Thursday, August 7, 2008

Top Ten Shortcomings of the FPJ


Just so you all know, preparing this was a lot of fun for your humble custodian. Remember that it was Turbopro_Pilot, who made the original suggestion of a list like this. It is intended for the DOT investigations into the original granting of the TC and PC to Eclipse Aviation. I asked for a 'Top Five' with the idea that this would encourage everyone to choose their 'pet hates' about the aircraft. However, many people chose to pick on the company, in whole or in part. So I've decided to do the original 'Top Ten' on the FPJ itself, and then a 'Top Five' about the company. Thanks to all who took part, even those who did not email it and had me trawling through the blog at all hours of the night!

Top Ten Shortcomings of the Fisher Price Jet
1. Repeated tyre failures.
2. Autopilot disconnects far too often, increasing pilot workload.
3. Phostrex is leaking.
4. No independent back up instruments.
5. Poor Avio/AvioNG reliability.
6. No FIKI on existing fleet.
7. No EASA certificate, despite many promises.
8. Incomplete systems as demonstrated by 'INOP' stickers as standard.
9. Aircraft as built may not conform to Type Certificate.
10. Door failures.

These are the real issues which need to be drawn to the attention of the DOT investigation. I have the address and contact details and propose, after a fair period of review by you, my peers, to send it on. Let's allow 5 days from today for comment. If there is something enough people feel strongly about, I can change the order or the content, but ONLY as it affects this aircraft.

The other items, which have become part of the vote, I have condensed as follows. Clearly, Vern is the winner, by miles. I just wanted that to be part of the record, even if he is now 'history' as far as the day to day running of the company is concerned. I should also state that more than one source confirms he has indeed left, but has only done so with what appears to be poor grace. Again, there is little point in putting this list in front of an investigator, but it will form part of the record and may be of some use to parties who find themselves in dispute with EAC.

Top Five Shortcomings of Eclipse Aviation Corporation
1. Vern Raburn.
2. Future viability in doubt.
3. Spurious order book.
4. High staff turnover, especially at manager level.
5. Mixed status of the fleet, leading to maintenance problems.

On a different topic, and just to lift the mood. Back in the good old days of Christmas 2002, when Vern was still popular with the 230 staff at EAC, they decided to buy him a Christmas present. Unsure what 'the man who had everything' would appreciate, they got him a wheelbarrow.

A wheelbarrow?

You know, to help him carry his 'you know whats' around, which at the time were highly regarded by the staff for their enormous (metaphorical) size. Some still think he never 'got' the joke...

Finally, the 'For Sale' sign above was spotted 'on the ramp' at Oshkosh. Thanks to all of you who a) noticed and b) thought of me. I chose the clearest photo and did indeed get permission to use it here. If Eclipse want it for their advertising, I'm sure the photographer would agree a suitable fee. 

Payable in advance, of course.

UPDATED SUNDAY 10th August

As promised, we've kicked the list around for a while now, and this is the latest version. I have used Dave Ivedorn's as the basis, with a few slight mods to reflect the broadest possible consensus. This thread will run until Tuesday/Wednesday (depending on your time zone...) when our 'next' topic will reveal itself.

'Top Ten Shortcomings, FPJ, V 2.0

1. Repeated tire failures on landing:
a. Landing gear originally engineered for a 4800# MTOW aircraft - maximum landing weight now 5600#; MTOW 5995#
b. Lack of anti-skid
c. Lack of speed brakes leads to unstable approach / excessive landing speed when sharing terminal airspace with faster transport category aircraft.d. Lack of ground spoilers.
2. Frequent failures of integrated control system ( Avio / Avio NG ), leading to increased pilot workload:
a. Frequent & random autopilot disconnections.
b. Frequent loss of trim control.
c. Throttle/FADEC software flaw induces cross-controlled operation during critical phases of flight.
d. Full functionality of Avio system has never been achieved, resulting in vestigial controls and hardware on aircraft - witness numerous INOP placards on glareshield, as well as non-functional autothrottles.
e. Transponder behavior erratic, with spontaneous shutdowns & randomly changing IDs.
3. Fire supression system performance doesn't conform to manufacturer-defined maintenance schedule - with frequent leaks of an extreme corrosive in concealed locations.
4. No independent back up instruments.
5. Certification irregularities - despite several unresolved safety / regulatory issues identified by aircraft certification engineers & flight test pilots, a TC was issued "from afar", in a manner which seemed only to accommodate the timing of performance bonuses for FAA management ( with the collateral effect of affecting a possible refund event for Eclipse depositors ).
6. Inadequate windshield integrity.
7. Aircraft as built may not conform to type certificate - manufacturing revisions necessary for faster production are inadequately documented, and not reflected in the reference blueprints for the aircraft.
8. Apparent moisture problems with pitot / static / AOA system, leading to frequent CAS false alarms.
9. Inadequate progress on retrofitting delivered aircraft, especially FIKI & avionics.
10. Behavior / integrity of aluminum structures assembled with friction stir welding not well understood over time, especially if operated in saline ( or otherwise corrosive ) environments.

So there you have it. I dropped the 'door issue' and promoted the pitot mess as more than one pilot has raised that specifically with me in the past. As one of you noted, generally democracy is fine, but every now and then someone has to be a dictator. So, unless I'm run out of town before Wednesday, I propose to pass this version onto the appropriate authority.

And if you really, REALLY feel strongly about an item that didn't make the list, or is not visible enough on this one, email me.

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

Shane

351 comments:

1 – 200 of 351   Newer›   Newest»
Dave said...

Great aritcle! I love the picture too!

Charity said...
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Dave said...

Oh, I think that For Sale aircraft is s/n 69 owned by MAG Management?

Dave said...

An emergency AD was just issued by the FAA superceding their previous AD:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=09000064806b3fed&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf

airtaximan said...

I agree, there were many misrepresentations to the press... and MANY statements that were intentionally misleading, even if there "could be" another meaning to the statement that is less dishonest.

Such as the recent "received the first money required to become cash flow positive..." or whatever.

It would be easy to write, "we got $5 of the $300M we really need..." BUT, that would be too clear.

Dayjet ordered 310 planes plus 70 options is true, sorta... its just not the whole story - they had another 1100 options in the 2600 orderbook - no one wanted you to know this - ever.

See how this works. It's CRAFTY.

Like first flight... it was with an engine they had to know would never make it on the prime time plane... so why fly that thing and call it first flight? First flight of what? THEY NEEDED THE DEPOSIT MONEY.

And so, the "story" goes.
- due diligence on this comapny - I think anyone who did this, did not go anywhere near it.

Of course, the investors always just believed in the greater fool... at least at some point this was the rationale. What else could it have been?

Tech - Greater fool - DOA

Dave said...

Is the FAA saying the Eclipse is dangerous?:
We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the information and
determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist
or develop on other products of the same type design.

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064806b3fed

Dave said...

Of course, the investors always just believed in the greater fool... at least at some point this was the rationale. What else could it have been?

I think with those using taxpayer money, they were paid not to think. I'm not really concerned about the private investors (aside from the unsecured creditors formerly known as depositors), but moreso about the taxpayers who have literally put tens of millions into Eclipse...like gosh, GRA could be shackled with having to cough up their parking fees for the next 20 years, which would hurt the airport. I see this falling very heavilly onto Governor Richardson and Mayor Chavez who repeatedly have taken Eclipse's money and then given Eclipse taxpayer money in return.

Dave said...

I have a suggestion that this blog come up with a comment to post on the latest Eclipse AD issued. Comments can be posted here:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=FAA-2008-0837
I suggest using Shane's post as a starting point.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The emergency AD is just a follow-on to the Midway incident.

FAA are requiring licensed mechanics to move the throttle levers and listen for scratchy noises - that is the only real change.

Interesting that in 200 or so deliveries Eclipse has gotten to have 4 different AFM's, and has issued 15 temporary revisions in a little over a year.

Sounds like a very unstable configuration in the fleet - in my line of work we would call that a perfect storm.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And the AD again requires the inspection be completed "Before Further Flight after August 7, 2008".

That is a fleetwide grounding boys and girls, AGAIN - no if's, and's, or but's.

Dave said...

The emergency AD is just a follow-on to the Midway incident

I bet you dollars to donuts that it had something to do with Brandywine although the official reason is just Midway.

FAA are requiring licensed mechanics to move the throttle levers and listen for scratchy noises - that is the only real change.

I took this sentence to mean much more than that although the change itself isn't that much:
We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.
The FAA mentioning unsafe condition on "other products" on the same type I took to mean that they're saying more than just the throttle might be unsafe on the Eclipse. Am I right or way off the mark?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

My bad, closer reading finds that if the previous AD was complied with operators have until the next maintenance check or up to 60 days, whichever comes first, to comply with the new inspection requirement, and up to 10 hrs for repositioning but only within 30 days.

A fair and reasonable compliance window given the majority of the fleet probabloy already met the original AD.

My question remains what do noises in the throttle, probably the friction collar or the inactive auto-throttle servos, have to do with out of range throttle sensing , flimsy design, and the apparently unknown sneak circuit 'feature' that cross controlled the engines with other side TLA with no annunciation?

Noises are not the problem, a shoddy FADEC and shutdown/cutoff design that are dependent on ship's power and not independently powered like ALL other FADEC's and shutoff's os the issue and this AD only identifies overly poor examples of the flimsy thorttle quadrant - the real issue is the design of the fule system and FADEC.

Dave said...

Noises are not the problem, a shoddy FADEC and shutdown/cutoff design that are dependent on ship's power and not independently powered like ALL other FADEC's and shutoff's os the issue and this AD only identifies overly poor examples of the flimsy thorttle quadrant - the real issue is the design of the fule system and FADEC.

...And the design of Avio overall.

fred said...

no guys ...

the FAA is starting to play a game :

"get yourself cleared from that mess..."

i wouldn't be surprised if the same one that were "overlooking" their work-duties yesterday to allow the Fpj ...

are going to become extra-difficult today ...

smell like the end is coming ...

better to clear your name before the things blows up !!

AvidPilot said...
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ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Avid, I think the reason is that airplanes and the decision to buy them is as much emotional and ego driven as it is fact and financially driven.

Coming to grips with the facts that do not meet our belief system, overcoming a schitoma (blind spot) so to speak is very difficult, especially when the only final determination is that you have been had, and not on an Amway deal but on a million dollar (or now multi-million dollar) transaction.

That would surely be tough to swallow.

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

Coming to grips with the facts that do not meet our belief system, overcoming a schitoma (blind spot) so to speak is very difficult, especially when the only final determination is that you have been had, and not on an Amway deal but on a million dollar (or now multi-million dollar) transaction.

That would surely be tough to swallow.


No SH*T Sherlock!!

I feel bad when I blow $50, but blowing $1M? That's a bad day.

baron95 said...

Shane, you mentioned that the EA500 top 10 deficiency list is intended to queue the DOT on a certification review/investigation.

I don't know why the FADEC/throtle inconsistent operation, which has led directly to an NTSB incident investigation and an emergency AD did not make the top 10 list.

It was also at least peripherally involved in the only EA500 accident, with the innability to shut power to the engines after a crash.

Even Eclipse admits they need to change and recertify the change in logic.

That should be #1, IMHO.

Instead (perhaps revealing the true motivation of the blog) we have the, irrelevant (to the DOT) jewell:

7. No EASA certificate, despite many promises.

Great reason to investigate Eclipse FAA TC issuance. While we are at it, lets revoke the FAA TC/PC for anything that does not have an EASA certificate.

If you want your list to be taken seriously by the US DOT, I suggest at a minimum you remove #7 and perhaps #9 (non specific), and put in the FADEC.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

There are parrallels with Eclipse and several failed experimental aircraft companies, namely Adventure Air and the Mini-500.

In both cases there were ample warnings in the behavior of the aircraft and the company, yet they continued to take money and 'sell' aircraft for sometime.

The Advneture Air amphibian killed several people before it finally failed. The Mini-500 too killed a few people before it finally died as a company.

Even during the the days with ships crashing and people dying these companies still found buyers. Even as reports surfaced of incomplete kits being delivered after payment in full.

Airplanes are emotional, and the dream of flight and the freedom it provides is very powerful motivation to 'give them more time', to 'be supportive', to 'keep the dream alive'.

Unfortunately, there are a few people out there who understand this and have no compunction about taking advantage of this quirk of human nature, Happy Miles was one, Dennis Fetters was another, and Vern Raburn and hiso chorts at KABQ are among the masters.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I agree with Baron that EASA Cert has nothing to do with the FAA TC or PC.

Flimsy design of the TQA is a good subject not only because it is such a pathetically cheap design, but it is likely idicative of the level of design of other systems and components, like the brakes, the actuators, the autopilot, etc.

The FADEC/Cutoff issue should be number one, and Avio NfG should be number 2.

Either one is enough to pull the TC IMO.

The issue of planes not meeting type design should score higher as well, as it could yield the surrender of the PC.

Based on the quality escapes that are being observed in the field, it would seem that 100% conformity, proved to the FAA would be a helpful thing.

flightguy said...

Yes, I'm back!!!!

