, such registration, coming after the date of the Demand Letter would not grant me standing to respond on my own.

So I remain in need of someone on the list to stand up. Several of you have already identified yourselves, directly or indirectly, here. Please consider it. Email me at

Best regards-

PubGrubber said...

From the Albuquerque Journal...

Eclips subpoena's Google blog to silence critics.

In another unprecented move, local aviation company Eclips Aviation has set another first in aviation. On the 15 of April, Eclips sent a subpoena to Google for the names and E-mail addresses of people who post to the "Eclipse Aviation Critic NG" blog. Eclips' claim, according to the filing, is breach of contract, in response to a NDA all employees must sign.

In this brazen move, Eclips once again sets the bar higher for the "dinosaur" aviation companies. Like Friction Stir Welding, totally integrated FMS, and an unprecedented ramp rate, Eclips once again brings a first to Aviation. Eclips spokesman Capt. Zoom added this, "You don't like us, because you don't know us. This blog is a blatant attempt to tarnish the spotless reputation of a company that is doing things no other Aviation company has ever done." He then added "All the conjecture and lies on this blog has damaged our reputation and has cost us sales. If you read the blog, it's full of 1/2 truths and blatant lies. We just want to ensure that the transparancy we promised in 2004 is still in place. We will never hide anything, especially the truth from the general public. We just need to ensure that these critics are aware of the damage they've caused and must be punished for this."

What Eclips will do with the names, if they get them, is still unknown. However; while leaving Clark Carr Loop, I noticed a surprisingly large number of busses heading out on I-40 and I-25.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I nominate Ringtail as our John Doe #1.

Sorry bud, but Eclipse going after the Faithful Following just strikes my funny fish bone.

Why isn't Turbine_Pilot on the list? Probably too hard to get a subpoena delivered to a South AfriKen locale. What about Mirage00? Too busy amusing himself I guess.

airtaximan said...

they left off Mouse??? and Gunner

they KNOW WHO YOU ARE Rich... only reason you are not on the list!

Thanks for running with this - you know where I stand.

Niner Zulu said...

I had a long conversation this morning with a good friend and pilot, who brought up some good points and made me realize that there is much more at stake here than just our first amendment rights to free speech.

Vern Raburn has never been forthright in providing answers to prospective buyers, or even his existing customers. He asks that we entrust his product and his company with the lives of our families - therefore HE HAS A MORAL OBLIGATION to make known ALL facts concerning the E500 jet and the company that builds it. His failure to provide transparency, along with an unhealthy dose of arrogance, is the very reason that the “critic” blogs continue to exist and flourish.

Why is it that the FAA requires the windows in the Eclipse to be inspected so often? Why is it that the Eclipse autopilot won’t track an ILS down to minimum in turbulent conditions? Why is it that several owners have had tires fail upon landing? Why is it that that the FIRE WARNING lights in an Eclipse came on in flight recently, forcing the pilot to declare an emergency?

If you are an employee at Eclipse and you see something going on that is just not moral or right, is it really ethical to keep silent just because you signed a non-disclosure agreement?

Many of the answers are available, but you won’t get them from Eclipse. Instead, they are hidden behind passwords in private forums which seek to bar admittance to anyone not already a buyer.

Is it wrong to seek out these answers, and if they are found, is it wrong to let others know? Why shouldn’t a prospective buyer be privy to ANY and all information regarding the aircraft that he will be carrying his family around in?

Whether we are a taxpayer whose elected officials have provided Eclipse Aviation with tax benefits, a pilot that shares airspace with those flying Eclipse’s, or a non-pilot on the ground who must rely on others to make sure that jets flying overhead are safe, we have the right to seek these answers however possible because Eclipse Aviation has consistently refused to be forthright and has demonstrated on more than one occasion that they are not worthy of our trust.

According to Wikipedia, in 2005 "Eclipse Aviation was awarded as the result of Eclipse Aviation's leadership, innovation, and the advancement of general aviation...".

How far they have fallen.

Tailwind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonanza Pilot said...

I hope that you will file a counter suit against Eclipse. Actually since there are so many named parties from so many different jurisdictions, perhaps separate actions in multiple jurisdictions would be a more painful and expensive lesson. Maybe even a suit filed outside of the United States - now that would be interesting.

airtaximan said...


empty bag

Gunner said...

They haven't filed a suit yet, so no counter-claim is available. What they HAVE done is demand release of private information on a number of people who could not possibly have a contractual relationship to breach.

It's a wide net and a clear fishing expedition. They demand personal information from those who's only sin is commentary that their product, business plan and management sure does appear to suck; meantime they demand uber-secret oaths of silence from their own customer base.

This is the ultimate arrogance and somebody needs to call it publicly for just what it is.

You've been pretty balanced. Often a defender of Eclipse. How'd you like to stand up publicly for your comments here. You'll have complete authority to approve the response that's filed.

What do you say?
Rich Lucibella

gadfly said...

Niner Zulu is shaving very close to the truth in his comments. And he mentions the moral obligations of those connected with the “little bird”, to disclose problems that reflect safety and reliability for those who have a vested interest in this enterprise. That includes more than just the “potential owners”; it includes all those who may become passengers, or may fly in close proximity of these aircraft. It also includes those who have invested their money in this aircraft . . . including the citizens of the State of New Mexico, whose tax dollars continue to contribute to the hoped-for success of Eclipse.

‘Having been in manufacturing of aircraft parts far longer than most readers of this blog have been alive . . . plus their parents, it would seem that having a “critics blog” available would be considered an asset . . . to gain candid insight as to public acceptance of a product, essentially for “free”, is a most valuable resource to any legitimate corporation. And sure, sometimes some critics may step out of line in a “fit of emotion” . . . such is to be expected. And, “so what?” The overall temperature of public opinion is taken . . . wise business owners take it to heart, improvements are made in the various areas of good business, both manufacturer and customer, plus the general public, benefit.

But with the “little bird hatchery”, the opposite seems to prevail. And why would this be the case? Were deep dark secrets somehow revealed? . . . There is nothing of value that would appeal to an aircraft designer . . . virtually all the technology here is either questionable, ancient, discarded by others, or as unknown as the “code” in a new Microsoft operating system (even Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand their own systems . . . it’s not likely that anyone else would “steal” them).

So the “critics” keep asking: What is the reason “behind” all this secrecy? And why the paranoia over a small group of people, who (for the most part) wish to maintain a high level of integrity that for some of us consider almost a “sacred tradition” . . . vis: aircraft safety and reliability.

And so, what the industry as a “whole” would welcome as an asset, is, to the “bird factory by the Rio Grande”, a debit . . . an “Albatross” around their neck. If it walks like a duck, quacks duck, flies like a duck . . . is it a “duck”? ‘What about a “finch” that weighs as much as a duck, and talks like a crow . . . what is it? And what is it attempting to hide?


(Me thinks our little bird has laid an egg!)

Dave said...

I'M OFFENDED! How dare Eclipse not even name me. This is the second SCO-related SLAPP lawsuit where I haven't been named. I guess Vern wants to insult me by excluding me.

Here's some bad press that resulted in SCO trying to go after a blogger (some of those same people who have posted on SCO matters post here due to the Iacobbucci connection):

Also here's another SCO-related case that tried to uncover the IDs of anonymous bloggers:

By the way both companies are claiming $100 million dollar bail outs. Clearly blogs are hitting dishonest companies where it hurts, so attempts to cover-up the truth via litigation are pursued.

mountainhigh said...

A big thanks to Gunner.

My guess is that EAC will pull all the personal info. they can on the folks listed.

The ones they immediately know have/had some type of contract... NDA's, or whatever, ... they'll sue for breach of contract.

For the others...
I wouldn't put it past them to set their goons (PI's) loose .... to do background checks, etc.

At this point they can file slander/libel lawsuits or just threaten these people individually with nasty letters and continued harrassment.

Yep .... I just knew I should have forwarded those last few posts I made here to the EAC PR department for approval!


airtaximan said...

The ones they immediately know have/had some type of contract... NDA's, or whatever, ... they'll sue for breach of contract.

can anyone provide a clue as to info revealed on this site that could be the subject of NDA or other contract?

Is there blanket "thou shalt not blog" llingo in something provided for signature?

Anything revealed here NOT decerned from that which is in the public domain?

I think they think they have secrets, one of value... I hope they are not safety related.

Perhaps this suit is in ANTICIPATION of something big being hidden coming out?

gadfly said...


"Perhaps this suit is in ANTICIPATION of something big being hidden coming out?"

The medical term is "constipation"!


gadfly said...

"Political Correctness" is the ability to handle the result by the "clean end".


Dave Ivedorne said...

Twenty nine bloggers?

Maybe this is a whole lot of smokescreen covering up a slight misunderstanding. They actually only want to speak with BlackTulip, so they can set their production targets accurately (they should probably be asking gadfly).


Anonymous said...

It is with no small amount of regret and disappointment that I have to inform you of a situation with one of your team mates that developed over the weekend. It is a situation that will serve as a dramatic reminder of the importance for each of you of our confidentiality obligations to Eclipse.

Brian Skupa, a member of the Customer Care team, decided he needed to share company confidential information with one or more of his friends outside of Eclipse. This decision was made in spite of the numerous requests I and others have made of everyone in the company to respect the INDA (Invention and Non-Disclosure Agreement) that we each signed. Make no mistake, disclosure of confidential information no matter how it is done: via email (company or personal account), in other written forms, or verbally is considered a violation of the INDA. Eclipse, unlike many other companies tries to communicate openly and often with you on the assumption that the information shared with you will be kept confidential. Failure to do so not only hurts all of us at Eclipse, but also our business partners (suppliers and customers) and their employees. Unfortunately Mr. Skupa did not apparently care about hurting not only you but also our partner, DayJet. In the communication outside the company Mr. Skupa made claims (presented as facts) with respect to DayJet that were inaccurate and false. Even though the claims were inaccurate and false, the damage to our two companies has been done.

So what are the results of Mr. Skupa's actions? First today he was fired and escorted from the building. Second we are filing a lawsuit against Mr. Skupa for his violation of the INDA and the potential damages that have been done. And third, we may be pressing criminal charges against Mr. Skupa. The price of ignoring and violating INDAs is very high and permanent, as Mr. Skupa is now discovering.

I wanted to get this information to all of you so that you may have the facts instead of the rumors before you decide you own view of this most unfortunate situation. Eclipse is a game changing company and much of our competitive advantage comes from protection of our trade secrets and other confidential information. That means that we all need to understand the obligations and steps we must take following this violation of the INDA.

First and foremost, we must all abide by the specific obligations of confidentially we agreed to in our INDA's. Again, it makes no difference whether the dissemination of the confidential information is by phone, face to face conversation, email from your Eclipse account, or email from any other computer. As a general guideline if you are unsure as to exactly what is confidential information then simply don't discuss anything outside of the company. Please take a moment and review the INDA that you signed. A copy of the standard INDA is available in the Document Vault.

Second, simply stated we must purge from our team all who believe that they are entitled to make their own rules or even worse ignore the agreements the rest of us live by. If you are so unhappy with me, your leadership or this company then please leave. There is not a single person in this company that can not get another job in aerospace almost literally overnight. For those of you that seem to enjoy hurting those around you I once again ask you to stop.

I will close with a promise. If you are one of those people violating your INDA and do not stop now, you can be sure we will eventually discover who and what you are doing. And as with Mr. Skupa, we will use every means available to us to remedy the situation and recover damages done to the Company. And the price you and your families pay for the violation will be very high.


***The best part of this, and you should note- Brian never once compromied his INDA agreement to employees outside of the company.

gadfly said...


I resemble your statement and demand a correction: Twenty eight and "ONE HALF"! And they are precisely on target: "Zero!"

Years ago . . . fifty somethin', as I recall, we all wore these little pins that said, "Zero Defects" ('like ISO 900x, or Sigma6 . . . no they didn't work then any better than now, but that's 'nuther story . . . I still have one in my Gerstner tool box, somewhere . . . 'next to my Dad's "Lockheed Aircraft" tool-box tag, while working on the YP-38). You see, "nothing is new under the sun". We were ahead of our time, and didn't know it. 'Fact is, you do it right or you don't, and all the paperwork in the world won't change a thing, except drive up cost.

But back to the issue: You said something about "smoke screen", and what better method to cover incompetence than to go after a bunch of inconsequencial "bloggers" . . . attempting to intimidate "termites", while "beavers" are eating the supporting structure. 'Fact is, either or both will bring down the whole thing. And that's good.

'Nuff of my comments, get back to your own.


Steven H said...

> And third, we may be pressing
> criminal charges against Mr.
> [former employee].

There is some fancy lawyerin'. Does Eclipse' counsel actually not know the difference among a filed police report, a district attorney, and a grand jury?


gadfly said...

The simple final solution to all this stupid debate (and it is totally stupid) is to simply produce a single, as in "One", Eclipse 500 aircraft, that meets the original claims of the company.

Had that been the goal then, or even "now" . . . it might be achievable.

The "smokescreen" of "trade secrets" is laughable. There's nothing here in ABQ . . . it's a joke. There is nothing behind the green curtain. The man working the levers is probably only a robot.

Everything on the list of promises is part of history . . . ancient history . . . fading rapidly into the past, along with things like the "Acoma Pueblo". Eclipse will soon be equated with the "Anasazi", the "ancient ones" of New Mexico . . . a "people" of whom there is no written or remembered record.

The tourist's purchase little things that look like a primitive "tennis racket" called "Dream Catchers" . . . advertised at 50% off, plus $8.00 shipping. 'Maybe we can make something to "catch" the little jet . . . sell it for a discount, plus $8.00 shipping . . . now that might just make a profit . . . sell it at one of the gift shops at ABQ . . . hey, don't you dare expose my business plan . . . or I'll sue you . . . I promise!


bill e. goat said...

