Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Close to a Total Eclipse?

There are so many topics which I could cover on this thread. The secondary market is a possibility, with many strange practices going on, or the departure of Vern and the resulting aftershocks. But I think the main focus should stay with the FPJ and the factory that 'builds' it.

First, the aircraft. Most of you will know that www.AINonline.com have an excellent 'Alerts' service, which provides timely notice of important aviation matters. They issued the following earlier today:-

"P&WC and Eclipse Investigating PW600 Carbon Concern
Pratt & Whitney Canada, manufacturer of the PW610F engine that powers the Eclipse 500 very light jet, and Eclipse Aviation are jointly investigating the cause of a carbon buildup problem that resulted in an inflight engine shutdown in early August. Although details of the occurrence are unavailable as no report has yet been made to the FAA or the NTSB, P&WC was “made aware of this,” according to a P&WC spokesman, “and we are currently collaborating with Eclipse to investigate the issue. Initial findings indicate that carbon appears to form in the combustor during high-altitude operation with full cabin bleed selected. Both teams are pursuing the investigation at this time. However, it is important to note that there are no recommended changes to maintenance or operational procedures associated with the PW610F engine.” The PW600-series powers the Eclipse 500, Cessna Citation Mustang and nearly certified Embraer Phenom 100. To date, the Eclipse fleet has accumulated more than 50,000 operating hours since late 2006, according to the spokesman."

Now that is significant. Might there be a design issue with the FPJ installation, as there is no word of a similar event with the Mustang? We know that the switch to P&W, after the 'first flight' with Williams, was done in a rush. Since one of the key arguments in favour of the FPJ over turboprops with broadly similar mission profiles is high altitude fuel burn, any restriction here could be catastrophic to resale values. Plus any remedial work, which may be required, would have to join the queue for FIKI, AvioNG etc.

Next the company. I continue to get emails expressing serious concerns about assembly methods. What we are talking about is the original build quality on the floor, and how safety issues that arise during the build process are handled. Most of you by now will know that there are significant concerns about how the Production Certificate was issued by the FAA and the continued adherence to a 'standard' by the company. A normal ACSEP (Aircraft Certification Systems Evaluation Program) inspection of the factory was due to being this week, but has been postponed to 'late September'. Needless to say, this delay was not initiated by the FAA. There has been much speculation in the 'community' as to why this happened, but two potential 'answers' have surfaced. Take your pick:-

1. Eclipse plan to suspend their PC for a period, and they've said as much to the FAA.
or
2. Eclipse have major influence in Washington, allowing them to delay this 'cast in stone' event.

And another thing....

We know that Eclipse are in two minds about their production, as their most recent 'Media Alert' is pretty vague on the Russian factory. In fact, it makes no mention of the planned new facility, saying only that "Eclipse also confirms it has no intention to move its production facilities outside of the United States in contrast to some current media speculation." Strange. Yes there is/no there isn't another factory. Wish they would make their mind up.

Speaking of which, I would like to draw your attention to the excellent Russ Niles, of www.AVweb.com. We've already had a part of this on the blog, but it's worthwhile increasing its visibility here:-

"In case you haven't been following the news, the U.S. wants Russia to leave Georgia alone and Russia wants Georgia to leave Abkhazia alone and the whole thing came to a head because some Russian diplomat blew a tire and couldn't change it himself. As I write this the Russians have troops and tanks and guns in Georgia and despite some kind of agreement they're looking like they might hang around awhile and, if necessary, sink a few more ships. I wish I was making it up."
Later he continues:-
"Then there's Eclipse. A Russian factory appears to be a major part of the plan to make the company profitable but maybe Roel Pieper, et. al. should investigate friction stir welded tanks instead. Seems to be a market..."

Read the whole article, it's worth it. For our American readers I should state that here in Europe, we are really worried what might happen if the Russian Republic takes on another one of the 'former' USSR states, and the EU decides it has to respond. If you think OPEC have a stranglehold on oil, just watch what happens to the European market if Russia decides to restrict supplies of natural gas.

UPDATED Wednesday 20th August 12.50 (GMT)

As noted earlier in several comments, this actually was released just prior to my post. I've put it up here for maximum visibility.

"Lawmakers Set Hearing Over Eclipse 500 Jet Type Certificate
19-Aug-2008
By Karen Di Piazza

This morning, the oversight and investigations staff of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee confirmed to this journalist that a hearing is set for Sept. 17, at 10 a.m., regarding the Federal Aviation Administration's oversight and issuance of its Eclipse 500 type certificate. The committee, chaired by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., ordered the Department of Transportation's inspector general's office to audit the FAA and present a briefing in regards to the FAA's possible rush of granting Eclipse Aviation with its full TC on Sept. 30, 2006. FAA-employed aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots say they were prevented from properly completing their assigned certification and safety responsibilities, before the FAA issued its TC to the plane maker. Committee spokesperson Jim Berard said that both the IG's office and oversight and investigations unit of the committee "have gathered enough credible evidence to warrant a hearing."

"We don't have a confirmed witness list at this point and aren't likely to have one until prior to the hearing," he said. "We expect the DOT's IG's office and some former Eclipse employees to testify. We have invited FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials and will likely invite Eclipse management."

Although certain people are invited to the hearing, Berard explained that the committee has the power to subpoena those who refuse invitations.

Words begin to fail me here. The more I learn, the sadder I get. Well done Karen, you've nailed another key piece of the story that will be 'Eclipse, how NOT to run an aviation company.'

Finally, a brief word from the unfortunate suppliers. They have been informed of a significant cut in production, which will result in little or no requirement for new shipments. The word is that there are enough parts on hand at the factory to finish 31 more FPJ's, after which no one can predict what will happen. And the funding round is not going well.

I have a feeling we won't have long to wait for more. Stay tuned....

Shane

251 comments:

1 – 200 of 251   Newer›   Newest»
baron95 said...

On other news.... a current production car was just auctioned today at Monterey, CA for more than the price of a Citation Mustang!!!! What is the world coming to?

Monterey 2008: First Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport auctioned for $3.19 million

(repost)

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

Having testified before Congress a couple of times (under happier circumstances), I suggest you start getting your papers in order and travel plans set. You'll need to submit a written copy of your testimony in advance plus have an abbreviated verbal statement.

We know that you will represent the blog and your Faire Isle well.

Shane Price said...

Baron95,

I've only seen one Veyron. This is the new, even more limited edition 'convertible'.

Which will do 242mph.

With the roof off.

Oh, and it was a charity auction, after all.

Shane
PS, If you get wind in your hair in a Mustang, you are in serious trouble. Especially at 242mph.

Gunner said...

This just in from my favorite aviation industry reporter:

Lawmakers Set Hearing Over Eclipse 500 Jet Type Certificate

Gunner

gadfly said...

Hello out there! . . . Anybody home? It should have taken the IQ of a wilted asparagus to figure out this one.

Let’s review:

New Mexico politics are driven by bribes.

The Eclipse was DOA.

The Russians are not to be trusted.

It’s too late to go into details . . . if you don’t “get it” by now, you won’t get it tomorrow . . . or the next day.

Period!

gadfly

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip,

I'm afraid in real life I am a terrible bore. You would all fall asleep if I tried to recount the history of the blog in public...

Anyway, I don't like Washington. Boston is so much nicer, and the lobster is top class.

Could you get the hearings moved there, by any chance?

Shane

baron95 said...

Shane said ... if the Russian Republic takes on another one of the 'former' USSR states, and the EU decides it has to respond.

LOL, Shane. "the EU decides to respond"!!! What do you have in mind here? Send 15 armored brigades to kick the Russian army out of the second former republic or have Sarkozy and Angela issue a statement that "We are disaponted with the latest Russian actions"?

Just get used to it. The Russians are NOT our friends. They are another big kid on the playground. We tollerate them, sometimes we play soccer with them, but they are not our friends.

Russia will mess things up in their backyard, the US will mess things up in say Iraq, and there is nothing anyone will do about it. That is how the world works.

The Russian elites and the US aspiring elites and the EU noble elites will continue to buy their $3.19M Veyrons.

Black Tulip said...

“Initial findings indicate that carbon appears to form in the combustor during high-altitude operation with full cabin bleed selected.”

This is reminiscent of the first Turbo Commanders circa 1965. The early Garrett turboprop engines were not up to the task. It was said the engines had enough power to propel the aircraft and pressurize the cabin, but not at the same time.

baron95 said...

Re PW600 carbon build up...

It is not unusal for a new design. There has to be a report to the NTSB on a jet engine in-flight shutdown. I'm interested in knowing if it was precautionary or if the engine shutdown by itself.

[speculation begins]
It is possibe, given the low power of the PW610, that, if the EA500 fuselage is not tight, that too much bleed air for pressurization and heat is being tappep from the engine resulting in too rich a fuel/air mixture and thus the carbon build up.
[speculation ends]

In fact, having enough of a supply of bleed air, is one of the primary challenges to getting smaller turbofans to work in manned/pressurized planes. It is one of the reasons that doomed the FJ22. The PW610 has no thermal margin to speak off in the Eclipse. It is a heavily taxed engine that may be developing just 400 or so lbs of thrust at FL410 while still having to pump the cabing by 8+PSI and heat the cabin air from -70F to +70F. That is a lot for a little engine to do.

I wonder if Eclipse would be better off with the 615 flat rated to 900bs and better thermal/bleed margin.

But that is just the engineer in me talking. What do I know.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Anyone know the bleed settings on the E500?

I believe they are using Dukes bilevel valves? Quite a bit of variability in flow there.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Regarding in flight shutdowns. Bad news for single engine designs wanting to go > FL 250.

baron95 said...

BT said .... This is reminiscent of the first Turbo Commanders circa 1965.

Not just the TC it was a prob with all Garret engines till they switchd to new nickel vanes (IIRC).

Plus carbon buildup is the #1 reason why jet engines need hot section inspections and occasionally face a *HUGE* tab at those inspections. Ouch!!!

However, for an engine with just a few dozen hours (my assumption here) to shut down due to carbon buildup it is unusal for sure.

The other question I had it how well did the cabin pressure and temperature held up with just one PW610 at FL410? And my bet is that that remaining engine now has some serious carbon build up as well and requires a HSI.

gadfly said...

Are there any good fishing spots along the coast of Antarctica? . . . say, maybe a couple hundred miles “upstream”?

It seems that a former executive of Eclipse recently “went fishing”, and maybe he’d prefer to be alone, say about the end of September . . . the beginning of Spring at the “South Pole”. There probably aren’t many folks that would wish to issue a subpoena “down under”.

gadfly

(Al Gore claims that the ice may be melting, soon . . . and maybe it wouldn’t be all that bad.

Oh yeh! . . . Russia? . . . Ezekiel 37-39 . . . a nice friendly group.)

baron95 said...

Zis said ... Regarding in flight shutdowns. Bad news for single engine designs wanting to go > FL 250.

Why? If I had a single engine jet, all things being equal, I'd rather have an in-flight shutdown at FL350 than at FL250.

Plenty of time to don the masks and glide down. The 10K feet would give me an extra 10-12 minutes and 100nm of gliding - I want that in my bag.

Shane Price said...

Now that the gang are pretty much all here, watch out for serious news from ABQ.

A few threads are coming together, none of which will make pleasant reading during the executive breakfast in EAC in the morning.

1. The supplier briefing I mentioned was very gloomy. It might not have been their intention, but the senior management at EAC conveyed an expectation that efforts to raise further investment were going badly.

2. No further parts will be required from suppliers, at least for '90 days'. Thereafter, EAC 'hope' to be in a position to re order, but that's subject to point one above.

3. Several suppliers tell me that, since there had been little or no cash coming out of EAC in the past month or so they had already 'moved on'. The industry is busy and there is plenty of other work available. If EAC come looking in a few months, they may have difficulty getting parts as a result.

4. I was reliably informed that FAA audits of the type scheduled to start yesterday (Monday) really are set in stone and very rarely changed.

Now Karen tells us the official date for the DOT IG hearing into the circumstances of the FAA granting certification, and I begins to put two and two together.

Roel must know that getting "$200 million" of an investment, with that burden overhanging the company, is a real challenge.

Probably, in reality, too much to overcome.

But hey, I've been wrong before, and I know I will be again.

Shane

Deep Blue said...

Have any of you gentlemen heard of sub-standard fastners used on the E500 airframe such that the certain of the aircraft face retirement and destruction at 3500 hours? VR mentioned this to me at a meeting earlier this year. I did not follow up. I am new to your blog. Regards.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Simple:

From 14 CFR 23

Sec. 23.841 Pressurized cabins.