I agree--The FADEC should be investigated. Keep in mind PW does the engines, Eclipse certified the software and FADEC. Neither were certified together. PWC recieved a TC. Eclipse recived a provisional. The FAA inspectors got pulled from the project and then full TC was issued. How many unknowns are in the software logic that the FAA does not know about. If the FAA knew about one engine controlling the other as demonstrated by the Midway incident it would never have been certified.

Not on the list, I am surprised is the issue with speed anomalies caused by freezing in the Pitot static system. It was the primary complaint in the Part 135 reports. Can you imagine flying FIKI, even after the mods, with misleading a faulty information.

gadfly said...

Shane

Baron, Cold Fish, and flightguy are correct . . . not just the FADEC but also a mechanical method to cut fuel to either/or both engines . . . and override the "electronic" throttle system.

gadfly

(The FAA seems to be two months behind in reading the newspapers.)

flightguy said...

Gad,

Am I mistaken? Aren't these part 23 requirements? Oh ya,,, I forgot, Eclipse has Special Conditions.

Dave said...

I agree--The FADEC should be investigated.

Eclipse has no regard for safety. They've shown their complete disregard for safety by saying they'd hack Frankenjet to convince Avio it was using a 610 when a 615 is being used.

How many unknowns are in the software logic that the FAA does not know about

...Or even what is known where the FAA didn't require a manual engine shutoff. Requiring the foam shutoff procedure be instituted is sub-optimal.

Dave said...

I found this:
http://www.pmi-media.com/eclipse500.pdf
It provides a list of Eclipse's suppliers along with dollar amounts of the contracts when available.

Shane Price said...

Some questions have arisen about what did and did not make the list.

The items are listed in order of the number of people who 'voted' for that item. Thus, the tires are top with 11 'votes'. The throttles only got a single vote, and were 'edged' out by the door, which got two. Mind you, so did the INOP stickers and the TC non conformance...

It is a 'Top Ten' after all. Something had to give.

Myself, I think we could add the 'Throttles/FADEC' to the 'AvioNG' line, as I agree it is critical.

And debate is good. We have five days to kick this list around, until we are all (more or less) happy.

Shane

Dave said...

Eclipse says that Avio NG is certified. Could anyone direct me to a copy of the FAA certifate? More specifically I'm looking for any Special Conditions...I would expect there would be some. I assume it isn't Eclipse who got the certification, but one of the Eclipse contractors, but I'm not seeing any relevant Special Conditions when I look up the Eclipse suppliers in the Special Conditions database:
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgSC.nsf/
As I recall NG got put inside aircraft after 105 and it is after those aircraft that the FAA registration database doesn't show Airworthiness info. This lack of airworthiness info has been discussed on here before, but there was no resolution to it. I'd really like to know if there's a connection between the lack of airworthiness and Avio NG and also where to find the NG certification and/or Special Conditions.

flyjets said...

more high-level firings at EAC today...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

From Southpark:

Eric Cartmann is describing a creature known to ramble about the mountains outside South Park Colorado.

"Scuzzlebutt is a creature that lives up on this very mountain, and kills anybody who dares climb to the top.

It loves the taste of blood, and likes to add pieces to its deformed body.

On his left arm, instead of a hand, he has.... A piece of celery.

He walks with a limp. Because one of his legs is missing. And where his leg should be, there's nothing but........Patrick Duffy."


Funny given the VP Product Development/Engineering at Eclipse.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Don't be stingy Flyjets - names man, names.

Dave said...

more high-level firings at EAC today...

It appears Eclipse's Chief Accounting Officer should be fired for lying about being a CPA:
Andrew Vikta - Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer
Andy Vikta is responsible for accounting, reporting and budgeting activities at Eclipse Aviation, as well as the company's compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Before joining Eclipse, Vikta managed several multi-million dollar divisions for Kraft Foods International in France, Turkey, and Lithuania. He has owned and managed a real estate development company in Santa Fe, NM; served as the CFO for Mission Electronics Corp. in California; and was an audit consultant at Cargill, Inc. Vikta received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Certified Public Accountant in New Mexico and California.

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/company/about/leadership-team.php

However, his CPA license in California was CANCELLED twenty years ago!:
http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/WLLQRYNA$LCEV2.QueryView?P_LICENSE_NUMBER=44444&P_LTE_ID=783

Even worse searching the NM CPA website it shows that he never had one (it returns no results)!:
http://www.rld.state.nm.us/accountancy/LicenseeSearch.asp

Veeeeeery fishy. Did Eclipse not know this or did they hire someone like this intentionally thinking that he'd cook the books?

eclipso said...

Wow Dave!
That had to take some thought and digging. It makes me curious to see who else there has questionable resumes'

Shane Price said...

From the inbox:-

Type rating training does not keep up with even the reduced rate of production deliveries. Two simulators have been down for parts, and Eclipse refuses to accept FAA approved Sabena type rated pilots for the JetComplete extended warranty program. Primary pilots currently train in the month of delivery, and second pilots are about 6 months behind.

This might help explain the logjam in the secondary market. After all, who would want an aircraft you can't get 'rated' to fly...

Shane

Dave said...

This might help explain the logjam in the secondary market. After all, who would want an aircraft you can't get 'rated' to fly...

Nice to see Eclipse is doing something for aviation safety...keeping pilots away from flying the Eclipse.

mountainhigh said...

Dave,

Very interesting.

CPA's with a current license are held to certain standards by the AICPA (Am. Institute of CPA's). They must comply with certain accounting regulations set by the various entities like FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board), etc. You get the idea.

Also, a CPA has greater exposure and liability due to the licensure. There are professional sanctions if standards are not followed and courts hold CPAs to a higher standard. To maintain a license, CPAs have to take continuing education hours.

An accountant practicing without a CPA license has more options in how the financials, etc. are handled. A CPA must conform to the standards.

I can certainly see why an accountant working for EAC would NOT want to hold a license. Most would not want the exposure/ liability.

airtaximan said...

listening for a squeeking sound in the throttle...

Like I said before... this sounds like an amazing feature EAC built into the software to detect faulty engine controller programming.

UNbelievable

mountainhigh said...

I believe Fred alluded to the fact the FAA management may whitewash the audit report. Please correct me if I didn't understand you, Fred.

The FAA inspectors on the floor during the audit will probably be very competent and professional. However, I think as the report gets passed upstairs .... to DC, some may be quite tempted to downplay, edit, alter .... OK I'll go ahead and say it .... cover-up the results.

This type of FAA management behavior has been reported for a few years now where EAC is concerned. I believe we've heard reports from various inspectors at EAC indicating that as their reports were passed upstairs they were rewritten in favor of EAC.

I am mentioning this now in the hopes of bringing this issue into the spotlight before the audit and congressional investigations occur.

I also hope that those FAA inspectors involved in the audit will publize and contact Oberstar if they suspect their reports are being altered by management. [And yes, I know some will not want to come forward for fear of losing their jobs.]

gadfly said...

airtaximan

The squeaking sound may be part of the software . . . a MIDI or MP3 file buried in the code, to cover up the sound of a larger rodent that may have approved the system early on.

The definitions of squeak are most informative:

v. squeaked, squeak·ing, squeaks
1. To give forth a short, shrill cry or sound.
2. Slang To turn informer.
v.tr.
To utter in a thin, shrill voice.
n.
1. A short shrill cry or sound, such as that made by a mouse or a rusty hinge.
2. An escape: a close squeak.

So, take your pick and apply as needed! Somehow, they all seem to apply.

gadfly

(Another time, we could discuss critters that are the first to leave a sinking ship.)

airtaximan said...

Gad,

somehow, I know you get my drift

baron95 said...

Dave said... It provides a list of Eclipse's suppliers along with dollar amounts of the contracts when available.

Dave, Thanks for the link - you are da man when it comes to web research and sources.

Also, I agree with you that, ever since the PW engine change, EAC has been doing engineering by "expediency" (a.k.a. kludge) instead of best design, safest design, best practices. That is a culture of "minimum acceptable standards" (a.k.a do barely enough to get by).

Aviation requires best practices and going beyond minimum requirements if you want the pilots and passengers to live to old ages.

Dave said...

The AD also allows the aircraft owner up to 10 hours of flight time to reposition the airplane for the inspection. Eclipse has created a special suite of tools to efficiently conduct these tests at Eclipse Service Centers or Eclipse-designated facilities.

If the TQA fails the inspection, the quadrant must be replaced before the next flight... grounding the aircraft until the new part is installed.

Eclipse says it sent the Service Bulletin to customers Thursday, explaining how to comply with the AD. Eclipse recently announced its plan to increase the TQA range limit to prevent the fault condition, through a software update to all Eclipse 500 owners and operators.

The planemaker states software requirements have already been completed, and the company is working with its suppliers to develop an implementation schedule. Eclipse says it expects FAA certification on the software update in early Q4.

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=c4a2fa6e-bb67-40e2-a4b7-ce1552b42cd7

Is the software patch to fix the FADEC? No, I don't think so. It is only changing the range rather than the underlying dangerous code that lets the engines go full power like in Midway and Brandywine.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

and listening for squeaks tell you if the software code has this problem....

What a bunch of a-holes

gadfly said...

If I were an administrator of a university, especially if it included technical/engineering/science colleges, I would require five things . . . no, six, for graduation . . . there would be no exceptions:

English Rhetoric and Satire (a new course . . . 12 semester hours . . . most engineers wouldn’t know “Satire” if it bit ‘em on the ankle.)
Literature (6 semester hours . . . in other words, learn to read, read, read!, with understanding. Anyone can read fast . . . big whoop!)
Logic (6 semester hours)
Mechanical Drawing/Illustration/Penmanship (combined . . . 6 semester hours, minimum)
Ethics (6 semester hours) . . . any questions?
and Creative Writing (6 semester hours) . . . if you can’t be understood with enthusiasm, what’s the point?

There would be no “overlap” of courses. At any given time, only “One” subject would be taught . . . as in the US Navy and the best of technical schools. Human "beans", regardless of the "hype", do not multi-task very well . . . especially in college. (Breathing and walking are the exception.)

And, within that course, it would be required that each and every student would work in industry . . . a machine shop, a science lab, an auto-repair shop . . . even as an “office boy” or mopping a floor, for a minimum of one year . . . no exceptions.

What we have here, in the case of Eclipse, are some prima donnas that know so much more than the industry, and by their “pride” and “egotism” have hurt, and continue to hurt, hundreds . . . probably thousands of others in the program.

Need I say that the overall villain is “Pride”?

The best of the best do not care who gets the credit, but that the ultimate goal is reached . . . provided there is a worthy goal in the first place. In this case, it would seem that even that is suspect.

gadfly

(airtaximan . . . I do, indeed, get your drift. The problem with the AD is that the instructions indicate listening close to the "throttle levers" . . . instead of next to the "speakers" or "head phones". Had the FAA dude that wrote this up ever worked on an actual aircraft, he would understand the difference between "noise" and "noise in the system". Amazing!)

Charity said...

Sounds like their all mighty, all powerful head of HR, Ms. Rulo needs to be the one recieving an empty box by her desk.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
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ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wouldn't the VP HR job be to attract and retain the best and brightest - sounds to me like she missed the boat - Rulo has failed on a level comparable only to the Vernperor himself.

Dave said...

Wouldn't the VP HR job be to attract and retain the best and brightest - sounds to me like she missed the boat - Rulo has failed on a level comparable only to the Vernperor himself.

Not having worked at Eclipse, I'm not sure that isn't being too hard on her. Yes, she's supposed to attract and retain the best and the brightest, but it is most like Vern who defined what he considered that to be with his public snearing of aviation industry experience (and if he did that in public, one can only imagine what he told his HR person in private). There are other other reasons why she might be a bad HR person, but most likely it is Vern setting the framework as to who should be hired.

WhyTech said...

"but most likely it is Vern setting the framework as to who should be hired."

Right. The HR folks usually present a set of candidates for the hiring manager to choose from; they rarely make the hiring decision themselves. Most HR folks are administrators, not decision makers.

Charity said...

I've never worked at Eclipse either. However, I do know of many people who have that would back me up by saying she indeed is one of the most unprofessional (nicest word I can use) HR Managers that one would ever have the misfortune of meeting. Nothing I know of her can be blamed on Vern.

Charity said...

Most HR folks are administrators, not decision makers.


But aren't background checks, etc up to the HR dept?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Maybe some of the folks who have been there can chime in as to Ms. Rulo's competency - surely a thumbs up or down on her contribution, or lack therof, would not be an NDA violation - unless Eclipse feels that incompetency is a trade secret (and they could probably argue that).

Dave said...

However, I do know of many people who have that would back me up by saying she indeed is one of the most unprofessional (nicest word I can use) HR Managers that one would ever have the misfortune of meeting. Nothing I know of her can be blamed on Vern.

Unprofessionalism would be a reason to consider a bad HR person, but I don't think she can be held responsible for the type of people Eclipse hired...others told her the type they wanted (avoid aviation industry experience) and she gave them what they wanted. I for instance doubt it was her (or even Peg's) idea to hire Todd Fierro...that probably came right from the very top.

Dave said...

But aren't background checks, etc up to the HR dept?

If you are referring to Eclipse claiming their Chief Accounting Officer is a CPA, I'm not convinced that they aren't totally aware that he isn't but are knowingly lying about it. She might not have done a proper background check, but it is very much to Eclipse's advantage to falsely claim their accounting guy is a CPA when he really isn't.

