Monday, June 30, 2008

Pilot of Eclipse Jet Emergency Shares Personal Experience

From Charterx.com, with kind permission of the author.

29-Jun-2008
By Karen Di Piazza


Capt. Chuck Nealy has logged more than 22,000 hours of incident and accident free flights in military and airline transport aircraft. Flying military aircraft, he became trained in how to perform simulated flameout (SFO) approaches for emergency landing patterns. That training instinctually came into play on June 5, when he was forced to declare an emergency landing at Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) in Illinois.
On that day, while flying an Eclipse very light jet, Nealy noticed that both engines were unresponsive to his throttle commands. He landed at MDW, but the engines rapidly increased airspeed as he was running out of runway, forcing him to abort the landing and get the plane airborne.

Several minutes after becoming airborne again, Nealy realized that both engines were stuck on max power. When he shut down one engine, the other engine went to idle mode. Nealy was able to make a successful emergency landing, resulting in no injuries to himself or the three other people on board: his "unofficial" King Air copilot, who was sitting in the right seat getting some jet time; Don Bourn, who owns the VLJ, registration N612KB with Kevin Kiernan (hence the last two letters of the tail number); and an unidentified business associate.

Nealy, who became type rated in the Eclipse as pilot-in-command in September 2007, said he only flies the Eclipse under FAR Part 91 corporate rules for Coronado, Calif.-based Kiernan Companies LLC, listed as the registered owner. The aircraft is managed by nearby San Diego-based Jimsair Aviation Services Inc., dba as Jimsair Charter and Management, which employs both Nealy and the unidentified copilot.

On July 12, the National Transportation Safety Board addressed a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration. The letter stated that just as the airplane was landing at MDW, the Eclipse experienced a failure that resulted in an uncontrollable increase in the thrust from the two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines to maximum power. The NTSB noted that the Eclipse 500's crew alerting system (CAS) display showed both left and right engine control failure messages, as the airplane "climbed out following the balked landing" initially at MDW.

The NTSB noted that although the Eclipse 500's airplane flight manual (AFM) and Eclipse's quick reference handbook (QRH) provided an emergency procedure for a single-engine control failure, no procedures were available for dual-engine control failure, which occurred in this incident. "Had it not been for the resourcefulness of the pilots, the visual meteorological conditions that prevailed at the time, and the airplane's proximity to the airport, the successful completion of this flight would've been unlikely," the NTSB stated.

The VLJ was operating on an instrument flight rules flight, flying from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in Ohio to MDW, 266 nautical miles for the planned one-way flight. Nealy said that after referencing Eclipse's emergency procedures in the plane's QRH and finding no procedure for dual-engine control failure messages, he aborted the landing. The NTSB's letter said that the pilot flying the plane reported that as the airplane was crossing the runway threshold for the initial landing attempt, it encountered a 10- to 15-knot wind shear and developed a high sink rate, which the pilot arrested by applying power.

According to the NTSB, Nealy stated that as the airplane landed at about 83 knots, he retarded the throttles to idle. About three seconds later, he lightly touched the brakes to slow the airplane down. Although the throttles were at idle, the airplane was accelerating rapidly through 100 knots.

The NTSB also stated that the pilots said they retracted the flaps to the take-off position and retracted the landing gear as the airplane was climbing out from the balked landing. However, because the airspeed continued to increase through 190 knots, the flying pilot lowered the landing gear again to try to increase drag and slow the airplane. He stated that even with the landing gear down and the flaps in the take-off position, the airplane continued to accelerate. To remain below 200 knots, which is the maximum operating speed for the flaps and landing gear, the pilots had to maintain a shallow climb.

The NTSB also noted that the dual-channel failure of both throttle levers occurred after the airplane had accumulated only 238 hours and 192 cycles since new. The throttle levers are part of the throttle quadrant assembly. The safety agency said it's concerned about the reliability of an assembly that fails in such a short time. The board also found that when the "failed throttle quadrant assembly was replaced, pushing the throttle levers on the replacement unit against the maximum power stops, [it] caused a right engine control fail message" to appear on the CAS display. "The immediate failure of the replacement part suggests that there may be a design or quality problem in the Eclipse 500's throttle quadrant assembly," the NTSB stated.

The NTSB advised the FAA to require an immediate inspection of all Eclipse 500 airplane throttle quadrants "to ensure that pushing the throttle levers against the maximum power stops will not result in an engine control failure." The NTSB further advised that it should be required "that any units that fail the inspection be replaced and that the replacement parts be similarly inspected (A-08-46 urgent)."

The NTSB additionally recommended that Eclipse Aviation Corp., manufacturer of the Eclipse 500, be required to immediately develop an emergency procedure for a dual-engine control failure on the Eclipse 500 airplane and to incorporate the procedure into the airplane flight manual and quick reference handbook via an airworthiness directive (A-08-47 urgent).

Later that evening, on June 12, after the NTSB put heat on the the FAA, it issued an "emergency airworthiness directive" (AD), directing plots, rather than aircraft maintenance personnel, to evaluate the E500's throttles, to determine if they needed repair or replacement as necessary, prior to flight. By 6 a.m. EDT, charter operators DayJet Services LLC and North American Jet Charter Group reported that its aircraft used in commercial, FAR Part 135 air charter were cleared for flight.

In a June 13 email to Industry Headline News, Vicky Harris, DayJet spokesperson, said, "The maintenance and flight operations teams were prepared and responded efficiently, completing the required fleet inspections before the start of our revenue operations at 6 a.m. The safety of our flight operations wasn't compromised, and not a single customer was disrupted."

On June 24, Eclipse Aviation announced in a press release that it would make design improvements to its aircraft's software, to increase the range limit of the plane's throttle quadrant assembly, to prevent the fault condition. Pending the FAA's approval, software updates will be disbursed to all Eclipse 500 owners and operators.

Nealy Fills in Eclipse's CPC Gaps

On June 9, four days following the Eclipse VLJ dual-engine failure, the plane maker issued a "customer pilot communication" for "informational purposes only." (Reference our June 12 report, "Eclipse 500 Jet Twin-Engine Control Failures Investigated"). However, when interviewed from his cell phone while at a construction site on June 11, Nealy said he didn't receive Eclipse's CPC until that morning. "First thing this morning, we flew the aircraft from San Diego to Telluride," he said at the time.

Regarding Eclipse's CPC, Nealy acknowledged, "It leads you to believe that I sustained a force on the throttles in excess of 30 pounds. That's not what occurred. When we were in the landing, we were less than 100 feet above the ground. We encountered a wind shear. I lost between 10 and 15 knots of speed, as the aircraft descended rather rapidly. The typical recovery procedure for wind shears is to add power."

He said the wind shear at landing made being less than 100 feet above the ground an unsafe condition, so he increased power, to avoid hitting too firmly or possibly causing damage to the airplane. "Using the recovery procedure--adding power--is how this situation developed," he said. "I added a small amount of power, but it seemed insufficient to overcome the sink rate and speed loss, so I pushed the power up firmly. I don't remember hitting the mechanical stop--the end of the thrust lever. I just pushed it up and immediately brought it back to the three-quarter-power position. That stopped my speed loss, reduced the sink rate and allowed me to make a normal touchdown at MDW."

Nealy said that after he did, he reduced the power to idle--the normal position of flight on the ground. "This all happening very, very fast; I was viewing outside, not inside the airplane, at that moment," he explained. "Typically, you check your brakes to see that they're working. I applied a very light touch on the brakes to ensure they were fine; if you do a very hard brake at a very high speed, then you'll blow the tires. You'll skid them, and they'll skid through a hole and deflate."

The Eclipse VLJ doesn't have anti-lock/anti-skid brakes. His opinion is that if the aircraft had this braking system, it might've helped. "You can operate without the anti-skid, but inexperienced pilots can blow tires even without having the conditions that I did, because they may be overanxious to get on the brakes," he said.

He said the landing gear tires didn't blow when he landed, as some reports have suggested. "When I first applied the brakes, I realized that I wasn't slowing down," he said. "I couldn't feel the effect of braking; there was no appreciable sensation of speed reduction due to braking. In fact, I felt no speed reduction. I reached over and raised the flaps from the landing to the take-off position, in an effort to try to reduce lift and decrease speed, or increase weight on the wheels. I then gently reapplied the brakes, but we weren't slowing down."

Meanwhile, as the plane was going faster and faster, Nealy was careful to stay on the runway, looking diligently outside. "I looked at my airspeed, and instead of what I had anticipated--a decrease--it was rapidly increasing to 90 to 100 knots," he said. "I couldn't get that sensation of braking."

Thinking he had brake failure, Nealy looked at his engine instruments. "I determined that the engines were at maximum operating thrust!" he said.

Since the engine/software fault mode was caused by invalid position signals, the system logic held the engine thrust settings at the last known throttle position, which was at maximum. "Yes, it [the system] was talking to itself, and it determined that there was a logic that was set up for this particular malfunction," he said. "It worked, but the system didn't anticipate something like this occurring (dual-engine failure). At that moment, there was nothing I could do about it. I had airspeed; I was running out of runway, so we took off."

Once airborne, with power accelerating and both the left and right control engine fail messages displayed, Nealy and the copilot immediately checked the QRH. But there was no procedure on how to handle this emergency, and the aircraft was "uncontrollable." He said that in the event of uncontrollable power, it could occur at maximum or minimum power, depending on where the fault occurs. In his case, the fault occurred at maximum power on both engines.

Preparing for Flameout

Nealy's vast piloting expertise saved the day. In the Air Force, he was captain of the four-engine Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Lockheed C-140 (known as the JetStar.) He also flew the T-39 Sabreliner, T-29 Convair, T-37 and T-38. His lifelong flying career includes flying the Boeing 737, 727 and MD-80 airliners as captain.

That day at MDW, Nealy did some familiar maneuvers to keep airspeed under control. He also said having a pilot next to him allowed for the most advantageous outcome. While he was adjusting gears and flaps, the copilot read a caution in the Eclipse's QRH: if you change your flight conditions, the engines could flameout. "When I realized that was the case, I maneuvered the aircraft into a very familiar procedure," he said. "It's a simulated flameout approach--what the military calls ‘fly in circles.' That's an approved practice in the military with certain aircraft, which I've preformed many times."

The plane was uncontrollable and accelerating as Nealy did a visual maneuver, trying to come back around, with the plane's airspeed in excess of 190 knots. He knew he had to shut down an engine. "I had to reduce thrust," he said. "I had to reduce my power. My throttles weren't effective; the only alternative method I had was to shut down an engine. The speed was between 190 and less than 200 knots when I turned the one engine off. Then I began my maneuver to try to get back to MDW for landing."

As he was making his maneuver, the plane's speed decreased rapidly. "My airspeed was on order of 90 knots," he said. "I had to bank the aircraft immediately. I lowered the nose and tried to gain airspeed; I kept looking at power, trying to add power on the operating engine--the left engine. But the left engine wouldn't respond to the throttle movement; it had gone from max power to idle, where it remained unresponsive to my throttle movement."

A stall warning confirmed that the situation was serious. "It's a feature designed in the aircraft that alerts the pilot that a stall is approaching," he said. "You're not in a stall, but a stall is approaching."

Nealy said that with one engine on idle, he and the copilot remained calm. "I had to make Midway, and there are a lot of houses, a lot of population," he said. "The only place for me to safely get on the ground was Midway. So, I traded out altitude for airspeed; the only way I could do that was to descend. I came down and reduced bank, because I didn't want to stall the aircraft. It was very important not to stall. If I stalled, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you. I had no room to recover; that's my my job. So I did what I had to do to get the plane down safely."

During the ordeal, Nealy was constantly manipulating airspeed, which he gained and then lost. Once the airspeed increased, he'd stop the descent by gradually pitching attitude. "The plane would slow down slightly, but as soon as I got the stall warning notice, again, I pushed the nose down to get more airspeed," he said. "In other words, I'm riding right on the verge of a stall warning, until I got to a point where I realized that I could make the runway. I was going to touch down on the ground--I was going to land on that runway! When this was occurring, I lowered the flaps to landing position, pushed them, as it reduced my stall speed, and increased my drag. This procedure ensured I would touch down on the runway in control. I knew I was going to make the runway, so I pushed the nose forward to get as much speed as I could to use for flair. And a normal touchdown was made--not firm, not hard. The landing gear tires absolutely, positively didn't blow with touchdown; I could tell they were flat when I landed. There's a sensation that you receive from the tires not being inflated, and the tires were flat, in my opinion."

There's been controversy about when the Eclipse's tires were blown. Nealy believes the tires did not deflate on the original touchdown, but deflated during the first landing at MDW, as he was rolling down the runway and the plane's engines were stuck on max power."When you have a normal landing, which we did the first time, you expect power to decrease, not increase," he said.

When asked what he thought might have been the outcome, without a copilot that day, Nealy replied, "I've thought about that. You know the aircraft is certified for single pilot; I can't overemphasize that this was an unprecedented, unanticipated event. I'm not saying that the aircraft should be operated with two people. I'm telling you that Eclipse is, I believe, working diligently to address this issue and come up with a procedure that a single pilot can operate with. Had I known about this event prior to my experience and training, procedures would've been in place that a single pilot could probably, easily take off and deal with the situation. I believe Eclipse, the FAA and NTSB are working on that right now."

Nealy added that having an extra set of eyes--another pilot next to him--definitely helped him to expedite decisive action.


Note for the blog. For those of you who were kind enough to contribute background information that informed this piece, and for owners and pilots of E500's who would like to contact her direct, Karen asked that I publish her private email, Karen@bizandaviationpub.com. Other journalists have covered this story, but none with the focus that she has. I can also confirm that Karen continues to do so, despite pressure from parties 'associated' with ABQ. Finally, I hope this helps explain the length of time between 'headline' posts. I thought it was worth waiting for, I hope you agree.

Shane

237 comments:

1 – 200 of 237   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

From RTE, our 'national' broadcaster, this fine Monday morning

The chief executive of oil giant BP has said the argument that speculators are to blame for record oil prices above $140 a barrel is a 'myth'.

Tony Hayward told the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid that supply was not responding adequately to rising demand, adding that politics rather than geology was the reason for this.

OPEC, many of whose members are reluctant to allow western oil companies invest in their oil industries, has frequently blamed speculators for high prices.

His comments came as London's Brent crude struck a record high of $142.98 a barrel in European trading this morning. Brent later stood at $142.60, a rise of $2.29 from Friday's close. Meanwhile, US crude jumped by $2.35 to $142.56, having hit $142.99 on Friday.

Analysts said supply concerns stemming from unrest in major producer Nigeria and political tensions in the Middle East, as well as the weak US dollar, were the main drivers behind the latest increases.

A weak US currency makes goods priced in the dollar, like oil, more affordable for buyers with stronger currencies. The jump in oil prices, which have doubled in the past year, has sparked protests around the world over fuel costs and fears for economic growth.


There you have it. Good old supply and demand economics. Wonder if the same applies to the FPJ?

Seems like it does, with 74 for sale on controller.com, several for less than the 'new' factory price. Check out the Mustang, and see how many you can buy for less than 'list'...

Shane

fred said...

#A weak US currency makes goods priced in the dollar, like oil, more affordable for buyers with stronger currencies. The jump in oil prices, which have doubled in the past year, has sparked protests around the world over fuel costs and fears for economic growth.#

yep , shane !

today Oil is at 143$
one € buy 1.5817$ on russian market ...

so if you link it together with the fact that they can export their inflation problem by raising mechanically price for Oil (by lowering production) they will gather more of that precious money to fight inflation home ...
(a bit schematic as it is more complicated than this ...)

customers paying in € won't care too much as this will lead to an other fall of $ ( as much as if you take into consideration ECB want to raise rates as well , to do what they are supposed to do = fight inflation ! something the Fed has lost from sight long ago ...)

the ones telling that inflation is good are plainly lying ...
a little bit is normal (as in : when unemployment is low + salary on the rise = always inflation ! leading to failure such as demonstrated in the nature of capitalism [being naturally uncertain and unstable] by Noham schomsky )

when inflation get out of control , everybody looses his shirt !


Conclusion :

if you haven't noticed the Oil price ...
do not worry , you will very soon !

Turboprop_pilot said...

Shane:

Thanks for getting the article from Karen. Capt. Chuck Nealy has the experience but his description of the incident just doesn't sound like a pilot of his experience.

During TBM training, a retired U2 pilot taught the Air Force "High Key, Low Key" engine out procedure and it made engine out landings very straight forward.

Chuck followed rule 1- when shit happens, stay near the airport, stabilize the plane, gain altitude and check emergency procedures. When he found the only choice was to shut down one engine, he seems to have forgotten rule 2- trim for best glide while establishing a circle over the airport. His description of "hear the stall warning, speed up then slow down til you hear the stall warning again" would put the plane way under the best glide and expose the plane to danger repeatedly. Rule 3, High Key, Low Key says to fly the upwind leg so as to pass the center of the airport at High Key (TBM, 3,000’ AGL, U2 1,500’, F104 10,000’) and begin a standard rate turn. Fly downwind and Low key will be reached at the 45 degree point past the runway. Begin to turn to the runway, drop gear and add flaps- you have excess energy so increase rate of decent and roll out with altitude to get rid of.

We also trained for loss of engine throttle control and did what Chuck did- add drag, climb to control speed and make sure we were over the airport at a generous altitude when the engine was shut down. The High Key, Low Key was in the sim and the engine loss of control was in the airplane. The autopilot was used throughout in Indicated Airspeed mode so the single pilot could think and plan. It was fascinating to see how routine and precise the drill became after a couple of tries. We did all sim work in IMC with a 500’ ceiling (and the Garmin 530 providing constant ground reference), so I’m not sure if the NTSB’s warning that it would have been fatal if in IMC is correct with the rigorous training required by Eclipse.

Turboprop_pilot

julius said...

T-P,
sure, gliding at stall speed is hard and will cost energy when recovering from stall warning. A good AP does it better (see BA with B. 777 at Heathrow).
But where do you find speed for best glide if you have not the instructions for no engine flight?
I am still amazed, that there is no "F1"-help button which gives you all needed information on the large EA500 screens!

airtaximan said...

