Thursday, October 2, 2008

EAC stumbles on...


"SUMMARY:
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Harco Labs, Inc.  part numbers 100435-39, 100435-39-001, 100435-40, and 100435-40-001 pitot/angle of attack (AOA) probes installed on, but not limited to Eclipse Aviation Inc. Model EA500 airplanes. This AD requires you to incorporate information into the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) that will allow operation only under day visual flight rules (VFR) and allow only a VFR flight plan. This AD also requires you to test the pitot/AOA probes for heater performance and replace the pitot/AOA probe if it fails the heater performance test. This AD results from several reports of airspeed disagree caution indication due to blockage from freezing condensation within the pitot/AOA system. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct improperly performing pitot/AOA probe heaters, which could result in blockage within the pitot/AOA system from condensation freezing with consequent incorrect indication of impact air pressure (airspeed/AOA). This blockage could lead to the stall warning becoming unreliable and the stick pusher, overspeed warning, autopilot, and yaw damper to malfunction."

Ooops, not ANOTHER one. Between the previous AD's, the SDR's, which prompted the FAA's own SCR and the numerous reports of false CAS messages, PFD's going blank, burst tires, stuck throttles and the rest I'm beginning to wonder how much longer this show will go on.

There is another serious issue 'lurking' in the elevator trim actuators and/or control software. I have reports of at least three separate instances where these failures resulted in 'unscheduled' landings, one of which involved a declaration by the pilots of an emergency. EAC have told the FAA that they are 'changing supplier' of these parts, but I've also been told that the 'new' parts are proving unreliable in the field. Another example of 'disruptive technology'...

I don't know about you, but I'm kinda losing track of the limitations of the FPJ. They seem to have been one of the contributing factors in the effective demise of DayJet. Herewith a quote from their press release announcing the cessation of operations:-

"This shutdown is a direct consequence of the company’s inability to arrange critical financing in the midst of the current global financial crisis. The company’s operations have also suffered as a result of Eclipse Aviation’s failure to install missing equipment or functionality or repair agreed technical discrepancies in accordance with the terms of DayJet’s aircraft purchase contract."

That's pretty black and white in laying the blame at EAC's door. Yes, their funding was suspect, but they were not helped by the limitations imposed on operations by 'missing equipment'. Sure makes you wonder who will buy the 28 FPJ's lined up outside the EAC shop at Gainsville FL.

And another thing. Chad Trautvetter at Aviation International News reports that UBS, the bank charged by Roel Pieper CEO at EAC with finding "$200 million" in funding is reporting a '30%' decline in the biz av market. That will make it real easy for UBS to pitch the idea to prospective investors won't it? I'm sure they will put this information front and center with any client who expresses an interest. Matt Thurber, also at AIN, has provided a valuable report on the DOT IG hearings. These two excellent aviation journalists have 'bookended' the challenges facing Roel Pieper right now.

Those depositors/position holders who requested a refund are between a rock and a hard place. I've maintained contact with a number of them since they were 'officially' notified that they were not getting any money until/if the new funding mentioned above became available. EAC have played 'hardball' with these people, making it quite clear that any attempt to force repayment could result in bankruptcy for EAC and result in the loss of their deposits/progress payments. Despite these warnings, at least one has proceeded into court, where the outcome is awaited with interest in many places.

Several reports reach me from reliable sources that the 'brain drain' continues at the factory. The remaining aviation professionals are leaving as soon as alternative employment becomes available. Almost 20% of middle managers took advantage of a company offer of two months salary to leave on or before Friday last. Not a great offer, but better than nothing, which is what those left behind appear to be heading for. Seems the only business booming in ABQ these days is aviation headhunters hiring hotel rooms to hold interviews....

It's coming up to 9 months since this blog, the 'NG' version of Stan's original, kicked off. In that time, 48 headline posts (including this one) have generated almost 10,000 comments. A Google search for 'Eclipse Aviation' lists this site second only to the EAC home page. Suppliers, customers, staff and 'interested parties' are in regular contact via email or on the phone. Journalists, industry watchers and aviation professionals are regular readers and sometime contributors. We've even had a headline post from the self describe 'Cardinal', Ken Meyer who is an FPJ owner and leader of the fan club for EAC.

Not bad for a specialist blog, I think you'll agree. Let's all try to keep it relevant, focused and most important, moving forward. EAC always wanted to be leaders in disruptive technology. I pretty sure 'we' were not part of their vision!

Wherever you read this, enjoy your work, play as hard as possible and cherish time with friends and family.

Shane

134 comments:

fred said...

UBS to find 200M$ ...

i wouldn't bet too much on this ...

the Bank has been hit really hard by the "Subprime Crisis" , they estimated themselves their net losses on the subject to a little more than 19 Billions $ while experts estimate it at some 37 billions $.

in 2007 was getting 29 B$ worth of deposit for each quarter , now they have diminution of deposit equivalent to 10B$ per quarter .

their Market capitalization has dropped of some 50 Billions $ .

Their rating has been downgraded since the beginning of crisis by Fitch , S&P and Moody's

they plan to reduce the work-force

rumors state that they have a plan to get ride of either their Stamford , Connecticut Headquarters or their UBS Tower in Chicago .

they suffered an 1 Billion $ write-down for the Payne weber story.

on top of this they still have to deal with the Fiscal scandal in USA .

definitely , i wouldn't bet too much on them , not far from thinking EAC is none of their problem ...

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Even more surprising is when you do a search on the dockets site (http://dockets.justia.com/search?q=Eclipse+Aviation+Corporation)
for all cases involving EAC. Anyone have details on these:

Bilger v. EAC
Loeb Holding Corp. v. EAC
Mayer Capital Holdings v. EAC
Geiger Excavating Inc. v. EAC
Pendleton v. EAC (2007)
Bernache v. EAC (2007)
Pro Fab Inc. v. EAC (2005)

The older one’s may have already been completed...so my bad if this is old news.
;-)

E.D.T.

Dave said...

Bilger v. EAC
Loeb Holding Corp. v. EAC
Mayer Capital Holdings v. EAC
Geiger Excavating Inc. v. EAC
Pendleton v. EAC (2007)
Bernache v. EAC (2007)
Pro Fab Inc. v. EAC (2005)


They're all still ongoing except for Pro Fab. Eclipse actually has been in much more litigation yhan your list.

baron95 said...

Dave said... They're all still ongoing except for Pro Fab. Eclipse actually has been in much more litigation yhan your list.

And at least two of those are owners seeking refunds. Which makes it even more baffling that Ken is trying to dissuade the depositors from organizing and suing as a group.

I don't think Roel wants to declare bankruptcy now, I think he wants to stretch this to complete his deals in Russia, etc. The depositors/owners probably have thier last chance to act and position to get out of a bad dream.

Why they are so passive is beyond me.

Dave said...

And at least two of those are owners seeking refunds.

The top four are all seeking customer refunds.

Which makes it even more baffling that Ken is trying to dissuade the depositors from organizing and suing as a group.
I don't think Roel wants to declare bankruptcy now, I think he wants to stretch this to complete his deals in Russia, etc. The depositors/owners probably have thier last chance to act and position to get out of a bad dream.


The more the delay and division there is amongst the customers, the easier it is for Roel to make off with everything. Roel is taking money out of Eclipse. The more time goes on, the more money and assets Roel sends outside the US making it very difficult to get back. Customers should act now to at least hope to get a few scraps rather than have Roel steal everying away.

fred said...

dave :

#The more time goes on, the more money and assets Roel sends outside the US making it very difficult to get back #

no , customers seeking refunds will be left with the parked EA500 ...

apart this ....

Dave said...

With Pro Fab they sued for around $900K for failure of Eclipse to pay the vendor, but Eclipse settled with them.

Dave said...

Bill Bonder now works for LiveTV:
http://www.livetv.net/

baron95 said...

Who is Bill Bonder again? I forgot.

Black Tulip said...

Given his surname he must have been the guy who ran the friction stir welding machine.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

Who is Bill Bonder again? I forgot.

Departed EAC June 12th, formerly in charge of avoiding creditors.

Sorry, he was "VP of Supply Chain Management"

He wrote a rather nice email on his departure, actually.

I mentioned '10,000' comments in the headline here. I should really try to get a handle on how many emails...

Shane

baron95 said...

Thanks - I have some business deals with LiveTV/JetBLue - so maybe I'll get to meet him.

Dave said...

Something else to consider with Eclipse is to compare Roel Pieper (ETIRC) to Warren Buffett (NetJets). Warren Buffett has made himself as well as many others very rich because he has repeatedly made the right decisions. NetJets has the largest private fleet in the world with 750 jets and NetJets european fleet is the largest in the region at 150. Ask yourself if ETIRC can really be taken seriously with its orders for a european fleet larger than NetJets? If there was this huge demand for 2300 jets (primarilly in the "air taxi" category per Eclipse/DayJet), why isn't Buffett vastly increasing the size of his fleet to meet with this demand? Buffett's fleet is agnostic and mixed and offers many options while Roel is saying hundreds/thousands of just one model will be flown by ETIRC.

baron95 said...

Hey Shane, Fred, maybe the two of you can team up and find out what happened to the $8B from Lehman's UK operation. We know it was pulled out of London before they filed, but no one seems to know where the money went.

Lets say a 50% finders fee of $4B if you find it. That is about the amount of Eclipse would need to make it. The two of you could finance the whole thing ;)

Seriously, though - how the heck do you misplace $8B?

baron95 said...