Dave said...

Maybe some of the folks who have been there can chime in as to Ms. Rulo's competency - surely a thumbs up or down on her contribution, or lack therof, would not be an NDA violation - unless Eclipse feels that incompetency is a trade secret (and they could probably argue that).

BTW don't take anything that I'm saying to disagree as to whether she is or isn't incompetent, just I believe Vern defined what types were to be considered the "best and brightest" rather than it being her idea to snear at aviation industry experience and look to the auto industry (Ford in particular). There's every reason to believe it wasn't her idea (Vern's public statements combined with Eclipse's board having a Ford guy).

airtaximan said...

folks, give credit where credit is due...

do you know how hard it must have been to recruit for that company over the last 3 years?

;(

Charity said...

folks, give credit where credit is due...

do you know how hard it must have been to recruit for that company over the last 3 years?


Sorry, although I can understand why you would say that, Im pretty sure she is on the top 20 list of reasons people want out of there in the first place.

Dave said...

Sorry, although I can understand why you would say that, Im pretty sure she is on the top 20 list of reasons people want out of there in the first place.

Why is that?

gadfly said...

Things move so fast on this blog . . . the following subject was written earlier . . . and I'll submit it before it's too cold:

Before someone gets on my case, the “noise in the system” for an analog circuit could be discovered using an oscilloscope, etc. And that is based on some comments that the throttle controls used a “potentiometer” . . . strictly an “analog” device, from the days of Thomas Alva Edison. [OK . . . a rheostat has a resistor connected at one end to a voltage (EMF) device, and a sliding contact changes the resistance from one end to the other. It’s a simple and easy way to “dim a light” on the dash board of your car . . . cheap, and doesn’t require any other electronics . . . but is somewhat inefficient. A “potentiometer” is connected to the EMF device at both ends . . . like a light bulb . . . and the sliding contact is able to move from one end of the resister to the other . . . and detect a different voltage along that path, somewhat according to the distance between the two ends . . . it’s simple, worked for most of a century . . . but has little to do with digital electronics. The “voltage” was then fed to an amplifier, to a “control grid” in a vacuum tube, which in turn changed the “gain” of the sound that you heard while listening to “Amos and Andy”]. There is not time nor space to explain an “analog” device here, just now . . . but is the equivalent of the gas pedal on a 1955 Chevy, connected to a throttle, or the volume control on your portable radio. A potentiometer must then be converted to “digital”, by means of an “AD” (analog/digital) convertor. It’s a little solid state thing that makes a variable signal into a series of “on” and “off” things . . . like what happens when you copied your old vinyl records onto a CD.

The problem is that you don’t really know where “zero” is . . . it’s sort of an “opinion” of the electronic system when it started, as in when you first turned on the switch . . . and over time, may “drift”, like attempting to watch your wife’s favorite show on TV, and she suddenly asks you a question.

But in modern machinery (that’s my bag, by the way), CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinery can be awakened, at any time of the day or night, and know precisely within a millionth of an inch, or meter, exactly where it is. And it is beyond my comprehension why a “digital encoder” is not used in the throttle levers on the “little jet”. It wouldn’t matter for a micro-second (a millionth of a second to those in Rio Linda) . . . the throttle encoders, both left and right, would know exactly where they are . . . even if beyond “range”, since even cheap encoders are 360 degree devices.

Shucks, we can buy an inexpensive Mitutoyo caliber, with a single “battery” cell . . . turn int on, and know exactly where it is after sitting on the shelf for a month . . . a year.

Over-travel on the throttles? Sorry folks, but I wouldn’t buy that for an instant.

This is a software problem, for sure . . . someone is soft in the brain!

gadfly

(Meaner and meaner . . . until this fiasco is over, and not until then!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, I think the proof is in the pudding re: her recruiting - quality escapes, vendor failures, lawsuits (some related to employee dismissals) and the like - the results of her recruiting do not appear to be that good.

Doubt she has anytrhing to do with the other executives, that is surely the result of a headhunting firm and frend-of-a-friend recommendations - also unquestionably failed.

No the team at Eclipse, if measured by actual accomplishment, does not paint a good picture of Rulo or the other exec's, or their efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest.

Dave said...

“We have been briefly delayed in tendering customer refunds,” the spokeswoman told AIN. “All refunds are expected to be issued shortly following the close of the financing round.

A letter sent late last week by vice president of customer support John Ricciardelli notifying Eclipse 500 customers of a six-month delay in Avio NG and performance modifications further indicated that the company is conserving cash. “We must balance our financial health with our modification schedules over the next few months,” he wrote.

The Eclipse spokeswoman wouldn’t disclose how many orders have been canceled, how much money the financing round involves or when the financing round will “close. She noted that customers have until the end of this month to cancel their order and request a refund.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eclipse-aviation-in-cash-conservation-mode/

baron95 said...

Dave said ... Is the software patch to fix the FADEC? No, I don't think so. It is only changing the range rather than the underlying dangerous code that lets the engines go full power like in Midway and Brandywine.

Eclipse has stated that the FADEC SW update will include both the expanded range to TL angle AND the fix to use a current post-failure valid position from the TL vs lask valid position before the failure.

We shall see if/when they get there.

Charity said...

Dave, you asked why?
Since I have been commenting on this based on second hand knowledge, I will wait and see if someone responds to Coldwet that does have first hand knowledge. If not, I will be happy to give my 2 cents of what I do know.

gadfly said...

And now a comment about the last hour’s discussion:

It's nice of all you to treat whomever you are presently treating to polite political correctness . . . that is quite commendable.

But the bottom line, here, is a totally unsafe aircraft that may do more than "insult someone's psyche” . . . someone may actually be killed.

Most (if not all) have by now seen a father comforting his little daughter, sitting on a curb, after coming within milliseconds . . . feet (choose whatever) of passing from this life into the next.

It is far beyond the silly game of being politically correct. There are lives at stake.

And there is an “FAA” that we all once revered . . . no more, my friends . . . I’ve just looked behind “their” green curtain, and I don’t like what I see. From here on in, I don’t know whom I trust least . . . Eclipse? . . . or the FAA . . . somehow things are beginning to blur, unless the FAA stands up to their responsibility and cleans house.

This is no longer a joke . . . an opportunity to make sideways remarks at people like Vern and Roel (By now any intelligent human being watching the events has a good handle on that situation, and the farce by the Rio Grande). It’s about to go far beyond that, and truly get serious.

gadfly

(As if the lack of lubrication, or throttle stops, of the throttle levers is the problem! It’s a lack of integrity by our government paid agencies, to be the people they claim to be.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Jim Campbell at ANN - I am calling you out.

Where is the story about Eclipse dropping the subpeona and and the underlying case in NM? You reported on the subpeona, it's gone where is the story?

Where is the story about lack of refunds and delayed modification/upgrades? You reported when Vern said they would do it at no cost to the owner - where is the story that the owners' are now SOL?

Where is the story about the multiple lawsuits with depositors? You trumpeted the BS order book every time Vern brought it up - where is the story that orders are being cancelled and Eclipse is not paying the deposits back as required?

Why did you suggest the emergency AD allows 30 days for compliance iuf the original AD was not complied with when it clearly states before next flight?

How much did it cost to buy you Jim?

Was exclusive first right all it took? Did stroking your ego really override your journalistic integrity?

Vern and Happy Miles are the same Jim, and you know it. You have been a willing pawn in this whole disgusting event and Eclipse will end up hurting far more people than Adventure Air ever did.

A return to the kind of journalism that you used to pracice can maybe rescue your reputation but will certainly prevent more damage.

non-nda-stories said...

Maybe some of the folks who have been there can chime in as to Ms. Rulo's competency -

let me give that a try...
1. She's a backstabber
2. You cannot trust her
3. She will lie to your face
3. She loves confrontation
4. She never follows through on promises.
5. She's the only VP without a degree!! gee, wonder why. Even I dun gradiated the 6th grade and still knew to stand by fellow employees.

I have personnlay experienced all these points. I can get specific with stories but my wonderful significant other won't let me:)

Joe Patroni said...

Just read the "new" Emergency AB

This is the kind of stuff that doesn't get by Experimental Flight Test at the Major OEMs. Do they even have a "What if....?" department?

As an A&P, I personally would be very reluctant to sign off anything on this airplane.....you would just be begging for a lawsuit, eventually.

Have they even released a Maintenance Manual yet? Or is that still considered "Propietary and/or Confidential Information"? I wonder how many holes are in that?

WhyTech said...

"when the financing round will “close."

It is not unusual for a round of financing to be structured with multiple closes, especially in those situations those where the need for cash is urgent and the task of raising money is difficult. This process can drag on indefinitely until the required funding is raised, or the effort is abandoned. It seems that EAC has done a "first close" on a partial amount of the funds sought. Hard to tell if and when there might be additional closings.

gadfly said...

We have a most unique place in New Mexico called “Echo Canyon”. It’s not really a canyon, but rather a huge elliptical hole in the side of a cliff . . . we used to pass it every time we visited our son, when he had a position in the educational system at the north end of the state. You can stand in front of the “hole”, and shout anything you wish . . . and everything you shout will come back to you with little distortion. It’s worth your time to stop there for a few minutes. And it’s “free”.

In like manner, sometimes we “shout” into a hole . . . and we read our comments as recorded without much distortion. But sometimes we wonder, is anyone really listening?

It’s obvious that few within our government agencies are listening. But notice I said “few”! It really only takes a “few” . . . maybe even only “one”.

“Hey, in that hole over there, a fiasco exists here in Albuquerque . . . someone is going to be hurt real bad unless you do something real soon! . . . Hello in there . . . anybody home?”

gadfly

(Sometimes, in a “government time frame”, sound goes reeeeeeal slow . . . and the echo may not return for a New Mexican Mañana.)

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

Peg Billson, COO
Todd Fierro VP Manufacturing

Mmm ... there's an FAA audit coming, isn't there? These people would be responsible for any problems with that. Now they've gone, Eclipse will be in a position to fix the problems. Or at least, Eclipse will be in a position to tell the FAA that they're in a position to fix the problems...

TBMs_R_Us said...

It seems that EAC has done a "first close" on a partial amount of the funds sought. Hard to tell if and when there might be additional closings.

Unless you know something the rest of us don't, it doesn't appear that they closed on anything. The press release didn't specify any amount or any party involved. What are we to think? Given the track record, the immediate scale back in cash outflow, the pending doom from the FAA (we hope!), one can only assume they got a brief interlude from the banks to put their house in order. The silence about the investment particulars is deafening.

Putting the house in order at EAC is akin to putting a house in order in post-Katrina New Orleans after it sat totally under water (if you can call the liquid it sat in "water") for a long time.

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

"Unless you know something the rest of us don't"

Not really, perhaps just too trusting of EAC's recent announcement that something had closed.

Charity said...

Shane, are you kidding? Who would've thought that I made a comment about a box by someones desk out of jest and then you post that she is gone? Maybe I should open my own psychic business. That way I can jip people out of money just like EAC. :)

gadfly said...

Finally . . . I sense a breath of fresh air! Why did it take so long?! Is the "USS Eclipse, SS E500" really back on the surface?

gadfly

(From someone who's been there/done that . . . being submerged for a long time (a month or more), and coming to the surface to smell the fish and stuff growing all over topside of a submarine . . . even that smells fresh, compared to the past month, with an unwashed crew of 85 men, eating green eggs and steak, three meals a day, with a "slight touch" of diesel oil flavoring. You have no idea!)

Dave said...

Unless you know something the rest of us don't, it doesn't appear that they closed on anything. The press release didn't specify any amount or any party involved. What are we to think? Given the track record, the immediate scale back in cash outflow, the pending doom from the FAA (we hope!), one can only assume they got a brief interlude from the banks to put their house in order. The silence about the investment particulars is deafening.

I've given more thought to this and I think I might know what is going on (just based upon publicly reported information). When Roel put up some amount of money earlier this year there was specific performance requirements and it wasn't just an equity deal:
Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), today announced it will expand its partnership with European Technology and Investment Research Center (ETIRC) Aviation. The agreement between the two companies includes an equity investment[note the word "includes"] by ETIRC in Eclipse that is substantially in excess of $100 million. The agreement also provides for significant additional financial benefits to Eclipse as agreed commercial objectives are realized. Upon completion of the equity investment ETIRC will be the single largest shareholder of Eclipse Aviation.
http://www.elitetraveler.com/news_detail.html?nid=95&p=1
Now we hear the financing hasn't exactly cleared yet for the "new round" yet Roel is in control now. It sounds like Eclipse got no new financing, but rather was trumpeting up the ETIRC January thing as something new. It appears that Roel bought the rights to liquidate Eclipse for whatever amount he paid in January and he's having Vern help him out with it. Get your popcorn.

Dave said...

eating green eggs and steak

But you would not, could not, should not eat green eggs and ham?

eclipso said...

Dave said:

......but most likely it is Vern setting the framework as to who should be hired.


You are correct!

gadfly said...

Dave

Don't believe that for an instant! If it was green, . . . and believe me, the "whites" of those eggs were definitely "green" . . . a rather transluscent green, . . . but that and fillet mignon, and powdered everything else gets eaten . . . and as you can guess, the "atmosphere" is rather green after six or seven weeks.

gadfly

(Let's leave it at that . . . and get back to the bird that lays green eggs.)

