Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to the frontline

Staff, suppliers, owners and pilots have filled the inbox with tales of woe and charges of incompetence, or worse. Of course, none of this is new to the blog. But the number of people in contact sure is. Thanks directly to Vern, more people than ever before have tuned into our little chats. I also get regular messages of encouragement, for which I thank you all.

1. Some words from the 'users'. Tyre wear is a real pain. Regular reports reach me of costly replacements with 'hidden' extras, often after less than 100 cycles. The cost is suggested as 'extra landing fees' in one report, which is ok if you fly long distance, but could build up to serious money on short hops. The transponders are acting very strangely. Sometimes they switch off, other times they change ID for no reason. One tip is to ditch the keyboard, but if it was this simple, Eclipse should issue advice to that effect. Looks like people will have to wait until the G400w's turn up. One aircraft has also suffered, badly, in what was claimed to be very light turbulence, and afterwards was compared to a '30 year old Lear'. Not a pretty sight and yes, I have seen the pictures. No wonder there are some outrageous insurance quotes for the FPJ, even for pilots who have lots (think 'airlines') of experience.

2. Staff are, to put it mildly, unhappy. More management changes, now almost on a weekly basis, and the ongoing general lack of leadership. Suppliers being blamed for parts not showing up on time or in the quantities 'ordered'. This is according to Vern and his merry band, but the troops suspect they know the real story. We are talking about adults, after all. Managers are still pushing for extra throughput and then fail to meet unrealistic weekly targets. In an attempt to make the magic 'one per day' they have filled up the service centers with re-work. What happens then, naturally, is that owners end up spending money hiring techs to call out, instead of getting service in the assigned locations. The phrase 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' comes to mind.

3. Strange things are still happening in the supply chain. Reports reach me about key suppliers, some of whom are getting big orders. At the same time others are sitting around counting the paperclips and waiting for ABQ to call. What confuses me is a lack of balance in the order patterns. There is a strong smell of old fish (no, ColdWet, not you...) about this whole arena and I'm feel someone else is 'under the bus' without even being told. Again. Expect the standard press release soon from Vern, slating the 'failed (fill in blank here) vendor' and trumpeting the 'world class' company that has replaced them. I suppose it's just Vern's way of keeping everyone on their toes.

4. General comments include, on the plus side, they are about to ship s/n 200, several of the earlier birds have had their aero mod's, and the AvioNG upgrade (without the G400w) program is making progress. On the 'downside' FIKI is still grinding away with no real end in sight, EASA is not even being talked about anymore and several sources calculate a burn rate in the $20 million per month range. lists 65 FPJ's for sale, many of them actual aircraft for a change, and a number of the newer listings make statements like 'priced to sell' and 'owner motivated to do a deal'. Some are cheap enough to tempt even me.

Forget I said that, it was a moment of weakness prompted by the strength of the Euro. Speaking of which, one Euro buys you $1.56 and oil hit $127.82 earlier today. That's more than double what it was this time last year.

So, there you have it. An attempt, and a very superficial one I admit, to give you all a short report on the current state of our very own FPJ program. Enjoy your weekend, care for your family and friends, get that grass cut or do whatever it is that keeps you moving forward. 


Shadow said...

Ouch! A public skewering of James Fallows:

James Fallows Gives VLJs the Kiss of Death...Again

airtaximan said...


pictures, pls.

John said...

Dayjet Utilization week 33 (May 11-16)
About 90 Hours in 14 planes. Craft DJS139 made a 25 minute test loop out of KGNV; this is significant because 139 was reported canibalized for computers, so it is airworthy again.

Canceled flights out of Naples in craft 148 and 150 are intriguing, as the planes stayed on the ground overnight (if FlightAware data is correct). 142 Had a diverted flight from Kissimee to KGNV. 161 had a 4 minute Orlando to Orlando loop that interrupted a Boca to Orlanda round trip on Sunday the 11th.

161 also tried to fly to Dulles on Sunday. It got diverted by a major storm and spent the night in Charlottesville, before making it to Dulles the following morning.

If the unusual Sunday flights in 161 was a paid customer, the pax must have a tale to tell, what with the Orlando return to base and the unscheduled overnight stay in Charlottesville. Enroute the South Carolina bathroom stop was also diverted, but that could of been pax preference.

expilot said...

BARON,"Eclipse type rating vs BE200 no type rating" "FAA"- BECAUSE WE CAN!

Copernicus said...

My anticipated weekend highlight will be flying in a friend's 2007 Diamond DA40XL with its complete Garmin 1000 system. So he tells me, it will present XM weather, traffic, active terrain; it will accept and execute flight plans including Victor airways; it will commence descents, intercept approaches, fly approaches, fly missed approaches and show Jeppsesen charts on its MFD, with a small purple airplane making procedures turns, holding patterns or whatever is required.

Moreover, he says Diamond told him today that they will begin shipping SVT June 1 and he is on the list so I will be going again in a month and flying through the SVT boxes and landing on a virtual runway (on the screen) while the real airplane lands on a real runway. All of this will be in a single engine airplane costing $300,000 brand new.

So gentle readers of this Blog, be reassured that it is possible for a GA company to produce a great product providing a remarkable price/performance value as a result of wisely managing engineering, production, certification and vendor areas AND to earn a profit doing it so as to be a sustainable business providing long term security and support. I fully expect to have a great time experiencing the "personification" of the previous sentence.

Oh, by the way, Diamond has had its tribulations with a significant vendor but I have not heard any public vilification of said vendor or blaming of the vendor, even though such might well be deserved. Diamond, rather, seems to be putting such emotions aside and doing the vendor's job itself without complaining. Who wouldn't want to do business with company?

easybakeplane said...

What a difference a year makes...

News from 2007 EBACE

Ya think there'll be any 200 plane orders this year? Any orders at all?

Anonymous said...

Report on the biz av industry:

“We do not see any new players merging from the carnage of the recent years, although something might be salvageable from Eclipse Aviation,” it concluded.

That pretty much sums it up. I don't think anyone is drinking too much of the cool aid now. The punch bowl must be dry and the effects are starting to wear off. There has been far more criticism published lately than before.

Shane Price said...