(a) If certification for operation over 25,000 feet is requested, the
airplane must be able to maintain a cabin pressure altitude of not more than 15,000 feet in event of any probable failure or malfunction in the pressurization system.


If you can't say an in flight shutdown isn't a probable failure or malfunction, you're not going to be able to meet 23.841.

Just zis guy, you know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Ivedorne said...

I wonder if Eclipse would be better off with the 615 flat rated to 900bs and better thermal/bleed margin.

Beat me to it. I think you hit the nail on the head, from speculative cause, to corrective action required. Does the 615 weigh any more than the 610? ( I'm under the impression it wouldn't be, in any meaningful way. )

It'd certainly put a little gallop in the FPJ's trot to follow the dinosaur's lead...

DI

Just zis guy, you know? said...

"Now that is significant. Might there be a design issue with the FPJ installation, as there is no word of a similar event with the Mustang? We know that the switch to P&W, after the 'first flight' with Williams, was done in a rush. Since one of the key arguments in favour of the FPJ over turboprops with broadly similar mission profiles is high altitude fuel burn, any restriction here could be catastrophic to resale values. Plus any remedial work, which may be required, would have to join the queue for FIKI, AvioNG etc."

Hmmm, maybe some difference in the FADEC's? I know something about the P&WC FADEC, but not much about the FPJ FADEC. I'd guess that this is a potential issue.

Also, 50% more thrust implies ~50% higher core flow. Bleed air extraction is very important on the 615 and 617, which implies that it's hyper-important on the 610.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Dave:

615 weighs about 50 lbs. more.

airtaximan said...

from the previous thread:

I don't think EAC will be making airplanes much longer.

From over a year ago... the e500 is DOA.

PS. I love when people use this phrase - DOA -it means so much.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

It's also just plain bigger. The PW600 family has less commonality than you might expect, it's more various scale versions of the design.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Also, Pratt guys talk proudly about the fact that their engines don't shut down in flight and how much they've learned in ETOPS certification. I would wager 50:1 that this is Eclipse not keeping the engine within required operational parameters.

Dave said...

It's also just plain bigger. The PW600 family has less commonality than you might expect, it's more various scale versions of the design.

Also, Pratt guys talk proudly about the fact that their engines don't shut down in flight and how much they've learned in ETOPS certification. I would wager 50:1 that this is Eclipse not keeping the engine within required operational parameters.


From Eclipse hacking the programming? Could you imagine if the Frankenjet got anywhere - they were gonna hack the engine as a 610 so that they wouldn't have to do much reprogramming of HAL.

gadfly said...

Deep Blue

Welcome aboard!

It would seem that such a discussion might equate to discussing the ‘lead’ content of the bullet that took the life of some political figure.

This reminds me of a “death certificate” that read, “Cause of Death: Flu, but nothing serious!”

Hopefully, none of the little birds will achieve the life of 3,500 hours . . . ‘having been “retired” long before logging that many hours.

If you have been involved with the actual fabrication of components of the little bird, you know that the “estimated” life and strength of any component depends on many factors, not the least of which is how the fastener (in this case) was applied. That “data” always assumes proper procedure . . . which I frankly doubt considering the “12 week wonders” who are attempting to make things hold together in a rather “loose” environment . . . lacking firm instruction and oversight.

gadfly

(You could not pay me enough, to take a ride in this thing, now or ever!)

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Anyone imagine there's something like this being said in ABQ right now?

That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

Sorry, love Aliens. Start about 2 minutes in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEBVVbvUw0U

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

Test flight by Tail 505EA on night of 8/12

I flagged this flight by a test craft (prototype 106) because it was unusual (climb to FL41) and it was a diversion from the planned flight to Van Nuys. I suspect this may represent a replication effort following reports of the carbon shutdown. The departure of the other protypes to So. Cal. around this time may localize the incident to a California plane.

Niner Zulu said...

A friend of mine is supposed to be taking delivery of his new E500 in a couple of months.

Despite all the evidence presented in this blog that Eclipse may never deliver his plane, despite all the inop components with no "fix" date in the future, he has forged ahead and put up all the required deposits. This will be an aircraft he plans to fly his family around in.

He has an aircraft that will do the job now, but is risking everything to save a couple of hours a month in flight time.

It is really sad to see this happen. He's very likely going to be one of the final bagholders when Eclipse implodes. There will be the family fights i.e. "Dad, why did you insist on that stupid Eclipse..." "...for what we wasted we could have bought a...".

Shane is absolutely correct about Eclipse's suppliers. Owners are already complaining about certain required parts being tight and their aircraft being AOG. Tight, in this case, means NO parts in stock and no idea of when the parts will available.

Black Tulip said...

deep blue,

Sub-standard fasteners?

Do you mean the bolts that have no markings on the head but came out of a nice little paper bag that says 'True Value Hardware' on the side?

Gunner said...

Baron95 speculates:
"However, for an engine with just a few dozen hours (my assumption here) to shut down due to carbon buildup it is unusal for sure."

Maybe it was Pilot Error.

Sorry, I simply could not resist. ;-)
Gunner

Dave Ivedorne said...

Several suppliers tell me that, since there had been little or no cash coming out of EAC in the past month or so they had already 'moved on'. The industry is busy and there is plenty of other work available. If EAC come looking in a few months, they may have difficulty getting parts as a result.

I suspect it's worse than that - in the case of somebody like IS&S, Eclipse suspending orders puts them on life support - and they're likely to leave the ICU in the direction of the refrigerated room downstairs rather than the 'guest rooms'. If Eclipse comes a'calling next year, IS&S may not be around to pick up the phone.

That disgusts me.

On top of that, the suppliers who are less at risk due to Eclipse's non-performance will have to recover there losses some way, resulting in higher costs for the rest of "us".

It's been interesting to read the original blog from page 1 again. When it gained visibility, Vern's fanboys showed up in numbers - disparaging the critics with numerous ad homina, and characterizing anybody in the industry who didn't see it Vern's way as spurned suitors. Pfffft. The critics responded by describing Eclipse's actions as being damaging to the industry.

Looks like the critics are right.

DI

Black Tulip said...

There's been talk of an in-flight shutdown related to carbon build-up. Is there any evidence of this? Or is it more likely this was discovered through an engine running hot and subsequent inspection?

gadfly said...

A note to anyone reading this blog . . . who may have anything to do with designing or specifying an engine:

There is a principle, observed by “yours truly,” long ago, and confirmed over time. The background was working with “plasma generators” ranging from about 10 kilowatts to 2.5 megawatts . . . related to testing re-entry heat shield composites, etc., for the Apollo, Spartan, and other projects.

It’s easy to avoid certain problems . . . carbon buildup, for example, in high power devices. But bringing the power down below certain levels, creates many unstable conditions . . . not unlike the problems that might be faced in the engines on the little bird. In other words, certain things are not “scalable”, going “downward” with present technology. For a brief time, a certain efficiency might be achieved . . . but over time, a family of gremlins may come to haunt the system . . . and what may seem to be a wonderful economy, may turn out to be a nightmare.

A simple example was recently brought to my attention in our own home: A “boiler”, with a capacity of 130,000 BTU per hour, with an efficiency above 94%, continually burned out igniters . . . and produced vast amounts of condensation. We replaced it with a 200,000 BTU unit . . . condensation “nil”, and no more short-term igniter problems. This based on an eleven year history . . . at 7,100 feet.

How does this apply to the little jet? . . . maybe only indirectly . . . but demonstrating to the “engineering” folks, who may read this blogsite, that certain things are not scalable downward, below certain practical limits . . . and me thinks that the little jet is well below the “practical limits”.

gadfly

(Do you have any idea how much fun it is to play with 1,800 amps, and 1,400 volts DC?, in a hyper sonic gas flow against a model you have machined, into a “high vacuum” atmosphere, . . . and what happens if someone forgets to turn on the “cooling water circuit”? . . . Oh yes . . . things happen mighty fast! And all this within a "stone's throw" of SNA, next to the bean field accross the freeway.)

airtaximan said...

gunner,

glad you are back..

I swear, I was going to post the "pilot error" thing... no joke.

gadfly said...

Careful, Dark Blossom,

If that little plastic bag happened to say, "VSI", it was produced by "VoiShan,Inc" . . . and my "brother-in-law" used to head up the Redondo Beach, Division, and we made, right here in ABQ, two 20hp computerized 16 inch abrasive cut-off saws, for "female" aircraft fastener blanks . . . and VSI is (was) the major supplier of those "Tru-Value" nuts and bolts.

"Redondo Beach" has nothing to do with the "Tru-Value" bolts . . . only the high strength stuff, that most people never see.

gadfly

Hey, man, it's a small world . . . it's amazing how small! Gunner will confirm that!

Dave Ivedorne said...

My mood is dark. And a twisted, horribly conspiratorial notion passed quickly between my ears ( at the speed of light - which not coincidentally, can also pass between my ears )...

Is there any linkage between:
-Eclipse getting its TC / PC ( decidedly with interference from above within Marion Blakey's FAA ) on a horribly incomplete aircraft,
-Vern Raburn promising to "darken the skies" with FPJs,
-The FAA taking his projections as gospel,
-The airline industry ( Boeing, anyone? ) putting its lobbying might into shifting burden for the cost of ATC onto General Aviation, based on FAA's acceptance of those numbers,
-And to round it all out, Blakey ending up with a Comfy Chair working for the airline industry?

Is it possible that there's some quid pro quo here; that Vern launched the whole FPJ effort to fulfill an edict from Boeing? With contemptible disregard for the success of the project and the well-being of his investors? Where will Vern end up, now that he's "severed all ties" with Eclipse? Sitting next to Made Marion ( misspelling intentional )?

Highly unlikely, but...

...that I could devolve to such a state as even thinking of this level of corruption in government going unchecked saddens me beyond words.

DI

Dave Ivedorne said...

Thanks for the info, JZ. 100 additional pounds out back + bigger nacelles should make CG even more interesting ( two pilots required - to keep the nose gear on the ground! )

Deep Blue - fond of bagpipes & kilts?

Would you like the combo?
DI

gadfly said...

DI

If your hound thinks he has a scent, let him run.

Nothing surprises me any more!

gadfly

Dave Ivedorne said...

Baron: "However, for an engine with just a few dozen hours (my assumption here) to shut down due to carbon buildup it is unusal for sure."

Gunner: Maybe it was Pilot Error.

Me: Without a doubt - the pilot believed the Certificate of Airworthiness was legit.

DI

WhyTech said...

"Is it possible that there's some quid pro quo here; that Vern launched the whole FPJ effort to fulfill an edict from Boeing?"

You give these jokers entirely too much credit on at least two counts: that they could dream up such a plan in the first palce, and that they could manage it to a conclusion.

baron95 said...

zis said ... If you can't say an in flight shutdown isn't a probable failure or malfunction, you're not going to be able to meet 23.841.

Been over this many times. That is not the point I was making. Say that Piper builds their SEJ and cerifies to FL250. You lose an engine in cruise at FL250 and you have some 20 minutes and 80 nm of glide.

Now say that piper installs a backup pressurization system (e.g. electrical compressor with Battery/RAT) and certifies the plane to FL350. Now, if you lose an engine in flight, you have 30 minutes of gide and 120nm to work with.

Got the point? You started by saying that it is better to lose an engine at FL250 than at FL350 in a SEJ, which makes no sense to me. It has nothing to do with whatever certification backup systems are required. All things being equal, the higher you fly a SE plane, the more options you have, up to FL630 or so, where your blood would boil without a pressure suit.

WhyTech said...

"Despite all the evidence presented in this blog that Eclipse may never deliver his plane, despite all the inop components with no "fix" date in the future, he has forged ahead and put up all the required deposits."

Defies all commomn sense and reason. Can you give us any insight to what drives his thinking? Got to be more emotion than sound judgment.

baron95 said...

Gunner said ... Maybe it was Pilot Error.


Could be. Maybe there is a placard on the E500 that says "Cabin heat use prohibited above FL350";)

Dave said...

up to FL630 or so, where your blood would boil without a pressure suit.

Eclipse is able to make people's blood boil without even taking flight. With all the shafting of buyers and suppliers, you don't need to reach altitude for Eclipse to achieve that.

Dave said...

Defies all commomn sense and reason. Can you give us any insight to what drives his thinking? Got to be more emotion than sound judgment.

I think once someone puts up some scratch that has a tendency to mean that they also drink the koolade. If the same people didn't have any scratch put in Eclipse, they'd probably look at it a lot more reasonably. The human mind does have a tendency to irrationality and the same types of irrational behavior can be seen with people who get blinded while the stock they own tanks.

Dave Ivedorne said...