I hope this legal wrangling doesn't distract Eclipse from making 455 airplanes this year!!

(A much more "reasonable" target than 1000 last year).

The timing is indeed interesting- apparently, it's been in the works for a while. The straw that broke the camel's back? I would suspect even more news is brewing in ABQ, and Eclipse upper management is trying to squash it.

It's truly sad to blame everyone except those responsible for such bad news.
Usually, legal actions are an attempt to either remedy damage, or "get satisfaction".

As far as remedying damage, humpty dumpty can't be put back together again, and when someone is dropped on their head as a baby, well, that damage is pretty hard to correct too.

And I would suggest the best satisfaction would be delivered to:

Investors, with return on investment.

Customers, with a finished product, delivered on time.

Partners/Suppliers, with a solidified specification and predictable quantities.

Employees, with quality of life and financial returns commensurate with sacrifices made.

What's the score card so far?

(Er, never mind:)
While we've agreed, and disagreed, on some of the topics in the past, I've always admired your passion and thoroughness. I gotta say, can't think of a better guy to handle this- Thanks!

gadfly said...


Although I agree with you about our high caliber friend, but, as your friend, I warned you to "lay off that swollen can of beans" . . . and now, tragedy of tragedies, it's gone to your goat pea brain. The business plans, and all your comments, have turned into "smart pills". What a mess!


(Don't expect me to clean it up! . . . I'm not THAT smart!)

airtaximan said...


this post is very disturbing... and in so many ways.

"it is with no small amount of regret..."

- Vernacular for "I have no regrets, I am enjoying this - I am making up totally exaggerated BS, to create an example of someone... for my own purpose here."

"dramatic reminder"
Vernacular for "baseless threat"

"This decision was made in spite of the numerous requests I and others have made of everyone in the company to respect the INDA (Invention and Non-Disclosure Agreement) that we each signed."

Monday morning analysis: Vern already knew this was going on - "numerous requests" - why? Exactly. Also, how does a guy in Customer Care know anything that would constitute "confidential invention" information? The guy probably told someone they were never going to get what was promised, or told of some inherent technology/performance limitation that would never be rectified... so he was being honest. Just my "read, between the lines".

"if you are unsure as to exactly what is confidential information then simply don't discuss anything outside of the company."

Vernacular: no matter what, I decide, and keep your mouth shut.

"simply stated we must purge from our team all who believe that they are entitled to make their own rules or even worse ignore the agreements the rest of us live by."

Vernacular: You live by my code, or you are purged like a Russian Dissident. Support my lies, or else.

"For those of you that seem to enjoy hurting those around you I once again ask you to stop."

Vernacular: apparently "those" is plural - indicating a lot of dissidents. The entire communication is designed to stop the problem of many folks communicaatng wth the outside world.

"If you are so unhappy with me, your leadership..."

Vernacular: I AM your leader... I know it does not seem like it, BUT I AM... and I know a lot of you are disgruntled, worried, unhappy... go away

"For those of you that seem to enjoy hurting those around you I once again ask you to stop."

Vernacular: I wonder why I am refecting on "enjoying hurting others" perhaps some "projecting" going on? (we must admit, this is avery immature curious thing to write)

"I will close with a promise"
Vernacular: finally a "promise he can keep"... becasue its a threat... its not really a promise.

How sad.

I have noticed, Vern tells you exactly what he is thinking, and what is going on, through his words - its usually the opposite of the truth. Its almost always strategic, designed to cover up something, or get money from someone, or media attention for himself.


Dave Ivedorne said...

Gad - You got it right about "smokescreen of trade secrets".

What you miss is that Vern & DJ Eddie have always been professionally attached at the hip, with Vern as the Dom, and Ed as the Sub.

Vern's Microsoft poised itself to KILL Ed's Citrix, but left CTXS an out under which the company suffered, but Ed profited. (disclaimer: hyperbole, but not fundamentally wrong)

Fast forward a bit, and Vern's Microsoft basically killed Santa Cruz with NT. Santa Cruz got bought by Caldera where *lo and behold* Ed was on the board of directors. Funny thing, MS ended up spending just enough money with that outfit to pay for a litigation/publicity effort against Microsoft's Enemy #1. Who headed the litigation committee? If you guessed Fast Eddie, you guessed right.

Now we've got Eclipse & DJ. Dayjet Eddie's hallucinatory order numbers were no doubt presented to EAC investors as proof of the business model. EAC's hallucinatory cost model for E500 operation propped up Ed's pursuit of investment. Ed tries to steal the work of others at Caldera, and calls DJ "less an air taxi company and more an intellectual property company" (paraphrased). Verntastic tries to steal the work of others (Aspen) at EAC through IP lawsuits.

Now this.

And in the background, FAA is talking about maybe kinda using DJ for a trial on NexGen. If they spend almost nothing, they'd still be DJ's biggest customer. If Vern/Ed are holding their breath waiting for a Federal bailout, I'm afraid they'll find THAT cupboard is already stripped bare. And Sam is a fickle suitor these days.

So to recap:
EAC investors - screwed
EAC customers - jaded
DJ investors - probably screwed
DJ customers - depends on the weather
Microsoft investors - impatient
MS customers - increasingly disgruntled
Caldera investors - screwed
Caldera customers - screwed
Citrix investors - screwed
Citrix customers - by and large doing okay - which should help the investors someday, unless MS decides to stop playing with its food.

These two have quite a resume...

Pull around to the second window,

gadfly said...


Don't be sad. The light of day is finally beginning to shine inside the gloom and doom of our little local hatchery. One way or another, the public is going to get a grand and glorious view of their tax dollars at work. The famous man in charge is not the only one with connections in high places. Stay tuned!


John said...

According to the FAA registration database, the final tail numbers noticed for production on April 4th are the next group of craft due Day Jet.

The leaked information may possibly been to the effect that Day Jet was unable or unwilling to provide financing and accept delivery of this next group.

Coincident with this speculation is the news that Eclipse was regiggering its summer delivery order for additional consideration. What are the surplus craft? The Dayjet cohort is an obvious group of candidates.

MetalGuy said...

Ok guys, I propose that this be escalated in a major fashion. A cursory search on the internet turns up a small handful of similar events where one single blogger was targeted for specific comments.

But to blanket a significant portion of the active participants in an entire blog? This is clearly new legal territory that has never been explored before.

Make no mistake, this is worthy of headlines in major news papers. Seriously.

Can anyone propose a half-decent mechanism for getting the word out? I’m thinking:

The Associated Press
Washington Post
USA Today

(i.e. The entire national “wire”)

If there are any PR/legal experts out there willing to frame up a national press release, or willing to take this on, let us know.

I for one, do not wish to have my opinions silenced and the legal precedence that this sets is down-right scary.

airtaximan said...


the secret IS that there is no secret.

Somone probably said, "you are getting COTS avionics with G400s and no keyboard..."


airtaximan said...


I don't know who you are, but this is for sure my favorite post, here, ever.

BTW, you could include Pieper in the mix - some of the guys at Dayjet initially had very close ties to him while he was at the VR company.

The level of incest here, is scary... any due diligence should have revealed the scam you outlined, where Ed provided the "market" to VErns "product"... otherwise, there's no market for thousands... no revolution.

Come to think of it, that's how some idiots could predict more than half the order book at Eclipse were "vapor" Dayjet orders.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

This is just too good not to quote:

"Turn-and-Burn said...
Oh this should be good...

Mackeral, pray tell, why don'y you tell us all about "There is always the heavy-handed attempts at censorship and intimidation from the Eclipski Organizatsiya as well."

February 18, 2008 7:35 AM

Funny, just funny. And who tops the list?

Gunner said...

Did Vern really write that obscenely inarticulate imitation of L. Ron Hubbard? I'm serious. Did he REALLY write that?

This has got to be the work of one of our Blogger satirists OR a severely unbalanced mind. Imagine staking your family's life on a product developed by a mentality like that.

"we must purge from our team"
Wasn't that one of John Lithgow's lines in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai? Where's John Bigbooty when you need him most?

Whether you wrote it or not, you really ARE such a tool.

Gunner said...

Seriously, folks. Unless someone steps up VOLUNTARILY to be represented in the response to this subpoena, it WILL go thru and then you'll ALL step up whether you like it or not.

Any takers?

Turboprop_pilot said...

Wow- I fly to Florida for a school vacation and the blogger world blows up! I'll write Gunner directly but will stand up and contribute financially to support a counter suit. We should also support Brian Skupa in his defense against Vern. Do you notice how much tougher he is now that the Russian Mafia has become investors?


MetalGuy said...

Do you notice how much tougher he is now that the Russian Mafia has become investors?

That’s the really scary part. Do you really think that Eclipse will stand still when/if the bloggers are identified? Not a chance.

This MUST explode in Verns face with such a magnitude that he wishes he never thought of it. Time to lock and load folks.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Vern reportedly wrote:

"Second, simply stated we must purge from our team all who believe that they are entitled to make their own rules or even worse ignore the agreements the rest of us live by."

Physician, heal thyself, Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle - there are not enough cliche's in the book.

This may be the single most amazing and ironic statement ever to eminate from the 505.

No sooner does Vern apparently get done saying Eclipse is 'game changing', and we have a DECADE of Vern changing the rules and ignoring the agreements (and definitions) the rest of the industry lives by - only to go and THREATEN the very people AND THEIR FAMILIES who have sacrificed so much to TRY and make his schizophrenic dream a reality.

If true, this is a truly pathetic and disgusting display of the very kind of bus-tossing path of destruction that shows Vern for the limp-unit cowardly Napoleonic shortsighted mean-spirited petty little man that he has appeared to be.

Just as pathetic, Vern has painted himself into such a corner with his public behavior over the past 10 years that even if this is a parody, it is completely plausible, it seems par for the course - yet another in a long string of poor behavior.

One wonders when the good folk still there, Dr. Masefield and the like, will demonstrate they have finally had enough of this 3rd rate, 3rd class, 3rd grade bully.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

gadfly said...


Although I am not one to back away from a fight, it would seem that my name would not count for much . . . they didn't even get it right. But I'm available, as needed. And, for whatever it's worth, they could have tracked me down any day for the first year, when I all but gave them not only my address, but enough info to home in on me on a hand-held "Garmin" or Google earth . . . you can count the cars in our parking lot from the satellite image (back when we still had employees).


(They're after big fish . . . someone whom they can intimidate . . . and has something to lose, specifically, an ex- or current employee. What are they going to do . . . attach my Social Security check? . . . now that would look great, don't you think?! I do not like being intimidated by anyone, ever. But now a "counter suit" . . . that has real possibilities!)

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niner Zulu said...


Vern's communication to his employees was very reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny".

Here's what I'm talking about

Vern, I know you read this. it is time to stop this madness. There is no great conspiracy against you. Go back to building planes, and do the best you can and good things will follow.

Gunner, I'll contact you tomorrow.

April 21, 2008 7:56 PM

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Excellent call NZ,

"Captain Queeg: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers..."

gadfly said...

Yep! . . . it was the strawberries, that's for sure. But I'm confused about the ball bearings . . . was it two?, or three?


(But as for a conspiracy . . . that's clearly "out".)

Gunner said...

You are a Good Man, sir. We'll talk.

Personally, I think this is a fishing expedition to get all the possible names under pretext of a Breach of Contract issue and then see what they can use against each. That's why Shane, Stan and I weren't named....they already have our names.

Again, no counter-suit is yet available as they've filed no actual suit in the first place; just a subpoena.

However, I agree with TurboProp Pilot that Brian Skupa's case bears investigation to see if we can assist. He's been singled out for pillory and, knowing Eclipse's track record with Aspen and others, I tend to doubt they really did their homework before filing the action (if it's been filed at all).

But, if the Vern message is for real, he certainly had BETTER be able to back up HIS accusations against Brian. Those are pretty serious allegations....and they are actionable.


expilot said...

I made the list? Vern is more screwed up than I thought possible.Eclipse filing suit against people that are not truthful? We live in a Bizarro world.

airtaximan said...

Perhaps a better quote from a more appropriate movie, in my opinion: (guess the movie)

"What do ya mean, we can't watch the World Series? Even when I was in the cooler we watched the Series...they used to have riots...For the lasttime, I'm telling you I want that TV turned on RIGHT NOW!"

Bonanza Pilot said...

I don't believe that the post attributed to Vern is true. It just can't be! Who would not only threaten his employee's but their families??!! If I worked for any company and got a letter like that my resignation would be on the CEO's desk in about 15 minutes. Would anyone here honestly stay at a company that gave you a letter like that.

If the letter is true...and as I said I really really doubt it is...then I think Vern should step it up a notch. Why not have Skupa and his family's heads mounted on poles outside of the entrance to the Eclipse factory as a warning to others who dare speak out against Emperor Vern. Protecting trade secrets is one thing, threatening a mans family is another.

MagicSky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MagicSky said...

Check it out!

Lawyers, Guns and Money

by Warren Zevon

The S--- has hit the fan.

airtaximan said...

can anyone confirm the letter... silly me - I thoght it was true.

Given the track record... who could blame me?

baron95 said...

I haven't read the whole thread in detail, HOWEVER, I feel that the comments are just totally one-sided.

Any Eclipse employee that signed their NDA simple CANNOT disclose ANY Eclipse business information without proper authorization to outside parties. The ONLY exception to this should be safety or criminal activity (which are the exceptions covered in the wistleblower laws).

Excluding the above exceptions, ANYTHING, that an employee learns or gets to know as a result of his employement with Eclipse, belongs to Eclipse.

Many of us here have run our own businesses and have managed people. And I bet that none of us would tolerate an employee continually disclosing business critical information (product schedules, defect rates, suplier contracts, employee morale, etc) to the outside world.