TBMs_R_Us said...

Now we hear the financing hasn't exactly cleared yet for the "new round" yet Roel is in control now. It sounds like Eclipse got no new financing, but rather was trumpeting up the ETIRC January thing as something new. It appears that Roel bought the rights to liquidate Eclipse for whatever amount he paid in January and he's having Vern help him out with it. Get your popcorn.

Dave,

I think you are very close to the truth!

... as agreed commercial objectives are realized

Sounds like an equity plus debt deal. If so, there are loan covenants on the debt side, probably tied to fulfilling all of the equity side. So Roel gets to pull the plug on Vern once Vern et al failed to meet the "agreed commercial objectives" in some measurable way (like number of aircraft delivered for money).

Roel has the most to lose, and for now has the most power. What a scramble!! What a nice little drama! As someone pointed out, would make a good movie down the road.

Let's just hope the bird gets grounded before anyone gets hurt...

Shane Price said...

Charity,

The wonders of the 'inbox'...

Hey, it might be 'hot air' or indeed 'water cooler' chat. But I don't think so. It fits the pattern of a company in terminal decline.

And can you imagine the discussion going on, right now, on the internal email in ABQ? I, for one, would love to hear that chatter.

Actually, that's one of the traditional ways to manage a company. Listen, carefully, to the 'chatter' amongst the staff.

One of the real issues, when the story of Eclipse is written, will be the inability of the management to listen.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Dave,

If you are correct, Roel bought Eclipse for something around 7 to 10 cents on the dollar ($110M for the $1.X B shooting match).

Given the change in ownership records from back in February or so, the petition to allow technology transfer, etc., I am surprised we did not see this earlier.

The era of Raburn is not over, it is just changing location.

All the announcements and changes are just calculated moves to precipitate a run on the bank and 'force' BK.

Brilliant! Truly brilliant.

But if a dumb ol' engineer like me can figure it out, I am betting some of the vendor, customer and employer lawyers, as well as the regulators can probably figure it out too.

Dave said...

But if a dumb ol' engineer like me can figure it out, I am betting some of the vendor, customer and employer lawyers, as well as the regulators can probably figure it out too.

Now I guess the question is who is going to end up with egg on their face by not even filing a lawsuit or asking for a refund? I say this primarilly to the vendor senior employees and the companies who bought Eclipse rather than the individuals involved. Even though you probably wouldn't see a dime, you might end up looking stupid to your boss (or shareholders if you run a publicly traded company) by losing your employer lots of money without even making an effort to get it back. Once Eclipse files for BK, you can't then sue them because all litigation is frozen and then all you'll look like you lost your company millions while you twiddled your thumbs.

Delbert Grady said...

Shane said:

"Hey, it might be 'hot air' or indeed 'water cooler' chat. But I don't think so. It fits the pattern of a company in terminal decline."

Can this be confirmed?

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

Peg Billson - Chief Operating Officer

Peg Billson is responsible for all areas of operations at Eclipse Aviation, including Engineering, Program Management, Information Technology, Supply Chain Management, and Operations.

Todd Fierro - Vice President, Manufacturing

Todd Fierro is responsible for all aspects of high-rate production for the Eclipse 500.

Still up on the website...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

With executive level golden parachutes these changes are probably costing literally millions of dollars in severance as well as accelerated options vesting (all paper at this point I know) and benefits, all to save maybe a million dollars a year in payroll - not cash savings - it is control.

I cannot even imagine the impact on morale though, this amount of change/upheaval is hard to negotiate in a healthy and stable organization - what must be going through heads in the 505 today?

Dave said...

Any questions?

The revolution will be televised:
http://www.cabq.gov/govtv/
Now the fallout of the politicians taking money from Eclipse and then giving Eclipse tens of millions can be seen by whole world. Hopefully this will serve to discourage both businesses from engaging such activity and politicians wont be so disrespectful to the taxpayers who elected them. Some people are hard to convince as Ed is a serial scammer jumping from his SCO source code litigation scam to the Eclipse order book scam and for all we know he's working on a post-Eclipse/DayJet scam.

uglytruth said...

Todd Fierro VP Manufacturing

He's gone and he kinda helped push me under the bus (after he used me to bulldog and expose suspected corruption) but I won't do the same. I think when he got there it was over and the shell game had started long before.

I've said before they should be on AC08 and working out bugs. They never had any orginization for building AC at the rate they hoped for. They were figuring out hrs to build and would not look at the fact you can't get 15 people inside to do the work all at the same time.

Someone mentioned a "cottage industry" and that's the best description I have heard. They are custom one off pcs...hand built one at a time. Not a stamped or machined part but thousands and thousands of parts that all must be assembled perfect every time. Lots of parts added in a cellular mfg. type enviroment. The layout was OK for what it was capable of.....they just expected more than it would tolerate.

The AC was not designed for rapid assembly. 11,000 + rivits just don't happen. Holes needed drilled, reamed, counter sunk and the rivet pulled or hammered. More poorly trained people just added to the confusion.

The bottom line is HOW DO WE GET THIS THING GROUNDED to keep everyone safe. That is more important than anything else.

Niner Zulu said...

I wonder when deliveries will start falling behind. That will be a sign that the end is near. There are a lot of people who have paid up their 60% deposits thinking their planes are going to be ready in a few weeks, but if Eclipse can't pay the bills how long can they go before vendors stop delivering parts and things come to a grinding halt?

With Eclipse management jumping into the lifeboats in droves, who is running the ship now that the hit to the iceberg has been confirmed? It sure ain't Roel. He's on deck in a comfortable chair, brandy in hand, listening to the orchestra play.

This can't be a fun time for people who are waiting for their aircraft, unless they don't read.

WhyTech said...

"This can't be a fun time for people who are waiting for their aircraft, unless they don't read."

It would seem that a disproportionate number of Eclipse buyers dont read.

Hard to say who is in the tougher position: a buyer waiting for delivery (who has not made all of the payments yet) or one who has taken delivery, made all the payments, and is holding a bunch of IOU's. The value of his acft is likely about to be much less than he paid for it.

airtaximan said...

my comment about the HR woman...

You should know me better than that, by now... I've been here for 2 years..

I WAS JOKING!

;)

She's just another quality escape.. as Gadfly!

Charity said...

Im going to bed now, but, just want to let ya'll know that tomorrow may be very enlightening during all of this speculation. Whether you are a customer, investor, supplier, employee, or an active/concerned bystander...I think everyone has a personal stake. Despite our differences on the small stuff, we are all in the same boat. My heart goes out to the "innocent". The ones that may have to tel their families that they are going to be in the same unemployment lines as people that have fallen prey to the "bad economy". But they are in the line due to "bad people"

airtaximan said...

"I wonder when deliveries will start falling behind."

serious?

All the planes delivered so far were scheduled for delivery in 2006.

Capiche?

Dave Ivedorne said...

Request for Comment
-------------------

It's my own fault that I didn't correspond with Shane about his/our Top Ten list, but I see some discrepancies.

I agree 100% with baron95 that EASA ( #7 ) is and should be a non-issue for an FAA audit. I also agree with him that conformance with the TC is presented too generically, and tried to flesh that out a bit.

I disagree with him that avionics issues should be #1 on the list, as I'm of the opinion that the tire ( or, tyre, to those of you who drive on the wrong side of the road ) issues top the list of immediate safety concerns, because so many elements contribute to the problem, and each of those elements can be resolved discretely, and as needed.

I combined Avio, autopilot, throttle/FADEC, and incompleteness issues into one ( and still highly ranked ) category, and tried to break out the issues a little bit. I know that there are many more specific issues that are known to the blog, so fire away with 'em. The Avio / integration issues present a bigger challenge to resolve than all of the others combined.

I added the FAA TC issue in the spirit of "Physician, heal thyself", and to put them on notice that the public is aware that something wasn't kosher there.

I added the integrity of friction stir welded structure issue in light of the amount of scrutiny applied to bonded structures and composites when they were introduced - a degree of scrutiny that has not obviously been applied to FSW ( call it the Gadfly amendment ).

And thus, I humbly submit for your examination and correction:
My Top Ten FPJ Shortcomings,
by John ( but not "John" ) aka Dave Ivedorne ( but not "Dave" ).

1. Repeated tire failures on landing:
a. Landing gear originally engineered for a 4800# MTOW aircraft - maximum landing weight now 5600#; MTOW 5995#.
b. Lack of anti-skid
c. Lack of speed brakes leads to unstable approach / excessive landing speed when sharing terminal airspace with faster transport category aircraft.
d. Lack of ground spoilers.
2. Frequent failures of integrated control system ( Avio / Avio NG ), leading to increased pilot workload:
a. Apparent moisture problems with pitot / static / AOA system, leading to frequent CAS false alarms.
b. Frequent & random autopilot disconnections.
c. Frequent loss of trim control.
d. Throttle/FADEC software flaw induces cross-controlled operation during critical phases of flight.
e. Full functionality of Avio system has never been achieved, resulting in vestigial controls and hardware on aircraft - witness numerous INOP placards on glareshield, as well as non-functional autothrottles.
f. Transponder behavior erratic, with spontaneous shutdowns & randomly changing IDs.
3. Fire supression system performance doesn't conform to manufacturer-defined maintenance schedule - with frequent leaks of an extreme corrosive in concealed locations.
4. No independent back up instruments.
5. ( Moved Avio issues to autopilot entry )
Substituting: Certification irregularities - despite several unresolved safety / regulatory issues identified by aircraft certification engineers & flight test pilots, a TC was issued "from afar", in a manner which seemed only to accommodate the timing of performance bonuses for FAA management ( with the collateral effect of affecting a possible refund event for Eclipse depositors ).
6. ( Moving FIKI references down due to the fact that it hadn't been certified )
Substituting: Inadequate windshield integrity.
7. ( Omitting EASA references because that isn't an FAA issue )
Substituting: Aircraft as built may not conform to type certificate - manufacturing revisions necessary for faster production are inadequately documented, and not reflected in the reference blueprints for the aircraft.
8. ( Moved INOP placard references to Avio section )
Substituting: Door failures.
(Question for the blog: other than the "bottom clamshell being open not resulting in any crew alerts" thing, are there other known failings? Epilot addressed this nicely - it would be hard to start the engines and not know that it was open.)
9. Inadequate progress on retrofitting delivered aircraft, especially FIKI & avionics.
10. Behavior / integrity of aluminum structures assembled with friction stir welding not well understood over time, especially if operated in saline ( or otherwise corrosive ) environments.

Would you like the combo?
IANAFPJP
(Lawsuit's over, so it was time to retire 'IANAL')

airtaximan said...

did someone say Roel IS THE BANK?

wake up folks... this is well planned...

Charity said...

Some of you may have already seen this. I posted it this morning...but when things took a serious turn, I deleted it. Tonight, I still just think its hilarious...so I am posting it again for others to enjoy. Replace names as you see fit. LOL


SUPREME COURT RULES EARNINGS
SHOULD BE PROTECTED AS "ART"


Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) — In a surprise decision that exonerates dozens of major companies, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that corporate earnings statements should be protected as works of art, as they "create something from nothing."


Installing the WorldCom exhibit at MOMA
"One plus one is two. That is math. That is science. But as we have seen, earnings and revenues are abstract and original concepts, ideas not bound by physical constraints or coarse realities, and must therefore be considered art," the Court wrote in its 7-2 decision.

The impact of the ruling was widespread. Investigations into hundreds of firms were cancelled, and collectors began snatching up original balance sheets, audits, and P&L statements from WorldCom, Enron, and Global Crossing. Meanwhile, auditing firms such as Arthur Andersen (now Art by Andersen) were reclassified as art critics, whose opinions are no longer liable.

"Before we had to go in and decide, 'Is it right, or is it wrong?'" said KPMG spokesman Dan Fischer. "Now we must only decide, 'Is it art?'"

In Congress, all further hearings into irregularities were abandoned in favor of an abstract accounting lecture given by Scott Sullivan, former Chief Financial Artist of WorldCom, which had been charged with fraud for improperly accounting for $3.85 billion.

"Art should reflect life, so what I was really trying to accomplish with this third quarter report was acknowledge that life is an illusion," said Sullivan, explaining his acclaimed work, "10Q for the Period Ending 9/30/01."

U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana, however, was forced to apologize, admitting he could only see a lie.

"Yes, well, a man with a concretized view of the world may only be able to see numbers that 'Don't add up,'" said a haughty Sullivan. "But someone whose perceptions are not always chained to reality — a stock analyst, say — may see numbers that, like the human spirit, aspire to be greater than they are."

Several Sullivan pieces are now part of a new show at New York's Museum of Modern Art entitled, "Shadows & Spreadsheets: The Origins of Pro-Formalism."

Robert Weidlin, an SEC investigator and avid collector, was among the first to peruse the Enron exhibit, which takes up an entire wing of the museum "You look at these works, and you say 'Is this a profit, or a loss? Is this firm a subsidiary, or a holding company?'" said Walden. "I have stood in front of this one balance sheet for hours, and each moment I come away with something different."

Like other patrons, Weidlin said he didn't know whether to be impressed or outraged, a reaction that pleased Andrew Fastow, the former Enron CFA who is a leading proponent of the Trompe L'Shareholder style.