A simple example was recently brought to my attention in our own home: A “boiler”, with a capacity of 130,000 BTU per hour, with an efficiency above 94%, continually burned out igniters . . . and produced vast amounts of condensation. We replaced it with a 200,000 BTU unit . . . condensation “nil”, and no more short-term igniter problems. This based on an eleven year history . . . at 7,100 feet.

Gadfly - it's completely off-topic, so I'll ask you to email me about this ( Shane has my contact info )...

...but as a fifth-degree black belt in boiler-fu, what you say does not add up. I'm convinced that something else also changed - something simple, subtle, and more important than the sizing ( the key detail here is that the condensation disappeared on a 94% efficient unit ).

I'm interested in figuring out what 'it' is...

DI

Dave said...

The press are now generating comedy rhodium:
In the interim, the industry is left to ponder how a volume-based company plans to make more money...by building fewer aircraft.
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=fd3d2a90-f554-4af3-9c8f-9071ba5c4381

baron95 said...

ZIS said ... I know something about the P&WC FADEC, but not much about the FPJ FADEC. I'd guess that this is a potential issue.

I'm not saying it isn't possible that this is a Eclipse FADEC issue, but it is very unlikely. It is really the FMU that is scheduling fuel into the engine. The FADEC is really just computing and commanding the power level. Once commanded the FMU will shcedule the fuel to the engine.

The only thing the FADEC could do to hurt the engine is to command higher power than rated, but that would cause overtemps that would cause the FADEC to correct anyway.

Not even Eclipse could screw up that corner of the FADEC logic. Or maybe they could. The conspiracy theorists amongst yourselves would certianly claim that Eclipse managed to hit book numbers for cruise by over powering and over temping the engine.

PW would easily find that out though.

Gunner said...

Dave asks:
"Is there any linkage between:
-Eclipse getting its TC / PC ( decidedly with interference from above within Marion Blakey's FAA ) on a horribly incomplete aircraft,
-Vern Raburn promising to "darken the skies" with FPJs,
-The FAA taking his projections as gospel,
-The airline industry ( Boeing, anyone? ) putting its lobbying might into shifting burden for the cost of ATC onto General Aviation, based on FAA's acceptance of those numbers,
-And to round it all out, Blakey ending up with a Comfy Chair working for the airline industry?
"

No question about it, Dave. The nature of government is to create Bureaucracy. Bureaucracy, I could prove by logic and evolution, is actually a Life Form. It is capable of replication and growth; it does so only on one food: Individual Freedom.

At some societal stages this is not a bad form of parasitism; in fact, it's a downright necessary symbiosis. Ultimately, however? Well, just ask the Romans, or Greeks or Germans or Georgians....or Americans!

My point might be demonstrated by the nature and endpoint of Bureaucracy thruout the ages; but then I digress. My main point?
Of course you're correct.

My lesser point?
Does this strike you as some sort of a "Eureka" moment? If so, I missed the thrill.

Dave goes one step further:
"Is it possible that there's some quid pro quo here; that Vern launched the whole FPJ effort to fulfill an edict from Boeing?"

See, that right there is where (I think) you lose your audience. As always, YMMV.
Gunner

baron95 said...

Shane Price said...
Baron95,
I've only seen one Veyron.


Check it out here and you will see four of them in a single picture parked by the Valets at Pebble Beach this very week.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/08/19/monterey-2008-four-bugatti-veyrons-in-one-photo/

I don't like that car anyway. It is butt ugly, a brute, and generates way too much heat. (though I concede I may change my mind if I ever drive one) ;)

Black Tulip said...

Is there any chance Vern Raburn was misquoted? Perhaps he said, "We intend to darken the ground with very light jets."

Gunner, thank you again for your defense of our collective ability to express opinion. Welcome back and I hope you 'remain amused'.

Gunner said...

BT-
"Amusing" is a gentleman's strip club.

Eclipse? If it weren't for the pain of staff and vendors, would be downright uproarious!

Note that I leave out Depositors and Shareholders here...they (we) did, after all, expect more than our fair share....a "steal of a deal", some might say.

The staff and vendors? Hell, they simply hoped to put food on the table as a result.

Shame on you Vern, you disgraced worm.

A pox on you Roel, should you continue the tradition!
Gunner

Dave Ivedorne said...

that right there is where (I think) you lose your audience.

I did mention that if you shine a light in my right ear, it comes out the left side, didn't I?

:-)

It was a dark moment. Gadfly's boiler thingy lifted me right out of it.

DI

baron95 said...

Dave, you give way too much credit to our government.

Just to illustrate the level of sheer stupidity, just this week at ORD a TSA inspector decided to see if he could gain access to 14 AE planes parked overnight on a SECURE (by the TSA) ramp.

The, obviously very smart and exceptionally well trained TSA agent, decided that the TAT probe was perfect to use as a step ladder.

As a result, pilots and mechanics from AE/AA had the pleasure of having to figure out why their FMS was giving error messages prior to flight.

This bright TSA individual could have single handed brought down several flights.

But, But, But, I am from the government, I was here to do my job and "help".

I'd advise ALL pilots, in the vicinity of the TSA to leave their TAT, Pitot, AoA probes hot (heat on) over night. That will be a nice surprise, next time one of these bright individuals decides to grab onto one as a step handle.

Wait? Could we be charged with assaulting a federal employee with that?

Here is the pain the TSA caused. Just a sample of the AE/AA Discrepancy logs...
DIS 19AUG ORD/ALL«
DIS 19AUG ORD/ALL
FLIGHT OPERATIONS IRREGULARITIES 19AUG/1724Z
FLT SKD A/C CD --NARRATIVE--
KICK-OFF
3961 0605*655 DM 27 MINS DMG-O/A CODE 75C. TSI DAMAGE TO TAT PR
OBE
DMRDMR 3961/19 ORD¥646 MX 0550 DISC-INSP. DUE TO
NUM 1 TAT PROBE DUE TO TSA INSPECTOR USING IT
AS A GRAB HANDLE AS A LEFTING DEVISE TO GET IN
TO THE AIRCRAFT C/A-REVIEWCALL LOG FOR MORE IN
FO
-- DPTD ORD 31 MINS LATE
-- ARR BWI 25 MINS LATE
KICK-OFF
4072 0615*854 DM 16 MINS DMG-O/A CODE 75C. SWAP FROM 825 DUE TO
TSI
DMRDMR 4072/19 ORD¥825 MX 0550 DISC-INSP. DUE TO
NUM 1 TAT PROBE DUE TO TSA INSPECTOR USING IT
AS A GRAB HANDLE AS A LEFTING DEVISE TO GET IN
TO THE AIRCRAFT C/A-REVIEWCALL LOG FOR MORE IN
FO
-- DPTD ORD 16 MINS LATE
KICK-OFF ¥
4081 0635*633 DM 11 MINS DMG-O/A CODE 75C. SWAPPED FROM 686 DUE
TO TSI
DMRDMR 4081/19 ORD¥686 MX 0550 DISC-INSP. DUE TO
NUM 1 TAT PROBE DUE TO TSA INSPECTOR USING IT
AS A GRAB HANDLE AS A LEFTING DEVISE TO GET IN
TO THE AIRCRAFT C/A-REVIEWCALL LOG FOR MORE IN
FO
-- DPTD ORD 11 MINS LATE
KICK-OFF
4073 0640*645 DM 2 MINS DMG-O/A CODE 75C. SWAP FROM 646 DUE TO
TSI
DMRDMR 4073/19 ORD¥646 MX 0550 DISC-INSP. DUE TO
NUM 1 TAT PROBE DUE TO TSA INSPECTOR USING IT
AS A GRAB HANDLE AS A LEFTING DEVISE TO GET IN
TO THE AIRCRAFT C/A-REVIEWCALL LOG FOR MORE IN
FO ¥

baron95 said...

P.S. Now you know where I get all my bad spelling from. It is from reading the perfect english from the mechnics logs ;)

gadfly said...

DI

Let's keep it simple. The "boiler" is a standard "Polaris" brand, on propane . . . the 200K unit operates at a slightly higher temp and efficiency at 7,100 feet altitude, than the 130K BTU unit. You can look it up on line . . . no mystery here. It would make no sense in theory, but in practice, I've had almost fifteen years to observe the results.

gadfly

('Leave you guys alone for long enough to drive home, and you've all gone bonkers.)

Marcus Adolfsson said...

I noticed yesterday that all the DayJets at the KGNV DayJet service center (usually 10-15 at the ramp at any given time, sitting still), where gone! They were there the day before.

Didn't see any mass exodus on FlightAware, maybe they left VFR? Where to?

Shadow said...

Marcus, DayJet probably moved them out of the way of the tropical storm.

I AM NOT VERN said...

The congressional hearing is being headed by James Oberstar. He is the congressional rep in Cirrus' district :) I suggest everyone contact his office and express their opinion. I did! He doesn't make it easy as he only takes emails from people within his district. This is determined by the use of your 9 digit zip code (for our overseas friends, very few U.S. citizens know their 9 digit code). Here is a link to Oberstar's congressional site:

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

You can use this zip code: 55811-1548 It is the Zip code for the Cirrus factory. Seems kind of appropriate doesn't it :)

And no, I'm still not Vern!

Niner Zulu said...

BT, here is the link to the AIN article about the in-flight shutdown of an Eclipse engine due to carbon buildup.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/pwc-and-eclipse-probing-pw610f-carbon-concern

I'm not sure if this is the same event as one reported by a pilot flying an Eclipse back from Oshkosh last month. It seems one of the engines started to develop a "shudder" similar to mach buffet. A few seconds into this event they got a Rt Engine Exceedance CAS message.

Not sure if they had to shut down the engine or not, but I know that after they landed they were AOG for a week or so while the P&W guys came and replaced the engine with a loaner.

Black Tulip said...

Niner Zulu,

Thank you for the link, I missed this.

Six Romeo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcus Adolfsson said...

Shadow, makes sense. While my lowly non-jet Cirrus Perspective rides the storm in a relatively safe hangar, DayJet's FPJ spends their time solidly parked on the tarmac, exposed to all the elements.

BricklinNG said...

Owners' site reports all deliveries halted by FAA due to burn characteristics of seats.

FlightCenter said...

Dave,

Eclipse filed paperwork on 7/24/08 to register E500 Serial #227 to VLJ Flying Club Sales, Inc.

It is very normal for the FAA registry database to take up to a month before they reflect the transfer.

Nothing unusual.

easybakeplane said...

As a postscript to the likely passing of the Grob SPn we should take the time to remind everyone of several important Aviation Industry facts:

1. Building and certifying high performance a/c requires a huge amount of knowledge and talent.
2. Building and certifying high performance a/c requires a huge amount of money.
3. A high perfomance bizjet is an entirely different beast then a single engine prop plane.
4. A/C designs will change during detail design, managing this change is what seperates the men from the boys...get behind the 'power' curve or 'weight' curve or 'system cert' curve and you'll pay dearly

The funding stopped in this case after 4 total a/c, several redesigns and one fatal crash.
------------
Also, don't plan on going to the 'boneyard' looking for any Starship parts, they purposely sawed them up and burnt the pieces so that wouldn't happen. I also imagine that the people still flying Starships may have to sign legal disclaimers releasing HBC/Raytheon of any liability...
------------

They may have been easy to bake, but if you can't certify it, or if the shelf life is too short, you might as well be fueling your stove with money. (sounds like something a cash arsonist would do)

Dave said...

Eclipse filed paperwork on 7/24/08 to register E500 Serial #227 to VLJ Flying Club Sales, Inc.
It is very normal for the FAA registry database to take up to a month before they reflect the transfer.
Nothing unusual.


However that is unusual because I don't recall any of my links saying a thing about VLJ Flying Club! That would point to Eclipse taking it back or that the deal ultimately didn't go through one way or the other.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

If I had a single engine jet, all things being equal, I'd rather have an in-flight shutdown at FL350 than at FL250.

You'd rather have 15 seconds instead of 90 seconds of consciousness when it happens? 15 seconds is not a lot of time to recognize what just happened and figure out what to do first.

The cabin will depressurize a lot faster than you think, particularly after the airplane has been in service a few years.

easybakeplane said...

Brickling,

The FAA is going deep into the playbook here! The old ' where's your burn test documentation' play. If you have everything for the seats, how about the carpet;drapes?;sidewall covering? Maybe they'll check the Engineering on the optional wiring diagrams next, that's always good for easy 'find'

I AM NOT VERN said...

"Owners' site reports all deliveries halted by FAA due to burn characteristics of seats"

Please tell more!

baron95 said...

Flyger said... You'd rather have 15 seconds instead of 90 seconds of consciousness when it happens?

Why would you say that?