Dave,

NetJets is a very well managed company with apparently a very good long term fleet expansion plan. However, they are very high cost and fly much higher planes with two type-rated crew, etc.

But most importantly, they are not in the Charter business and have taken pains to avoid a 135 requirement. So I think they are in a completely different market segment.

I also don't think there is much question that there is a market for several hundred VLJs per year. Cessna, Embraer, Piper, Cirrus, Diamond, Honda, etc all believe it as well, that is why they are getting into that market segment. The question is how many hundreds (600?, 2000?) and who will get the market share.

At one point, being several years earlier (first mover) and much cheaper (price leader), Eclipse had a good chance. Now, being several years late and middle of the pack in price, there chances are minimal.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

To 'mis' quote Naomi Campbell

I wouldn't bother getting out of bed for $4 billion!

How about you Fred?

Shane

Dave said...

But most importantly, they are not in the Charter business and have taken pains to avoid a 135 requirement. So I think they are in a completely different market segment.

They are in the charter business:
Over forty years ago, Executive Jet® pioneered and revolutionized the private aviation industry with the concept of private jet charter and aircraft management. Since then, we have been providing unparalleled safety, security & seamless service to our clients.

As a NetJets company, we leverage the world’s largest business aviation infrastructure and the financial backing of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company. The result is an exceptional experience that empowers the world’s most discerning corporate and leisure travelers.

Executive Jet

I also don't think there is much question that there is a market for several hundred VLJs per year.

Perhaps I didn't make my nuance clear. I was talking about fleet size rather than market size (though they are semi-related). I was trying to get at that it is hard to take it seriously that ETIRC would manage europe's largest private aircraft fleet. My point being that currently the largest private fleet is diverse and owned by one of world's richest people that is known for expert management and investing skills. I was relating this to Roel's claims that there will be orders for 2300 units being part of not being able to take ETIRC seriously.

julius said...

Fred,

"FPJ and FIKI":

up to know there are
- no FPJs with "FIKI" delivered to a customer
- no customer experiences in known ice conditions with the pitot and the boots.

You must trust Mr. Hickey (FAA) about pitot and anti icing equipment...when you might get your equipment for FIKI and apply it.

Perhaps it's just kiki (something warm, smelling...) and hopefully not too late!!!!


UBS: if UBS built the basics of their business on subprime elements, then everything of UBS may become "subprime".

Compare the customer relationship of the FAA and that of the rating agencies - some products are grounded/derated, as the real life showed that the certification was not ok. Finally the customer will have severe problems...


Julius

P. S.: A bit old
"garbage in - garbage out" (old IT experience)

Dave said...

UBS: if UBS built the basics of their business on subprime elements, then everything of UBS may become "subprime".

I'd call Eclipse a subprime investment with little chance of an upside worth the risk (or even an upside at all). Eclipse could have been great if they set themselves up for around 100 units per year as well as spent more time designing a safe aircraft in a methodical manner, but instead they're going to bury themselves with the "1000 units per year" mantra.

Shane Price said...

With permission, I provide the following for your information:-

DayJet Eclipse 500 Fleet Might Be In Play
By Matt Thurber
October 2, 2008
Business Aviation, Charter

A group of buyers formed by Houston-based JetsAmerica is offering to purchase former DayJet Eclipse 500s from lienholder United Technologies Finance. As of yesterday, JetsAmerica had commitments from buyers for 13 of the very light jets, and company president Brandon Carlson said he hoped to increase that number to 20 before submitting an offer to UT Finance.

“We’re offering only half a million apiece; they aren’t worth much more,” he said. The 28 former DayJet Eclipse 500s span a range of serial numbers from S/N 2 through 63, each with total time between 200 and 410 hours.

Some have the aerodynamic upgrades installed, at least two have Avio NG avionics and most need the flight-into-known-icing upgrade. “There’s no guarantee they’re going to accept [our price],” Carlson told AIN, “but in today’s market they just might.

He hopes that JetsAmerica, which manages three Eclipse 500s, will be able to complete the modifications itself. “There’s a risk in buying these airplanes,” Carlson conceded.

UT Finance is a subsidiary of United Technologies, parent of Eclipse 500 engine supplier Pratt & Whitney Canada. “UT Finance,” a spokesman said, “does have a security interest in a number of the Eclipse aircraft that were owned by DayJet.

However, [United Technologies Corp.] expects that loan value will be fully recovered.


I think they are optimists. Unless, of course, DayJet paid less than $500K per FPJ. This is possible, given how 'disruptive' Vern was...

Shane

Dave said...

I think they are optimists. Unless, of course, DayJet paid less than $500K per FPJ

Keep in mind we know that Ed put up some of his own scratch. For all we know the terms of the $140 line of credit to purchase the DayJet fleet might have required Ed to pay for half the plane himself and the other half would be covered by UT, so $500K per unit might be close to covering the principal.

It sounds like they picked Baron's price, though I personally think that price is too high at this moment given all the uncertainties. I think there are more merits to an older eastern block jet than to an Eclipse if all someone wants is to fly a jet occasionally. I think it is an Eclipse lottery right now and depending on how things go those who pay $500K could get a real bargain or end up with an expensive boat anchor, but I think as each day goes by with Eclipse's future uncertain the less the lottery ticket is worth.

airtaximan said...

smells to me like UT pulled out of the financing game with Dayjet - Hmm... I guess they had the numbers, and couldn't really see the light at the end?

So how much of Eds reported financing was a "line" from UT, with performance links? I bet a lot.

Otherwise, the UT financing was in addition to the other money, and IF Dayjet really blew like $200M in one year... it was much worse than we could imagine.

On the Netjets thing: They have 135 operations, and its segregated for legal reasons from the management business. In fact, they make money chartering to themselves, to provide owners with service.

They cannot make money with VLJs, becasue their model is to make a fleet order, take a discount, charge a premium and make money on the fractional sales... they make a few million a plane... and they need this to be profitable. Their operations/fees do not really work, and its a high service environment.

Imagine trying to make money on the sael fo VLJ, and then provide high levels of service? At most, they could eek out a few hundred grand per plane... this wouldn't even cover their losses from managing/operating the planes for a year. It just does not meet their business model.

Not to mention the BIGGEST risk for 10 years for netjets was keeping the planes flying 1,000 hours a year, when they were falling apart. Imagine a VLJ in this regime? They can't, you shouldn't.

MAybe as a service for flying owners' pets around? "Ruff, ruff, ruff" Loosly translated as "why am I stuck in this POS plane...I used to fly in a palace compared to this?"

gadfly said...

If the fleet of little birds in Florida is left to the elements much longer, they might come under eligibility of receiving a “Federal Historic Preservation Grant” . . . $100,000 or so. Or, if a “Double Breasted Seersucker” should decide to nest in one of the engines, some environmentalist group will declare it off limits as an endangered species nesting area . . . and they could make a case with either definition.

gadfly

(Or, they could hang one from the ceiling in the Tampa Airport . . . along with the metal pelicans.)

baron95 said...

Dave said ... I was trying to get at that it is hard to take it seriously that ETIRC would manage europe's largest private aircraft fleet.

OK - got it. It is a good point. However, I'd say that a well capitalized organization could in fact build the largest fleet IN DUE TIME. DayJet's biggest mistake was probably getting too big a fleet and building too big an infrastructure (ant farmers et al) before they could generate revenues/profit from the first planes. In this business you have to craw, then walk, then run.

If ETIRC takes in more than one plane a month, they will likely fail. Even WN only takes, on average, on new 73G a month.

baron95 said...

“We’re offering only half a million apiece;

Hummm.... a few posts back, I ventured that the DayJet's floor price was around $500K per plane.

I hate to say it, but "half a million" is pretty close to $500K ;)

Maybe I should go into the airplane valuation business - forget about Vref and the likes.

sphealey said...

I received an e-mail generated off a job search web site from Learjet/Bombardier. When I surfed over to the Learjet recruiting site (which is garishly and unusably infested with too much active content btw) they had a crawl running at the bottom saying something like "Attention Eclipse employees: we will be interviewing at the Albuquerque Airport Sheraton on October xth and yth. Call for an appointment".

Didn't even bother to say "ex-employees", just "employees"!

sPh

baron95 said...

Shane said... I think they are optimists. Unless, of course, DayJet paid less than $500K per FPJ.

I don't think so. My reading is that the DayJet initial purchase was at a discount to the $850K offer price. Lets call it $750K.

If I read it correctly there is also a PWC lien, the planes are in need of all the mods.

Most likely the loan was for 80% of the value.

So $500K is a good walk away offer. The bank would be silly not to take it.

Moses said...

DayJet's fleet would make an excellent flotilla of mini-Muffins. They could follow Cosmic Muffin around the waterways of Florida like a bunch of baby ducks following their momma.

http://bike.ikeepbusy.com/ch/2/6610/Cosmic_Muffin/Plane_Boats

Dave said...

I don't think so. My reading is that the DayJet initial purchase was at a discount to the $850K offer price. Lets call it $750K.

But since then there has been price increases. I believe that we got DayJet data showing that they paid about $1.15M, which is at a discount compared to what others were paying at the time. I think the end results are the same, but I don't think DayJet only paid $750K at the time of delivery.

So $500K is a good walk away offer. The bank would be silly not to take it.