Yes, most of us here, I believe, would conduct ourselves much more ethically than Vern ever will. Still, the fact that your CEO does not communicate all the facts to the public, does not give you the right to unilaterally decide to do it yourself.

We need to be consistent. If we demand ethical behaviour from Eclipse, we need to demand the same ethical behaviour from Eclipse employees, past employees, etc.

Now, I think Eclipse is being incredibly stupid by circling the wagons, not being open, trying to tightly inforce NDAs, etc.

Still, it is their business right to be stupid. Corporate stupidity (if it is not criminal or a safety issue) does not give employees and other to violate NDAs or other confidentiality/employment agreements.

Some balance is in order on this thread.

Dave Ivedorne said...


I thought I started out pretty balanced with the second comment - there probably ARE NDAs involved...

There are also laws which pertain to anonymity on the internet.

But this is *not* the Eclipse Fanboi NG blog, it's thataway (password protected)

Would you like fries with that?

Shane said...


The BOZZY post of the latest 'Vern letter' is accurate, as far as I can tell. Brian Skupa has been fired.

I know this, because brave people inside Eclipse are still in contact with me.

That's what one of the many things I like about Americans. They always stand up for the truth.

Even if they stand in the wrong place every now and then, but that's another blog!


baron95 said...

Shane said... I know this, because brave people inside Eclipse are still in contact with me.

Look, I'd not be reading this Blog if I were not seeking info that is not forthcoming from Eclipse. However, being brave means you must be willing to accept the consequences for your actions. Otherwise what would be "brave" about dissiminating negative info about the company you work for?

If you feel so compelled to leak out info that it is worth being fired or sued over it, by all means, go ahead. But don't claim later on to be a victim. Take the heat like a "brave" person.

Shane said...


I'm posting here using my real name.

Always have, always will.

I AM taking heat, and expect to continue to do so.

The difficulty you face in posting a 'defence' for Vern's NDA is one of ethics.

Yes, if a business conducts itself with respect for its customers, staff and suppliers, I would agree with you.


Eclipse Aviation has demonstrated, a number of times over the period I've been active, a compete disregard for norms of doing business.

I find that offensive.

I think people who have the guts to take a stand against businesses who act badly are brave.


airtaximan said...


I agree with you.

If the actual LETTER psoted here is accurate... that's a problem.

Bad form?

Also, yu reap what you sow... I imagine the entire industry "suffers" from leaks. Just reality. I wonder what "critical" info was leaked?

Silly, really.

What harm was done? I'd like to know.

John said...

Dayjet Craft Use since January, 2008

The 11 craft below tail #DJS139 are hardly being used.

Total Hours for the DayJet fleet by craft (weeks 14-29)
IN . Craft . Hours
1 .. 141 .. 152.1
2 .. 148 .. 138.1
3 .. 145 .. 119.6
4 .. 162 .. 114.5
5 .. 161 .. 107.9
6 .. 147 .. 105.8
7 .. 152 .. 104.7
8 .. 158 .. 103.5
9 .. 156 .. 95.6
10 . 160 .. 91.6
11 . 150 .. 91.2
12 . 146 .. 86.4
13 . 153 .. 82.2
14 . 139 .. 52.4
15 . 142 .. 51.0
16 . 163 .. 44.8
17 . 119 .. 25.7
18 . 116 .. 23.5
19 . 115 .. 19.4
20 . 126 .. 18.1
21 . 135 .. 14.2
22 . 130 .. 14.1
23 . 134 .. 14.0
24 . 132 .. 12.3
25 . 136 .. 12.0
26 . 109 .. 9.3
27 . 131 .. 9.3
28 . 110 .. 4.9

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Google the 'doctrine of unclean hands' and consider the situation in-toto.

I agree NDA's and INDA's are important documents and should be followed. But what if someone feels they are being asked to behave in a way they determine to be unethical, unsafe, or dishonestly - what if their attempts to communicate this dis-ease are rebuffed - what if they have seen others fired for not appreciating the Vernperor's new clothes?

Beyond voting with their feet, which should be happening en-masse at EAC today after recent events, employees and contractors have few options.

Normally I side with business, and this specific example (Skupa??) may be a reasonable pursuit under an NDA by a reputable company that itself has demonstrated a healthy respect for the law and legal agreements with others.

Eclipse appears to have NOT demonstrated that respect for the law - abuse of process and tortious interference come to mind when I think of the shenanigans that are public domain that have come about as a result of Eclipse's relationships with its' vendors - one can only imagine how it treats its' employees (both current and former) or what has happened that has not yet reached the light of day.

Where is Aero-observer when we need him?

Where is Mac Mclellan? Mac, if you are reading, we need your help - where do you think the Eclipse Legal Apparachiks will descend when done with this little 'ol blog? Why haven't you flown a completed Eclipse 500 and reported on it?

Garmin Management - is THIS the kind of company you really want to partner with?

The Church of Flyantology is in full effect my friends, and not even the Faithful are to be spared the wrath of L. Vern Raburn.

Where are the strawberries!?!

MetalGuy said...


Your point about not violating an NDA is correct. However, if you search for the postings of several of those on the hit-list, you find that several (and I only checked four of the lesser known ones) that their comments are clearly benign.

This is not a case of Eclipse suspecting an employee of violating their NDA and attempting to resolve the situation.

This is a broad stroke effort to harass the members of this blog in an obvious attempt to silence the critics through intimidation. Thus such a long list.

This is analogous to the local neighborhood bully demanding access to everyone’s house so that he can search through your belongings to see if you have anything illegal. Just because one or two houses might have pot in the kid’s bedroom is not justification for taking this approach, and I suspect it is highly illegal.

Even if Vern obtains IP address, if actions are taken that cause damages (regardless of whether they are under NDA), it seems to me he is opening Eclipse up for massive lawsuits. Unwarranted search and seizure is not legal, even if they find pot under little Tommy’s bed. The employee’s lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.

But if Vern wants to spend investors millions in legal fees fending off counter suits instead of building airplanes, I guess that is his right.

baron95 said...

Metalguy said... This is a broad stroke effort to harass the members of this blog in an obvious attempt to silence the critics through intimidation. Thus such a long list.

Absolutely correct. I agree with you.

As I said, eclipse is being silly/stupid/ridiculous by trying to use the legal system to remove Blog discourse about Eclipse and the EA500. Most companies enjoy the "Buzz" of blogs, accept some empployee leaking, becasue, on the whole, a lot more positive buzz then negative buzz is generated.

So lets embarass Eclipse right back, by publicizing their ridiculous moves - like shane has done - leaking that into the press. Lets send mail/email to Aviation Consumer, Flying, etc.... with info on their law suit.

I'm for all that, and will do some of this.

BUT, we do not need to claim that NDAs should be ignored, that Eclipse has no right to enforce them, or that employees can do as they please with corporate info. That just make us look as silly and ridiculous as Eclipse.

The ballanced position, IMHO, is:

A - Eclipse has the right to enfoce its NDAs, INDAs, employee business conduct, etc.

B - Eclipse is being ridiculous trying to use the legal system to intimidate a blog and posters in this case. Only companies that have a whole lot of negative info to hide try to stop blogs about their products and practices.

baron95 said...

Does BMW take legal action when an employee leaks some info on their upcomming 8-speed transmission for the new 7-series to Bimmerblog or bimmerfile or bimmerfest or bimmerpost? Of course not. Do they have the right to do it? Yes.

The difference? BMW is proud of their new transmission and enjoys the buzz it creates, even if it somewhat gives Mercedes and Lexus a bit of a heads up to counter the new 7-series intro.

Vern, on the other hand, is only faced with critic public blogs, not positive buzz. AND, he is megalomaniacal enough to believe he can control the release of information 1005 of the time.

Gunner said...

Comparing Eclipse to BMW is tantamount to comparing Enron to Chevron. I find it offensive.

As to the INDA, all I have to say is screw Vern and screw his INDA. Look at his actions against Aspen; look at his actions against Williams, BAE, Avidyne and others; look at his actions against his own Depositors; finally, look at his actions against his own investors.

This company has corroded from the very top. It deserves neither respect nor quarter. Any employee who violates its INDA in the interests of saving the aviation community from further embarrassment, or one family from tragedy not only deserves immunity but a medal for it. Kripes, give 'em a freaking Collier Trophy for all that's worth today.

No, this is not a legal position; it's a MORAL one. Serial Killers don't get much sympathy for the beating they catch on apprehension; Vern should get NONE over leaks of TRUTH regarding his scam. Screw him and his INDA.

Hey Vern, you really did write that tripe? Dude, don't quitcher day job. You'll never make it as a speech writer. Come to think of it, you haven't fared much better as an Aircraft Manufacturer, have you? Perhaps because you really are such a tool.
Rich Lucibella

MetalGuy said...


Agreed BUT, we do not need to claim that NDAs should be ignored, that Eclipse has no right to enforce them, or that employees can do as they please with corporate info. That just make us look as silly and ridiculous as Eclipse.

Yes, and unfortunately for Brian S. you are correct. If he did violate his NDA (inadvertently or otherwise), the best we can do is try to find a soft landing spot for him if he needs help. There is not much else that can be done for him – one more human ground up in the Eclipse machine.

However, the tone of the letter from Vern (if it’s for real) smacks of a hunter boasting about just blowing the brains out of a small pheasant with a .30-06 rifle. Then spitting on the remains and setting them on fire just for the fun of it.

John said...

Dayjet low usage craft

First line: Tail number and total hours since January (I put S/N 2- DJS126 first, other tail are in S/N order, but tail does NOT == S/N)

Following lines: last 3 reported flights (note a craft few show lacunae, are craft used privately off the transponder?)

If this data is correct some craft are entirely inactive since mid-March

126 -- 18.1 hours
4/4/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/14/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/15/08 KGNV>KGNV

109 -- 9.3 hours
2/13/08 KGNV>KGNV
3/27/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/15/08 KGNV>KBCT

110 -- 4.9 hours
1/17/08 KBCT>KBCT
1/17/08 KBCT>KBCT
3/10/08 KBCT>KGNV

115 -- 19.4 hours
3/19/08 KOPF>KBCT
4/11/08 KBCT>KOPF (on the ground 3 days?)
4/14/08 KOPF>KBCT

116 -- 23.5 hours
4/15/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/16/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/16/08 KOCF>KGNV (usually a touch and go loop)

119 -- 25.7 hours
4/16/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/17/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/18/08 KGNV>KGNV

130 -- 14.1 hours
4/3/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/15/08 KGNV>KGNV
4/16/08 KGNV>KGNV

131 -- 9.3 hours
2/7/08 KGNV>KCTY
2/20/08 KGNV>KBCT
3/20/08 F45>KBCT (short hop ??)

132 -- 12.3 hours
2/27/08 KAPF>KBCT
3/3/08 KBCT>KBCT
3/28/08 KBCT>KBCT

134 -- 14.0 hours
3/28/08 KBCT>KLAL
3/28/08 KLAL>KBCT
4/15/08 KBCT>KGNV

135 -- 14.2 hours
4/2/08 KBCT>KPBI
4/2/08 KPBI>KBCT
4/14/08 KLAL>KBCT ?? (gap not explained)

136 -- 12.0 hours
3/14/08 KFLL>KBCT
3/26/08 KBCT>KPHK ?? (local hop)
4/2/08 KBCT>KGNV

139 -- 52.4 hours
3/13/08 KTLH>KPFN
3/13/08 KPFN>KTLH
3/13/08 KTLH>KGNV

146 -- 86.4 hours
4/11/08 KSRQ>KBCT
4/18/08 KBCT>KMLB
4/18/08 KMLB>KBCT

163 -- 44.8 hours
4/18/08 KPIE>KLAL
4/18/08 KLAL>KAPF
4/18/08 KAPF>KGNV

Dave said...

However, the tone of the letter from Vern (if it’s for real) smacks of a hunter boasting about just blowing the brains out of a small pheasant with a .30-06 rifle. Then spitting on the remains and setting them on fire just for the fun of it.

It seems incredibly stupid. You don't go around publicly (even within an organization) bragging about firing an employee. It opens you up to potential liability. That employee could now bring all sorts of claims against Eclipse for publicly saying that employee was fired for violating the NDA. Eclipse could just as well have sent out a letter and not name anyone in particular (say "an employee" or "employees" if more than one) had been fired for violating the NDA. Then again, I guess Eclipse doesn't expect to have any money if they lose a court case.

gadfly said...

It occurs to me that while all this discussion is going on, we're not watching the back door.

If I were an owner, or potential owner, I would probably not care much about what's happening between upper management and employees . . . or, for that matter, what is happening with a "critics' blog site". But I might care very much about the overall airworthiness of my airplane.

Don't lose sight of things like, "inspection/testing/life expectancy of stir-fried welds", "rivets that may or may not fit tight in their holes", . . . and the list goes on and on. If all these things are fully airworthy, I would want some "proof" that it is so. If not, I want to know that, too. And if I were an "A&P" (which I was, once . . . and a pilot), I would want to be able to "see" bare metal in areas requiring my signature on periodic inspections.

Reports of "smooth paint" over screws that must be removed to gain access through inspection covers or "fairings", etc., . . . that would bother me. 'Maybe all that has been corrected. And reports of "blown tire(s)" . . . is that a normal thing for a small aircraft? . . . or a design flaw in a "slightly" (?) overweight jet? And metal panels/skin "thinned" by acid etch . . . having a long history of metal fabrication/machining and design experience, such things give me "pause". Control systems . . . cable versus electro-mechanical versus hydraulic, plus the computer-interface . . . "steam gages" versus "electronic", etc., . . . things with which I have some background . . . there are many questions worthy of discussion . . . things that other aircraft companies do not keep hidden in discussion and evaluation.

In fact, if my life, or someone else's life, is at stake, I have a "right" to know what's going on "under the skin". Let's take it one step further: If I have some ability to make value judgements in these areas, I have a responsibility to use my God-given abilities and understanding on behalf of those who may not be able to evaluate technical things that they may trust to get them "there and back" in a safe manner.

