Monday, June 16, 2008

ECLIPSE AVIATION ANNOUNCES CREW MONITOR SYSTEM


Albuquerque, NM – June 16, 2008 – Developers of the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet released information today on a revolutionary pilot monitoring device. It is part of a system announced by the company last October.

Eclipse is the only aircraft manufacturer to have received FAA approval for its Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program. Using the aircraft’s highly-integrated avionics; key aircraft, flight and crew parameters are collected, forwarded to Albuquerque headquarters and analyzed. FOQA is used by most major airlines to conduct trend analysis, find aircraft design issues and detect pilot training deficiencies.

President Vern Raburn commented, “We promised to bring you a world-class flight operation strategy using next-generation integrated avionics and data collection systems. We identified a proprietary method of extending this from the aircraft to the crew. We knew we could collect the ‘vital signs’ of the aircraft so why not monitor the pilots?”

Raburn added modestly, “Actually I came up the idea. There’s an old expression in aviation. If a pilot gets into real trouble, then soon he will be ‘picking buttons off the seat.’ I consulted the aeromedicine experts at the Lovelace Foundation here in Albuquerque. They confirmed there is more to this than a sophomoric joke.”

“Thus Eclipse developed and produced the world’s first biosensor for airman physiological and psychological parameters. Disguised as the center upholstery button on the pilot and copilot’s seat, the sophisticated device is actually a miniature strain gauge, and three-axis accelerometer and attitude sensor… about the size of the end of your thumb. We call it the Vernometer… rhymes with odometer.

“Since deliveries began, we installed these in all two hundred Eclipse 500 aircraft and they have provided very important data for the FOQA program. We decided not to announce the existence of these sensors in accordance with our very strict non-disclosure rules for the protection of proprietary information. We act in the best interest of our customers and investors, and had planned to keep this a trade secret. However, we are unveiling this revolutionary invention as a result of a recent minor incident in Illinois.”
Raburn continued, “We have a central monitoring station that displays the output of all four hundred Vernometers, two per plane. I happened to be looking at the monitor when the red annunciator began flashing for a pilot landing an Eclipse at Midway airport. It signaled simultaneous gluteus maximus and sphincter overloads - something we’ve never seen before. Turns out the pilot mishandled the throttles and had to go-around at full power, and then land power off. It ain’t no big deal; the Space Shuttle takes off wide-open and lands power-off all the time.”

“Our full analysis of the FOQA data revealed that the plane worked to design and certification standards, but the crew overreacted and started pushin’ and pullin’ too hard on them levers… it ain’t a tractor, you know. Anyhow… we’re glad everyone is safe. After landing, as the pilot was leaving the aircraft, he noticed that he’d pinched a button right off the seat. Instead of seeing a piece of thread on the seat cushion, he observed the signal cable trailing from the biosensor button and gave us a call. We decided this would be an auspicious time to announce another example of disruptive technology from Eclipse Aviation.”

Raburn concluded, “We’ve always planned on capitalizing on our unparalleled success in aviation by translating it into other fields. Take the large central monitoring capability we’ve built or the FOQA project. It’s a massive commitment in secure facilities, terabit servers, backup power and hundreds of technicians and operators. I’m pleased to announce that Eclipse has won a sole-source contract to control more than two hundred million refrigerators in the United States. We turn the light on or off in your refrigerator based on a signal from opening or closing the door, transmitted to our central station, and a signal sent back to the lamp. That’s technology transfer at its best. Take it from Vern… it ain’t nuthin’ unless it’s disruptin’.”


In case you have not been a regular reader, Black Tulip is our 'official satirist'. And, as usual, there is a germ of truth in what he says. After all, how can Vern be so certain it's always the pilots' fault, unless he knows something we don't.....
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

259 comments:

1 – 200 of 259   Newer›   Newest»
FreedomsJamtarts said...

That was as Martha FOQA of a posting Dark Flower! I nearly wet my biosensor :)

fred said...

satire ??

not really ... not really , if the mention of black-tulip wouldn't be made at the end ...

some could think , it is only the last few months/years starting all-over again ...! ;-))

as they are "that shameless" ...

fred said...

beside :

i am wondering why a "lobby-the-market" thing from California issued the last "press release"

(if you can call this press , i think it is garbage-marketing !hope they are not getting paid too much , waste of money , again ...)

is that because of the last "World class court action" ?

is it because they want to have someone to stop the fire when rebuttal from court ?

is it a new strategy at having professionals (so to say) at touting the news ?

(if any can call that news!)

i just love their wording ...

unfortunately : a low quality product isn't getting any greater if you only change its name ...!

airtaximan said...

I thought you were going to say that the terrabytes of storage and monitoring equipment were to be used supporting Google's Blogger...

tsk, tsk...

thanks for this!

Orville said...

This from AVweb today:

"Eclipse apparently moved quickly, too, and reports indicated all the aircraft were in compliance within a day of the AD's issuance"

Reports from whom? How can anyone make this statement? Maybe the FOQA sensors are for real.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I wonder how many A/C are grounded due to failing the the throttle stop test, and are waiting for a new quadrant which they can then test.

Orville said...

Reminds me of the directions on a shampoo bottle...

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Install new throttle quadrant, test, repeat.

Shane Price said...

"Eclipse apparently moved quickly, too, and reports indicated all the aircraft were in compliance within a day of the AD's issuance"

Bladerdash....

Reliable sources, from several points of the compass, tell me that many were still AOG on Sunday.

That would be four days after the AD.

As usual, EAC invent stories to cover the uncomfortable truth. This aircraft and the company that 'builds' it, are real world candidates for the Darwin Award.

Shane's Practical Advice for the day. Try not to be in an FPJ when the application ceremony takes place....

Shane

AvidPilot said...

"Eclipse apparently moved quickly, too, and reports indicated all the aircraft were in compliance within a day of the AD's issuance"

Orville makes a good point.

Who supplied this information to Avweb? We are to believe someone at Eclipse called all 200+ owners, got them the information they needed to test their quadrant correctly, and collected the results....all within 24 hours after issuance of the AD?

No one was on vacation? Everyone was able to get to their planes and perform the procedure? Everyone reported back to Eclipse?

Who knows, maybe they are telling the truth. Maybe Eclipse got the word out early, befoer the AD. But even so, people take vacations, they're out of town, they're not always available immediately - for any number of reasons.

It just sounds fishy, par usual.

Shane Price said...

And I meant 'Balderdash'

Not 'Bladerdash', which on second thoughts is pretty good too.

And for the record, it would seem as if all 16 DayJet 'positions' have been sold. Good news for Vern, if it were not for those pesky folks over the NTSB.

Or the FAA.

Or even...

eclipscriticng.blogspot.com

Not that I'd be 'blowin' our own trumpet', you understand!

Shane

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip,

I almost forgot. Shame on ME...

Thank you, on behalf of the blog, for another excellent effort. A true demonstration of the finer arts.

Shane

Orville said...

FWIW - I can tell you that according to the post from 'epilot', he had not yet tested his throttle quadrant as of June 13 @ 5:53pm. I'm sure he, 421 and a few others could weigh in:

While certainly not a scientific test I'll try to get a good feel for 30 lbs using a scale then try to duplicate that then double that on the throttles to see what happens.

June 13, 2008 5:53 PM

epilot said...

Orville, where did you find the quote from AVWeb? I can't find it on their site.

epilot said...

nvm, I found it. I think they just misquoted. The Eclipse press release states, "As of this morning, all fleet operators using the Eclipse 500 already have complied with the AD inspection requirement."

Black Tulip said...

epilot,

You suggested I remind you to send in your Eclipse 500 model to Jeppesen:

ACModels@jeppesen.com

They ask that you specify basic or advanced FliteStar model in your email.

airtaximan said...

epilot,

yu know, compliance with the inspection requirement just means you don't fly planes before you inspect them and insert the pages...right?

Not flying is complying.

forest said...

From State of NM public database:
-------------------
INDEX OF MINUTES
STATE INVESTMENT COUNCIL
April 22, 2008

OLD BUSINESS
Mr. Harris asked how Eclipse Aviation was faring.
Mr. Bland stated that they are getting outside investments and are producing jets.
Mr. Kulka said Eclipse is meeting its target rate of 20 or so planes per month.

-----------------------------

Observations...

The SIC is clearly in CYA mode and most likely reads the blog.

When did EAC publish their target rate was "20 or so" (240/yr) planes a month as stated above?

It appears as if EAC has been telling other investors/customers, including the Russians that their goals were far above 20/month by Apr 08. Customers/investors replied on representations made EAC before investing.

mountainhigh said...

From ASRS Database (public):
[Output from database in all caps]
------

Time / Day
Local Time Of Day : 1201 To 1800
Date : 200805
Place
Locale Reference.Navaid : ZZZ.VOR
State Reference : US
Altitude.MSL.Single Value : 22000
Altitude.MSL.Bound Upper : 22280
Environment
Flight Conditions : VMC
Light : Daylight
Aircraft : 1
Controlling Facilities.ARTCC : ZZZ.ARTCC
Operator.General Aviation : Corporate
Make Model Name : Eclipse 500
Operating Under FAR Part : Part 91
Flight Phase.Climbout : Intermediate Altitude
Flight Plan : IFR
Component : 1
Aircraft Component : Autopilot
Component : 2
Aircraft Component : Normal Brake System
Person : 1
Affiliation.Company : Corporate
Qualification.Pilot : ATP
Qualification.Pilot : Commercial
Qualification.Pilot : Instrument
Qualification.Pilot : Multi Engine
Experience.Flight Time.Last 90 Days : 300
Experience.Flight Time.Total : 8000
Events
Anomaly.Aircraft Equipment Problem : Critical
Assessments
Problem Areas : Aircraft
Primary Problem : Aircraft
Narrative
DURING CLB AUTOPLT FAILED, CLBED THROUGH ALTITUDE BY 280 FT TO APPROX ALT OF 22280 FT. WE CAUGHT PROBLEM AND WERE CORRECTING WHEN ATC ASKED OUR ALT WHICH WAS RPTED AT 22200 FT AT THAT POINT IN TIME. EA500 ECLIPSE JET HAS HAD NUMEROUS ISSUES WITH THIS AND OTHER AUTOMATED SYSTEMS FAILURES ON THE OLD AVIO SYSTEM AND SAYS AVIO NG WILL FIX ISSUES. ON A PRIOR FLT WE EXPERIENCED 6 WARNING MSGS AT ONCE, THEY WERE: 1. RIGHT ENGINE OIL TEMP OVERHEAT 2. STICK PUSHER FAILURE 3. AIRSPEED DISAGREEMENT 4. TRIM FAILURE 5. AUTOPILOT YAW DAMPER FAILURE 6. HEADING DISAGREEMENT. OUR INITIAL CONCERN AT THE TIME WAS THE OIL TEMP OVERHEAT WHICH WE WERE ATTENDING TO WHEN WITHIN SECONDS ALL THE OTHER WARNING WENT OFF AS WE WERE DSNDING OUT OF FL230 TO 15000 FT. SINCE OUR ATTENTION WAS ON THE OIL TEMP WE DID NOT NOTICE THAT THE AUTOPLT HAD DISENGAGED AS WELL AND BLEW THROUGH OUR ALTITUDE OF 15000 FT TO APPROX 13800 FT. DURING EARLIER FLT BRAKE SYSTEM WAS MUSHY UPON EXTENDING GEAR. PUMPED BRAKES THREE TIMES TO STIFFEN BRAKES WHICH IS A NORMAL ROUTINE PROC BEFORE LNDG. BRAKES DID NOT STIFFEN AND REMAINED MUSHY. PIC ADVISED SIC AS PART OF PRE-LNDG BRIEFING TO KEEP FEET OFF THE BRAKES DUE TO PAST PROBLEMS INVOLVING THIS AND OTHER EA50 ACFT. UPON LNDG R MAIN LOCKED UP ON TOUCHDOWN BLOWING TIRE. WE WERE ABLE TO STEER THE ACFT CLEAR OF THE RWY. ARPT OPS RPTED SKID MARKS AT THE BEGINNING OF TOUCHDOWN TO THE TXWY WE TURNED OFF AT, THAT WERE NOT THERE DURING EARLIER RWY INSPECTIONS THAT DAY. BRAKES AND TIRES HAVE BEEN A MAJOR ISSUE WITH THE EA50, ALONG WITH OTHER NUMEROUS AUTOMATION AND FALSE/REAL WARNING FAILURES. THE EA50 HAS A LOT OF GREMLINS AND CAN BE SOMEWHAT DISCOMFORTING TO FLY. ECLIPSE KEEPS SAYING THAT ALL THE ISSUES WILL BE FIXED WITH THE NEW AVIO NG. IN THE MEAN TIME IT SEEMS WE ARE TEST PLTS FOR THIS ACFT AND HAVE TO STRUGGLE NOT TO FILE A NASA RPT EVERY TIME WE FLY THE ACFT.

CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: IN ADDITION TO THE PROBLEMS REFERENCED IN HIS RPT, THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN PROBLEMS WITH BLEED AIR OVER TEMPS, FLAP MALFUNCTIONS, AND CRACKED WINDSHIELDS. ALL THIS IN 100 HOURS OF FLYING. THE MANUFACTURER CLAIMS THAT THE UPDATED AVIONICS SYSTEM WILL SOLVE MANY OF THE PROBLEMS. THIS SYSTEM IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR RETROFIT AT THIS WRITING AND WILL NOT CORRECT THE WINDOW, BRAKE, AND FLAP PROBLEMS.
Synopsis
EA50 PLT HAS ALT DEV CAUSED BY AUTOPLT MALFUNCTION THEN EXPERIENCES LNDG WITH LOCKED BRAKES. OTHER AUTOMATION ISSUES ARE REFERENCED.

----------

Yep, this is some airplane! Quite disruptive.

Anyone think Avio NG has fixed all the above mentioned issue?

epilot said...

BT,
I sent it in this morning.

ATM,
I hadn't thought about that. You are correct. Not flying is complying with the AD.

mountainhigh said...

Time / Day
Local Time Of Day : 1201 To 1800
Like this one too! Beta testing continues.
[Source: public ASRS database.]
----------------
Date : 200803
State Reference : FL
Altitude.MSL.Single Value : 22500
Environment
Flight Conditions : VMC
Light : Daylight
Aircraft : 1
Operator.General Aviation : Personal
Make Model Name : Eclipse 500
Operating Under FAR Part : Part 91
Navigation In Use.Other : FMS or FMC
Flight Phase.Cruise : Level
Flight Plan : IFR
Component : 1
Aircraft Component : Autoflight Yaw Damper
Person : 1
Experience.Flight Time.Last 90 Days : 110
Experience.Flight Time.Total : 2690
Experience.Flight Time.Type : 250

Events
Anomaly.Aircraft Equipment Problem : Less Severe
Narrative
WHILE CRUISING AT FL270 IN THE VICINITY OF SZW VOR, THE FOLLOWING ACFT SYS CAS MESSAGES APPEARED ALL AT THE SAME TIME: YAW DAMPER FAIL, AUTOPLT FAIL, AND STICK PUSHER FAIL CAS. THE YAW DAMPER INOP REQUIRED A DSCNT TO BELOW FL200 AND WE PROMPTLY REQUESTED FL190. WE WERE CLRED TO FL240 AND TO EXPECT FL190 BUT WE DSNDED BELOW THAT BECAUSE FL190 HAD BEEN SELECTED BY THE PF IN THE ALT SELECT. CTR CAUGHT IT WHEN WE WERE DSNDING OUT OF FL230 AND THEY HAD US LEVEL AT FL220. MY FUNCTION ON THIS FLT WAS TO MENTOR A NEWLY RATED PLT. THE CAUSE OF THIS DEV WAS THE DISTR OF TRYING TO COMPLETE 3 NON NORMAL PROCS WHILE DSNDING AND COMMUNICATING WITH ATC AND I DID NOT CATCH THE FACT THAT 190 HAD BEEN SET IN THE ALT SELECT. IF I HAD TO DO THIS ONE OVER I WOULD HAVE ADVISED ATC THE REASON FOR THE LOWER ALT REQUEST AND THAT MIGHT HAVE TRIGGERED ADDITIONAL AWARENESS ON ALL OF OUR PARTS. SUPPLEMENTAL INFO FROM ACN 777654: WHILE CRUISING AT FL270 IN THE VICINITY OF SZW VOR THE FOLLOWING ACFT SYS CAS MESSAGES APPEARED AT THE SAME TIME: YAW DAMPER FAIL, AUTOPLT FAIL, AND STICK PUSHER FAIL. THE YAW DAMPER INOP REQUIRED A DSCNT TO BELOW FL200 AND WE IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED FL190. I WAS HAND-FLYING THE PLANE AND ONLY HEARD THE CLRED TO FL190 AND MISSED THE FL240 AND EXPECT FL190 AND SELECTED FL190 IN THE ALT SELECTION FUNCTION. CTR CAUGHT OUR DSCNT BELOW FL240 WHEN WE PASSED FL230 AND ASKED US TO LEVEL AT FL220. ON THIS FLT I WAS RECEIVING INSTRUCTION FROM MY MENTOR PLT. I BELIEVE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE DISTRS FROM COMPLETING NON NORMAL PROCS WHILE COMMUNICATING WITH ATC AND HEADSET NOISE LEVEL DURING ATC'S XMISSION. IN THE FUTURE I WILL ADVISE ATC OF THE PROB REQUIRING THE NEED FOR THE ALT CHANGE TO ENHANCE AWARENESS OF THE SITUATION.
Synopsis
EA50 FLT CREW HAS ALT EXCURSION FOLLOWING YAW DAMPER FAILURE WHICH REQUIRES A DESCENT BELOW FL200.