Yes, they should take the money and run. If they hold onto them longer, they could see that they're value could go down if Eclipse doesn't get financing. I think the DayJet fleet is about the least valuable set of units out there because they are the buggy low serial numbers, plus they have higher utilization than the private pilots. It doesn't help that some of these units have become part of the congressional record for all the wrong reasons.

baron95 said...

Re NetJets...they are a fractional ownership company. Their subsidiary Executive Jet Management does have a 135 certificate and flies charter with a separate fleet.

The two operations are very distinct and separate.

It would be tough for VLJs with the possible exception of something like the Phenoms to work for NetJets proper, but they could work for Executive Jet Management. Not in huge numbers, but in modest number it could be a complement for the fleet.

baron95 said...

I think $500K is a fair price for both sides.

Much below that and the fleet becomes attractive for several uses, including things like military training for smaller countries where FAA airworthyness is not an issue.

metal guy said...

I would think $500K would be a good price for just the parts.

Perhaps the backup plan is to part them out as stranded owners get stuck after TU.

Need a replacement computer module? We have 28 at $120K each. Don't like the price? Go somewhere else...

easybakeplane said...

Anybody else going to NBAA next week? I want to see what's inside that big convention space EAC has reserved (maybe a used a/c lot?)

Anyway, I'll be the guy in the dark suit ;-)

Dave said...

I want to see what's inside that big convention space EAC has reserved

A lot of hot air

baron95 said...

Here we go... SE Jets coming into their own even for 135...

SwiftJet Chooses Diamond D-JET for its new affordable charter service in Canada

airtaximan said...

UT lien... I imagine this could be for the engines, if they were on Power by the Hour programs... PWC is a UT company

anyhow, they would easily take the planes for $500k... thats the cost of the engines.

baron95 said...

And take a look at this simple, clean and compeling cockpit

Hint, it didn't take hundreds of millions of dollars for the OEM to almost finish a portionf it with reduced functionality.

fred said...

baron , Monsieur Shane

"Seriously, though - how the heck do you misplace $8B?"

it is very simple to do ...

you just have to over-valuate everything , then when reality strike-back , instead counting what is written in + , you just get - (usually for one + at a said time , you get at least 2 - later! )!

this is exactly what is going on in lot of places around the world , why it is totally useless to do anything against (never heard of the sentence "chase away the natural , it will only come back stronger !")...

in some situations , it can even counter-productive for few reasons :

*if the over-valuation is result of speculation = F***K the speculators , they played and have lost = tough but that's life ...

*if the over-valuation is the result of over-all I.B.E. : simple = peoples have or will have to wake-up ...

* if you reduce your maneuver - margins by "lending" to speculators ; what are they going to do ? the only one thing they know = speculate !
so the natural question is : what for ? (especially if it is done with tax-payer money!and to say that the "now toxic assets" will regain value in future is a brilliant lie = if they would have any chances to get back any value , banks would get long credits on a fraction of the value ... because the REAL MEANING of a bank is to borrow on long term [on assets] to lend on shorter terms [on evaluation of capacity of borrowers to pay back]!!! )

as for the money you , baron , were looking for , i found it !!!

so you owe me 4B US$ ! ;-))

it is gone in smoke as the "over-valuation" in London is much (really much) worse than in other places ...
(especially with Housing ... at the peak , a simple flat locker to put your cleaning stuff into, in a posh area of London was worth more than a castle in France !)

the over all indebtedness of an average US citizen is about 140 to 180 % (depending on location) , the same average of first time buyer in London is over 300% ...

by Law , in France the total amount of all credit pay-back cannot be more than a third of your monthly net income ...

Credit is evil ! at the best credit is a necessary evil , but remain an evil ...
(especially if you get into it for variating value as stocks , over-valuated property , etc...)

this is 2 completely different systems , one is not better than the other ...

think of it as a sinusoid = the higher it goes up , the lower as well , it will go down in return ...!

fred said...

dave :

i agree with you a thousand % !
if such a need for Jet-Air-taxi would exist as claimed by "the merry band"

that would have been dealt for long time ago by anyone having a brain ...

once again , it is a way to have gullible believers to glorify EAC/Etirc for a thing they never had : a CLEAR VISION of now and near future ...
sorry , they are not the first in anything , anywhere ...

but to your comment :
#Warren Buffett has made himself as well as many others very rich because he has repeatedly made the right decisions.#

knowing the Bio of this person , i can give you his secret (he is giving it away very frequently and openly himself , thu i would have prefer to claim to be , myself , so brilliant to find out ;-) )

his secret = " never put a cent in something you don't understand at 110%"

he say the same thing about fundamentals : "forget the fancy crap , fundamentals remain fundamentals "
(like a firm selling at lost will NEVER earn a kopeck of profit !)

pretty simple , don't you think ?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The fact the the Lien is to UTC, would imply that they were insuring themselves for the value of the engines.

When you think that Citi took 30c on the $ (or was it 10c) to offload some of their toxic assets, $500K for an low S/N Partial Eclipse without Aero/AVioNfG/Fiki/Garvio etc, who's reliablity and customer support were quoted as a reason the curretn owner went TU, sounds like UTC's lucky day.

They should take the cheque, and run, not walk, to bank it :)

Even if UTC financed these POS to the full $1.15 mil that Dayjet is rumoured to have paid, they will have receieved up to a year of lease fees on some, have written down a year of depreciation, and also have a strong need to see the continued operation of EA500's (in the hope that company survives and keeps buying engines).

fred said...

#They should take the cheque, and run, not walk, to bank it :) #

i wouldn't even dare to believe my chance on such ...

Cash Only !! ;-))

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

guten morgen , Julius !

#UBS: if UBS built the basics of their business on subprime elements, then everything of UBS may become "subprime".#

it is an other version of = whatever you do , the wheel keeps turning !

but i must say , i am a bit biased on topic : since UBS (in its previous form) " invented" the "secret number account" (account not related to a name but a number) to allow wealthy German Jews to deposit in Switzerland , just after 1933
money that they gave as a loan to Hitler to afford the WW2 ...!

economics + History = Irony !

about the Fiki-kiki :

if i understand you well , the thing has been certified without or very few tests ?

is that a new iteration of "but it works ,on paper !" ?

or a new iteration of the special relationship FAA/EAC ?

Dave said...

Was Eclipse going to bring the Frankenjet to NBAA?:
While near-record turnouts are expected, the turmoil on Wall Street and Main Street is likely to cast some gray clouds over the event. In fact, some of these clouds came early: Eclipse Aviation confirmed on Monday that it canceled its static display (though it will still have an Eclipse 500 at its booth in the convention center) and late Tuesday Grob–which was declared insolvent in mid-August–canceled its plans to exhibit so it can focus on “serious discussions with our current shortlist of potential investors.
AIN: NBAA Expects Big Crowd

eclipse_deep_throat said...

anyone else notice the positions available at EAC? wonder how the job interviews are going, LOL. today it's 8 open spots:

Avionics Project Engineer
Cost Analyst
Finance Intern/Co-Op
Financial Analyst
FP&A Finance Manager
Senior Accountant
Tax Manager
Tool Designer

Dave said...

ETIRC Aviation is looking to hire a Technical Director at the Domodedovo airport in Moscow:
AviaMarket ETIRC Listing
The ad appears to be posted on behalf of Nikolay Nikiforov who is the regional ETIRC CEO for Russia:
ETIRC Aviation management

I-H8ECLIPSE said...

I really think it’s amusing e-trick has no mention on its website of Eclipse Aircraft (as a company). Also no mentioning of Roel being the CEO, but sites Tandem Computers, Compaq Computer, and Philips Electronics.


Some reason this leaves a bad taste in my mouth!!

Deep Blue said...

A few general comments:

One can only cast a suspicious eye on the entire Eclipse program when, in addition to the company itself, you observe the type of entities that make up what market has organizied itself around the product.

For example, other than some very competent suppliers, what truly professional organizations have rallied around the E500? What world-class firms have adopted it?

Rather, it's speculative ventures like DayJet; odd start-up shell organizations like Etirc; unknown opportunitists like "JetsAmerica."

The very reason this Blog attracts such intense interest is because everything about EAC, and everything it continues to do, internally, and externally with all the bizarre entities that surround the product, goes against the experience and common sense of mature business people.

The photo posted of the parked DJ fleet was a very sad image: the stark, sudden culmination of years of promise.

A very sad ending.

fred said...

dave :

domodedovo Airport is known for publishing ALL events going in the airport life ...

last i had a look at it (to see scheduled flights) i found :

that an ATM from XXX bank (don't remember which one ) was to be installed , today reading your post , i looked again at DME website , the latest news published of a GREAT importance is an other ATM from Citibank is installed ... (in the airport , there is at least 25 or 30 of them !)

so IF Domodedovo is to cater for Etirc , i very surprised that the airport is not publishing it ...

sounds to me like the "good old way" of leaving behind "traces" ...very useful if you want to claim activities ...

I-h8

the most funny thing : out of the three co
* got ruined by Roel enlightened management ..
*the 2 other paid him to get lost somewhere else ...
*if you click on any links , none works (at least for me) which i found brilliant for a guy that has known so many ""successes" in IT ;-))

fred said...

the links of etirc works , sorry !

Dave said...

Rather, it's speculative ventures like DayJet; odd start-up shell organizations like Etirc; unknown opportunitists like "JetsAmerica."