Bottom line?

“Regarding Eclipse's CPC, Nealy acknowledged, "It leads you to believe that I sustained a force on the throttles in excess of 30 pounds. That's not what occurred.”

“I don't remember hitting the mechanical stop--the end of the thrust lever. I just pushed it up and immediately brought it back to the three-quarter-power position.”

"Yes, it [the system] was talking to itself, and it determined that there was a logic that was set up for this particular malfunction," he said. "It worked, but the system didn't anticipate something like this occurring (dual-engine failure).”

1- the reason for HAL taking over offered by EAC seems inaccurate
2- the inspection procedure offered by EAC does not seem to have much to do with the problem, either
3- the design of the software, seems to have some loopholes
4- the plane will make it’s own decisions, even for “unanticipated” events


All of this is very troublesome. Very.

fred said...

atm ...


yes , it is cheaper to say a mechanical stop were too fragile ...

than to say , our software will kill you within split a second if anything happen ...

once again with EAC it is a "don't open the locker , who knows what is inside ...!"

so the software is "good for bin" and they are close to Easa cert. ?

what a joke !!
soon it'll be game over !

let's hope no one get injured in the process ..!!

Dave said...

I ran across this:
But factory replacements for current-production throttle quadrants that have failed the operational test required by AD 2008-13-51 are in short supply, some operators report.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/THROT06278.xml&headline=Eclipse%20Finds%20Fix%20For%20Dead%20Throttle%20Glitch&channel=busav

Didn't Vern say that barely any failed the test?

Turboprop_pilot said...

Dave:

In Vernecular "barely any" can mean anything from 3-4 to 75%.

Turboprop_pilot

Dave said...

In Vernecular "barely any" can mean anything from 3-4 to 75%

I thought Eclipse detailed it...7 total fails with 4 of the 7 due to gyro noise with 80% of the fleet tested. Was there a large number of failures after Vern's response?

baron95 said...

TP said ... Capt. Chuck Nealy has the experience but his description of the incident just doesn't sound like a pilot of his experience.


TP, you have to remember that this was Karen's paraphrasing Nealy's account. Karen't obviously is not aviation savy and was trying to make the article simple for non-pilots to read - thus the dumbing down.

Clearly Nealy did a commendable job getting the plane safelly on the ground.

I agree with you that on flame out he good have trimed for Vref and set the autopilot in IAS mode.

BUT I can not second guess the pilot. If his choice was to keep eyes outside the cockpit and not look at IAS or waste time with setting autopilot modes and used stall warning as his airspeed indicator - so be it. It clearly worked for him and it may be personal style.

We did all sim work in IMC with a 500’ ceiling (and the Garmin 530 providing constant ground reference), so I’m not sure if the NTSB’s warning that it would have been fatal if in IMC is correct with the rigorous training required by Eclipse.


I'm not so sure. Remember that the Eclise has no GPS/Moving map on the pannel - one would have to reference the 496 portable, do your IMC scan. I think it is just a bit too much. If this flight had climbed back into an overcast and found itself in IMC with no power, over MDW area I think it would have been over.

Remember in a previous post I said one of the reasons pwer stuck at MAX would present an urgent need for action was if there was an overcast and the plane needed to stop climbing fast.

Again. Great job for Nealy. He and his passengers should NEVER had been subjected to the initial failure and should NEVER had been subject to a failure with no emergency procedures on board.

The ONLY redeaming (to Eclipse) info that was disclosed in the piece was the note on the QRH that "engine flameout could occur if the pilots changed configuration" - that ut Nealy on notice that he could have a dead stick landing.

I am just happy that the pilots/passengers are safe and that we avoided the first VLJ accident. It would have been very bad for the industry if we had lost this plane and people over a Chicago residential neighborhood.

AvidPilot said...

Now that Eclipse is going to be shipping FIKI approved aircraft, pilots who are more trusting of Eclipse will be flying in lower IFR conditions.

It's one thing to deal with "glitches", erroneous CAS messages, transponders that change frequency on their own, and uncommanded trim changes while in the VFR conditions that owners have been flying most of their hours to date.

Even without the glitches, the workload in the E500 is just too high for the average pilot flying single-pilot IFR in low IFR conditions, especially at night.

Dave said...

I found this interesting tidbit about Microsoft and Eclipse:
I have meet and worked with staff from Microsoft while working at Eclipse Aviation
http://joeytroy.com/2008/06/farewell-eclipse-aviation-and-farewell.html

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Single Engine Flame Out High/Low Key is different when comparing multi-engine aircraft like a King Air, SR-71 or F-15 to single engine machines like a TBM or U2 or F-16.

The profiles are flown differently based on performance which is greatly effected by what the 2nd engine is doing (if installed - LOL).

Consider that you fly an engine failure differently in a Model 58 Baron than in a Model 36 Bonanza even though they share essentially the same wing.

The incident pilot had uncontrollable thrust from not one but two engines, close-in to the ground and the airport.

After the go-around he had an airplane accelerating uncontrollably.

After completing the closest procedure in the AFM to his situation, he had one engine caged and another one now uncontrollably rolling back to idle.

The design 'feature' that Eclipse seems to suggest was deliberately included in the FADEC - was apparently not included in any training scenarios, any procedures, or any failure/hazard analysis.

That is not a simple oversight, that is pure, unadulterated amateur-hour incompetence on a level unmatched in the annals of aviation history.

Think of the issues with the DeHavilland Comet, where we learned painfully about metal fatigue. It was a tragic but honest mistake, we simply did not know then.

Now consider had that problem arisen not with the Comet in the late 50's, but instead with the introduction of the 737 decades later.

THAT my friends is the problem as I see it - Eclipse COULD have stood on the shoulders of giants and learned about system safety analysis, failure hazard analysis, failure modes effects and criticality analysis and myriad other tools to adequately understand the plane they had designed.

They CHOSE to walk the path less taken, not because they knew it was better, but to embrace change for CHANGES' SAKE - it is high arrogance and IMO dangerous thinking.

All indications are that they not only failed to learn the lesson of this incident or the past decade, they seemed poised to repeat it on 'the next best thing ever'.

Jim Howard said...

"TP said ... Capt. Chuck Nealy has the experience but his description of the incident just doesn't sound like a pilot of his experience. "

Note that Capt Nealy doesn't list any jet single engine aircraft.

As far as I know the USAF doesn't train multiengine pilots to dead-stick.

Certainly flame out approaches were never practiced in the F-111 or F-4.

I'm sure the USAF consider the risk inherent in jet deadstick training to be greater than the reward for multi-engine airplanes.

I am aware of a U-2 that flamed out over Korea and deadsticked to Kadena.

Don't forget that a U-2 or F-16 on a flameout approach always has an ejection just under his hip pocket.

I personally know a former USAF A-7 pilot who tried a deadstick approach to civilian airport but had to bail out before touchdown.

I strongly suspect that if an F-16 or U-2 experienced a runaway engine on the landing roll followed immediately by that engine reverting to idle power that many military pilots would eject.

Maybe Vern needs to add ejection seats.

Orville said...

FrigidDampFish - right on!

At least if you're going to blaze new trails in uncharted territory - have the decency to sketch out a map on a napkin!

Starting to feel like an episode of "Lost".

Dave said...

They CHOSE to walk the path less taken, not because they knew it was better, but to embrace change for CHANGES' SAKE - it is high arrogance and IMO dangerous thinking.

I don't think it was change for change's sake. I think it was change for the sake of Vern's ego. Vern thought because he happened to be at the right place at the right time by being one of the first employees for Microsoft, that this somehow entitled him to know more than aviation industry. Nevermind that he screwed up his big opportunity with Microsoft by cashing out his 5% ownership stake in Microsoft before Microsoft went public, so he had be Paul Allen's lackey as a consolation prize instead of having same magnitude of wealth as Paul Allen. Despite all these failures of judgment on Vern's part, Vern still thinks he alone has got the best judgment compared to groups of people who spent in aviation.

airtaximan said...

CW,

I believe this is an unintended consequence.

I do not think EAC has been forthright regarding HAL... I do not think they understand all the issues related to trying to have a "virtual co-pilot"...

They plan for the computer to be smarter than the pilot(s)... yet they cannot tell anyone this, becasue it smacks of certification issues. See ASM's descriptions of the cert requirements.

I do not think there was anything related to "pushing the throttle" beyond its design limit... 30lbs - like Gunner says, "kidding, right?"

These features are mistakes... oversights, and excuses.

I still do not think anyone knows what really happend in the incident at Midway - except the plane took over and started behaving badly. The pilot looked for the procedure to rectify, for which there were none.

Imagine that - I guess THAT's part of the design, right? Provide certain modes of operation for the computer, but not for the pilot... planned it that way?

Nope.

Missed it by THAT much... not even a freaking appology.

AND, BS test procedures for the fleet, based on a rendition of the computer glitch as a throttle malfunction. C'mon.

Is there a lawyer out there somewhere reading all this? An insurance company?

- I personally think the plane should be grounded, until the NTSB and EAC come to a consensus on what the failure was and how to fix it. I do not believe we know this, yet - do we?

baron95 said...

Now consider had that problem arisen not with the Comet in the late 50's, but instead with the introduction of the 737 decades later.
CW said ...


You mean like in the Hawaian Airlines B737 fatal fuselage fatigue accident that caused the fuselage to fail in flight? ;)

CW said ... The design 'feature' that Eclipse seems to suggest was deliberately included in the FADEC - was apparently not included in any training scenarios, any procedures, or any failure/hazard analysis.

I'm not sure I agree. The Eclise QRH section that the pilots followed clearly allerted the pilot and he said he took notice that changing the plane configuration/parameters could cause a flameout - he even made the decision to remain close to the airort because of that. So I'd say the failure mode was anticipated and somewhat documented, but since it was considered a double failure, the decision was made not to have an emergency checklist for it, which has now been corrected via AD.

baron95 said...

Jim Howard said...
As far as I know the USAF doesn't train multiengine pilots to dead-stick.


I'm not sure what the extent of the flight training is, but the USAF has certainly invested a lot of resources in double flameout scenarios, analysis, classroom training.

Here is an abstract of one of the USAF T38 double flameout comissioned studies....

"Accession Number : AD0265390

Title : T-38A FLAMEOUT EVALUATION

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE FLIGHT TEST CENTER EDWARDS AFB CALIF

Personal Author(s) : SUDDERTH,ROBERT W. ; HANKS,NORRIS J.

Report Date : SEP 1961

Pagination or Media Count : 1

Abstract : The results of a test program to develop a flameout emergency landing pattern for the T-38 aircraft are presented. This was accomplished by preliminary tests, actual double engine flameout landings, and control surface rate tests to verify the slow response rates noted during the deadstick landings. The results of these tests indicate that a deadstick landing is not advisable. It is recommended that a pilot eject from the aircraft rather an attempt a deadstick landing. If a deadstick landing capability is required, it is recommended that a battery powered hydraulic backup pump be incorporated in the aircraft and the flameout landing pattern developed during this program be used. Airstart capability in a double engine flameout condition is satisfacry. Aircraft systems operation is satisfactory for deadstick glides to suitable airstart altitudes or to a safe ejection area."

airtaximan said...

Baron:

was this a flameout? NO.

"but since it was considered a double failure, the decision was made not to have an emergency checklist for it, which has now been corrected via AD."

Here's the rub - how many other "double" failures of systems, even ones considered redundant, independant, etc... are not accounted for?

What other "configurations" result in unexpected consequences?

We had this sort of blog discussion for a year regarding seperate and independant systems, in case something goes wrong. In this case, the system was the problem.

Unless of course you believe the pilot smashed the Throttle.

I reference reports of the door being half open, and the computer saying ready for takeoff.

baron95 said...

Jum said ... I strongly suspect that if an F-16 or U-2 experienced a runaway engine on the landing roll followed immediately by that engine reverting to idle power that many military pilots would eject.


Most pilots would stick with the plane for as long as they thought the situation could be salvaged. As a matter of fact training military pilots to pull the handle early enough to be saved is the hardest thing to imprint of pilots.

baron95 said...

AT said... airtaximan said...
Baron:

was this a flameout? NO.


Good point AT. I jumped to the conclusion that they used "flame out" to also mean roll back to idle. I guess I should not make that assumption. Yes, it is possible that they did not contemplate the scenario/imlications of their FADEC coding on failure. Thanks for pointing that out.

At said ... how many other "double" failures of systems, even ones considered redundant, independant, etc... are not accounted for?


Unfortunatelly, I think there will be others. Maybe this incident will spark a safety review and the problems will be found by engineers not Pilots. I believe FADEC, fuel control units, ADHRS, etc should all be reviewed.

Jim Howard said...

"I'm not sure what the extent of the flight training is, but the USAF has certainly invested a lot of resources in double flameout scenarios, analysis, classroom training."

I note that the cited study confirms my memory that in the T-38 like the F-4 (1000 hours) and F-111 (550 hours) the checklist said to eject in the case of double engine failure. I don't recall ever seeing a flight tested deadstick procedure for those airplanes.

The F-16 and A-7, on the other hand, did have tested procedures for engine failures and did routinely practice deadstick approaches. If you paw around youtube you can find some HUD video from successful F-16 dead stick landings.

Maybe the EA-500 should have a dead stick procedure added to its checklist. Or ejection seats.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

You should know better by now.

The Aloha 737 was a truly isolated incident, on an old airplane, from a fleet with individual aircraft that have more time than the ENTIRE Comet fleet of a little over 100 planes, after they were all retired.

The fatigue failures on early Comets occured at less than 4,000 cycles. Most 73's will see this utilization in about a year.

The point is what if Boeing had chosen to ignore the lessons of the Comet when designing the 73?

We know the result, we witnessed it at Midway, when HAL took over and ignored the pilot in a way even HAL's designers in the 505 did not (and I maintain 'do not') understand. They did not envision it, there was no training, no procedure.

An uncommanded rollback BTW is not the same as a flameout - drag characteristics are different, controllability is different. Pucker factor is, for me at least, pretty high for either event.

The point remains that in its' very short service life to-date, the EA-500 has been plagued by significant reliability issues (according to its' 'father'), had at least 3 reported incidents (using the FAA definition AND reporting system) and been the subject of no less than 3 AD's.

That is a pretty pathetic introduction into service.

airtaximan said...

Baron,


YES.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Baron,

You should know better by now.


I do - sorry couldn't resist the tickle - you could have picked up any other Boeing jetliner to make your point. Why you chose the only model to have an in-flight pressure vessel catathrophic failure was "peculiar". The whole cammel fit through that test opening ;)

I know what you mean, though - we are on the same page.

gadfly said...

Here’s something . . . nothing to do with the subject at hand, except that the “crew” and passengers at Midway walked away from something that could have been much worse.

As a kid, I met a man at our church in Burbank, California, one Sunday morning . . . late “forties” . . . with his arm in a sling. He was the “first” man, ever, to survive an ejection “on the ground” from a Lockheed P-80 “Shooting Star”. He was working in the cockpit, and someone hit a button . . . firing the 40mm shell . . . and he went up in the hangar, over a “beam”, and came down on an adjacent wing of another aircraft, which broke his fall . . . and didn’t do much good to the skin of the wing (so we were told). He was a hero for the day . . . at least, in my young eyes.

The pilot, and others at Midway survived due to their expertise . . . coming out of an extremely difficult situation . . . and partly because of unknown serendipitous conditions and events. This should stand as a warning, that such conditions will not likely occur the next time around.

And yet, there are a few that continue to support this travesty . . . and that is the true travesty!

gadfly

(With no apologies!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Fair enough Baron ;^)

For the record, I think the Comet was a gorgeous plane and I love that the Nimrod remains in limited service today.

The Comet, along with the 747 Classic are on my list of planes I wish I could have flown on, along with Concord.

baron95 said...

Just thought you guys may want to know that the Piper Jet prototype has completed power up and has started taxi tests in the past few days.

I wish good luck and continued progress to the engineering and flight test teams at Piper.

That is one "fat" engine on the tail ( if I may say so). ;)

gadfly said...

Baron

With all due respect, “good luck” has nothing to do with success, . . . or safety on any aircraft. Aircraft design is a combination of inherent ability, intelligence, careful design and testing, and adherence to the skill and ability of others that have gone before . . . plus an experienced and intelligent crew to build the beast. I’m sure I have left out a long list of other requirements, but “good luck” is a dangerous path to follow.

gadfly

(No offense meant, but we need to understand the basics, before we move to the next step.)

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

CW,

I'd have loved to had a chance to fly the Comet also. It must have been a very exciting event for passengers, crew, controllers, aviation fans, etc to experience that plane with that shape take to the skies in the 50s. I'm so sorry so many lost their lives, but it was trully a revolutionary airplane.

I was never a fan of the Concord, but I flew many a times directly over or within a few miles horizontally and a few thousands of feet vertically from one over JFK - flying V16 at 6,000 ft and seing the concorde in its climbing turns towards the Atlantic. An incredible sight. Even in the last few years, the busy NY Approach controllers would take the time and point out the "Concorde traffic" more as a sight oportunity than a needed IFR advisory.

These days, only walking the ramp next to a 77W moves me as much, when I see how far a twin jetliner has come. That is an engineering AND reliability miracle. The GE90-115B and B77W are an incredible combination of powerplant and airframe. What a looker and what a moneymaker for the airlines. I just wish I could see one in AA livery, but all I see are EKs and SGs and AFs.

baron95 said...

gadfly said...
Baron

With all due respect, “good luck” has nothing to do with success, . . . or safety on any aircraft.


I'm sorry gad, but I have to strongly disagree with you. The history of aerospace is filled with good luck/bad luck being the difference between success or failure.

I won't take the time to list the many, many examples where by shear luck mistakes were found in a way that prevented the loss of a crew or prototye and led to success where at other times a promissing design was doomed because of an unlucky loss of a prototype and crew to a fluke hazzard.

Please take the time to reflect on this. I'm sure you will change your mind.

I never count on luck, but I gladly accept it when it comes my way. And so it has been with aerospace since the begining of times.

gadfly said...