---------

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Altitude busts in the flight levels from non-TCAS equipped jets, whose cockpit workload is so high that even highly experienced pilots, who have all passed a reportedly differcult type rating, can't cope.

This sounds like a controllers dream scenario.

Now that there are 200+ Very Incomplete Jets doing this sort of thing, someone is going to get hurt.

You can't have weekly tire bursts without one of these things sooner or later going off the runway and hitting something either.

Continued airworthiness is a cumulative problem, which even the best companies struggle with as they grow.

Gunner said...

Mountainhigh-
Do not be AT ALL surprised is details about the training performance of this pilot (and the one from Midway) start to get "leaked". Little things like eval concerns and the like.

After all, it's pretty clear that Eclipse is experiencing the same bad luck with substandard pilots as has plagued it with substandard vendors. It's really unfair considering how revolutionary everyone this jet is.
Gunner

eclipso said...

Now Gunner, let's not leave us poor 'ol substandard mechanics and inspectors.

substandard = "set in their ways"

eclipso said...

oops....out

airtaximan said...

eclipso

you can misspell, leave a word out here and there...

we're very used to piecing things together and figuring things out for ourselves around her...

;)

gadfly said...

Being “thrown under the bus” can take on a more literal meaning, when it happens at Chicago Midway.

gadfly

(‘Even running a red light is a concern. And landing at San Diego . . . where you “look up” into apartment windows on “final” . . . how does that work?)

gadfly said...

Making slanderous statements against the “NTSB”(words to the effects of “needing publicity” or “outright lies”, come to mind) and the “FAA” for “finally” doing their jobs, would seem to be an attempt at getting a long term government paid lease in a gated community. Maybe this is what’s meant by “disruptive technology”. The only question is “whom does it disrupt”?

‘Attempting to “round up” all of the public statements made at the top level is like sorting through a stack of incoming mail in New York . . . or searching the bottom of a septic tank. But the “man” called certain agencies “liars”. He also claimed that the problem was ‘no big deal’ (or words to that effect) . . . and claimed the problem solved . . . and then said that they could not determine the problem until the “part” (“failed throttle quadrant”) was released from the NTSB. . . . then some comments about “pulling 6Gs and popping rivets on (sic!) the wings”.

Now, as a designer, myself, if a customer declares a problem, I wait until I have “in hand” the actual parts . . . and evaluate the circumstances before I make a statement as to the corrective action. But in the case of the “Midway Incident”, the problem (evidently) is already known, already solved, and blame is placed on the “guilty” (the “strong-armed pilot”, of course) . . . yet the testimony from the top is that they cannot, yet, determine the cause until they see the “failed part” (if, indeed, it IS the failed component).

This is truly a dilemma! And I venture this “dilemma” will not go away . . . this time. There comes a time, when even the “faithful” can no longer carry the load of protecting the man in charge.

gadfly

(That’s strange . . . this Kool-Aid has a different taste!)

airtaximan said...

Gadfly,

Lest we discuss the reported problem de jour... as if it was extraordinary;

Lest we quote Mr. Raburn, as if his remarks skirting any blame, are unusual;

Lest we think the FAA will come to their senses - chances are, since they certified (provisionally at first for some novel and bizarre reason, then wholesale - make of this characterization what you will, but it's now clear the plane should not have been certified) the unfinished plane, with a host of known problems, and more unknown ones. See EASA, for prevailing wisdom;

Lest we not forget, this plane was designed for low cost... chem milled and FSW’ed to within 25 mils of your life... and claimed "airliner-durable" by the master-debater; as if debating matters...

All the while knowing there are not enough real customers for the plane at anywhere near the cheapest possible forward pricing he could grin at - nowhere near the non-manufactured cost of the cheapest made twin-jet plane in recent history... 3x.

AS IF anyone should care… about the acquisition price plus the advertised (and revised) operating cost savings named Jet(In)Complete – driving a revolution, that never was. Revolutions make some forget about themselves and their families… no wonder. This was not a revolution. It was a revolt on the system… a revolt on safety and common sense. Revolting.

This my friends, is a cheaply made, cheaply designed, cheapened JET PLANE. They had all the time and money in the world – and they blew it.

Today, it’s clear, no one wants the cheapest made jet at the price it needs to be sold for - because other planes have been designed according to other principles, first, and priced accordingly. In the end, it was a joke to forward price the jet – the whole program was a series of BIG compromises - only to arrive at the same ballpark price as the rest of the planes in the VLJ category.

Why? My assessment is, they went down the wrong path with the wrong destination in mind, to begin with. They did not know what to make, how to make it, how to price it, and how to ensure it was quality, which to us means Safety, and to them, means lightest and Cheapest.

Lest we forget, arriving 15 minutes sooner and for $100 less, is less important than making it there under any condition all of the time.

This ain't horseshoes. Someone forgot, this is NOT horseshoes.

Dave said...

If DayJet is a proven concept and Iacobucci is a multi-centimillionaire founder of DayJet, why isn't he self-financing the $40 million?:
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080616/BUSINESS/806160409/-1/newssitemap
It looks like Iacobucci doesn't really believe what he says about DayJet or else he'd be putting up his own money to maintain ownership and go from being a multi-centimillionaire to a multi-billionaire. It also defies credulity that if DayJet has equity in not only their delivered Eclipses but in the options as well, whey can't they either get a loan on that asset or sell them on the open market to go to the next stage. They are liquidating some, but they're not saying that is to finance the $40 million expansion.

I do find it funny how the article compares Vern Raburn to Henry Ford and the Eclipse to the Modle T when it looks like he's the one doing the most individual manual work per plane while the other manufacturers have their assembly lines perfected and efficient.

Dave said...

Vern yet again plans on darkening the skies. This time with ICON:
"This is the beginning of a new era by bringing in, not thousands, not tens of thousands, but potentially hundreds of thousands of new pilots to aviation," said Vern Raburn, founder and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_Page.aspx?ArticleID=6627&Page=1

ICON might want to cosider that Vern isn't a good name to be associated with in aviation. They end up looking like all-hype when they've got Vern hyping them. It also calls into question their timelines, quality, etc.

Gunner said...

Dave-
The Herald writers obviously did their homework and know their subject matter. Here's part of their pitch on the Eclipse:

"Made from Kevlar-like composites that give it strength while keeping it light, the craft seats five...."

Gunner

baron95 said...

ASRS reports are 99% of the time cover your ass type reports. As such it is likely that the primary motivation of the reporters is to use the ASRS to preempt a violation for having strayed from assigned altitude.

It should be noted that the FAA and the NTSB through case law has traditionally held that a malfunctioning auto pilot is not an excuse and has upheld FAA violtaions for altitude deviations. Their position is that the crew must monitor the AP/FD performance, particularly on level offs. Particularly since an AP going off-line has to be accompanied by both visual as well as aural warnings.

HAVING SAID THAT - Holly C$@#!!!! It is way too much for me. Having AP/FD going off line that frequently and all these multiple (mostly false) CAS messages in a plane that has 1980s level avionics is way too much.

I think there is more than enough for the FAA to initiate a certification review of the E500. At a minimum it needs to have an emergency revocation of RSVM and perhaps even of IFR flying all together.

The fact that some of these busts ocurred with 2 trained pilots on board just means that requiring two pilots during the iterim review is just not enough.

This is crazy!!! The EA500 may very well cause insurance rates for the entire personally flown jet industry to go through the roof if these things start to crash and at best we'll ALL be faced with the publicity that VLJs and VLJ pilots are not professional and can't be trusted to fly in "airline airspace".

FAA - get moving. Maybe that will cause Ecllise to also get moving - bring in critical design review team and complete the avionics upgrades.

As I have said before, I'd only fly the EA500 VFR or very soft IFR in its present state.

Dave Ivedorne said...

We seem to have missed a new post by JoeN at VLJ Planet over a week ago. Joe found his way to ABQ for Eclipse Visitor's Day:

I was told I would be able to fly it, but did not due to what I suspect was a bit of paranoia. Apparently, my name was routed over to the "marketing and brand manager" instead of a typical demo pilot channel. I didn't put it together until I met the guy and he started by asking me my name and if I ran the "VLJ blog." Then started the paranoia. "Are you going to write more lies about Eclipse." Huh?! That got my attention. So much for marketing. Apparently though he/they are aware of the site, they haven't spent much time actually reading it ... Raburn mentioned in his talk that by their own count, they have missed over 400 promised deadlines.

His post is more balanced and extensive than my cherry-picked excerpt, and definitely worth a read.

Would you like the combo?
IAN,ANHB,TPOW

Black Tulip said...

It is amazing to see the Eclipse 500 still flying. To read these ASRS reports is to see the aircraft through the eyes of airmen who are not trying to escape a violation, but just figure out how to get the thing back on the ground and stopped safely.

Hope nobody gets hurt.

gadfly said...

airtaximan

It’s obvious that you, and a few others, appreciate the relevance of “chem milling”, and much of the rest, but, unfortunately, “most” do not . . . and the debate comes down to fired up emotions on either side.

But there is always the possibility that “some” on each side will understand the “real” issues, ignore the emotional stuff, and maybe save their own lives, those of their loved ones, and many others.

If it takes “satire”, then “satire” will be used . . . as a “wake-up” call, to get to the “real” issues.

gadfly

A man convinced
Against his will,
Is of the same
Opinion, still!

easybakeplane said...

Just a refresher for the old-timers and an important point for the new guys from almost two years ago:
--------
"Tomaso DiPaolo of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association confirmed the grievance had been filed.

He said it was the first regarding safety of an aircraft since the union began representing FAA certification engineers in 2000.

When the plane was set for certification at the end of September, "my guys were telling me it wasn't ready, but the FAA managers went ahead and approved the plane design," DiPaolo said in an interview with the Journal.

"I don't think any of my engineers that were involved signed off."

http://www.airportbusiness.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=11993&pageNum=2

------------

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

easybakeplane said...

And while I'm at it, be careful with your words Vern:

------
"An F.A.A. spokesperson says the agency stands by its certification but acknowledges that the Department of Transportation’s inspector general was assigned to investigate the union’s complaint. Raburn bristles at the engineers’ red flag. “There’s a fair amount of bullshit in this complaint that is based on ego,” he says. “If the airplane is as unsafe as they claim it is, it would have been falling out of the sky by now.” "

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2007/08/13/Jets-of-the-Future#page1
-------


It would be interesting to figure out why the FAA felt the need to certify... Was it Manager bonus/pay scheme, or maybe from higher level Management trying to meet the FAA goal to expand the business jet industry by 'darkening the skies' with FPJs...

Dave said...

I was told I would be able to fly it, but did not due to what I suspect was a bit of paranoia. Apparently, my name was routed over to the "marketing and brand manager" instead of a typical demo pilot channel. I didn't put it together until I met the guy and he started by asking me my name and if I ran the "VLJ blog." Then started the paranoia. "Are you going to write more lies about Eclipse." Huh?! That got my attention. So much for marketing.

I bet Vern wishes the old USSR was still around as Vern would do quite well there. He could burn up all the government money and send those who say things that he doesn't like to the gulags.

fred said...

atm wrote :

"problem de jour" make it "problème du jour "

and it would be perfect ...!
(but it's widely known :french is weird and apart Vernperator , no "one is perfect ...)

FJT wrote :

"Continued airworthiness is a cumulative problem, which even the best companies struggle with as they grow."

yes , definitely ...
the more you have peoples doing the same activity over and over again , the more likely problems occurs ...
as gunner wrote before "it's all games and fun until some eyes pops out "

lets hope "common sens" prevail before tragic incidence !

easybakeplane :

next round ( days , incident , etc) some will remember a saying :
"mice always quit the boat before its last (sinking) trip "

i just wonder in how a length of time , some folks from "alphabet soup agencies" are going to start repeating in choir "it wasn't me !" ;-))

dave wrote :

"I bet Vern wishes the old USSR was still around as Vern would do quite well there. He could burn up all the government money and send those who say things that he doesn't like to the gulags."

we definitely agree ...!
Vernperator would LOVE so much most peoples would believe this ...

unfortunately , it isn't !

a new air-taxi company appear in Russia , it is called Dexter and uses 12 Pilatus as planes ...

its founder and CEO stated that the worst problems he will have to face in near future :

1° infrastructures : really not enough of it and in such a bad shape ...

2° pilots : such a big lack of pilots in Russia , most trained pilots were in Air-Force ... most are too old , or gone to do some more lucrative business or just gone abroad ...

so this Dexter's CEO (Evgeny Andrachnikov ) is going to be on the HIT-LIST very soon for developing a service into his own country WITHOUT ASKING Vernperator FIRST ...

on the question "why did you chose an foreign aircraft ?"

A: because of problems with russians made ones , they have no real good standards , no reliability , no real safety and they are looked at , by russians users as "more unsafe than foreigns ones "

NOW , i really wonder WHY Vern wants to go there ...

they are as concern about safety than anyone should be ...

fred said...

i forgot :

this Dexter's CEO HAS REALLY the personal phone N° of the most influential ones into his own country ...

he doesn't need to make "half unsaid" statements or to rely to some third parties to tout some bla-bla (as in mike press and "the russian Govt IS backing EAC)

he doesn't see his deal postponed for months ...

he just does things !

HIM

Shane Price said...

Fred said, in talking about Evgeny Andrachnikov, CEO of Russian airtaxi startup Dexter, using Pilatus PC-12's.

he doesn't see his deal postponed for months...
he just does things !


What a refreshing idea. A businessman, with an idea, goes ahead without fanfare or loads of fawning press coverage. Without joining other startup companies to do flashy unveiling ceremonies. Without slagging off staff, suppliers, customer and users.

He will never last, this Evgeny chap....

Shane

fred said...

yep , shane ...

i should have added :

he is playing with his OWN money ...!
(mostly)

what a strange guy ... he'll never make it ... ! ;-))

airtaximan said...

DayJet planes inspected, back in the air

Published June 17th, 2008

By John Johnston
Managing Editor

“We have a professional fleet operation, both in Boca and Gainesville,” DayJet Corp. CEO Ed Iacobucci told the Boca Raton News.

As such, an FAA emergency order to ground all Eclipse 500 jets because of a potential throttle issue found the company aware of the issues and prepared for the FAA's order. Third-shift maintenance crews late last Thursday inspected DayJet’s 28 planes, Iacobucci said, and all passed inspection, so customers were not affected.

DayJet, the nation’s largest very light jet, on demand jet service, has 28 Eclipse VLJs in its fleet, and with 4 to 8 in the air at any given time, Iacobucci said. DayJet is the largest single operator of Eclipse aircraft. The firm flies mainly business customers on a "per-seat, on-demand" basis in five Southeastern states.

And the Chicago incident that prompted the FAA order last week didn’t involve a DayJet plane. The FAA directive came in response to pilots of a flight from Cleveland losing left and right engine control just as the plane was landing – the control lost because the plane’s throttle was stuck in the full power position, according to a letter from the National Transportation Safety Board to the FAA.