I'm all for start-up opportunists as it is (sometimes) those unknown start-ups who become big, but they at the same time have to be recognized for what they are. They might go under or just remain tiny blips in their respective landscapes. Like look at Eclipse and how they seem to have thing with signing up unrealistic orders with those that are or who have been involved in perfume (perhaps it is something symbolic with how Eclipse feels about itself). It has been Eclipse playing these speculative orders up as done deals that has been what is bad along with Eclipse having a very concentrated order book that has been the problem. If they treated those orders as speculative and weighed their order book appropriately, they would have been much better off. However, Eclipse seems to have put a boat anchor around their kneck where they just can't break free of claiming a huge demand that they alone can tap into.

gadfly said...

The prediction of the skies over Albuquerque being darkened by hundreds of aircraft is coming true . . . the 37th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta begins today.

gadfly

(It’s a lot of hot air, no matter how you slice it!)

Dave said...

Here's a blast from the past:
Flightglobal:Eclipse eyes 'exploding market'
Well, it did blow up in their face. It seems like Vern was fired by Roel for being too conservative given Roel's claims of producing and selling 2000 units per year and having an european order book alone of 2300.

Orville said...

The ridiculous order book quantities are easy to explain. From their technology background, they simply took the "personal computer in every home" concept - and transformed it into "a VLJ in every garage".

fred said...

did anyone read the presentation of Website from dave's link :

it is quite funny !

off-course about the need inEurope for the Fpj ...
stating that most European travels are 400 Kms (248 Miles) long

and due the "growing" difficulties of traveling in Europe ... bla bla bla

as usual , they present a side of the coin , without stating the value of coin on the other side ...

400Kms are around ONE hour of train with the German ICE or the french TGV ...

if one put what Etirc says in perspective with the 1er semester
report from British Airways (which can be considered as having a little more credibility ...)

on one side , Etrick state that Europe NEED Fpj like someone crosiing a desert would need water

on the other side British Airways published its report stating a "Pre-tax Profit" down of some 87,6% mainly Due to the reduction of passengers (i think i heard -22% , not sure !) and fuel costs (UK is producing its own oil in Scotland) ...

to the point that the merger with Iberia (Spanish) is probably not such a great move ...

so , i am not sure who i should believe E-Trick or B.A. ! ;-)))

Dave said...

There is something that I wanted to bring up regarding NetJets and their Executive Jet charter service. They aren't in VLJs and there's probably a reason for that. Despite Vern and Roel's claims of all the profits to be made with air taxis, that just doesn't hold water with them being too expensive to operate and having a poor value proposition.

Why would someone choose to fly an Eclipse at $1500 per hour:
North American Jet Charter
When they could choose a variety of nicer, larger aircraft for a few hundred more per hour?:
Executive Jet Management

If cost is the issue, then props or commercial flights would frequently be in order ("air taxi"), but if cost isn't the issue, then why go for something like the Eclipse (or any VLJ for that matter) if you want to fly in an "air limo"? Don't get me wrong as I think VLJs have a good niche market for private pilots who want to own a jet who otherwise couldn't, but for commercial service (supposedly what will be the largest segment for Eclipse) it just seems like VLJs are poorly positioned for them to be a major factor as they don't seem to fit well between the high end and low end of commercial aviation.

The vast majority of Eclipses are in private hands and as many owners have expressed they are happy, but Eclipse from inception to the present has considered them merely a secondary market, but I believe the reverse is true. Eclipse is primarilly good for GA and has only a little opportunity in commercial aviation. That is why serious commercial outfits haven't touched the FPJ.

stan said...

Travolta (N218JT)logged some hours yesterday:

Rockland, Maine -> Ocala, Florida

1,250 sm, 4+13 @ FL400

Hrs 1 & 2 avg 260 kts

Hrs 3 & 4 avg 300 kts

Dave said...

Here's a product that was designed for the Eclipse now being available for other aircraft:
FreeFlight Offers New RA 4000 Radar Altimeter For Sale
The company recently came under new ownership. It would be interesting to know how much the Eclipse contract resulted in this company being subsequently sold. If you read their PR archive, the deal with Eclipse was the first thing the company mentions.

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said ... The very reason this Blog attracts such intense interest is because everything about EAC, and everything it continues to do, internally, and externally with all the bizarre entities that surround the product, goes against the experience and common sense of mature business people.


That is very insightfull and prety much sums it all up. Great post.

Nothing about is clear cut and clean. Every date has a caveat, everything that is announced as "ready" is never quite ready yet or really available. Every statement has a qualifier.

United (world class) was going to provide training - then it is in-house with a poorly managed simulator build/certification program.

FIKI is certified, but it's installation requires Gavio, which is almost ready, which in turn requires the AVIONG HW mode, etc, etc.

It is sickening to me. And I didn't put money on one.

Deep Blue said...

B95:

Thanks for the reply.

As a 30 year aviation professional, I makes me very sad to see the outcomes of EAC and DayJet.

I had implored both CEOs to slow down, take it easy, stay small, get some roots built, some small fire started, before they "lit the fuse." But, like most of us, no one could reason with them. It was "change the world" or nothing.

It is frankly, rather sickening to see these utterly unprofessional "Etirc" players.

They were in a meeting recently; they walked in, unshaved, in jeans, utterly illiterate as aviation business people, laughing like there wasn't a care in the world; incredibly arrogant and disrespectful; my only thought was: "fly in an airplane these guys are managing?"

This program is already DOA; it's not a matter of when; there are no projections or bets necessary. It aready happened.

Flight Test said...

Does anyone have an update on the FAA audit at Eclipse?

fred said...

dave :

#If cost is the issue, then props or commercial flights would frequently be in order ("air taxi"), but if cost isn't the issue, then why go for something like the Eclipse (or any VLJ for that matter) if you want to fly in an "air limo"? #

you're definitely right !

2 days ago , i did a Moscow/Paris in 3 hours and 10 minutes ...

with the Fpj , the same trip would take me about 5 hours !

so what is the point ?

to be cramped in a little thing ?
to be slower than commercial scheduled ?
to pay more for not having more place than even in economic class on airline ?
to pay more for a longer time travel ?


the Fpj as air-taxi doesn't cut ! it make no sens ...

for private owner fly for pleasure = yes , if it would be finished ...

as for making the backbone of a fleet of air-taxi = no way !

that implies that either the whole bizz-plan was fake from day one ...

or all persons giving a shot at it were wonderful fools ...
(to make the whole concept depends on something that cannot exist as such !)

fred said...

deep blue :

# They were in a meeting recently; they walked in, unshaved, in jeans, #

that is not too much of a problem , off course if you are with staff , not customers ...

the richest guy i met was the kind you would give him a fiver on the streets if only looking at clothes ...!
(by the way : he had a funny expression "all crooks of the world are always dressed tip-top !")

and the biggest difference = that guy knew exactly everything about his job ...
the kind of guy which make you believe everything is easy when you see him doing ...

Deep Blue said...

"Fred:" May one suggest then, that you invest your money in them. Perhaps buy an E500.

Appearance is one thing; attitude is another. Their attitude is appalling; their actions, worse.

Anyone willing to take this group seriously is simply to be pitied; anyone flying the E500, to be put in our prayers.

That the FAA has let this continue is a judgment they will have to reconcile.

fred said...

deep blue ...

it think you got me wrong !

If you saw Etirc peoples and they were not really "looking their best"

it is so much of a concern , that could be attributed to some kind of cultural differences ...
you've got to bear in mind that Europeans are mostly not so attached at what others think of them ...
as for the attitude = they suck !
i think it was baron who wrote : you crawl then you walk later you run ...
obviously humility isn't the best in them !
but , if their master plan is (as i think ) to ripe-off anybody and anything that came close to them , it make a perfect explanation as the why of their attitude :
they don't need to learn , only to pretend they know !

as to buy a Fpj , sorry , it please myself into thinking i have a brain more or less working , i don't want look "like looking i could afford a jet "

so i don't think it is for me ...

airtaximan said...

FT,

Yes

Conclusion:

Eclipse is fine - the gov't just decided to change the FARs so this sort of debacle can never happen again.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julius said...

Fred,

bonne nuit,

EAC is better off, if it can prove that FIKI works with the production a/c before it asks its customers for cash for retrofits. But the first a/c nearly delivered as promised will be s/n 266 (or 265). This might happen in december. But then you depend on the FIKI cert... or use normal a/c.
Do you want to be a testpilot?

Julius

baron95 said...

just zis guy, ya know? said...
It does require AvioNG, but E500's with any version of AvioNG can have FIKI installed.


Ziz, thank you for the clarification to the dependencies of the "available".

The point is, Eclipse makes a big deal press release that FIKI is conquered. Yet, not a single owner (AFAIK) has a FIKI equipped plane. Worst than that, not a single one knows when they'll get it.

With Eclipse you NEVER know.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Well . . . Albuquerque has their only "Complete" aircraft up and flying, beginning today. They have this in common with Eclipse Aviation . . . they are powered by "hot air". For about a week, literally "hundreds" (about 700 bags of hot air) will darken the desert sky over Albuquerque.

Back in 1972, we watched the first event . . . eight hot air balloons rose into the morning air over north Albuquerque, along Edith Avenue, not far east of the Rio Grande. A year or two later, the event was on the "fair grounds", not far from where we then lived . . . I took my two little boys out to look into the colorful Nylon bags being inflated . . . and then was not able to return home, as a balloon was coming down in our neighborhood, and cars blocked all local streets. Old "Super 8" movies tell the story (now transferred to computer formats).