"An artist should not be afraid to be shocking," said Fastow. "As did the Modernists, we should fearlessly depart from tradition and embrace the use of innovative forms of expression. Like, say, 'Special Purpose Entities' and 'Pooling of Interests.'"

Sullivan, meanwhile, said he was influenced by the Flemish Masters, particularly Lernout & Hauspie, the Belgian speech recognition software company that collapsed last year after an audit discovered the firm had cooked its books in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

"Lernout & Hauspie simply invented sales figures, just willed them out of thin air and onto the paper," he said. "Me? I must live with a spreadsheet a long time before I begin to work it. You must be patient and wait until the numbers reveal themselves to you."

And what about the reaction to his work? "I realize people are angry, people are hurt. But I cannot concern myself with that," he said. "As with all true artists, I don't expect to be understood during my lifetime."

Copyright © 2002, SatireWire

Dave said...

wake up folks... this is well planned...

It's obvious to me. That's why I was bringing up all the legal issues in the last topic.

Flight Test said...

The leadership at Eclipse over the years reminds me of the following statement, "Character is not developed in a crisis, it is exhibited."

airtaximan said...

anyone who flies this plane...
anyone who buys this plane...

...is completely stupid.

OK, I said it.

G'nite

gadfly said...

Charity

You didn't delete it soon enough this morning . . . it's already been shared with some very wealthy friends, who are also in the "art business".

And it is most hilarious!

Thanks . . . now for a second time.

gadfly

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
With executive level golden parachutes these changes are probably costing literally millions of dollars in severance as well as accelerated options vesting (all paper at this point I know) and benefits, all to save maybe a million dollars a year in payroll - not cash savings - it is control.


Very doubtful, CW. Golden parachutes only work in solvent companies. Peg et all, would be unsecured creditors if Ecipse were to fail. ETIRC, at this point is probably the only secured creditor.

Here is how you get rid of senior execs on the cheap.

Pieper: Peg, I want you out. I'll give you $100K now, to leave on good terms and I'll make very complimentary coments about your service, and you get to leave before the FAA audit. OR, if you don't like that, I'll take EAC into CH11 as the senior creditor, you will end up fired with no severance and I will make statements that it was your incompetence that lead to the failure. Please sign here.

It is done all the time.

Charity said...

Sources state that the inbox was mis-informed. As of tonight...the 3 named are very much still employed.
:(
Sorry.

Charity said...

Gadlfy..Dont know why, but, I hope I have the privilage of meeting you someday.

Dave said...

ETIRC, at this point is probably the only secured creditor.

...And the City of ABQ for the IRB.

baron95 said...

Dave Ivedorne said ... And thus, I humbly submit for your examination and correction:
My Top Ten FPJ Shortcomings,


I vote that this list be put into a doc and linked in the Blogs first page AND be sent to the FAA and the congressman that was demanding the investigation.

Charity said...

Lets be careful here as to keep the blogs integrity. Be wary of those that may want to just give false information and laugh at what direction it takes.

FlightCenter said...

If you are interested in production numbers, Eclipse delivered 21 aircraft in July, down from 25 in June.

They are running about two thirds of an aircraft a day.

You can see all the data and some charts of their performance here.
Eclipse 500 Delivery Data

They have delivered a total of 229 aircraft. The highest serial number delivered so far is #240, not #266 as some marketing folks at Oshkosh would want you to believe.

Also this week, the FAA started backdating CofAs. They updated the records of 39 aircraft this week to show that they had received CofAs in the months of March, April and May.

There are still no CofAs listed in the FAA registry database for most of Dec, Jan, Feb and March.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Anyone who thinks that Vern or anyone else who may or not be at EAC today or tomorrow would not be part of any investigation into happenings in the past knows nothing about FAA investigations.

They will find out who was in what capacity at what time, and they will ask the questions they want answers to - not being there now is no defense/protection at all.

They will also get e-mail records, inspection records, quality records, etc.

There will be employment contracts in place with each of these people, all the way down to the designers/engineers and perhaps down to the guy pushing the broom. Those contracts define how things go down - maybe with changes of ownership, etc.

Perhaps some folks will cave under pressure but not the folks at an executive level IMO.

gadfly said...

Charity

It's not that difficult. Check with Shane, etc.

gadfly

FlightCenter said...

CW,

You are right. I spoke to a friend last week who was deposed regarding a situation that occurred 5 years ago at a company that he left 3 years ago.

The feds don't care that you no longer work there.

Troglodyte said...

Not having participated before the deadline I have no right to expect my thoughts to be incorporated or influence the Official List, but I feel compelled to contribute belatedly.

I very much like Dave Ivedorn’s well constructed list of Top 10 FPJ Shortcomings.

I would like to add for consideration some way to address the recurrent issue of NDAs which serve to limit public dissemination of characteristics and operational requirements and techniques of the aircraft resulting in reduced safety. In an ideal world these NDAs would be invalidated or made unenforceable as being harmful to public safety, the ATC system, and aviation in general.

In addition, here’s my list of EAC Shortcomings


Top 5 EAC Shortcomings

1. HUBRIS: We will revolutionize aviation and teach the dinosaurs a lesson. Not today.

2. DISHONESTY: After stating that they would be “completely transparent” Eclipse is a shining example of corporate dishonesty, duplicity, and, quite likely, fraud.

3. DISRESPECT: Knowledge and experience in the aviation industry viewed as a negative for management at Eclipse

4. POOR CORPORATE CULTURE, POOR LEADERSHIP: Not focused on process and safety.

5. ABOMINABLE RISK MANAGEMENT: Undertook foolish and impossible task of attempting to build an aircraft with a revolutionary powerplant, avionics, and airframe construction technique – all at the same time.

--Trog

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Anyone who thinks that Vern or anyone else who may or not be at EAC today or tomorrow would not be part of any investigation into happenings in the past knows nothing about FAA investigations.


CW, what FAA "investigation" are you aluding to?

I am aware of an FAA OEM audit suposedely scheduled for mid-august. That is not an investigation, it is simply a routine site "visit".

The DOT GAO "investigation" is targeted AT THE FAA. I.e. the GAO is investigating the FAA, their personnel to determine if the FAA innapropriately awarded Eclipse a TC. If any sanction recomendations come out of that investigation it will be directed at FAA/DOT personnel, not Eclipse. Eclipse is not the target of the investigation.

The first site audit is an admistrative proceeding. Peg, nor anyone is required to answer or provide any info to the FAA or even talk to them. Of course doing so, would likely cause the FAA to suspend the PC. But why would a former (or about to be former) Eclipse employee care. As a matter of fact, I can see some employees say "Want me to provide info to the FAA audit team, then pay me my full severance".

All that is to say, lets be careful not to confuse things. There is no investigation targeting Eclipse (that I know of). There is one targeting the FAA/DOT, and there is a routine site visit scheduled.

Many of us on this blog, would like the FAA to initiate a TC re-certification review of the EA500. Thus the list. But we are not there yet.

baron95 said...

Troglodyte said... 5. ABOMINABLE RISK MANAGEMENT: Undertook foolish and impossible task of attempting to build an aircraft with a revolutionary powerplant, avionics, and airframe construction technique – all at the same time

You mean like Boeing with the 787 or DeHavilland with the Commet or Aérospatiale-BAC with the Concorde.

Again, I need to caution the blog. There is no need to say everything Eclipse did was wrong. I am certainly hoping that people don't come out with the impression that the entrepeneurial spirit of Eclipse/Vern is wrong or atypical in aerospace.

Quite the contrary, innovation in this industry from Hughes, to K. Johnson, to Ruttan is driven by bold pushes beyond the state of the art at the time.

Please don't fault Eclipse/Vern for shooting for the stars ($750K jet with under 5,000 lbs MTOW and 2,000+ built per year). Those are very laudable goals. Lets encourage the next Eclipse and the next Vern to try again, this time with better execution and having the benefit of the Eclipse mistakes to learn from.

That is how progress is made.

The 707 and DC8 were great planes, in part because the Commet failed before them. The Piagio Avanti II is a great plane in part because the Beech Starship failed before it.

Even if the Eclipse/EA500 were to fail completely, they'd still provide aviation entrepenours with valuable lessons.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Rumor has it FAA has been onsite at Eclipse for the past week or two Baron.

Separate from the upcoming audit later this month that has been previously talked about here.

Possibly related to updating the AD that was released Thursday, possibly related to Brandywine, possibly related to an unreported investigation into the TC/PC - I do not know.

BTW, Starship and Piaggio were contemporaries and other than unconventional layout have zero similarities.

Dave said...

Again, I need to caution the blog. There is no need to say everything Eclipse did was wrong. I am certainly hoping that people don't come out with the impression that the entrepeneurial spirit of Eclipse/Vern is wrong or atypical in aerospace.

As long as Vern's actions were entrepreneurial spirit and not fraud. Right now can't definitely say either way whether Eclipse engaged in fraud or not, but I do suspect that if Eclipse heads for BK, there are more things that we will find out.

fred said...

mountainhigh :

what i meant :

the floor-workers of FAA did their job , no doubt about it ...

but if you know how to add 1+1 =2

it is quite easy to guess the report got "lost" somewhere in the stairways to top-management ...

hence all the special conditions and shadows around the Cert.

it is exactly the same than being CEO , main shareholder and most important client at the same time : it is not bad IF everything is ok and transparent ...

so , if some political jig made the way for Eac , in six months , US administration may change ...

on top of it , the fish (Eac) start to smell pretty rotten ...

so , here i deduce that IF there was some kind of lobbying or pressure coming from some influential ...

now the same very influential are going to pull the blanket for themselves ( not specific to anything : all over the world it did and still does happen the same way ...)

so the very same ones to "push" one way in some other times are very probably going to be the very same ones to be obfuscated at the very "special" conditions Eac got in past ...
therefor be the champion of "transparency" in the review of the matter ...!

it is nothing really new or specific , all magicians steal your wallet with right hand while attracting your attention with left hand ...

fred said...

baron ...

don't get blind at things ...!

progress is a very good thing !

but progress for itself and only in the sake of progress means nothing ...

progress has to serve mankind , not the opposite ...

even if i agree that sometime it is achieved by peoples having faith in something ...

you have to acknowledge that often progress is fruit of a mistake turned into something good ...! (penicillin is the first example to my mind !)

nonetheless , i do feel that the whole matter of discussion has been a trap for a long time ...

may be it started with some truthful intentions , but those have been lost of sight for a long time ...

and if the investors , sorry depositors wouldn't have relied on this kind of thinking (winner never quit , quitter never win) the whole story would have finished a long time ago ...

in a good way or in a bad way , but we wouldn't be expecting any fatality now ...!

Shane Price said...

To the blog.

Charity said,

Lets be careful here as to keep the blogs integrity. Be wary of those that may want to just give false information and laugh at what direction it takes.

Looks like you are right. It appears that I took 2 and 2 and made 64 yesterday.

Normally, I have two separate sources for anything I post from within EAC. This time I had one and a half....

In my defense, I did mention 'water cooler chat'. Hopefully I'll learn from this mis step and do better the next time.

So, Peg, Todd and Tina, sorry for 'firing' you yesterday.

Shane

julius said...

"Again, I need to caution the blog. There is no need to say everything Eclipse did was wrong. I am certainly hoping that people don't come out with the impression that the entrepeneurial spirit of Eclipse/Vern is wrong or atypical in aerospace."

Look at AVIO / AVIO NG: At the end of the 90's I ask myself why does'nt Cessna "put two lab tops into the cockpit" and everything is on screens, bigger moving maps etc... the idea was/is ok - but now EAC removes the key boards...
And after ten years the software is not stable... Short: AVIO /AVIO NG is trash after ten years of development.
There are other deficits (f. e. top ten).

Goodies? Fuel consumption is comparatively low - yes, especially of the hangar queens of the EA500 fleet!(Some people do not dare to fly the tiny FPJ - after passing a hard test!)

Starting a project based on high volume sales and deliveries based on data potenial investors do not understand (and accept) is challenge in terms of moral and technical decision if you play with other's money.

RV was "ousted".... he definely missed all objectives.

Look at the company - look at the current product and at the planned product! Is there anything sane?

julius

Shane Price said...

Baron95,

As usual, a beacon of common sense, in your various remarks. You will note that I provided two lists, but the 'FPJ' Top Ten is the more important. I regard the 'Top Five' as an historical record, especially with Vern as 'No. 1'. And he really did win that vote hands down.

I have a revised version of the 'Top Ten' already in the inbox, and pretty complete it is too.

'My' list is a reduction of the various forms of words that arrived here. As such, it is too 'simple' and lacks the detail a proper investigation will require.

But that's the beauty of a blog. We can work together to refine an idea and the result will be better.

The Comet 4's I flew on were lovely aircraft, much quieter than a 707 or DC-8. It was also a sleeker aircraft and somehow managed to look more modern as well.

But Concord was the business. It looked like nothing else, made an incredible sound from the outside and felt sung inside. A really special aircraft, and a privilege to have known.

Shane

fred said...

yes , shane ... !

Concorde was really a cool thing to experience ...

a bit pricey , but just the fact to arrive 3 hours before leaving was already such an exciting thing ...

airsafetyman said...

"BTW, Starship and Piaggio were contemporaries and other than unconventional layout have zero similarities."