Pilots eventually declared an emergency, and landed the plane – blowing out the tires, but not otherwise hurting the aircraft or passengers.

Eclipse and the FAA will conduct further evaluations and tests on the throttle from the Chicago aircraft, said Eclipse. This is the first report of an engine control failure on the Eclipse 500, and the first incident for an Eclipse 500 in more than 18,000 total fleet hours.

Orville said...

...the first incident for an Eclipse 500 in more than 18,000 total fleet hours

OMG! Are you kidding me?!?!

How can we help the media get this right? It should say - "just another day at the office - failure after failure..."

Orville said...

Even is you only acknowledge an "incident" as one listed on the NTSB site - there are 2!

Speaking of which - how do the other incidents (such as blown tires) escape report?

airtaximan said...

from the previously cited Herald Tribune article...

http://www.heraldtribune.com/
article/20080616/BUSINESS/
806160409/-1/newssitemap

"If you simply must be in Tallahassee by 9 a.m. and simply must get back to Sarasota by 1 p.m., it is going to cost you a bundle, $2,556 round-trip. That maximum fare is based on a tight 1.3-hour travel window. There's a good chance you would be the only passenger, the computer figures.

But if you tell the computer that you have 61/2 hours of flexibility both on a Tuesday departure and a return the next day, the computer is calculating that it may be able to match you up with another passenger or two, and so the round-trip costs less, at $800."

Many interesting comments, including ones regarding his previous charter business...

"The couple decided to create a charter business around the jet, and they soon bought an even bigger plane to go with it.

It sounded good, but it was a true money pit."


Interesting read, and some cool videos, too.

Enjoy.

sparky said...

from the Herald-Tribune article

"It turns out that clients love fooling around with DayJet's flight fare calculators, and end up pricing about 10 times as many flights as they actually take."

Holy Crap, talk about spin....the fact that one in ten actualy purchase a ticket is a positive?!?!?!?

In any real company, if you've got a less than 10% close ratio, somethings wrong. At dayjet, it's because people like playing with the quote system. truly unbelievable.

sparky said...

from the same article.

"Nearly everybody who checks out the company's Web site prices a trip from their town to Key West, Iacobucci said. But hardly anybody takes the trip, because business, not recreation, pays for these flights, in general. Lakeland to Tallahassee, or Sarasota to Miami's Opa-Locka, are much more popular DayJet trips."

THIS IS INSANE!!! If everybody were truly checking on this one leg, wouldn't you try to figure out why their not booking and change something. Is ed really surprised that he's having trouble finding funding for this scam.

Dave said...

In any real company, if you've got a less than 10% close ratio, somethings wrong. At dayjet, it's because people like playing with the quote system. truly unbelievable.

Almost nobody uses DayJet. They've got less than 2000 people signed on and of those only a few hundred have flown of those who have flown less than a hundred use it frequently. This despite the millions in both paid and the enormous free publicity they've received.

sparky said...

Exactly my point Dave. They're hurting for customers, i mean REALLY hurting for customers. You'd think that if almost EVERY one of the few they have lookind into a chosen leg they would come up with a way to accomodate that niche.

Same mindset the the fpj leadership has. market economics and reality have no bearing for the decisions these companies make. Is anyone really shocked that they're having capital problems.

If I were even remotely interested in investing in dayjet, that article would have changed my mind immediately.

fred said...

""DayJet, the nation’s largest very light jet, on demand jet service, has 28 Eclipse VLJs in its fleet, and with 4 to 8 in the air at any given time, Iacobucci said. DayJet is the largest single operator of Eclipse aircraft.""

how about suggesting there are the only one ?
(what the point to ask a single kid parents " is that your best kid ?")


sparky don't worry ! ;-))

as an economist i see that ten times a day with lots of colleagues ...

lots of them get confused in between :

studying the market

and

pretend to DO the market ... ;-))

JetProp Jockey said...

Sparkey

DayJet has been hyped as a cheap way to travel. The question is, cheap relative to what. It is comparable to First Class airline tickets, more expensive than coach and more expensive than driving.

The DayJet variety of charter is reserved for a select group - Those who can afford to send an employee on a quick trip and a few moderately wealthy people who can afford the price of a DayJet trip but not full blown charters.

Those who are a bit better off financially will be tied into shared ownership plan and those who are even better off will own their own aircraft.

Lots of people checking out the prices to Key West doesn't mean that many can come close to affording to use the service. I would expect that most expect to be able to take their girlfriend or wife to Key West for quick trip for about $150 each round trip. Sticker shock when they actually find out how much it costs.

Dave said...

THIS IS INSANE!!! If everybody were truly checking on this one leg, wouldn't you try to figure out why their not booking and change something. Is ed really surprised that he's having trouble finding funding for this scam.

The problem is the ego and arrogance of Eclipse and DayJet. Both companies could be doing much better right now if they had been under different management.

During a better time for DayJet Ed bragged about how he scared off a potential investor when an analyst of theirs wanted to see their formula for profitability. I got the impression that DayJet was condescending to potential funding sources.

fred said...

""The problem is the ego and arrogance of Eclipse and DayJet.""

i'm not even sure it is arrogance ...

both have about the same history ...

they became rich or/and successful only because they were both in "digital industries" at the right time ...

to be present when the market is booming is surely a positive sign , but in itself it is far from being one can attribute to only cleverness ...

that is the problem with what i would call "one shot , one bull hunter"

they made it because of the environment at a said time , they used a little talent , most was related with a human factor (some others call "luck")

now their main problem = once they succeeded , so they think it is ONLY due to their unbelievable Talent ...

they aim for a second shot , most fail !

Vern & ed are typical example ...

gadfly said...

fred

That's probably your best piece yet! It's right on target.

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Somebody needs to remind the brain trust at the Eclipse Southern PR Office (Darth Campbell's glorified blog) or back at Eclipse HQ that the $1.6M price is toast for new orders of the EA-500.

Can't even get the little details right at this point.

Dave said...

they became rich or/and successful only because they were both in "digital industries" at the right time ...
to be present when the market is booming is surely a positive sign , but in itself it is far from being one can attribute to only cleverness ...


Vern is where he he is far more because he was at the right place at the right time than Ed and that probably explains why Raburn has the worse attitude of the two. Ed has to be credited for starting Citrix and making a fortune with that. What other companies has Vern successfully started? None that I can think of. He's either just ridden the coattails off Microsoft or been hired at already established businesses.

baron95 said...

Sparky said ...
Holy Crap, talk about spin....the fact that one in ten actualy purchase a ticket is a positive?!?!?!?

In any real company, if you've got a less than 10% close ratio, somethings wrong.


CAS Urgent Message: Sparky OVERVOLTAGE

Easy there Sparky (sorry couldn't resist). Actually a 10% close ration in MOST businesses and certainly in the air travel business would be terrific.

Can you imagine if 1 out of 10 people that walked into a car dealership bought a car on that visit?

People spend hours on line on travel sites like Expedia or AA.com searching and pricing fares to everywhere. The conversion rate is 1-2% or less.

DayJet business model has many "challenges". The fact that they provide actual, real time Web quotes on trips based on travel windows is actually a positive. It is a small positive, that they are overstating.

But certainly, they'd be very lucky if in fact they achieved a 10% conversion rate.

Dave said...

DayJet getting desparate to get people signed up and flying:
http://www.dayjet.com/Services/CheckPrices.aspx
$99 six month membership with that $99 able to be applied if a flight is taken within 30 days.

sparky said...

baron,

No harm, No foul...

but, these are your core customers, not the "tire-kickers" these ar the people that ponied up the money and agreed to actually use their services.

If that core customer group is at that low of a close percentage.....

Fred,

Couldn't agree more. In an interview, while trying to explain the whole ant-farmer thing, ed basicly told the reporter, I could explain it, but you wouldn't understand....

I read the NASA reports and a lot of the published material on NGATS and any other acronym you can think of. What it boiled down to was that the airt taxi market was'nt a bad idea....with Jet-A at around $2-$3.

ed plugs this in and Voila...dayjet. It doesn't seem to make sense, so add in the ant-farmers and the worlds most sophisticated logorythm, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead, more disruptive technology is what's needed.

I think the public is starting to see just how much smoke and mirrors the "disruptive technology" thing really was.

You go to a group of investors, that have absolutely no knowledge of aviation, but whose own fortunes were made in the computer industry and pitch them what they understand. you tell them "hey, building aircraft is simple. but look, none of these guys (Lear, Cessna, Gulfstream....etc) have the know-how that we do. next thing you know, you're coffers are lined with gold and the press (equally ignorant) falls into place.

The only problem with this scenario is that at some point, you have to deliver.

And i think we can all agree that's what's being delivered is incomplete at best, and a potential smoking hole in a schoolyard at worst. My hopes are that this farce stops before the obituaries start....

Dave said...

DayJet rumors...18 pilots on furlough status and not accepting resumes...the NextGen alliance will be revealed in Florida as Alliance for Sustainable Air Transportation (ASAT)...trying to get California to sign on for a piece of the $300 million that is expected to be available in the next three years.

Dave said...

The only problem with this scenario is that at some point, you have to deliver

I think Ed is looking for a government bailout. It wont be called that, just he'll end up getting a NASA contract seemingly out of the blue that just happens to be enough to keep DayJet going. Bruce Holmes combined with DayJet's other lobbyists will deliver it so that DayJet becomes subsidized.

Turboprop_pilot said...

Google Alliance for Sustainable Air Transportation (ASAT) and you'll get the TACA meeting minutes describing the "public/private partnership" for NextGen that will "compete" for an expected $300 million available over the next three years.

The crooks are so far in bed with the pols that they actually may save the whole mess from bankruptcy USING OUR MONEY.

Fred- is sounds positively Russian!

Turboprop_pilot

sparky said...

Dave,

with the platform they have, i think they're going to run into porblems with any system NEXTGEN might need.

The system integration of avio doesn't lend itslef well to add-on equipment. If i remember correctly, changing anything in the cockpit would void the airworthiness of the aircraft.

I would wonder about how many favors ed could expect from vern right about now. Should be intersting.

Dave said...

The system integration of avio doesn't lend itslef well to add-on equipment. If i remember correctly, changing anything in the cockpit would void the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Hey, it would be your tax dollars at play, so Eclipse could get in on the action too where they profit off their design flaws by being paid to redesign it. The possibilities for taxpayer abuse are endless! Since these guys can't run a business on their own, they need the government to subsidize them.

Dave said...

DayJet engaged in heavy lobbying:
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?year=2008&lname=DayJet+Corp
Note that those figures are just at the federal level and don't include state lobbyists.

airtaximan said...

Spark,

well said...
seems like the entire aircraft might have been an "add-on"...

sparky said...

Here's a question you might want to approach your local FAA rep with.

Would he be comfortable letting the air out of either the left or right main on any aircraft and taxi around at 80+ kts? If the answer is no, the fleet should be grounded.

With the rate that these things chew through tires, it's no longer a question of if, but when you're going to be going through the above scenario.

It's a known flaw and a safety hazard. where the hell is the FAA on this?

airtaximan said...

Sparky,

do not under estimate the power of politics...

They have already burnt 100's of millions of dollars.

See AGATE, GAP, SATS, etc...

Florida has been right in there, burning their own money to boot!

No other manufacturer or operator needs this handout. No other player requires subsidies for what should otherwise be a sustainable business.

Problem is, these are not sustainable, so politics is the only avenue left. Otherwise, someone would be investing, not you and me... through the proxy of NASA ans Gov't.

Someone needs to stop the insanity. Just because its not sustainable/profitable, does not mean the gov't needs to provide boondoggle money.

When a line of businesse(s) sucks up $2.x billions, (including dayjet), it does not mean they are disruptive and therefore difficult to finance... it could mean they are shit models that the marketplace is smart enough to see, they do not need.

Hence the 10% capture ratio of their own club members at Dayjet.

BTW, the whole argument that nexgen will solve many ATC problems, based on eclipse VLJs operated by the likes of Dayjet is rediculously stupid. The problems exist at the hub and spoke airports... so how may I ask is Dayjet going to help in this effort? THEY ADD client to the airspace by taking them out of CARS and putting them on planes. Also, they do not operate from the major or reliever airports - they just add traffic to the system.

Once again, how is THIS going to help?

Its not.

Dave said...

I think this explains a lot with why DayJet thinks they see a gravy train on the way:
“NextGen has been made a priority on several fronts,” said JPDO's Deputy Director Bob Pearce at JPDO’s third “All Hands” meeting, attended by more than 150 representatives and stakeholders from Government and industry. The President increased investment in NextGen in his budget released last month, said Mr. Pearce, allocating close to $700 million in FY09 FAA capital investment and research, including over $200 million for NASA research directed towards NextGen.
http://www.jpdo.gov/newsArticle.asp?id=96

There might be a reason why DayJet hasn't sold its first batch of aircraft where they'd then drop down to under 25 aircraft:
http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2008/Senate/bills/analysis/pdf/2008s0380.cm.pdf
Of course its due to their lobbying.

Dave said...

BTW, the whole argument that nexgen will solve many ATC problems, based on eclipse VLJs operated by the likes of Dayjet is rediculously stupid. The problems exist at the hub and spoke airports... so how may I ask is Dayjet going to help in this effort? THEY ADD client to the airspace by taking them out of CARS and putting them on planes. Also, they do not operate from the major or reliever airports - they just add traffic to the system.

Once again, how is THIS going to help?


Its a real mess. Using DayJet flying Eclipses based on ATC using cell phone systems and GPS is asking for problems. All Eclipse and DayJet are doing is advocating something that creates even more pollution (getting people out of their cars and into aircraft) and even more congestion (lots of little aircraft to track in addition to the existing aircraft). Personal jets and small jets might be great, but they shouldn't be touted as environmentally friendly compared to cars as they definitely are not. Lets also not forget that Vern whined about having to pay the $25 fee:
http://finance.senate.gov/hearings/testimony/2007test/071907testvr.pdf
By the way, how close is Eclipse to delivering 1200 aircraft by the first half of 2009?

Shane Price said...

I think this is important, and may include it in a full post in the near future. It's from the inbox, and comes to me from a working pilot who has been in contact for some time. I should also mention that he is very keen on the ideas behind air taxi as a concept, but has a rather lower opinion of the FPJ.

"We had a sub-massive avionics failure recently. I almost had to pull out my handheld. When the com radios screw up, so does it's associated nav radio.

This plane is a piece of crap, that will kill you if you don't pay attention. Most other planes will kill you also, but the disruptive integration and it's multiple failure modes will do it even faster. Always, somewhere along the way, it was caused by inattention on the part of someone in the chain.

The example being the Midway Incident.
1. These throttles move very easily.
2. Nobody knew that if you shut down an engine that isn't responding, that the other operating engine will go to idle.

I'm sure somebody did, but didn't think it would be this important. Not to us pilots of course!

Time will tell the truth. If I could, I would remove those excellent Pratt engines, and shove the rest of it into a ditch. I would then call Reynolds and Alcoa, and tell them to make the ditch green again.

This plane is over integrated. I know that most accidents start as one problem that mushrooms into a fatal chain of events. This has a potential of multiplying by ten. It was designed and foisted upon us by a bunch of egotists, who are non-achievers. All they make is sub-industrial grade crap.

Most aircraft companies go out of their way to make them safer. Eclipse is trying to B.S. us into believing they are safe."


I have to say that this is not untypical of the sort of messages I get. I bring you this one as it is from a reliable source, is clear and to the point. Make of it what you will.

Shane

stan said...

IS&S stock traded below seven today.

In the run up to the March 5, 2007 Eclipse announcement scrapping Avidyne in favor of IS&S et al, the stock moved from the high teens to nearly 30 based on Vern's promised high rate production numbers.

One could conclude that before they got in bed with Vern, IS&S was worth more than twice what it is today.

Historical footnote - Gunner shorted the stock in March of 2007.

Dave said...

One could conclude that before they got in bed with Vern, IS&S was worth more than twice what it is today.

I believe this explains Eclipse's philosophy even though it wasn't said by Eclipse:
Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with.
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-28-2003/0001954689&EDATE=

Both have litigious snakeoil salesmen for CEOs who claim to have unearthed a way to make billions out of nothing. I think Eclipse is even more litigious than SCO. I'm just waiting for Eclipse to hire David Boies to sue the NTSB.

airtaximan said...