1 - If the plane is certified to FL350, the design is required to prevent the cabin from reaching 15,000 ft following an engine failure.

2 - Even if the backup pressurization system were to fail at the same time as the engine (a 2nd order failure and statistically insignificant), I'd be perfectly capable of putting an O2 mask in the THREE MINUTES or so that would take the cabin to climb from 8,000 ft to 15,000ft.

Then I get to enjoy an extra 10 minutes and 40nm to put the plane down or attempt an air restart, etc.

I really don't get this obscession with FL250 for a single engine jet.

Why is it not a problem to fly at FL310 in a TBM or PC12 that has no backup pressurization system? But it is doom and gloom to fly at FL260 in a SE jet which would be required to have a backup pressurization system or some other means of preventing the cabin from exceeding 15,000 ft?

I guess, I'll give up trying to discuss this issue in here. It is obviously emotional for some people.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

Now say that piper installs a backup pressurization system (e.g. electrical compressor with Battery/RAT) and certifies the plane to FL350.

While the battery or RAT option is technically possible, that will ultimately cost more (in actual purchase price or the effects of the weight it takes) than two engines half the size of the single one. Plus all those backup systems have to be triggered at the time of the emergency as opposed to a second engine already humming along. Do you know they work when you need them?

The RAT will also eat into your glide range.

No SEJ I've seen has any pressurization backup system.

It isn't that an SEJ can't be certified above FL250, it's just that the compromises in cost, weight, complexity, and liability to do it are worse than having two engines.

FlightCenter said...

I was reflecting on Grob's problems and couldn't help thinking about the fate of new innovative jet aircraft over the last ten years.

Let's look at how the innovative aircraft programs have fared over the past 10 years.

Eclipse put over $1B into their program and they aren't going to make it.

Adam is done, even with Russian money.

ATG Javelin didn't make it even with IAI backing.

Safire - done. Very good conservative design, but poor ability to raise funds.

Sino Swearingen - Great specs, beautiful airplane, they tried and failed to make it work for almost 20 years.

Avocet didn't make it past an NBAA announcement.

Now Grob is waving the white flag.

Spectrum is the only newcomer that still has a chance to succeed.

Then there are the numbers from the dinosaurs (GAMA 2007)

Bombardier $5.2B
Gulfstream $4.8B
Cessna $3.9B
Dassault $2.3B
Hawker / Beech $2.3B
Embraer $0.9B
Total $19.4B

That works out to just less than 90% of the total GA revenue of $21.5B for 2007.

Eclipse $0.1B

So with the fastest volume ramp up for a new jet design, Eclipse ended up taking 0.6% of the market from the dinasaurs.

The jet market is hot and the dinosaurs are loving it.

baron95 said...

easybake said... The FAA is going deep into the playbook here!

We should not encourage, nor feel good about the FAA behaving in this manner.

If they have found something trully and significantly wrong with the EA500, then note it an ground the plane on the merits.

To behave in this manner of harassing a company to meet someone's political agend or to cover your ass in the abscence of a significant defficiency is SHAMEFUL and should NOT be tollerated by anyone in avation.

This is akin to the travesty the FAA inflicted on the traveling public in the AA MD80 and WN 737incidents.

SHAME, SHAME on the FAA. Real Men and Women, real professionals do not behave in this manner.

Put up a significant defficiency finding or shut up.

The system can not work by harrassment by the letter of the regulations.

If you guys knew half of what the FAA did in the AA case, you'd be embarassed, like I am, to have a certificate issued by that organization.

The wire bundles on the MD80 required ties with a certain spacing between them. Very, very experinced mechanics noted to the FAA inspectors, that at places where the bundles made turns, it mae sence to space the ties fractions of an inch to one side or the other so the ties would be on the bend, for better and safer results. The local inspector agreed with that and approved the work.

Years later, on politically motivated pressure, a new inspector team/mgmt decided that the spacing had to do exactly as the letter of the AD and grounded a fleet that was perfectly safe and forced AA to move the ties to a less optimum and potentially less safe location.

This is a total embarassment for aviation.

Please, Please. Regardless of what you may think, feel for Eclipse, do not encourage the FAA to harass people by an inflexible, intollerant, ridiculous reading of and enforcement of the regulations.

Find something meaningful? By all means, shut them down. Don't find it? Keep looking, but don't harass them.

The FAA can ground ANY plane flying. ANY.

The IRS can find fault with ANY return.

The police can find reason to arrest ANY citzen.

OSHA can find reason to shutdown ANY factory.

All they have to do is inflexibly apply the multitude of complex laws and regulations that it is impossible for any individual or organization to follow exaclty all the time.

Don't encourage your government to behave like thugs just because you don't like what your neighbor is doing. Sooner or later, someone is not going to like what YOU are doing, then it will be too late for you.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

1 - If the plane is certified to FL350, the design is required to prevent the cabin from reaching 15,000 ft following an engine failure.

Presently, I've seen no SEJ that can do it when the engine fails. Ask Piper how they do it when the engine fails.

2 - Even if the backup pressurization system were to fail at the same time as the engine (a 2nd order failure and statistically insignificant), I'd be perfectly capable of putting an O2 mask in the THREE MINUTES or so that would take the cabin to climb from 8,000 ft to 15,000ft.

First, no SEJ has a backup pressurization system.

Second, you've not experienced a depressurization from lack of engine bleed. There's no way you get 3 minutes. I've seen it happen as fast as 10 seconds, particularly with airframes that have been in service a few years.

I really don't get this obscession with FL250 for a single engine jet.

Above FL250, you are becoming a space ship.

Why is it not a problem to fly at FL310 in a TBM or PC12 that has no backup pressurization system?

First, they got certified before the rules changed.

Second, FL310 is that much safer than FL350 and being turboprop, they tend to fly at their fastest altitudes which are in the mid 20s, so the exposure is low. That's why it hasn't been an operational problem. RVSM also tens to keep people at FL280 or less.

But it is doom and gloom to fly at FL260 in a SE jet which would be required to have a backup pressurization system or some other means of preventing the cabin from exceeding 15,000 ft?

Jets need to go high to be efficient, not like the turboprops. Thus you *will* be higher and the dangers are elevated.

It is obviously emotional for some people.

Wisdom is not always recognized by others.

There are zero single engine jets certified period, much less above FL250. The FAA will work very carefully with such a new breed of airplane, much more so than the EA500 which was the most common jet planform in existence.

Sorry, that doesn't change the laws of physics that rule the situation.

FlightCenter said...

Dave,

The document you found was an aircraft management agreement dated June 2007. It states that they intend to become owners of SN227. It doesn't state that they are the owners of SN227.

You could be forgiven for thinking the agreement was probably drafted immediately prior to taking ownership of the aircraft, but that was not the case.

One possibility is that they got tired of waiting an extra year for their aircraft and sold their position to the folks at VLJ Flying Club, who took delivery in July 2008.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Owners' site reports all deliveries halted by FAA due to burn characteristics of seats.

Aircraft 'upholstery' flammability is tested / certified ( in at least one instance I'm aware of ) in the same facilities used by mattress manufacturers.

Eclipse should have done a better job of choosing their enemies.
"Grounded" by the Mattress Police!

A reminder, Mr. Pieper, in case you weren't paying attention the last time I told you:
"Building airplanes is HARD",
and the devil is in the details...

Pull around to the second window,
DI

Niner Zulu said...

Baron95 - I totally agree with you. We shouldn't encourage the FAA to go on witch hunts. Any one of our aircraft could be next.

I'm sure the Eclipse fabric is flame retardant just like it is supposed to be. This is a paperwork glitch, nothing more.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Paperwork glitch is the FAA giving you advanced notice - this is only the beginning.

flyger said...

Niner Zulu said...

I'm sure the Eclipse fabric is flame retardant just like it is supposed to be. This is a paperwork glitch, nothing more.

Okay, so pick one:

1. The fabric on 240 delivered airplanes wasn't properly documented.

2. The fabric on 240 delivered airplanes is, in fact, not airworthy.

3. This is a cover story for halting deliveries for some other worse issue.

The best answer, 1, indicates poor process and I bet the fabric might not be the only such part in question. Answer 2 indicates fielded airplanes have to be fixed for yet another issue. Answer 3 is the most troubling, coming now as the cracks are starting to appear in the whole operation.

I think this is more than a "glitch".

x said...

Niles story on AV Web indicates that a supplier conference "next week" to discuss plans for future.

"We haven't made any of those decisions yet," she said, noting that the supplier conference will help in forming the strategy.

This story has a google time stamp in the 23:00 EDT range.

Dave Ivedorne said...

easybake: The FAA is going deep into the playbook here!

baron: If they have found something trully and significantly wrong with the EA500, then note it an ground the plane on the merits.

It could well be that "deep in the playbook" is no deeper than the basis for the Inspector General's investigation into the validity of the process under which Eclipse was granted a TC for the FPJ.

All we really know about it is what's in the grievance that was filed:
"The aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots ... had several outstanding safety/regulatory issues identified prior to September 30 [ 2006 ]."

Could not one of the outstanding issues have been burn testing? I don't know about you, but if the seats hadn't been tested, I'd want the FAA to treat 'em as though they were stuffed with Michael Jackson's hair.

A hypothetical - and reasonably likely - scenario:
So the FAA grants the TC on a Saturday, on the understanding that all the 'I's will be dotted, and all the 'T's crossed, Real Soon Now. Following issuance of the TC, Vern admitted that there was a list of IOUs that needed to be dealt with, and indicated that they would be. I assume that by 'IOU', he wasn't talking about FIKI, since that required separate approval, or about equipment which would be provided to customers later ( contract fulfillment doesn't fall under the FAA's purview ). The only IOUs that they'd be interested in would be the mountain of minutiae that Eclipse hadn't yet gotten up to speed on, but promised performance on.

Almost two years - and 240 aircraft delivered - later, the Inspector General shows up, and Eclipse still hasn't done diddly-squat about one or more of the IOUs that they've known about for 22 months - including burn tests.

( Embellishment: Next thing you know, somebody in the upholstering department steps outside for a smoke break, starts doing the 'moonwalk', and *POOF*, goes up in flames - right in front of the IG investigator. )

This wouldn't represent pettiness on the part of the FAA, it would represent gross negligence on the part of Eclipse - not that the two need be mutually exclusive.

"Do not taunt the Mattress Police",
DI

baron95 said...

Flyger said... It isn't that an SEJ can't be certified above FL250, it's just that the compromises in cost, weight, complexity, and liability to do it are worse than having two engines.

We are on the same page then - with that I can agree. The engineering trade offs need to be worked out. I tend to agree that for a plane in the size/price range of the Piper Jet, it may be better to make it a twin.

But I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and see how they certify the plane and see how it performs vis a vis the competition (Mustang - similar size/range/speed).

baron95 said...

Test for the Blog...

What does Eclipse currently have in common with Grob???

baron95 said...

Answer: Both are the marriage of a plane builder and a plane distributor. Both are headed by the CEO of the plane distributor, that invested in the plane builder and ended up running both companies splitting their time.

Eclipse before ETIRC = Grob (family managed)

Eclipse+ETIRC = Grob+ExecuJet

Pieper = Niall Olver

___________ = Grob Bankruptcy

Six Romeo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

If they have found something trully and significantly wrong with the EA500, then note it an ground the plane on the merits.

I'd call this matter very meritorious given the potentially lethal possibilities of an in-flight fire. Flammable upholstery has even been an issue on like 60 Minutes outside of aviation with just people's furniture for the home. Just because something is obscure, it doesn't mean that it isn't potentially extremely serious.

fred said...

baron :

i am delighted to read your comment ! really !

for sure , we all have to be very careful on what is happening to our neighbors ...

next WE could be in the line of fire !! who knows ...?

as if you want to kill someone , it is a good idea to dissolve body in HNO3 ...

no corpse = no proof ...
no proof = no conviction ! ;-)

as for the "seat flammability" , my natural suspicion tell me , something pointed out already by other :

isn't it a good way to "harass" a firm which has already much other problems ?

to make it go down even faster ...

then no more nasty questions on the "how , on a saturday morning , it happened they were granted something out of their reach at the time ..." ?

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

your comment about the current "problem" about "Russia/Georgia/Abkhazia /south-Ossieta"
are really interesting AND worrying ...!!

but i am not sure it is only for European ...

as any one can know Russia is actually the 1er/2nd world oil exporter
(1er = because Saoud are supposed to be first but it is a good joke among specialists : their natural resources did not go down as in quantity in the last 10/15 years , while they are pumping like mad ! may be they discovered the "never to be emptied well" ? ;-) )

on the same line , one the good Buddie of Russia is Crazy Chavez ... (+/- 20% of USA oil )

in other place , Iran is what in term of oil ? N° 4 ? N° 5 ?

as for gaz : different countries , different problematic as it depends of the "rank" ...