My two boys and two girls are all grown up, now . . . with four families of their own . . . plus eighteen grand kids . . . and a nineteenth due in a few weeks. The balloons no longer gain much attention . . . 700 or 800 balloons are no longer a novelty. The "best" were those first couple years . . . big colorful bags of hot air, carrying folks high above our heads, disappearing into the cold crisp Autumn air and low clouds . . . even a few that flew over the Sandia Crest (10,678 feet) to land on "our" side of the mountain, that we now call home.

Hot air and balloons are no stranger to New Mexico . . . the "hot air" part goes back into the dark recesses of ancient political history . . . only balloons and little jets are new.

gadfly

(Not everything here is to be judged by the little jet . . . the beauty of the high desert is truly a thing to be enjoyed.)

Bob said...

Guys,

I'm tired, I've been at battle, and I'm loosing. If you want real inside stuff and no speculation, I'll tell you the blunt facts. This has been an emotional rollercoaster and I'm done. Ask the questions and I'll answer.

gadfly said...

Bob

We have more than a first name in common . . . and your offer sounds good. Should you find a way to "begin" the dialogue, I'm sure that we'll find a way to ask the questions, and gain good answers . . . and hopefully not put you in jeopardy.

Please continue, as you see fit.

gadfly

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sphealey said...

> The very reason this Blog attracts
> such intense interest is because
> everything about EAC, and
> everything it continues to do,
> internally, and externally with all
> the bizarre entities that surround
> the product, goes against the
> experience and common sense of
> mature business people.

Those who have followed the twists and turns of the saga of The SCO Group (currently trading on the pink sheets and in bankruptcy), which is linked to Eclipse Aviation, would not agree that Eclipse is unique. It was all on display there.

sPh

gadfly said...

Bob

Maybe, you can send your comments through Shane . . . and avoid some of the local traffic. Some of us have been threatened before, and are not about to betray the trust that others placed in us, at great expense to them. When people's lives are affected, as has been the case in this fiasco, the humor wears thin. And, unfortunately, others will yet bear the burden.

gadfly

airsafetyman said...

Bob,

I think checking in with Shane is a very good idea. I believe we are at the point where certain people involved (past and present) with Eclipse, DayJet, the FAA, and various elected and appointed officials in New Mexico and Florida may be looking at prison time before this is finished.

Dave Ivedorne said...

I'm tired, I've been at battle, and I'm loosing. If you want real inside stuff and no speculation, I'll tell you the blunt facts. This has been an emotional rollercoaster and I'm done. Ask the questions and I'll answer.

Bob,

Welcome to the blog. It's sad to contemplate the situation you found yourself in. Take solace that most of the "ex-EAC"ers who've posted here seem to feel that they've moved on to better things.

I'm in agreement with Gadfly that you should proceed carefully with any disclosures. Having said that, I'm presently engaged in making a list of questions I wouldn't mind knowing the answers to ;-). I suggest contacting Gad - if you're not already aware of his whereabouts, contact Shane at the blog email address: eclipsecriticng@gmail.com.

My gut feeling of an example ( hypothetical ) of a "blunt fact" that would be unlikely to put you in Roel's version of Purgatory: "Eclipse took delivery of 2000 main gear tires from Michelin in the first tranche, and replacements won't become available until they're all used up".

Likewise, another hypothetical example - this time, one that might compel somebody to attempt retaliation: "Mike McConnell snorts cocaine off a hooker's derriere every day on his lunch break".

Caveat emptor - I'm not a lawyer, so the advice above is worth slightly less than you've paid for it.

I'll get to work on my list of questions...

Would you like that chipotle or ranch style?
DI

baron95 said...

Ziz said ... If I recall correctly, Eclipse has also said that FIKI installations are scheduled to begin this year,

Nope. Eclipse said that FIKI installations are EXPECTED to begin later this year, and that it would take them some time to arrive at a installation/modification schedule.

So really when it comes down to it they didn't even give you A DATE FOR A DATE.

That was my whole point - Eclipse is very slipery and non-comital and the owners/depositors just take it and take it and take it.

If a polite old lady went to buy a car and it was missing a $3,000 GPS navigation system and a $2,000 traction contro system, and the dealer said she'd have to come back at an unspecified time months or years down the road for them, AND demanded that she unconditionally paid full price on the spot at the time of delivery, guess what the very polite old lady would say?

Option A: Sure, no problem let me wire the money right now, when you get ready let me know. And here let me bend over a bit so you can F$@# me some more.

Option B: Go f$@# yourself, give me my deposit back or I'll F$@# you, your dealership, your mother and your dog up.

Why Eclipse owners/depositors chose option A is beyond me.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Okay, I came up with a few questions for Bob:

Recently, Roel indicated that the production rate was about one per week - does that sound about right?

What subassemblies / components are in the shortest supply, and which are present in the greatest surplus?

How many aircraft have been produced in the "final" configuration ( Garmin-AvioNG / FIKI-compliant / etc )?

Are all vendors for the "final" configuration aircraft still on board, or have there been critical defections that hamper efforts to get production back on track?

How many produced aircraft have been refused by depositors at time of "delivery"?

I have read descriptions that the factory is "being re-tooled" during the slowdown. What sorts of re-tooling are going on? Is any of the outsourced production being brought in-house, or vice-versa?

Have there been further non-routine visits by FAA or DOT personnel since the Congressional hearing? Is
there any sense that the Production Certificate is in danger of being revoked?

In the wake of the palace coup & price increase, how many real_deposit_backed orders were cancelled? How many "vaporware" orders lost any pretense of being real? How many actual_deposit_backed orders for the E500 remain?

Has anybody ordered an E500 at the $2.15M price? Has anybody ( other than "E500 deposit shifters" and
speculators-a-la-Mike-Press ) placed an order for the E400?

Have you seen any evidence that there is any engineering going on toward finalizing a production-ready E400 design?

Is the Avio / aircraft integration software built around NT kernel? BSD? Linux? Darwin? Does the software "phone home" to Eclipse? Is the information obtained used to spot problems as / before they develop, or to try to indemnify Eclipse from "user error" ( or both )?

Is there a COTS glass panel in the works for E500 / E400?

Is an anti-skid brake system considered an important upgrade to get done ( within Eclipse )?

Does the autopilot still have the previously reported issues in the final config, or is there ( reality-based ) confidence that it is now completely sorted out?

Is EASA certification really as close as Peg indicated, or are there seemingly intractable obstacles between what EASA's asking for and what Eclipse has offered so far?

What is the current staffing level? Of those still employed at Eclipse, how many could be considered "legacy" employees ( in management & engineering, around since the Williams-kinda-powered prototype flew; in production, around since early 2006 )?

What is the "tribal" opinion of Roel Pieper? Is he the would-be savior of Eclipse, who's doing the necessary ( if unpopular ) things that will raise the company from the ashes? Is he a carpetbagger who
has come to steal the product for Russian production, fully intending to close up shop in ABQ? Is he nothing more than a proxy for Vern, and otherwise interchangeable with him?

How many delivered aircraft are known to be grounded for one reason or another?

There are other questions of import that I didn't think of here - I just wanted to post a preliminary
sampling of what fell right to mind. Most of what I included are things that we've speculated about, and come to wildly contradictory conclusions ( in some cases ).

Again, I'll caution you to exercise
discretion on which ones you choose to answer. Only you know your circumstances, and what you're
comfortable won't come back and bite you later.

Would you like the combo?
DI

baron95 said...

Dave I. an awesome list of questions - great post.

I'd like to add just one:

Has the autothrotlle ever been tested successfully, is it really going to be certified shortly as Eclipse claims. I for one thing certifying an AT system is one of the hardest things to do with the FAA - on the order of complexity of FIKI or even harder, yet Eclipse talks about it as if it is a trivial matter - turn the SW feature on and voila - done. I doubt that very much.

In my mind, the ONLY thing that could have justified doing an in-house avionics in the first place is to have the AT functionality, which is not available on any reasonbly (for light GA) standard avionics suite.

Thanks - Now Bob, get busy answering and good luck moving on.

chickasaw said...

Dave I

I don't think that all the vendors are on board; Hampson won't sell the empanage tools to EAC because they were never paid for in the first place, so I doubt EAC is getting any tail sections. Apparently, Hampson thought that the tax write off of the fixtures was worth more that EAC offered to pay for them.

That is all hearsay and my opinion in case any one wants to take umbrage.

Gad - one of the high lights of my stay in ABQ was my first balloon weekend. Hopefully they will all be safe.

fred said...

Dave I.

yes definitely a good work , this list of question ...
and if Bob can share a bit of light , it would be great ...

i would just add one :

any knowledge of Etirc/Russia coming to ABQ for a survey of production methods ?
(they need to know their stuff "by heart" before approaching the Russian equivalent to FAA ... )

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Bob,

What is Eclipse's current estimate of what an EA 500 costs them to build?

Have eclipse address the production conformity issues identified by the original pre-PC audit team?

Black Tulip said...

That’s a long and enthusiastic list of questions for Bob. Are we sure some of you haven’t been sampling a little of the Eclipse KoolAid on the sly? Regarding the factory, Dave Ivedorne asked, “What sorts of re-tooling are going on?” This could also be asked about investors, depositors and customers as they have been tooled around for a decade.