Do you think Mr. Fallows will check in here before he writes his next DayJet/Eclipse/VLJ piece?


Thanks for the update. Is it possible the lack of weather radar could explain some of the 'odd' activities of DayJet aircraft?


Send me an email and I'll see what I can dig out for you.


airtaximan said...


thanks for the Dayjet data.

Regarding the flight to DUlles... its remarkable to me, that as soon as Dayjet tries to use the plane for a "jet mission"... a trip probably better suited for a jet than a prop - distance - look what happens.

Keep the bird flying car trips (SATSair wins hands down on price, and no real time savings for the jet speed) and you can't make money.. try to fly a jet trip, and look what happens.

Its downright embarassing.

PS. probably, for an extra 10%-20% more cost, the passenger(s) could have flown a real jet charter, and made it there... and in less than 20% of the trip time.

OK, I'll admit, not really a fair statement - but it it fair to "deliver" this plane?

scratch, scratch...

airtaximan said...

Shane, I don't really care to see the pcis myself... I think everyone should see them.

Can you post them?

Shane Price said...


DayJet are still finding their feet with longer flights. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for the changes. It could be passenger preference, weather (they still don't have full radar remember) fuel burn or just 'because they can'. I think your point about SATAair is a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, for shorter trips, the SR22 makes a lot of sense. However, at some point, DayJet (or something like it) WILL find the sweet spot for small jet services. Probably not with the FPJ after Vern folds his tent and sneaks off into the night, but in some form, somewhere. And I don't think that SR22's will be much fun on longer flights, myself.

When Ryanair started, it was a 'business class only' airline trying to compete with clapped out BAC 111's on the Dublin - London pair. The Ryan family lost almost £10 million (in those days, quite a chunk of change....) before Mick O'Leary was promoted to CEO. He turned the thing upside down, went for oddball pairs to out of the way airports and offered ZERO service. The airline is now bigger than British Airways in terms of passengers and is sitting on a bundle of cash to open new routes.

And they are Boeing's second biggest customer for 737-800's, with over 175 in service out of a total order of 225. All from modest, and loss making, beginnings with BAC 111's....

Pictures are a limitation of this blog site, I'm afraid. You can put a picture up as part of a 'headline' post, but even then it's only one each time.



John said...

Flight 161 diverted to Charlottesville, 5/11/08
Link provided because of the interest expressed in this trip. You have to geolocate the track log to determine Charlottesville was the actual destination.

airtaximan said...

I am not saying smaller jets cannot provide taxi service - in fact there are a lot of smaller jets (light jets) providing taxi service today.

I just don't see the "sweet spot" being very big for an E500. Perhaps its OD pairs of greater than 300 miles and less than 600 miles?

In any case, the props are well suited to eat the lunch of anyone attempting Dayjet's previous business. Light jets will be better for the longer trips, and can go even longer. The cost difference is not worth the $2Billion or so its costing to get into service.

Once you look at the per-seat aspect, the light to VLJ differential in price, makes it sillier. Add a few passengers and the light in less expensive on a per seat basis.

I'd love to hear anyone's idea of the "Sweet spot" for the e500?

Ed's best shot was to replace car trips... after all the ant farmers (maybe they were aunt farmers?) and russian rocket scientists worked for years thinking this up.

Now they have 12 planes in service.
I think it speaks for itself - just my opinion.

gadfly said...

In this time frame, the little jet has had adequate time to “prove” the claims.

“Sweet Spot”? . . . there is no “sweet spot”! The little jet of dreams does not exist.

Produce 200 . . . take it to 2,000 . . . it simply is a figment of someone’s imagination.

Does it fly? . . . Yeh, sort of . . . but not the thing that was promised . . . not even close.

On and on and on . . . this thing could go on for another century . . . with enough money and enough “hype”. But anyone with a “clue” has enough information to get the big picture . . . call it quits and walk away, . . . maybe a “poorer” man, but a little bit wiser.

And maybe not!


“Will miracles never cease!” . . . a kid in today’s news toasted a piece of bread and saw a vision . . . he should sell it to one of the little jet’s customers . . . he’ll make a fortune.

chickasaw said...


The whole attitude at Diamond is different than FPJ. I have noticed that good attitudes, and a good business ethic at the top find their way to the shop floor where the payoff happens. It seems to be a rather obvious cause and effect, but one that is rarely pulled off.

I think that it will come to pass that the tribulations at the significant vendor will prove to be a "blessing in disguise".

baron95 said...

Shane Price said ... Prop driven planes up to 12,500 pounds don't require a type rating, The reason is that the systems and procedures are generic in nature. Above 12,500 pounds, the systems and procedures are getting to be unique to each plane.

Shane, with all due respect to your experienced pilot friend, the coments above are simply regurgitating the FAA reasoning. Unfortunatelly it is completely outdated and simply stupid. It never really made sence, it makes even less today.

The FAA should simply look at every plane being type certificated and determine is a type rating is required. If one is neemed required, it should be to the certificate holder's standards (private, commercial, ATP).

Just to show you how WRONG the FAA and your friend are, looke at some examples:

P51 Mustang (flown experimental) - 11,600lbs MTOW, 425KTAS, 30K ceiling, very complex systems, tons of P-factor, tail whell - FAA thinks no type-rating needes. If you can fly a cub, you can fly a P51. STUPID!!!!

D-Jet - under 5,000 lbs MTOW, 330KTAS, 25Kft ceiling, same avionics as a DA40 - need an ATP-standards type rating even to fly no passengers, VFR. RIDICULOUS.

BE200 - 12,500 lbs GW, 300KTAS, 8 pax+, 2 x 1,000 HP turboprob engines, autofeather systems, AC and CD busses, remote avionices, presurized (manual systems on some), FIKI, 30Kft ceileing, high approach speeds - No type rating required to fly 8 Part 135 PAX in haed IFR. DUMB!!!!

To even imply that the propulsion method (turbo-jet, turbofan) and weight (12,500 - plus granted exemptions) should be the only factors to require a type rating, and to force all type ratings to be to ATB standards is just bad thinking.