Back in the "olden times", there were a couple of DC-3's that would depart Long Beach each evening, returning from "Hawthorne, Nevada" in the morning. "Luck" was their goddess . . . and very few returned with happy faces after having worshipped at her feet.

Baron, you and I will need to agree, to "disagree". You trust in your "god", and I will trust in "Another".

gadfly

(Fair enough? And by the way, a careful study of aeronautical design will show that "luck" has little to do with true success. All true breakthroughs have come by intelligence and careful testing . . . none by "chance".)

airtaximan said...

Baron:

I look at the piperjet and I think, what a nightmare.

- rotorburst, tail gone....dead
- CG
- high angle of attach flow

...

What do you guys see?

Shadow said...

AT,

I have to think that Piper spent enough time working on this design to make sure the configuration is OK.

FlightCenter said...

Baron

I have to agree that very few sights rival the fun of trying to outrun a Concorde while flying east on V16 at 5 or 7,000...

If you are at the right place at the right time you can almost feel the acceleration as you watch them push the throttles forward after passing a few miles off the eastern end of Long Island.

Another inspiring site was when Air Force One landed directly behind me at KPHF while the tower asked me to keep my speed up.

Ok, POTUS wasn't aboard - so it technically wasn't Air Force One and they were just doing some training.... still pretty neat.



AOPA has announced that Phil Boyer is retiring.

http://www.aopa.org/about/articles/2008/080630fuller.html

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse had their best quarter in the company's history for deliveries of E500 aircraft this quarter.

FAA records as of this morning show 66 E500 aircraft were registered to customers this quarter.

FAA data shows that Eclipse registered 108 E500 aircraft in the first half of the year.

Unfortunately 3 aircraft which were included in these numbers above, have been returned to Eclipse and have been subsequently re-registered to Eclipse.

Another concern is that the FAA records show that not one of the aircraft delivered this year have a standard CofA. In fact the last E500 aircraft listed in the FAA database as having been issued a standard airworthiness certificate is serial #95 on 12/9/2007.

As of June 30, 2008 Eclipse has delivered a total of 207 aircraft to customers, 92 of which are listed by the FAA as having a standard airworthiness certificate.

Yes, that is right, only 44% of the Eclipse 500s in service are listed by the FAA as having a standard airworthiness certificate.

I wouldn't be very happy taking delivery of an aircraft with a temporary certificate of airworthiness.

airtaximan said...

FC,

what's the issue with the CofA?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

We should tread carefully about the CofA and Registration issue.

I am not aware of a 'temporary' CofA, there are basically standard and provisional. There is a temporary certificate of registration - I suggest we make sure we are very clear about this.

I myself have wondered why there would be such a delay in the FAA database reporting for Eclipse as say compared to Cessna - at this point I chalk it up to ineptitude at Eclipse - Cessna after all has been delivering aircraft, along with CofA's, for longer than there has been an FAA.

There COULD be more to it, and maybe FC can shed some light on it but let's be sure we are not talking apples and oranges.

Dave said...

I myself have wondered why there would be such a delay in the FAA database reporting for Eclipse as say compared to Cessna - at this point I chalk it up to ineptitude at Eclipse - Cessna after all has been delivering aircraft, along with CofA's, for longer than there has been an FAA.

Whatever it is, it does seem odd. If Eclipse was able to get CoAs showing up on the system for others, it seems strange that over time Eclipse became more inept and forgot how. Then again, I guess that could be a combination of brain drain combined with Eclipse's publicly expressed disdain for those with aviation industry experience.

Orville said...

Interesting flight - wonder what was going on here

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
Baron:

I look at the piperjet and I think, what a nightmare.


I agree. I don't like that configuration at all. Piper did the requisite rotor burst analysis 1/3 of the rotor departing at 5% angle, blah, blah, blah not taking the empenage out.... but that is just a design point. Having said that I am not too worried about that. Lets face it. When these planes make holes in the ground, 85% of the time it will be pilot error, 14% of the time it will be flukes, maintenance issues, etc. And less than 1%, way less, will be due to a catasthrophic engine event.

I think there are serviceability issues with the engine placement. I think this plane will have to grow some ventral fins for deep stall prevention or they'd have to put a pusher in there.

And the airframe/wings are just not suitable for a 360 KTAS jet.

But, once they made the decision to go to the Malibu/Meridian parts bin for this jet, the designer's hands were tied.

I do commend Piper for trying for a large (Mustang-sized) SEJ. It is certainly alone in that niche. That can be good or bad, but I am glad someone is exploring it. It is, after all, the only way to find out if there is a market there.

It can rove very shrude if oil keeps going up.

As I said before.... good luck to them. I hope they get it certified before running out of money. Once certified, the plane will flow out of the line at predictable rates.

baron95 said...

FlightCenter said...
Baron

I have to agree that very few sights rival the fun of trying to outrun a Concorde while flying east on V16 at 5 or 7,000...

Another inspiring site was when Air Force One landed directly behind me at KPHF while the tower asked me to keep my speed up.


Unfortunatelly we are not likely to see either anymore :~( Concorde no longer flies and post 9/11 it is virtually impossible to get near a VC-25 in fligh even when it is not flying as airforce one.

I do have fond memories of seing Airforce-one and Marine-one near Kenebunk, Maine and see bush senior just drive through town in the limo - no big deal, window even cracked down a bit sometimes. The restricted areas were tiny and of short duration - not these massive TFRs.

Oh, well those days seem like a quaint memory.

FlightCenter said...

Baron,

You say the PiperJet will be the only Mustang size SEJ.

Does anyone have any data on the dimensions of the PJ cabin?

Does anyone have any data on baggage capacity?

I've seen speed and range data, but not cabin volume data on the PJ.

airtaximan said...

come to think of it...


once you are inclined to wait 5 extra years, and then accept an airplane with...

cracking windshields, a bunch of inop stickers, incomplete avionics, blowing tires, etc...

I guess the paperwork is the least of your problems?

Perhaps this is no big deal, but something seems whacky, here. Either you have CofA, or not... I would be inclined to think it related to some change in the aircraft, like avioNG instead of Avio that marked the reluctance of the FAA to provide a CofA... but that's just speculation on my part.

- there's probably an issue

airtaximan said...

FC,

I sat in the mock up, and it feel pretty big, but its pretty tight... like it predessessor - same cabin.

So, its small... then again, they all are.

Dave Ivedorne said...

I look at the piperjet and I think, what a nightmare.

What do you guys see?


I see a cargo door popping open, resulting in a forest filled with smoldering aluminum shards outside Paris.

I see an uncontained rotor failure and a crash "landing" in Sioux City.

I see purple & orange paint.

I know that, rationally, there's no reason to see those things. It's just remarkable how a single visual cue can affect one's perception of something.

Would you like the combo?

airsafetyman said...

"And the airframe/wings are just not suitable for a 360 KTAS jet.

But, once they made the decision to go to the Malibu/Meridian parts bin for this jet, the designer's hands were tied."

Aero loads are a function of the indicated airspeeds, not the true airspeeds. The PJ has an entirely new, and very robust, wing.

FlightCenter said...

Cold Wet,

You are right about the need to be careful when talking about the Eclipse airworthiness certificates.

The FAA registry data has a place to record the airworthiness certificate class which is reported on the Application for Airworthiness, FAA Form 8130-6.

These are the Airworthiness
Classifications that are tracked by the FAA.

1 - Standard
2 - Limited
3 - Restricted
4 - Experimental
5 - Provisional
6 – Multiple
7 - Primary
8 - Special Flight Permit
9 – Light Sport

Limited is for surplus military aircraft.

Restricted is for special purpose operations like agricultural or patrol.

A provisional airworthiness certificate is issued to conduct special purpose operations of aircraft with provisional type certificates.

According to this definition, Eclipse aircraft would not be eligible for a provisional certificate of airworthiness as the E500 aircraft no longer has a provisional TC.

The FAA will also issue special flight permits for aircraft that do not currently meet applicable airworthiness requirements, but are capable of safe flight, for the following purposes:
- Flying aircraft to a point for repairs, alterations, maintenance, or storage.
- Delivering new aircraft to the base of a purchaser or to a storage point.
- Conducting production flight tests.
- Evacuating an aircraft from impending danger.
- Conducting customer demonstration flights in new production aircraft that have passed or completed production flight tests.
- Excess weight operations.

The special flight permit does not authorize flight over a country other than the United States without permission of that country.

While the FAA registry website doesn't mention it, I'm told that the FAA has also issued special flight permits for a limited period of time to conduct flight crew training.

FAA personnel in the LA office have stated that some Eclipse aircraft have been issued a time limited flight permit or airworthiness certificate specifically to allow for flight crew training.

That doesn't seem like an adequate explanation for what is occurring as that would mean that many of these aircraft have been "training" their flight crews for 4, 5 or 6 months now.


When you ask the FAA to send a copy of the paper records for the first 92 E500 aircraft, you'll get a copy of the 8130-6, a copy of the production flight test certificate of airworthiness and a copy of the standard airworthiness certificate. (8100-2)

When the FAA sends a copy of the paper records for E500 aircraft post serial #95, the records sent by the FAA do not include a copy of the 8130-6 or a copy of any type of airworthiness certificate.

In addition, the FAA registry database leaves the airworthiness class field blank for all aircraft above serial #95.

The class of airworthiness certificate issued to E500 aircraft above serial #95 is unusual enough that it isn't entered into the registry database.

When asked if your aircraft has a standard airworthiness certificate, the answer should be a simple, yes or no.

Instead, 114 Eclipse owners have to answer "yes, but.." or "Let me explain," or "I'm not sure" or ...

Another example of Eclipse changing the definition of industry accepted terms.

Dave said...

Eclipse thinks wishful thinking is reality. Here's Holmes' testimony where Eclipse says its gonna have 700 aircraft and therefore it is a "major buyer" of aircraft engines:
http://www.senate.gov/~finance/hearings/testimony/2007test/082707testbha.pdf
Also near the very end are some interesting attachments, like DayJet showing what they think the impact of doing business in 7 states with 325 aicraft and 50 DayPorts. The funniest thing is that the hearing was connecting to Global Warming hearings...hello?! DayJet would increase global warming by getting people out of ground transportation and into jets!

Dave said...

Ed and Vern seem very unhealthy for one another. They seem to mutually re-enforce each others magical thinking. While Eclipse talks about building 1000 per year, there's DayJet re-enforcing that by wanting to build a VLJ Center for Excellence to train 2000 people per year:
A central focus of the DayJet’s planned VLJ Center of Excellence will be the development of a flight training program and curriculum in cooperation with leading aeronautical universities to prepare students and junior pilots for a career flying new-generation very light jets for on-demand service providers. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007 and, when online in 2008, will be capable of training 2,000 pilots, maintenance and customer service professionals a year.
http://media.visitflorida.org/travel/archives/?ID=655

Here's DayJet saying that they'd get hundreds of thousands of flights in their first year:
To that end, the company has been changing the problem inside its simulators every day for the past four and a half years, looking for those broad mesas of good solutions. And after a million or so spins of the VOC, DayJet has produced a clear vision of the total market and its likely place in it. Iacobucci expects to siphon off somewhere between 1% and 1.5% of all regional business trips within DayJet's markets by 2008, with "regional trips" defined as being between 100 and 500 miles. In the southeast states the company initially has its eye on, that's 500,000 to 750,000 trips a year, out of a total of 52 million, more than 80% of which are currently traversed by car. Yes, DayJet's life-or-death competition is Florida's SUV dealerships, not the airlines. DayJet may even help the airlines slightly: The model predicts some customers who fly DayJet one way will take a commercial flight back home.

Here's another good one from Ed:
The reams of data produced by the VOC have already coalesced into a thick sheaf of battle plans framing best- to worst-case scenarios. And having run the scenarios so relentlessly for so long, Iacobucci is now utterly sanguine about his prospects. When I ask over dinner for the dozenth time about DayJet's presumptive break-even number, he flat out admits there isn't one. "Within the realm of all realistic possibilities--at least 25% of our projected demand to 125% demand--we maintain profitability." Even at 25%? "Sure," Iacobucci replies, "it just takes longer, and takes more [airports], and the margin is much lower. But this isn't going to be what the venture capitalists call the 'walking dead.' If it's a hit, it's going to be a hit pretty quickly."

Then finally here's Ed's infamous comment about a VC who wondered about DayJet's profitability and who wisely decided not to invest in DayJet:
I'm not the only one who has trouble wrapping his head around the numbers, or lack thereof. Iacobucci tells the story of one analyst asked to crunch the numbers ahead of an investment. "He asked a direct question: 'All I want to know is, what formula do I put into this cell to tell me how you come up with a revenue number?'" Iacobucci says. "I told him, 'There ain't no formula to put in that cell! It can't be done! We'll sit you down with our modelers, who will explain the range of numbers we came up with, but they can't be encapsulated in a spreadsheet.'" The would-be investors passed.
http://www.fastcompany.com/node/59429/print

This is going to be quite a mess when reality sets in.

Dave said...

There might be even more Eclipse/DayJet order book shennanigans than we are aware of. I just came across this from 2007:
DayJet is working to set up a European operation using the Eclipse 500
http://www.reason.org/atcreform46.shtml
It was assumed that Atasay order a large portion of the 180 ETIRC order:
ETIRC Aviation, led by European high-tech industry veteran Roel Pieper, also signed an agreement with Atasay, a luxury goods company, to provide a jet-taxi service for Turkey’s business travelers using these 120 to 180 Eclipse 500s. Added to a previous standing order for 40 Eclipse 500s, ETIRC could take delivery of up to 220 of the very light jets before all is said and done.
http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Eclipse_Lands_Another_Large_VLJ_Order_195273-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS
However, that could have been Eclipse and DayJet working together again to ensnare foreign investors based on phony orders. The Atasay order isn't exactly normal with ETIRC (DayJet?) even providing pilots:
http://www.etirc.com/cms/index.php?cms_show=module&cms_id=datamodule&module_source=news&template=news_long&action=view_item&id=103

Orville said...

Regarding the PiperJet rotor burst discussion - have those with interest seen this document? Designing for Safety in Case of an Engine Rotor Burst Not knowing much on the topic - I'd like to hear comments.

Dave said...

One of Eclipse's equity investors doesn't even want to fly the FPJ they bought. They're selling it with zero hours on it:
http://www.globalair.com/aircraft_for_sale/Business_Jet_Aircraft/Eclipse_Aviation/Eclipse__500_for_sale_49407.html
http://www.yankeepacific.com/investments_eclipse.html
When a company's investors try to get rid of the company's product without even touching it, that's got to tell you something.

sparky said...

this could be interesting, if they're serious and not just grand-standing:

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2008-06-30-jet_N.htm

Troglodyte said...

Regarding Dual-Flameout Training:

I have attended initial and recurrent training in the Cessna Citation 500 series aircraft at SimCom beginning 6-7 years ago. In the last couple of years, particularly after the Beachjet dual-flameout problems came to light, dual engine out (and unable to relight) scenarios to dead stick landings have been included in the training syllabus and practiced in the simulator. It seems to me that they were also part of the initial course many years ago. Main concern in the Citation that could lead to this would be fuel contamination (this “problem” is typically preceded by either a rapid decline in fuel state of the AC simulating a fuel leak, or by the illumination of the “Fuel Filter Bypass” annunciator, indicating obstruction and bypass presumably related to fuel contamination and/or icing). Jets glide very well. The main concern is handling the systems, pressurization/O2 issues if at altitude, and conservation of electrical power. You can believe that they are also a standard part of Beachjet training!

--Trog

Troglodyte said...

This CofA issue could be huge. Anyone know how the Eclipse contract reads regarding delivery of an aircraft with respect to the CofA?

--Trog

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So who thinks Darth Campbell will pick up on the FAA protest story?

Of that, how many think he will be 'fair and balanced'?

And by show of hands, who remembers the Zoomster covering the original story when it came out?

baron95 said...

Flightcenter said ... You say the PiperJet will be the only Mustang size SEJ.

Does anyone have any data on the dimensions of the PJ cabin?


Hi FC. It is the Malibu/Meridian cabin with a 4 ft stretch ahead of the wing to fit a side facing flushing-lave/seat. It is tigheter than the Mustang by 4 inches IIRC. About same length.

Dave said...

this could be interesting, if they're serious and not just grand-standing

I think with the Midway incident it all depends on how Eclipse plays it. If Eclipse does the usual and blames others - namely the FAA by emphasizing that the FAA certified it - the more serious the FAA could take it. Political friends and fair weather friends and when Eclipse themselves put clouds on the FAA, the FAA has no reason to go along with Eclipse. However, Eclipse has political friends at all levels of the government.

baron95 said...

Orvile said ... Designing for Safety in Case of an Engine Rotor Burst Not knowing much on the topic - I'd like to hear comments.


Orviele, the regs have all these scenarios that you have to design to - 1/3 of the rotor departing at up to 5% angle, etc (IIRC). The issue is that is that uncontained engine failure parts don't read the regs.

Underwing engines mounted far ahead of the leading edge with shear/melt pins are the safest way to mount an engine. Burying them in the fuselage (D-Jet) and in the empenage P-Jet is probably the least save.

Having said that, for personal planes and modern turbofans, I am not soo worried about uncontained engine failure events and only slightly less concerned about uncontrolled fire.

Lets face it - it will be us (the pilots) that will be cratering these planes - not a FJ44 rotor.

paul said...

What is a "melt" pin?
If you mean the cone bolts commonly used on large transport type aircraft you'll be watching your wing/pylon falling away waiting for it to melt.

Dave said...

On or about September 30, 2006, the faa awarded the Eclipse Aircraft company with a type certificate (TC) for the Eclipse 500 aircraft. The faa management did this without allowing the aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots to properly complete their assigned certification/safety responsibilities. The aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots (both of which are NATCA BUEs, primarily located in the LA and Ft.Worth/Dallas areas) had several outstanding safety/regulatory issues identified prior to September 30. Despite the identified safety issues, the faa management certificated the Eclipse 500 aircraft on or about September 30. This is in violation of Federal Aviation Regulations 21 and 23, Order 8110.4 ( ), and other related faa regulations, orders, and policies.
http://eclipsecritic.net/docs/grievance-EclipseTC-AIR402.pdf

airsafetyman said...