Ukraine , Slovakia , Hungary and some others = a disaster ! they mainly depends on oil and gaz from Ru

Italy , France , Germany and others = ranging from 25% to nearly 45% ...

what is at stake here : it is quite difficult to befriend someone by putting a knife on his throat ...

and whatever are your wishes or actions , if the counterpart see it as bad = you are in for troubles ...!

off-course , i am talking about the "missile shield" to be installed in Poland ...

the US were offering 100 Millions$ , Polish lunatic President was asking for 20 billions$ ... why not , do they get advised by vern ?

so if this goes on for longer , i suppose Gad won't have any problem with Boiler as it will be too expensive to start it , anyway ... ;-))
(nothing bad aimed at you my friend!)

and no (while i am at it ) russians can be trusted for what they are = only plainly normal peoples ! (i am amazed by the ability of most to see russians either as "moujiks having hardly enough to eat" or "super mad evil sitting on all this oil " )

Shane Price said...

Headline post updated.

Please check it.

Shane

fred said...

baron ...

i forgot to mention :

about the Bugatti Veyron , what is the point of buying a car 3.19 Million$ , when you can have it for 1.3 millions € straight out from factory in Molsheim (France) ??

it is for charity ? ah , that's changing a lot ! ;-))

definitely some seems to have too much money ...

vanitas , est omnia vatinas !

BricklinNG said...

Surely the FAA must realize that the only source of incoming cash for EAC presently is the final payments on airplanes being delivered. There is no cash incoming presently from new deposits or 60% progress payments, right? To the extent that any new infusion of investor cash is being contemplated by someone, who would send it with a delivery halt now compounding the angst of a Congressional hearing upcoming in a month?

So surely the FAA knows that by insisting on strict compliance with a technicality (that's how it seems to me) they may starve EAC to the point of forcing a complete shutdown. Even if they don't specifically ground the fleet, how long can the airplanes stay aloft is EAC is shut down? Perhaps the FAA feels this is necessary. Maybe the FAA expects the hearing to result in an embarrassing directive to withdraw the TC so they are positioning themselves to say, "We already shut the outfit down." Would the FAA do something like this?

flightguy said...

Sounds like the Al Capone catch to effectively shut him down. Tax evasion??? Lock him up and shut him down to achieve the same thing.Fire retatdent seats,,, Stop the production ,,,recall all planes?

flyger said...

BricklinNG said...

There is no cash incoming presently from new deposits or 60% progress payments, right?

That's an interesting question. Like the lawsuit we've seen, Eclipse has two different schedules for delivery, the one they use to extort the 6 month payment, and then the one where they tell you when you can get your airplane. Even when they tell you you airplane will be late, the "6 month" people insist on the payment based on the fantasy schedule.

So now that Eclipse is slowing down, which schedule controls the 6 month payments? I bet the accounts receivable is still running on a very outdated schedule that is hopelessly optimistic because they need the cash.

Now suppose your are a customer whose 6 month payment is due in the next 30 days? Wow, talk about angst! Do you file for a refund that you will never see, or throw lots more good money after bad? There are a lot of options for personal transportation under $2.2M, many of which you can get right now.

You can tell Vern is former Microsoft. The product is late, unfinished, proprietary, and buggy. When Eclipse fails, the value of the aircraft will plummet because they will be not maintainable on your own and not upgradeable due to the proprietary and unfinished systems. The only chance is if owners band together and form a company to complete and maintain the plane. Good luck with that!

Dave said...

Sounds like the Al Capone catch to effectively shut him down. Tax evasion??? Lock him up and shut him down to achieve the same thing.Fire retatdent seats,,, Stop the production ,,,recall all planes?

Actually I don't think this is like Al Capone as what brought Al Capone down was something once removed from the main issue - being a gangster. However, dangerous upholstery is directly related to the main issue - safety.

airtaximan said...

"The only chance is if owners band together and form a company to complete and maintain the plane"

good point - I think this is essentially what they already did, right?

Dave said...

That's an interesting question. Like the lawsuit we've seen, Eclipse has two different schedules for delivery, the one they use to extort the 6 month payment, and then the one where they tell you when you can get your airplane. Even when they tell you you airplane will be late, the "6 month" people insist on the payment based on the fantasy schedule.

So far I haven't heard any depositors make the argument, but couldn't they demand all or most of their payments back if they gave their 6 month payment and then Eclipse changed the schedules? I would think that if a depositor was so motivated, they could pursue this line. I can't see a judge saying that depositors have to put up their 6 month deposit just because Eclipse says so and or at least that depositors wouldn't be entitled to a refund of the 6 month deposit when it is clear that isn't going to happen. Eclipse however might not have the money in the first place, but nonetheless, I don't think Eclipse would be legally entitled to keep the 6 month deposits when it is clear the 6 month timeframe is complete fiction and this is challenged in court.

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

If ever there was a case for people getting together and acting as a group, it's Eclipse depositors. The only way to apply pressure to Eclipse to get realistic about when the 6 months payments are due is to act in concert. I would have thought every Eclipse depositor would be very keen to get involved by now. By and large, they're not dumb people - they've been mislead, and are now the grip of the sunk costs fallacy. There are a bunch of mechanisms that the depositors as a group can use to force Eclipse to get real about delivery schedules.

fred said...

yes dave ...

but there is ONE thing Vern achieved very well :

you can take the whole story in any direction ...
it always end-up with something getting in the way ...!

as what you wrote , i don't know enough the US court system , but to me the buying contract is a private matter ...

so i think a judge would say "nothing for me to get in ..."
as it is private ... (in terms binding you with no mention of who is stating about the progress ...)

and if he says anything then EAC is BK ...with the big risk to have to waive goodbye the very same money you were trying to get back ...!

you see what i mean ? each you try to give some logical to this , something appears and make the whole story collapse for one reason or an other ...

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Baron:

It's not so much that certifying a single engine aircraft above FL 250 (previously FL 310) is such an emotional issue, it's that I've watched the FAA rip a previous hopeful manufacturer of such an aircraft to shreds. They chewed them up and spit them out.

The fact is, the FAR is the FAR is the FAR is the FAR. Your 3 minutes doesn't exist. I think I did the math for the blog once before, but I can break out HP again if you'd like. The point is

1) either the engine is not a likely failure and you have a backup bleed system or
2) you have a non-bleed based backup pressurization system of sufficient design

You assume that #2 is feasible. I am far more skeptical.

Just zis guy, you know? said...

It's not about whether the upholstery met the FAR, it's about whether Eclipse even knew if it met the FAR. This is about systematic problems. If you find enough obvious rampant evidence that their system is broken, you have to infer that it is broken in places even they don't know about. Everyone breaks their own rules and everyone makes mistakes. The question is how you deal with it. What corrective and preventative actions do you take?

eclipso said...

....starts doing the 'moonwalk', and *POOF*, goes up in flames - right in front of the IG investigator. )


Now THAT is funny.....

airtaximan said...

"...but couldn't they demand all or most of their payments back if they gave their 6 month payment and then Eclipse changed the schedules?"

a- demand it back? They'll never see it anyways. Remember our Afriken Dr? He strung everyone along as long as he could, in order to obtain "something" for his deposit money... this is the game. There is NO WAY anyone will ever see a refund. It cannot be done.

b- the delivery schedule(s) have always been a joke. Apply the logic above, and place yourself as position number 150 or so... you can walk and sue... but once you give EAC your deposit money, even IF they switch (read: when) there's nothing you can do, really. They have your money, and you have nothing.

The choice needs to be made BEFORE - before giving EAC another penny, ask yourself if you will ever get a plane... forget the refund - there's no way you'll ever see a cent of refund money.

Where will it come from?
- New investors - no...
- Profits - are you kidding me?
- Others' deposit money - this was the past, friend... no way ETRICK is giving up any of this precious money to old problems.

** I would say sue the executives personally, for fraud and misrepresentation... at least this way, someone is compelled to actually do something for you.

Shane Price said...

Ceri,

The only way to apply pressure to Eclipse to get realistic about when the 6 months payments are due is to act in concert. I would have thought every Eclipse depositor would be very keen to get involved by now.

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

I might be able to assist....

And remember what WhyTech said earlier. Otherwise rational people, heavily invested in the 'dream' are now in denial.

In Ireland, we call it the Egyptian River syndrome.

Shane

fred said...

airtaxi :

could you give me a hint ?

in this part of world , we have something called a "quitus"

if you are managing a firm and drop from job (either voluntary or by agreement with board ) you will get a "quitus" stating that anything known at this very time is ok , therefor after is none of your deed ...

do you have such things in US , and is it something vern could use ?

fred said...

shane :

WHY egyptian river ??

is it realted with suez canal ?
(it sank so much money for something thought to be impossible at time of construction )

Just zis guy, you know? said...

Good point on fraud. Vern and other upper management may see the lawsuits start to pile up.

Ceri said...

"In Ireland, we call it the Egyptian River syndrome."

... that would be 'Denial' (De Nile), Fred. Not an easy pun for non-anglophones, if you haven't heard it before.

Re denial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost

Shane Price said...

Fred,

Sorry.

Ceri,

Thanks.

Shane

fred said...

ceri , thanks a lot ...!!

may be it is a bit too subtle for me ...!!

fred said...

shane :

we don't deserve apologies ...!

i think that if you asked about going to hell with you , i would be glad to hold the door ...!! ;-))

Black Tulip said...

fred... a "quitus"

Do you suppose Vern will quote the Vietnam veteran who said, "We were winning when I left"?

Dave said...

Do you suppose Vern will quote the Vietnam veteran who said, "We were winning when I left"?

The Vern/Eclipse way is to blame everybody but themselves while abusing depositors and suppliers.

gadfly said...

Shane

The first time I heard of the Egyptian River syndrome, I think it was when I was in knee pants, my Mummy dun Ptoleme!

gadfly

fred said...

bt :

yes , some kind of it ...

he seems quite used to the "it wasn't me " part of the story ...

so it could be a good way out to shelter himself behind " i got quitus when i left ..."

roel could play the "i didn't know all"

to squeeze money out of this would be endless proceeding in court ...!

don't you think ?

Black Tulip said...

This thought has come up before but bears repeating with current events:

The Eclipse Owners Club should merge with the DeLorean Owners Club. They have a great deal in common…

Members could commiserate about the charismatic but controversial figures that founded the companies.

They could wax poetic about the classical and timeless nature of the designs.

Members could try to understand and explain production runs sadly cut short by a cruel world.

They could meet on sunny Sunday afternoons to polish and preen their vehicles, followed by a ‘circuit around the patch’.

There might be some commonality of parts and maintenance procedures. For instance, the DeLorean interior might be properly fire-blocked.

It would create an active market to sell or swap these machines.

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip,

I thought you said you were not in the mood for a parody!

Fred,

I have no intention of visiting Hell in the near term. If I change my mind, I'll be sure to let you know.

And thanks for the vote of confidence!

To all our readers, old and new.

An apology, in advance. Due to the time difference (I'm in GMT) some breaking news may hit the web while I'm asleep. Depending on the nature of the news, I'll either update the current 'headline' or post a new one.

This notice is issued in the expectation of significant events over the next hours/days.

And no, I don't know what 'might' happen. It's just a feeling and I could be wrong.

Shane

Shadow said...

FAA just announced special certification review of Eclipse 500.

Shadow said...

From FAA release:

Statement on the FAA’s Eclipse Review

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On August 11, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began a 30-day review of Eclipse Aviation’s Very Light Jet, the Eclipse 500. Jerry Mack, a former Boeing safety executive, is leading an oversight team of seven FAA experts with specialties such as flight testing, avionics, and certification. The team members are independent of the original certification group.

The FAA convened this Special Certification Review (SCR) team to look at: aircraft safety, certification of aircraft trim, flaps, screen blanking, and stall speeds. These issues were the subject of Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs) that have been filed by operators since the aircraft was certificated on September 30, 2006. The team will look at whether or not any of these issues were raised during the certification process and if any of the issues are currently a threat to safety.

Special reviews are regularly used by the FAA. In the past 10 years, the agency has conducted special reviews on the Liberty XL-2 (2008), Mitsubishi MU-2B (2005), Cessna 208 (2005), Twin Cessna 400 Series Models (2004), Raytheon 390 (2004), and the Beechcraft T34 (2003).

fred said...

bt :

to put some fun in it ...

after the movie "back to future" with a Delorean ...

it could be a movie " Forward to past" with one E500 ...

sorry ..due to the nature of the plane ... make it a shortcut ! ;-))

Shane Price said...