The thing is that the FAA has started to recognize this in the sports pilot/sports aircraft end of the spectrum. Using multiple criteria (max cruise speed, max stall speed, mas number of seats, max take-off weight, day-light-only, VFR only, fixed gear, etc) it greatly simplified pilot requirements. Same should apply for VLJs.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


P-51 requires a Letter of Authorization from FAA to fly, essentially the same as a Type Rating.

The King Air's do not compare to the Jets in terms of altitude or speed performance, although the systems complexity I agree is similar and I know of one jet instructor who is convinced jets are easier to fly than most props.

The best example of what you are saying is my favorite, the Piaggio Avanti II, which has jet speeds (400kts/MMo 0.7), jet range (1800nm), jet altitude (FL410) and jet systems (ProLine 21 EFIS, FMS 3000 FMS, AHS 3000 AHRS).

The real issue is that you are extremely unlikely to see an owner flown Avanti II, but there are many people with the interest in flying and the resources to purchase the SEJ's, VLJ's and the Premie Jet - people who may not have the requisite experience and skills, people who will be stepping up from Barons, Bonanzas, P210's and dinged up 340's. THAT is the difference IMO and I believe the FAA is on target with the current approach.

John said...

2 new SDR reports--
Display fails after 64 hours on 152DJ, and a wheel blows out on touchdown for 139DJ

SN 71-- 152DJ Time 127 Cycles 147
Time: 64 Cycles: 79


S/N 54 139DJ Time 124 Cycles 158

Gunner said...

Subpoena Update:

The judge in CA will be issuing his general thoughts on Thursday afternoon in advance of a preliminary hearing set for Friday morning.

Norman Malinsky will be attending from our side. Our friends in ABQ have evidently decided their CA counsel is not up to the challenge and have dispatched the "big guns" from New Mexico.

One possible result:
The Judge summarily throws out the subpoena and Vern calls Karen (finally) to explain why he feels an appeal to a judge's support of the First Amendment is in order.

Other results are, of course, possible. But none quite as much fun as the one envisioned above. Vern, you really are such a tool!


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Couple interesting thoughts:

16% of the next 25 deliveries WERE to have been DayJet planes (S/N's 199, 200, 201 and 202).

Dayjet not only won't likely be needing those 4 planes, nor the 16 planes they are offering for sale or lease - they will not be needing the 200 'orders', nor 70 FLOPTIONS they were expected to take delivery of over the next year or two, let alone the other 1100 FLOPTIONS they had 'committed to'.

Eclipse has averaged 2.3 plane 'deliveries' per week since December of '06, so about 2 of the next 6 or so weeks of production now have no customer.

Pogo had previously announced plans to acquire 25 500's by end of '09 (that's next year), with up to 115 by the end of 2011. Pogo recently shelved it's IPO bid and will probably not be buying those planes.

The failure of these 2 customers represent almost 1500 of the claimed 2500 'orders' that Eclipse has claimed since before '06.

That is a solid 60% of the ENTIRE claimed order book.

Looking back, Eclipse has essentially claimed 2,000+ orders since September of '02. Since then, Eclipse has lost Nimbus (10 'firm' orders, 990 'floptions'), Aviace (12 'firm' orders, 100 'floptions'), Pogo for a combined 115, and now DayJet (211 'firm' orders remaining, 1,400 'floptions').

Taking the apparent 170-200 deliveries already made, from the remaining 1000 'orders', means there are only about 800 'orders' and 'floptions' remaining to be filled, TOTAL.

Eclipse was claiming earlier this year they would deliver over 400 planes this year, 800 next year.

FAA has repeatedly claimed about 400-600 TOTAL VLJ's expected to be added to the registration every year.

Eclipse has claimed, repeatedly, they need at least 500 per year to break even. Literally they need 100-120% of the ENTIRE projected market justto break even, let alone begin to provide an ROI on say $1.5B.

No matter how you look at it, it simply does not make sense.

ASPCNDA Disclaimer - No NDA's were harmed in the forming of this opinion/satire. Any scene's appearing to place NDA's in jeopardy were simulated.

airtaximan said...


step-1 slow down the ABQ non-manufacturing facility
step-2 ramp up the Russian facility

somewhere in between, announce the con-jet, and another 1,000 orders or so... just to keep the dream (and this blog) alive.

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


ramp-up the russian plant ... ok , but with what money ?

and more importantly = what for ?

as written (so well) by CW , orders are gone in smoke ...

most "big" customers are folding-out ...

and more funnily : the russian rouble is suppose to gain something like 15 /18 % VS US$ till the end of year , making the cost-advantage go-up in smoke as well ...

russian wages are rocketing , a friend of mine , director of a foreign firm in moscow had to make a deal with his staff = 10% automatic rise every 3 months , just to try to keep them (he was fed-up of constantly having to train new crew ...the job market is really frenzy !)

on top of it : i really doubt there is ANY customers in Russia , still no EASA for the months coming ...

so what is left ?

the core buyers in the US , making shipment to buyer more costly , on a margin which don't even exist anymore , making the firm loosing even more money ... for each plane that would be produced in Russia ...

without a SINGLE guarantee the Russian authorities are going to allow the FPJ to fly to USA on whatever reg.number ...

about nothing , a bunch of waiting and nervous guys wishing for theirs birds ...
the 500/year break point is clearly gone ...

remind me of my old dog... i loved him very much ... but with ageing process the pain he was going thru was terrible ... the best way i found to love him at one point was to kill him ....

who's gonna do the same with EA ?

Shane Price said...


This blog has a life of its own, even WITHOUT Vern's little FPJ.

The following hit the inbox ( on 'how not to blow your tires', from a chap who watches us from a distance....

The following is my technique. If everybody does it this way nobody would blow tires.

1. On base leg flaps takeoff 115 kts.

2. After turning final. Flaps landing, Vref + 10 KTS, and trim so that there is no pressure. Get established on glidepath.

3. Once established on glide path and on speed, keep the runway numbers in one section of the windshield. Keep it there with power. If you get a little high, reduce some power. If you get low, add some power. Guess what, the speed will stay real close to Vref + 10.

4. Once you get lower to the runway, look to the other end of the runway. And when landing is assured slowly reduce power to idle.