"ETIRC Aviation, led by European high-tech industry veteran Roel Pieper, also signed an agreement with Atasay, a luxury goods company, to provide a jet-taxi service for Turkey’s business travelers using these 120 to 180 Eclipse 500s."

Is this before or after the Spanish gig gets underway? What nonsense. The Turks are not idiots. The Turkish airline flys modern equipment and so does their Air Force. I met the chief pilot Of Turkish Airlines one time. He used to fly F-104s for the Turkish Air Force. After working with him for several days he related a story of having a flameout in the 104 and barely managed to get it on the runway with no damage. A truly outstanding, outstanding, outstanding, achievement. Do you think people like that are going to consider Roel and Vern anything other than the rank amateurs they are? Reputable people in aviation in Turkey will be consulted before companies sink money into these pipe dreams.

Dave said...

Do you think people like that are going to consider Roel and Vern anything other than the rank amateurs they are? Reputable people in aviation in Turkey will be consulted before companies sink money into these pipe dreams.

An assistant by the name of Roger Kint told potential investors that Keyser Söze was in on the deal, so that motivated them to get involved.

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

airsafety ...

#Do you think people like that are going to consider Roel and Vern anything other than the rank amateurs they are? #

by Real peoples really involved in real aviation = NO !

by some who are totally foreign to it = May be ...

atasay as never been anything else than a "luxury" provider , or at least claim to be ... (at the moment they trade rings or stuff , [look pretty standard to me] and perfumes , not exactly what was touted before , NO Mega-yacht ,NO Mega-fleet of private Jets , NO Oriental Richness ... sorry Vern !)


so once again with EAC = it is a smoke-screen covering an other smoke-screen ... as for reality : do you want to be on "hit-list" ? ;-))

fred said...

and by the way :

the spanish scam was supposed to be set AFTER the Etirc deal (on air-taxi) which is supposed to be prior to Atasay deal ...

i think i get it : when Turkey will be part of European Union , all turkish will come and go a business trip to E.U. ...

as usual ONLY one major flake = Turkey WON'T be part of E.U. before 10 to 15 years , if they ever make it ...

which sounds ,at the time being ,very much UNLIKELY ! (sorry GWB)

so if you take the different stories , it sounds like the European skies are going to be darkened by the Fpj ...
(while NOT certified and probably never will ... V will be hanged-up before by angry investors err... depositors , sorry ! ;-)) )

does it sounds familiar to any ? ;-)

PS: i met with Sözer , he's fat , sweating like a roasting pig , eat rahat-loukoum by tens , saying all the time "Gùlum shekelem ..." ;-))

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

DayJet has their VLJ website up and its claiming Tallahassee will see a $16 million economic impact in three years and that DayJet will employ 2000 people in florida alone in the next three years!:
Taken together, these activities are projected to generate an average annual economic impact in excess of $16 million for the Tallahassee community within the first three years of operation. During this timeframe, DayJet expects to employ 2,000 high-skill, high-wage personnel in the State of Florida.
http://www.vljet-tlh.com/

If Ed said it, it must be so. I guess it helps bribing the politicians so that they don't actually use their brain cells.

gadfly said...

Dave

‘Talk about following a rabbit path . . . first I see a quote from December 2004 . . . then a current Dayjet article dated June 2008 . . . with a reference back to 2006. This seems to be a “slight of hand” scenario. No wonder some are taken in by this farce.

And yet, not a “single”, “solitary”, “uno”, as in “one” complete E500 has yet to be delivered. (Even, it would seem, the “FAA” is beginning to wake up and get the big picture . . . they have been “had” . . . and put their blessing on this travesty . . . “What evil lurks in the hearts of men? . . . the “Shadow knows” . . . heh, heh, heh. Some of you may remember back in those early days of “Radio”.)

Anyone who boards one of these things has been adequately warned . . . the evidence is in full view of the entire world, thanks to “Al Gore’s invention, the ‘internet’”. (‘Funny thing is that Al Gore should have been named on the list of the “guilty”. . . and then the “gadfly” would truly have been “incensed” . . . but then, we dassn’t get involved in political stuff.)

That’s enough to think about, for the moment!

gadfly

(‘Always sitting somewhere up in a corner, listening, watching, waiting for the opportunity to make a comment.)

airtaximan said...

Dave,

VLJ Center of Excellence.

Brought to you buy the guy who missed his "air taxi" business model by around 100 planes in the first year alone, and the guy who still can't finish his aircraft development program, after 12 years and $2.x billions.

WHAT?

They should remove the rubber band and pull the needle from their arms... and wake up to the fact that there are many many many operators providing "air taxi" service throughout the world since 50 years.

I wonder why there's no Cirrus air taxi center of excellence.

Probably because it is a commercially viable air taxi enterprise.

gadfly said...

If it were a question of getting there and back, on demand, on time . . . a “DC-3", or even a Ford “Tri-motor”, or “Fokker” . . . with “wicker seats” would fill the bill . . . seriously.

One cold morning, . . . when? . . . about 1963! . . . I watched Motorola’s private DC-3 take off from our little field in Wood Dale, Illinois, on “grass”, in about the length of a football field, climb like a homesick angel, and go the couple dozen miles over to “Midway” . . . no more special than taking a bus on the “CTA” (Chicago Transit Authority) to get to the “Loop”. Oh, and as I recall, they landed at Midway on the first approach, and did not blow out their tires on touch-down. (Amazing, considering the “low tech” of those ancient times.) Back then, a take-off or landing at “Midway” was no big deal . . . but recently, we have been introduced to the problems of landing in these famous airports. Recently, we learned of a “737" hitting traffic at “Midway” off the runway, killing a child in a car, and now we learn of a “near similar disaster” at Midway, that could have equaled or exceeded that same disaster, by a “magnitude” (10 times, for those in Rio Linda).

Friends, this is no longer a simple difference of opinion . . . and some sort of “inconvenience” on the part of those on board. We are speaking of the lives of people that can barely spell “airplane”. But for the skill of a pilot, and co-pilot on the little jet, we could be reading the obituaries of others “on the ground”. Do you understand the urgency of bringing this farce to a conclusion?

Flying in a “twin jet” is an excuse, not a reason. There are dozens of better methods of transportation, cheaper, faster, and less hassle . . . that far exceed the “little bird” in question, in speed, cost, and overall efficiency.

So, if you want the “thrill” of pushing the limits of probability . . . by all means, become an owner of this little bird. (And, please, play with your toy far out somewhere over the desert, or ocean . . . but don’t fly over others . . . they may not be receptive to all the excuses for “doing all the right things” according to the messages on one of the “LCD” screens, after the fact.) For the record, how should we remember you? ( . . . reporters always ask that sort of thing . . . and it helps if they can fill up the "Obits" page with lots of verbage).

But if you choose to get there and back in a reasonable time, safe and sound, maybe you should consider a less spectacular form of transportation.

Life is far too short, but it is not “cheap” . . . and how you spend your greatest treasure should never be treated casually.

gadfly

(Yeh . . . I’m dead serious in my comments. There’s a place for humor . . . this ain’t it.)

Dave said...

Brought to you buy the guy who missed his "air taxi" business model by around 100 planes in the first year alone, and the guy who still can't finish his aircraft development program, after 12 years and $2.x billions.
WHAT?


You see DayJet is going to hire thousands of people per year to fly and maintain a portion of the 1000 planes per year that Eclipse makes (actually it was supposed to be 1500 per year originally and have a 30% profit margin) in the US. These guys are doing nothing but creating a massive bubble:
Eclipse projects a world-class manufacturing profile when it achieves 1,500 aircraft per anum in 2011. Eclipse believes it can capture 20 percent of the U.S. market by 2011, annual sales of $2.6 billion, 30 percent gross margins, and a 25 percent pretax profit.
http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2003/08/25/story5.html

They should remove the rubber band and pull the needle from their arms... and wake up to the fact that there are many many many operators providing "air taxi" service throughout the world since 50 years.

Reading Ed its like he thinks that nobody else is providing flights regionally in Florida and it doesn't help that Ed isn't exactly customer friendly...he sees DayJet as a combination of an OS and a logistics company - sorry, but I wouldn't want to be flying as a passenger on a FedEx flight. Ed has all those crazy things where you have to pay to register before you can even book a flight and if you weigh 10% more than your stated amount in the books, DayJet will leave you on the tarmac...not customer friendly.

The Vern and Ed Show will just say anything to get money.

Dave said...

Flying in a “twin jet” is an excuse, not a reason. There are dozens of better methods of transportation, cheaper, faster, and less hassle . . . that far exceed the “little bird” in question, in speed, cost, and overall efficiency.

No kidding. People by all means should be able to fly a VLJ, but calling it efficient in any way is totally off the mark. Also if VLJs were successfully and they did have the volume production that Vern talked about in the VLJ air taxi business, inevitably this would create a huge strain on the air traffic control system. What's easier to track a regional jet of 50+ or dozens of Eclipses? It would seem the smaller the aircraft, the more congestion is created rather than the other way around. DayJet by its own admission ads to the air traffic congestion by targeting people who would otherwise be driving.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

regarding user-friendly... you must rent the plane if you want to be guaranteed to fly with someone else in your group, you have to agree to wide margins of time to have any sort of affordability, and you need to agree to make a stop along the way. Also, you only find out when you fly, the night before.

WHAT?

I think they called it Dayjet as a joke on the public, no kidding.

If its affordability you seek, it'll take you a whole DAY to get there.

Tallahasee should be ashamed of itself. If there's any gov't money for this, it should be frowned upon by everyone, including the part 135 operators that actually pay tax to the gov't on their flights. Dayjet lobbied for an exemption. That's 7.5% advantage, right there...

Welome to the revolution, where your tax dollars are at work, backing a raging failure of a business model under the guise of a "center of excellence", and where a tax dodge s required to compete with the established air taxi operators.

Go figger

airtaximan said...

"DayJet by its own admission ads to the air traffic congestion by targeting people who would otherwise be driving."


adds to the emissions problems as well, for the same reason.

Nice going Florida Government

Dave said...

Welome to the revolution, where your tax dollars are at work, backing a raging failure of a business model under the guise of a "center of excellence", and where a tax dodge s required to compete with the established air taxi operators.

Appropriately enough the Florida tax break was attached onto a bill giving tax breaks for junk mail:
On Monday, the plan received a warm, bipartisan reception in the Florida Senate, where it was attached at the last minute to a bill providing a sales tax exemption to advertising sent by mail.

Fortunately one person in the Florida Senate saw it as bad with this bill being rammed through the legislature to a company that hadn't even started yet:
No one explained why the measure never received a hearing before a legislative committee, even after Senate Minority Leader Les Miller, D-Tampa, raised the question.
"I understand what you're saying about regional airports,'' he said.
"But my concern is here we are again giving a tax exemption to a company that hasn't even started yet. It's a bad precedent. It's bad public policy.''

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/05/02/news_pf/Business/Tax_break_lands_befor.shtml

It is quite amusing that aviation companies have been providing air taxis for decades but then DayJet comes along claiming to be so much more efficient and so much better, yet they need corporate welfare.

gadfly said...

Dave

In all fairness, some of your comments go back a few years. And although we need to hold people accountable for whatever they say, whenever they say it, the “target” is constantly moving. So, even if the target moves, we need to understand the “nature” of the target. In this regard, I first examine the “date” of the quote or comment.

At home, I shoot “snakes” . . . they have an appetite for fish in the seven ponds in our back yard. (As a kid, I dreamed of living next to a stream, with “fish”. When that was not possible, I decided to “build a stream”, to listen day and night to the sound of running water . . . 365 days per year . . . even if the snow is a few inches thick . . . we live at 7,100 feet). So, I learned to understand the “thinking” of a snake. In the case of Eclipse (now don’t get ahead of me), . . . in the case of a “fish eating snake”, I attempted to understand the nature, the “mind-set”(as it were) of a snake. Over time, I began to understand just when and where a snake will appear. And seldom am I wrong. I go out, push the barrel of my “BSF” German (something to do with Bavarian Sport weapon Factory) air pistol back into the fire position, and sneak up on the “guest of honor”, slowly pull the trigger, and eliminate another “fish lover” with a 4.5mm pellet.

The snakes don’t like my program . . . but the German Shepherd has expressed support (even though she doesn’t like “snake flavor”) . . . and the fish are “ecstatic”.

The “General Aviation” community will also be “ecstatic” when all small jets are safe and reliable methods of transportation . . . when we can sit down in a jet, whether of “Chevrolet” standards, or that of a “Lexus” . . . and know that the basic quality, connected with “safety” is consistent . . . accelerator/throttle (“Midway”) or brakes. There is no excuse for the failures . . . plural . . . of the Eclipse in this age of “high tech” . . . none, nada, never . . . ever!

When a businessman checks in at “Hertz” or whatever, he expects to pick up a car that will get him to his appointment, safe, and “on time”. He cares nothing about the safe ability to get onto the “405" freeway, and get to his appointment . . . Chevy or Toyota . . . it’s all a matter of “taste”, but not of “safety”.

A stop at “In-N-Out” for supper, checkout at the Marriott, . . . and a leisurely check-in at SNA . . . and home is assured. That’s the way to travel . . . not the “hope we’ll prove this thing flight-worthy”, moment by moment tense heart-attack inducing sort of thing.

A couple of hours, I’ll land . . . call the “wife” . . . and be home without a care.

For the rest of you, that wish to live on the edge . . . do it, by all means, but not over my house. (And I live just about ten miles northeast of your favorite airport/home nest . . . so go “south” or “west” or anywhere else . . . ‘just not “northeast” . . . please! Hey, maybe go “directly north’ . . . Bill Richardson is your “Saint” . . . give him a visit in Santa Fe (if he happens to be home . . . which is “rarely”.)

gadfly

(You silly people . . .believing for a moment that the little jet was actually “real”, never for a moment knowing that you have been “had”, and this is just another extension of the early days, when your were warned about the “desert” ahead, and the need to purchase a “water bag” . . . and on your way out, see the “diamond back rattle snakes at the top of ‘Nine Mile Hill’ . . . the dates may change, but the “suckers keep coming”.)

gadfly said...

Yeh . . . I notice the mistakes in English "rhetoric", etc., and I simply let it pass . . . the message gets through, and if we had "forever" to make it all "perfect", most would miss the point. So, I let the "warts" appear . . . that's "OK". The bottom line is that the "little jet" is not a safe aircraft in which to fly . . . and anyone that ignores the warnings, the many comments of the past "many months", has nothing on which to fall back . . . it's all a "hoax", a claim on false assumptions . . . a belief in "ghosts" and "imaginationary vision" . . . a faith in ignorance.

gadfly

(There comes a time when the "gloves come off" and we get down to the basics. We care not about ego, but we care about lives, that have nothing to do with the "little jet", but may be sitting in a car on the border of an airport . . . Midway, for example . . . and a little jet fails to make a safe landing. You get the point. Now let's get "real".)

gadfly said...

Comments:

Shane has continued to make it possible for our thoughts to be heard.

Thank you, Shane . . . even coming from a “Scot” (me), you should know how much you are appreciated.

And “Gunner” . . . your true identity is unknown by most, but I am very much thankful for your part in all this.

Maybe, but not likely, all this will come into the spotlight of public recognition.

And what is it that we are doing? . . . maybe never to be recognized, yet with consequence in the lives of many?

We are bringing into the public view facts that certain individuals would rather keep in secret . . . things that will, indeed, affect the lives of individuals and families for years to come.

In the past, I remained a rather “comical” entity, a “gadfly”, off on the side . . . with a rather satirical opinion from time to time . . . just “out of reach”. You know the picture, a “fly” appears . . . you get the “swatter”, and the “fly” disappears . . . until you put the swatter back on the top of the refrigerator. Maybe, I’ll not be so illusive from now on.

The “incident” at Midway was a “wake-up” call, to all of us . . . and especially, to those of us who have an understanding of all the aspects of flying, and aircraft design and manufacturing . . . and includes “avionics” and all the modern solid-state controls, on which we trust in aviation. Did I miss someone? . . . I attempted to include anyone connected in any way with aviation . . . if you understand “Bernoulli’s principle ” or “Ohm’s Law”, you are included.

We can get all excited over various silly little statements made from time to time, but the basic mission of this blog-site is to deal with the “Eclipse” E500 (and E400, on occasion).

‘Come “August”, I understand that something of importance is to be decided about some of us, who have “dared” to speak up about this thing. So let it be . . . and for “Eclipse” it will not be a happy day . . . that is for sure.

The bottom line in all this is to see that “General Aviation” continues to be a safe and reliable enterprise. Eclipse has thrown a “foreign object” into the gears . . . and the FAA has treated it in a most unusual manner. Maybe, the “FAA” may get their act together, admit their wrong-doings, “clean house” (fat chance), and come back as a reputable government organization, worthy of our respect. The world awaits!

But back to “General Aviation” . . . there are a few companies that truly care about safety and reliability. Wouldn’t it be “great” if the FAA and the NTSB “caught up” with private enterprise? . . . instead of bowing to political pressure . . . Hey, I can dream can’t I?.

‘You kill off your customers . . . who is left to buy your product?

Yeh, I’m coming on strong . . . but enough is enough . . . enough to get your attention.

gadfly

(Basically, I’m a gentle sort of person . . . rarely creating anything beyond a slight ripple in the discussion . . . please carry on! . . . pretend I wasn’t even here. 'Time to go get a tooth fixed . . . signs of things going to pot . . . the dentist awaits.)

AvidPilot said...

"We are bringing into the public view facts that certain individuals would rather keep in secret . . . things that will, indeed, affect the lives of individuals and families for years to come."

Gadfly,

Well said.

Eclipse has been operating this ponzi scheme of a company for far too long. I read the Ecipse ads (how can you help it - they're everywhere), then learn the truth, and can't help but think that not only are they misrepresenting their product, but their statements to the press border on outright fraud. This fraud is perpetuated by Eclipse owners whose jets will retain their value only as long as Eclipse is able to continue attracting more unsuspecting buyers.