Dave Ivedorne said...

That’s a long and enthusiastic list of questions for Bob. Are we sure some of you haven’t been sampling a little of the Eclipse KoolAid on the sly?

Eclipse KoolAid, you say? I wouldn't know - I'm too busy doing Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry shooters ( and maybe a little Jolly Olly Orange as well. MAYBE ). Mmmmmm, cyclamates.

No, Dark Blossom, I'm afraid the idea was to not load the questions too much - we're all perfectly capable of loading our responses to the answers, so any serious discussion of hookers' asses could be left out of the Q & A period.

Besides, we remain unaware of Bob's position in the company - probably not a pseudonym for Peg, and probably not a janitor - which would leave the question of "where in between those extremes?", for purposes of understanding what sort of questions he'll be able to shed some light on the answers to.

Would you like to try the Goofy Grape?
DI

gadfly said...

Here’s part of an article from this morning’s Albuquerque Journal, 4 October 2008:
“JetsAmerica told AIN that it has assembled buyers for 13 to 20 Eclipse very light jets used by DayJet, a Boca Raton, Fla., air taxi service that folded last month. DayJet had a fleet of 28 jets made by Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation.

AIN quotes JetsAmerica president Brandon Carlson as saying the offer was $500,000 for each Eclipse 500 jet, less than a third of their original base sales price of $1.6 million new.”

http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/04943161793biz10-04-08.htm

gadfly

Dave Ivedorne said...

I don't think that all the vendors are on board; Hampson won't sell the empanage tools to EAC because they were never paid for in the first place, so I doubt EAC is getting any tail sections. Apparently, Hampson thought that the tax write off of the fixtures was worth more that EAC offered to pay for them.

Interesting insight & speculation, Chickasaw...

A possible consolation for Hampson might be that they didn't overspend on drill stops early on.

Pull around to the second window,
DI

Dave Ivedorne said...

AIN quotes JetsAmerica president Brandon Carlson as saying the offer was $500,000 for each Eclipse 500 jet, less than a third of their original base sales price of $1.6 million new

Meh. Methinks Carlson might be engaging in a bit of "sales price inflation". I'd be shocked if DJ's cost basis was more than $1.2M apiece.

Pay at the first window,
DI

airsafetyman said...

"I'd be shocked if DJ's cost basis was more than $1.2M apiece."

They were leased airplanes from "DayJet Leasing", to begin with. I would bet "DayJet Leasing" is a division of Eclipse itself. If so, the company was buying from itself so the "purchase price" could be whatever they chose.

TBMs_R_Us said...

They were leased airplanes from "DayJet Leasing", to begin with. I would bet "DayJet Leasing" is a division of Eclipse itself. If so, the company was buying from itself so the "purchase price" could be whatever they chose.

Actually, DayJet Leasing LLC is registered in Florida, with the same address as DayJet Corporation, and shows DayJet Corporation as it's manager/member. DayJet Corporation is the company that Ed was CEO of. There's also DayJet Services and DayJet Technology, listed in similar ways.

Of course, Eclipse certainly could have provided financing that isn't visible. But, on the surface, these look like entities that are independent of EAC.

gadfly said...

Life is short. Any time the “gadfly” shows up, be forewarned that there is always an undertone, with an underlying message . . . things are not all they seem to be on the surface. ‘Even the gadfly’s humor is suspect. Today is no different.

A long time ago, after receiving certain instructions, a man set out on a long journey . . . and it was said about him (two thousand years later) that he was a “pilgrim” and a “sojourner” . . . and he looked for a city.

Most will not get it . . . but this man of long ago had his eye on a distant goal, and a confirmed promise. And we read in the daily news the conflict between his “goal” (and promise), and others that are committed to destroy that promise.

Hint: All that activity is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

On a much lower plain, the little jet company in Albuquerque was focused on the short term . . . not understanding that a good business looks far into the future, and plans accordingly. Eclipse, in my opinion, only looked to the next “quarter” . . . and didn’t take seriously that a quick grab of money held in “TRUST” in escrow was a serious violation of ethics . . . fluttering around the air over ABQ for an hour, knowing that they had not fulfilled their agreement of a viable flying machine. They looked only to the quick grab of a few bucks . . . to move into the unknown . . . no direction, really . . . ‘just a wallowing around, hoping . . . rather, “wishing” that somehow everything will “evolve” into some wonderful thing . . . and it never works that way.

That first little episode should have been a “heads up” to any honest mind, ‘looking at the potential future of Eclipse . . . but to my amazement, many continued to believe that somehow, some magic thing would make everything just fine and dandy.

Local politicians, with business as usual, helped to promote the fairy tale. Promises were made . . . broken . . . made again . . . broken again . . . and still the uninformed lined up to be “fleeced” . . . with wallets open. Amazing!

Good things don’t just “happen” . . . they are carefully planned by minds (actually, a ‘single’ mind) that, first, know what they are doing . . . second, have a specific goal . . . and third, have the wisdom and power to carry out the plan.

Whether on the “low plain” of aviation, or a “higher plain”, make sure that you invest in that which is secure, and has a proven track record of carrying out each and every promise.

gadfly

(And turning to the local news . . . we have been “fleeced” . . . again! Big time!)

gadfly said...

Correction:

Make that the "national news"!

gadfly

(Ever since I was a "kid", greasy pork always made me sick. And aboard the submarine, the first meal underway out of "Pearl" was always greasy pork chops . . . I guess the theory was that all of the rest of the meals were an improvement for the next sixty days.

You did notice the "pork" in that "bailout" givaway of our tax money, did you not?)

spadamchrist said...

The other contentious matters are the date for cessation of the imposition of a new tariff, the period relating to claims for duty drawback, right of establishment under the common market, easing and granting of air traffic rights, free movement of persons, labour, services,legal and judicial affairs and the source of the budget for the EAC.
-------------
jacksen

Internet marketing

Deep Blue said...

Recent discussions with Wall Street investment firms; the Russian state banking agencies; a consulting firm hired on spec to review EAC operations; and RP's actual financial status all confirm to me the following:

The E500 prgram is already dead. The E400 will never go to market.
Russia is an utter deceipt.

EAC will be dumped into Chapter 7.

The fact the the Founder is not only entirely divorced from his very own creation, let alone hostile to Etirc, means that he left a ticking time bomb at EAC; it's wired to go critical any week now; Vern knows it, and being the sociopath he is, will relish seeing the "death" of his own child, versus letting anyone get their hands on it.

EAC is a bankrupt company. The FAA will be forced shortly to answer for its gross deviations in procedure and conformity.

In the meantime, I pray all EAC operators ground their craft.

julius said...

just zis guy, ya know?

you might be right (I cannot find the "alert") - for FIKI, if AVIO NG is installed it might cost just the flight to the maintenace based, downtime etc...
In case of customer prepaying, everything is achieved according to "money conservation mode" (i.e. first money, then hardware, hiring staff, training staff, modification/repair... money back at which interest rate and after another accomplished financing round?).

Julius

gadfly said...

Some of you folks keep discussing “FIKI”, avionics NG, how many Michelin tires in inventory, “Hampson” empenage assemblies, the “Russian connection” . . . ‘How ‘bout discussing things far more relevant, like where the deck chairs should be arranged along the shuffleboard courts, and the level of service at supper in the main dining room . . . and why is the water sloshing back and forth on the lower deck? And why is the “crew” all crowding around the few life boats . . . Oh, that’s right! . . . There are no life boats! And what’s that big white thing off the starboard bow?

gadfly

(And what does “. . . - - - . . .” mean?)

airsafetyman said...

"Actually, DayJet Leasing LLC is registered in Florida, with the same address as DayJet Corporation, and shows DayJet Corporation as it's manager/member."

It still smells bad, and I smell Eclipse in the mix. It would be like United Airlines trying to buy International Lease Financing Corporation from AIG so they could buy airplanes from Boeing and lease them back to themselves. We are supposed to believe that DayJet Leasing could cough up 1.6 million dollars apiece for 28 airplanes, and rent them out to DayJet who essentially didn't fly the airplanes very much at all and never seemed really interested in increasing their business. How did DayJet make the lease payments to DayJet Leasing when the airplanes were mostly boat anchors in Boca? Any way you figure it, it doesn't work.

TBMs_R_Us said...
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TBMs_R_Us said...

ASM,

DayJet Leasing is nothing more than a financial structure element of DayJet Corporation, so all of the financial transactions consolidate to DayJet Corp's financial statement, while isolating risk. The leasing company created a "water-tight compartment" to put the primary assets in -- and their debt (or lease from 3rd party, another form of debt). Bankrupting the fleet would not entail bankrupting DayJet Corporation. DayJet Corporation thinks it owns other valuable assets, like the ant farm creation for example. They effectively get to go TU, but keep these other "assets".

airsafetyman said...

tmbs_r_us,

Thanks, but I am still confused. If "DayJet Leasing" bought the aircraft from Eclipse for lease to itself internally why are the airplanes now parked outside of the Eclipse Service Center? A car dealer doesn't return cars they repossess to the manufacturer. Who actually holds title to these aircraft?

baron95 said...
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baron95 said...

Deep BLue Said... Russia is an utter deceipt.


Are you inplying that Roel simply got the Russian friends to make the plant financing announcement so he could use that to try to line up investors for Eclipse, but that the Russians have no intetions to follow through on it?