5. Looking at the other end of the runway gives you two visual cues. First, your height above the runway. Second, your centerline alignment. Start your landing flare about 5 to 10 feet above the runway. Your engines should be at idle. Just try to keep the plane off the runway as long as possible, and you will touch down on your main wheels. As the airspeed decreases the nose will drop. Keep the nose off of the runway as long as possible. When the nose wheel touches down, continue to use up elevator. This keeps the mainwheels firmly into the runway for proper braking action.

6. Apply the brakes in a normal fashion, using constant pressure, with no pedal pulsing. Just like pulling up to a stop sign.

7. Once you have slowed to a safe taxi speed, you may exit the runway.

I spent over 4500 hours teaching people how to fly about 75 different planes. Except for a few things, there isn't much of a difference.

You can use my landing technique part to help other pilots. They can also use the great books written by William K. Kershener as a reference.

Pretty sound advice, from someone who 'walks the walk and talks the talk' I would venture to suggest.

But hey, whatever does it for you.

The other great thing about the blog, aside from the number of people who post, is the number who don't. I've just been reading up on the MU2, as it seems one of our esteemed media types is going to publish a comparison between this 30 year old turboprop and the FPJ.

And, the way I hear it, the FPJ comes second...

Vern must be delighted with all the extra publicity he's getting in the press recently. I imagine his fellow directors are also very impressed. Way to go Vern, keep up the good work.

For the blog, I mean.


baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

P-51 requires a Letter of Authorization from FAA to fly, essentially the same as a Type Rating.

Not even close. The LOA is simply a pilot's qualification review plus demonstration of safe opperations. For the WWII prop planes it is a VFR only affair. For the single seat fighters like some P51 models, examiner is on the ground and simply observes some TO and landings. There is no IFR and certainly not to ATP standards.

The King Air's do not compare to the Jets in terms of altitude or speed performance,

I don't know why you say that. The BE200 example I used has a max operating altitude of 35K ft for the latest model which is 2 miles higher than the D-Jet and basically the same cruise speeds with much higher Vr and Vrefs.

The best example of what you are saying is my favorite, the Piaggio Avanti II, which has jet speeds (400kts/MMo 0.7), jet range (1800nm), jet altitude (FL410) and jet systems (ProLine 21 EFIS, FMS 3000 FMS, AHS 3000 AHRS).

I agree it is an extreme example, however, the P180 at least has modern avionics and lower Vr and Vref speeds than the big King-airs. Also, the BE200 has a lot of model variations on systems and avionics - just differences training alone, not to mention the fact that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a simulator ride configured exactly like your plane, make it a much more challenging plane.

IMO and I believe the FAA is on target with the current approach.

So you are OK that according to the FAA a P180 Avanti II can be flown for hire without a type rating, but a D-Jet requires an ATP-standard type rating to be flown VFR around the patch? I can't see the logic of it, but maybe it is just me.

If your argument is that the market (i.e. insurance companies, etc) self-regulate, I can accept that. But then what is the point of the FAA type rating requirements as they are? If you are going to regulate something, do it in a way that makes sense.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, my point re: the LOA was that you cannot jump out of a J-3 with a wet ticket or even thousands of hours and legally get in a P-51, training and an LOA are required for even basic day/VFR. The LOA is essentially a Type Rating for aircraft that have no 'Type' hence no available Type Rating.

Yes the King Airs and PC-XII are good performers, but compared to FL510 Gulfstream's, and 400KT+ jets they are not the same level of performance.

As for a 'for-hire' Piaggio, the pilot would at least have to have a Commercial Multi-Instrument to be of any use, the plane would have to be on a 91-K or 135 certificate, and that then requires training, minimum experience, etc., depending on how the Operating Certificate was drawn up - it is to me apples and oranges.

However, the King Airs and PC-XII's and TBM's all have professional training courses that are quite similar to those employed for true type ratings and although not mandated by FAA they are required for insurance purposes.

While there are a few folks who might self-insure a Mooney or a Bonanza, there are far fewer who would choose to do so in a $3M King Air or $6M Piaggio, fly it themselves, and elect NOT to have any training. I think it is a strawman argument.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

Niner Zulu said...
Eclipse will be lucky if they find enough money to survive until Christmas

Hasn't this been written before here in 2006 and again in 2007? Is there a macro that you can hit? ^DBC or something?

The last thing they need to be doing now is sending more lawyers out from New Mexico.

To our comrades in Russia who are reading this blog - what do you think of Vern Raburn wasting the money you just gave him chasing bloggers?

It is unlikely, but it is possible that the lawyers are working on contingency basis.

But there is a simple fix to all of this. Do you guys remember how Eclipse used to have basically all the project milestones on their web site and used to cronicle with pictures and text every accomplishment and next set of tasks?

What happened to all of that?

Lets get back to that. Here is what they need to do
1 - Post every firm order (backed by a deposit) on their website like Boeing and Airbus do. (of course private owners ca elect to have their name ommited and have the order listed as "Individual from Orange County, CA" or "Corporation from Boca Raton, FL" instead).
2 - List target serial number and delivery timeframe for each order.
3 - Post target date, % completed, significant milestones for each major IOU (FIKI, NG+400w, EASA, etc).
4 - Same for Aeromod and AvioNG mod of existing fleet.
5 - Publish audited financial results as if you were a public company.
6 - openup owner's forum for public viewing, or at least have an "open" section of the forum.
7 - Give the serious press (including critics) access to the plane for fligh testing, SIMs, and Vern for interview. Hold a live update webcast with Q&A from hard press.

Do this and Eclipse/Vern can end most speculation overnight.

airtaximan said...


I absolutely agree... problem is, there's no way they will do this - the track record is bad in this regard, it almost makes me think you are Black Tulip.

When they could have provided transparency regarding the orderbook, they did everything possible to mask the reality.

IMagine couching Dayjets 1430 orders/options/floptions (Thanks CW) s 230 plus 70 options...whie at the same time telling the world again and again they had 2500-2700 orders.

At the very least, if they were going to count only 230 plus 70 dayjet "orders+floptions" they should have reduced the total by 1130.. right?

Why are these good enough to count in the total, BUT not good enough to count in the Dayjet orders refered to in all the media.

Ya think they wanted everyone knowing Dayjet was 50% of their orders, or MORE?