And so it is that this "critics' blogsite" may come into full stride, free of intimidation by those who may have something to hide. If there is nothing to hide, there should be no problem.


baron95 said...

Metalguy said... However, the tone of the letter from Vern (if it’s for real) smacks of a hunter boasting about just blowing the brains out of a small pheasant with a .30-06 rifle. Then spitting on the remains and setting them on fire just for the fun of it.

Yep. The guy is an embarassment to himself, the company and the aviation industry. And he is being exposed for what he is. Why the heck the board does not fire him is beyond me. He now, apparently, brings nothing of value to Eclipse.

Again the issue is not that Eclipse can't enforce NDAs and fire employees that violate its provisions. The issue is that they are doing it for the wrong reasons (stop open discourse about their product) and the wrong way (public braging about firing people, filing lawsuits against blogs).

Bonanza Pilot said...

I have no problems with NDA's....and no problem with firing someone who violates them. I do have a problem with threatening people who work for you and their families. I would assume that not everyone there has violated the NDA - yet they all received the threat.

Then their is the issue of Mr. Skupa. He has not only been fired, but he has been publicly attacked. He will have a hard time getting another job, or even showing his face in the community. Does Vern have solid evidence that he did violate that agreement. What if this goes to court and the court finds that Skupa did not violate the agreement. How many lawyers will be jumping over each other to take Skupa's defamation case against Vern personally and Eclipse the company.

Vern has shown this pattern...and has gotten away with it in the past. I couldn't believe how badly he was slamming Williams for the engine issues. Real business people don't burn bridges and don't open themselves up to lawsuits. What was gained by naming Skupa personally as opposed to just saying we have fired someone and are serious about enforcing the NDA. He is unprofessional and should be removed by the board.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Did Vern really say this?

"I will close with a promise ... the price you and your families pay ... will be very high."

Was he talking to his employees, or investors?

This whole brouhaha has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with somebody violating an NDA -it's a symptom; a symptom of a complete implosion of Vern's House of Cards.

Would you like the combo?

baron95 said...

Bonanza Pilot said... Then their is the issue of Mr. Skupa. He has not only been fired, but he has been publicly attacked. He will have a hard time getting another job

Isn't that an appropriate outcome for an employee that violates his employment contract and sends sensitive/damaging company information to the outside?

I certainly would not want to hire this individual, unless he has an extremely valid explanation for his actions.

Shane said...


If you have a moment, drop me a line. An old pal would like to make contact, but neither of us have your email....


Gunner said...

I'd not only hire, Brian. I'd promote him. Perhaps if I had so many skeletons in my closet that I couldn't afford to have an ethical employee around, I'd feel differently.

I need only look to what Vern Raburn is to know what Brian Skupa must be.

Nuff said.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Gad -

If you were an owner, you probably wouldn't sell your soul to the Russian mafia.

Brian S is being scapegoated here. Vern's "leak" problem is almost certainly a person(s) much closer to him, and much more trusted. Rather than fall on their dagger when the heat turns up, set up the underling to take the fall.

Vern writes a "tough cop" letter to the rabble, to create the illusion that he retains institutional control of his investors' fate. The folks who continue to drink/fill him with poisoned Koolaid allow him to believe it's true.

Who made the "are you afraid of flying" remark? THEY are aware that the folks who designed the plane are gone; that the folks who got it through certification are gone; that the folks who got production started are gone. That there is no continuity, no institutional memory of what standards of consistency are required to deliver a safe product. Or even what the result should look like.

Just on ongoing string of corpses with bus tire tracks all over them. It's ALWAYS somebody else's fault. Never Vern's. And his lieutenants make damned sure he continues to be unable to see it any other way.

I've seen a couple of corporate failures coming from the inside, and warned the owner/CEO *just* what was going on. I always left when the loyalty oaths were demanded. I was right both times.

The problem is NEVER leaks. It's NEVER somebody "violating" an oath of loyalty (or an NDA). It's ALWAYS an atmosphere of intolerance of bad news, of internal dishonesty.

Vern needs to look in the mirror. Ask himself who's the dishonest one? Is it somebody he trusts without qualification? Is it somebody telling him to lash out at all his imagined enemies?

Or is it Vern?

I'll speak for myself, but imagine it's true for everybody here - I *want* Eclipse to succeed. The AlmostJet is a wonderful idea - too bad things aren't going well. But Vern went into this with no enemies whatsoever. He made some though...

gadfly said...


A man by that name is listed in the "white pages" of the Albuquerque telephone directory.

Should anyone wish to verify the story, and possibly show "support" for the man (and his family, if he has one), you now have enough material to do a "follow up".

As Winston Churchill said, after his escape from the "Boers'" in South Africa, "There is no more exhilarating feeling than to be shot at and missed."

And from personal experience (twice, in two weeks), there is nothing so discouraging (at the moment) as being "fired" . . . and going on to greater things.


(If you have never failed, you have missed the excellent "flavor" of later success.)

('Anyone watchin' the back door?)

gadfly said...


"If you were an owner, you probably wouldn't sell your soul to the Russian mafia."

For the record, I "am" an owner, but buzz around as the gadfly, attempting to be an advocate of others. On the other point, I gave up title to my soul, to Another, a long, long time ago . . . and haven't regretted it for an instant.


(On this point, "Faust" and I have nothing in common.)

chickasaw said...

dave ivedorne

When you posted the following, you were 100% on the money:

Who made the "are you afraid of flying" remark? THEY are aware that the folks who designed the plane are gone; that the folks who got it through certification are gone; that the folks who got production started are gone. That there is no continuity, no institutional memory of what standards of consistency are required to deliver a safe product. Or even what the result should look like.

Just as there are dysfunctional families, there are dysfunctional companies; Eclipse is one.

I've been there, done that and got out.

Gunner said...

Looks to me like Vern's strategy is already backfiring. I'd like to be the first to welcome all the new registrants here.


airtaximan said...

anyone know what movie my line was from..


Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest

get it?

mountainhigh said...

Gunner, I think you are right. Vern wants to collect information on all the bloggers and will sift through it in order to determine what suits he might bring against the individuals.

I'm sure there are many on the list who haven't had a contractual relationship with EAC. Have never been employee, investor, customer, vendor .... or anything. But most of the folks have been involved in aviation for many years (in some capacity).

In addition to any direct "breach of contract" issues, I expect VR is looking for those in the industry who may have been in relationships with those he deems his competitors....Diamond, Cirrus, etc.

I expect he would love to find an opening to directly sue (or enjoin) his competitors for whatever.... theft of technology, slander/libel, etc. We all know these would be bogus suits, but it would be long, messy, and expensive.

Look at the timing of all this. Right before the summer airshows.
I think he'd love to file legal action (or at least threaten it) against the SEJ boys. He probably thinks his salvation is the Con Jet and he is desparate to slow the competition down.

Of course, the timing is also aimed at stopping any open dialogue at EAA, except for VR's PR dept, of course. Oh I forgot, of course, the FAA will be allowed to sing his praises!

Just my two cents. And yes, the above paints a very paranoid picture of EAC. The memo re: Skupa seems to confirm it, though.

easybakeplane said...


The wife informs me that 'Whistleblower' laws only apply to publicly held companies, not private companies.

Also, although I'm honored to be on 'The List' I've never worked for you Vern.

PS - Is it a violation of an NDA for a DER or QA person to inform the FAA of potential problems being covered up inside a company?

gadfly said...

Dave, you said: ". . . there is no continuity, no institutional memory of what standards of consistency are required to deliver a safe product. Or even what the result should look like."

That, my friend, is genius in your thinking. As a successful, and third generation inventor/designer/machinist, I can say without reservation that successful inventions are almost always accompanied by the original designer to final product.

Whenever a product is passed from the "original designer" to another level, much is lost in the translation. In search of an example, we only need to look at the "little bird" in question, to see the dangers of transfer of design to a second, third, . . . ad nauseum, or the ultimate of disaster "to a committee" or to an all-powerful leader . . . well, you get the point.

A competent inventor/designer/manufacturer has in his mind a complete product from the moment of conception . . . probably not the final design (that would be rather strange an unique . . . except if you are Mozart), but every "nuance" of design change within the twists and turns that he, alone, knows must take place on the path to completion. It is an "intuitive" thing . . . not taught in any school, but born within the inventor/designer . . . "honed" by experience in the real world of "hands on" manufacturing. And this is something that a man does not decide, nor is there a course in "inventing" in any school, it is somehow born within him, . . . revealed in life.

The original design of our little bird was handed to "another", and many "others". Who knows the path that it might have taken, had it been left to the first designer? And then, what improved version, had the "second" been given freedom to design an "original".

It would be like starting a "Rembrandt", then hiring "Van Gogh" to continue, and allowing "Picasso" to "make sense" of the thing . . . now that would be something akin to our little bird.


(It's beginning to resemble "Salvador Dali" looking into "time" . . . memory may tell.)

Anonymous said...

Some press on the Eclipse legal action:

According to Eclipse president and CEO Vern Raburn, the Albuquerque, N.M. aircraft manufacturer has been irreparably damaged by the “lies” posted by anonymous visitors on the blog, and he seeks to unmask them via the subpoena.

So, not so much about employee NDA vilations, but more about finding out who you are. Seems "personal", not "contractual" in nature.

I'm not among those who shall be named, but I would support quashing this. Vern has no right to know who you are if you don't want him to know.

MetalGuy said...

…N.M. aircraft manufacturer has been irreparably damaged by the “lies” posted by anonymous visitors on the blog

So now Eclipse failures are the fault of the bloggers. Got it.

Does he realize how insanely difficult this will be to prove in court?? This is the silliest thing I have ever encountered.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Anyone, DER or not, who believes they have uncovered a safety of flight issue is obligated to share that with FAA. These are aircraft, and when things go wrong, people get hurt or die.

Of course, they should try and work within the existing quality and change management systems, but for certain endemic quality or cultural problems where there are issues re: 'bad news' or not being a 'team player' - sometimes going to a higher power is necessary.

As I have used them, NDA's cover only those things the NDA expressly identifies, typically for an expressed period of time. Also, as I understand it, the NDA may be pierced when answering a subpoena or questions during a hearing or other compelled testimony, and I am fairly certain they would not apply in the case of deliberate fraud or other civilly or criminally actionable activities.

As for the whistleblower thing, depending on who the recently liberated Eclipse employee told whatever he told to, the dismissal may be covered under NM law. Although a right to work state where Eclipse can basically 'fire at will', NM does have case law re: retaliatory firings.

Again, I am not a lawyer as I have said but I did look this up when I read about the bloodletting, the free man or his attorney might look into it if they have not already.

gadfly said...

Quoting my dear gentle grandmother:

"I haven't laughed so hard since the hogs ate my little brother!"


(Me thinks we have "touched a nerve".)

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Not being a "legal beagle", I can only guess about some of this. But it would appear that to "prove" an accusation is wrong would be to show the true facts . . . that they support (in this case, the little bird) the object in question. Somehow, that should not be too difficult . . . simply demonstrate that the original promises have been kept, or at least are on target.

For instance, simply show that a fully viable "bird" was demonstrated and "flown", with engines, design take-off and landing weight, etc., prior to the first dip into the funds in escrow.

Any honest company with integrity should be able to show such facts.

Next, show that the promised hardware, software, and fully functional aircraft was delivered on the "promised" schedule . . . again, not a problem to a reputable company. And when said company "failed" on a few minor items . . . FIKI, avionics, etc., . . . full efforts were applied to rectify the problems, without the slightest deviation into any other project . . . oh, sorry, didn't mean to mention the "conjet" . . . but that shouldn't be a serious problem (we've come this far).

Man, isn't that "friction stir welding" a masterpiece of genius? . . . how is it possible that such innovation was not used fifty years ago? Those little jets are going to be popping out the door so fast you won't believe it (true!).

Shucks! When you come right down to it, these folks are "pure gold" . . . delivering on promises, giving value for value received, plus "perks" (in a "timely manner", of course). Their technology is years ahead of the competition. And all you "neigh-sayers", you all stand there with egg all over your faces. And to question the integrity of this fine company . . . how dare you!


(Yep, folks! . . . even the gadfly is beginning to "see the light" . . . 'hope I don't end up wearing concrete tennis shoes out in the middle of the Rio Grande . . . or in the Pecos . . . or some obscure arroyo. Yes sir . . . I am a believer! . . . you bet!)

(Note to myself: Beagle! . . . not "beagal" . . . 'sorry 'bout that.)

Gunner said...

Eclipse can't afford a libel suit against anyone with means, for the EXACT reason Gad brings up: they'd have to open their own doors to discovery regarding some questions I'm certain they wouldn't wish to answer under oath.

Metalguy said:
"Does he realize how insanely difficult this will be to prove in court??"
If he doesn't realize what and unbelievable hump he looks to the public, just by initiating the subpoena, why would he possibly be capable of seeing anything else.

I will agree with one thing:
Eclipse Aviation IS irreparably damaged. In fact, I'd use the term "mortally". But it isn't the line employees that created that damage. And it sure as hell wasn't anyone on a Blog.


MetalGuy said...

Some highlights:

“From a PR perspective, this is a HUGE mistake.”

“Mr. Raburn is adding fuel to a lightly smoldering fire.”

“Unfortunately, now they have opened a Pandora's box. If they continue, I'm willing to bet this story gets legs.”

airtaximan said...

I had google sign an NDA with me, so they cannot reveal who I am...

Seriously, Its going to be fun watching Vern try to make a case for how someone statements were lies and not merely inaccurate predictions/mistakes... more than his own.

Also, he will have to show that someone harmed his company... more than he did.

I actually want to see the case come to a head...