Shane,

this is wuite a revelation from an Eclipse pilot. I think, you should post these as they come in...

all of them.

Positive, and negative.

Shane Price said...

ATman,

I think, you should post these as they come in...

I would love to, believe me. However, as with all my sources, I offer them the option to be 'off the record'. Once they invoke this, I can't use the material directly. It just informs the background to some of the headline posts I make, in my poor attempts to keep the blog moving forward.

The working pilots, especially, are sensitive, as you will fully understand. You are, after all, a fully paid up member of the Honor Roll. You will also note that recently, we have been graced by a private owner, who still feels the need to remain, well, private.

What is interesting about the email I got today is that the pilot specifically asked me to use the material, as he (or she, for all I know) had become fed up with the failures in the FPJ, and the piss poor way that EAC were responding.

I should also add that this source is very keen on the concept of air taxi, has been in regular contact with me for some considerable time and strikes me as a sound person who would not say something, intended for 'public consumption' unless they really wanted to get a message out.

And the message is quite clear. Engines aside, the FPJ is junk.

I don't know what you think, but if someone who flies one for a living says that, it would scare the living daylights out of me....

Shane

gadfly said...

A few minutes ago, I responded to a friend that is about to fight the battle of her life . . . and yet, she can only submit to a surgeon’s scalpel . . . hoping that he will remove all malignant cells. And here, we attempt to reason with “so-called intelligent bird-men” about the dangers that we see in becoming involved with this farce . . . and receive argument after argument . . . and statements “ad nauseam” about the safety of the little jet, all based on “emotions” and the word of a single human (now ain’t that just “too cute”).

Soon, maybe sooner than any of us anticipate, reality will set in . . . “big time”. A wake-up call came at “Chicago Midway” on 5 June 2008 . . . not the first by any means, but the most publicized . . . that brought together the many issues that have been discussed . . . over and over.

The list of risks would fill volumes . . . but who would bother to read it?

gadfly

(A century from now, all this will be “history” . . . and even then, who, among the living, will bother to read it?)

Dave said...

Soon, maybe sooner than any of us anticipate, reality will set in . . . “big time”. A wake-up call came at “Chicago Midway” on 5 June 2008 . . . not the first by any means, but the most publicized . . . that brought together the many issues that have been discussed . . . over and over.

Reality should have at least set in with EASA that addressed the same root issue of the engines locking while lacking any mechanical linkages:
http://www.easa.eu.int/doc/Certification/Consultation/Eclipse%20500%20%20Special%20condition.pdf
The NTSB talking about that being the cause:
http://www.ntsb.gov/Recs/letters/2008/A08_46_47.pdf

Unsurprisingly Eclipse instead was too busy suing people and working on the new new thing (Frankenjet) instead of taking care of their existing product. In OS development people don't become injured or die, but in aircraft manufacturing its a whole new ballgame. If you try and force OS development to be the aircraft manufacturing model, you're introducing a huge amount of danger to users of the OS plane.

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

Dave

Briefly, you have brought the truth to light: The “writer of computer code” is smarter than the human pilot, and therefore the mechanical linkage is neither needed, nor desired . . . as a “software engineer” should be the final arbiter in an emergency . . . who alone is able to determine everything that may happen, forever, in the future.

gadfly

(Did I miss anything?)

uglytruth said...

I can't help but wonder.... when (sorry not if) you have a flat tire how close the wing tip tank gets to the ground or runway lights? Throw some wing flex in for good measure.....

airtaximan said...

Shane, if you offer to post them annonymously, does this make the pilots feel better?

You should at least provide some indication... such as a pilot emailed about such and such a problem today. With the attitude at EAC, I am sure when there is a problem, no one hears about it from them, despite the FOQUA program. Another crock - if it was serious, all these issues would be used to help pilots enable safet flight operations. It's obviously a crock.

Once you obtain a critical mass of theses sorts of emails, no one will bother to request your sources... there will be TOO MUCH "evidence". Also, the pilots shoud banned together to help ensure safety of operations, and allow you to post the quality/safety issues.

BTW, how many emails such as the one you posted today, would you say you have received?

And yes, when anyone, let alone a professional pilot who flies for a living makes remarks like the ones in your post, it is scary.

My opinion is, anyone who has been watching EAC, and paying attention, anyone with any sort of qualifications, SHOULD come to the simple conclusion that this plane is a mess.

In fact, not one real air taxi operator, and there ARE many operating 12000 or so planes in the US alone, decided the e500 was the right equipment for them.

OK, perhaps North American Jet was operating planes before, I'm not sure.... so maybe one "real" operator went with the e500...

I rest my case. I'm sure many, many kooked and did not like what they saw.

The Nimbus, Aviace, Dayjets and Pogo's of the world... newbies, with only the hyPO in mind, were "buying" fleets of planes from EAC, plus the Linearairs, and OURplanes of the world let unsuspecting buyer purchase planes or fractions, and offered to "manage" them promising pie-in-the-sky air taxi revenue.

Its NOT a great sign that a 12 year old company that raised $2.x Billions, and received so much media... etc... has no real established fleet operators buying and using there planes...

Very bad sign, IMHO.

airtaximan said...

Gad,

throw in some ant farmers and russian rocket scientists for good measure... I am sure they have all the scenarios covered.

I love the line from one of the egg-heads... when asked about the accurancy (see most of the aborted fleet on the ground at all times for this answer)"now that we have real data to use in our model" -

I wonder how much real data they need to program the FADEC and flight management systems software?

"Backups? We don't need no stinking backups!"

gadfly said...

ugly...

You need not worry, as all this has been fully anticipated by the software engineer . . . the clearance between the wing tanks and all obstacles is buried within the "code" . . . the worst thing that can happen is a "crackled windscreen" image will appear on your monitor, and you will return, instantly, to the "take-off" position at Meig's Field, on a clear Chicago evening . . . ready to make another attempt at "take-off".

gadfly

(Notice that the engine is already running . . . whoops! . . . both engines are ready to "spool up" to take-off power . . . and notice "Lake Michigan" on your right.)

Charity said...

I have written the EAC AFM Update for them:

"...when the ground is coming up VERY VERY QUICKLY, you must advance the throttle VERY VERY SLOWLY"

gadfly said...

In other words, if you play fast and loose with your software, you might lose your hard drive.

gadfly

(Did I really say that?)

Dave said...

Did I miss anything?

No, Eclipse basically said that many times where Eclipse rejoiced in those working on these key areas (such as Avio) not having an aviation background. They want to tell everyone how to run things and sues those who disagrees with them.

airtaximan said...

From AIN, today

"Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn told AIN yesterday about half of the fleet had completed the required checks and so far no anomalies have been uncovered. Raburn estimated that 50 to 60 pounds of force put N612KB’s thrust levers into the out-of-range condition.

Possible remedies could include rewriting the engine Fadec software code to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future or replacing the thrust-lever quadrant with a different design. Raburn said Eclipse is continuing to build and deliver airplanes while the investigation into the incident continues."

"No anomalies have been uncovered"
...sounds like good news, except in reality, this is BAD news.

Pay close attention, "no anomalies" yet Vern has to admit..."remedies could include rewriting the engine Fadec software code to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future or replacing the thrust-lever quadrant with a different design"

Likely BOTH. and more yet to come...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Some thoughts on a Tuesday evening:

Until they know why one engine experienced an uncommanded rollback to flight idle when the other engine was deliberately shutdown all else is meaningless.

THERE IS NO 'POSSIBLE' REMEDY ABOUT IT - THE FADEC CODE IS CORRUPT VERN, THERE IS A SNEAK FAILURE THAT HAS PRESENTED ITSELF, YOU HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO FIX IT, AND FIX IT NOW.

Rewriting FADEC code will not prevent overstressing a weak component.

Half the fleet is not all the planes Vern, your careful parsing of words about all 'fleet operators' last week was obvious.

ALL of the fleet operator planes, including the 16 that DayJet has grounded at GNV amount to only about 15% of the entire fleet of partially functional incomplete preemie jets - WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 85% of the fleet Vern you tool? What about the Diehards as you call them who stayed at the hotel ten years ago to buy what you were selling them?

SHAME ON THE MEDIA FOR NOT CALLING HIM ON THIS BS LAST WEEK.

Where is our South AfriKen Dentist now? Alexa? Mirage?

Somehow 'I told you so' just doesn't even begin to cover it at this point.

Dave said...

Until they know why one engine experienced an uncommanded rollback to flight idle when the other engine was deliberately shutdown all else is meaningless.

It was doing exactly what Vern designed it to since he think he as an OS person knows more what pilots need than pilots themselves. What happened was the Eclipse 500 operating the Vern Way. EASA had already raised a red flag about the Vern Way. What else can be expected when you go out of your way to bring the Blue Screen Of Death to aviation? Perhaps for the Eclipse 500 it should be called the Black Throttle Of Death of BTOD for short.

Hopefully it isn't lost on anyone with how incompetent Vern is that Mr. OS's problem is the Eclipse OS AKA Avio. Mr Microsoft wont admit that of all the things to get wrong in designing an aircraft that he got the aircraft's OS wrong!

Orville said...

You're all missing the obvious. When a problem occurs, you just need to call tech support. Your call will be quickly routed to a support center somewhere overseas. Simply explain your problem in English - listen to the directions given in 'non-English' - and everything will be just fine. Or...at least you'll never know the difference.

Amazing they haven't tried that part of the OS model.

FlightCenter said...

According to FAA records, Eclipse delivered 13 aircraft in May and 11 aircraft so far in June.

That makes 24 aircraft delivered in the last 48 days.

Based on that performance, Eclipse will need to double their E500 production rate to achieve their much promised one aircraft a day production rate.

In April 2007, Eclipse predicted one a day in June 2007.

In June 2007, Eclipse predicted one a day in August 2007.

In Oct 2007, Eclipse predicted one a day in Jan 2008. Vern was quoted as saying "Every position on the production line can run at a rate of at least one aircraft a day. Have we got all of them to run at that rate at the same time? Not yet," Raburn says."

In Jan 2008, Eclipse predicted one a day in April 2008.

In Mar 2008, Eclipse predicted one a day in April 2008.

Let me know if anyone has seen a more recent statement on the projected date for achieving one a day.

A total of 193 E500 aircraft have been delivered. The highest serial number delivered so far is serial #204.

Eclipse is 66 aircraft behind the projected delivery schedule posted by Mike Press back in January.

Dave said...

Let me know if anyone has seen a more recent statement on the projected date for achieving one a day.

Well Eclipse is officially off-schedule in achieving even less than that where they last supposed to be at 20 per month:
Let me know if anyone has seen a more recent statement on the projected date for achieving one a day.
http://www.sic.state.nm.us/PDF%20files/SIC_42208_Minutes_Final.pdf

Eclipse is 66 aircraft behind the projected delivery schedule posted by Mike Press back in January

The Ed and Vern Show is all about getting people bought-and-paid-for and Mike Press willingly obliged.

AvidPilot said...

Shane,

I truly believe there is a moral obligation - no better - a moral imperative - to get this information out to the mainstream press as quickly as possible. Before the first obituary.

Nothing that the management of Eclipse says can be believed any more...and it is pointless to expect more from them.

Gunner said...

"so far no anomalies have been uncovered. Raburn estimated that 50 to 60 pounds of force put N612KB’s thrust levers into the out-of-range condition."

Point 1:
Eclipse's own bulletin to owners clearly stated the design failure weight was only 30 lbs. Were they mistaken then or is Vern mistaken now? Or could it be something far, far worse?

Point 2:
So, lemme get this part straight. 100% of the unknown quantity of throttle quadrants that Eclipse tested were fine but 100% of the two throttle quadrants the NTSB tested failed.

Great work, Eclipse. I always knew the NTSB people were a bunch of rank amateurs. It took Vern Raburn to finally expose them.

Gunner

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Shane, your anonomous pilot confirms that the Throttle controls are not Separate as required by FAR 23.1143 (a), and that Eclipse has not provided the operator with Any additional information []required for the safe operation if it has unusual design, operating, or handling characteristics as required by FAR 23.1527.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Obviously it would be easy enough to revise the POH/AFM to discribe this interdependant "voter" behaviour of the throttle controls, and thus avoid an AD for the second, but the Midway incident has proven that this is an unsafe condition.

The lack of system information strengthens my suspicions that the FAA Cert team was never informed of this behaviour (and it is unlikely that they would discover it in the process of certification, due to it being an interface issue between the Electric/electronic panel and the propulsion panel).

So here we seem to have a clear unsafe condition (unpredicable LOTC, with common cause), due to a non-compliance with the certification standards (Separate engine control), because the TC-Holder did not identify/understand/come clean on (you choose) a new and novel aspect of their design.

I bet both Eclipse and the FAA are in a huddle over this one. The logical consequence is that the A/C may not be operated with this unsafe condition, but how do they fix it?

Without knowing anything about this system, other than the Failure mode reported by the NTSB and the pilotI would guess one of these two configurations:

1/ Throttle resolvers are hard wired to the FADEC (the way they should be), but there are relays in the system controlled by HAL (whatever black box) which can switch thottle in command of an engine. I find this senario unlikely, as I would expect that the FAA would have picked up on that in certification.

2/ The Throttle resolvers provide an analog signal to HAL who performs the A/D conversion (which is likely the only functionality the FAA knew about). HAL provides digital Thrust commands to the FADECs. Unfortunately HAL has code to allow it to cross the control signals.

If the system achitecture is more like #1, the AD should be something along the lines of removing those relays.

If the system is more like #2, then I can't see how they can do less than AD the system to modify it like #1. As long as the signals are at one stage in a single black box, you can not meet FAR 43.1143'
s requirment for separation of control.

How do you AD this without giving Eclipse a free ride to Chapter 7, do not pass go, do not collect $200!

If you ground the fleet (like they should) and wait for Eclipse to redesign and certify the engine control system - Game over. Here the FAA's task of "promoting aviaiton" will likely get curled up in somebodies interests in prolonging Eclipse.

If you ground the fleet (like you should) and require eclipse to just do a software changet o HAL to remove the cross control, when the first fatal occurs because HAL failled taking both engine controls down, the Lawyers can go to town.

If you do nothing, the lawyers will go to town sooner, because the fatal will occur sooner.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

In comparison to the lack of separation in the engine control system, the fact that the throttles go out of range at 50-60lb is much more manageable for eclipse.

Although it is lame design (and a failure to observes Stanislaw's Axiom), the failure of this component at 50-60 lbf is probably legally acceptable.

I don't see the FAA following up that part of the AD, as there is probably no unsafe condition (LOTC for the failure of the throttle assy is correct behaviour as long as the engine stays in last commanded thrust).

No normal company would leave the throttle assy like this, they would redesign it. Whether Eclipse will???

Stanislaw's Axiom - "For Flight critical or essential systems, it is less important to design how they work, than to engineer how they fail."

David Stanislaw is the Reliablity and .1309 Analysis lecturer of the University of Kansas.

Shane Price said...

ATman, Avidpilot,

Please remember the time zone differences. As your posts were being written, I was catching zzz's. Just as you are, when I'm doing this....

I had two posts from pilots yesterday. 4 in the past week. 17 in the past month. Some were 'commentary' and others just for fun. Also, I have to be careful to separate owner/pilots from what I would call 'working' pilots who have (usually) commercial experience and many thousands of hours in other aircraft.

The reality is that all of these people read the blog, and some may even post directly. But, every now and then, something comes along with would tend to identify them directly, if published in full. They WANT the message to get out, so they email me. But, for whatever reason which I feel bound to respect, they cannot post directly.

So you have a compromise, long understood in the press. Stuff hits the inbox. I evaluate it, check out the background, do my best to see if it stands up and then do a post.

A good example is the Midway incident. I got an email, very shortly thereafter. So what, I thought, another set of blown tires, happens all the time with the FPJ. What was interesting was the second one, which contained an injunction from EAC management (name supplied...) instructing staff NOT TO SPEAK TO ANYONE about what appeared to be another 'pilot error', except that for once EAC didn't seem to be blaming the pilot.

Hmmmm, I thought, there is more to this than meets the eye. So I got digging, asked around and within a few hours had 'a version' of what had happened. Not, and I want to state this clearly, the correct version, but close enough.

So I circulated a few contacts, who did some more digging.