The kinda of hoensty and transparency you are looking for will only be foundin a Black Tulip Satire...I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

baron95 said...

it is possible that the lawyers are working on contingency basis.

That works only if there is a reasonable hope for monetary damages from deep pockets.

It is a stupid lawyer who thinks that bloggers are likely to have deep pockets.

This is another reason why this lawsuit is for show. The case is extremely difficult to prove and even if you do, the defendants are unlikely to have assets worth taking.

So, it is clear to me these lawyers are working on an hourly basis and thus they will do whatever uses their time they can charge to the client.

For a change, Vern is being conned.

Random Person #23 said...

So perhaps it’s time to turn the tables a bit.

Suppose for some obscure reason the Google subpoena is granted, and there indeed turns out to be people “on the list” that are NOT under NDA with Eclipse.

Those individuals have clearly had their first amendment rights violated. Their rights to privacy have been violated with NO GUILT, no due process, no opportunity to defend themselves, all based on a simple “wish list” from Eclipse.

This seems like a double edge sward that Eclipse is playing with.

It seems only logical that ONLY IF EVERY SINGLE PERSON disclosed by Google is under NDA with Eclipse, would there be no violation of rights, and Eclipse can walk away from this cleanly. But only if this is the case.

This sounds to me like an excellent opportunity to turn the tables and start to align action for PUNITIVE DAMAGES in anticipation of any non-NDA names that are disclosed.

Based on the severity of the violation, a perfectly appropriate punitive damages amount of about $10 Million PER VIOLATION seems in order. If half of the names disclosed turn out not to be employees or previous employees, this is a cool $140 Million.

Surely there is some attorney out there that would like to help protect the first amendment rights of the people against corporate bullies. As this would be a group effort as opposed to individual efforts, a contingency arrangement would be most appropriate. Say 50% to the attorney and the remaining %50 to those who have been violated.

Gunner might be in the best position to float this by the current attorney to get his thoughts.

(I think everyone should start posting under Random XXXX user names, just to give the attorneys at Eclipse a headache)

airtaximan said...

firm grip, empty bag

eclipso said...

Aerion officials said Tuesday that they have received 40 letters of intent to buy the airplane, each backed by a $250,000 deposit. Forty aircraft would come to more than $3 billion.

"It continues to reinforce that there's clearly a market for that category of airplane," said Brian Barents, vice president of Aerion and former president of Galaxy Aerospace in Fort Worth before that company was sold to Gulfstream Aerospace.

Doesn't this name seem familiar?...

baron95 said...

Random Person #23 said...
So perhaps it’s time to turn the tables a bit.

Those individuals have clearly had their first amendment rights violated.

I'm no constitutional scholar, but exactly what first ammendment right derivative are you claiming was violated here?

Even if the view that a Blog is like a public square and there are broad protections of speech, there is no guarantee of anonimity in a public square. If a crime or civil injury is commited, the police, prosecutors or injured party in tort litigation can seek the identity and depositions of all involved.

For example, it would be perfectly proper for Eclipse so seek the identity of non-NDA bloggers and then take depositions from them as to, for example, their knowledge of the identity of another blogger who might be under NDA.

If you are a participant or witness to an event, prosecutors and tort attourneys can seek your identity and your deposition. ANY DAY. ANY TIME. There is no first ammendment violation here.


Random Person #23 said...

Not quite. Anonymity is interpreted as being protected under the first amendment. Lots and lots of precedence for that. Check prior court cases.

Random Person #23 said...

Oh yeah, and motivation is key. What is Verns stated motivation for attempting to unmask the bloggers in question?

"We're not trying to suppress dissension or criticism," he said. "We're just trying to find out where it's coming from."

"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. "I'm trying to figure out why they make these accusations but don't say who they are."

This is his stated motivation behind the lawsuit. It’s not for the purpose of enforcement of the NDA’s, according to his own words. Need to identify for what purpose? Retaliation? Intimidation?

What would a jury think? That’s all that matters.

Al Petrofsky said...

Hearing re: subpoena set for Friday, June 6

A hearing on the motion to quash Eclipse's subpoena has been set for 10:00 A.M. on Friday, June 6, in San Jose, before Judge Socrates Manoukian. That makes Eclipse's written opposition to the motion due this Friday, May 23. (See CCP 1005(b) and GC 6700(g))

I've added the hearing notice and some other documents to, along with some commentary on the legal issues.

(Hmmm, just as I was about to post this comment, I notice that Gunner wrote above, this morning, that there is "a preliminary hearing set for Friday morning", apparently meaning this Friday, May 23. Are you sure about that? Your attorney would obviously know better than I if there has been some recent change, but as of last Friday, May 16, the folks I talked to at the courthouse (Judge Manoukian's clerk, the motions department, and the records department) were all planning on this motion being heard on June 6.)

Shane Price said...


There is a 'pre trial' hearing this week, which is a useful opportunity for the judge and the lawyers to see if there is some way to settle the case without a full trial.

In other words, is there some way that Vern can wriggle off the hook he swallowed by seeking the identities.

I don't think there is one, but you never know.

I suspect that even IF 'our' motion fails, Vern will not be so keen to continue the search. He's already found out the cost in negative publicity. The longer he continues, the more journalists will queue up to have a go at Eclipse.

Except, of course Captain Zoom.

Ooops, sorry, ladies and gentlemen of the press. Confusing Captain Zoom with a journalist, big mistake on my part....

If there is one thing I've learned in recent past, it's how to annoy the press in the U.S. Have a go at the First Amendment.


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

Article Update on Eclipse
Has this been reported:
"Eclipse owners who had hoped to fly the aircraft have also had a bumpy ride. "We have flunked a significant number of people (in the mandatory type rating course.)" he said. "Some of those people have come back but a lot of people have chosen to hire their own pilots, which is the way we think it should be.""

John said...

NY TIMES article on Dayjet.

Login to NY Times may be required.

Iacobucci's numbers are slightly different than the previously reported values. Members == 1,600 in this iteration of the spin.

Mr. Iacobucci said the “proof of concept” phase is successful. DayJet has about 1,600 members, nearly all of them business travelers, who pay an annual fee to register. About 200 are frequent fliers. “Our average ticket price is in the $600 to $700 range, exactly where we want to be” for flights of less than 300 miles, he said.