If there's a way to make HIM reveal the exact nature of his accusations BEFORE google has to deal with the Subpoena, I would vote for this process.

Do not just quash, first ask for discovery (I am not a lawyer, but it sounds good)...

Perhaps he has a good and valid reason to know the identity of anonymous bloggers... lets find out.

This should be good.

What's he going to say "the fleet was not grounded?"... "we were NOT out of money?"... "we actually THOUGHT the ej22 was going to work just fine when we took the deposit money - and then found out a few weeks later it was going in the garbage?"



I AM your leader.

MetalGuy said...

What’s so stupid on Vern’s part is that the blog was basically in idle mode, without much going on in reality. Just a few comments here and there. Finish the damn airplane and it would have all but evaporated.

Now sit back and watch the bad PR and massive exposure this gets.

The competition must be rolling on the floor in laughter. Hi Cessna! Vern actually blames the bloggers now for his failures. You always thought it was everything else – nope, it was really us all along.

Once again, good job Vern. You are by far your own worst enemy. No Lie.

See you in court where we can really get to the bottom of things.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
airtaximan said...

From the article:

"I don't care if people want to waste their lives speculating about things, but I do care when people represent themselves as having insider knowledge and what they're saying is overt lies," Raburn said."

"overt lies"

going to be fun to watch what has been represented here as fact, and was in fact a lie.

Seems like Vern should be made to at least come up with a few "overt lies" told here, before he can justify wasting the courts time, and his investors money.

Vern: I know what they said turned out to be true, your honor... but they couldn't have know it at the time, so it was either a lie, or someone that was not supposed to tell them, told them..."

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I am almost hesitant to post this in the open, but has anyone else picked up on the blatant, glaring, titanic inconsistency in suggesting that it is all 'overt lies' but then going on to justify the fishing expedition by suggesting that it is the result of 'inside' information released from violation of NDA's?

It seems like some kind of twisted compulsion, the Chief Executive equivalent of Tourettes.

The other blogger is right when he talks about the danger of this story getting legs.

Since we have had a kind of movie focus of late I am, in my fishiness, reminded of a great fish movie where police captain Brody watches as Bruce the mechanical shark swims by, dwarfing Quint's Orca - Brody says "we're gonna need a bigger boat."

But in the end the shark gets it in that movie, so I am reminded of another oceanic story and it is, I think more appropo. It is a story of hubris and tragedy on a scale previously unimaginable.

The star, a White Star in fact, was characterized by the Vice President of her owners after the collision, but before news had reached them that she had slipped beneath the waves as follows: "We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe that the boat is unsinkable".

So it is, we are the iceberg (totally avoidable), Eclipse is the Titanic (not as well put together as they would have us believe), and Vern is Captain Smith (asleep and not at the wheel when the collision occurred).

And the band (investors, employees, customers) played on.

MetalGuy said...

Those under INDA speak the truth and therefore suffer the wrath. Those not under INDA speak lies and therefore suffer the wrath. Even if they speak the same speak. As soon as he figures out who is who, the truth and lies will then be created and doled out accordingly. There is no room for critiques, opinions, guesses or speculation. Just truth and lies to be fabricated to fit his fancy - but not until he figures out who is who or it would upset the plan. This is the way of the serpent my fishy friend.

gadfly said...

Well, folks!

Included in the front page of the "Albuquerque Journal", the only remaining "real" major newspaper in New Mexico, read from border to border, is a line that says, "The commenters named in the subpoena have names like coldwetmackarelofreality, plastic planes, easybakeplane and airtaximan."

Overall, the article gives an excellent overview of the former and present blog sites . . . and the undertone coming through "loud and clear" from Vern Raburn is anything but casual. He is angry.

As it is a copyrighted story, byline, "Andrew Webb", I cannot show it to you complete. But it is not the type of story any company wants on the front page of the major newspaper, published throughout their own "home".

And the admission that the subpoena is a "fishing expedition" looking for targets is almost stated by Vern, himself.

Your comments (in his words) are "overt lies". And his final statement: "I'm trying to figure out why they make these accusations but don't say who they are."

Front Page . . . 22 April 2008!

"Eclipse Seeks Bloggers' Identities"

By Andrew Webb
Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer

'There 'tis! Enjoy!


(Amazing! You give a "heads up" to an editor, and once in a while . . . Surprise!, they follow through! They caught this
precisely on schedule. Now, keep your heads down . . . the next sound you hear is not friendly fire.

Thank you, Andrew Webb, "you done good".)

April 22, 2008 5:46 PM

Anonymous said...

I think the central issue here is that Eclipse has less credibility than the blog. So when Eclipse announces things, it is not taken seriously any more. Thus, more people were looking to the blog to find out *really* what is going on.

I also have to believe that the posters Vern is after must have posted valid information, the kind of information Vern would only expect a former, or even a *current*, employee to have. Thus the lawsuit improves the credibility of the blog quite a bit since Vern has validated it to some degree, and named those with the best info for us.

Like I said before, this is "personal". Vern wants to know your names.

Shane said...


He knows mine, and before me, Stan.

Never came near either of us, and we are the ones who have posted the most 'damming' stuff of all.

Vern Raburns' own words.

Go figure.


Shane said...

I nearly forgot.

Oil hit $119.90 (call it $120/barrel) overnight.

Dollar sinks to $1.60 for each and every Euro.

Makes the E500 very attractive to buy in Europe, but not as attractive to fly in the U.S.

Oh, sorry, Eclipse have not managed to get it certified in Europe. Must be a real bummer, not being able to take advantage of the currency like that. And that increase in fuel costs must be hurting DayJet.

Kind of a 'double whammy' don't you think?

Hey, Vern, I'm back!


Helloooo, is there anyone there?

Must be missing some staff in ABQ. The press, whom Vern is normally so keen to cultivate, can't get a response from him either.

Check out AVweb, where the blog is 'front and centre', for more details of what Vern is NOT saying about us.


Dave Ivedorne said...

The button pimped by Eclipse staff at Sun & Fun this year said: "WCSWSYFN"

(We Can't So We'll Sue You For Noticing)

Would you like to Super Size it?

Niner Zulu said...

In the article at, Vern was quoted as saying "I don't care if people want to waste their lives speculating about things, but I do care when people represent themselves as having insider knowledge and what they're saying is overt lies,"

There are 28 names on the list. Having read most of the posts, I can say with some authority that most of the 28 people on this list, including myself, have never claimed to be an insider.

Also, I have never posted a lie.

This is nothing more than a witch hunt.

I believe Eclipse's strategy was to pick a few names from the blog, obtain the names and addresses of the posters, and then file a large number of "strategic" lawsuits for the sole purpose of ending the criticism. It is doubtful many, or any, of these cases would ever get to court as bloggers would settle for Eclipse dropping the lawsuit in exchange for their agreeing to not post again.

Doing the math, if Eclipse were to spend an average of $5000 in attorney fees for each of the 28 bloggers on the list, for approximately $140,000 the majority of criticism goes away and the Eclipse PR machine is free to run unchecked.

When you think of it that way, it's really quite brilliant.

What the Eclipse strategists didn't consider is how badly this plan may backfire, which it is appearing to do and rightly so.

Dave said...

Isn't that an appropriate outcome for an employee that violates his employment contract and sends sensitive/damaging company information to the outside?
I certainly would not want to hire this individual, unless he has an extremely valid explanation for his actions.

Without knowing the details, I don't think it can be cut-and-dried that this employee violated the NDA. The employee might have thought they were acting within the scope of their contract and I see many gray areas. Like would it be a violation for an employee to talk about stir fried welding? That's been publicly discussed in the media. Dayjet's orders? That's been discussed publicly to the media. So many items have been publicly discussed by Eclipse, that it puts up an awfully big gray area where it would call into question why those who did this termination weren't themselves also terminated for the same reasons. Skupa could say because he saw Vern etc state XYZ to the media that he thought his actions were within the organization's practices.

Bonanza Pilot said...

Baron95....that is the exact point I am making about Skupa. You have assumed that he is a liar and would never hire someone like him. What do you base that on? The word of the great and powerful Vern - and man who could charitably be called "truth challenged" Mr. Skupa is entitled to his day in court - remember in America we are still innocent until proven otherwise. Will your feeling change if Skupa is found not guilty at trial? The problem with Mr. Skupa is that he is substantially harmed even if he wins at trial. He has been defamed and damaged - Vern had better win at trial or he will be paying some serious damages. Lets find out what Skupa really did before hanging him.

On a completely different note - has anyone else sent the story on to Capt. Zoom. I thought he might actually show integrity and actually publish the story, but I guess he is down to just publishing press releases and "news" videos that look a lot like poorly done advertisements. I am very disappointed in the guy who used to stand up for what was right even when it got him banned from Sun and Fun.

Dave said...

I am almost hesitant to post this in the open, but has anyone else picked up on the blatant, glaring, titanic inconsistency in suggesting that it is all 'overt lies' but then going on to justify the fishing expedition by suggesting that it is the result of 'inside' information released from violation of NDA's?

Exactly. Vern also is giving the largest endorsement so far for the Eclipse blogs by saying how powerful the blogs are. I can't imagine a larger endorsement of the Eclipse critic blogs than coming from the CEO of Eclipse.

If past history with Groklaw (another blog who took on a company called SCO), Eclipse's legal attacks to the blog will only increase the stature of the blog while decreasing the stature of Eclipse:

Vern's comments to the ABQ Journal seem to directly undermine the subpoena by saying that nothing confidential has been disclosed and instead it was lies spread by outsiders. It sounds like Vern is claiming defamation, but Eclipse is specifically not seeking IP addresses to bring a defamation claim.

fred said...

niner ...

you count well ...
but that only for USA ...
in some cases , he (vern) would have to go ballistic thru the amount of time , proceeding and money in taking the matter on different continent(s?)

only with the european system , it would be such a money drain , that itself could make EAC to go immediately on Chapter 11...

and then , what is the result ?

marketing guys in EAC are going to work days and nights to counter the bad image such an action is creating ....!

Vern used to throw under the bus a lot of furnishers , then he did with staff , then with agents , now with critics laughing at this sad farce ...

when is it going to be the turn for customers ? if they complain the bird delivered is far from the one promised ... is he going to sue them ?

is that a good way to attract the hudreds he needs each year to stay afloat ??

what a sad farce !!

MetalGuy said...

"Eclipse has said it is seeking to prevent the anonymous posting of "lies and rumours"

“Eclipse spokeswoman Alana McCarraher declined comment about the action”

“Look at this crap.This is a real violation of civil rights”

“If that's the case then I want to see about getting a subpoena to see if the judge that issued this subpoena had any interest issues or other connections with CEO Vern (HEY VERN) Raburn or any other Eclipse Aviation officers.”

“Wonder what elipse is trying to hide or are they trying to take the heat off theirself for some shady goingson.”

gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Interesting info gained from an “inside source” . . . on Avweb:

It’s almost a year old, but worth a “listen”. Listen to the interview, especially between 7:12 and 8:30 (of the 15 minute interview with VR). According to this “inside source” the pitot problems were a failure to consider the high humidity in Florida and the “Northeast” . . . and the freezing condensation cycles experienced by the “little jet”.

So, let’s take that a step further. Early on, we were told by the official Eclipse sources about “FSW” and the 7xxx alloys used . . . and then the “boast” about the patent on a sealing substance to prevent the high likelihood of intergranular corrosion, along the welds. Put that alongside the “admission” in the interview concerning failure to consider the moisture problems (in the pitot system) . . . and the fact that the entire un-pressurized portions of the airframe, and guess what? Eclipse did not early on consider the dangers of corrosion in areas that are subject to constant cycles of heat/cold/condensation/freezing/entrapment of moisture (especially in areas near the ocean . . . “sea water”). And the publicly shown paint-job that makes visual inspection of critical areas most difficult to impossible. We have not heard the end of this one . . . is my educated guess. So, without even leaving my computer, I can discover things about the little bird from VR, and the Eclipse website . . . and never speak with an employee or “spy”.

This is only one of many, many embarrassing “inside facts” . . . readily available to anyone with an ounce of knowledge related to aircraft, common manufacturing practices, and running a business.

‘Something about emperors and clothes, etc.


baron95 said...

Shane said...
Dollar sinks to $1.60 for each and every Euro.

Makes the E500 very attractive to buy in Europe, but not as attractive to fly in the U.S.

Oh, sorry, Eclipse have not managed to get it certified in Europe. Must be a real bummer, not being able to take advantage of the currency like that.

I don't understand the point you are trying to make. ???!!!???

1 - Eclipse, like any aircraft OEM I know, prices/sells in US$. So they will get a set amount of US$s regardless if they sell it to someone in Florida or France.

2 - Eclipse has sold and continues to sell (i.e. take firm orders) from European customers.

3 - Eclipse can deliver all these planes with N-numbers (to a US LLC for example), and these owners can fly them in the US (training, early experience, etc) and Europe (VFR untill they get the 400s) for at least 6 months (I think by then registration will have to be moved - though this is rarelly enforced).

So, while lack or EASA certification may be hindering sales somewhat, that is nowhere near as big a hinderance as lack of final AvioNG, FIKI.

Remember, any new sale is for delivery years into the future, anyway.

I think you are overestimating the impact of (present) lack of European certification on EA500 sales. Since ETIRC went to work, EA500 probably became more attractive in Europe.

baron95 said...

Dave said... Without knowing the details, I don't think it can be cut-and-dried that this employee violated the NDA.

Neither can I. The premise though was that he disclosed company information to outside sources/press/blogs. Regardless of what is in his employee NDA or if he even signed one, Eclipse, like most companies, have policies on which individulas can release company info to the outside. If you are not expressily outrized, then you can't. Period.

If this employee feels he has been wronged, he can sue Eclipse, use all the powers of discovery to obain Eclipse records, supena Vern, etc and make his case. Maybe he will do that. Maybe he won't. I don't know who is right and who is wrong.