Not sure if this is enough for a headline update....

Statement on the FAA’s Eclipse Review

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On August 11, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began a 30-day review of Eclipse Aviation’s Very Light Jet, the Eclipse 500. Jerry Mack, a former Boeing safety executive, is leading an oversight team of seven FAA experts with specialties such as flight testing, avionics, and certification. The team members are independent of the original certification group.

The FAA convened this Special Certification Review (SCR) team to look at: aircraft safety, certification of aircraft trim, flaps, screen blanking, and stall speeds. These issues were the subject of Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs) that have been filed by operators since the aircraft was certificated on September 30, 2006. The team will look at whether or not any of these issues were raised during the certification process and if any of the issues are currently a threat to safety.

Special reviews are regularly used by the FAA. In the past 10 years, the agency has conducted special reviews on the Liberty XL-2 (2008), Mitsubishi MU-2B (2005), Cessna 208 (2005), Twin Cessna 400 Series Models (2004), Raytheon 390 (2004), and the Beechcraft T34 (2003).


I do remember previous discussion on the MU-2, but would be interested in how many years the named aircraft had been flying before the 'special review' was commenced.

Shane

fred said...

anyway this news from FAA doesn't change my mood very much ...

to me it smell : we are pulling the blanket !!

off-course , in a bed , if one pull the blanket the other is going to be left freezing ...!

(wouldn't it be easier to just say "ok = poop !" than to look for culprit or malfunctions ?)

smartmoves said...

Transcript of an interview with a high profile VLJ CEO shortly before he shoved off...

KD - Mr V, it's Kirsten, can you hear me OK on this phone?
RV - Sure Krista - good morning to ya!
KD - Mr V, is your aircraft a genuine pilot's aircraft?
RV - If it wasn't for the pilots it certainly would be!
KD - Really? I'm not sure I know what you mean by that...
RV - Well we thought they would never actually want to fly the aircraft. We thought they would understand our real intent.
KD - ...and that would be...?
RV - Raise cash Kristal. You can't build an aircraft without cash.
KD - Yes, but aren't you an aircraft company - you build aircraft don't you?
RV - Yes..yes we do, but only so we can raise cash - maybe a little cash "razing" as well - cash is King, Karsty - don't you forget it!
KD - But aren't you forgetting your customers?
RV - No,no,no..well yes...just a little...well OK, a lot, but they are either pilots or they employ pilots - and pilots are the problem - I already told you that.
KD - But Mr V your customers have paid you deposits and you have failed to deliver their aircraft
RV - Exactly! Don't you love it? We build aircraft, and sell positions, and if we do it right, never the twain shall meet....you get to have your cake and eat it too.
KD - Surely you are going to deliver aircraft to your customers?
RV – It’s not that simple
KD – What?
RV – Well it’s a kinda yes and no. Have you heard of CFDs?
KD – Not really…
RV - Our deposit holders have by now. You see they have something better than a deposit agreement - they have a sorta kinda contract for difference - a derivative!
KD - What does that mean?
RV - Simple - they hold a contract for the difference between what we told them they were going to get and what we are actually going to give them. No wonder they are all so happy!
KD - I don't understand...
RV - Again - really simple. They own the difference between the promise and the reality. And what most people don’t know is just how huge and valuable that is! We promised 10 times more than the plane is worth, and we have only completed a fraction of what we promised - do the math and you'll see what I mean. They own a contract for something slightly less than 10 times what they paid! Our customers couldn't be happier.
KD - Wow! Sounds awesome, so what comes next?
RV - All I need to do is work out how to effectively stop pilots from flying the aircraft. They are so unpredictable...
KD – What? Who? the pilots?
RV - No, the FAA silly. The pilots are really quite predictable - anything goes wrong - its the pilot - every time. The FAA on the other hand, well, they are likely to hold an inquiry at the drop of a pop rivet, or even more perplexing, at the failure of software? Can you believe that?
KD - Yes I can actually, but...
RV - I could never understand why people get so upset when software fails. It's all an illusion anyway - a trick contrived with squashed sand and electricity. Why do I always get the blame when the whole software thing is a scam? Software by definition is always in a state of failure - did I tell you I played major part in defining software?
KD – No you didn’t, but why don't you just finish the aircraft and deliver them to the owners?
RV - Hell no Katherine...
KD - What?
RV - Well...they'd just go and fly them, and I told you what would happen then...
KD - Mr V thanks for your time
RV - Are you a pilot Krusty?
KD - Fortunately no...
RV - Fantastic! I'd like you to have one of my little birds - no charge - how 'bout that?
KD - Mr V - I told you I can't fly an airplane
RV - Perfect - would you be able to write a detailed pilot report for us and be a first-hand witness for the defense at the FAA inquiry? I can see the headline now - "Pilot/journalist supports the future of VLJ". What do you know about FSW? Fire Extinguishers? Do you know anything about tyres? What about ice - surely you know about ice? or what about FADECs - now there's an easy one for ya!
KD - Mr V I have to go - again, thanks for your time...
RV - No wait! Would you like a trip to Russia? Have you seen the sunset on Red Square? Karen? - hello Karen? are you still there?.hello damn...hey, do we have a pilot somewhere who can fix this freaking phone?

fred said...

on an other front :

the Azerbaijan just announced that they won't use anymore the US/UK financed pipeline crossing Georgia ...! due to "tensions" in area ...!
(that was one of the main incoming cash for Georgia ... what an ally we found there !!! this winter when Ukrainians,balts and Georgians are going to be left freezing in the cold , who's gonna pay for their needs ?)

but use Russians ones instead ...

some analysts were already speculating on profitability for this pipeline ...

smell like done !

Dave said...

Special reviews are regularly used by the FAA. In the past 10 years, the agency has conducted special reviews on the Liberty XL-2 (2008), Mitsubishi MU-2B (2005), Cessna 208 (2005), Twin Cessna 400 Series Models (2004), Raytheon 390 (2004), and the Beechcraft T34 (2003).
I do remember previous discussion on the MU-2, but would be interested in how many years the named aircraft had been flying before the 'special review' was commenced.


The MU-2 went under Special Review 9 years after the last one rolled out of the factory (1986):
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Mitsubishi+MU-2B+&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8
The Liberty XL-2 went under SR 4 years after Type Certification (2004):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_XL2
The others also appear to have been out for years before their SR. I guess Eclipse really is trying to break new records!

Ceri said...

I think you and Stan can be proud of yourselves, Shane. The other examples the FAA cites in the press release had to be demonstrated to be killing people before the reviews were undertaken (aka the 'blood response' for which the FAA is notorious).
I would guess that this review is a product not only of the SDRs themselves, but the political climate surrounding Eclipse. And this blog is one of the (only) ways in which Eclipse has been called to book, and so has helped to create the climate in which a review could occur.

Dave said...

I would guess that this review is a product not only of the SDRs themselves, but the political climate surrounding Eclipse.

I think that's true. Eclipse was a media and political whore and you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Had Vern not tried to get Eclipse continual international publicity, there wouldn't now be international scrutiny of Eclipse. Then again, it is harder to cash out of an IPO if the company is less well-known.

Dave said...

Roel sounds like he has picked up the Vern mantle:
"Without a doubt, this special review will uncover what we already know -- that the Eclipse 500 marks the safest new airplane introduction into service in 20 years," said Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper. "Customer safety has always been a priority at Eclipse, and we look forward to this investigation dispelling any inaccuracies about the certification of this airplane for once and for all."
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=782d0e31-5b87-451d-b085-2882003013c8
If the FAA put out an unsafe aircraft with insufficient testing, that will be a lot more than a FAA personnel issue as Vern claimed.

TBMs_R_Us said...

Here is the Eclipse press release:

http://eclipseaviation.com/company/news/news.php?c=1&id=1394

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The Premier 1 (Beech 390) and Liberty XL had both had their TC's for about 4 or 5 years when the Special Review hit.

To get a SCR only 20 months after initial certification is very probably a new record, another VLJ first as it were.

I will dig into the SCR findings if I can to see what prompted them and what the determinations were, so we can see how Eclipse compares when done.

The MU-2 has been subject I think to 2 special reviews due to a small number of very high profile accidents.

Training ended up being the major recommendations both times - Eclipse will very likely see training recommendations just so they stop getting stuck on the runways with flat tires.

Training recoemmendations were also the result of reviews of the Robinson R-22 helicopter as well.

This explains the FAA presence that was rumored beginning last week.

This will not be a good thing - bet it makes money raising harder, but money razing easier.

My heart goes out to all the good people who have tried to make the dream a reality in Albuquerque - the industry is in good shape, you will find something better.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Roel, this special review WILL uncover what someone has always believed to be true about the EA-500, you are just not the someone who will be vindicated.

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

BINGO SHANE - YES You shuld start another headline post.

This, the SCR, is what we all wanted to see happen. That is why we created the lists, etc.

I'm glad to see this happen, and I hope it is thorough, but also moves in a timely manner.

There are 3 possible outcomes:
1 - No significant issues found - some recommendations for some placards and training - this is the outcome of most if not all SCRs in the past.
2 - Major issue found - leading to AD, PC suspension till a workaround, etc.
3 - Some minor issues found that need to be addressed as MSBs, production line changes, etc. I think that is what will happen, but we will see.

On Eclipse's Press Release re the investigation.
DON'T THEY EVER LEARN????!???!!!?

Pieper is worse than Vern. He is trying to debate the FAA and the SCR in public via a press release. Doesn't he get it? The very fact that he has to yeall "The plane is safe, the plane is safe" is damaging.

Geez.

Say "We are cooperating fully with the FAA" FULL STOP. END. Don't debate. You just make things worse.

My prediction: At the very least the SCR will recoment that no single pilot IFR flight is allowed till the avionics/AP are fully functional.

stan said...

No mention of fatigue testing in the press release. It was scheduled for completion not long after the TC as I recall.

flightguy said...

I can't believe that they made this statement for items that are not in the aircraft.


Stringent Safety an Eclipse 500 Hallmark

The Eclipse 500 was built to deliver exceptional safety performance. The jet's standard safety features rival those of aircraft costing millions more and include: autothrottle, color weather radar, a dual-redundant flight management system with sophisticated aircraft performance computer; "smart" electronic checklists, and an intelligent crew alert system. The state-of-the-art Eclipse 500 cockpit is designed for safety through the redundancy of vital systems and its sheer ability to reduce a pilot's workload. To ensure availability of critical flight data, the Eclipse 500 is equipped with redundant, high reliability, solid state electronic sensors and displays.

For added safety and reliability, Eclipse designed Avio NG exclusively for the Eclipse 500 Jet®. Avio NG provides Total Aircraft Integration™ through integral, redundant computer systems and advanced data and power distribution systems. More than just an integrated avionics and instrument suite, Avio NG expands integration technology beyond the cockpit and applies it to the entire aircraft. Aircraft systems - including avionics, engine operation, fuel system, flaps, landing gear, cabin pressure and temperature, and many more - are centrally controlled by Avio NG. Avio NG significantly reduces pilot workload by simplifying tasks, generating useful information, managing systems and assisting in troubleshooting.

TBMs_R_Us said...

My prediction: At the very least the SCR will recoment that no single pilot IFR flight is allowed till the avionics/AP are fully functional.

Baron, If you're right, that will effectively make the owner-flown fleet VFR only, as they won't ever get the upgrade to full functionality. Let's see, a VFR jet, that's a very cool concept worth lots of money!

Shane Price said...

Small snippet.

Seems the 'carbon build up' that P&W are looking at seriously, has a cause.

EAC have decided it's the pilots fault.

I'm not kidding...

Shane

baron95 said...

TBM said ... Baron, If you're right, that will effectively make the owner-flown fleet VFR only, as they won't ever get the upgrade to full functionality. Let's see, a VFR jet, that's a very cool concept worth lots of money!


Although I said single pilot IFR, what you mention is a distinct possibiity.

A VFR, low flying jet for the MVY mission!!! Cool.

But seriously, it would not be bad for GA to have a few orphan VFR jets around. There are plenty of pilots who want to take rides, log a few hours in jets like the L-39, tweety-bird, etc.