Exactamento. If anything the Piaggio is way ahead of the Starship in design, but owes nothing to it. They both first flew in 1986. The latest version (The Avanti II) wll true out at 400 knots. Since being taken over by Fiat the production numbers are way up. A TRULY disruptive technology airplane.

julius said...

airsafetyman,

baron95 and our Ken might remind you, that Piaggio needed approx. 20 years to make good it's promise of 400 knts!
Anyhow I agree (P180): "A TRULY disruptive technology airplane."

The FPJ ist different to Window 4.0
not a NiceTrial. (That was after VR quitting MS.)

julius

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Dave wrote Is the software patch to fix the FADEC? No, I don't think so. It is only changing the range rather than the underlying dangerous code that lets the engines go full power like in Midway and Brandywine.

Dave, the behaviour, up until the pilot shut down the one engine and other side FADEC decided to do crossed throttles, was predictable (at the theoretical level). The pilot had slammed the throttle forward, so the last commanded position was full power.

I am not defending a crappy inadequate design which fails to follow Stanislaw's axiom, but the behaviour was( at that level )appropriate.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I also thing Dave I's list is the best.

Democratically voting for a list negates the expertise of certain members here. Sometimes you need more dictatership in the democracy :)

Dave I's list is far more differcult to simply ignore than the curretnly posted list, as it give an auditor specific threads to start an audit trail.

Dave said...

I am not defending a crappy inadequate design which fails to follow Stanislaw's axiom, but the behaviour was( at that level )appropriate.

Yes, poorly designed software performs poorly and Eclipse isn't fixing the root cause.

julius said...

Dave,

"Yes, poorly designed software performs poorly and Eclipse isn't fixing the root cause."

I think EAC is not willing to maintain two AVIO versions at the same time:
- Update AVIO
- Update AVIO NG.
The updates must be coordinated with the FAA. That means $$$$!
The pilots must live with an irregular throttle design until 4Q (ANN last days) - or FAA motivates EAC to do something!

julius

Turn-and-Burn said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Rumor has it FAA has been onsite at Eclipse for the past week or two Baron.

Separate from the upcoming audit later this month that has been previously talked about here.

Possibly related to updating the AD that was released Thursday, possibly related to Brandywine, possibly related to an unreported investigation into the TC/PC - I do not know.


Perhaps Eclipse in on "Double-Secret Probation". What an animal house

Dave said...

Eclipse is in a Death Spiral. I believe Eclipse has been in the death spriral that it is in since January. I'm speaking of a financial term for convertable debt where with death spiral financing, the more the company loses value (or in this case didn't meet performance targets), the more shares the death spiral financier gets. Roel went from owning less than a controlling interest in Eclipse to now owning a controlling interest without there being any money that changed hands...Eclipse themselves say the round of financing hadn't happened, yet all these changes are being made. It appears that it has been in Roel's interest for Eclipse to do poorly because he gets to take it over. It will be very interesting to see what deals and preferential treatment Eclipse made with ETIRC while Roel has been Chairman and especially CEO.

Dave said...

Why are these guys bragging about having Eclipse for a client?:
http://green.tmcnet.com/topics/green/articles/36438-irell-manella-seeks-drive-growth-disruptive-green-technologies.htm

uglytruth said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Rumor has it FAA has been onsite at Eclipse for the past week or two.

I’m not familiar with the FAA or it’s duties. I’m sure someone can answer these questions.

What are the inspectors duties?

Why would they need a special team to go in when they already had people inside?

Does the FAA inside Eclipse watch over the actual mechanical building of aircraft or over everything like software?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Julius, according to the latest AD Eclipse is already maintaining at least 4 separate configurations (4 different AFM's) - I will bet a dollar to a doughnut at least three of those are for differences in Avio, Avio NfG and NfG 1.X.

Ugly, once an OEM has DAR status (which Eclipse has unbelievably maintained so far) the FAA does not keep inspectors onsite. The FAA being onsite in any numbers at Eclipse will be for something unusual.

I expect that the PC is probably in more jeopardy than TC. Even healthy OEM's find the record keeping and quality requirements to be difficult - for a company with a culture as is evident at Eclipse even the most cursory review of inspection records (receiving, assembly, installation, etc.), even comparing e-mails/other communication from purchasing offering relief to vendors from engineering requirements (tolerances or reliability requirements for example) would clearly show whether or not the planes being hand-built and delivered actually meet type design or not - I suspect not.

This announced audit, as well as what may be ongoing now are opportunities for FAA to set this abomination right. The trust they have given to Eclipse was ill placed, Eclipse has demonstrated with every stunt flight and financial trick that they simply cannot be trusted like the established OEM's.

Let us hope that FAA takes up the chellenge to effectively meet their responsibility.

Dave said...

First is the Q2 shipments:
http://www.gama.aero/resources/statistics/dloads/2008ShipmentReport.pdf

Now the biggy is the NTSB has released their prelim report on Brandywine:
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20080807X01174&key=1
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=NYC08FA261&rpt=p
I haven't read them yet and I'm going to read them now...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No help with the Brandywine initial report other than info that pilot was slightly high and slightly fast.

This guy is a rated ATP, a bit concerning that an ATP finds the plane too much on a wet runway.

Missing is info about engine behavior and what this guy did when he realized they were leaving the runway.

Dave said...

This guy is a rated ATP, a bit concerning that an ATP finds the plane too much on a wet runway.

This aircraft isn't safe for even ATP rated pilots as Midway and Brandywine shows.

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

Wow. I just read this week's Aviation Week. Editorial, last page, is just amazing. I can't believe how dense they are. Eclipse is Vern's personal disaster driven by his personal arrogance and attitude and they still love him and buy into everything he's said. Amazing.

Dave said...

Someone looking to develop an Eclipse simulator:
http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=121&topic_id=452110&mesg_id=452155

There's also a filing regarding Eclipse Aviation Southeastern Europe and EMPoint:
http://www.etat.lu/memorial/memorial/2008/C/Pdf/c1874307.pdf
It has something to do with Roel.

There's an article in Transportation Science written by those involved in DayJet:
http://transci.journal.informs.org/cgi/content/abstract/42/3/263

here's an old article from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal that predicted what was going to happen in 2006:
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-5989743_ITM

Delbert Grady said...

I agree Just Zis Guy, if you want a good laugh today, read the editorial on the last page of Aviation Week & Space Technology regarding VR’s legacy.

To recap....
Vern is a victim.
Supply chain is to blame.
He’ll be a phoenix and rise from the flames.

Best quote:
“While he didn’t quite succeed, he certainly didn’t fail.”

Really? Is anyone in the aviation press watching the implosion in ABQ? Unbelievable!

Dave said...

Another move on the legal front is that the 8/12 prelim injunction motion hearing has been vacated and now it is up to Eclipse/Skupa to go to the court to jointly propose a new date. Is Eclipse planning on dropping that case too?

In regards to the Eclipse Asher subpoena, Bruce Castle was served to produced documents. The records aren't exactly clearly, but it looks like Asher is both seeking Eclipse deposition(s) as well as documents. At first it just looked like all Asher wanted was a depo.

Turboprop_pilot said...

I'm sitting here on the boat, in the rain, finally with WiFI and catching up on the fast breaking news. After we submit the DOT IG list, I think we should catch the interest of one of the investigative writers, like Michael Lewis, to write the book about Eclipse, Vern, Ed, dayJet, etc.

Here's a quote from a Business Week article about a book on Enron (The Smartest Guys in the Room by Peter Elkin):

Based on hundreds of interviews and fresh details from personal calendars, performance reviews, e-mails, and other documents, McLean and Elkind masterfully weave together the many strands of the Enron story. They shine in their characterizations of Enron's often incompetent executives and in their understanding of the ruthless internal politics that contributed to the company's many business and personnel mistakes. They provide keen insight into the company's powerful traders and how their brutal culture infected the rest of the company. "Though [Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey K.] Skilling was their boss, he seemed intimidated by them. They were like a powerful high school clique that terrorizes even the principal," the authors write. Yet their sprawling narrative should make it clear once and for all that Enron's demise can't be blamed solely on Fastow and his small band of greedy finance executives. The authors show how, time and time again, Skilling and Chairman Kenneth L. Lay refused to "rein in the excesses."

Who does this sound like???

I've sent links to writers from the Boston Globe, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, trying to get them to see that the story of Vern and his flying machine and his hubris, underhanded dealing makes a tale with far wider interest than our small aviation community. I have not been able to capture anyone's interest yet.

The list of evil for the DOT IG being developed is so much stronger than any one of us could do, I suggest that we develop a story outline, find the best writers who like to dig and send the outline to them. This blog represents such a deep pool of data and sources that the author would have a big head start. What does the blog think?

Turboprop_pilot

eclipso said...

Don't we have a certain publisher right here on the blog? ;)

WhyTech said...

"What does the blog think?"

As interesting as many of us think the Eclipse story is, my guess is that it will be difficult to get a mainstream investigative writer interested due to the specialized nature of the business and the fact that Vern is not exactly a major figure in the news.

Dave said...

As interesting as many of us think the Eclipse story is, my guess is that it will be difficult to get a mainstream investigative writer interested due to the specialized nature of the business and the fact that Vern is not exactly a major figure in the news.

Hard to say. I think the level of interest will depend upon how future events develop. My guess is that if Eclipse goes under, you'll see a great deal of interest from the non-specialty aviation press.

mike said...

Is my collier trophy coin worth anything yet?

uglytruth said...

Book Titles

Red Ink
Behind the Red Curtain
The rise and fall of the Vernmanator
Bright Blue Sky’s
The Albatross of Albuquerque
Unsafe at any speed
How to build an aircraft with 1.5B or less
Broken Promises
So close but yet so far
Money pit
Money, Ego’s and Failure
Pie in the sky
Pipe Dream
Sky of dreams
Startup shutdown
FL410 freefall
How to make a small fortune in the aircraft industry
The unwanted Redheaded stepchild
My Way the Sky Way A real life adventure of Vern Rayburn
Total Eclipse (of my bank account)

Dave Ivedorne said...

Dave sez:
Eclipse is in a Death Spiral. I believe Eclipse has been in the death spriral that it is in since January.

A quibble:

It certainly seems likely that we are now watching a "Death Spiral", as it were.

But January-to-August cannot be a Death Spiral - Death Spirals don't last that long. I propose that January-to-Oshkosh was "Circling the Toilet" (and a gold-plated toilet at that), and that the Death Spiral is only since then.

Pay at the first window, and then pay again at the second window, and then pull up to the empty space, and wait, and wait, and wait,
IAN,ANHB,TPOW

Dave said...

But January-to-August cannot be a Death Spiral - Death Spirals don't last that long. I propose that January-to-Oshkosh was "Circling the Toilet" (and a gold-plated toilet at that), and that the Death Spiral is only since then.

I'm talking about the funding arrangement with ETIRC back in January. Eclipse's actions very strongly make it look like that is the type of financing received from ETIRC in January. ETIRC became the majority shareholder without turning over any money - that is to me the biggest clue that Eclipse used death spiral financing and that explains what is going on now with Roel in charge because he owns a majority of Eclipse now even though he didn't in January.

Shadow said...

Does the AW&ST editorial say who wrote the Vern hook, line and sinker piece? I could gander a guess, but I thought I'd ask first.

Dave said...

More signs of trouble of DayJet. The DayJet/Tallahassee Center of Excellence website has shutdown as of 7/7/08. I guess the politicians want to erase the record of the millions of dollars that were promised to the area as a result of them spending taxpayer money.

Shadow said...

Another possible book title: "Totally Eclipsed: How a very light jet maker kept investors, customers and FAA in the dark"

Dave said...

More on death spiral financing:
http://sophisticatedfinance.typepad.com/sophisticated_finance/2008/05/post.html
http://www.stockpatrol.com/article/key/deathspiral

If Eclipse has subsequently diluted their shares from 2005, it looks like not only Eclipse has some questions to answer:
Mr. Birk said Fort Washington also had an “animated discussion” on the varying share prices but at the same time took into consideration the progress of the Eclipse program and where they are today vis-à-vis certification, and became comfortable with that. In addition, he said, Eclipse has instituted full ratchet anti-dilution price protection, which is extremely rare and is essentially “an audacious way of saying, we’re betting that we will never have a down round on the share price.” Under this scenario, if Eclipse has another round after this one and the shares are, say, half the price at $47.50, every person who bought shares at $95 will immediately have their shares doubled so there is no dilution.
http://www.sic.state.nm.us/PDF%20files/SIC%20minutes%208-23-05.pdf
There's been nothing further in the NM SIC minutes that anti-dilution protection had been removed.

TBMs_R_Us said...

Wonder how many shareholders they have. They could do a written consent of the shareholders for a dilutive round of financing, without filing any revised papers with the state.

Dave said...

In 2004, the value of the Company’s investment in Series D Preferred stock of
Eclipse Aviation Corporation was written down by $768,000 to its estimated
recoverable value of $759,000. This estimation is based on management’s review
of Eclipse’s financial results and forecasts. Should these forecasts significantly
deteriorate; the Company will write down the investment further when management
determines that there has been any further impairment in the value of the investment
that is other than temporary.

http://www.avcorp.com/snapfiles/Investor%20Relations/2006%20Avcorp%20Annual%20Report.pdf
They bought in at $190 a share. I think they're going to need to revise that again...