Vern got the message. Pretty soon, EAC sent out their usual 'Trojan Horse' to find out what I knew. Said 'Horse', not being very careful in what he/she wrote, was all the confirmation I needed to make my first posting on the subject.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Lesson here is that I have to treat my sources with respect. I'm not saying that the Midway incident would NOT have reached the public in short order. What I am saying is that it probably got wider coverage, sooner and with more complete accuracy. Too early a posting would have created room for Vern to wiggle off the hook, something he is still trying (in vain) to achieve.

I may be slow as I'm on the wrong side of the pond to keep right on top of the action, but I would appear to be able to get the information, and get it out to the wider world.

Which is, after all, what we all want.

Shane

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Gunner, did the info to the oprators SB/message state that 30lb is the design failure force, or the force that is required to test to for the AD?

If the design limit force is 50-60lbf as the Vernperator is now quoted at, and the design pilot input force is 30lbf (how Eclipse substantiated that a 95% male pilot would not apply more than that is anybodies guess), then testing to 30lbf would be consistant.

As I noted in the last thread, the FAR for control input loads states a minimum load on the elevator control of 100lbf, and you could argue that would be for two hand application on a yoke, so that a longitudal control movement with one arm should have to demonstrate no more than 50lb.

Dumb way to design a plane, but stupidity is not illegal.

The 30lbf test and 50-60 limit loads quoted here don't pass the sniff test for me (after a narrowly avoided accident), but are probably a legally robust enough argument to gain some time for Eclispe and FAA to huddle an try and solve the real problems in this system.

fred said...

Fjt ...

may be the problem with engines control is the "redundant bus communication " ...

sorry for more qualified than me (obviously almost everybody ;-) )

if it is because of the said "bus" :
it could be a bit like when the french car maker "Peugeot" started to put "universal bus" in their cars instead of multiples wires ...

the result was strange , frustrating and quite comical :

when turning on the radio , the ventilation was set on "max" ...

when turning off the ventilation , the windshield whippers was on ...

and so on !
(it took them 2 years to find out the best solution was to be a "bit" more conservative and to put back some wires ...)

but NO life were at danger ...

so may be , the whole story is because they know the quadrant is not really THE problem ...
but the bus which would implies the whole design is a "no go"

it would explain some of the situations ...as FAA not having access to such during Cert.
the "cover-up" from EAC , meaning = "if anyone comes up with the idea of fixing the problem , the design goes to the bin ..."

what do you think ?

fred said...

probably not very clear what i wrote in precedent ..

ok , so if one try to "piece the parts of story together"

then we have EA500 design made around a concept which doesn't exist = Avio !

what is the need for a quadrant able to be manipulated by someone else than a 75Lbs top-model like ?

none , avio is holding the thing for you ...

what is the point to make the system dual-control ?

none , there is Avio and its autothrottle ...

the best problem would be the design as a whole ...

as it is something which may have been good at some point , but has been patched so many times by various failing -techs replace by some other furnisher's stuff , etc ...

resulting into something some electronics call "ghostly problems"
which are to be discovered with time and use , but cannot be predicted safely ...

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The FBW airbus A/C must also have some sort of digital interface beetween the THrottle levers and the FADEC, as they roam around with the levers in a FLIGHT detent, so something else muct be createing the thrust inputs for the FADEC, unfortunately I have never done an Airbus course, so I don't know the details.

Boeing took a very conservative approve on the 777 with the Throttle lever resolvers hard wired to the FADECs.

airtaximan said...

I wonder why the stick pusher is inop?

I think if anyone reviews EAC records on this aspect, they'll find a smoking gun on the unsafe/non-compliant throttle...

Just intuition... no NDA breach, here...BTW.

Shane Price said...

ATman,

I might have some illumination, on the subject of what is and is not INOP on the FPJ. One of my 'working pilots' sent me this today. I had asked him was he surprised at the 'Midway Incident'.

There is no surprise when it comes to the abnormal/emergency procedures and what they cover. I have been surprised many times by this aircraft. But not to the extent that the Midway crew was.

It seems like no one got up and asked, 'gee what else would happen if this fails or if this CAS message comes up?'.

For example, pitch trim failures. I've trimmed either up or down, only to have the trim servos continue to move uncommanded, after I lifted my thumb off of the Hat switch. Then you tell the mechs what happened after you bring the plane in with the power on, and they couldn't duplicate it. Or they shut down the electrics, turn them on again, and the problem resets itself and goes away. Our mechs will plug in, and pull the data off the plane and try to retrace the problem, and start scratching their heads.

Lots of this could have been prevented by testing these components, and the data buses, on the bench before the airframe was even built. But it doesn't seem that way.

All they would have to ask themselves, is "What If ?" I do think that people wanted to do this, but for some reason weren't able to.

The real airframe manufacturers do this. The 777 going into London, and other anomalies do happen, to a lesser extent. It's the nature of the beast. But you can guarantee that Boeing did the best they can, to debug everything they could, before it was wired into the airframe. You can also bank on the fact that the FAA, or their counterparts, were there also.

You've got to wonder why these clowns want to build these planes in Russia. Considering the liability that Eclipse has brought upon itself, the answer is quite evident.

I'm in a good position when something goes wrong with this plane. I'm lucky that there is someone else with me who is just as experienced as myself, to fly the plane and work the problem. The FAA should make two pilots the minimum required crew.


OK, you might say, he would say that (min two pilots) wouldn't he? But if you are flying commercial, and doing it a lot, then you are at risk more often. With the current, confused state of AvioNG it would seem a reasonable step for the FAA to take, at least for commercial operations.

Shane

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

I just deleted my last post because I confused Trim runaway and A/P hardover.

It is vitally important that the crews and maintenance personnel use the SDR system and report these kinds of failures

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It appears from the comments and the surprise Vern conveyed with the sneak failure in the FADEC code (written by Eclipse and hosted on Eclipse's Avio NfG BTW), that when the System Safety Assesment and Failure Hazard Analysis were done by Eclipse (I am assuming they actually did these), there may have been some conventions or rules in place to not consider multiple failures.

That is not without precedent, other OEM's do that as well, but it is always a dangerous assumption as the Midway crew found out.

At the begining of any certification program the OEM and FAA essentially agree to how the plane will be evaluated, and what assumptions are being used. This is really where these kinds of things should be captured. This is also where EASA showed that they felt engine controls among other things on the EA-500 were a bit too unique to just get a pass.

The simple fact of the matter is that things often do not fail singularly, and if the SSA and FHA and other system safety evaluations are based on the same basic premise (there are no multiple or cascading failures) then you end up with AFM procedures and training that are of limited utility when the defecation hits the oscillation.

I can't imagine there were experienced RM&S types there who did not object to the initial premise of no multiple failures.

As I like to quote Sy Liebergot from NASA when the explosion occurred on Apollo 13 - 'it's showing a quadruple failure, that can't happen it must be telemetry'.

Only Vern is no Gene Kranz, and Eclipse is no NASA.

Gunner said...

FJT asked,
"did the info to the operators SB/message state that 30lb is the design failure force, or the force that is required to test to for the AD?"

Here's your answer:

"CPC No. 500-2008-010 Throttle Lever Force June 9, 2008
Rev A 09/18/07
Subject: Throttle Lever Force
Model: EA500
Effectivity: All Aircraft

1. PURPOSE:
This CPC is issued by Eclipse Aviation to provide timely aircraft operational information to Eclipse aircraft operators. It is for informational purposes only, and all recommendations are advisory in nature.

[snip]

Initial throttle quadrant testing indicates a force in excess of 30 pounds against the forward stops is required to cause the out-of-range condition."


Gunner

Dave said...

So is Eclipse setting up John Ricciardelli to be the next exec to be canned? He's already got an underling that was fired and then sued, some of the information in the Does lawsuit comes from him and now they've got him blatantly lying to the media on something that is obviously not true:
The chief selling points for the Eclipse planes are their low -- comparatively speaking -- $1.5 million purchase price, and their relatively low operating costs, company officials said. The price is less than half the cost of the closest-to-comparable competitors, at $3.2 million to $3.6 million, said John Ricciardelli, Eclipse vice president for ownership experience.
http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=667488&category=MULTIMEDIA&BCCode=&newsdate=6/16/2008

In the article there's also more information, such as revealing the the corporate welfare that Eclipse received to be locate in Albany.

Then here we find some more out about DayJet's lobbying acitivities/revolving door to see why DayJet sees the federal government gravy train:
Dr. Bruce J. Holmes, director of Aeronautical Research at DayJet, serves as both the chairman of the board of ATXA and NGAMC's representative on the Early Adopters Council of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JDPO) at FAA.
http://articles.directorym.net/IN_SUPPORT_OF_AIR_TAXI_OPERATORS_Washington-r878346-Washington.html

Dave said...

Here's DayJet's description of their hire of Bruce Holmes:
Dr. Bruce Holmes joined DayJet in May 2007 to work with federal and state agencies to deploy next-generation technologies that will expand the number of small airports DayJet can utilize across the country for its per-seat, on-demand jet service.
http://www.dayjet.com/Company/Management.aspx

Here's what OpenSecrets describes:
Although the influence powerhouses that line Washington's K Street are just a few miles from the U.S. Capitol building, the most direct path between the two doesn't necessarily involve public transportation. Instead, it's through a door—a revolving door that shuffles former federal employees into jobs as lobbyists, consultants and strategists just as the door pulls former hired guns into government careers. While members of the executive branch, Congress and senior congressional staffers spin in and out of the private and public sectors, so too does privilege, power, access and, of course, money.
http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/index.php

Holmes is DayJet's hired gun, which they bought him to peddle influence to keep a failed business operating by raiding money from the taxpayers. Its no surprise that they hired Holmes and despite their small size are very heavy spenders on lobbying.

epilot said...

ATM said: "I wonder why the stick pusher is inop?"

ATM, the stick pusher is not inop.

fred said...

##that when the System Safety Assesment and Failure Hazard Analysis were done by Eclipse (I am assuming they actually did these), there may have been some conventions or rules in place to not consider multiple failures.##

coldwet ...

are you suggesting that under Vern's enlightened wisdom and management , the adage : "let's prepare for the worst while waiting for best " have been transform into
"let's do the strict minimum for the best and forget about the worst " ?

Dave said...

DayJet conducted focus groups, telephone interviews and surveys and then they used those results to push DayJet on local governments. Can you say survey bias?

Here's some stats for "concept validation" based on focus groups...
More than 70% of business travelers would likely use DayJet for regional business
travel
• More than 70% of business managers’ would allow their staff to use DayJet
• For trips over regional 300 miles, 40% of business travelers would:
Replace commercial flights with DayJet 40% of the time (Did you catch that? 40% of 40% is only 16%!)
Replace car tips with DayJet 80% of the time (Again they're hyping the numbers...it's only 32% based on theoretical discussions)

Then here's similar results with the telephone interview...
* For regional trips over 250 miles, 50% pf participants would:
Replace commercial flights with DayJet over 25% of the time (25% of 50% is only 12.5%)
Replace car trips with DayJet 40% of the time (40% of 50% is only 20%)

Now here's the kicker to see that Ed is as big a liar as Vern when talking about the actuals versus the predicted. This also explains why Ed can't get $40 million as well as why the ant farmers were so evasive when asked directly on predictions versus actuals:
Demand modeling suggests a range of 10 to 25 aircraft takeoffs or landings per day at each airport.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Good reporting Gunner,

Once again points out the lack of professionalism of Eclipse. If they were more open they would keep get red flagged for telling lies.

Dave said...

This could come back and bite the FAA should continued serious events happen with the Eclipse. Here's the testimony of the FAA's Administrator for Safety saying that the Eclipse is unique in the level of avionics integration:
The EA-500 is unlike any other aircraft currently in production, and is unique in that it has highly integrated avionics systems.
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/_files/FinalSabatiniCirillojointtestimony.doc

Eclipse had better hoped that those who haven't already been bribed in Congress don't catch wind of everything that has gone on. Why is someone who has no aviation experience allowed approval for a "unique" avionics design that is designed to put people at risk by having there be single points of failure and common mode failure?

airtaximan said...

epilot,

thanks for correcting me. I guess memory serves poorly. I thought this was inop...

my bad.

airtaximan said...

I'm starting to wonder a little, about the "virtual co-pilot".

baron95 said...

Great discussion/info guys - I am sure owners/position holders that have the time/patience to read this thread would be thankfull to get this info. At the very least it gives them the ammo to ask Eclipse some tough questions.

Re the throtle force, I think that is a relativelly innocuous AD. Eclipse statements is that initial testing shows that a force greater (as in no less) than 30 lbs is required to get the throtles past the stops. I think that with proper awareness and notification and the AD checks required it is OK for now.

Re the FADEC recovery procedure once the out of range LOTC condition happens - I'd like to get more details on that. Shane, can any of the pilots you are in contact with provide this info. How long does it take to cycle the FADEC/ETC in flight? 2 seconds? 20 seconds? Assuming it is a manageable procedure that takes a couple of seconds, then I consider this a barelly OK procedure to recover from the Throtles going past the stop - simply because the plane is stuck in an "configured to climb" condition.

So with that, Eclipse needs to provide a near time (not immediate) fix for both - throtle stop strenght and FADEC logic on out of range throtle postions.

BUT, looking at these two items, plus all the A/P going off-line issues and the multiple CAS messages, I still think a TC review is warranted and that this plane should be prevented from going into RSVM and perhaps even IFR/IMC all together pending the review. My reasoning for that is a scenario where the out of range throtles condition happens in conjunction with AP disconnect and multiple CAS messages. That may be beyond the capabilities of a single pilot to handle in IMC.

Here is the scenarion:
1 - You take off, departure control gives you a level off in IMC at say 2,000 ft before further climb - that requires pulling power back.
2- ATC gives you a step climb to 10,000 ft in IMC. You shove the throtles forward, exceed the range, get the LOTC CAS while you are climbing.
3 - AP disconnects (turbulence of LOTC causes AP to disconnect).
4 - More false CAS messages come like overtemp, etc.

So now, we have our single pilot climbing at 4,000 ft/min in IMC, with no AP, multiple CAS messages, no throtle control, about to bust an ATC altitude. That is why too much.

FAA - ACT NOW PLEASE.

PILOTS - Don't fly IFR/IMC on this planne. If you do, please schedule SIM time and ask the instructors to throw that scenario at you multiple times.

Dave said...

I found this from a 2001 Fallow article:
Eclipse's rivals claim that it is selling "vaporware"—drawing investors and customers away from existing manufacturers with promises that it can't fulfill.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200106/fallows

Yup, Eclipse didn't fulfill its promises.

Gorak said...

Freedomjamtarts,

I'm surprised you didn't post an equally plausible third scenario, involving throttle pixies and fairy dust. :)

In reality, the throttles connect directly to the FADECs. The ACS (Aircraft Computer System) has nothing to do with the throttle outputs. In fact, autothrottles will be implemented by ACS-controlled servos moving the throttle levers.

The FADECs communicate with each other over a buss. This communication precipitated the throttle rollback of the running engine in the Midway case. Obviously, an unanticipated scenario, duh.

G

sparky said...

Gorak, do you work for the FAA?

If so, that would explain a lot....

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gorak,

Does Avio NfG provide air data information to the FADECs?

The PCLs are connected, physically, directly to the FADECs? Separate wires and connectors?

Just saying, be careful when speaking in absolutes.

Dave said...

Does Avio NfG provide air data information to the FADECs?

The FADEC are part of Avio along with the ACS:
http://www.featherliteav.com/avio_ng.php

Gunner said...

Baron95 states:
"How long does it take to cycle the FADEC/ETC in flight? 2 seconds? 20 seconds? Assuming it is a manageable procedure that takes a couple of seconds, then I consider this a barelly OK procedure to recover from the Throtles going past the stop"

Baron-
I give you far more credit than to allow a single generation of Microsoft's CTRL-ALT-DEL "solution" to have taken over your brain.

This isn't a PC, Baron. It's a damned twin engine, jet aircraft with wives and children in the back. It's not always being flown by a crew of two pro-pilots either. Often as not, the person in charge is a low to medium-time one man crew, who traded up from a Baron, a C-340 or a Cirrus.