That does make more sense then the Russians actually buildiing more capacity for a plane that already has a lot of excess mannufacturing capacity and no finished design or customers.

baron95 said...

TBM said ... Bankrupting the fleet would not entail bankrupting DayJet Corporation. DayJet Corporation thinks it owns other valuable assets, like the ant farm creation for example.

Exactly. And the computer reservation system is owned by DayJet technology. Ed always thought that he'd be able to sell that system for other charter companies and make a business out of it. In addition he thought DayJet Leasing, in steady state would be always taking new Eclipses in and selling/re-leasing the worn out ones.

Most people don't appreciate the fact that DayJet as a multi-play company. A) Charter operator, B) Fleet Management/Dispatch SW/Tech Company, C) Fleet acquisition, financing and leasing company.

Ed wanted each of these three entities to be independently profitable and self-sustained businesses.

At least that was his wet dream anyway.

TBMs_R_Us said...

why are the airplanes now parked outside of the Eclipse Service Center?

If you want to sell an airplane, you're usually going to need an inspection. What better place?

baron95 said...

airsafetyman said...
If "DayJet Leasing" bought the aircraft from Eclipse for lease to itself internally why are the airplanes now parked outside of the Eclipse Service Center?


Because leasing companies don't buy their planes with their own money. ILFC doesn't do it and GE Aviation doesn't do it. They secure a pool of financing with the planes as collateral, buy the planes with the pooled money, then pay back the loans with the lease revenues. That is how EVERYONE does it - nothing funky about that.

So when DayJet charter stopped paying DayJet leasing, DayJet Leasing stopped making payments on the pooled loan, and now the lenders took over the collateral assets - i.e. the airframes, engines, etc.

Now it is possible that Eclipse itself, along with UT Financing and other parties participated in the loan pool. That will be a form of self dealing, but even that is not unheard off. Boeing, RR, GE, etc have often participated in ILFC loan pools as well.

The only part that threw me off was Shane's statement that Roel (meaning EAC) owned the planes. I think that was not correct, so it is quite simple now.

I hope you are less confused now ;)

baron95 said...

For FRED - Your ride is waiting

airsafetyman said...

Boron,

Thanks. I was with a flight department that leased a MU-2 from GE Capital so I am not completely in the dark. Mitsubishi was not involved at all financially, at least not in our specific MU-2 lease. If this pool of DayJet lenders is holding the title to the airplanes (and engines, separately?)and made the call to pull the plug on DayJet, who made the descision to fly them to the Eclipse service center in Gainesville, Fl? Also who made the decision not to properly store them, but just parked them in the back forty with out covers, protection, ect.?

airsafetyman said...

Baron,

Again, my point is that whoever pulled the plug on DayJet doesn't seem to have a Plan B ready, or even a plan to adaquately take care of the reposessed assets.

airsafetyman said...

Ah, ha! Now I know what has been bothering me about this deal. Years ago, when the BAE-146 first came out BAE was interested in getting the airplanes on each continent. BAE leased two airplanes to a deadbeat airline in Brazil called TABA. TABA flew the airplanes as much as they could and failed to make lease payments to BAE. BAE had to reposses the airplanes and lost several million dollars on the farce. I was with the engine manufacturer and scheduled work on the airframe and engines for the better part of two weeks when the airplanes transited the US going back to the UK.

baron95 said...

AT Said ... If this pool of DayJet lenders is holding the title to the airplanes (and engines, separately?)and made the call to pull the plug on DayJet, who made the descision to fly them to the Eclipse service center in Gainesville, Fl?

I'm not sure if they are holding title. My guess is that they had liens and/or loand guarantees on the airframe/engines. On dayJet non-performance, they exercised their repo rights.

Why are they in GNV? Logical way to park them. Was probably agreed between lender and DayJet to park them there.

Why aren't they stored properly? Because financial entities rarelly are prepared to take posession (repo) of assets. Be they cars, homes, planes, boats. Most likely, their plan A is to offload them ASAP. If they can't, then they'll have to hire a mgmt company to look after the assets.

Anyway, all of this is pretty standard.

baron95 said...

AT said ... BAE had to reposses the airplanes and lost several million dollars on the farce.

Sounds like a poorly structured lease deal. Ever wonder why lease deals have upfront payments, first month payments, etc? They are done to that the lessor is never in an upside down situation on the asset.

Having said that, desperate OEMs have entered in many dumb deals with startup airlines. Some pay off (Airbus/JetBlue, Boeing/RyanAir), many never do.

airsafetyman said...

"Having said that, desperate OEMs have entered in many dumb deals with startup airlines."

Exactly. I am not sure DayJet paid anything more to Eclipse than TABA paid to BAE. Zip.

Orville said...

What happened to Bob?

baron95 said...

Orvile said ... What happened to Bob?

I'm pretty sure he was drunk/wasted when he posted/vented.

Must have sobered up and moved on ;)

fred said...

Baron :

if you find one brand-new , i would be pleased to buy it ...!
(not produced anymore since the 80's)

but i think that for a car designed in 1937 , meant to transport 4 persons , 50 Kgs of potatoes at 60Km/h on a 3 liters per hundred kilometers ... it has been a huge success !

if only the Fpj would have been meant with such qualities about reliability , costs and price , the shies would have been really darkened !!

you see this is something i attribute to "cultural differences " ...

we have different meaning of value on both sides of "the pound" !

i am personally (as an european) more shocked by the amount of women having fake boobs than by the ones showing their arm-pit hairs (especially true in Germany )

and the 2 things that was the biggest shock for me , when i arrived in USA , was the way most show to put 2 god every 3 words (in Europe :faith is a very private matter = no one speak about as it is nobody's business !)...and the totally opposite of what i knew , at the time , on showing wealth : in Europe ,it is very common to say "if you want a happy life , no one should notice your wealth "

you see , we are quite different , i don't think either is right or wrong , just different ...! ;-))

flyboymark said...

BOB;
I'm tired, I've been at bottle..er..ah...battle, and I'm loosing. If you want real inside stuff and no speculation, I'll tell you the blunt facts. This has been an emotional rollercoaster and I'm done. Ask the questions and I'll answer.

Jus' kidding ya' Bob, really, you got me all excited about what's going on...Use Shane as the filter if you are worried about retribution....

airtaximan said...

ASMAN,

no plan...
if it was me, I would think:

I am a lien holder - I have deep pockets - I am a public company - this is obviously not a safe plane - there'a problem with the engines, throttle, FADEC, HAl... - I am doing MRO - I want them grounded ASAP BECAUSE I AM IN THE LINE OF FIRE...

Just a thought

Shane Price said...

Snippet time....

The DayJet fleet was parked up in Gainsville under instructions from Ed. He figured (not unreasonably) that EAC could pay the ramp fees and that this action would draw attention to the issues with the FPJ.

Another one.

The 'Gainsville 28' are parked up correctly, with all covers etc in place. The guys who left them there are all professional pilots and knew what they were doing.

Plus they understood that the aircraft would be there for some time....

Yet another one.

I understand from reliable sources that some pretty angry depositors are going to NBAA this coming week. No prizes for working out which stand they are heading to....

And finally...

One of 'us' has been teasing a chap trying to sell shares in an FPJ by offering $125K for 25% of the aircraft.

His logic? Well, if the DayJets birds are only worth $500K, why pay more?

I told him he was bold, but that I admired his thought processes.

Shane

airsafetyman said...

"The DayJet fleet was parked up in Gainsville under instructions from Ed. He figured (not unreasonably) that EAC could pay the ramp fees and that this action would draw attention to the issues with the FPJ."

Not to beat a dead horse, but why would Eclipse pay ramp fees for airplanes they don't own? Unless they do own them and have from the start.

Dave said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but why would Eclipse pay ramp fees for airplanes they don't own? Unless they do own them and have from the start.

The short answer is because it is cheaper than going to court (bothe legal court and court of public opinion).

Roel wouldn't want the nuclear option of going to court with Eclipse's biggest customer and covering everything that they congressional hearing didn't as well as replaying some of that all over again in front of a jury and in the industry press and MSM. The negative PR alone would be horrendous right at the time that Roel is dialing-for-dollars. Eclipse paying the ramp fees is cheap compared to the alternative.

baron95 said...

FRED - What are you talking about? You are losing it.

I spend over two years working in France (Mostly Nice, but also Paris and rarelly Rennes). I saw some of the best fake tits and hot wheels that money can buy while there. Yes, I did see some arm pit hair, but, what the heck, if the wheels are hot, and the silicon is properly placed, I'm game ;)

Other than the fact that some Europeans think that healthcare is relaly "free" and don't seem to know when their taxes and fees go up, I see little difference between us.

Now, what the heck does all that have to do with Eclipse? Beats me. Unless you are implying that the EA500 would sell better is it had fake tits. I guess if they had proper aerodynamics it could work.

airsafetyman said...

Dave,

Thanks for you input. I just think Eclipse Aircraft leased the airplanes to "DayJet Leasing" who in turn sub-leased the airplanes to DayJet. I don't think the airplanes were ever purchased from Eclipse Aviation in the first instance.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Baron -
best fake tits is an oxymoron. When Fred suggests that the Euro approach to public displays of ones affluence is more understated that the American approach, well, on average he's right - not "losing it" as you suggest.

I now anxiously await your next gratuitous insertion of "S63AMG" into the conversation ( though why you'd want to "brag" about having such a small engine in your Mercedes-Benz, I'll never understand )...