Gunner said...

My error.
The hearing is set for June 6th.

Dave said...


Vern keeps on getting wackier and wackier. Vern's latest ranting seems directed towards pilots:
The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up. Putting bells and whistles on board doesn't make it better."

Eclipse owners who had hoped to fly the aircraft have also had a bumpy ride. "We have flunked a significant number of people (in the mandatory type rating course.)" he said. "Some of those people have come back but a lot of people have chosen to hire their own pilots, which is the way we think it should be."

So Vern is now publicly saying pilots are the problem with jets and if anyone is going to fly an Eclipse 500, Vern is reluctantly for professional pilots only. People shell out a good chunk of change to be jet owners and the CEO of the jet manufacturer doesn't even want the owners piloting their own jets. Why do people hand their money over to this guy who treats them with disdain and blames all his problems as CEO on everyone else?

Turboprop_pilot said...

The NYT article was just like many others, outsiders parroting Ed's PR that I wrote the message below to the article's author:


I had a deposit on an Eclipse that I canceled a couple of years ago (I also had a deposit on an Adams A700, putting me on their unsecured creditor list during this year's bankruptcy). I am a member of the eclipse critc's blog ( I do not know if you have looked there but there are deep resources of industry professionals who could provide information on the reality of Dayjets "success" and the suitability of Eclipse for airtaxi.

I'm writing because you are parroting Ed's PR about the sophisticated software, closeness to airline fares, innovator, etc. The true innovator has been Satsair, even quoted in your article with an order of magnitude more flights and pioneering the short haul on demand air taxi business.

There is a much bigger story to be found by someone who wants to dig into the Eclipse/Dayjet story- a vapor filled order book at Eclipse, deliveries and other promises made and continually broken, partially completed jets flying and carrying passengers. There is even a lawsuit by Eclipse against the blog with a preliminary hearing Friday.

On Dayjet, a blog member called Flightcenter has carefully complied all the flights by Dayjet and there are also listings of Service Difficulty Reports filed by Dayjet. Airtaximan is in the charter business and would be a great source of information.

Hope you are interested enough to dig up the real, much more interesting story.


airsafetyman said...

There is an article on the website and also on the Eclipse website, dated May 19,about the company being granted permission to ship parts and airplanes to Russia for the purpose of starting the assembly plant there. This was announced at the EBACE convention in Europe. No word on who will actually certify the Russian-built, er, "assembled" airplanes. Details, details.

Dave said...

There is an article on the website and also on the Eclipse website, dated May 19,about the company being granted permission to ship parts and airplanes to Russia for the purpose of starting the assembly plant there. This was announced at the EBACE convention in Europe. No word on who will actually certify the Russian-built, er, "assembled" airplanes. Details, details.

You see how Eclipse shows their appreciation to the City of Albuquerque, the County of Bernanillo and the State of New Mexico for all the tax benefits, loans, etc they've received...Eclipse goes and ships jobs not just out of the state, but out of the county. It would be good to know how many tens of millions of dollars Eclipse got in government benefits to then be able to blow off the taxpayers. Eclipse should have to answer to the taxpayers to see whether the taxpayers want Eclipse to ship their jobs to Russia.

John said...

Comment on POGO

I've read some comments where the now suspended POGO plan for 50 + 65 optional jets is subtracted from the EA500 order book.

POGO's Registration statement states unequivocably that they have no written agreement to order jets.

While we have not signed any agreement to purchase VLJs, we believe that an arrangement with Eclipse Aviation will be reached that will enable us to acquire 50 VLJs under firm orders involving delivery of 15, 32 and three aircraft in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively, and up to an additional 65 aircraft under purchase options with the purchase price of each aircraft to be based on a published price, subject to consumer price index escalation adjustments. See “Risk Factors—We have not yet finalized aircraft purchase and support service agreements with the manufacturer of the VLJs we intend to use or with the VLJ’s engine manufacturer, and the failure to enter into final agreements will cause significant disruptions in our ability to commence service.”

Source S1/A filing for POGO stock

airsafetyman said...

Vern's decisions are wrong not only in magnitude, but direction as well. Embraer has announced plans for a 51 million dollar assembly plant in.....Melborne, Florida. In all seriousness, maybe some of the people laid-off from DayJet can find employment there.

baron95 said...

Dave said... Eclipse should have to answer to the taxpayers to see whether the taxpayers want Eclipse to ship their jobs to Russia.

The things we read on this blog!!!

Eclipse is running a business. The investors who control the board of directors have one overiding duty - to maximize return on investment. Period. The executives of Eclipse have a duty to the investors to execute in a way to maximize return (or minimize loss in this case).

If the taxpayers of New Mexico, through their elected officials, are dumb enough not to have placed conditions on Eclipse - tough. If they placed conditions and Eclipse complied with them or feels it is better to pay the penalties instead of continuing to comply, so be it.

This is a business - it is not a high school debate project, you know. There is plenty to be critical about at Eclipse - there is no need to make up reasons.

aJust my $.02

baron95 said...

Did you guys miss this gem of a quote from Vern on this article

." also said that he expects the company to "be cash-flow-positive next year."

I wonder how he will manage that. It would require increasing average sales price (believable, since early positions and midnight specials would run out) and decrease build costs by a factor of 50%+ (hard to believe).

baron95 said...

John said...
NY TIMES article on Dayjet.

This NY Times article is a poorly researched joke. Completely innacurate. I stopped reading after this paragraph... "The air taxi business is a relatively new phenomenon. The Air Taxi Association says there are about a dozen companies operating in various regions in the United States."

Oh, well - so much for expecting more of the "top" newsaper in the nation.

Dave said...

There is plenty to be critical about at Eclipse - there is no need to make up reasons.

Sorry, but I don't consider taxpayer waste a made-up reason. If Eclipse truly was a private (as in being neither publicy traded nor leaning on the taxpayers) business, then I'd have less to say about them since it would be only their own money that they're burning rather than taxpayers or teacher's retirements (if they were publicly traded as they've talked about becoming).