In any event, this blog is so one sided, that Eclipse should just have a representative in here correcting the false info and providing the other side view.

Trying to ignore it or qash it is not a good strategy.

As I said before, despite all the falults, Vern and Eclipse still have much to be proud off. They are the ONLY startup company that has successfully designed, developed, certified and produce over 100 GA jets, since Learjet - and they did it with a lot less turmoil than Lear did.

So far, ALL the other startups formed to design/certify/produce a VLJ HAVE FOLDED. ALL OF THEM.

Eclipse is the ONLY ONE.

You can't lose sight of their accomplishments. There is no way to spin this into a negative. What Eclipse/Vern have done to-date is not Easy and no one has done it since the 60s.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sorry B95, they have NOT done it yet.

They have yet to deliver a single, complete and fully functional aircraft that matches the promise.

The only way that it is accurate to say they produced 'over 100 GA jets' is to qualify it by stating that they have rushed incomplete, partially functional, partly INOP aircraft out with a stack of IOU's, essentially forcing them onto customers.

A move quite literally unprecedented in aviation - disruptive even.

Bill Lear did not do that.

Jim Bede has behaved more honestly, honorably and equitably than the Vernperor.

That is not one-sided or without balance - it is calling a spade a spade. What kind of results do you get from half-assed efforts?

Vern is right when he says he is in a class by himself, it just doesn't mean what he thinks it does.

airtaximan said...


how true is that?
nice post.

Shows that they do have supporrters here, and folks willing to provide a balance. So how one-sided is this blog?

Not very.

Congratulations to Vern and eclipse. They produce a fragment of what they claimed they would, spent $1.x billions trying to do it, produce a plane sold based on pricing and performance they never achieved, and they are still not finished after 11 years.

Buy hey.... we must admit, they did do what you claim...sorta... if you want to really stretch things...

Take another position and get sued.

Glad you see it HIS way.

PS. where's the disruptive technology? Where's the engine $300million chased? Where's the integrated custome software avionics that would make flying so much easier and safer? Where are the deliveries promised and paid for in 2006? Farce.

Where's the market?

Where's the air taxi business success?

Where's the value proposion? How is jetincomplete coming?

Thanks for the balance... I hope you enjoy mine.

I guess every bozo has his Delilah

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Sorry B95, they have NOT done it yet.

What part of what I stated do you claim they haven't do yet?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
They have yet to deliver a single, complete and fully functional aircraft that matches the promise.

That is true. But did I claim that?

Is there ANYOTHER VLJ startup company in the world that has ever done better? Is there anyone else even trying? Safire? Dead. Adam Dead. They are all dead.

The ONLY VLJ startup that has amounted to ANYTHING is Eclipse.

And by the way, they have produced a much better plane than Learjet did. The original Learjet was an UNSAFE/INCOMPLETE?RESTRICTED plane that had to go through several design changes over many years to just be flyable.

Eclipse also produced FAA IFR certified jets much faster than Learjet - about 5 times faster.

So really, as far as start up GA jet mannufacturers, Eclipse is in a class above all others.

You may argue that this is still not good enough or that they could have done better, and that is true.

But trying to deny that they've accomplished more than ANYONE else is just silly.

baron95 said...

AT said... PS. where's the disruptive technology? Where's the engine $300million chased? Where's the integrated custome software avionics that would make flying so much easier and safer?

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with a start up company MO of "shooting for the stars" and/or stretch goals, only to deliver something a bit more modest.

That is how EVERY start up company enters a market.

No start up company enters a market saying "We'll be like everyone else, perhaps just a tiny bit better, etc".

That is just NOT how business is done.

This feels like a high-school debate team discussion. "But teacher, they said they'd do A, B, C, but they only did A and C, therefore they failed"

Pleaaaaaaase!!!! (as they say in high school).

Shadow said...

Baron said "Is there ANYOTHER VLJ startup company in the world that has ever done better? Is there anyone else even trying? Safire? Dead. Adam Dead. They are all dead."

They're not all dead. Century Aerospace might be dormant, but it certainly isn't dead. Someone should also ask Century Aerospace's Bill Northrop about where Vern got his VLJ business plan from for the Eclipse 500 (formerly the Pronto jet). The answer won't shock most of those that read this blog.

Here is Northrop's contact info for those who seek the truth:

airtaximan said...

The ONLY VLJ startup that has amounted to ANYTHING is Eclipse.

and... who cares about a VLJ? Look at Cirrus for a real company with areputation to hope for - a start up, who will undoubtedly prodice a fine jet.

I guess if you are looking for highschool mentality, just look in the mirror. The other companies, who have neteres the business jet market, have doen very well. Sorry if $1.x billions and 11 years was not enough to declassify Vern as a start up... but in my books start ups make it for incremental changes that are meaningful... once again, look at Cirrus, or even Google for that matter.

I do not agree shooting for the moon is a good approach for a start up - in fact, Verns record speaks for itself. Where's Slate?

Over promise, under deliver, foreclose competition by exaggeration and puffery and disregard the truth.

I do not commend eclispe - -they finagled a TC... they deliver junk, and this is their legacy. Just as they say in the tech world "of course we we deliver junk!" Guy Kawasaki.

My main point stands - -you may be right, and I may be right - but this blog is fair- you can post what you wiah!

Thanks for the insight.

airtaximan said...


thanks. You must know a lot.

gadfly said...

Just for comparison:

The Lear 23 began production in February 1962 . . . first flight October 1963 . . . first production aircraft delivered 1964 . . . 104 were built . . . production of the Lear 23 stopped in 1966.

The Lear 23 carried 2 pilots, 6 passengers, maximum speed 487 knots, ceiling just under 45,000 feet, range 2,215 nm.

Of course, had the Lear 23 been all that successful, they’d still be making it. But they “dumped” the design, and went on to some other models.

But then, what did they know “back then”, forty-five years ago?


chickasaw said...

Now are acting like Vern isn't right there listening to you.

gadfly said...


Be kind to these folks. Paranoids are everywhere . . . watching! . . . always "Watching! . . . And you can never be too careful.


(Don't you hate it when history messes up your "logic" and "best arguments"? Shucks, it sure sounded good in the shower.)

airtaximan said...


funny, ain't it. Writing these nasty overt lies...


Six Romeo said...

It sounds like Vern is learning the true meaning of disruptive technology. Who knew it was a blog?

airtaximan said...

I love new people ...

chickasaw said...


you're right; i'm sorry. my voices told me to apologize to paranoids everywhere.

gadfly said...

chickasaw . . . you is a funny man and are a bright light in this closet of doom! Keep up the good work.

‘Growin’ up, I could slide that contact to a place on the copper coil (carefully wound of linen insulated green “telephone” wire on a block of wood on my Dad’s lathe) . . . fiddle with the “cat’s whisker” on the germanium crystal for awhile . . . and lie “real still” . . . get as comfortable as possible with my ear taking on a reverse image of the “Bakelite” high-impedance ear phone (I’d suffer in the morning from sleeping on this form of torture between me and my pillow . . . but that was hours later) . . . and listen to “The Shadow”, “Bulldog Drummond”, and the “Life of Riley” . . . and “Truth or Consequences” (we have a town by that name here in New Mexico, from that very show) and, and . . . many great forms of entertainment. (“Who knows what evil lies in the heart of man? . . . the Shadow Knows . . . heh, heh, heh!”) Hey, I almost forgot Red Ryder, and the Lone Ranger (but they came on earlier, for the “little kids”)

Those days are long gone . . . and the human soul needs a few laughs and entertainment now and then. The TV is an extremely poor substitute . . .but they “try” (and, frankly, fail).

But this “blog” is a genuine “hoot” (as they say) . . . daily entertainment by a group composed of those who understand the problem, those who are part of the problem, and those that haven’t got a clue.

Carry on, my friends, you all help make my day!


(Ah yes, the “Inner Sanctum” . . . brought to you by “Carter’s Little Liver Pills”)

Hey guys, loosen up . . . it’s only a little jet!

Black Tulip said...

Eclipse, The Novel and Screenplay

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven,

Captain Raburn’s face seemed drained as he stared at the center instrument panel. “It’s been thirty seconds and the engine fire light is still illuminated.” He swiveled to look over to the right seater. “The PhostrEx should have taken care of that,” muttered First Officer Bilson. “I’ll discharge the second bottle,” said Raburn quickly as he reached for the red T handle. A dull thump came from the back of the plane.

chickasaw said...


Thanks for the compliment(?). Yes, I am new to this site as a participant. My first secret is that I started reading it last year when I moved to NM to work at a start up company. I have since moved back home.

My second secret is that most of what you "propheads" discuss is way over my level of comprehension. I just learned to pronounce AvioNG. I am after all just a humble manufacturing guy.

My third secret is that you and I must be about the same age; I remember listening to all those shows also but on a Stromberg Carlson with a 78rpm turntable and short wave.

gadfly said...

"Oops!", said the captain, we left out that second bottle of "PhostrEx" so I could take along my "golf shoes".

"Rats!", said the captain.


(to be continued next week when we hear the calm voice of our captain over the intercom: "HELP! HELP! HELP!" . . . and now a word from our sponsor.)

(chickasaw: In the living roome, we had a Montgomery Wards multiband radio . . . the 78rpm player came much later.)

(Oh yeh, I'm seventy . . . I would have been "71", but I was sick a year.)

chickasaw said...


That was a great line. I am going to plagiarize it, but I will make sure that I don't give you credit.

If the PhostrEx failed and Vern had to sue...isn't that like self flagellation?

gadfly said...


In all honesty, the line came from "James Dobson" during an interview many years ago . . . and he gets the credit.

But on the subject of this blog site, if you know something of interest, and value, concerning the little jet, and it does not compromise your previous or present position, please share it with us.

Seriously, we who manufacture various products, especially in connection with aircraft, looked forward to a good relationship with Eclipse. Unfortunately, depending on which side of the issue you find yourself, the manufacturers and "experts" in aviation in the local area, soon learned to be cautious when dealing with this new company.

What Eclipse may not have understood is that Albuquerque is a unique town. A person who sneezes on the northwest side, may, within minutes, get a call from someone in the southeast heights to say, "Gesundheit" (to your health). The manufacturing community, even when they do not intend to share information, is often "wide open" when it comes to learning anything and everything that goes on in this community.

This, for better or worse, is not a town known for keeping secrets (re: Rosenbergs).

A simple look at an "RFQ" ("Request for Quotation") from Sandia or the other government agencies is usually more than enough information to the "knowledgeable" to know, precisely, the project behind the "RFQ". So, having been thoroughly trained in each and every one of a long list of disciplines, it is almost humorous to think that Eclipse or any other company (such as Intel) may set up a "secret" operation.

Some of us watch the local activities of Eclipse, learning more that we really wish to know . . . like walking into an intimate situation in a bedroom . . . and we attempt to pretend that we don't know what's going on. The entire charade is almost "laughable" . . . and we wonder just how far we can go in this "pretend" game.

Well, there you have far more than you wish to know, but there are many who are looking over your shoulder.

chickasaw . . . don't be a stranger!


(A man making "jokes" is never more serious . . . don't ever forget that premise!) said...

3 - Eclipse can deliver all these planes with N-numbers (to a US LLC for example), and these owners can fly them in the US (training, early experience, etc) and Europe (VFR untill they get the 400s) for at least 6 months (I think by then registration will have to be moved - though this is rarelly enforced).


apologies but I have to correct your assumption here. N-reg is not a problem in europe if done correctly (10-20% of EU GA-airplanes are N-reg, legally, via established true and tried trust companies providing this service for decades).

BUT: In ECAC-airspace (=all of europe) the Eclipse 500 is about as useful for flying as a brick.

- No G400 = no BRNAV = no IFR in central europe
- No RVSM = no flight > FL 295 = no range to speak of

VFR operation is not an option, since practically it is very hard to get VFR-clearances in EU-airspace C which starts at FL100 in large parts of europe.

Other than putting it on experimental category and apply for an overfly-permit for each and every country you cross, traffic patterns in uncontrolled airspace is about the best you can hope for with the EA500 now.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the above requirements can't be met, but the chances for any significant revenue out of european sales in the short term are very, very slim.

Jan Brill

gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

jan brill

Please give us a candid assessment of Eclipse. Regardless of the comments on this "blog site", we would like to understand the facts . . . regardless of which side may seem to benefit.

Some of us would truly like Eclipse to succeed as a safe aircraft . . . regardless of its "less than cutting edge technology". And those of us who could contribute with our local manufacturing facilities (Albuquerque area), cannot afford to take another "chance" on someone who cannot or will not pay their obgligations in a timely manner. If they can and do meet their obligations, and "are" a viable manufacturer of a new form of transportation, we welcome them to our community. So much has gone to "China" or "India", (or "Russia", so it seems) we no longer know where to turn . . . and cannot well affort taking any more risks.

Your input is most welcome.

gadfly said...

... and I haven't even started on the ugly stuff: What about Mode-S enhanced surveillance as per AIC-IFR 7 (23 Jan. 2003) ? They're going to need that just to fly in controlled airspace in most FIRs.


IMHO: Of course it can be done and certified in compliance with all the nasty EU-anti-GA-laws.
Eclipse could find a niche somewhat below and cheaper than the C510. I have no idea if the airplane can be produced at a profit for maybe $ 2 or $2.3 but I don't see why there should not be a market for the airplane in this pricerange. 100 or 200 kg more useful load might even give the design a shot at the commerical segment (JAR-OPS-1).
But - at least in europe – this is YEARS and probably a change in management at EAC away. Just my opinion.