H.M.E said...

There isn't much published technical data for the EA500 that I am aware of,
other than the draft Section 5 (Performance) for the post Aeromod plane:
http://www.taxijet.info/user/Eclipse_AFM5_draft.pdf

and the five pdf files on Smartcockpit website:
http://www.smartcockpit.com/data/pdfs/plane/vljs/ECLIPSE-500/

However, I just found Matt Brown video and flipped through the pdf presentation on AvioNG at Eclipse website:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/eclipse_500/avio_ng/

Also, saw came by this CV and thought it may also be of interest.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/gbrunopape
Looking at the dates, does this tie in the grievance filed in October 2006? What else?

gadfly said...

H.M.E.

It's easy to put together "charts" and "graphs" . . . with data where it's "suppose" to be, but it's an entirely different thing to put the actual numbers into the "boxes" during empirical testing.

"Been there, done that" . . . and was even pressured to change the numbers to please a customer . . . and refused.

gadfly

(Funny thing at the time was that my "employer" wanted to "downgrade the data" to fulfill a "5 kilowatts" super sonic plasma test, to "7 kilowatts . . . when we could only drop the power to "12kilowatts", on a re-entry heat shield test for Lockheed . . . so the customer actually got a heat shield capable of over twice the spec . . . now, that is "funny".

(The unit normally ran at 2.5 megawatts . . . rather scary stuff.)

My boss respected my position . . . didn't push . . . and I never saw the final "numbers" submitted to Lockheed. And by that time, I was on my way to Albuquerque.)

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

I saw where Darth Campbell towed the party line for the Vernperor when he finally provided soft glove coverage of the DOT IG Investigation, at the behest of the Congress of the United States, into the certification of the EA-500.

Although I am not positive, I would bet that this is the first time that the Congress of the United States has requested the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation investigate the actual certification of an airplane.

Another 'feature' of the Eclipse I am sure.

Vern has, so far, been uncharacteristically non-stupid by refering to it as a simple 'matter' between FAA and the Union. If the investigation gains any traction however, I expect to see some fireworks - especially after Vern and crew, including his lapdog F.O. Zoom (demoted from Capt) continue to try and usggest the NTSB overreacted in their criticism of the plane after the incident at MDW and still try to insist somehow the fleet was not grounded by the Emergency Service Bulletin with the 'Before Next Flight' compliance window.

Dave said...

Listen to this self-contradictory whine:
http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/039118tblets307-03-08.htm
On one hand the person doesn't want "biased reporting," but in the same breath they want the newspaper to "be more supportive of local business, especially any that employs thousands of Albuquerque residents." If you want unbiased journalism that means businesses wont just get glowing coverage!

Also here's a new article from CharterX regarding the investigation of the Eclipse 500 TC:
http://www.charterx.com/resources/article.aspx?id=3403

airtaximan said...

CW,

then there's the mysterious issue of the FAA registry not providingf or CofA for 120 or so planes that are delivered and flying aaround...


Lotsa questions... not many answers... yet

Dave said...

Here's an interesting read:
http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/Media/File/Testimony/Full/04-03-08-Bassler.pdf

Also here's Eclipse making clear they don't want VLJs to have to pay fees (large download):
http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/new_tech_2007/presentations/media/day2/harrington.ppt

I also like this quote regarding DayJet (though not explicitly saying so):
Demand is pent up, and growing exponentially every day
http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/aviation_forecast_2007/agenda_presentation/media/6-%20Andrew%20Broom.pdf

Its just so amusing listening to Eclipse's sense of entitlement. Eclipse wants everyone else to pay but them.

Also in regards to how the Transportation IG will look at Eclipse, he has previously said Eclipse would add to congestion (rather than Eclipse's party line of not affecting it):
http://www.oig.dot.gov/StreamFile?file=/data/pdfdocs/cc2005043.pdf

Also if you want to see where DayJet got their scientist scam, see Ed's work (as head of the litigation committee) at SCO:
http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20050930001933662
http://www-tech.mit.edu/V123/N33/33sco.33n.html
http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20060828220612357
Ed is recycling the exact same crap all over again with his claims of his model that only he can supposedly understand.

fred said...

ouuchh ...!

Oil = 146 $
€ = 1.59 $

do you feel it , now , dear baron ?

(don't take it too badly : only a sad joke ...)

Dave said...

Eclipse is back in court again. Western Sky Industries (Electromech and TAC are owned by them) is in court to confirm the arbitration results...

airtaximan said...

remind me to never piss you guys off....

Dave said...

Here's a blast from the past. An IS&S conference call discussing the Eclipse contract back on 3/07:
The shipments of the aircraft as announced by Vern Raburn, CEO of Eclipse Aviation, are 402 jets in calendar year 2007, approximately 1,000 jets in calendar year 2008 and market demand driven in 2009 and beyond.
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/836690/000110465907017367/a07-7584_1ex99d1.htm#ModeratorGeoffreyHedrickMarch7200_121758

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So Vern and Crew have achieved about 14% of their stated goal and are about 1200 planes short with 5 months to go.

All they have to do is 'deliver' 8 planes per day, each and every day through the end of the year.

That is disruptive and revolutionary all right.

Of course, even if they could do it, they would probable run out of real orders backed by real money, real fast - like in about 6 weeks by my best guess (an additional 300 or so planes).

Hey Vern, if you get a call and it's the DOT Inspector General - you should probably sit down.

Given the pressure the FAA is under right now re: oversight, delegations and such I am thinking you might have some bad news coming.

You have already accomplished many VLJ firsts such as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and to date OLY AD's for this class of aircraft, you have no less than 3 reported incidents, dozens of SDR reports, cancelled flights, returned airplanes.

Add being the first to have congressionally mandated investigation into your TC and you have quite a record going.

You deserve it.

Dave said...

This is just too much. ETIRC is touting an online poll!:
http://www.pnl.nl/assets/files/Matthijs%20de%20Haan%20handout%20(2).pdf
Even the poll itself says it is unscientific. Its a good read on the market for VLJs/Eclipse air taxis in europe.

I also love this title for Roel "Mega-Investering":
http://www.pnl.nl/actueel_nieuws.html?artid=4023
Its not in english, but the description was just too funny.

Speaking of ETIRC, it turns out that Eclipse Europe was renamed ETIRC aviation way back in 2006. Of course Vern was totally transparent about all this...

FlightCenter said...

IS&S stock is down to its 5 year low territory having fallen from $7.20 to $5.80 in the last week.

That is a drop of approximately 20% in the last week.

The stock is now trading at about 79% lower than its $28 high earlier this year.

Previous conference calls suggested that IS&S expected Eclipse to generate roughly half of their revenue.

Dave said...

The stock is now trading at about 79% lower than its $28 high earlier this year.
Previous conference calls suggested that IS&S expected Eclipse to generate roughly half of their revenue.


So IS&S's stock price pretty well reflects the initially stated volumes of Eclipse business versus the actuals now. Sooner or later Eclipse will run out of suppliers since Eclipse specializes in a bad combination of overpromising and publicly attacking suppliers...Eclipse gives those who associate with them vapor and headaches.

baron95 said...

fred said...
ouuchh ...!

Oil = 146 $
€ = 1.59 $

do you feel it , now , dear baron ?


Looking good to me. Lots of Europeans coming to the US to spend their $-converted Euros. Lots more presure on BMW, Mercedes, Airbus to locate factories in the US. [PS - Airbus just announced that 80% of A350 contracts will be in US$ currency].

As for oil, it is great news. Means that China and Russia and India and Brazil and Korea etc economies continue to hummmm along and will be buying lots of Boeings and Gulfstreams and Caterpilars etc.

I could not think of better news.

Of course, if you live in, say, France, and produce, lets say, Airplanes like Airbus and Socata, the news may sound a bit grim.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
So Vern and Crew have achieved about 14% of their stated goal and are about 1200 planes short with 5 months to go.


That is still a much better reccord than Airbus delivering only 2 of 59 A380s they'd supposed to be delivering and Boeing Delivering 0 of the 18 787s that should be flying by now, right?

Oh, and, on top of that, Eclipse was smart enough to NOT have penalty clauses for delayied deliveries, therefore avoiding the stimated $2.5B EACH that Airbus and Boeing will have to pay in penalties.

CW, you can pretend that missed delivries and missed forecasts are an Eclipse-only issue, but it is now. It is an Airbus, Boeing, Microsot, issue.

Any entrepenour attempting to bring a brand new product to market can face delays and missed forecasts and milestones.

Look at Boeing, a mature company with good processes and controls. The Airforce cited as one of the reasons not to award the tanker contract to Boeing "their belief that the risks were just too high that Boeing would miss its milestones" to build a plane for Boeing existing parts on a production line that has been in continuous operation for 20 years.

So, don't be so hard on Eclipse. You don't want Entrepenours in America to stop being bold, over-snthusiastice, over-selling, taking riskis, do you?

baron95 said...

HME said ... http://www.eclipseaviation.com/eclipse_500/avio_ng/

Thanks for the link HME. A candid presentation - refreshing.

OTOH, note that things like moving maps on the MFD are not scheduled to be available till 4Q/08 - a full 2 years after first deliveries. Very disapointing to owners, I am sure. Also, NO PLANS, for FMS functions such as crossing altitude restrictions, etc. There will only be a page where you can input the data and get the calculation - the poor single-pilot will still be required t omannualy program one of the autopilot modes and control airspeed and reate of descent to comply with simple ATC instructions such as "Cross FOXXY intersection at 10,000 ft". Again, very disapointing.

baron95 said...

You need to be carefull when claiming that Day Jet is doing nothing new. They may have gone about it the wrong way, but the concept is intersting enough that I'd like to see it succed.

Just to illustrate the discussion, I trid to get a day trip quote to go from BDR to MVY - 100 nm, round trip. Below are the quotes I got for one passenger:

[The light jet quotes ranged from $9K to $17K, so clearly DayJet is providing a much more economical service]

PistonProp Single Engine 4 aircraft, 4 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$2186 - $3514 01:56 - 02:32

ONLINE QUOTES
PistonProp Multi-Engine 8 aircraft, 4 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$3267 - $5110 01:17 - 02:01

ONLINE QUOTES
TurboProp 42 aircraft, 21 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$4661 - $11793 01:04 - 02:02

ONLINE QUOTES
Light Executive Jet 36 aircraft, 18 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$9025 - $17296 00:52 - 01:53

ONLINE QUOTES
Mid-size Executive Jet 33 aircraft, 12 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$10230 - $28295 00:45 - 01:48

ONLINE QUOTES
Heavy Executive Jet 18 aircraft, 11 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$21228 - $82747 01:00 - 01:39

ONLINE QUOTES
Airliner - Turboprop 2 aircraft, 2 quoted
Estimated cost Total flight time
$10561 - $11800 01:24 - 01:58

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

Microsoft mentality does not belong in aviation in any manner way shape or form my friend.

Yes, Airbus screwed the pooch on the A-380, bit off more than they could chew - Boeing will be in a similar situation with the 78 I believe.

I do not pretend that other companies don't have problems - but there are not congressionally requested DOT IG investigations into the certification of other aircraft.

There are not, to my knowledge, any similar complaints from FAA staffers about any other OEM.

Eclipse has not yet earned the right to be discussed however in the same breath as Boeing, or Airbus, or Piper, or Diamond, or Cirrus, or Hawker-Beech, or any of the other REAL OEM's IMO.

It is not enough to acknowledge and then dismiss the issues that remain for Eclipse, they are each significant hurdles individually, taken together they suggest no possibility of success.

The problem is not that I am being unfair to Eclipse by being extra hard on them.

The problem is that I am only holding them to the same standard I use for all the companies that Eclipse says it aspires to be like or to laughably be better than.

THEY set the expectations, and it is THE who routinely fail to deliver on the promise - I am only keeping score.

Dave said...

So, don't be so hard on Eclipse. You don't want Entrepenours in America to stop being bold, over-snthusiastice, over-selling, taking riskis, do you?

I'm curious why you want to give Vern a pass, but to my memory I've never seen you give Eclipse's suppliers a pass after Vern accuses them of underperforming. Vern has gotten way more headlines publicly bashing suppliers than any of us bloggers. So if the comments by some bloggers are destroying US entrepreneurialism, Vern is a one man wrecking crew to entrepreneurialism.

airtaximan said...

100nm

are you completely out of your mind?

airtaximan said...

piston single: $500 (3 pax)
piston single $260 (3 [pax)

piston single $950 (caravan) (9 pax)

ce340 multi $650 (5 pax)


many more options, including 2 hours by car...

please explain this to me... I am amazed anyone is spending time posting this as a justification for eclipse or dayjet.

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

there are 3 seats available on SR2ss as well... $400-$500 per plane

You have presented the worldwide great joke on reason and knowledge of aviation and charter options, as well as aircraft design... comparing a microjet to the real jets that were never designed for a 1 hour mission, right?

The VLJ cost is 4x or 5x the price of the planes that were designed for that mission? Props.

Hey Baron, have you recently read about the CRJs going into retirement by AMR and their regional affiliates? Know why? Wrong equipment for the mission., given the reality of todays marketplace.

See the Q series from Bombardier soaring in sales Its a prop... know why? Its the right plane for short haul.

Know what the reasonable plane is for a 1 hour flight (or thereabouts)? Its a prop. Know how I know? Becasue you can review the active part135 fleet and see the numbers, and you can see SATSair and Imaginair kick Dayjet's ass on flightaware all day every day.

Time to wake up...
reality bites when you need to fly less than 300 hundred miles, if you are a VLJ that is. And its worse when you need to fly 300-600 or more iles, becasue that's when the cabin size, ammenities and speed make a real difference.

ATMan called it the sour spot, and Eclipse found it spot on.

gadfly said...

Baron

There is confusion on our part as we attempt to understand your point.

A “hundred mile each way round trip” in a Piper J-3 would take about three hours, burn 12 . . . maybe fifteen gallons . . . cost, what? . . . sixty bucks? Pay for a pilot . . . another “$180" . . . and slip him a “tip of another “$100" . . . rent the thing . . . whatever . . . maybe “$600" for the entire day . . . land and take-off from the front door of wherever we need to be? . . . the back parking lot will do just fine!

We’re confused!

One of the little birds was flying overhead this morning as I backed my Lexus into the parking space. ‘Given . . . the little bird was “quiet” as it traveled off at about 9,000 feet into the “northwest” . . . this, about 9AM . . . I come in late to work, figuring old men can do that sort of thing . . . open the shop, start the coffee, check the email, FAX, and bring the business to life. (Later, this old man would “clean the four bathrooms, etc., preparing for a visitor from out of state . . . no matter . . . it needed doing, and I’m available.) Checking the “blog” . . . same old, same old . . . nothing new. Maybe the “little bird” is part of a flight training program . . . most likely . . . with some “hopeful” student attempting to pass the course . . . and take delivery on his “shiny little bird, with all the rivets and inspection covers” hidden under a smooth layer of paint. Some would say, “What that student doesn’t know won’t hurt him!” And I think to myself, as a licensed “A&P”, a licensed pilot, and having been in the business . . . maybe before that student’s parents were born . . . “God protect that new “student” from himself . . . and all the “hype” that has been presented to him”.

To the rest:

And I think to myself . . . is all the “pain” of going through this thing worth the effort? From a position of business (Hey, man, I own this business . . . and have to my credit a list of patents a mile long, many in countries and languages I can’t even pronounce . . . as in “can you pronounce “Liechtenstein”? . . . and get quarterly royalty payments, etc., . . . saving lives in surgery, etc., . . . it’s insanity to carry on any further.) From the position of being “right” . . . that ends with a silly position of “pride”, “ego”, and all that nonsense. But considering the lives of the many involved, and the future of “General Aviation”, the picture becomes clear.

The answer is easy . . . if it saves a single life, and the extended grief connected . . . Yes, it’s worth the effort. If it helps to “clean up” the shadow of less than ethical behavior of the FAA (of late), it’s worth the effort. If it brings a new awareness, and sensitivity of personal responsibility to each and every person involved in the industry of aviation . . . it’s worth the effort.

This is no small thing.

Every person involved is responsible . . . no one is excluded. The person declaring the “safety” of the so-called avionics . . . the person who drills a hole and secures a rivet. No one is exempt. Period.

gadfly

(You may never know the joy . . . the privilege of meeting someone of whom you have had a part in saving a life . . . a family unit . . . the effort is worth the reward, for sure. Make the effort . . . “keep the faith” . . . help to make and keep general aviation safe.)

baron95 said...

CW said ... I do not pretend that other companies don't have problems - but there are not congressionally requested DOT IG investigations into the certification of other aircraft.

CW, Are you aware that the entire leadership (Chairman/CEO) team of Airbus that presided over the A380 has been arrestd and charged for fraud?

Cw, Are you aware that some of the Boeing leadership team that presided over the 787 early/development effort has been arrsted, charged and/or resigned for fraud, curruption, bribing, and/or ethical misconduct?

Geez - there has been high profile congressional investigation in aviation going back to the begining of times - Howard Hugues had to suffer through it. Boeing had to suffer through it. Par for the course.

Now, I'll be on reccord to say that:
1 - Eclipse TC was rushed by the FAA.
2 - At the very least, I believe, there was undue presure on the certification team to grant the TC.
3 - Eclipse, up until recently, has been far from a model of direct communication. As of late, they seem to be doing a good job though.

Lets criticize Eclipse/Vern where appropriate and influence them to have straight communication and attntion to completing the plane with safety.

OTOH, lets praise them for having the balls to start a company to certify brand new fan jets and for having delivered more GA jets in 2 years than any other startup in history. We need to encourage this sort of entrepenurial thinking, if GA is to have a future.

And YES. People that start companies like that have big egos, don't like to admit they've made mistakes, think only of sunny day scenarios. It is REQUIRED to think like that to succeed.

If Vern sat around listening and considering how hard it is to have a light fanjet engine, how hard it is to develop avionics, how hard it is to certify a plane, Eclipse would have not been started. Without Eclipse, perhaps Mustang and D-Jet and honda Jet and Phenom would not exist.