Dave said...

Wonder how many shareholders they have. They could do a written consent of the shareholders for a dilutive round of financing, without filing any revised papers with the state.

Yes, Eclipse could have I presume, but the NM SIC is supposed to record what is going on. Board minutes are meant to be objective, not just say the good things.

Those in New Mexico can ask their governor why he took money from Eclipse while giving Eclipse taxpayer money and only recording the good things but not the bad things about Eclipse while acting as a fiduciary. I don't have an inherent problem with death spiral financing, just I question the way it went about at Eclipse (if that's what happened in January) and how the New Mexico politicians treated the taxpayers. If death spiral financing was involved while simultaneously having Vern become Chairman at Eclipse, that could separately make things very interesting because the worse Eclipse does, the more he'd own of it.

WhyTech said...

"Eclipse has instituted full ratchet anti-dilution price protection, which is extremely rare and is essentially “an audacious way of saying, we’re betting that we will never have a down round on the share price.”

Actually it is investors who usually require a full ratchet precisely because they believe that a down round is likely. A company raising money will typically resist this provision of an offer of financing, and will only accept it if they cant get the financing done without it.

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

Back in the mid 1940's, we had a Cocker Spaniel, “Dusty” . . . it was a good dog, and as I recall, we could buy “horse meat” for pet food from the local butcher shop in Burbank, California . . . for the dog. It was cheap meat . . . non rationed . . . came in three grades, “Win, Place, and Show”! No, . . . I’m pulling your leg . . . the grades didn’t exist, but if someone wished to eat the stuff, there weren’t any restrictions that I can remember. There was also “rabbit” and “chicken” . . . and they didn’t take any coupons . . . but that’s another story. (To this day, I don’t like rabbit . . . greasy as a sales pitch for a certain little jet.)

There were still some Lockheed “Hudson” bombers flying overhead . . . in British camouflage, with the circles painted on the sides of the fuselage, with the woman pilots flying them to a war a half world away. Those were excellent times . . . people understood exactly the identity of the enemy . . . and we were all on the same team . . . a fading memory!

Here we are, sixty some years later, discussing what appears to be a horse, without a pulse, and trying to decide what to do with the carcass. You can argue back and forth how much it’s worth . . . by the pound or whatever . . . but time is running out until the thing must be eaten or buried. For my part, I vote for the shovel or back hoe.

gadfly

(You have no idea, how deep a hole it takes to bury a dead horse! Our dog would probably try to dig the thing up, but other than that this thing isn’t even worth “fertilizer” . . . )

Dave said...

Here we are, sixty some years later, discussing what appears to be a horse, without a pulse, and trying to decide what to do with the carcass.

Eclipse is a dead horse walking, but its not dead yet. Perhaps we should have a WAG as to when Eclipse heads to the mortuary (BK court).

GettingReady2FileSuit said...

Eclipse is a dead horse walking, but its not dead yet. Perhaps we should have a WAG as to when Eclipse heads to the mortuary (BK court).

6 weeks.

gadfly said...

Dave

Pardon this old “dude” for not fully understanding the lingo (I come from an ancient tribe . . . in New Mexico we would be called the “ancient ones”, the “Anasazi, English/Scottish branch”) . . . there are so many paths down which to trod . . . my best guess as to “WAG”, is “Wild Ass Guess” . . . did I come close to your intent?

(My kids have a camp, “Camp Oro Quay”, with a buffalo . . . “Barney” by name . . . and a donkey, come to think of it, . . . but somehow it didn’t quite fit. Next year, they plan on serving “Barney Burgers” . . . and maybe not! It might freak out the kids.)

We have “Dead Man Walking” . . . and all that liberal nonsense. And I have friends in the local mortuary business . . . but they don’t do horses, what with the high cost of embalming fluid these days . . . well, you get the picture.

Sometime in the future, there may be a museum with the “little jet, mounted”, sort of like “Trigger” and “Bullet”, the dog (Roy Rogers never liked folks to say that “Trigger” was stuffed . . . he was “mounted” . . . and Dale Evans always wondered what would happen to her, if Roy had lived longer.)

But I can picture it now . . . somewhere down in “Old Town”, or out west past “Nine Mile Hill” . . . “Last chance before the desert, Get a water bag, see the rattle snakes, a genuine “Jackalope”, and a stuffed “E500" . . . right off “Old 66", your last opportunity before you hit the desert in Arizona.”

And you know what? . . . Business will be booming!

gadfly

(Shucks . . . they’ll make more money on a “stuffed” E500, than when the critter actually existed . . . Stuffed E500's and Jackalope . . . a winning combination, for sure.)

Shane Price said...

Uglytruth,

I've been giving the matter some thought myself. The best one I've managed so far is:

'A jet is for life, not just for Christmas'

It kinda gets across the Fisher Price Jet idea, as well as the whole fantasy thing that Vern tried to sell.

And, like all Christmas toys, it will be broken by New Year's Eve.

What do you think?

Shane

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

Without belaboring the point, virtually all successful aircraft from Wilbur and Orville to the present, were designed by single individuals, or closely knit teams that understood each other as if they were “joined at the hip” . . . and never by “committees”. ‘Sorry to burst a bubble, but the present little bird, designed by “committee” breaks the mold . . . almost, but not quite.

The Bible talks about the allegiance between two masters . . . and here, in the arena of aircraft design, we have not “two”, but a strange mix of various designers . . . etc., ad nauseum . . . What a farce!

As a successful designer, and inventor, with my own share of patents, licenses, royalties, etc., with those devices in the world market, I can say without apology, a designer must have authority over the final design, no matter who may have contributed to the overall progress of development. A single person must have the vision, including the final goal . . . and no matter who or what may contribute to the effort, only the “first”, with the vision can finally succeed.

gadfly

(As a disclaimer: It may not matter who wins . . . I don’t have a dog in this fight financially . . . yet having been involved indirectly, and directly in the aircraft industry, since I was paid a penney to sweep out a machine shop at the age of five or six . . . I care deeply about the direction and future of the aircraft industry. And, if that is not enough motivation, my own Father invented the very systems . . . both flight control and inertial restraint systems, that are the defacto standards of the entire aircraft industry, today. Yes, I am most passionate about the direction of general aviation. And I make no apologies.)

baron95 said...

From the NTSB prelim report:
According to the pilot's written statement, He had the airplane "topped off" prior to departing for OQN.

During a visual approach for runway 27 at OQN, .... [B95: a very short and wet runway]... He believed that he was "a little high" on the approach so he "dipped down." As he passed the runway threshold his speed was "a little high," but he thought it was manageable.


Not to harp on the pilot, but:
a) This plane was very close to max landing weight (topped off before a short flight).
b) Runway was tight for the EA500, was wet and temperature was 20F above standard.
c) That should have put the pilot on notice to be on top of his game.
d) For an ATP pilot to, by his own admission, to fly that sloppy an approach is, on the surface, innexcusable.

You don't fly final on a jet by "I'm too high, so I'll dip" followed by "I think I am too fast, but I'll manage".

Come on!!!

If I flew my C152 during my flight training like that on final my instructor would promptly wack me on the back of my head with charts.

This is almost as bad as the baseball player in the 70s (forgot his name) deciding to fly the C501 approach with no flaps and a high sink rate and almost forgeting to lower the gear, only to end up dead at the end of some crazy T&G stunts.

That is too bad, that it cost the EA500 its first hull loss. Thank god it did not cost a life.

It just prooves the point that, as bad/incomplete an airframe can be, in the end, it is us, the pilots, that cause most of the accidents.

Shane Price said...

Inbox is humming away...

Seems our friends at EAC are spinning the Brandywine incident like mad. The pilot was at fault of course (Vern may be gone, but they haven't forgotten) and the jet saved the day by being so strong it survived a '20g impact'. No mention of foam needed to shut down the engine.

More bad news for position holders. I hear that, out of 11 available positions on one of the production lines, only three are occupied, and no more hulls have been added in the past few weeks.

Those seeking refunds are in the worst possible scenario right now. Several sources at EAC have confirmed that no cash will be spent making these people happy, for a number of months at least.

Two more of these unfortunate people contacted the blog today. Not good to see, first hand, the really disruptive effect EAC is having on their lives. What makes me more annoyed is that it seems there is no plan (or even a plan to have a plan) for EAC to sort out the problems.

Oh, and Elvis has finally left the building. They cleared his office out yesterday.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, until we have a lot more data I think using the ATP pilot's 2 statements as all the facts needed to determine what happened is a bit premature.

Did the engines go to idle when commanded, did he try and shut the engines down BEFORE he caged the electrics, etc.

Frankly though, no amount of memory items in the AFM or training can overcome an airplane that appears to have inadequate braking, no lift dumps and which would be marginal going into a 3300' strip.

This plane is supposed to be a Bonanza or Baron in the pattern, I have flown heavy A-36's into short fields a number of times, even in the mountains, 3300' would not even get my pulse up.

The more we learn the less makes sense.

But an ATP's concept of a 'little high' or a 'little fast' is not the same as a private pilot.

No, I think we need much more data, data that the NTSB should now have, to see what, if anything, the plane contributed to this accident.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

It's a preliminary report, not the final one. Let's give the NTSB a chance to finish before we draw too many conclusions.

Let EAC do the spinning. It's really all they are any good at now...

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

This reminds me of Airbus tossing the pilots under the bus after the demonstration accident that resulted in the loss of an A-320.

The fires were still burning when Airbus declared 'pilot error'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kHa3WNerjU

It would be months before we learned the real issue was that the control laws refused to obey the pilot's go-around.

For years, Airbus and Boeing had distinctly different approaches to FBW, the Boeing will always do what you tell it, the Airbus could refuse.

That has since changed.

To the Boeing approach.

gadfly said...

Baron

Give it up, my friend . . . this thing is a disaster. It has no room for human error . . . and we could talk from now until next “Tuesday” about the lack of judgement of the pilot. That is fine . . . but not the issue.

This flying thing . . . call it anything you wish . . . is a collection of “excuses and accusations” . . . looking for an excuse for existence.

When I go down to the Lexus dealer, I present a check for a car that meets every claim of the brochure. They deliver said vehicle to my door . . . and a few thousand miles later, I give them a call, expecting someone to pick it up, perform certain items on a check list, and return it, washed and vacuumed, to my door. And I am one happy camper.

The “E500" costs many times my “Lexus”, yet performs less than . . . what? . . . I dare not go down the list of low-end Detroit garbage, that pretends to be modern day modes of transportation.

What in the world is going on! . . . an aircraft that can’t outperform an automobile “look-a-like”? And with less safety than a “go kart”?

gadfly

(Even the last year of my Dad’s life, 1957, his little “go cart”, over in the Rose Bowl parking lot, could bring the driver, a “kid”, not much older than the little girl back at Brandywine airport, to a stop, safely, from forty-five miles per hour. It seems that a jet has trouble achieving a slightly higher goal . . . amazing!)

Dave said...

No, I think we need much more data, data that the NTSB should now have, to see what, if anything, the plane contributed to this accident.

I agree that we don't know enough. Like for instance it sounds like pilot tried to stop the plane but couldn't (both by his statements as well as the half mile long skid marks). Is that because the engines locked? For all we know this might or might not have been the pilot's fault and if it was the pilot's fault, how much the poor design contributed to the loss of the aircraft. If this had been on another plane for instance, perhaps it wouldn't have been a minor incident or not even an incident at all. The landing gear was made for a much lighter aircraft (as the FPJ was originally going to be), so that reduces the margin for error compared to an aircraft that is built with more quality. Perhaps this pilot has experience with many other aircraft where in the same situations in the past with those aircraft not so much as a blown tired happened due to their quality but the same issue in the Eclipse led to it being destroyed.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Interesting that the pilot specifically mentions having to 'pump' the brakes.

Interesting given the number of brake failures and tires flattened in the SDR database.

Most of the reports mention a routine need to pump up the brakes before landing, sometimes during landing - followed by asymmetric braking, tires faling, etc.

There are reports of the brake system leaking down and of hydraulic fluid leaks under the floorboards.

This is pure, unadulterated piss poor assembly in quality.

Leaky brake lines? Mike Press's embarassing parking brake issue.

How many incidents, accidents and SDR reports are necessary for someone at the Fed to recognize there are both design and assembly issues here?

Surely the preponderance of SDR reports on brake and tire failures, along with Midway and Brandywine clearly show a problem and not just that, but a common problem that occurs during one of the most critical phases of flight.

The data is all right here guys - in your own databases, you just need to read it and put it all together

airsafetyman said...

The problem seems to be that there is no way to get weight on the main tires quickly during a normal landing or on a rejected take-off. The designers left out thrust reversers, ground spoilers, and ground flaps. You might not need them all but you need whatever gets the weight on the tires quickly. After the weight is on the tires you need anti-skid working through a healthy set of brakes to get the airplane stopped. They left out good brakes and anti-skid also. These incidents are happening on mostly dry runways. There is no way to stop the airplane on an icy runway. No way at all.

Dave said...

There is no way to stop the airplane on an icy runway. No way at all.

It doesn't sound like the FIKI retrofit (assuming they actually get done) would help either.

gadfly said...

Dave

The fact is that all of us know far too much . . . and all of the excuses in the world won't make this thing any safer, now or in the future.