Revenue from EU-sales will be small as long as EAC doesn't demonstrate (in contrast to promise) that they can deliver a rule-conforming aircraft (I don't mean EASA-certification. I'm not a tech-guy and I honestly can not comment on how much or how far EASA cert. is away).
But I know a little bit about ops around here.
And to fulfill all the airspace-specific requirements, just to be legal even as an N-reg aircraft in ECAC-airspace under what in the US would be Part 91, will require a lot of effort and $$.

Usually I would assume that a manufacturer has this down, but given the past track-record of EAC I would not bet on it.

Please really take this with a grain of salt: I have NO insight into EAC beyond plain observation of the product and the AFM.
Honestly, I have a hard time believing, that a company, that after all builds a pressurized twin-jet, has trouble getting FIKI and an FMS out the door, but I have to note that apparently they do have trouble with these things.

And if you look at what they have accomplished in terms of avionics so far and what they still have to do to sell their product over here, I just don't think it's going to happen any time soon.

Jan Brill

forest said...

Baron, NOT ALL the VLJ startups are dead or not even trying.

Shane Price said...


I think Jan answered your question to me.

Without certification, the E500 is useless here. And remember what it's up against, on the ramp.

Very high quality, reliable, Swiss, French and Italian aircraft with everything working, everything certified and all of it well finished.

Unlike the E500...

You also failed to address my point on the price of oil. Can you be certain that it will NOT affect DayJet's plans?

I would submit that, without DayJet taking lots more deliveries (where is FlightCenter when you need him...) Vern is in REAL trouble.

Actually, now that I think about it, anyone hear what's going on over there in FL?

Shane said...

... on the other hand, the EU discussion might be a mute point. According to the latest GAMA numbers 25% of jet-deliveries are in Europe.

And while certainly not unimportant to any normal company, I think the EU-market alone with it's peculiar regs would neither safe nor sink EAC.

Jan Brill

gadfly said...


As you must know by now, I'm an "old coot" (as they say) and mostly concerned with the mechanical /manufacturing /metallurgic/aerodynamic and electronic /electrical /hydraulic concerns of the little jet, so do not feel qualified to judge the "business" side of the equation. But in the areas that I feel comfortable, I have far more questions than answers.

'Should the curtain be drawn back, and a "true" exposure of the inner workings of the little jet be revealed, we might all either be "relieved" that all is well and good with this flying machine, or forever walk away from it and let it die a gentle and final death.

It is far beyond time to bring the problems, and "true' potential answers into the light of the noon-day sun.

It is a wearisome exercise to continue this ongoing saga . . . never knowing from day to day . . . or "quarter to quarter" the outcome of this thing that was claimed to revolutionize our concept of general aviation.

On the one hand, we want it to succeed . . . on the other hand, history shows that by this time it should have been a "roaring success", or passed into the archives of forgotten history.

If this is the definition of a technological revolution . . . we bow to the "success" of the little bird from ABQ.

And why should I be concerned? . . . the answer lies in almost every flight you take aboard a commercial airliner, and the integrity of the "cable flight control systems", and the inertial safety restraint systems used by almost all members of the flight crews throughout the world, commercial, and many military. I make no apologies . . . I owe it to my father.

There comes a point in ethics, when a person has to walk up to the plate and accept what is pitched.


(Don't hold your breath . . . you don't look good in "blue".)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner said...

I now know how you got the first four letters of your handle!

gadfly said...

Yeh, “Cold Fish” . . . you is most funny. But ‘just for fun, let’s look at all this from another angle. Suppose I have a bunch of enemies out there, somewhere. And they all seem to be attacking me, no matter what I do. What can I do to respond?

Well, I could “sue” the whole lot . . . ‘doesn’t take any brains to do that . . . ‘just a lot of money to make the lawyers rich . . . maybe I win, maybe I don’t . . . but in the end, “I showed them!” . . . and some lawyers smile all the way to the bank, without exception. (So far, I’ve never found such a person to be “happy” with the results . . . ‘just a lot of bad results.)

Or I could “call them names” and threaten them with a lawsuit . . . sometimes, that’s enough. But unfortunately, this seems to just irritate them and multiply the “enemy”.

Or I could go sit in a corner, suck my thumb, and pout.

There’s any number of options open.

Or maybe, I could do something totally out of the ordinary . . . and make them friends, or at least, allies.

Here’s a bunch of people . . . many who are skilled, some have been successful in business, and even a few may know a few things that I don’t know . . . but up until now, they all seem to have something against me, or what I represent.

Wouldn’t it be great to make them my friends? . . . For sure, I already have their attention.

It could be, that my “enemies” have reason for their attitude . . . and I can turn a “debit” into an “asset” . . . maybe. It’s at least worth a try!

For now, lets just sit on this, and give it some consideration. There’s a lot of people, and their families (in ABQ), that would sure like this thing to work. And if for no other reason, why don’t we at least consider how to benefit . . . what, 1,500 or more families? . . . Hey, that works for me!

If it were just “him and me”, I’m ready for a fight . . . I am on the hit list . . . but that’s almost a joke. So, let’s focus in on a worthy cause . . . and who knows, the “star” of your show might even become a friend. Stranger things have happened.


(Next time, I might tell you about a "Nazi", and how we became good friends . . . a true life story.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I know what you mean Gad.

Would that Vernu were the only possible casualty from his own decisions - but he has managed to attract over 1,000 people (and their recently threatened families) - and there are no doubts thousands more across 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier vendors.

There are the original investors, the 2nd group, the 3rd group, the 4th group, the 5th group, and finally the Russkies.

Then there are the unsecured investors, otherwise known as position holders. We have occasionally had a lot of participation from them and they have ranged from blindly supportive of Vern and crew to more than mildly annoyed at the continued missed promises.

This tragic comedy will eventually have a cast of thousands - kind of like Disneyland where everyone is a 'castmember' - only without all the fun and frivolity, but with all the violent twists and turns of a world class roller coaster.

For those of us who care about this industry - sometimes we have to laugh simply not to cry.

gadfly said...

Cold Fish

We're on the same page, and we (including many on this critics' blog) may be a force toward helping these folks. Now wouldn't that be a thing?

It might be too late to save the top management, but maybe there is something in this that can go on to great things.

Years ago, I was part of a disaster right here in ABQ . . . all the players are long gone due to the normal scale of time. At the time, many people were hurt . . . it's no fun, really, to say "I told you so!" . . . that's a hollow victory. But it is shear pleasure, to help someone from "enemy status" into a friendship position, and see them succeed.

This critics' blog is a great opportunity to "help" rather than to tear down. Besides, unless something happens, soon, they may have done the "tearing down" all by themselves.


(By helping these folks, we help the aircraft industry as well.)

fred said...

baron ...

sorry to catch-up with European stuff :
€ at 1.60+$ = yes , this is really a deep concern for EAC ...

as Shane wrote it , if less messy (doing what they say instead of JUST saying it) European market with the spread € VS $ could have make it for EAC ... if not alone , a big chunk of it ! (profits)

but there is an other aspect of the story which becomes really hilarious (once again !) IF $ continue to sink ... in my opinion it will ,in a first time , serve US interests ...! Why do you think EADS (airbus) want to produce as much as they can safely do in USA ???

very simple to explain : with the said currencies-spread , US workers become kind of cheap !!!
(don't go all fussy ! in terms of costs , not in terms of quality !)

this is WHERE lies the problem with EAC !!

IF US worker's costs are sinking , WHAT is the point of moving production to RUSSIA ???

would you to move away , when it means ONLY troubles , added costs , new workers training , new language , new outlook on "what is quality" ,average earnings in Russia (especially in G.A and in AREA where it is supposed to be , but this is not an inducted EAC effect , only the will of president Putin who wants to revival the aircraft industry , but ONLY with russian stuff and staff ... frankly speaking , i would guess any trained GOOD one in ANY aspects of G.A. is going to be VERY soon quite a rare bird in Rodina !Russky are not stupid , if you dearly want them , they'll make you pay for that = salaries to skyrocket !!!) etc... etc...etc...

WHEN the biggest POINT to do so is going-up in smoke ??? (was it cost of labor ??? remember $ is falling against ALL major currencies !)

you can take this aspect in ALL possible angles = IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENS !

2°: Etirc = you seems to write (may be it is because my english isn't good enough ?)

Since Etirc is working , things go better in EuroLand
(because this is what it is all about ! like it or not , it is WHEN you can get a little extra-advantage , you have to move fast to get it , not when it will be gone ...!)
and orders are pilling-up ???

to my humble opinion = this is once again a way at looking (from the US) on What and Why e500 is going to be a success ...(so much better in such a far distant country)! where reality may differ a little !!!

or if you prefer :

when a self proclaimed genius show the moon , the normal person see only the finger !!

as far as i am seeing this , the involvement of Ething did not bring more results to be clearly seen or more media exposure or simply more profits expectancy !!

once again , as i can see it ... from Europ !

Dave Ivedorne said...

Vern's "poison pen" letter (of necessarily undemonstrated provenance) describing the reason behind Skupa's firing suggests that "Mr. Skupa made claims (presented as facts) with respect to DayJet that were inaccurate and false".

Don't tell me, let me guess - that DayJet is in trouble? Is that "confidential & false" knowledge that is held only inside the ivied walls of the Greater Albuquerque Unfinished Airplane Factory? Or is it a conclusion drawn completely independant of any affiliation with Eclipse?

Perhaps Skupa read the DJ article in April's Flying magazine, and noticed that the midrange fare from LAL to BCT was $305; that the AlmostJet burned 57 gallons of fuel on the flight; that the current price for Jet-A at LAL is $5.89/gallon (a total for the flight of $335.73), and concluded that DJ had a problem. Or in the same article, Vicky Iacobucci mentioning $205 million in debt & equity and "We're in another round of financing" (BIG uh-oh), and concluded that maybe DJ had two problems. Or seen moriarty's evidence of a bloated underutilized fleet, and concluded that oh man, DayJet's SCREWED. All based on publically available data.

I know I'd read recently on this blog that DayJet was in trouble. No offense to the poster of that chestnut, but I'd reached the same conclusion long before then. I may be one of the FNGs here, but I've read every word of Critic NG - and every word of Stan's, too.

Perhaps the Skupa firing relates to the "newly available positions" in Eclipse's delivery schedule. I know I'd read some speculation here that those aircraft were some that DJ wasn't ready/going to take delivery of immediately. And I of course said to myself, "well, DUH, why would they want more AlmostJets when they currently have too many?"

The Eclipse v Does subpoena issued from an action filed over a month ago. Was the leak it's based on the G400 change? Nah, couldn't be that. I mean, if *I* saw Vern leaving an AlmostJet on the west ramp at Olathe Industrial, I'd never consider the possibility that he was at Garmin to get NG fixed - not least of all 'cuz Garmin was needed to get that one delivery okay for flying in Europe - and it worked well. Nope, it had to be a leak. It had to be "us". Twenty eight and a half of us.

Take any other "leak" possibility, and it can similarly be completely dismantled. Vern's looking for the dragon under the bed. The dragon is in his head.

Eclipse v Does was filed, and remains, under seal. So we don't know what allegations or evidence are contained in it. One issue we can be comfortable has not been brought up is the right to anonymous speech. Too bad for Vern...

Al Petrofsky stopped by here the other day. You don't know his work, but I'm acquainted. He brought up H.B. Fuller v Doe, a nearly identical case. Sealed filing in a different state, confidentiality issues, internet message board, California subpoena. The motion to quash was denied. On appeal, it was mooted, because Fuller was required by the appeal ruling to unseal their case - and they declined to do so. It's not a light read (24 pages), but worth the trouble. The appeal ruling does not rise to the issue of whether or not it would quash the subpoena, but suggests in no uncertain terms that the lower court missed the important question completely:
"The court’s denial of the motion to quash did not merely determine some ancillary procedural point but, if affirmed by this court, inflicts upon a citizen an irrevocable loss of that constitutional interest."
There's more - so much more - and it all applies directly to this case, but I'll let you read it yourself if you're interested. I have no idea how Al always finds the right caselaw to cite - he's uncanny.

Vern would like everybody to lose sight of the fact that this case, and this subpoena, are a Constitutional issue. And he's gonna lose on it.

Would you like condiments and plastic cutlery?

Gunner said...

Thanks for the well presented synopsis. This is gonna be a little dicey for me, as Bloggers are going to want to know how we're responding and I'm going to need to play the cards a bit close to the vest.

Suffice it to say that the CA subpoena needs response and that will happen....aggressively. It is not exactly a slam dunk for our side, but the odds are certainly with us. The Fuller case, does bear some resemblance, specifically because the subpoena emanated from a sealed complaint also. We recognize that, but can say no more about it just now.


FreedomsJamtarts said...

Miss the blog for a few days at your own peril. Looks like I'm being dropped from the Eclipse Christmas card list.

I guess Vern would have to agree with the old saying that the truth hurts.

Gunner, you efforts to protect our right to blogging is highly appreciated.

I would hope you are in contact with Google. I would imagine that Google has a certain interest in such a case.

Since we are forced to deal with the concept of freedom of information, I must note that as a European, I am have alwas been very surprised that that Flight Aware system exists. I can't imagine a european data protection authority tolerating the internet broadcasting of such personal data.

It sure has helped (with Flightcenters excellent work) understand this fleet.