With all its faults, people like Vern and companies like Eclipse are needed in every field.

Happy 4th of July - happy flying and happy airplane development to all of us in this challenging but wonderful field.

baron95 said...

AT said ....many more options, including 2 hours by car...

LOL. The car trip from BDR to MVY would take about 6 hours driving to Hyannis Port than a few hours wait for the ferry then a 90 min ferry crossing - that is one way. Round trip is more like 18 hours. Not reasible as a day trip by car.

The rates came out of a Chartex quotation - feel free to run it yourself.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, let us stick to the issues at hand - I said there is no precedent for Congress demanding a review of the certification of a plane - the MU-2 is closest, after hundreds of deliveries, hundreds of thousands if not millions of hours.

Corporate fraud/mismanagement or government acquisition violations are not the same my friend - but nice try. The EADS/Airbus guys are in for insider trading specifically if you recall.

We have been over this many times as well - Mustang and the PW-615 were already on the drawing boards - Eclipse had NOTHING to do with them.

Gunner said...

Oh, this is REALLY becoming a bit too much of a Clark Carr Circle Jerk.

Baron said:
"Eclipse, up until recently, has been far from a model of direct communication. As of late, they seem to be doing a good job though."

From your lips to God's Ear, my brother. Unfortunately your words missed the corner office at Eclipse. Vern ended up blaming a military pilot HERO for the latest FUBAR in his personal aviation experiment. That's right, I'm calling Capt. Chuck Nealy a damned HERO...and Eclipse should be pinning a damned medal on the guy; not calling "pilot error" on a near tragedy that resulted from the fact that the FPJ was designed to The Barbie-Doll Arm Strength Standard and the backup software logic turned out to be dumber than dirt.

Baron further exhorts the unwashed masses:

Lets criticize Eclipse/Vern where appropriate and influence them to have straight communication and attntion to completing the plane with safety.

While we're at it, let's just give him a pass for ACTUALLY BLAMING the NTSB for making a mountain out a a mole hill when his WunderJet experienced simultaneous failure of BOTH engines on an aircraft fleet with barely dry paint. That shows signs of real corporate maturity, Baron; proof positive that this company puts safety ahead of image.

NOT!

I like you, Baron. You're a reasonable guy mostly. Just don't get too enamored of your own position as the Voice of Reason here. Before you know it, you'll start sounding aything BUT "reasonable".
Gunner

Dave said...

OTOH, lets praise them for having the balls to start a company to certify brand new fan jets and for having delivered more GA jets in 2 years than any other startup in history. We need to encourage this sort of entrepenurial thinking, if GA is to have a future.

Actually Eclipse hasn't delivered one plane that meets their contractual obligations nor was this ever a race. If it was a race, Cessna would have won as they're the ones who actually delivered.

If Vern sat around listening and considering how hard it is to have a light fanjet engine, how hard it is to develop avionics, how hard it is to certify a plane, Eclipse would have not been started.

It has yet to proven that Eclipse starting is a good thing - either for safety reasons or for profitability reasons. An unprofitable company putting out unsafe products isn't exactly something to tout. Also Vern didn't develop the engine nor the avionics. Look at those who actually did the engine and the avionics got treated by Vern. How is Vern's treatment of Williams, avionics suppliers, etc supposed to foster entrepreneuralism in general and GA aviation in particular? Vern's treatment of Williams for instance would seem to do a very good job in discouraging future pursuits in light jet engine development.

Without Eclipse, perhaps Mustang and D-Jet and honda Jet and Phenom would not exist.

The credit belongs to Williams, whom Eclipse trashed.

gadfly said...

Baron said:

"OTOH, lets praise them for having the balls to start a company to certify brand new fan jets and for having delivered more GA jets in 2 years than any other startup in history. We need to encourage this sort of entrepenurial thinking, if GA is to have a future."

If the "first" part were true, we would have no argument.

On the second, based on their performance, we dare not, ever, encourage this sort of behavior . . . ever!, as in "never"!

gadfly

(To remind the reader, once again,. . . not a single "VLJ" has yet been delivered by Eclipse . . . the world has yet to see their promise(s) kept! This is neither "horse shoes", nor "hand grenades" . . . "close" doesn't cut it! And that, my friends, is a "fact"!)

gadfly said...

Another statement that just caught my eye, before I hang it up for awhile:

"With all its faults, people like Vern and companies like Eclipse are needed in every field."

I absolutely disagree. The behavior of Eclipse, and all that it represents is a disgrace to virtually everything that aviation has come to represent. 'Don't make promises you cannot keep . . . and don't take money until your promises are fulfilled.

gadfly

(There is no shortage of applicants in line to graveyards . . . the "four" at Midway were able to "step aside", for a time. Others may not be so fortunate.)

Black Tulip said...

Baron,

“Don’t confuse efforts with results.”

Your praise of the untiring entrepreneur and the pioneering spirit is admirable. You’ve put Vern Raburn and Eclipse on a pedestal because they’ve shown the relentless drive often admired as ‘The American Spirit’ (Happy Fourth of July).

My sense is you are used to evaluating products that operate in a forgiving environment. Rule one of aviation is don’t get higher off the ground than you care to fall. This rule is frequently ignored, but pilots are aware of the consequences.

Let’s say you’ve installed new software that sometimes makes your computer freeze up. You enjoy the functionality while it works and admire the entrepreneur who brought it to you. No one else has attempted it. The risk of a computer crash is more than offset by the reward of performing a novel task.

Flying jets is different. I watched an Eclipse 500 taxi up to the fixed base operator yesterday. I wondered at what I saw. There was visible moisture overhead at the freezing levels. Thunderstorms with tops to 40,000 were in the area. Previously I’d heard the crew complain about the lack of functionality of the navigation system, flight director and autopilot. I suspect the aircraft carried one or more passengers for hire.

Any other business jet would have provided a safer platform for the mission. The stakes are high and Eclipse has yet to deliver a finished product. Even with the recent positive announcements, if they fly tomorrow, a couple hundred current owners have to operate impaired aircraft.

AvidPilot said...

ANN just reported "The moment workers at a certain airplane manufacturer in Duluth, MN -- and dozens of prospective owners -- have been waiting for has arrived. Moments ago, Cirrus Design's "The-Jet" prototype touched down back at its home at DLH, completing its first successful test flight."

All these fun new toys, just as the price of fuel goes through the roof. Great timing....

airtaximan said...

"The rates came out of a Chartex quotation - feel free to run it yourself."

My rates come from industry standard online quoting systems as well... sorry you are off the mark by a factor fo 4 or more... NUT, that is the BS it takes to make a csefor eclipse and Dayjet.


Yup, driving would take longer than a few hours give the water... but the e500 was designed as arevolutionary air taxi, where the Bahamas and Martha's Vinyard do not play well... cometing with car trips require a real car trip to be available, or of course, competing with the prop require prop to be unavailable for the e500 to make sense.

Why compare a 1 hr trip to an airliner?

'Cause it looks good on papaer.

Baro, smarten up - there's no trip the e500 makes any sense compared with a prop...none.

DOA, sorry buddy.

airtaximan said...

"With all its faults, people like Vern and companies like Eclipse are needed in every field."

complete BS.

Vern has single handedly sucked investment dollars froma few indysries, with little in the way of commerically viable products to show.

Perhaps the Klaps at Cirrus provide a better example.. perhaps Schrameck...

Vern is the arsonist.

Its like calling the unibomber a lumberjack.

airtaximan said...

"FPJ was designed to The Barbie-Doll Arm Strength Standard"

gunner, I beg to differ, but in my opinion, the Throttle was designed to low cost. The BS statement regarding 30lb of force is hogwash.

Its a piece of shit, designed like the rest of the interior to last until its in the hands of customers and out the door.

NO thought to durability, etc... not even "desiged to" criteria unless its "lowest cost".

IMHO.

PS. VErn sems to agree, they are fixing the problem with a software patch, not a redesign of the "low cost" throttle assembly.

Funny - unless you are onboard

airtaximan said...

OK, sao I can't type... so sue me...

already sued...

f'off

airtaximan said...

Estimated Time: 4.0 hours 34 minutes Estimated Distance: 205.06 miles


this is BAron's car trip example... Bridgeport to MArtha's Vineyard...

Does Dajet go there? nope... do other conventional services, YUP...how much? A few hundred dollars. Any VLJ's competing?

Nope... they are 4-5x more expensive.

even driving makes some sense compared to Dayjet... at $4 per mile, and the requisite "inconvenince" window factor, you'l lose 4 hours or more just on the window of inconvenience time.

HOw much is ful charter on Dayjet? $1500 or more per hour? GUess what? You and 8 of your buddies can make the flight in less than 1 hour for less than $120 per person...

All available online...

ALso, same goes for a group of three...

Nice model.

smartmoves said...

Question - can you fly SE charters in IFR (eg in a Cirrus SR22) in the US?...SM

Happy 4th!

rlal said...

2 great articles on Wall Street Journal which reinforce couple of points being made on this blog.

1st one on FAA's lax oversight

2nd one on GE
buying the only real alternative to P&W's venerable PT6
.
Given that turboprops are so much more practical for <500 miles than turbofan, this added competition from GE should make this segment even more attractive with new offerings from GE. As Baron said, most advances in aviation are driven by propulsion technologies, so watch out PT6 :)

fred said...

baron ...

you're too funny , man !

i wrote about oil price just knowing too well how you would react ...

and on € just about the same ...!
(just a hint : how many percent of Fpj are paid to abroad firms? do you think they are going to satisfy themselves of being paid with falling "greens" ? = so it's going to take away a little further the profit-margin which is already totally inexistent (this is ALREADY the best possible case ) ...!)

in , my (limited) cleverness oil price is painful for EVERYBODY , not against a specific target ...

as for Russia , China , India and Brazil buying Boeing : i would suggest you to wake-up a bit , as it is better to understand what is going to happen slightly BEFORE it happens ...

you are stating about about the qualities of EAC ...

but even if Eads / Boeing are equivalent in terms of burning publics subsides , they have in common to deliver items that CAN be used ...

Eac is only (at the time being) spending Tax-money with a return of 0 as NOT a SINGLE went out thru the doors being finished and i am even talking about the opacity surrounding the condition of certification ...

you Forgot that Boeing/Eads have a backlog of few hundreds (thousands ?) of the finished things they are paid for ...

is this the case for Eac ? i don't think so ...

but one of the trait , i admire from you is your capacity to minor what can be disturbing and emphasis what you see as major ...

Is entrepreneur-spirit a great + of USA economy ? YES !

Does Vern raise the standards higher ?

NO ! he has turned the whole concept (which made USA what it is/was) like a school kids joke !

you see qualities into daring to launch a startup ...

i would say YES a thousand times with ONLY ONE LIMITATION =

With Your Own Money !

because if you do it with somebody's else pocket then you had just a bigger , nicer words not actually better skills !

so i fail to see Vern and Eac as a example of good , but to the contrary i see it as a proof something has gone very wrong in this part of world ...!
(as 2 B. US$ being what has been wasted for such a brilliant failure ...!)

as for A380 , it is not 2 delivered but 4 ... !
(even if it is very far from planed ! the planes are usable , with no limitations or "come back next week/month/year will finish what you paid for long time ago ...!")

as for the trip you referred =

to me , sounds EXACTLY like the Spanish-non-existent-air-taxi doing a Valencia-Hamburg ...
on a good economic value because Commercial-regular-airlines are charging 4000$+/per pax for the trip ...

which is so much of a f***g lie , it is risible !

for a conclusion , i would suggest you scrap your view of the world in 2 colors , it isn't the case anymore for a long time ...
may be in "the wall street thieves band" this has still some value , but in the today's world , i don't think so ...

so if you refer as mercedes,Bmw and the like being hurt by the $ falling , do not worry too much :
ferrari has sold last year 3 times more cars in Russia than in USA , Audi , Bmw and Mercedes have sold in the BRIC's more cars last year than in the last 5 years in USA ...

if it would be a competition , i wouldn't bet on USA or even Europa ...

but IT IS NOT , the ones telling anything different are wanting you to believe what is profitable for THEM ! (have you ever heard about the scissors effect ? something most of us are going to face in large scale , very soon ...!)


for an end and for everyone concerned :

Happy 4th of July !

Turboprop_pilot said...

Yesterdays WSJ article:

This is really important news as Turboprops are so much more efficient that fanjets, except that, without competition, P&W has not had to spend any development money to refine their turboprops in terms of efficiency, cost or computerization.

I took the two day Pratt course two years ago in Montreal and felt like I was transported back two centuries to a British museum- everything mechanical with centrifugal governors madly spinning all over the engine. Withot competition, everything stagnates and the same old design lives way too long at too high a price.

If GE is serious, they could provide the competitive upset that drives turboprops to much better fuel efficiency, electronic controls and lower costs. Go GE!

Turboprop_pilot

Turboprop_pilot said...

To: Baron95 and everyone:

Dreamers push outside the box, create new models that illustrate what can be done and often fail. Tony Fox, Burt Rutan and Sam Williams and had the same idea(s) for a VLJ and all failed because the engines of their time were not good enough. A Baron like twin jet is not innovative as an idea, it was an obvious idea, waiting for the right engines.

Vern stumbled onto these existing ideas after missing success in his previous endeavors- the details are in the blog history. He has admittedly great fund raising skills, very similar to Jeff Skillings at Enron and the recently arrested fund managers at bear Stearns. Spin believable stories and you can often raise money and maintain a facade for years.

He guaranteed failure here by choosing the wrong path:

Right path:
Minimize risk by choosing existing technologies wherever possible: Aluminum construction, Garmin avionics, experienced aircraft personnel, design for realistic sales volume and costs, an expandable airframe, build relationships in the industry and choose two engine suppliers since the engine had been a failure point for all previous designs.

His path:
Maximize risk with friction stir welding, a never before built engine, the aircraft conceptual design way too light but already maximizing the never before built engine, Windows-in-the-sky with everything thrown in, shoot for never before seen volumes based on a new business model, diss the industry and be proud of an inexperienced work force from automotive fields.

When you add in the questionable business practices: redefining words like orders, certification, creating vapor order books, using political influence to get certified (sort of certified) building for cost and then claiming that he has “airline like dispatchability”, suing vendors, employees and bloggers and on and on, you have a fiasco building that will cost lives and fortunes.

I really feel that his company has hurt more than helped aviation, much more hurt is to come as the house of cards becomes public.

Turboprop_pilot

gadfly said...

TP

Your comments are well thought out.

Excellent, in fact.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

TP,

I believe the PW600 family is the next technology platform for the PT6 turboprop category.

the pw610F signifies fan... there's at least a concept for a T...

Pratt should hold their own with their next generation turboprop, based on the PW600 family

PS. they developed this "without competition" from GE... all in the plan since 1996 or so.

airtaximan said...

TP,

great summary of the situation at EAC and the realities of the development and risk associated with the e500.

remember one important thing. Vern got the money from tech guys, so he needed a tech story.

Otherwise, its just a small jet plane - nothing techy to rasie money.

Today, the tech is gone...FSW (replaced 10lbs of rivets); aviong = Garmin; ej22 engine in garbage.

So, yes, he sold a high tech plane, and is delivering something else. Probably, something no one else wanted to build... for good reason.

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

turbo ..

yes , you're 100% right !

without stimulus for improving , things remain the same for ever ...!

efficiency is probably the one to benefit most ...

today it's quite easy to find cars that can do 100Kms (62 Miles) on 3 or 4 liters of diesel ...

so efficiency is the master word !

and as a matter of fact , for short haul , propellers are better , for long haul the Fpj lacks speed and range ... (compare to Commercial airlines , no benefits here apart flying "privately" and burning money)

so what is left : pleasure (very different topic) , if it would be complete and safe !

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM - you are spot on.

The absence of big tents at SNF, no flashy news conferences, and not sponsoring the Beach Boys concerts and such does not mean that the REAL innovators in aerospace are just sitting around raking in the cash and not investing in the future.

The PW600 family has been under development for a long time, as have smaller engines at GE by the way - both for turboprop, turbofan and helicopter use.

Only Eclipse and to a lesser extent the more shady experimental manufacturers feel the need to crow from the rooftops and over-hype their offerings. The smoke and mirrors inteded to hide the lack of substance.

The real OEM's never stand still. There is already enough competition between them to ensure that, see Premier 1, Hawker Horizon, Columbus, G-650, Phenom, or the evolutionary improvements in the Bonanza/Baron, King Air, C-182, Mooney, or Piper lines.

Real aircraft manufacturers take time to evaluate a market, to conduct preliminary design studies, meet with their customers to learn what they want, qualify dependable vendors, secure the needed skillsets and capital, design for utility, efficiency, maintainability and manufacturability - build the support infrastructure, production tooling and liasion and quality engineering systems.

The real OEM's examine all the failure modes they can think of and plan for each one through redesign or procedures and training.

The real OEM's build and deliver aircraft that actually do what they said they would do, and they support them 24/7.

Eclipse has failed on ALL counts.

What is the CofA status on the over 100 planes with no record in the FAA database?

What will the DOT Inspector General find when they dig into the FAA staffer complaint?

How many REAL orders remain for the EA-500?

How many REAL orders where there in the first place?

Why does Eclipse and their apologists keep insisting that the fleet was not grounded by the Emergency AD with the 'Before Next Flight' compliance window?

Howe many throttles have failed the AD test? How long are they waiting for replacement parts?

How long until the FADEC 'feature' that caused the loss of thrust and loss of thrust control incident at MDW is removed?

These are just a few of the question that remain about this program after a decade and more than a billion dollars.

505_Systems_Engr said...

In this morning's ABQ Journal:

http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/039118tblets307-03-08

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"Silly season of politics" and calling Oberstar's request 'grandstanding' - wow.

And here just yesterday I was saying how amazed I was that Vern had not said anything stupid yet.

It seems you just need to give him some rope and a little time.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Hey Vern let me give you some unrequested but friendly advice.

You have swam in the same waters as some pretty heavy hitters over the years reportedly - Bill, Paul, etc.