There is room for everything is GA. From termite infested Belanca to a partial VFR jet.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

OMG, no dey di'in't - Somebody stop me-

The Eclipse 500 was built to deliver exceptional safety performance. The jet's standard safety features rival those of aircraft costing millions more and include:

autothrottle
- NOT YET CERTIFIED OR FUNCTIONAL

color weather radar

a dual-redundant flight management system with sophisticated aircraft performance computer
- NOPE, GARMIN 400W

"smart" electronic checklists

intelligent crew alert system
- THAT ROUTINELY GIVES FALSE POSITIVES RESUTLING IN FLIGHT ABORTS

The state-of-the-art Eclipse 500 cockpit is designed for safety through the redundancy of vital systems and its sheer ability to reduce a pilot's workload. - NOT ACCORDING TO FOLKS WHO HAV ACTUALLY FLOWN IT

To ensure availability of critical flight data, the Eclipse 500 is equipped with redundant, high reliability, solid state electronic sensors and displays. - EXCEPT WHEN THEY FREEZE OVER OR GO OUT OF RANGE AND SWITCH CROSS-SIDE WITH NO ANNUNCIATION

For added safety and reliability, Eclipse designed Avio NG exclusively for the Eclipse 500 Jet®. Avio NG provides Total Aircraft Integration™ through integral, redundant computer systems and advanced data and power distribution systems. - SEE ABOVE

Dave said...

intelligent crew alert system - THAT ROUTINELY GIVES FALSE POSITIVES RESUTLING IN FLIGHT ABORTS

The false positives are when HAL doesn't tell the crew to abort.

eclipso said...

OK...the pilots have a five day grace period to turn in all carbon paper, lead pencils, grill charcoal, and STOP doing this to these planes!

airtaximan said...

CW,

it says "built to deliver"
it does not say "delivers"

need to read carefully, here.

Its like "your deposit is refundable" - unless we have no money

Black Tulip said...

Pilot error, huh.

This brings new meaning to 'bleed' air. Maybe pilots would be wise to file a NASA ASRS report after each Eclipse flight.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, they said:

"The jet's standard safety features rival those of aircraft costing millions more and include:
"


But you are correct that you need to read carefully.

airtaximan said...

the standard features include...

it doesn't say the "planes includes"...

BTY&M, I think there's a "list of standard features" that includes this stuff... its just not on the plane.

Remember its "Vernacular" ?

You are now getting it from ETRICK!

;)
I'll drop it now

PS. did someone really blame the carbon on pilot error?

airsafetyman said...

Eclipse's statement on the certification review reminds me of the title of a book about a former President: "No one left to lie to".
But they keep lying anyway. Sad.

Dave said...

AviationBull might be turning bearish toward Eclipse:
http://www.aviationbull.com/2008/aug/20/eclipse-unraveling-or-regrouping

Dave said...

I'm waiting for it to come out that there was fraud at Eclipse and Roel is shocked SHOCKED to discover it...just like how he was at L&H and CA. Roel is friends with frauds and has been caught up in their schemes, so it would be no surprise if Vern was engaged in fraudulent accounting and other such misdeeds at Eclipse.

Dave said...

Sources close to the Eclipse 500 program said that FAA was eager to complete the review and publish the results by September 12, 2008, prior to a hearing regarding FAA's EA 500 certification process to be held by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on September 17, 2008. Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) requested that the Department of Transportation's inspector general audit the FAA certification process, in part due to allegations made by flight test pilots at FAA's Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office. Indeed, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed an Official Grievance Notification with FAA on October 20, 2006 on behalf of its bargaining unit employees asserting that FAA did not allow Los Angeles and Ft. Worth "aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots to properly complete their assigned certification/safety responsibilities".

In addition to receiving testimony from the DOT inspector general, Oberstar's committee is looking for former Eclipse employees to testify at the hearing. The witness list has not been published.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=busav&id=news/REVIEW08208.xml&headline=Eclipse%20500%20Gets%20Special%20Certification%20Review

baron95 said...

airsafetyman said...
Eclipse's statement on the certification review reminds me of the title of a book about a former President: "No one left to lie to".
But they keep lying anyway. Sad.


Sad indeed. I'm sure that Pieper and Vern and others are probably smart individuals with many qualities and loved by their famiy and friends.

How do they allow themselves to become so full of themselves and defensive that they circle the wagons and automatically spew out disinformation?

Where are the true friends and family to pull them to the side and say "It looks like you may/wil fail - do it with grace, dignity and respect for others"?

As I said before, I respect Vern/Eclipse for the vision and for trying to make it a reality. But their lack of candor and humility is just intolerable.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Can't speak about friends or family Baron, but Vern and his inner circle erportedly fired people who were not 'team players', meaning they did not tow the line.

People srr not usually that different in their personal or professioanl lives, so imagine that same kind of bullying behavior takes/took place in the inner santum sanctorum as well.

Niner Zulu said...

Eclipses are starting to go AOG for lack of parts as we speak.

There are NO replacements available for some parts.

No parts in the warehouse.
No parts at the service centers.
No parts on the assembly line.
No word on lead times.
No way to buy parts direct from the manufacturer(s) since Eclipse has exclusivity on all sales.

Owners are being caught off guard like deer caught in headlights. Imagine having something like this happen when you're about 1,000 miles from home.

"This sucks!" said one owner.

Yes, it does.

baron95 said...

Just speculation - Verns Play Book:

1 - When I left the company, it was producing almost 1 plane a day, had launched the E400, was breaking ground in Russia, was on a certification roll with NG, FIKI, 400Ws.

2 - I disagreed with the new investors direction and left.

3 - Circa: October/08 They totaly fouled up the company that I created withing a few weeks.

4 - Circa Jan/09 - So I decided, with a group of investors, to buy the assets of Eclipse from BK court and restore Eclipse to its greatness.

THat is why he needs to severa all times. He feels (or dreams) that he can still be the savior.

P.S. I don't know the man. I may completely off base here, for which I apologize in advance.

flyger said...

Ceri said...

The only way to apply pressure to Eclipse to get realistic about when the 6 months payments are due is to act in concert.

Eclipse has the position holders by the balls. If they demand to pay later, the company folds and they get nothing. It is more important for an Eclipse customer to have Eclipse survive than to get their payments timed right.

Alas, I don't see any path where depositors get any money or a usable airplane. So right now, I'd ask for a refund and not pay my 6 month payment. At worst, you'll have to buy one on the used market if this crisis blows over. At best, you lost only $150K and not >$1M. We all know which one will actually happen.

It's all over but the shouting.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

9Z, other than disappointment that people will be unable to enjoy their toys, this will help to keep the safety record of the Eclipse where it is.

eclipso said...

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot more aviation publications are just now trying to get in an article about this stuff. Where were they when we doing everything short of begging them to say something.

KUDOS and a mighty thanks to Karen DiPiazza for taking it on when no one else did. If anyone decides to go public, PLEASE give her the first chance at it. I have very reliable sources that KNOW she is fair and follows through on what she says!

Dave said...

4 - Circa Jan/09 - So I decided, with a group of investors, to buy the assets of Eclipse from BK court and restore Eclipse to its greatness.
THat is why he needs to severa all times. He feels (or dreams) that he can still be the savior.


I agree with pretty much the entire scenario other than I'd see it as him running the company into the ground and then because he did that buying the company for pennies on the dollar. I'd see this as him being rewarded for his mismanagement.

Dave said...

KUDOS and a mighty thanks to Karen DiPiazza for taking it on when no one else did. If anyone decides to go public, PLEASE give her the first chance at it. I have very reliable sources that KNOW she is fair and follows through on what she says!

I agree. She's the only aviation journalist that I provide tips to.

Shadow said...

"I agree. She's the only aviation journalist that I provide tips to."

Maybe that's exactly why other aviation pubs are at a disadvantage. They just can't make up stuff, you know?

gadfly said...

"It's all over but the shouting."

Somehow, me thinks it will be more like a whimper!

gadfly

(No one can say they weren't warned . . . over and over and over and . . .)

Shadow said...

Gad, it's more like BOHICA for customers. Except this time it'll hurt even more.

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

I thought they claimed about 3,000 hrs across 5 planes - can they not keep the story straight?

Dave said...

Eclipse further noted that it completed more than 5,000 hours of testing on six airplanes, almost five times as much as the average GA airplane.

How much of that was due to Eclipse's ever-changing FPJ designs? Also I would assume that jets take more hours than props and that FIKI certification and FL410 also add hours, so it would seem like Eclipse is comparing apples and oranges.

Dave said...

I thought they claimed about 3,000 hrs across 5 planes - can they not keep the story straight?

I guess Eclipse is claiming the ECJ as part of the test fleet? Also it would seem that Eclipse has racked up so many hours because it does so poorly rather than being due to extra special care.

Shadow said...

OK, from AIN (this time with correct link):

FAA, Congress Turn a Critical Eye to the Eclipse 500 http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/faa-congress-turn-a-critical-eye-to-the-eclipse-500/

airtaximan said...

quote of the week:

"Eclipse has the position holders by the balls."

... and I guess THAT's why they call'em "Die Hards"

Shane Price said...

I think the Eclipse story was very hard to 'write'.

My 'day job' involves newspapers, all aspects. I have a good insight into the mid set of journalists, editors and publishers.

And advertising salespeople....

The publisher will declare his (almost always a man) undying love for the freedom of the press, which really means their freedom use influence and power for maximum profit.

Editors go on about the truth and recording it for posterity. And then spend a fortune to increase circulation by 1% more than their rival across the street.

Journalists are the foot soldiers who get impossible assignments with manic deadlines, and try to balance their emotions for the subject of the story with the need to make a living.

And advertising sales?

They regard themselves as the unsung hero's who provide all the money. So they bully the editors for later deadlines and more space. Then they threaten journalists if a story impacts a customer, and harass the publishers for better commission on sales.

Can you imagine how much pressure Vern could bring to bear on those people who 'offended' him? Here was a company with a huge marketing spend, telling a 'story' which is sexy, fresh and seems to have something new to say every few weeks.

Of course journalists would tow the line. It took a special kind of courage to buck the consensus on Eclipse.

Step forward, Karen Di Piazza.

She is half Irish, or so I hear, which explains the stubborn bit.

The other side must have provided the brains...

Shane

airtaximan said...

"The 245 Eclipse 500s delivered thus far have logged more than 32,000 hours, according to Eclipse"

I guess they are REALLY claiming 32,000 hours on the TEST fleet...

.... and I am not kidding.

Dave said...

Can you imagine how much pressure Vern could bring to bear on those people who 'offended' him? Here was a company with a huge marketing spend, telling a 'story' which is sexy, fresh and seems to have something new to say every few weeks.

There was a funny story a few years ago about SCO Group (where Ed ran the litigation scam) where a journalist reported on how SCO tried to bribe the magazine into reporting what it wanted to hear based on SCO planning a major ad campaign in the future. It was quite obvious to everyone involved that the ad campaign would never happen, so comedy ensued when they said what happened. Trying to bribe/threaten the media only works when your checks don't bounce. I expect the media has either stopped received checks from Eclipse or that the checks received bounced.

julius said...

baron95,

your comparison GROB/EAC is'nt correct (my view!). N. Olver is more like VR - but not at all like VR. He owns 90% of Grob Germ.The rest belongs to family Grob.
But he has a major investor: IIU ("Kaiser" Dermont Desmond of Dublin - (or did he cut his beard Shane?)).After three months IIU is not willing to support GROB according to newspapers - ETIRC might do as well if the funding round fails.

julius

Dave said...

I guess they are REALLY claiming 32,000 hours on the TEST fleet...

Customers = Beta Testers

Shane Price said...

Dave,

Of the '5,000' hours at least 75% must have been just trying to get the final spec laid down.

1. Engines.

OK, that 'flight' lasted only as long as the poor EJ-22's.

2. Wing tanks, versions one, two and three.

3. Aero mod's, all versions.

4. Don't get me started on avionics, I can't count that high.

You get the drift...

Most GA companies can't afford '5,000 hours' to make that many mistakes. The only reason Eclipse took so long was because they had a cash arsonist in charge, with wealthy customers prepared to suspend their critical faculties for a dream.

When the dream started to become a troublesome reality, the cash ran out.

I don't care if Vern spent 5 hours or 5,000 years testing this design. With him in charge, it was never going to work.

You all know Murphy's Law

If it can go wrong, it will.

Eclipse is the 'perfect proof' of O'Tool's Law

Murphy was an optimist.

Shane

Dave said...

I don't care if Vern spent 5 hours or 5,000 years testing this design. With him in charge, it was never going to work.

So much of this was preventable.

Shane Price said...

Julius,

I doubt the Kaiser even knows he's lost a few million.

He'll bet €150K on a horse race. Every half an hour, for an entire day, when the mood takes him.

On one property transaction here in Dublin a few years ago, he cleared €32 million in 18 months.

You're talking about a chap who a) has literally billions of Euro to spend and b) is really happy to gamble on anything, for fun.

Don't feel sorry for him....