The plane is a handful for a professional crew. Even if limited to that type of flight, there's at least one lawn dart in its future. For single pilot ops? Well, we might stop worrying about those guys and leave it to Darwin to increase the average IQ of GA community; except that they can cause such enormous tragedy to the innocent, ya know?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Dave, I do believe the FADECs are independent cards within the ACS boxes of Avio NfG. The FADEC cards are provided by a different supplier even if I recall correctly.

My point was only to say that Avio NfG does not have anything to do with throttle outputs is specious - air data is required by the FADECs, furthermore, the 3rd air data system adds another potential contributor.

Would be interesting to know if the Midway incident airplane has the Part 135 kit installed.

John said...

Two diverted Day Jet flights, these may be simply canceled taxi calls, but delay in return to service and change in ground speed may indicate a trouble condition.

Tail 158, June 6. Descending line at moderate ground speed, substantial delay until next taxi operation

Tail 160, June 16, descending flight throttled slow, back in service in 24 hours.

Dave said...

I was thinking about all the incidents with Eclipse and wondering if Eclipse can only operate within a much narrower weather range than touted. It's known that the Eclipse hasn't worked well in high humidity environments and Eclipse hasn't obtained FIKI yet. I'm wondering if not being able to obtain FIKI has anything to do with the two NTSB incidents that ocurred in Michigan and Illinois. Eclipse can do OK in high humidity, but cold weather (with ice or not) might be the real Achille's Heal.

Gorak said...

Sparky,

I do not now, nor have I ever, worked for the FAA nor any other U.S. Government agency. I guess you will have to keep looking for an "explanation".

CWMOR,

I always try to be very careful, whether speaking in absolutes or not :)

Yes, indeed, the ACS does provide airdata info to the FADECs. I was just trying to make the point that the TCL's electrical signals do not pass through any relays or any other part of AvioNG before proceeding directly to the FADECs, and do not pass GO, and do not collect $200, etc.

Don't confuse airdata with AHRS data. That's a common rookie mistake :) The presence or absence of a third AHRS does not affect the FADECs.

Every E500 comes with three ADCs. The third ADC is just for the MFD backup instrument display, and doesn't have anything to do with the FADECs. The ACS's use the airdata from the two ADCs to provide info to the two FADECs.

My point is that speculation about "HAL", meaning the ACS, causing the problem, or magical relays switching the TCL outputs, is ridiculous, because it's based on incorrect information about how the system works.

G

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gorak, are you 100% certain the 3rd ADC, whether or not the 3rd AHRS is installed, does not provide voting between the ADC's when there is a disagreement, thereby potentially effecting the data being used by the FADECs?

Can you, or Eclipse for that matter, guarantee that the 3rd AHRS install does not impact the air data being used by the FADECs?

Can you, or Eclipse for that matter, guarantee that the two channel design as employed on the Eclipse designed and programmed FADECs, which are cross-controlling as I recall reading somewhere, do not have other unforeseen failure modes?

See, this integrated stuff is kinda tough - even when you have been in and around it at several OEMs for almost 20 years like me.

gadfly said...

“In the beginning”, successful flight depended on the skill and judgement of the pilot. This was the basic philosophy behind the design of the “Brothers’ Wright”.

As flying became more complex, instruments (mechanical and electronic) were added, to “assist” the pilot in his ever increasing responsibilities . . . yet the “pilot” was always the final arbiter in the decisions. Even in the most advanced military aircraft, the pilot can still over-ride the “electronic brains” of the aircraft to save himself, and those aboard in the event that there is an “argument” in last moment events. (This does not include outright mechanical failures, or extraordinary conditions, outside the control of the aircraft/pilot . . . but even then, the “pilot” is usually able to make the final decisions.)

But here we have an aircraft so “automated” that the pilot is almost an “afterthought” . . . as the “computer” makes most decisions* . . . and in an emergency, it is the ultimate “HAL”. The two pilots at Midway exhibited a “real-life” example of “David Bowman”, the fictional character in “2001: A Space Odyssey” . . . and unlike the movie, all four people aboard returned, alive and well.

But the creator of the present “HAL” continues to insist that the “computer” knows all things at all times. There are similarities, to be sure, . . . the software includes a “bicycle built for two . . .” (“Daisy Bell”) . . . which is just about the normal passenger limit of the little bird.

Computerized “whatever” is most useful, to be sure, but when folks think that a “computer” can better “reason” than the brain that God created . . . “Houston, we have a problem!”

gadfly

*It has yet to be found where a computer can make all decisions, and “judgement calls” (make note) concerning the lives of those involved . . . and in a second or two, judge between life and death of the people on board an aircraft. And that, my friends, is the bottom line. That is a heavy responsibility for anyone who “presumes” to write “code” for the “HAL” type system.

airtaximan said...

Gorak,

pls explain:

"The ACS (Aircraft Computer System) has nothing to do with the throttle outputs."

My question... how can they have nothing to do with the outputs, if they control the inputs under certain circumstances.

I misspoke before when I wrote about the key being related to stick-pusher, but it was autothrottle that I was thinking about.

Perhaps EAC thinks that once or twice removed is confusing enough for the FAA, but IMHO... the whole plane works as a system (integrated throught the panels/busses/throttle) or not.

At some point up or downstream, I am sure you will find problems with the way they built this thing. I am also quite sure they already know the problems, plus a lot they do not know.

Just a hunch... and a PR relating to single engine issues and the Conjet - uncalled for at the time, but in retrospect, quite relevant. All this notwithstanding no reported failures of the system, until Midway.

Keep thinking...

gadfly said...

taximan

You can be sure that they're thinking about some other problems . . . probably around 2AM Monday morning, and hoping against hope that the problems "of their restless dreams" will not be revealed in "real life" and "prime time" the following week.

It must be a re-occuring nightmare to "some".

gadfly

(This morning, as I unlocked the front door of the shop, one of the little birds "darkened the sky", as it made a left turn and disappeared into the northwestern sky . . . it is truly rare to see these birds, here in ABQ.)

airtaximan said...

boys and girls,

at some point, at some level the FADEC or ACS "decided" to take over the engines.

Who cares if this logic is FADEC, or ACS?

The system is F*&^ed.

As Vern said "Possible remedies could include rewriting the engine Fadec software code to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future or replacing the thrust-lever quadrant with a different design."

Interesting words, right here.
Fix the hardware or software to PREVENT such an incident from occuring...

- I kinda wonder if its that simple, you see, there appear to be lots of CAS messages going off... will fixing the harware solve any of this?

Folks, I think a formal design review is in order, SQA pros need to be involved, here... someone needs to get seriosu about this problem.

The NTSB found the same issue with two seperate Throttles, and no one in the eclipse fleet could find the same problem given the D instructions to look and listen for squeeks and scrapes? C'mon.

I think the "system" is sub standard. At least, the QMS needs a once-over together with the FADEC and FMS, AVIO, ADCs and ACS, and the throttle harware.

Lots of issues

Shane Price said...

It would appear that there is yet another 'casualty' in the upper reaches of EAC.

Bill Bonder is now the former VP of Supply Chain Management.

VP's at EAC are a bit like tires on the FPJ. They blow out quicker than people expect...

Must be hard to keep track of who is doing what down ABQ way these past few months. Has anyone seen Vern at the factory recently?

Hey, maybe I could show up one day, pretend to be in charge for a while, and see if anyone noticed.

Who knows, it might even be an improvement. After all, FlightCenter's recent update would suggest that production is actually slowing down...

Only kidding folks. I could hardly run the blog and get EAC up to their own 'fairy tale' production targets, could I?

Shane

Shane Price said...

Baron,

You asked:-

Shane, can any of the pilots you are in contact with provide this info. How long does it take to cycle the FADEC/ETC in flight? 2 seconds? 20 seconds? Assuming it is a manageable procedure that takes a couple of seconds, then I consider this a barelly OK procedure to recover from the Throtles going past the stop - simply because the plane is stuck in an "configured to climb" condition.

Remember what the manual told the pilots to do at Midway, when they were presented with both engines stuck at full power, after the throttles had 'exceeded their designed range'. They did what it said and shut down one engine. That's when the FADEC flipped and took the other engine back to idle, refusing further command input.

I will of course ask the question, but suspect that the answer will be along the lines of....

"There is little enough working, at the best of times, to risk shutting anything else down."

This aircraft is a lawn dart in waiting. A future contributor to the Darwin Award, for anyone brave (stupid?) enough to fly one.

Having got that off my chest, I hope that the final NTSB report prompts the FAA to take prompt, decisive and conclusive corrective action. I will be happy if the result is a safer, more reliable and more durable aircraft which will give years of faithful service.

Shane

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
boys and girls,

at some point, at some level the FADEC or ACS "decided" to take over the engines.


AT, I don't need to nitpick, but your statement may be confusing or misleading to people.

First the FADEC system ALWAYS has control of the engines. That is why it is called a Full Authority Digital Engine Control.

What happened to the Midway plane was that there was NO VALID THROTLE INPUT for the engine the crew wanted to keep running and there was a valid input of idle/shutdown for the other engine.

Now, the FADEC system needed to decide what command to send to the engine. Choices are:

a) Maintain last valid input.
b) Change to present valid input on the other engine.

We can sit here all day long throwing scenarios at each other and there will be some where a) is better and others where b) is better.

Please be careful with assuming too much, that the situation was not considered, was stupid, criminal, etc.

This is not unique to Eclipse. If you are curious enough, do a search on airliners.net on the CGH TAM A320 accident where the pilots retarded the trhotles and stomped on the brakes, and yet the AT commanded full power on one engine. That was the third such incident on the A320 and it killed a lot of people. This is not an indictment on the A320, but it just points out that at some points there is no clearly right/wrong choices in the control logic. In the A320 case, the control logic decision was there to aid in a RTO/go around which is a difficult manouver for a jetliner.

Dave said...

Isn't Eclipse designed to eliminate all the safety benefits of a twin engine? Eclipse has procedures if one engine goes out, but due to the Vern Way, doesn't that result in two engines going out? Doesn't the monkey-see-monkey-do FADEC arrangement defeat all the other redundancies?

baron95 said...

Gunner said... Baron-
I give you far more credit than to allow a single generation of Microsoft's CTRL-ALT-DEL "solution" to have taken over your brain.


I knew someone would pick that one sentence out of my long repply ;) The joys of internet blogs.

For the reccord, I said:
1 - Plane should not be flown IFR in its present form.
2 - FAA should initiate TC review.
3 - Assumption that fleet has been tested, AFM procedures ammended, and throtles can withstand at least 30 lbs with out going out of range.

So the in-flight recycling should never be needed for this.

I was simply comenting that the NTSB recomendation/AD call for an ammended to the flight manual with the procedures for LOTC. Apparently Eclipse has prepared that and it is now on the AFM and was accepted by the FAA.

I wanted to know what the procedure is, if it includes FADEC recycling in flight (which I am told it does), and what the recycling/procedure time is. Apparently Eclipse/FAA/NTSB have determined jointly that this is acceptable. I want to know the details to make up my own mind about it.

Since the LOTC is only on high thrust position (airplane climbing) and requires no immediate action. I "MAY" be convinced that it is OK if it takes a couple of seconds and it is pull/push a breaker.

Simple as that. But I knew someone would try to make more of it.

If you read emergency procedures on other technically advanced planes, particularly those that go into double failures, you would be surprised what you find out.

Pulling breakers and recycling them in flight to regain function is all over the place.

Dave said...

Please be careful with assuming too much, that the situation was not considered, was stupid, criminal, etc.

I'm pretty sure that in Eclipse's abnormal operations procedures this wasn't considered. I believe the manual has instructions if one engine doesn't function and in those instructions it doesn't factor in the working engine's FADEC taking in input from the non-working engine's FADEC. Eclipse has been called on this previously and not only did the NTSB call out Eclipse on this recently, but prior to this both the FAA and EASA has raised an issue with this. If this had been considered previously by Eclipse then that would even more so make this stupid, criminal, etc because the NTSB specifically ordered Eclipse to add what procedures to do in case that happened?...Why would Eclipse intentionally withold procedures for something it had already considered? Gosh, if Eclipse had considered this before, I bet their debating whether or not they should use paper shredders.

baron95 said...

BTW, that crew might have lost the plane if the FADEC system had decided to maintain last valid input on the operating engine.

They'd have to try to descend/land a plane with full power on one engine. I'm assuming that are some point they'd be able to shut that one down, but the issue is that an EA500 with 2 on-board, partial fuel and full power on one engine will be climbing at 1'000 ft/min+. If the crew only had full power/no-power available to them, at some point this would have to be a dead stick landing.

Gorak said...

atm,

That's an interesting thought about the autothrottles. Here's why I don't think they were involved in the Midway incident:

1)Since the autothrottles are not yet implemented, the ECBs that power the authrottle servos are collared.

2)I understand that the autothrottle servos can be easily overpowered by the pilot. Probably requires less than 30lbs of force :)

3)The only way that the autothrottles could cause the original problem would be for them to hold the TCLs in the T/O power (full forward) position. The pilots said that the engines did not respond to TCL position changes, which tells me that they moved the levers back from the full forward position.

As to the ACS and the throttle outputs, I must not have communicated what I meant. I'm trying to say that there are no components that interrupt or process the signals (representing TCL positions) between the throttle quadrant and the FADECs. The primary thrust command input to the FADECs is the TCL angle, as represented by the signal from the quadrant. I believe that it is this signal that went out of range for both TCLs, triggering the dual "ENGINE CONTROL FAIL".

G

Dave said...

BTW, that crew might have lost the plane if the FADEC system had decided to maintain last valid input on the operating engine.

I believe that's how the FADEC system worked and why the NTSB praised the pilot. The first time around it was at full throttle and the second time around it was at idle.

AvidPilot said...

Gorak,

From your knowledgeable posts, would it be safe to assume that you are a senior member of the E500 Club, and either a mentor pilot or an owner?

It seems unlikely that anyone other than the above would have this much info, unless of course you are an Eclipse employee (in which case, there is that pesky NDA...).

That being said, do you realistically think that Eclipse can solve so many problems on so many fronts before someone in an E500 craters in? Multiple CAS failures, transponder glitches, autopilot glitches, uncommanded & runaway trims....these are serious diversions on top of the monumental job of finishing up the aircraft and retrofitting the existing ones.

That's a tall order - your thoughts?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gorak,

I appreciate what you are trying to say, it gives me pause to try and clarify what I am saying/asking.

The issue is that Vern essentially admitted that the failure at Midway has identified an unexpected situation and, in my opinion, also identified a weak physical design of the PCL's.

My questions about the ACS, ADC, ADHRS and FADEC interaction are to point out that there are many basic interactions that occur many times per second, and we have already seen at least one example of this at Midway. It is also to suggest my suspicion that this is only the first of perhaps many such sneak failures that were not apparently accounted for in the design of the Eclipse FADEC.

Adding a new component or capability and the code needed to make it work (like the 3rd ADHRS I asked about for example) can have impacts that may not be immediately apparent. This is not specific to Eclipse mind you, it is the challenge for all would-be purveyors of integrated avionics and systems.

The issue is that Eclipse has made a public issue about NOT using the same methods and philosophies and approaches used by the 'dinosaurs'. If they have eschewed many of the industry standards for the safe and effective development of software in favor of their own 'disruptive' methods then I suggest we should not be surprised at all by the Midway incident, and should probably be surprised something far worse has not happened yet.

airtaximan said...

G,

your a cool person...

I'm suggesting there's a reason the autothrottle is inop. I am suggesting its becasue of a problem EAC knows about, and its related to Midway or the like.

Its just a thought.

Initially I misstated that the stickpusher was inop.

What pushes the stick? What's the source of the input?
How come the autothrottle is inop? What's the source of the input?

Why is autothrottle inop? What's holding this up... likely the Autopilot, but that works nowadays, sorta, no?

Its a system, and yes parts can work, can be inop, can be ficxed... we've come to expect this with EAC as SOP.

I'm wondering why they have not completed the autothrottle? Does it 'relate" to the midway incident? Not directly, but perhaps indirectly.

Gunner said...

Baron-
Apologies offered if you believe I was spinning or selectively recasting your words. Your point was clear as was your context.

My own point was, apparently, not quite so clear. You see, many of us have given Eclipse a pass on things we called "teething problems". Things like transparencies, wing attachments and/or frozen pitots.