Would you like to try the Backlash Breakfast?
DI

Dave Ivedorne said...

From the Long-Lead desk:

The November 2008 Flying Magazine has a little snip about Eclipse on page 35. A fair-use sampling:

"Under Pieper, early signs are that things will be done differently...

...Eclipse dropped its efforts to force Google to reveal the identities of employees who had leaked confidential information to a website, eclipsecriticng.blogspot.com, critical of the company..."

But we already knew that ( thanks, Gunner ).

Would you like the combo?
DI

baron95 said...

Dave Ivedorne said...
best fake tits is an oxymoron.


Why is that? If it is because they turn bright men into morons, you may be close ;)

insertion of "S63AMG" into the conversation

Guilty, guilty, guilty as charged. I just love the machine - what can I say.

But if you ever get one, make sure you get the right avionics in it, like this one.

baron95 said...

The November 2008 Flying Magazine has a little snip about Eclipse...

The way news move these days, it is really sad to see how outdate monthy trade magazines have become.

Like Flying publishing an article about how great Adam and the A-500 were, when the thing was all-but dead when it hit the newstands. Really sad. I can't remember the last thing I got a really breaking piece of news first hand from a monthly trade magazine.

The latest issue of AOPA Pilot has an editorial about how important EAA Air Venture has become with a photo of the entrance to Airventure 2006 . Couldn't they at least try? They could at least leave some room in the magazine for breaing developments and close that 72 hrs before press time (like Time and Newsweek do).

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

Dave I.

#When Fred suggests that the Euro approach to public displays of ones affluence is more understated that the American approach, well, on average he's right - not "losing it" as you suggest.#

thanks a lot , dave ...
as usual Our "dear" baron read something and got what was interesting out for him to make a distortion ...!

why did i wrote such ?

simple : Most Europeans (off-course some would-be ass-holes are always willing to follow blindly any kind of fashion coming form over the sea) would NOT like to "look like" rich enough to own a jet ...

this is one of the aspect which mostly wrong with with EAC marketing : Most(same remark) European are not trying to show-off like mad , they have wealth enough = they own ;
they do not have wealth enough = they don't play with a potential value that something may have in a distant future to try to make some $ in order to allow themselves to play in "grown-up playground"

some peoples may like the Fpj , but NO WAY they will be foolish enough to get some 5,6,7 positions into the nightmare ONLY to afford to look like they can afford to own one ! (this is the difference between a few Silicon implant and 78% of women with , like in Miami area ; everything for show and only the show ...!)

it is a very different way of mind , i wrote it before : one work to afford a comfortable life (to his liking) but NEVER EVER anyone should have a life for working !

if you have been living in France for more than two years , you should be able to understand this (otherwise 10 minutes would have been more than enough ...)
it is an other way of mind : where Busy peoples in say : London get food to nourish themselves (to have more time for work or productive activities ) , we prefer to enjoy life with tasty meals ...

it could be meaningless IF the productivity of an average french worker would be lower than a british or american worker ...
BUT that is far from being the CASE ... (last statistics i've seen about was frenchs workers were with the second best productivity worldwide ,1 hour of a F.W was equivalent to 1.8 of a british and 2.1 of a US one = problem = Frenchs don't work very much , maximum allowed by Law :35 hours per week with a minimum of 5/6 weeks of paid vacation per year , so you see it is NOT better , just a choice of hanging around work for ever and loosing time for pleasures OR having lots of free time and when you are , sometimes,working do as fast and efficiently as possible = not because it is better ;only because work is a necessary alienation of freedom !as for earnings = last year a bit over 50.000 US citizens came to Visit the whole of Europe meanwhile 821.000 Frenchs went to visit USA , who make the most of his earnings ?)
both system having + and - !!

#Europeans think that healthcare is relatively "free" and don't seem to know when their taxes and fees go up, I see little difference between us.#

you right : nothing is free ...!
but since i have been living in both system , it is hard for me NOT to see a difference :

in one health system ,mostly everything is related with the quantity of money (to be more specific : credit!) you can afford to be treated ...!

in the other one , your wealth make a difference ONLY in the comfort you may experience while being treated (even if you don't have any money hence cannot pay for hospital , you wont be in a room with more than 1 other person , while if you are paying a little extra you would be alone ; as for quality of treatment , there is NO difference whether you do not pay or are extremely rich ...!)

you right about one thing , it is mostly paid out of tax ...

but if you ask for my opinion : i DO PREFER to have to pay some tax for health care than to have to pay much more to preserve the job of some A.H. who were earning hundreds of M$ last year ...

and imperfect as it is , i don't think anyone in continental europe) would come with a plan to spend 9 times what is spent on Education to preserve the nice way of living of those fat-cat ! (adding so much to the already long , very long list of accumulated deficits , that numbers themselves become totally meaningless !)

why do i write this ? and why is it related to Fpj ?

because developed in Europe , at the best the Concept would have concerned few Air-club as one Fpj to be multi-owned (NOT hundreds per club) or a very few willing to look like they can OWN (a toy , remember practice of credit-spending has a totally different meaning on this side !)

and for the 2CV : even if i can use a audiR8 when in Germany ,a Bmw 7 when in Moscow and a porsche boxster S in my vacation house (because it is a convertible = much nicer in sunny country ...
in Paris and Luxembourg : only small flats and good public transports , so no need or pleasure for car there)

still the best car i ever had was a 2CV ...
a car is meant to allow you to go from A to B , if you have pleasure doing it in a sport or luxury car = this is pleasure ...
as for Use VS costs the best i ever had was a 2CV !

PS:

*Baron,Don't do the same mistake as before "AMG Motors" are always signed by the guy who made them !(so no needs to call in Germany to know!)

*very good attempt at trying to compare two "too different to be compared" systems hence push some to react in the "They don't like us " way...(whomever do not like you HAS to hate you ? why not just be indifferent ?)
when peoples in the world will stop trying to compare Apples to Cabbage = the world will be a much safer place ...!
you see , in my view this is related to some part of Gospels
"the one who never did anything wrong may throw the first stone !"
even if i am not religious at all , it doesn't dispense me of "trying" to know what i am talking about ...

julius said...

Fred,

bonjour,

the 2CV is perhaps a good examples of a tool for moving from A to B.
I owned a 2CV (28HP!!) for about four years. I used it on autobahnen and on dirt roads - in winter (with snow and ice rain (then faster than a Porsche!!!)) and summer (with closed roof and windows because of noise and wind).
As I didn't experience an road accident, I had a lot of fun with the car, but also some problems.
The car maker hadn't any pretensions concerning quality, moderness style of the car apart from the price and the fuel consumption.
That made the difference to VR/RP and their EA50.
The a/c should modernize the airtaxi world - but it wasn't there, it is optimized for the wrong distances, the wrong FL's...
Therfore the EA50 couldn't create a new market segment.
It's like if someone would try to build the 2CV in these days - it would be a failure:
The 2CV isn't built for any type of crash test., too slow, no anti skid breaks, no.....
Material value... similar to the EA50 - perhaps less hazardous material.
RP should remember the 2CV...it has no value if the temperature are below -10C - typical for European Russia!
RP seems to own a lot of money - for funny games!

Julius

fred said...

Gutten morgen , julius ...

wunderbar !

you got the sens i was trying to give ...

yes , a 2CV produced now would be a fiasco ... exactly like Fpj !
this is where Baron (and other few) got lost :
there is some difference between "USE" , "PLEASURE" , "EXPECTATIONS"

the fpj has been developed for a a specific "USE" when it obviously miss the target (for range , capacity ,etc) therefor is completely out of touch for its pretended market (Air-Taxi)

when it could have been good for "PLEASURE" of few private owners who had "EXPECTATIONS" as image , quality , value

but then the price-target would have been grossly missed !

exactly like the 2CV = a farmer's car meant for farmers ! nothing as class , look , luxury ...

that car was a big piece of shit , but brilliantly fulfilling its duty ! which made it perfect , even if on some other point it was less than perfect ....!!

where is difference then ? = that car with all its minus was the car of peoples without too much money , AND has NEVER BEEN SOLD as something which would change the way the world is turning ...!

it had lost of bad sides , but it was very usable and i remember taking very sharp turns without thinking about with a 2CV , while with the AUDI (probably the safest car i know in terms of conducting ) i would think twice before getting in such a way in the curve ...!


Ps: -10°c (14°f) in Moscow ??
2 winters ago the Noon temp in Moscow Center has been -39°C (-38.2°F) for ten days ... but who need Fiki ?? ;-))

Shane Price said...

New Post up.

Short lived headline, but Karen has been 'at it' again....

Shane

julius said...

Fred,

39°C (-38.2°F) for ten days ... but who need Fiki ?? ;-))


FIKI is not needed but what about the pitots - especially when leaving hangars?

Julius

P. S.: FAA finially managed to open the SDR-queries to puplic!

http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx

fred said...

Julius :

#FIKI is not needed but what about the pitots - especially when leaving hangars?#

Pitots ?? Roel speaking : is this a new trick to damage our name ? ;-))

Fortunately , the Russian Winter is a cold and DRY one ...
with a moistly one the EA500 would be grounded 6 months a year ... ;-))


as for the query-search of FAA :
is it me , my lack of computer knowledge or do i need to change the water in my skull(no brain!) ? but i don't seems to get any result ....;-((

how do you have this to work ?