Shane

eclipso said...

an e-mail from Ireland

An email from Ireland to all of their brethren in the States...a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:

'We, in Ireland, can't figure out why you people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.

On one side, you had a pants wearing female lawyer, married to another lawyer who can't seem to keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer, who goes to the wrong church, who is married to yet another lawyer, who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run!

Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate 'Mc' terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship!!

What in God's name are ya lads thinkin over in the colonies!


HAD to share it..

x said...

ISSC (the AvioNG supplier) issues press release:
>>snip<<
Ray Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, said, “While our business is strong in many markets, issues at a major customer have caused orders from this customer to be lower than expected in the fourth quarter and into the second quarter of our 2009 fiscal year. Accordingly, we are reducing our financial targets for the quarter and the year. We are also taking the necessary steps to control costs, including workforce reductions as we continue to closely monitor the financial and operational status of the major customer.”

On July 31, 2008, the Company announced targets for the fourth quarter 2008 of revenues of $14 million,

Revenues are now expected to be in the range of $10 to $12 million for the fourth quarter, with gross margins in the 42 – 46 percent range. Engineering and sales, general, and administrative expenses are expected to be slightly above the third quarter run rate of $6.5 million due to increased sales and marketing expense.

>>end snip<<
It looks like ISSC plans to "repurpose" AvioNG inventory and capacity (hence the sales and engineering bump in cost).

airsafetyman said...

How would you like to never see your wife and kids again because a moron who works for the TSA commited multiple felonies by serially damaging airplanes? There was no crash this time, only though an act of God. At their website, the TSA JUSTIFIES the actions and THREATENS civil penalities against American Eagle. This was too much for me. I lodged an extremely strong complaint and left my name an email address. We have got to stop appeasing these idiots and do whatever it takes to bring them down to size, or better yet, eliminate the DHS altogether. Enough is enough.

julius said...

Shane,

I learnt that the Kaiser and RP play in different leagues.
Both of them should have known what they did - no sorry...

Julius

Charity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it slightly odd that an airframe manufacturer finds it necessary to create a site with the sole purpose of explaining why their aircraft doesn't suck?

Eclipse Facts


It reminds me of a certain Danish prince.

Protest

airtaximan said...

baron,

my read on Grob is, you could not be further from the truth.

- long aviation history
- proven composites technology with a fleet of thousands and millions of flight hours
- design spec driven by proven marketing guys - they have Bombardier distributorships around the world
- proven engine
- avionics from a major
- fairly conservative design and performance numbers
- very conventional design
- very conventional pricing
- no mention ever of high rate production
- company has Bombardier Lear 85 structure as another product line -imagine THAT!!!
- finally, Grob has a long and very conservative aviation history

So, without knowing that much about the company, I fail to see any meaningful comparisosn... except of course, the financial problems. I would say Grob has a shot - EAC, none.

airtaximan said...

anonym,

lord have mercy.

I can almost hear Baron...

I wonder who the idiot is hatched this BS... iI cannot imagine anyone thinks its a good idea, or that Pieper would spend ANY deposit or Investor money on THIS.

Sad

Black Tulip said...

Airtaximan,

Heard the same thing about Grob. Had lunch with an aviation banker yesterday who thought the filing for reorganization was just a dispute with their lender over terms.

airtaximan said...

Don't feel sorry for him....

Shane

FEEL SORRY?

Shane, send me his email and telephone number

Black Tulip said...

Anonymous,

As CWM has pointed out, this statement from your link kills the credibility of anything else there:

"The Eclipse 500 includes standard safety features that historically were available only on aircraft costing millions more, including: autothrottle; color weather radar; a dual-redundant flight management system with sophisticated aircraft performance computer; and "smart" electronic checklists and an intelligent crew alert system."

x said...

whois eclipsefacts.com
HSR Business to Business
300 E-Business Way Suite 500
Cincinnati OH 45241
US
dns@hsr.com +1.5136713811 Fax: +1.5136718163

Created on..............: 2008-07-22.
Expires on..............: 2009-07-22.
Record last updated on..: 2008-07-22.



MarkMonitor, the Global Leader in Enterprise Brand Protection

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baron95 said...

Shane Price said...
I think the Eclipse story was very hard to 'write'


With all due respect to your professional field, I think the problem is that the press (journalist, editors alike) are all about all or nothing. They only have two modes. They either love something/someone or they vilify them.

Be it the .com or Eclipse or Michael Jackson.

Where would you ever read that .com has huge potential but also huge challenges? At first ALL journalists only wrote about the good and the potential. After the crash they only wrote about the bad.

Where would you read that Michael Jackson is an incredible singer, a great enterteiner, but with a deeply troubled personality?

Where would you read, other than, in the words of your trully, that Eclipse had great vision, did better than any other jet aviation startup since lear, but has some management personality, candor and engineering challenges?

You don't.

The press, until last month was pretty happy declaring "Eclipse 500: Ready for Primetime" (AOPA Magazine).

Now watch they come out of the woodwork telling you all and ONLY about how bad Eclipse is.

Unfortuantely that is how the press and journalists are. All or nothing. God or evil.

Just like Hollywood.

It is a heard mentality. As of this week, it was declared "safe" to write negative, and ONLY negative, stories about Ecipse.

That is the ONLY thing you will get.

Orville said...

Notice, they only paid for 1 year of the domain. Won't be needing it that long.

baron95 said...

AT said ... - company has Bombardier Lear 85 structure as another product line -imagine THAT!!!


I'm sorry AT, but you are confusing Grob AG (supplier to Lear, etc) with Grob Aerospace (builder of SPn).

The Grob family, simply wanted to do a turboprob as their next design. When Niall Olver come in, he said.... "naw, forget that, the money is in a much large twin jet", and sent them or a Vernesque and suicidal journey to bankruptcy.

The Grob family started believing in the big dream that Niall was selling. They compleetely abandoned their cautios engineering legacy.

Too bad.

Dave said...

Does anyone else find it slightly odd that an airframe manufacturer finds it necessary to create a site with the sole purpose of explaining why their aircraft doesn't suck?

Based on the linked article that Eclipse is touting at "Eclipse Facts" existing owners should absolutely be fuming based on the AOPA article that is touted as "fact":
Owners we have spoken to generally enjoy their airplanes. They acknowledge the 500’s current panel weaknesses and are anxious for their upgrades. Eclipse has committed to upgrading the entire fleet to the Avio 1.6 level at no charge to the owners. Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn estimates this will cost $35 million to $40 million, money he has set aside for that purpose. He estimates the upgrades will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2009.
http://www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/2008/turbine0808.html
So per the linked article that Eclipse wants to tout, there's $40 million dollars that was set aside for upgrades that Eclipse is now refusing to do. Talk about janus-faced! They also should believe it if Eclipse that money was set aside for FIKI upgrades as clearly the "facts" Eclipse want presented are not for that, but rather are for Avio.

baron95 said...

Eclipso said ... On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate 'Mc' terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship!!

Fear not Eclipse, both candidates now are Irish. McCain and O'Bama.
(he in fact does have irish blood)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article1512094.ece

forward-observer said...

Well, the FAA’s press release, at http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=10273
trumpets that the FAA is getting right on that pesky Eclipse 500 plane- you know the very first “Special Certification Review” team to prepare a report prior to the September Congressional hearing.

All should be well, everything is fine- “Move along, Move along, these are not the driods you are looking for” could be the intended message. The FAA leadership in Washington is hot the trail, and will make sure everything is just fine.

The press release even says “Jerry Mack, a former Boeing safety executive, is leading an oversight team of seven FAA experts.” Is on the job.


Wooaa fellah. Who?

Jerry Mack?

Who is Jerry Mack??

Well, for starters, he’s not even an FAA employee.

And to be represented as a “Senior Safety Executive” might be a bit of a stretch.

You see, Jerry Mack, alias GERALD MACK 18345 NW MARSEILLE COURT, ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON appears to be an amazing person to appoint to lead a “Special Certification Review” on behalf of the FAA. He’s not working elsewhere right now, and he’s a personal hand-pick of the Senior leadership of the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service to go look into this. Perhaps it was Mr. John Hickey, the Director of the Aircraft Certification Service, who may have chosen Mr. Mack for the job. After all, both previously worked for the Boeing Company.

I can see why Mr. Mack would be the person selected to take a look and see if the FAA was being fair in applying the rules to little ‘ole ECLISPE Aviation.

What, pray tell, qualifies Mr. Mack to determine if the FAA applied the regualtions properly, when it award at Type Certificate to the Eclispe 500?

Well, let’s start with his recent employment. You see Mr. Mack wasn’t working for the FAA. His name does not appear in the employee web directory.

No, he’s an outside contractor that has been brought in to make things appear that All is Well.

Mr. Mack previously worked for the Boeing Company. alright.

But his most recent job title was not as an engineering safety evaluator.

No, it was as the Vice President of Government Technical Affairs for several years.

In that job, his job was to make sure that the Government left the Boeing Company alone. He was paid some pretty big bucks to make sure that nobody from the Government could get too close to the Boeing Company’s secrets. Jerry Mack- Boeing vice president of Government/Industry Technical Liaison for Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Of Course, Mr. Mack has had some other employment recently. It turns out Mr. Mack spent a good deal of time at the Aerospace Industries Association. Mack was elected as Aerospace Industries Association AIA’s Civil Aviation Council, and remained there for a period of time. His contacts among the head honchos at the FAA proved very valuable. It appears he is well know and well connected He’s an ideal man for the job. http://aia-aerospace.org/aianews/press/2003/rel_01_29_03.cfm

In fact, here’s a photo of Mr. Mack hard at work in his job with the AIA. He’s shown here at the Paris Airshow with his arms around a couple of beauties: http://www.aia-aerospace.org/images/paris05/paris05_0615_princi.jpg

( AIA Membership Manager Trish Ward, left, Jerry Mack in the middle, and Membership Assistant Vice President Michelle Princi on the right, at the Paris Airshow in 2005

Now, you might remember some of the interesting things that happened in the time frame following Mr. Mack’s election to the AIA council. You see, it was in that time, Mr Mack, the vice president of Government/Industry Technical Liaison for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, found a few friends in Washington. It was shortly thereafter than another fine executive, namely one Ms. Marion Blakey, found a wonderful new job offer waiting for her over at AIA.

Remember that one? When the FAA Administrator jumped ship to go to the AIA and pick up a six-figure salary?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/21/AR2007082101889.html

Of course, some might say that’s politics getting into the mix. You might be right. After all, Mr. Mack has paid his dues. In fact, he donated handsomely to George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, and to John McCain’s run in 2008. Apparently $250 bucks to McCain 2008 is all that’s needed to cement your appointment to a contractor position, to investigate if management of the FAA was ok in it’s issuance of a type certificate. http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=Mack&fname=Gerald&search=Search


Fair and balanced safety review?

Or political hack, former Boeing government liaison executive, hired by another former Boeing employee (Hickey), with bone fide political donations and connections, and now paid to say that everything is fine?

Maybe. Maybe not.

We report.

You decide.

baron95 said...

finds it necessary to create a site with the sole purpose of explaining why their aircraft doesn't suck?


And even that they messed up - obviously a rushed job by the CIO. e.g. The link to the AOPA article "Eclipse 500: ready for Primetime" takes you to a completely different article on the AOPA site.

Eclipse is displaying a lack of confidence of the highest order. they need to shut up and let the SCR run its course.

airtaximan said...

BAron, I think you are reading into the story, stuff that is not there.

It IS Grob Aerospace that has the deal for the Lear, and not surprising, either. Niall Olver has a longstanding good relationship with Bombardier.

Also, they NEVER underpriced their plane. They NEVER banked on high volume production, and I think the design makes a lot of sense for the niche it was designed for.

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/
ticker/article.aspx?Feed=MCIntl&Date=
20080122&ID=8071466&Symbol=BBD.A

Also, Grob Aerospace is designing the fuselage and structure.

This is nothing like EAC or Vern Raburn.

THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE... it may be becasue they failed to sell enough? I am not sure.

baron95 said...

From the TSA website, regarding the serious and potentially fatal damge they caused to American Eagle aircraft... The Inspector was following through on regulatory inspection activity. The Inspector was able to gain access to the interior of seven of the nine aircraft inspected, which is an apparent violation of the airline’s security program. TSA is reviewing the inspection results and depending on the conclusion, could take action with the airline, up to and including levying of civil penalties.

Get it?

They are firing a salvo to AE. Pursue this and we will fine your ass into oblivion.

Yep. That is your government at work.

I nominate Vern to head the TSA.

They'll burn thorugh a lot of money, almost secure the skies, then go out of business, all in a 8 year period.

Ooooops come to think about it, the TSA has already accomlish that.

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