Here is a news flash - you don't belong in the same pond and you are now swimming with sharks - sharks with more money and more power than you apparently comprehend. Roel is probably licking his chops like a Rotweiller eyeing a toddler that pulled his whiskers one too many times every time you open your mouth. He is well positioned to pick up the pieces when things go Tango Uniform.

Picking a fight with FAA, NTSB. DOT and the US Congress, all ath the same time is just plain stupid - and therefore is just about what we have come to expect.

smartmoves said...

This link works...SM

http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/039118tblets307-03-08.htm

Turboprop_pilot said...

Most of the time the blog has just discussed Eclipse, FAA and other aviation issues. We have all learned many things and have enjoyed the depth of knowledge of many bloggers. Gunner has stepped up and done much more than talk with his vigorous defense of our collective freedom of speech.

I believe:
The Eclipse 500 should not have been granted a TC
The Eclipse should not be flown single pilot with its present, very limited avionics
The Avio NG system of inter-related software harbors many more potentially life threatening surprises like the Midway emergency
Eclipse order book is vastly over stated
Its relationships with order book “customers” have not been at arm’s length and border on fraudulent

I believe that there is a second, equally important action we can take, especially with the DOT IG investigation. This blog has more information on Eclipse and its fabrications than any other source, but they are interlaced with extraneous thoughts and invective.

My suggestion:
That the blog develop a comprehensive set of shortcomings involved in Eclipse’s development and certification of the E500 and send it to the DOT IG as an “amicus curiae”. That we provide in depth backup of these short comings and eliminate the hyperbole and invective.

Vern has already started spouting his BS towards the NTSB, FAA and now Sen. James Oberstar and will pull in his NM political favors, Capt. Zoom and many others. We should do our best to level the playing field and bring some honesty into the investigation.

What does everyone think?

Dave said...

Eclipse whining about politicians is just too rich. Eclipse (and DayJet) have been trying to buy up politicians at the federal, state and local levels. Live by the sword; die by the sword. Does Eclipse really want people to be poking around their political donations and how that ties to the government welfare and special treatment they've received?

Gunner said...

Re:
Vern's most recent statements to the ABQ Journal:

OMG, this is like watching a suicidal drunk "pretend play" Russian Roulette with a loaded semiauto. In short, nothing good can come of this. At least, not for Eclipse.

Vern, you do have moxie, I'll give you that. If only you weren't such a world class hump and if only history could, just once, come down on your side, I'd almost feel sorry for you.

I feel like I'm watching a bad remake of "Ernest Goes to Washington". It's actually be pretty funny if it weren't so very dangerous.
Gunner

Dave Ivedorne said...

From the AbqJournal article:
"James Oberstar asked the department's inspector general to look into the claims."

Vern's response:
"All I can attribute this to is the silly season of politics, when everyone is running around, particularly people like Oberstar, trying to make themselves look good."

Maybe, just maybe - Oberstar was being responsive to a letter written to him, from somebody who lives in his state (though outside his district).

(blushes)

Next thing Vern will come up with is that Oberstar is acting on Cirrus' behalf (Duluth is in Oberstar's district) - ignoring the fact that he's been on the House Transportation Committee since the mid-70s, long before Cirrus was even a gleam in the Klapmeier boys' eyes. Feel free to love his politics or hate his politics, it does not change the fact that Oberstar is the go-to guy in the Congress for all things related to civil aviation.

And Vern would do well to not antagonize him.

uglytruth said...

Judge Orders Google to Turn Over YouTube Records

http://biz.yahoo.com/nytimes/080703/1194791404540.html?.v=3

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Totally different situation with the Youtube thing Ugly, they are looking for specific copyright violations and can actually suggest damages as there are prices to buy or rent the copyrighted programming/shows.

Vern cannot show damages without validating the very criticisms he is on the record publicly claiming are the result of people 'wasting their lives' or making up 'outright lies'.

Vern is going to have to put up or shut up and the cost to pay to play will be higher than he is prepared to go, IMO.

Is Vern prepared to admit that yes he has been scamming people for a decade and more than a billion dollars in order to quash criticism? The courts have repeatedly ruled that you have to be specific, cute or vague arguments are not viewed kindly, even by the judge in this case apparently, so he is either going to have to drop trou and try to blame the shrinkage on the room being cold (and still probably lose) or he is going to have to let the thing drop.

Add in the explosive potential for picking a fight with Oberstar, the NTSB, FAA and the DOT and I think we have to wait and see what happens next.

I predict another 'feature' will be uncovered in all that code in Avio NfG before any of this gets solved.

AvidPilot said...

Here is a link to email Jim Oberstar for anyone who is interested.

I am going to email him and invite him to read the blog, as well as inform him about Eclipse's subpoena to obtain blogger names as a prelude to a possible SLAPP lawsuit.

I would encourage others to do the same.

http://wwwc.house.gov/oberstar/zipauth.htm

baron95 said...

AT said ... My rates come from industry standard online quoting systems as well

Care to post the actual quotations for the the same route and departure times, like I did?

Gunner said...

Baron-

You clearly posted an atypical flight where an auto might not be taken into consideration as a competitive alternative.

Shall we now post all of the potential 115nm trips in this country that are served by roads but not by airstrips? Would it somehow demonstrate just how worthless the Eclipse really is?

BDR-MVY? Silly comparison. Silly challenge.

YMMV
Gunner

baron95 said...

TP Said ... That the blog develop a comprehensive set of shortcomings involved in Eclipse’s development and certification of the E500

That is a great idea TP. I believe that this can steer the Blog back on course. If we believe that the Eclipse EA500 should go through a certification review, what areas are the most troubling and should precipitate the review? I'll kick it off, but maybe we should keep a running dock linked to the blog page.

1 - Excessive incidents of tire failures on landing.
2 - Incidents of erroneous air-data due to moisture on pitot-static system.
3 - Excessive incidents of autopiot disconnects causing loss of RSVM required autopilot operations and increasing single-pilot workloads.
4 - Confusing and undocumented FADEC/FMU logic - this may have been addressed by the AD, but not totally.
5 - High workload and changing cockipit environment (Avio, Avio NG, Avio NG+Garmin v1.0, Avion NG+Garmin 2.0). This at the very least should require pilot differences training via AD or SB and may put the plane beyond single-pilot opperation until the avionics suite and autopilot/FMS matures.
6 - Interdependence of backup avionics instruments and possible failure modes of engine control after electrical power loss.

Any others?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

7 - Quality escapes indicating signficant problems with quality system

8 - Certificates of Airworthiness seem to be an issue after S/N 92 or so

9 - Shadowy international ownership

10 - Appearance of fraudulent orderbook used to make the company seem more attractive to potential investors/customers

11 - Leadership that seems to not comprehend their role in establishing a safety culture

12 - Significant infant mortality/early failure issues of mechanical, electrical, and structural components

airtaximan said...

www.aircharterguide.com

enjoy

AvidPilot said...

13. defrauding customers in 2007 by requiring 60% 6-months deposits be paid when Eclipse had knowledge that a breakup between Eclipse and Avidyne was imminent and that that Eclipse's 6-month delivery schedule could not be met.

14. lying under oath that comments made bloggers named in the original subpoena contained confidential information and are a violation of an NDA, when it has been demonstrated on this same blog that many of the comments are public knowledge

15. continuing to lie under oath that many of the comments in the revised subpoena are confidential information, when it has been demonstrated that they are not

16. a history of deceptive advertising, designed to lure customers with an artificially low price i.e. "$1.3 million" and then informing them sometime later that the jet was priced at some date in the distant past and is subject to CPI adjustments

17. no factory disclosure of "glitches" being reported by current owners

18. factory claims that the Eclipse is "easy to fly" when there is actually a high failure rate in training, and Eclipse owners say that the E500 is actually a high-workload aircraft in IFR conditions

Anonymous said...

13. defrauding customers in 2007 by requiring 60% 6-months deposits be paid when Eclipse had knowledge that a breakup between Eclipse and Avidyne was imminent and that that Eclipse's 6-month delivery schedule could not be met.

Don't forget about the single Williams "flight" to unlock the money.

gadfly said...

A. Y. Mous

That ("unlocking the money") was the single most important event revealing to one and all the "true" nature of the beast.

gadfly

(New Mexico has a town that says it all: "Truth or Consequences" . . . when you refuse the "truth", you'll pay the "consequences".)

airtaximan said...

There are many unscrupulous business issues, and many potential quality issues. Most of these are self-evident eventhough they have been spun, couched and covered up.

I think the investigation will only deal with the testimony of the employees who were prevented from doing their jobs regarding certification and safety.

They know their jobs, and they will probably reveal some new dirty laundry regarding how this whole mess happend, from a certification perspective.

You know how I know this?
Becasue Vern says: "To me, this was nothing more than a labor dispute within the FAA".

Its a funny way fro a CEO to characterize: A group of Federal Aviation Administration test pilots and inspectors identified several outstanding safety and regulatory issues with the e500, and they were not allowed to complete their certification work properly before the plane was certified.

Also, the "political grandstanding" "Season of politics" and "trying to make himself look good" comments, makes me think there is something pretty horrendous going on... becasue these comments are so over the top and defensive.

Pretty clear pattern from Vern... we'll see the truth emerge in time.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Congratulations to the team at Cirrus for first flight on 'The Jet' on the 3rd.

I believe at this point that Cirrus will be the dominant player in the SE VLJ market - they offer the best overall utility and have a good record of producing good planes.

Diamond will do well with the D-Jet but it has poor aesthetics and with the re-engine I think will not have a significant time-to-market advantage. Clearly the Cirrus is the best looking plane in the bunch (followed closely by the Epic Victory SEJ which I give good odds to as well).

The Eclipse website has gone back in time to August of last year, now featuring the CONJet prominantly - didn't Eclipse used to sell another jet?

PiperJet will fly in the next few days as well - the SEJ space is about to get real crowded only this time Eclipse does not have a capital, hype or time advantage.

Just imagine if Hawker-Beech were to surprise us with an SEJ all their own?

Interesting times indeed.

airtaximan said...

or embraer?

or a smaller, lower cost turbo fan, enabling a smaller and lower cost twin?

this space could become very crowded, indeed, CW, very, very crowded.

Then "first to market" becomes less important than "other" competitive advantages, and ya know what?

Eclipse has none.

Turn-and-Burn said...

20Year said on his last post on June 23rd... I DONT CARE ANYWAY, I DONT HAVE TO SWEAT LOSING MY JOB THERE OR WILL I BE AFFECTED WHEN IT FOLDS.

Where has he been? No pictures?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

T&B you crack me up.

Latch on to one thing like a little chihuahua and just keep yapping.

How about Vern calling the FAA Staffer complaint a 'labor issue'?

How about Vern saying Oberstar is getting carried away in the 'silly political season'?

How about Vern saying the Emergency AD with a 'Before Next Flight' compliance window did not ground the fleet?

How about Vern admitting they did not foresee the issue with the 'feature' they included in the FADECs that they are now removing after the incident at Midway?

How about Vern saying the NTSB overreacted when they did their job after the incident at Midway?

How about the incident at Midway?

How about the DOT Inspector General investigating the complaints of FAA staffers into the certification of the EA-500?

I know you would like to be able to try and use one blogger's limited comments to discredit us all but everytime you have tried that, under any of half a dozen names, you have failed miserably, just like your hero in the 505.

The body of work is just too big, the number of issues gets bigger not smaller, the challenges gets tougher not easier. Eclipse is going the wrong way, and we are seeing things get worse not better.

Vern is like King Midas in reverse, everything he touches turns to shyte.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

If the above is too hard you could address the higher than expected failure rates of the actuators chosen by Eclipse as reported by Vern.

Or the higher than expected failure rates of the tires and brakes chosen by Eclipse as reported by Vern.

Or the higher than expected failure rates of the autopilot chosen by Eclipse as reported by Vern.

Or the dozens and dozens of SDR reports that back up the above.

Or the limited press reports on flying the plane or taking the training which liken it to flying in the 1960's.

I can keep going of course, Vern gives us more ammunition almost every day.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Don't forget T&B, Vern himself has validated many of our comments as being accurate by attempting to force Google to identify us so that Eclipse can subpoena us and find out how we were so accurate - he used terms like 'based in part on confidential information not available to the public'.

Vern cannot have it both ways, he has singled many of us out as only being able to be so accurate by having access to confidential information, that is not the same as 'wasting their lives' or making 'outright lies'.

He has selected comments about the amount of money Eclipse has reportedly wasted, about the timing of decisions and notifications to the customers, about relationships with vendors, about technical or financial problems the company is having.

Either we are wrong and lying as he has publicly stated, or we have been eerily accurate as he has stated in his statement to the court - which is it?

Dave said...

Where has he been? No pictures?

Thanks for reminding everyone about your chickening out. He made you an offer and all you've done is try and make excuses for being yellow since then.

Gunner said...

On the SEJ front:
I agree The Jet is the best looking. However, I noted a telltale comment in their email about the goal being 1,000 nm with moderate loading. Hardly stellar.

This is going to be a major hurdle with all the SEJ's. We knew it up front with the D-Jet and, as a result, predicted they'd move to the Cirrus engine as soon as it was certified. That may still not be enough power to lend these SEJ's real utility of range and payload.

If Epic certifies the Dynasty, I think it'll blow them all out of the water on these scores...though it will always be a second choice for those who put image before utility.

Gunner

baron95 said...

CW said ... 8 - Certificates of Airworthiness seem to be an issue after S/N 92 or so

9 - Shadowy international ownership

10 - Appearance of fraudulent orderbook used to make the company seem more attractive to potential investors/customers

11 - Leadership that seems to not comprehend their role in establishing a safety culture


How is any of that the basis for a (re)certification review? The FAA could care less about ownership, order books, investors and the like. IMHO, this has no bearing at all in a certification review.

You are a very smart and knowledgeabl guy, CW, but items 9, 10 and 11 sound just like a rant by someone who does not like Eclipse - if you were to add that to a letter to the FAA, I think it would just diminish the strenght of the case.

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
www.aircharterguide.com


Hi AT, unlike chartex.com, th site you pointed to does not give you a trip quote, only hourly rates.

In any event, the prices came out about the same, the cheapest jet quoted was $3,450/hr, even if pricing just airplane time and ignoring wait time, it would come out to $10K or so.

These rates are an order of magnitude higher than the quoted DayJet rates for a similar FL trip.

I could easily pay $600/per person for a round trip to MVY - it is the cost of a good night at an Inn.

I could not pay $10,000-12,000.

So, I still would like to see the DayJet mode of flexible windows pan out.

baron95 said...

AvidPilot said...
13. defrauding customers in 2007 by requiring 60% 6-months deposits be paid when Eclipse had knowledge that a breakup between Eclipse and Avidyne was imminent and that that Eclipse's 6-month delivery schedule could not be met.

14. lying under oath that comments made bloggers named in the original subpoena contained confidential information and are a violation of an NDA, when it has been demonstrated on this same blog that many of the comments are public knowledge


Oh, well. I tried to keep it on the technical certification issues, but I guess this is not possible on this blog. Some people feel compelled to just rant against Eclipse based on their frustrutaion in not being able to control how Eclpse behaves.

I think you guys should really send these types of "reasons for certification review" to the FAA, inspector general and congress. Then watch Vern point to is as the perfect example of the case against Eclipse being a maliciously motivated rant. Good luck.

baron95 said...

CW said ... Just imagine if Hawker-Beech were to surprise us with an SEJ all their own?

Humm.... when was the last time BeechHawker certified a new clean sheet design? I don't think I was born yet? Oh, wait. There was that abomination they quasi-certified then killed and bought them back, because they were so worried about any customers actually attempting to fly the thing. What was it called? Starship Enterprise?

Better let Beech/Hawker do what they are good at. Tweak 50-year old designs like BE90/200/350 and H800/850/750.

The odds of these guys being able to do anything new is ZERO.

Black Tulip said...

Baron95,

Rather than pay hundreds or thousands to fly your family from Bridgeport to the Vineyard, why don't you just drive through the new tunnel?

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

How about Vern calling the FAA Staffer complaint a 'labor issue'?


CW, I don't know how to break the news to you gently, but IT IS a labor issue. It is an actual labor dispute mechnism filed under the National Labor Relations Act rules and union/management contract. It is a labor grievance. The FAA employees are officially complaining about their work environment.

And Vern is completely correct in characterizing it that way and refusing to comment further. Let the union employees and management duke it out under the labor relations act rules. If the union is proven right, there will be a finding that the FAA violated their contract work rules/conditions with the employees and there will be a second phase as to remedies. The remedies would likely be the FAA "agreeing not to do it again" and dending the offending managers to "sensitivity training".

There will be no technical/certification actions out of this. IT IS a labor dispute.

I hope the truth was not too upsetting to you ;)

airtaximan said...

baron,

I am beginning to wonder about you...

why would you take a jet on the trip you are using as an example? I provided a bunch of prices for props, and you asked for the source, so I gave it to you.

What's your problem? I guess you are coming to realize the plane you are comparing to the right plane (a prop) is wrong?

Your example is really rather silly, and the SR22 would do just fine at a fragment of the Dayjet pricing, IF they operated there.

I think you'll find that on a real jet mission, the e500 does not save much money, especially if you need 2 or 3 of them to take 4-6 pax where you need to go... otherwise use a prop, and save a ton of money... or in your example, just drive. Like I said, with a 4 hour window of inconvenience, it would take just as long, unless you take the tunnel.

You could have used the journey accross the English Channel... as a similarly rediculous example... but then again, the e500 is not EASA certified, and there's the chunnel.

;)

airtaximan said...

Baron, see the Raytheon Premier for a more recent example of a clean sheet design by that company.

Beech Starship = 1979
Premier = 1998

I won't defend their record on the plane, just a more recent example of clean sheet by them... like 20 years more recent.

PS. the Starship was ALSO a Rutan design!

airtaximan said...

Baron:

A group of Federal Aviation Administration test pilots and inspectors identified several outstanding safety and regulatory issues with the e500, and they were not allowed to complete their certification work properly before the plane was certified.

This is the complaint that is leading to an INSPECTOR GENERAL's INVESTIGATION OF THE TYPE CERTIFICATE.