Vern, Why is there no are they doing differently? Do you think that what they are doing differently is working better or worse than what Eclipse is doing?

fred said...
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fred said...


you little naughty boy ... !! :-))

Cessnamustangcriticblog does not exist ...

may be :

because they do things then talk ?

because they don't promise the moon?

because what you pay for is worth what you get ? (and vice versa)

because they are stable , not changing specs, datas , furnishers , contracts , etc ... depending on the way the wind is blowing ?

because ... to be repeated "ad nausea" !

on the privacy of personnal datas , i think on this part of the world it doesn't make too much "fun" to be on the christmascard list ...

just try to imagine : under what juridiction could we go ?
even if we are condemn to lifetime for taking the piss out of the "church of verntology" what can be the validity of such ??

just try to imagine the European court of Justice stepping in ...

we will be both dead and long forgotten before the 2 sides of ocean can reach any kind of agreement !!!

just try to imagine : even under a NDA , what should be your conduct , if you clearly understand something putting life at some kind of potential danger is done under your authority ?

if you put it in other terms , situation and time = was ANY german soldier during WW2 seeing atrocities been done right to look somewhere else ? what should have been done ??

i think it is Niner who wrote about such thing (sorry if it isn't !)
but only this point could go to many levels of law expertise ... and last for almost ever : may be a californian judge could rule it , right or wrong ... but if it is right and enforce the NDA , in one of my countries it is clearly indicated in the law
"no one has the right to fulfill any order or statement if it is against human dignity , law or common customs and no one can be hold for responsible if the said order was going against ethical manner , even a soldier in a period of duty "
just this point would be endless in court !!

that said , i won't be the last to offer a fine diner to Gunner if he comes to cross my road !!

Dave Ivedorne said...

Gunner - Betray nothing. To me, or the reading public (hi Vern!). That would be foolish.

Intellectually lightweight non-lawyer that I am, there's a non-trivial chance that I miss the relevant issues completely. I just like to "think out loud" about the notions that pass between my ears from time to time.

Besides, as slow as the drive-thru has been lately, I've got nothing but time on my hands.


Pull around to the second window,

Turn-and-Burn said...

Interesting how Sparky, Paul, and Hotdog were not listed in the user group since they all confessed to being either ex-employees or suppliers. Maybe Eclipse already has there identities.

Shane Price said...


Serving the Drive Through now?

You must have been promoted!

On a serious note, I would like to shine more light into the current status of the Eclipse - DayJet 'special relationship'.

If anyone can help me with 'real world' experience of using the service, the next headline posting will be a really interesting one.

You know the email address by now.

Actually, most of the aviation WORLD seems to know it....


Turn-and-Burn said...

FreedomsJamtarts said... Vern, Why is there no are they doing differently? Do you think that what they are doing differently is working better or worse than what Eclipse is doing?

Actually, as retported today...
"Eclipse's action is the second time this year an aircraft maker has taken measures against comments posted on an online forum. As ANN reported, Wichita-based planemaker Cessna revamped its own blog, established to market its SkyCatcher LSA, after the site was deluged by comments critical of the company's decision to build the plane in China. The new SkyCatcher site, unveiled in February, does not allow open postings -- comments must be approved by an online moderator before they are posted online."

I guess poeple aren't just pissed at Eclipse.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Totally different situation T&B.

The Skycatcher site was started, owned and operated by Cessna, and the criticisms there were not about design, avionics or other fundamental issues such as are discussed here.

That site did not spring up out of the ether, Cessna started it and then, as the owner, took a couple actions to, they say, review postings through a moderator, a Cessna employee/contractor.

The complaints at the Skycatcher site were almost exclusively about WHERE it was to be built, namely in the People's Republic of China.

Apples and oranges my friend.

Of course, it took Darth Campbell and the Eclipse Southern PR Office (formerly know as ANN) almost a week to come up with that little bit of misleading comparison, having been scooped by AIN, AvWeb, the ABQ paper, and a number of other media outlets.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same..... (sing along if you know the words)

airtaximan said...

"Cessna revamped its own blog, established to market its SkyCatcher LSA"

Vern's a genius. He is really Shane and Stan.

Turn-and-Burn said...

You can say what you want. The fact is that the Cessna blog is not an open forum, and all posts must go through a moderator's scrutiny before they are allowed and approved for public viewing.

airtaximan said...

OK... this is an open forum... not run by Eclipse.

The point?

Post great thing about them, or not - its up to you.

Dave Ivedorne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Ivedorne said...


"Vern's a genius. He is really Shane and Stan."

Wow. He's good. Who'd have ever guessed?

Could it be that he lost control of the blog due to his total devotion to Management By Walking Around

Would you like a moist towelette?

Anonymous said...

Turn-and-Burn said...

You can say what you want. The fact is that the Cessna blog is not an open forum,

Anybody can, and did, discuss the Skycatcher on several open forums. Are they being sued by Cessna? No.

Cessna changed *their* web site. Eclipse is suing *someone else's* web site. Get the difference?

ANN reported on the Cessna web site change this way:

While the change in editorial policy might send a certain message to some, Cessna appears eager and willing to continue to entertain differing viewpoints on its choice.

Guess they now feel like it is somehow "the same" as Eclipse. Got to find some made up distraction to take the heat of Eclipse, right?

Besides, the Eclipse owner's forum is not open, either.

Anybody who thinks ANN is an objective source of news is deluding themselves.

Shane Price said...


Will you please stop making me laugh?

I'm trying to run a serious blog here. Or at least pretend it's serious.


For the record, I'm not Vern. I'm actually worried that poor Mr. Raburn is in considerable doubt as to WHO he is right now.

The 'distruptive market changing businessman' or the 'I'll sue anyone and everyone who talks about my ideas'.

How can you communicate new ways to do things while holding your customers, suppliers and staff to a code of 'omerta'?

Beats me....


Captain Zoom NEEDS Eclipse money to pay for his web site, and you know the old story.....

'He who pays the piper, calls the tune'


Jim Howard said...

Let me thank Vern for telling me about this blog. I didn't get the memo about this one after Stan's blog shut down.

I see Vern took the suggestion I made that the dual G400 configuration he used last fall on the Middle East air show airplane become the standard. I pat myself on the back for that.

I'm sorry to see that my prediction that FIKI would be fixed by now hasn't come true.

I hope Vern listens to me and puts a real backup attitude indicator in as part of the newest avionics configuration.

Dave said...

Given Vern's recent promotion of this blog, now might be a time for an article recapping Eclipse's public statements and results and let the media, owners and potential owmers do the rest. This should be an opportunity to put the focus back on Eclipse and at a much greater level than before. Theres so many issues that I think Vern would rather not like to have to address.

Dan Swanson said...

The problem with this organization is that they have NEVER tried to understand how to properly design an aircraft and they have no respect for what it would take.

Their business plan has been to manipulate people and sell blue sky that they do not own.

I was so disgusted by my first contact with them that I thought about them for most of the rest of the day. Then I saved their entire web site to my hard disk so that I could laugh some day.

It has never been as funny as I expected though as people that I actually know have been swept into the net. The disappointment is just beginning for the investors and the people who purchased the blue sky.

My mother taught me that the more you deceive people, the more you must deceive in order to attempt to keep the illusion alive. The cycle eventually ends in the whole illusion being exposed.

At one point, I though that Eclipse might actually "succeed" to a certain level. Of course with Eclipse every term must be redefined.

My vision of what might have been possible at one point was a completed aircraft with some happy customers. After all with the money that Eclipse has raised you should be able to design a decent aircraft through iterative and random processes. The problem was the Eclipse spent the money marketing products the could not be built, would not be built, and building things that would not become a proper completely certified aircraft.

Now that they have spend so much money that they could have bought each of their customers a Cessna, they spend more money on legal fees trying to use the legal system to stop their critics.


You have failed so miserably, that most people would now call it success if you finished a certified aircraft that used 1970 East German technology.

Although I cannot speak for all Eclipse critics, I have LONG since passed the point of "I told you so". Now it's "Try to help our loved industry recover"

Daniel J Swanson

Ringtails wife said...

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 210-414-1733 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)

gadfly said...

In searching for the secret of Eclipse' latest attempts to close down this blogsite, I found their plan:

Round about the cauldron go:
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got
Boil thou first i' th' charmed pot !

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and trouble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood.
Then the charm is firm and good.
—William Shakespeare from Macbeth

'Look close . . . it's all there.


Gunner said...


Hey,'s that little attempt to trample the First Amendment playin' out for you?

How's them there Russian partners feel about all the added "exposure" your actions are giving their "investment"? Bet they're just counting the profits, huh?

Ever give thought to the fact that one thing which turns journalists against advertisers is attacks on Freedom of Speech? Probably as much thought as you gave to what it takes to certify FIKI, I suspect. Worry not, though. You'll always have Capt Zoom...well at least as long as the subsidies continue.


John said...

Day Jet economics

Two years ago, Eclipse reported a Direct Cost of Operations as $373 / hour. The did not include accrural for engine overhaul in the total, but did divide the total into $193/hour in variable costs, and $180/hour in fixed expenses.

In later interviews, DOC was revised upwared to $425/hour. Recent inflation in Jet A will have increased this further.

The DJS147 flight from KBCT to KLAL on Jan 7, 2008 has exact fuel usage reported. 57 gals per the 44 minute gate to gate flight (33 minutes airborne). Ground distance was 145 NM. The flight climbed to 200FL in 11 minutes at about 248 knots. It flew level for 6 minutes at a max speed of 318 knots, and descended for 14 minutes at an initial speed of 345 knots. THe usage reported in the level flight period at 200 and ~315 was 89 gal/hour.

Fuel usage is about 77 gal/hour gate to gate or 92 gal/hour when integrated for just the aircraft aloft as reported on Flightaware. This is greater than reported usage (70 g/hr), but may be reflective of the lower than optimum FL and greater percentage of flightime spent climbing to FL.

An estimate of real-world consumption of about 90 gal/hour is supported by this datum.

DOC per revenue hour can be calculated. Fuel cost (90x$5) or $450 /hour can be added to the fixed DOC component (a stale $180). The result $630/hour DOC should be divided by a deadhead multiple to yield DOC for revenue flights. The deadhead value has been optimistically reported at 30% here, and more pessimistically at 35% in Dayjet's own interviews. This yields a DOC of $900 to $965/hour for the 65-70% of flights with paying passengers.

The speed made good in the well documented Jan 7th flight at 263NM/hr or 303 statue mile/hour airtime. DOC cost is $2.97 per statue mile/hour (min) or $3.66 NM/hour (max).

Dayjet is reporting $4/pax/mile as an optimistic pricepoint, and $3/pax/mile as good. Its load factor has been variously reported at 1.3, 1.4, almost 1.5, and 1.6 pax/revenue flight. Most recent estimates have given 1.4 pax/trip. This implies an optimistic revenue will be in the range of $4.20 to $5.60 /mile or $1260 to $1680/hour at real world speeds.

It appears Dayjet must fund financing, labor, rent, engine overhaul and overhead costs out of the $1.20 to $2.00/mile remaining after DOC are subtracted from its revenue.

Dayjet is reporting in interviews that it has 260 to 270 employees. It has 10 hubs operating, and news accounts for Savannah and Augusta report the ground crew at 5-10 employees per hub. Dayjet has reported hiring 40 pilots and flight officers in 20 2 person crews working 2 shifts/day. The level of pilot staffing is greater than the reported usage. Dayjet reports salary of its pilots ($50K/yr) and FO ($40K/yr), but published pilot comments indicate pay may scale to hours flown. This level of staffing is just under 10 employees per craft, however only about 17 of the 28 total craft are being used with any regularity.

News accounts describe nearterm expansion to 800 employees per 100 craft and 30 hubs. Staffing will drop per craft, but stay nearly identical per hub. News accounts have described the cost breakeven at 85 craft operating > 5 revenue flights/day.

Dave said...

Look at the wookie or why Eclipse might be trying to distract from regulatory/performance issues by suing bloggers:

Anonymous said...

Dan Swanson said...

The problem with this organization is that they have NEVER tried to understand how to properly design an aircraft and they have no respect for what it would take.

Actually, I disagree. The basic design of the airplane is actually fairly sound.

The problem was and still is that they screwed up systems with "disruptive" ideas. The Eclipse could be flying right now without any IOUs if they had taken only slightly more conventional pathways in avionics, engines, and so forth.

What has doomed Eclipse is the high level strategies, not the actual day to day engineering. They did avoid a big problem when they went aluminum instead of fiberglass. That mistake is made by most startups.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Dave -
"why Eclipse might be trying to distract from regulatory/performance issues"

I'm going to kinda sorta come to Baron's aid here. Performance issues WRT U.S. ops are limited mainly to the incompletion problem (FIKI, A/P, etc), though there's also the Weight & Balance issue caused by the huge stack of IOU's strapped into the fifth seat (I'm deliberately ignoring cost of operation here for various reasons that would both please & displease Baron95).

EASA cert is a bird of a different feather: I agree w/B95 that there are likely few if any issues that couldn't be solved with concerted effort, and that lead time on new deliveries mitigates the negatives of not being certified at this time.


There is a little firestorm brewing stateside over FAA's non-performance of its chartered mission of public safety - even NTSB's objectivity is under question. If somebody in a position to cause trouble agitates about the COA being granted while the AlmostJet was still gestating, and word gets out that Euroland isn't satisfied with the FAA's standards anymore, who knows what actions FAA might take to preserve the appearance of vigilance?

Backlash is a cruel & unrelenting bitch.

How many ketchup packets for your fries?

Dan Swanson said...

Blogger flyger said:

>>Actually, I disagree. The basic design >>of the airplane is actually fairly >>sound.

Basic design?
What do you mean? Wings on the front, and tail on the back?

No FIKI, friction stir welding of ALUMINUM? poor engine out performance? Window troubles? Many many parts designed for much lower weight? Aircraft in the field with HUGE IOU's

Sorry, I don't see it.


Anonymous said...

Inda spinda... THE cat is out of the box... Dayjet is the worst company hiding and pretending all is ok...
The company will be gone... taxpayers will not support a bad service. I worked for dayjet for 6 months the worst lower customer service managers i ever seen. I came from airline leadership in solid growth. The sales and csutomer service people are so full of *&*&*^ that think about earth green day. Poor fools think they will outsmart the public into a the dayjet dream. The writing on the wall, I left last year way before launch of the frankin monster of planes from ever took a passenger into the sky... The dream willl soon be all over as I predict...
thanks Bill Brown