It is a "joke" . . . a monstrosity.

Sooner or later . . . possibly, sooner than later, someone will be killed.

It no longer matters if Eclipse ever makes a profit (it won’t), or if the politicians of New Mexico serve time in a gated community (they should, but probably won’t), . . . it finally comes down to a few hundred workers that had high hopes of producing aircraft far into the future (they won’t, and now must find other work), and what to do with the remains of unfulfilled promises, and how to cover up the fiasco that is now part of the history of New Mexico, and the FAA, the NTSB, and the DOT.

Prediction: A couple years from now, it will be a distant memory . . . covered over . . . and we’ll be more concerned with a civil war in Georgia (not the state in the US of A, but the thing near Russia).

The management of “Eclipse” is not totally stupid . . . they know that the public memory has a limit of a few weeks at most . . . and a year from now, almost no-one will know about Eclipse. They better get “hopping” . . . take whatever is of value, and get over the border . . . even in New Mexico, they only have so much time.

gadfly

(Watch out down near El Paso . . . the border patrol may be on the alert!)

I AM NOT VERN said...

Investigative reporter's book title:

Vern Raburn: The Fickle Finger of Fate

My guess on bankruptcy...September 16th. First day after the end of their possible quarter. Probably have quarterly obligations to meet.

And no, I'm still not Vern

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Baron, until we have a lot more data I think using the ATP pilot's 2 statements as all the facts needed to determine what happened is a bit premature.

Shane Price said...
Baron,

It's a preliminary report, not the final one. Let's give the NTSB a chance to finish before we draw too many conclusions.


Sure, we'll wait for the NTSB final. But the accident is news NOW. The probable cause is relevant NOW. Not 18 months from now. And we know that on a non fatal minor accident, like this one, the pilots statements, the conditions are 90% of the input the NTSB will consider. Cursory A/C systems check will be the remaining 10%.

I'm willing to be a dinner with either of you that, 18-24 months down the line the NTSB probably cause will read something like: "Failure of the PIC to maintain proper approach airspeed and path resulting in touchdown at higher than normal speed". Contributory factors may read something like: "Short and wet runway. Failure of the PIC to apply full breaking force early enough".

As to the pilot.... these were his "on the reccord" accounts to the FAA/NTSB. Why would he mention being too high and too fast to the NTSB, unless he thought these were significant factors? In fact, he is likely downplaying the extent of these factors.

I can't commet on you not breaking a sweat lading a Bonanaza on a 3000' strip on the mountains, but whenever I land a Baron on a 3000'strip I sit up and put the A-game on. If it is wet, I put the A++ game on, and have a go-around mind set. I.e. I assume I'll go around. If everything is absolutely right in terms or airspeed, gusts, touchdown point, breaking action, etc - then I land to a full stop.

He had a full fuel load. He could have gone around 20 times that day. He was sloppy eough to fly a destabilized approach with too high/dip/too fast AND he didn't enough judgement to discontinue the landing. That is the definition of a pilot error chain leading to an accident.

Yes, I am being premature. Yes, I am makig assumptions. Yes, I am speculating. And that is absolutely proper here, in a discussion forum, where I play no official role in the investigation.

The NTSB should look at everything, be thorough and take their time to issue the final report. I, OTOH, am free to put forward my opinion.

Ad my opinion is that ATPs should not fly jets into tight runways this way.

WhyTech said...

"ATPs should not fly jets into tight runways this way."

I agree, but keep in mind that having "ATP" on the certificate only means that you once passed a written exam and a checkride, it doesnt mean that one is a safe, competent pilot. I know a few ATP's I would not fly with. Period.

baron95 said...

be = bet
probably = probable
lading = landig

(sorry for all the typos - keyboard and brain have sticky keys, but since Gad is aroud, I need to at least try to type correctly)

baron95 said...

LANDING (geez)

WhyTech said...

Ad = And
aroud = around

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

First off - I always use my A game, it is expected when you hold a Commercial license.

Second, there are facts that are known by others, not us on this board, that may show that there were other issues in this landing attempt.

Third, the 'facts' you derive from the preliminary are totally different than what I glean from it.

I hear a pilot, with a reportedly varied and extensive flying background, who based on his experience (remember, ATP) determined that he was a little high and a little fast - but not so much not to attempt a landing. He then found that he had to pump the brakes for effectiveness, and the plane then veered off the runway. We have 2,200 feet of skidmarks which indicates insufficient feedback to the pilot. He felt that a go-around was unwise.

Once the plane came to a rest, at least one engine would not shutdown and had to be foamed until it flamed out.

The landing gear were all collapsed, the plane suffered significant damage.

We have countless tire and brake failures in the SDR record.

We have leaks and mushy brakes throughout the SDR reports.

We have FADECs which are cross controlled in a way that even the manufacturer did not apparently understand completely and which the FAA was unaware of.

We have other electrical and avionics systems like the autopilot, the actuators and the CAS message system that fail with regularity, sometimes for real, sometimes only imagined.

We have a company that has been flirting with financial failure for quite some time and we all know what that typically does to quality.

We have two incidents in less than 60 days were people could have been killed by this airplane.

You can put on the rose colored glasses and accept the Verntastical spin if you want to, but I predict when the full story of this accident and the next one (hopefully not but I see a pattern here) come to light we will find the plane is far more to blame.

gadfly said...

If Howard Hughes or Wiley Post or Jimmy Doolittle were the initial pilots to fly this bird, we could give them certain warnings, and they would do more than excellent. But that not being the case, there is no excuse for the lack of adequate brakes, flaps, spoilers, etc., etc., on this contraption.

Here I sit at the shop, waiting for a major thunderstorm to abate . . . in Albuquerque, wondering what the little jet would do if it were up today, wanting to land. Fortunately, ABQ has some very long runways. But even here, on a day like today, the little bird would be out of its league . . . attempting to land in this passing thunderstorm. I can picture Noah, waiting for God to seal the door on the “Ark” . . . in the late history of our 4.5 billion years, on our little planet.


Well, it sounds like the rain has slacked . . . and I will attempt to get from the shop to my RX300 . . . and head for home.

Thank God for Michelin’s and All Wheel Drive. It’s a shame that the same cannot be claimed for the little jet . . . the “All Wheel Drive” part, and the anti-lock braking system.

gadfly

(Hey, it’s absolutely quiet, outside . . . who would have guessed just a half hour ago! It’s a reminder, that emergencies rarely give a thirty-minute warning . . . they happen when they happen!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And the shock of it all, Darth Campbell has covered the NTSB preliminary (in typical soft glove fashion) but has still failed to acknowledge the drop of the subpeona, the drop of the underlying NM case, the refund debacle, the delay in modifications, or any of the other issues brought up.

I suppose that simply being another 'glorified' blogger, that is to be expected, only a real journalist is expected to print corrections, report new information and to do it with a minimum of bias.

airsafetyman said...

"And we know that on a non fatal minor accident.."

I don't think sticking the mains through the wings is classified as a "minor accident". Try "substantial damage".

Dave said...

Not an aviation accident, but it shows how fatally important it is to have proper tires:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jsj8NREvyAiE5hd3VxVS_3Br4wUgD92EFH880
Eclipse's landing gear and tires were designed for the pre-PW FPJ and because Eclipse was too cheap, they decided to endanger those who fly the FPJ instead of provide safe equipment.

Dave said...

An Albuquerque aviation manufacturer has released about 190 temporary workers.
http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_10143316

x said...

Dayjet Utilization August 3-8
drops under 100 hours this week, reason unknown?

Craft .. August 3-8
145 .. 12:51
152 .. 12:50
141 .. 10:17
161 .. 9:41
139 .. 9:01
147 .. 8:13
142 .. 7:11
153 .. 5:54
163 .. 4:08
150 .. 4:01
135 .. 3:09
134 .. 2:30
156 .. 2:24
132 .. 1:00
158 .. 0:40
136 .. 0:19
109 ..
110 ..
115 ..
116 ..
119 ..
126 ..
130 ..
131 ..
146 ..
148 ..
160 ..
162 ..
Total 94:09

Dave said...

Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation announced Friday August 8, 2008 that is laying off 200 employees, mostly temporary staff used on the production line, to adjust for lower-than-forecast production rates. Eclipse had hoped to build 450-plus Eclipse 500 VLJs this year, but it has been unable to ramp up to more than 200 to 250 units. Mike McConnell, VP sales and marketing declined to identify the cause of the production shortfall, but he did say that the company needs to adjust its expenses to align with its income from aircraft deliveries.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/business_aviation/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3A2f16318d-d960-4e49-bc9f-86f1805f2c7fPost%3A092817fb-6624-482a-af10-c073ef38b178

baron95 said...

airsafetyman said...
"And we know that on a non fatal minor accident.."

I don't think sticking the mains through the wings is classified as a "minor accident". Try "substantial damage".


In an event without injuries, for it to be classified as an accident there has to be substatial damage. EVERY NTSB initial accident report will either list "serious injuries", "fatal injuries" or "substantial damage". Those words/findings are required for the NTSB to establish jurisdiction for an accident investigation. It is what establishes that there WAS and accident to investigate.

Major Accident = substantial loss of life.

Average Accident = some loss of life.

Minor Accident = no loss of life, some injuries.

Trivial Accident = no loss of life or injuries.

So, I should have written "trivial" accident. This is the most trivial of accidents the NTSB investigates. A run of the mill runway overrun with no injuries and a mostly intact (as in one piece) airframe.

And guess who gets sent to investigate these? Yep, you are right, it is the NTSB trainee (not even a team).

Now, this year, in case you haven't noticed, fatal GA accidents in the US are way, way down. About half what it was just 2 years ago. So the NTSB has some "spare capacity", which is a good thing. So hopefully someone at the NTSB will actually do some true investigation here. But don't hold your breath. The NTSB is great when it comes to major accidents. But their track reccord investigating the run of the mill GA accident is terrible. They simply cut and paste from report to report and clear their plate.

baron95 said...

he did say that the company needs to adjust its expenses to align with its income from aircraft deliveries.


More mature discipline?

I don't think Eclipse is going to make it to a profitable business in its current form, but at least it looks like someone is managing the business.

Even a business that is failing needs to be managed.

non-nda-stories said...

Baron 95

the name you want is

Thurman Lee Munson (June 7, 1947 – August 2, 1979

Charity said...

The last time they did layoff's they said they were all "temporary workers". This time they say the same thing. I WONDER IF THE EMPLOYEES EVER KNEW THEY WERE TEMPORARY?
Im so disgusted with a company that is always passing the buck, never taking responsibility, thinks their s*(@ dont stink, throws suppliers under the bus and is just so obviously stupid with their money. They always have "conferences" "meetings" and "events" but cant refund customer deposits or pay suppliers. Suppliers have had to lay off so many people because of Eclipse. Lets see here, if even one of those over paid Execs or VP's would defer even a percentage of their HUGE salary for a couple of months...deposits could get refunded and suppliers would get paid. They say "they sympathize".
REALLY? GAG!!!!! They just dont get how S*#! falls down hill. I hope they are comfortable in their million dollar homes and can sleep well as the lay offs both with them and their suppliers continue.
(Please note that I am not saying that its just because a company is failing. Companies fail all of the time. But this one is due to outright ignorance and negligance)

I dont care if their airplane can hold up in a crash or not...I would never buy one for the simple fact that they are awful people. Its almost like everyone as a condition of hire signs a document saying they will immediately get rid of every bit of ethics or common sense they have ever had. SICK!

Problem Or Not said...

Wow,
I just processed out earlier this week.

I gave it a year, not a day longer, and have now left.

I've returned to the FBO I left, where they're welcoming me back with open arms.

I return to my old job on Monday.

It feels SO good to be back.

Thanks Shane, for your support...yes we have communicated.

It's over, at least for me...

airsafetyman said...

"EVERY NTSB initial accident report will either list "serious injuries", "fatal injuries" or "substantial damage". Those words/findings are required for the NTSB to establish jurisdiction for an accident investigation."

Nope, wrong AGAIN Baron. the NTSB is reponsible for investigating All aircraft accidents. In practice, they delegate many of the minor accidents to the FAA. The NTSB will still make a report. If necessary the board will investigate a no-injury, no- damage, incident. And they will do it with the front-line investigators as well.

The words "serious injuries, fatal injuries, or substantial damage" are NOT in many of the NTSB preliminary or final reports when they are not applicable. And the NTSB does not send trainees out alone, EVER.

Shane Price said...

Lets examine the abrupt laying off of those '190 temporary workers' in a bit more detail.

Word reaches me that the vast majority of them were experienced aviation contractors, hired in to provide the skills lacking in key areas, and also to provide the boost to production to get to the 'two per day' deemed necessary for profitability.

I also understand that many were agency workers, and that these agencies were not getting paid. In other words, either EAC let them go or a lot of them were getting pulled anyway.

But even with 200 or so less people, EAC are still trying to make money building fewer jets, to a lower quality standard, with higher cost parts, due to lack of volume.

This at a time when the order book is uncovered for the sham it always was and many of the 'Die Hards' are trying, desperately, to get their deposits back.

Can anyone explain to me how all of this makes sense?

Shane

uglytruth said...

Shane....If any of this made sense this blog would not exist!

If this does make sense to anyone....god help ya.

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