By the way with your Vern "cash flow positive" quote, Vern sounds much like SCO CEO Darl McBride:
"We are committed to operating our Unix business on a cash flow positive basis and we will make any necessary adjustments in our business in 2007 to accomplish that. With the combination of our existing Unix business coupled with our new Me Inc mobile products and services, I believe SCO is positioned to see improved results during this fiscal year," he wrote.

Here's what SCO did after they talked about being "cash flow positive":
Darl and Vern have much in common in that they are very good at raising money but not much else.

SCO by the way is where Ed was on the board and ran the litigation committee, which Ed totally got creamed in court by having a string of losing lawsuits.

Dave said...

Fallows still carries on about DayJet:

I do have to credit Ed inventing a new and entertaining business excuse. Blaming things on the weather and whatnot has gotten rather boring, so instead he blames it on simply having too small a network.

Ed does have a very small point, but his "network effect" excuse can only go so far since DayJet is designed to be regional serving those who would otherwise be driving. I guess investors saw through it though and didn't think DayJet would be flooded by customers if they added a few more nodes. It appears to me that the "network effect" should have already kicked in and there just aren't that many people who are interested in what he has to offer.

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

Does anyone know if Eclipse owners are intentionally flunking training so that they can get their money back?

Shane Price said...


It would seem that Eclipse are now playing hardball with their position holders.

No wonder, with a RECORD listing today of 68 FPJ's on 20 of these listing are new in the past 30 days and 10 of these are for 'built' aircraft with serial numbers. That's right folks, 5% of the fleet has gone on the market in the past 30 days.

If you want to 'surrender' your position and get your money back, be prepare to hire a good lawyer. Or so I'm told.

Failing that, hire yourself a type rate pilot. After all, Vern thinks you part time flyers are not suitable material for HIS jet.

Don't believe what those nice salespeople from Eclipse tell you about refunding your deposit...

And did I mention that oil hit $129.60 today? Sorry, I forgot, so I'll repeat it.


Pretty soon, one barrel of oil will buy you one FPJ....


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

I think its normal that the worse the avionics get (in reality) the more pilot training failures we will see.

"we're going to have a very easy to fly, fully integrated cockpit.. probably easier than your Baron or SR22, Mr. Customer".

Yeah, in your dreams.

Now with the reality of the avionics sinking in, I'm sure the insurance companies are chiming in.

Imagine being sold a "personal jet" only to have to hire a professional pilot???

Heck perhaps they are trying to make more Dayjet customers? If you NEED a professional pilot, why not just go Dayjet? Sounds like a new slogan to me. Maybe another 700 or so Dayjet customers in the making?

Imagine asking for your money back - SORRY... we have no money for that. Take your plane home, and hire a pilot or put it on Controller - like everyone else.

Vive la revolutione!

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

Baron95 said:
"The investors who control the board of directors have one overiding duty - to maximize return on investment. Period."

Yep and they're doing one helluva job at it too.

[insert rolleyes icon here]

smartmoves said...

Any update/further comments on the NATCA grievance? Does it have any teeth?

baron95 said...

Dave said ...Sorry, but I don't consider taxpayer waste a made-up reason.

What exactly are you claiming that Eclipse has done that is illegal or unethical in regards to the tax breaks, investments and other assistance they got from New Mexico.

You know, the state of New Mexico has professional investment managers, lawyers, etc handling their investments. It is not an old lady that got dupped into investing the money in the kettle.

I think you should be faulting the state of New Mexico, not Eclipse. Failing in a high-risk business venture is not illegal, immoral, unethical. In fact it is the engine driving the US economy, from SW to PCs to biotech to aerospace. Trying to recover from a failure (e.g. moving production elsewhere) is not illegal or imoral either.

baron95 said...

Dave said... Dave said...
Does anyone know if Eclipse owners are intentionally flunking training so that they can get their money back?

Why would you even think that? Flunking the type rating is NOT an escape clause from the purchase contract or deposit.

If the current buyers taking delivery (with sales prices in the $1M-$1.2M range can't find a buyer on the spot for their plane at that price, then there is not hope for Eclipse of selling a new one for $1.6M.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Random thoughts...

Cirrus is now offering a $40K option for a "panic switch" on the SR22. The Garmin Perspective integrated cockpit option "can recover the aircraft from an attitude of 75 degrees of roll and 50 degrees of pitch, even if they occur simultaneously."

No word on whether Garmin is also developing a similar product for Eclipse position holders whose life goes sideways when Vern calls next week, asking for a progress payment on S/N 700 or so.



Damn, too late: Pilatus has named the latest version of their big beautiful single the PC-12 NG.

The flight deck has been redesigned by BMW Group, with Honeywell Primus Apex avionics. The new name should have no adverse effect on tire carcass integrity.

Would you like the combo?

baron95 said...

And then there were two.

With Cirrus announcement of a $48K Garmin 1000 option, which I predict will be ordered by 100% of buyers (like it happenend with Columbia), that leaves just Piper and Eclipse as the mannufacturers offering sub $3M advanced IFR aircraft without G1000. Piper is already offering G1000 on some models and it is only time till they offer on all.

Eclipse, I am afraid is locked out. [PC12NG and King-Air 90 should also have chosen G1000, but they are expensive enough to go Apex and Pro Line 21, being both above $3M]

Another Eclipse, shall we say singularity!

fred said...

this sounds more and more funny ...

Q:"who is going to certify the plant in Russia ? "

A : first build it , then look for what you can do with it ...

Vern's declaration : we are going to be cash positive next year :

at a time where the 1er/2nd (rank doesn't really matter , Airbus) is clearly thinking very straight into the possibility of having several plants set-up in USA to become costs-competitive (due to €/$ spread) , the revolutionary FPJ builder want to move out ??