Specifically, The U.S. Department of Transportation, at the request of a House committee, will investigate two-year-old claims that regulators rushed certification of the Eclipse 500 jet aircraft.

This my friend IS NOT a labor dispute.

Why Vern needs to dismiss it as such, a look like a complete fool, is beyond, me, except it might sound good to some.

A lot of things "sounded good" to some... and where are they now?

Most of them are in the garbage, really.

Dave said...

These rates are an order of magnitude higher than the quoted DayJet rates for a similar FL trip.

You're comparing apples to oranges. If you want to compare trip prices in Florida then compare prices in Florida. Eclipse if anything has shown that the theoretical price can vary extremely widely compared to the actual price once the rubber meets the road. Eclipse still isn't up to customer specs and the price has become 3X more expensive, so it is highly presumptuous to assume how much a DayJet flight would cost in Martha's Vineyard or that DayJet would ever even offer it.

Shane Price said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Price said...

Baron, ATman et al.

1. The CofA's 'delay' is a non issue. Simple (or complex, depending on who you ask) paperwork tangle, being sorted as we speak.

2. The 'other' investigation is NOT a labor dispute and could have very serious implications for Vern. If I was him, I would duck down right now and shut up. He's facing a serious issue, so calling it a 'labor dispute' is only making things worse for EAC.

But then, that's been Vern's unique contribution from day one.

Making things worse, for everyone...

Shane
PS I had a nice break, and I hope you all enjoyed your 'Glorious Fourth' too.

Shane Price said...

Oh, and the Chunnel is easily the fastest way from London to Brussells.

Or even Paris, if you hit Heathrow on a bad day.

I know people who have taken to DRIVING (using the Shuttle service) from the South East of England to Holland, Belgium and big chunks of France and Germany.

And not just to buy cheap booze either...

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

Starship, Premier I, Hawker Horizon/Hawker 4000 recently, 2 in the last 10 years - not including major redesign of the T-6A trainer and variants. All have hundreds sold, many Premier's delivered, and fully fuctional Horizons rolling off the line to eager customers as we speak.

Counting Hawker-Beech out of the mix would be the height of arrogance, Beech has more innovative planes in their stable than anyone shy of Northrop. Leave the arrogant blindness to Vern as he does that best.

The point with some of the items was not a 'rant' but to add to the big picture. If you look at how the government has been prosecuting high-profile federal cases lately, e.g., Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby specifically, you will see that the issue they were convicted of was not the underlying crime (or lack therof in both cases) it was the lying about it.

Now who do we know, aside from the many faces of Ken that is, that cannot seem to help but lie about Eclipse, both plane and business?

airtaximan said...

shane,

why not explain the cofa non-issue...

thanks

airtaximan said...

CW,

most ironic, is thet Hawker-Becch (or whatever) actually certified a completely new material and manufacturing process in the mix.

Anyone in the know, understands how tough this really is...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Good point AT. The Starship was not a commercial success by any measure but it was the first and until the Horizon largest, highest performing and most complex composite aircraft ever certified.

A review of aviation history with an eye towards truly innovative new designs cannot help but include the Beechcraft name.

Staggerwing, Model 18, Bonanza, Baron, King Air, 1900 Airliner, Starship, Premier and Horizon.

The weejet and its' pathetic creator remain unfit to carry Beech's jockstrap.

FlightCenter said...

The Iranian parliament is set to debate a draft bill that would add a number of crimes to the list of those that can result in execution, among them establishing weblogs...

Iran already imprisons bloggers for challenging the government.

Blogging is wildly popular in Iran, where a new generation of young people frequently challenge the old, hyper-conservative religious government. The Committe to Protect Bloggers says that Iran is "among the worst offenders in terms of harassing, arresting and imprisoning bloggers, as well as students."

Iran considers harsh penalty for bloggers This is 3 minute radio story

Blogging could get you killed

Iran Now to Kill Bloggers

airtaximan said...

cw,

the FAA of those days would most likely never, and I mean NEVER have certified the stir-fried botched e500...

perhaps only you know exactly waht I am referrring to, but I mean exactly what I say.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Stir-fried, incomplete avionics, installed but non-functioning equipment, and untold lines of dead code in HAL - the old FAA would have had a myriad of reasons to just say no - and yes, they would most certainly have said no IMO as well.

baron95 said...

AT said ... Baron, see the Raytheon Premier for a more recent example of a clean sheet design by that company.


Yes. I had forgotten about that. Thanks for pointing it out. Attempt number two to produce a composite fuselage. First attempt starship enterprise: useful load for a 600nm mission = ZERO. Second attempt Prmier. Useful load for a 6nm trip = 200 lbs. But I do give them credit for trying their hands at composites.

The Premier was the first mainstream civil aviation wound composite fuselage. And that is the method, that after much research, Boeing chose for the 787 with good results (note, none of the 787 problems stem from the composite barrels themselves.

FlightCenter said...

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 19 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights

baron95 said...

AT said ... I provided a bunch of prices for props, and you asked for the source, so I gave it to you.


AT, I used your pricing source. The chepest rate for props came in at $1575 (IIRC)/hours for a total of $5,000 or so. Still way more expensive than any similar Day Jet quote.

Why are you complaining about the mission that I chose. That happens to be the most frequent mission/trip I fly, year in, year out. It is the perfect GA trip. Impossible to do by car. Not served by schedule service.

Most (non-pilot) passengers would not fly it single engine because of the long over-water segments.

As for jet vs prop - it is the same reason why American Eagle, Comair, and every other regional carrier started dumping the more efficient turboprops for RJs. It is called customer acceptance. You can argue with it all you want, but you will ALWAYS lose.

I have no idea why some men spend $25K on a Rolex watch or why some women spend $3K on a Coach bag.

Every time I invite someone to fly in the Baron to MVY for the first time, they ask me what kind of plane and if it is a jet. They don't know the difference between turboprop or twin piston. It is either a biz jet or it is a puddle jumper. That is what people think. You just can't argue with them.

And on EVERY single trip someone will ask me what happened to JFK-jr. I am sick of answering that, but it is part of making people feel comfortable.

It is what it is. If Day Jet were to offer the trip on a Eclipse "biz jet" for the same price as a part 135 Baron or B90, they will win the business 9 out of 10 times. People don't care if the autopilot does not work or if there is FIKI or not. They care if it is a jet or a puddle jumper with the spinning things in front.

Perhaps the ONLY prop plane that can break the mold is the Piaggio.

So you can talk all you want about how much more efficient a prop is - people don't want them. Sad, but true.

Gunner said...

"So you can talk all you want about how much more efficient a prop is - people don't want them. Sad, but true."

Yep, the DayJet vs Satsair comparison proves that.

[insert rolleyes icon here]
Gunner

baron95 said...

CW said... The point with some of the items was not a 'rant' but to add to the big picture. If you look at how the government has been prosecuting high-profile federal cases lately, e.g., Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby specifically, you will see that the issue they were convicted of was not the underlying crime (or lack therof in both cases) it was the lying about it.


OK. Point taken. I guess that these days, unfortunatelly, in order to make officials and politicians interested in a highly technical item, we need to "package" it with talk-show-level allegations of lies and misconduct, sex scandlas, etc. I accept that. But my preference would be to list all the technical items and then add something along the lines of "In addition, Eclipse leadership and governance practices call into question the company's ability to achieve and maintain the conformance and safety levels necessary for the owner of a TC and PC". And then list the examples you cited. If that is the intent, I'm OK with it.

Re Hawker Horizon - what a mess that was. It was actually much worse than Eclipse. It was announced in 1996. The TC was awarded in 2006 - 10 years later after noumerous delays. The first airplane was not delivered to the first customer until 2 weeks ago - 12 years after program announcement and 2 years after TC. IIRC no TC has been awarded yet.

Having said that, I think it is a good jet - a bit overprice for the category if you ask me.

Lets see if they can deliver #2, 3, 4 and remain competitive.

But yes, I stand corrected on that one also - it was a clean sheet design. I guess I should make sure my brain is in gear before I engage the fingers on the keyboard.

My apologies to the blog readers for posting innacurate info.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No worries from me Baron, and yes, that WAS my intent.

You are correct, the shortcomings in leadership at Eclipse (pun intended) do in fact, I believe, directly contribute to the problems manifesting themselves as quality escapes, 'vendor' failures, a hundred odd SDR filings, 3 AD's, and a plane that 10 years and over a billion dollars after announcement STILL does not do all the things Eclipse promised it would do.

Comparatively, the Horizon was actually less messed up than the Eclipse (although it certainly WAS messed up - past tense) - the Horizon is only a couple years late in terms of when it was originally supposed to be delivering and now that it finally is, I will bet a dime to a doughnut that it cost less than a billion dollars.

Most importantly though, rather than foist incomplete partially functional preemie jets on their customers after receiving the provisional TC, Beech held off until the plane was actually done and they had a full TC. I would need to doublecheck but I believe they have the PC already.

As I have said many times before, there simply is no comparison between Eclipse and the REAL manufacturers.

Dave said...

First I found this tidbit about a NASA study for VLJ traffic volume:
With that service comes the promise of both economic development around smaller airports and, according to a NASA study, hundreds more flights a day at airports large and small. NASA modelers project Florida to be thick with VLJ traffic and place several airports in the top 30 nationally for VLJ flights: Fort Lauderdale Executive, Orlando Executive, Opa-Locka and St. Petersburg-Clearwater among the top small airports and Miami International among the majors. How many? 890 a day by 2025 at just Miami International, St. Petersburg-Clearwater and at the executive airports in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
http://floridatrend.com/article.asp?aID=31961298.7157909.582803.8825766.3924125.269&aID2=44822
Here's the profile of the actual report (you can't get it online, but have to order it):
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=295548&id=1&qs=Ntt%3DUtilizing%252BTraveler%252BDemand%252BModeling%252Bto%252BPredict%252BFuture%26Ntk%3Dall%26Ntx%3Dmode%2520matchall%26N%3D0%26Ns%3DHarvestDate%257c1
It turns out that guy who wrote the report being touted by Ed designed a plane that killed multiple people:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VK-30

Does anyone know about this?:
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/oastt/OATFY2003PLANS/RA/VS_BVT_L3_SLMFST_2002-09-20.pdf

I also found this interesting about DayJet:
http://lakelandlocal.wordpress.com/2007/06/14/dayjet-at-lakeland-linder/
DayJet has tried to recruit bloggers to cover events. Amusingly at this event mentioned, they started three hours late!

Also here's the official speech for the launching of ATAS:
http://www.destinyfl.com/pdf/Governor%20Crist%20Announces%20Partnership%20to%20Improve%20Air%20Travel.pdf
And here's the website:
http://www.sustainableair.org/
Here's a Florida bureaucrat calling DayJet "successful" and that it was because of the work Gov Crist that DayJet is there:
http://www.dailypress.com/orl-talking2008may20,0,641145.story

Then here's something very interesting:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064803d6713
If you download the PDF file there are some entertaining tidbits, like DayJet saying they've forecast out 14 years ahead. More importantly, they say that they are in close co-operation with Eclipse and the document submitted 2/28/08 was done after being vetted by Eclipse.

Also I found this curious denial by the FAA for DayJet to be able to use electronic signatures for an airworthiness release:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=09000064802cf191&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf

Here's another good document where Eclipse talks about ETIRC and is seaking an ownership exemption:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=09000064803a4f52&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf

Here's Eclipse seeking a training exemption:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=09000064802bed84&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf

I haven't even gone through all the docs, but Eclipse has certainly been busy seeking various exemptions and the like:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?No=0&sid=11AF8E0D2B7C&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&Ntt=%22eclipse%20aviation%22&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&N=0&css=0&rpp=50

Shane Price said...

ATman,

CofA 'non issue'

Can't go into complete detail without 'burning' a valuable (and long term) souce.

Jist of it is process control, with both ends (Eclipse and the FAA) getting out of phase.

As I said, not an issue and being sorted as we blog away.

However, much more important stuff incoming. FAA bigwigs are in a real snit over Vern. Powerful medicine is being mixed, and will be delivered shortly.

And again, like I said, its not a 'labor dispute'.

Shane

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

Dave,

I'd be careful being too quick to condemn Viken. He is one member in a NASA team that studies airline travel patterns in general, they have also put together many reports covering the airlines, not just VLJ's.

Also, the VK-30 was designed by a team, not just Viken, and that team included the Klapmeiers who still own Cirrus Design, the company that produced the VK-30.

The VK-30 was a very high performance kitplane and at the time was the biggest and most complex kitplane on the market until the Lancair IV-P added pressurization and now the Epic LT includes a 1200hp turboprop.

When they first came out I wanted one so bad it was not even funny.

As with all of the high-performance kitplanes, part of how they achieve such tremendous performance is by having smaller wings when compared to certified planes and this naturally if not unfortunately leads to higher accident rates.

If you want to see something scary look at the accident rate for the Lancair IV-P and that is a plane on my list of aircraft to own because it meets my travel mission almost exactly.

Like the MU-2, these planes which offer very high levels of performance demand an equally high-level of respect and do not always get it - the price for that lapse is always very high.

I appreciate your fervor in this but I suggest you more thoroughly look into the airplane subjects lest we start to look like conspiracy theory cooks.

airtaximan said...

there are 10,000 props in part 135 service in the US...

I guess you think no one is flying in them

- if it is your 100 mile jaunt example, there are many planes listed that will do the trip for $500 or less for the whole trip... 3 or 4 pax. These are props.

** if someone asks you the question about Kennedy, just tell them that the plane he was flying was comlete, flying in bad weather, and had fully functioning instruments. The jet they prefer is unfinished, and the instruments don't work properly - THEN they can make an educated choice.

airsafetyman said...

I am very hopeful now that the DOT has launched an investigation into the FAA conduct in awarding of Eclipse's Type Certificate. It should give a lot of responsible people pause to realize that the first words out of the company's mouth in the press release following the Midway incident was that the throttle system was "FAA certified". I do believe there was unwarranted influence in awarding the TC to Eclipse and I think there is unwarranted influence in awarding the Air Trafic studey to Eclipse. I would also would not be surprised if there was the same unwarranted influence in the State of Florida giving a tax break to DayJet. Where is Eisenhower when you need him?

Dave said...

I appreciate your fervor in this but I suggest you more thoroughly look into the airplane subjects lest we start to look like conspiracy theory cooks.

I only reported factual information
regarding Viken. Even if I wanted to, there's nothing I could retract as all I gave was facts. I'm not impressed with Viken. My perception of him is that he is enthusiastic about aviation, but nonetheless hasn't done quality work in either aircraft design nor aviation forecasting...just because you're really interested in something, it doesn't mean you're highly skilled and competent. I think you can be glad you didn't get a VK-30 or else you might not be here now. Admittedly I'm not familiar with kit builds, but I would think even for kit builds that the VK-30 has a bad record...do almost 8% (1/13) of kit builds result in fatalities attributable to aircraft construction? I did look up the Lancair IP-V on the NTSB and though there were a lot of fatalities, I didn't see one that was attributed to aircraft design/manufacture (though I am suspicious with the multiple undetermined power failures resulting in fatalities). I also don't know how many total IPVs have been sold to compare it to the VK-30.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Dave,

There are several hundred completed IV-P's comared to a couple dozen VK-30's.

The loss of the turbine powered plane (an ST-50 built for IAI and NOT a VK-30) was very heavily covered in the media. There have been 4 fatal accidents for the VK-30 in almost 20 years - only 4.

None of the VK-30 losses were design flaws, none were in-flight breakups to my recollection - just your typical takeoff and landing accidents, just like the IV-P, just like the MU-2.

These planes demand respect and exact a high price when it is not given.

The point was and remains that the VK-30 was not a flawed design, nor is the IV-P - they are just not the same as a certified airplane.

As for Viken, he is well enough respected that NASA pays him for his forecasting, along with four or five other team members. He was in on the beginning of the most successful 'new' aircraft OEM to come along in the last 30 years, and he designed a sexy beast of a plane with those friends.

I have not reviewed his team's actual forecasts to see how accurate they are compared to say a Richard Aboulafia, but apparently NASA feels it is getting its' money worth (for what that means).

You inferred in your comment that Jeff Viken's aviation forecast work is somehow suspect because there have been accidents with the plane he was part of the design team for - that is a value judgement, not a fact.

Whether we like it or not, the vast majority of accidents are the result of what we do, or don't do, as pilots - and that definitely includes experimentals as well for the reasons in my earlier post.

Build errors are on the builder, not the kit manufacturer as well - typically the builder and the pilot are the same in the kit world.

The kit maker has nothing to do with how well the builder puts the plane together - that is why you see modern high-performance kitplanes like the IV and the Epic even the Glastar being assembled under close supervision with the assistance of experienced technicians.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

To further the discussion, I just read all of the VK-30 accident reports and all of them were either pilot-error or modification of/failure to follow the recommendations of Cirrus.

There are 7 records since 1990, 3 non-fatal, 4 fatal.

Looks like Viken and the Klapmeiers did their homework - the issues were modifications of the fuel lines or fuel system, failure to produce the flight controls (flap hinges and push rods) correctly, or loss of power in flight followed by loss of control of the plane.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It will be interesting to see how the FAA, NTSB and DOT-IG react to the Vernperor.

Strong medicine - it is about time, the real question is will it be too little too late.

In other words, can the patient be saved?

airtaximan said...

CW,

is Vern involved in the labor dispute?


ahhahhhahhaa

Dave said...

To further the discussion, I just read all of the VK-30 accident reports and all of them were either pilot-error or modification of/failure to follow the recommendations of Cirrus.

There are 7 records since 1990, 3 non-fatal, 4 fatal.

Looks like Viken and the Klapmeiers did their homework - the issues were modifications of the fuel lines or fuel system, failure to produce the flight controls (flap hinges and push rods) correctly, or loss of power in flight followed by loss of control of the plane.


You are right in that it wasn't their error. I was referring to an incident that happened in the 90s, but in re-reading the NTSB report, it seems to imply that kit builder built it wrong rather than the kit manufacturer providing bad components as I first thought:
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001208X05910&key=1
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=CHI96FA185&rpt=fi

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