It is my position that Eclipse is all out of "passes" until it completes this aircraft and demonstrates reasonable safety and reliability. Thus, when I hear you giving even a partial, temporary pass for a FADEC or ACS "reboot" in response to an emergency (operating engine idled) which resulted from appropriate response to a previous emergency (engines stuck at full thrust) which itself resulted from appropriate response to a common meteorologic event (wind shear).....well, I just can't help but cry foul.

Like I said, it's all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

History on the subject...

"“From the beginning, we have enjoyed tremendous interest and strong sales in Europe, so formally initiating the JAA certification process is the next logical step,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “We have a great aircraft for the European market. RVSM capability and 8.33 kHz radios, both required in Europe, come as standard features in the Eclipse 500. Autothrottle, which along with RVSM, was recently added to our guaranteed equipment list, is a vitally important safety feature for all of our customers worldwide.”

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewpr&id=448&Itemid=52

EAC, 2003 PR

airtaximan said...

"Autothrottle Improves Flight Safety
The use of autothrottle increases safety by reducing the pilot workload during critical stages of flight. Specifically, once engaged, autothrottle automatically manages aircraft power to maintain a pilot-selected speed. In addition to enhancing safety, autothrottle improves engine and fuel management. To date, autothrottle has been available only in very high-end corporate jets and large commercial aircraft. At a firm price of $950,000 (June 2000 dollars), the Eclipse 500 is the least expensive aircraft to utilize this technology."

Same source

airtaximan said...

required reading on the subject...

http://www.flyingmag.com/
article.asp?section_id=12&article_id=685

amazingly, deals with the exact issue...

a taste:

"The reason autothrottles have been restricted to the most capable and costly jets is that the system is complicated. Before electronic computers came along (fadec) to control jet engines, the autothrottle had the job. The system had to be smart enough not to exceed engine limits, which could easily be done if the autothrottle shoved the levers to the stops. The autothrottle also must be integrated with the autopilot for fully coupled flight, but still be capable of maintaining selected airspeed when the human pilot is hand flying."

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

what's worse, its a common issue with any autothrottle desugn... so eclipse was "thinking" about this since 2003.

Autothrottle has been around (in airlines since the 1950's and with FADECS and digital equipment cost reductions, its really not a big leap.

I am convinced EAC knew of the failure modes, and possible issues with the stops. Its my opinion... but any company developing this functionality needs to look at this very issue. Its a common concern.

See EASA, see Mac's article August 2006.

baron95 said...

Dave said...
I'm pretty sure that in Eclipse's abnormal operations procedures this wasn't considered.


It was certainly considered in the FADEC control logic development. Once one lever was out of valid range and the other was atidle/cutoff the FADEC logic "as programmed" commanded a roll back to idle on the engine with the out of range throtle position.

So it was coded in the system and the action was taken.

If you are making the point that it was not included in the AFM emergency procedures, you are correct and it was now by AD and/or NTSB recomendation to be included.

Gorak said...

avidpilot said,

"From your knowledgeable posts, would it be safe to assume that you are a senior member of the E500 Club, and either a mentor pilot or an owner?"

"It seems unlikely that anyone other than the above would have this much info, unless of course you are an Eclipse employee (in which case, there is that pesky NDA...)."

Actually, it would not be safe to assume any of the above. I'm merely a crusty old avionics geek.
The information I've put forth is publicy available without signing an NDA. I've never worked for Eclipse Aviation. Hint: read some of the glossy brochures Eclipse hands out at Oshkosh. They are chock full of details.

Then he said,

"That being said, do you realistically think that Eclipse can solve so many problems on so many fronts before someone in an E500 craters in? Multiple CAS failures, transponder glitches, autopilot glitches, uncommanded & runaway trims....these are serious diversions on top of the monumental job of finishing up the aircraft and retrofitting the existing ones.

That's a tall order - your thoughts?"

I try to deal with facts, rather than trying to predict the future. I'll leave that to other with crystal (or perhaps brass) balls.

I will point out one thing, though. I've talked to some Europeans who are afraid to come to the United States. The reason? The rampant gunfire, crime, and racism in the streets of our cities. They decided this by reading the news. I don't know about your city, but my hometown isn't like this.

Good news is boring. Bad news is interesting. 24,000 uneventful flight hours is a yawner. Runaway engines make a much better story.

People ask me if I think flying is dangerous. I tell them that as long as airplane crashes make front page news, I'm not worried. When they put them on page 9 with the car crash obituaries, I'll start worrying.

G

P.S. Please don't think I'm making light of the Midway incident. If it had happened to me, I would have needed surgery to remove the pilot's seat.

baron95 said...

Gunner said...
Baron-
Apologies offered if you believe I was spinning or selectively recasting your words.


None needed. I understood your point and don't disagree with anything you said.

Gunner said...
Thus, when I hear you giving even a partial, temporary pass for a FADEC or ACS "reboot" in response to an emergency .....well, I just can't help but cry foul.


Understood. I hesitate to given them this temporary pass. There is no question that the FAA needs to jump in with a (re)certification review. I don't have even 1% of the info to be able to make a rational call on giving them a pass. My tendency is to give professionals (like the EA500 designers and FAA airworthy engineers) the benefit of the doubt, since they have all the info.

But I agree with you - safety of flight is critical. I do evaluate the EA500 to the $1.5M plane standard. I tend to compare equivalent safety level to a Baron or Meridian. I disagree that just because the engines turn a fan instead of a a propeler the standards need to be higher.

The EA500 will never be as safe as a Mustang, a G550, etc. Nor should it. It should be a bit safer (being newer design) than a Meridian, Baron class planes that are in the same price range.

Gorak said...

atm,

I'm not quite sure which component controls the stick pusher, but it's activated based on the angle of attack.

I think Occam's razor would lead us to a simpler, non-conspiratorial, answer for the inop autothrottles. Avidyne never got them certified for Avio. AvioNG was basically rewritten from scratch, according to the IS&S folks I've chatted with. I would presume that the autothrottles were a lower priority than other, more essential features, so the software for them isn't finished yet. As I understand it, all of the hardware is in place on delivered AvioNG airplanes.

Some of the "Flying" comments aren't applicable to the EA500 autothrottles. Think of the EA500 autothrottles as "autothrottle light". You set an airspeed bug, and the autothrottle, along with the autopilot, endeavors to maintain that speed. Autothrottles will be most useful on an approach or in a descent. They probably won't be used in a climb, since climbs are generally done at a fixed throttle setting -- max continuous thrust.

G

baron95 said...

AT said ... "The reason autothrottles have been restricted to the most capable and costly jets is that the system is complicated.

Duh! And Wrong.

This is true of just about any advance in aviation/avionics.

Jet engines were once used only on larger GA planes/airliners. Glass pannels were once used only on large GA planes/airliners. Same for FMS, antiskid, non-gyro ADHRS, TWAS, SVS, etc. Now Glass, digital AP/FD, SVS, etc will all be available from a 172 on up. Autotrotles will be standard on most if not all new planes certified next decade that have wide speed envelpes. That is called progress.

There is nothing specially complicated about adding autothrotles in a plane that already has capable/programable FMS/FD/AP/FADECs. It is the next parameter to control once you have the basic foundation.

Once Garmin adds AT logic/channels to G1000 (in 3 years or so) you'll see it in common use. Just like SVS will be in common use very shortly and integrated Glass became standard on virtually all mainstream GA planes.

Dave said...

It was certainly considered in the FADEC control logic development. Once one lever was out of valid range and the other was atidle/cutoff the FADEC logic "as programmed" commanded a roll back to idle on the engine with the out of range throtle position.

The FADECs do that anytime something is out, not specifically a throttle. Doing "as programmed" doesn't mean this particular outage was even considered. This was more of an unintended consequence of the programming rather than something that occured due to foresight of this particular scenario.

So it was coded in the system and the action was taken.
If you are making the point that it was not included in the AFM emergency procedures, you are correct and it was now by AD and/or NTSB recomendation to be included.


I'm making the point that this wasn't included in AFM emergency procedures due to lack of foresight on the part of Eclipse. If Eclipse specifically did consider this scenario in the past prior to this event, but then didn't include instructions for how to deal with this potentially fatal matter that it would be stupid, criminal, etc. Just because something does what it was programmed to do, it doesn't mean the programmers considered all the implications of the programming.

Dave said...

Bad news is interesting. 24,000 uneventful flight hours is a yawner.

However Eclipse hasn't had that per NTSB and FAA records. This was the first potentially fatal incident and the NTSB chairman got involved and because of that, it doesn't mean that all the hours prior to this were uneventful.

baron95 said...

As for tires... they need to get that fixed ASAP as well.

So the problem to Eclipse is that with 200 planes in the field, problems will start to come up fast.

Given that their entire engineering dept is still consumed in trying to finish the plane, they'll struggle to fix the early experience problems.

Even with a proven design (B737), great maintenance organization (Southwest), very experienced crew, tires do blow, like this week in Phoenix

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jYoifW_-5K9pLBwtY5i828eml5_QD91BGEF00

On an unproven design (EA500), unproven maintenance organization (Eclipse Service Centers) and pilots that are new to type, any mild weakness on the plane (e.g. no antiskid, small tires) becomes a nagging problem in the field very fast.

MetalGuy said...

There is nothing specially complicated about adding autothrotles in a plane that already has capable/programable FMS/FD/AP/FADECs. It is the next parameter to control once you have the basic foundation.

FMS = Complicated and not present on the Eclipse
FD = Complicated and not present on the Eclipse
AP = Complicated and partially present on the Eclipse
FADEC = Complicated and oooh, lets not go there on Eclipse
AT = Simple? Um, no, it’s complicated too, and not present on the Eclipse

However, the good news is that I hear through the grapevine that Eclipse is pushing Garmin to incorporate all of the above on the 496 hand-held so they can finally complete AVIO!

Dave said...

Vern on Ed must work on having the same script:
The company will break even by next winter and turn a profit by the end of 2009, Iacobucci said.
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/business/content/business/epaper/2008/06/18/a7b_airtaxi_0619.html

This is the same thing that Vern is saying with Eclipse being profitable. Then again, Vern and Ed can always get government bailouts to subsidized their failed business plans...they're certainly spending their money on lobbyists and politicians.

baron95 said...

Metalguy said... Complicated and not present on the Eclipse

My comments were not related to the Eclipse. And I stand by what I said. Once you have a working integrated avionics suite with FADECs, adding AT is not a particularly difficult proposition.

There are even third-party STCed AT for existing planes on the market.

As for the EA500 - they have bigger problems to solve besides the lack of ATs.

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

##This is the same thing that Vern is saying with Eclipse being profitable. Then again, Vern and Ed can always get government bailouts to subsidized their failed business plans...they're certainly spending their money on lobbyists and politicians.##

that is the big problem with telling lies ...

you have to be very clever and with a perfect memory (to always remember what version you gave to who ...) or you'll automatically fail ! (meting with someone that will remember your different versions and therefor your incoherence is only a matter of time...)

so here we have a disruptive start-up which has nothing really disruptive ...

making a product to be bought in 2004 , no 2005 , still no , 2006 ? , no , promised for 2007 but still unfinished in 2008 ...

firm that will be profitable in about the same year as the sky will be darkened by the product ,and making HUGE R.O.I , now they are looking in drawers to see if a coin hasn't been forgotten ...

a product that would be praised in USA and sold by thousands every year ... USA not ready ? uhh ? let's go to Europe where almost every doe and joey is begging to buy one ... wha..? not allowed in E.U ? let's go to Russia , then ...

a firm "controlled" by an entity that was supposed to do "airtaxi" within E.U. (topic already dropped ) and for this very reason was supposed to "buy" 180 units (unless it is 18.000 , nobody's too sure with Vern )

the same very firm that after "airtaxi" in E.U. was supposed to expand in Turkey ...

and finally end-up taking the biggest share into its toys furnishers ... and decide to have it build in Russia ...

both firms having to prove any reliability on both financial and industrial aspects ... but it is not a problem since they have a (former, next-to-be)superpower GOVT in the pocket , and despite the fact they call in Moscow every day to give their advices/orders still see their mega-expansion plan delayed of months ...

next step they buy out the US Govt , have the constitution changed with this added sentence :" anyone saying or even thinking anything bad about his higher highness Vern will be stoned to death by a crowd of believers "

really , if it would be a movie , good chances that peoples watching it would say , after "not really credible !"

Vern , i give you (for free , i know you're broke, again) an advice someone gave me long time ago :

if you have a doubt , then there is NO doubt !

MetalGuy said...

From the Palm Beach Post: ‘Gas jam gives lift to Dayjet in Boca’ The companies that benefit the most in this environment are those that are most efficient," he said. By using light jets and flying only when a passenger wants to go, "we can be very economical," he said. [..] It can fly nearly 1,300 miles on a single 249-gallon tank of fuel

It sounds like Ed is trying to spin that travel via the E500 is more efficient than the airlines.

Based on previous discussions, I thought it was pretty much concluded that as far as efficiency goes, it was impossible to beat the airlines (for air travel at least). 10 to 20 miles per gallon per person is what is published on the web. The above numbers from the article is only about 5 miles per gallon per person (assuming one pax on a DayJet flight).

According to his logic, his business will take a harder hit than the airlines. My take is that he is desperately trying to spin any situation into a positive light, even if the underlying numbers don’t agree..

airtaximan said...

"The company will break even by next winter and turn a profit by the end of 2009"

Ed is on record saying it CANNOT work without the expansion/scale that is lacking funding.

SO I GUESS, THE CAVEAT HERE IS, HE STILL NEEDS TO FIND A LOT MORE MONEY, THEN RELAUNCH/RAMP UP ...

Then again, he doesn't seem to have enough clients for his current fleet... hmm...

sounds unlikely.

airtaximan said...

FMS = Complicated and not present on the Eclipse
FD = Complicated and not present on the Eclipse
AP = Complicated and partially present on the Eclipse
FADEC = Complicated and oooh, lets not go there on Eclipse
AT = Simple? Um, no, it’s complicated too, and not present on the Eclipse


One should ask, WHY these are inop... WHY?

airtaximan said...

AT said ... "The reason autothrottles have been restricted to the most capable and costly jets is that the system is complicated.

Duh! And Wrong.


Nope, Mac said it, I just repeated it.

and in another three years, you begin to see it, sdoes not bode well for your position, Baron. Neither does the FACT that its inop on the 500 after $1 or 2.x billions and 12 years...

I wonder why it does not work yet on the e500?

airtaximan said...

Gorak:

"AvioNG was basically rewritten from scratch, according to the IS&S folks I've chatted with."

So, obviously, someone is lying big time on this one.

According to Vern (in order to obtain more deposit money) the switch was described as nearly plug and play. At the time they announced it, they had already been working a long time on the new system.... and it was almost ready for prime time, right then and there.

When did IS&S breach their NDA and tell you this?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A question that has been buggin me for some time but I had not bothered to ask in this forum:

Avidyne had previously offered FD, A/P, remote radio tuning, etc., on the Integra used on the Columbia and Cirrus aircraft if I recall correctly.

Why did 'they' have such a hard time providing the same functionality for Eclipse?

Could it be the revolving door of vendors involved in Avio such as BAe Systems, GD, and for several of the systems vendors as well?

Could it be changing or poorly defined specifications from Eclipse?

Why would a company that had already demonstrated competency and capability in the area in question (displays, controls and integration) suddenly have trouble with this one customer?

Then ask th same question of other 'world class' vendors such as BAe Systems, GD, Williams, DeVore, Metalcraft, Electromech, and the long list of speed bumps for the bus ride that is Eclipse.

The only common demoninator in these failures and public divorces is Eclipse itself.

Gunner said...

AT said:
"When did IS&S breach their NDA and tell you this?"

Gorak-
AT gotcha there, I think.

The import of this to us is obvious....people in the industry talk to other people in the industry. Rumors fly. Therefore, Vern's effete attempt to convince the Courts that this Blog is somehow the wellspring of all leaks is laughable.

Gunner

Gorak said...

atm,

That's what I get for posting past my bedtime.

What I meant to say was that the PFD and MFD code, the only code that IS&S was responsible for, was rewritten from scratch.

Since IS&S duplicated (and in some cases, enhanced) the existing Avio functionality and interfaces, the other Avio components, like the ACS and FADEC, did not have to be changed during the switch from Avio to AvioNG.

G

Gorak said...

Gunner,

I don't know if IS&S breached their NDA by talking to me. I just strolled over to their booth at Oshkosh and chatted them up.