A: either one of the biggest manufacturer has gone nuts or vern is (once again) building an american dream on a russian cloud !!

if (like EA pretends ) so many European customers are waiting for the privillege of getting a FPJ , why go in a country where worker's costs can only go up ? in a country notoriously known for bureaucratic idioty ? with a completely new language to master ? (about 8% of russians have some knowledge of english , most aren't really able(or willing) to work IN english !!)

the only sensible move that can be = build the bird in USA (to benefit from US$ falling) sell it into countries where "harder" (whatever can be the meaning of "harder") currency make the buy painless ...

not at all the opposite !!

on the article from : it is related from a declaration made to Aweb ...

that sounds very much like an old joke about the first canadian immigrants =

When jacques Cartier discovered the St.Laurent , some of his crew set-up setlement ...
the first year they had no idea of the strength of winter ...
so one had the idea to ask Native Indians ...
The chief of a tribe told them "this winter is going to be cold "
they went back to settlement
and started to pill-up wood for the fire ...

they went back to the chief to ask for more advices , the chief said "this next winter VERY cold !"

so they went back to settlement to pill-up even more wood ...

the chief came to visit the new immigrants and told them "this next winter VERY VERY cold !"

some peoples from settlement started to voice their concerns as "is it really making sens to stay in a place where winter are so deadly cold?"

one had the idea to ask the Native Chief on "HOW" he knew about the next winter ...

the Chief answered : "very simple , i look at white man : if he is cutting wood , next winter very cold !!!"

this is exactly what it sounds to me ... report declarations made to another website , on plant (supposed) build next door from them ...

it is an other story of "the man who have seen the man who have seen the man who have ... who hunted the beast !!"

just a very good example of medias spin !!

John said...

Vern interview
Flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) trials on the aircraft in Juneau, Alaska, are now complete. “We finished all testing last week with the FAA on board,” said Raburn. “There are some minor modifications required, which all aircraft from serial number 121 now have and we expect FIKI certification some time in the next two weeks.”

Dave said...

You know, the state of New Mexico has professional investment managers, lawyers, etc handling their investments. It is not an old lady that got dupped into investing the money in the kettle.

The professional advisor to the NM SIC is part of the culture of corruption rather than just being an excuse for what has happened. Sun Moutain Capital - the state's investment advisor - advises the state to go along with their own deals such as Eclipse aviation:
This is part of what makes this so serious (and Sun Mountain advising the state on its own deals is violation of the NM SIC's rules if not the law) and why it should be investigated beyond what a blogger can do behind a computer. From what I can see virtually every single one of Sun Mountain's portfolio companies got funded the NM SIC and that doesn't just smell - it reeks.

I think you should be faulting the state of New Mexico, not Eclipse.

It's not mutually exclusive. If you join and actively participate in a culture of corruption, you too become corrupt.

Failing in a high-risk business venture is not illegal, immoral, unethical

I agree completely, but this isn't just private money at hand, in which case it wouldn't be much of a big deal. However, can you positively state that there is absolutely no influence that Vern bought with Sun Mountain Capital to influence taxpayer funds? Can you positlvely state that in the ongoing analysis of Eclipse that the advisor's own investment in Eclipse did not affect the advice received by the State? Additionally, showing that Eclipse is an active participant in the culture of corruption, Eclipse has given campaign contributions to NM SIC fiduciaries such as the Treasurer, the Commissioner of Public Lands and the Governor, which again this is a violation of NM SIC policies if not the law.

In many instances involving Eclipse there is an appearance of impropriety just with what can be obtained right off the internet. I think it should be investigated more to see if even more appearances of impropriety in New Mexico have occured if not impropriety itself such as outright payoffs and other such illicit dealings where such evidence is less easily obtained. You can argue that giving contributions to fiduciaries isn't illegal (which I don't know whether or not it is actually illegal), but to me it looks definitely immoral and unethical and it calls all sides who where involved (Eclipse, Sun Mountain and the NM SIC fiduciaries) into question and this is further exacerbated by NM SIC advisor engaged in heavy self-dealing and I simply wouldn't buy that Vern didn't know about it because as you point out these aren't little old ladies we are talking about.

Dennis said...


I've seen a live powerpoint presentation by the author of the MU2 vs Eclipse article soon to be published. Neither "wins". There are advantages for each depending on the mission. The author decided to stay with his MU2 because it fit his mission better. He identified mission profiles that suited the Eclipse better. He also identified many subjective factors (aircraft age, prop vs jet, complexity, required pilot skill and training, viability of continued support) that could sway a potential buyer one way or the other depending on the individual. I was satisfied that his approach was balanced, and his review helped me focus my own thinking about what aircraft would meet my needs/wants.


"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. "I'm trying to figure out why they make these accusations but don't say who they are."

I do work at your place, and I do have a NDA. But I’m leaving next week to work for a company that has management that listens to experienced people on the floor. For the last year I have seen the Management on the floor come and go like the ABQ wind. They got fed up with the BS like all before them. Curtis, Andrew Smith, Brian Barnes, and Randy Moon, The list goes on and on and on. There is one thing I must make clear to you and your leads and your supervisors. YOU CANT INSTALL HUCK CLINCH RIVETS WITH CHERRY MAX GUNS. The Rep from HUCK has told you guys this and so has the Rep from TEXTRON/CHERRY MAX (a TEXTRON Company ) But you guys still do this, WHY, WHY, WHY. We get tired of replacing the loose rivets when the airframe get to us up in SP 2 (SUNPORT 2) If we don’t find them or nobody checks, them only thing holding them in is PAINT after the plane gets painted. STOP THE INSANITY! I say your statement in AVIATION BIZZ NEWS, You said that “ THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE WAS HIRING ALL THESE SO CALL AVIATION EXPERTS AND EXPERIENCED AVIATION WORKERS” To that I say FUCK YOU MATE! You where nothing but a COPY MACHINE REPAIR GUY when you got on at MICROSOFT.

I would just like to say GOOD LUCK to you in ABQ, and to all the guys that are fixing all the F**K UP’s and all the REWORK in Gainesville, FL and in Albany, NY (SERVICE CENTERS). You guys have your work cut out for you during VERNS new plan. ( OPERATION HIDE OUT)

1. No time was wasted during my life wile posting on this blog. 2. This is inside knowledge and is not a lie at all. 3. No need to figure out who I am, I plan to stop buy you office to see you and Peg before I leave and to tell you what a pleasure it has been learning how NOT to build an aircraft. I will see if you really do have that so called OPEN DOOR Policy

AND FINALLY. YES, an NDA was butchered and violated during this post, WAIT A SECOND! I’m a contractor and I never signed one. SWEEEEEEEET! I didn’t really care about it anyway.