I don't recall the conversation involving any of the topics mentioned in Eclipse's complaint in the Google suit.

You, and others, have been pretending that because some information that _you_ think ought to be covered by an NDA, has been disclosed, that Eclipse has no cause to investigate _any_ disclosures. That's ridiculous.

G

Gunner said...

Gorak-
Please locate the quote where I claimed Eclipse has no right to investigate. Personally, I think they have EVERY right.

They just have no right to immediately attempt to tear thru the First Amendment, simply because they're lazy, slothful and incapable of locating the leaks by less invasive means.

Just as I'd be lazy, slothful and incompetent if I now subpoena'd Google for YOUR personal info to demonstrate an affirmative defense that "proprietary" information about this seedy little company is floating all about us.

Nor do I think your attempt to couch this as what I do or do not think is proprietary is germane. After all, what Eclipse considers proprietary is still under seal to the very targets of the Eclipse attack.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

gorak,

it was a joke!


but it certainly appears to conflict with Vern's story about NG.

I am sure the guy at the booth was just exaggerating IS&S's involvement... after all, the switch went like clock work, right on schedule, as predicted... right? It was simple, took a few months.

Here's some history:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewpr&id=1215&Itemid=52

then remember, the last straw was the G400 bomb a few weeks ago.

then remember all the promised systems that still do not work.

Thanks for your insight...

Dave said...

Based on previous discussions, I thought it was pretty much concluded that as far as efficiency goes, it was impossible to beat the airlines (for air travel at least). 10 to 20 miles per gallon per person is what is published on the web. The above numbers from the article is only about 5 miles per gallon per person (assuming one pax on a DayJet flight).

The small jets are good for many things, but being efficient isn't one of them. They are designed to be neither as fuel efficient as ground transportation nor alternative air transportation. If you're going to tout the "I'm more efficient" routine, you need to actually be more efficient and larger jets - flying buses - are more efficient per passenger just as regular buses are more fuel efficient per passenger than small modes of transportation. Both Ed and Vern try to deceive everyone by comparing total volume of fuel consumed versus larger aircraft rather than the amount of fuel consumed per passenger versus larger aircraft (and they're definintely not going to compare versus ground transporation even though they say that's where they are primarilly getting customers from and is their target market).

It's like trying to convert a Ferarri into a taxi service (cramped, burns through fuel as well as expensive) and then touting how efficient you are because you consume less fuel per hour than a bus. The bus is obviously a more efficient mode of transportation no matter what spin you make. You might get a few customers, but you wont be a serious player in the taxi business.

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

was there some mention of the hit list pairing down to 14? Do we know who made the short list?

Black Tulip said...

Given the throttle problems with the Eclipse 500, maybe the Eclipse 400 is a great step forward. Remember the big knob or 'daisy wheel' in place of the power lever? That should be a heavy-duty optical encoder without stops. The pilot can twist and twist in either direction to get flight idle or maximum thrust. There is nothing to be broken by a ham-handed pilot and the FADEC will figure it out.

airtaximan said...

Dave:

1- what's the cheapest form of air travel, total passenger miles traveled?

2- what's the safest form of air travel, accidents per mile traveled?


answers:

1- elevator
2- space shuttle

see how this works?


Amusing part of your post - cost effectiveness IS what air taxi is about and it correlates well to fuel burn per pasenger... just like the environmental argument.

The e500 is a lousy performer environmentally compared to other (resonable) alternatives, including the most widely used alternative for these trips by air ... a prop.

Funny, the prop guys seem to be doing extremely well... business up 60% since last year... 1.6 milion miles flown in last year for SATSair alone... if memory serves.

airtaximan said...

BT,

I like the "One Handle Posi-Temp Pressure Balancing Shower Valve" myself

Gunner said...

AT-
Checked on it yesterday. Vern's attorneys had volunteered a more "selective" list after the hearing. They seem to have a hard time delivering on their promise, however. Wonder if it's genetic?

One has to ask oneself the following:
Would I rather defend a First Amendment action for a large group that was shotgunned or a smaller group that was more carefully selected?

My personal feeling is that they shouldn't be allowed a "do-over" on the targeted list at all. The Judge has seen this for what it is; let 'em make their best case, post by post. I'd be happy to step up on the stand and explain to the Judge from whence each of the Blogger statements came.

Unfortunately, Norman is still in conciliatory mode, so we'll wait on them a bit more.
Gunner

Dave said...

I don't recall the conversation involving any of the topics mentioned in Eclipse's complaint in the Google suit.
You, and others, have been pretending that because some information that _you_ think ought to be covered by an NDA, has been disclosed, that Eclipse has no cause to investigate _any_ disclosures. That's ridiculous.


Do you really want it pointed out where Eclipse explicitly named supplier-related posts in their subpoena? It is Eclipse that is claiming it and you are defending yourself as free of being subpoenaed over the very same topics others are being subpoenaed for. How are your posts and subsequent defence of them not "ridiculous"? It seems that you do the same things and use the same defence as those named in the subpoena yet you come down on people for doing the same things you do.

Dave said...

Funny, the prop guys seem to be doing extremely well... business up 60% since last year... 1.6 milion miles flown in last year for SATSair alone... if memory serves.

For flights in the hundreds of miles (rather than thousands) there are distinct advantages due to the balance of trade-offs. You're not as fuel efficient as a car, but you're not burning as much as a jet. You can accomplish DayJet's benefits of a one-day turnaround rather than an overnight stay without having all the inefficiencies of DayJet with a smaller environmental impact than DayJet.

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

thanks...

perhaps the attorney got sidetracked working on the NTSB/FAA?

Man, sometimes, I crack me up!

airtaximan said...

Dave,

I've been posting the "props win hands down" argument since month-5 of this blog, practically...

It's a no-brainer.

The best we've heard so far is, Ken MEyer's wife apparently has a new "business model" that's going to change aviation and create huge demand for the e500.


This was announced on this blog (first, I believe, so no NDA issues here) a long time ago.

I wish they would tell Eclipse.

Dave Ivedorne said...

A question that has been buggin me for some time but I had not bothered to ask in this forum:

Avidyne had previously offered FD, A/P, remote radio tuning, etc., on the Integra used on the Columbia and Cirrus aircraft if I recall correctly.

Why did 'they' have such a hard time providing the same functionality for Eclipse?


ColdWet-

I was talking to a good friend last night about just that question: the answer is that they consented to becoming vendors on the little bird on very unfavorable terms. My friend's employer is not involved with Eclipse (though his fingerprints are ALL OVER the Phenom 100), as a result of VernCo's cluelessness: "They don't know what the H--- they're doing".

He described a situation years ago where the Eclipse guy came by to discuss their objectives. Company guru guy said: "That won't work!" They'd have been happy to make it work, but Eclipse wanted all of the financial risk to be theirs (the vendor's). They declined. The other major supplier of these subsystems apparently also declined, and Eclipse ended up with Bachelor Number 3, lured by Vern's promises of high-volume low-margin riches.

How does that apply to Avidyne? Simple. Eclipse wanted something that couldn't be done without significant R&D investment. The risk-"sharing" nature of the relationship was settled on before those who would be charged with making things work could offer their opinions. The accountants noticed, and started meting out resources to the Eclipse project in smaller & smaller doses due to inadequate financial participation by Eclipse (from the get-go).

IOW, Avidyne probably assigned a marketing guy to sign the Eclipse contract, pre-empting any "nay-saying" the technical folks might have had to offer. "FriendCo" sent Mr. Eclipse to the tech guru FIRST, and then said, "Thanks, but no thanks." Bachelor number 2: "Thanks, but no thanks".

Bachelor number 3's marketing guy probably enjoyed a really posh round of golf & determined that the task would be trivial, signing the contract at the "19th Hole Gentleman's Club". The subsystem they're providing has been a notable problem area on the FPJ.

My friend's opinion: "Their data bus is orders of magnitude too noisy". And he continued, spewing supporting gobbledigook that was "orders of magnitude" beyond my comprehension.

"FriendCo" lost out on being one of Vern's "World Class" bus riders. They'll have to settle for being on the Boeings, JSF, Citations, Phenom, and various flavors of Airbus.

All conclusions JMHO. No NDAs were harmed in the formation of this opinion.

Would you like napkins and straws?
IANAL

Gorak said...

Dave said,

"It is Eclipse that is claiming it and you are defending yourself as free of being subpoenaed over the very same topics others are being subpoenaed for."

If you can point out anywhere that I've defended myself against being subpoenaed, I'll be glad to retract it. Otherwise, I'll thank you not to make up stuff and pretend I've said it. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I actually said, without your help :)

G

Gunner said...

Gorak-
Lemme ask you, then. Would you be comfortable, Constitutionally speaking, if I were to petition the court to subpoena your personals from Google, in order to demonstrate that inside information about Eclipse abounds thruout the industry?

Gunner

Gorak said...

Gunner,

I wouldn't mind at all if you attempt to get my personal information from Google.

When I signed up with Google, I don't remember them giving me any assurance that they would keep my information private. I would be naive to expect absolute anonymity from a free service on the Internet.

Besides, the only relevant information Google has about me is the IP address that is sending the information to the Google servers. Tracking that down would reveal IP addresses belonging to fastproxynet.com and whitefox.org. Perhaps you could subpoena them as well.

So, knock yourself out. You have my permission to spend as much of your money as you like.

G

Dave said...

Besides, the only relevant information Google has about me is the IP address that is sending the information to the Google servers. Tracking that down would reveal IP addresses belonging to fastproxynet.com and whitefox.org. Perhaps you could subpoena them as well.

So you're OK with inside information being revealed so long as people use proxy servers when they're doing it.

baron95 said...

Duh! And Wrong.


Nope, Mac said it, I just repeated it.

and in another three years, you begin to see it, sdoes not bode well for your position, Baron. Neither does the FACT that its inop on the 500 after $1 or 2.x billions and 12 years...

I wonder why it does not work yet on the e500?


I meant Duh and Wrong to Mac - not you - I'd never say that of you ;)

Unfortuantelly Mac is only good at looking back - he is really not a visionary. And that is true of most of the editors/writers of Flying and AOPA Magazine. Remember Baxter - I could not read a single one of his columns. It is a great group of guys, but hopelessly stuck in the past and always checking their six.

The point that Mac should be making is that, in 200x, all new IFR planes should have glass, integrated FD/FMS/AP with redundant ADHRS and that most with wide speed envelope should have AT as well. He should do some reseach and write about what Garmin is going to add to the G1000 next (after SVS).

Instead, he keeps repeating "the staus quo" and only find out what is happening when Garmin or Diamond or Eclipse issue a press release.

Read the pieces they did on Adam and Thierlert saying how great they were, and what a bright future they had when they were both on their death beds and died by the time the issue went to press.

That is an embaressment.

Look at the aviation press report on Eclipse. Nothing. Mac has no clue about what is going on. He tries to write about VLJs and what next planes people should buy and didn't even know what to say about Eclipse.

Aviation Consumer (for light GA) is a tiny bit better, but even they need to get out more and FIND THE NEWS.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
A question that has been buggin me for some time but I had not bothered to ask in this forum:

Avidyne had previously offered FD, A/P, remote radio tuning, etc., on the Integra used on the Columbia and Cirrus aircraft if I recall correctly.


CW, I am sorry to burst your bubble, but Avidyne avionics were substandard and Avidyne will not be in business much longer. They are losing ALL their light GA contracts.

They were pulled out of Columbia, replaced by G1000. [At one point, because they had left over inventories, Columbia offered buyers a choice of Avidyne for less money and G1000 for more money - NO ONE chose Avidyne]

They now got pulled out of Cirrus. They are slowly getting pulled out of Piper. All being replaced by G1000.

They did invest in some turbine STC (Conquest, etc). That was only because Garmin had this closed mind about selling the G1000 to the retrofit market. Now that there is a King Air G1000 retrofit the flood gates will open. Once G600/300 is shipping in volume and more G1000 retrofits get STCed, Avidyne is dead.

Their displays were crap - high mortality rate. Their integration with the G430s was marginal.

Eclipse really made a bad choice picking Avidyne. They made an even worse one replacing them with 13 vendors instead of scrapping the whole thing and going G1000.

Quick fixes rarelly work in aviation. G1000 is the light GA standard, Pro line 21 is the $5M standard. Stray from that at your own risk. Even Pilatus is taking a little risk there.

Dave said...

Also among the cancelled deals Eclipse has done, I just got reminded with how Eclipse had a deal with United Airlines to train pilots. That ended awhile ago.

baron95 said...

Dave said...
Also among the cancelled deals Eclipse has done, I just got reminded with how Eclipse had a deal with United Airlines to train pilots. That ended awhile ago.


Yes - can you immagine the UA check airmen (known to be a bit on the big/heavy side), with lets say meaty hands, and used to a hand full of 747 trhotles trying to operate the Eclipse throttles?

They probably broke the mockup/prototype on the first try and Vern decided it was not a good fit ;)

But then again, UA probably thought there was no upside for them.

baron95 said...

What is the ocncensus here - Is the Diamond Jet going to have any significant deliveries (like dozens) in 2009?

With the overweight problems, engine swap, inlet redesign, FIKI to be done - will they make their new claimed early 2009 certification deadline? How will they ramp up to production?

In my mind, if anyone else is delivering in quantities a sub-6000 lbs, sub $1.5M fan jet before Eclipse gets the plane completed and debugged it is game over.

They have used 10 years of runway, may have one year left. Thing is, I don't think they are even close to Vr, and since Eclipse does not publish ballanced field, V1, not even accelerate go/stop distances no one knows how they'll go our when they run out of runway.

Dave said...

But then again, UA probably thought there was no upside for them.

Yeah, Eclipse probably tried to pass off all the costs to them and then told them they'd make money in volume. Then reality set in.

baron95 said...

I wonder if I can Call Ed and ask for a DayJet plane to come pick me up at SDQ today.

AA (again) made a mess of things. 2 AB6s and a 763 went tech, multiple flights cancelled and mine is 4 hours late.

Luckly I have my buddies at AA ops to keep me posted on my chances of getting out of dodge and what planes to switch to.

But here is an idea for Ed. Watch the airlines cacellations and reposition the Day Jet planes to get stranded people out.

With all the ant farmers, and nuclear physicists and the Cray supercomputer or what ever it is they have they can solve that problem. On-demand emergency travel disruption service. Heck they can even sell travel insurance to people to pay for the flights and get airline vouchers as well.

Ed, if you are reading, send the Day Jet planes to SDQ and SJU - AA is messing up again. And a B6 (Jet Blue) A320 also went tech on their way to SDQ. Perfect storm brewing.

Come pick me up Ed. I'll even use my phone GPS to provide area nav to your crew and hold their hands so they don't jam the throttles too hard and I'll stab them in the leg if they try to apply the breaks too soon.

This way there will be, at most, one blown tire, not two, and they won't get lost if the VOR receiver goes out over the Caribbean sea as they switch comm frequencies.

Pick me up Ed. SDQ to JFK. We can make it with oh say fuel stops at FLL and ORF unless your pilots are too heavy, then we'll stop at Key West, Savanna, ORF and ACY for fuel on the way to JFK. But then I can't guarantee that we won't need to replace a tire or two with that many landings, so could you please send a couple of back up Day Jet planes and preposition them at FLL, ORF and ACY?

Thanks.

Shadow said...

Baron, I hate to say it, but I'm quite amused by your message to Ed/DayJet. LOL.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

You asked how much time a pilot would allow, in flight, to power cycle the FADEC's. Herewith the answer:-

I would wait about 30 seconds. No hurry, haste makes waste.

There you have it, straight from the frontline.

Wonder how many of them will TRY it, now that they know they might NEED it....

Shane

Gorak said...

dave said,

"So you're OK with inside information being revealed so long as people use proxy servers when they're doing it."

Are you accusing me of revealing inside information? I already said that I obtained the information from literature distributed by Eclipse and by talking to vendors. Are you attacking me because you don't agree with the facts I'm posting?

I don't have an axe to grind about the lawsuit. I'm just trying to inject some valid information into the conversation. You and others are the ones who started going on about NDAs and lawsuits in this exchange.

When a politician changes the subject, it's because he doesn't want to answer the question. I was talking about the interaction between the thrust control levers and the FADECs. Why are you changing the subject?

G

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