Thursday, October 9, 2008

NBAA and all that


Well, it's been a lot of fun hearing from all of you who attended. I think it's been the best few days for information in a while, so I've decided to bring everyone up to date.

Al Mann
Well known as a serial inventor and latterly investor, Al is one of the most significant people in the past 10 years at EAC. He's currently a Director, as well as a significant shareholder. During the most recent restructuring I had several independent reports of his presence at ABQ, and he also took delivery of a very early s/n FPJ for his own use. Needless to say, anything he does in aviation is bound to attract attention, so when I first heard about a possible 'air taxi' venture, my antenna sprung to attention. I now have several reliable sources linking Mr. Mann with Van Nuys and a 'very light jet' company. My only problem with this is that it appears this 'company' is currently flying a Mustang, prior to commencing service.

Say it ain't so, please. His fellow members on the EAC BoD will be most disappointed if it's true....

Vern Raburn
This you will enjoy. Vern has his very own FPJ, or at least the use of one. He naturally went to NBAA in it, and attended various stands and other events at the show. In an effort to appear important he went in disguise, wearing a beard and casual clothing. A number of people failed to recognize his eminence, and one who did (after a double check) said he 'looked like a mountain man'. The usual rabble, including Zoom, were trailing around after him, lap dog fashion. Vern, in a desperate effort to attract attention, regaled anyone who would listen with tales of Microsoft and Bill Gates. What any of this had to do with EAC or even aviation in general was beyond my (limited) comprehension.

Vern did, however, give an interview to Aviation Week, which is available as a podcast here. Needless to say, nothing is his fault, everyone else was to blame, the suppliers were useless etc etc.

Maybe the disguise was a genuine attempt to avoid angry depositors, several of whom were hoping for a quiet chat....

Aha, you say, what of those 'Depositors'?
First, I've been quietly in contact with a number of them for some months now. They are not in a good place, as EAC have made it very clear that a) any attempt to force bankruptcy will be resisted and b) even if successful, they will get nothing. Second, a number of these people are convinced that it will be possible to 'nail' the officers of the company for fraud. If that were to happen the consequences for EAC senior managers will be unpleasant, at the very least, and likely very expensive. So, what are their options? Most are not short of a few dollars and will proceed to purchase something else which has two undesirable effects for EAC. One, they lose the order(s) and two they strengthen their competitors. Finally, by acting in this dishonorable manner they have created 'bad blood' which will hang around long after the company ceases to exist. The outcome will not be good for the value of used FPJ's.

The 'Jets America' offer
A chap called Brandon Carlson of Jets American, one of the most successful brokers for FPJ's and a man who's had the odd brush with EAC in the past (and I do mean odd) issued the following letter addressed to the finance company with the first lien on the DayJet birds on the 1st of October. I've clearly removed any sensitive information, as I know the banking system worldwide is in enough trouble already...

I am pleased to inform you that ____________________ (Buyer) is offering Pratt & Whitney / UT Finance (Lien Holder) $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) for (1) one Dayjet Corporation Eclipse 500 aircraft.

1. Buyer agrees to deposit an earnest $100,000 refundable deposit into an escrow account with xxxx xxxxx of Oklahoma City, OK. (escrow agent) upon written notification to Brandon.Carlson@jetsamerica.com .(Buyers Agent) of acceptance of this offer by Lien Holder.

2. Lien Holder understands and agrees that this is only an offer to purchase an Eclipse 500 aircraft from Lien Holder and that Lien Holder shall consider this offer non-binding to the Buyer until a formal aircraft purchase agreement can be mutually executed between the Lien Holder and Buyer.

3. Buyer agrees to pay all escrow fees incurred as a result of this transaction. Escrow fees shall not exceed $2,000 (two thousand dollars) for this transaction


We've discussed this on the blog, and some think $500k is too much for these birds. However, I'm reliably informed that 13 people produced the $100k to show they were serious, which is pretty impressive. I'll be curious how this pans out, and will of course keep the blog up to date.

An interesting new group
Mark was kind enough to email the blog (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) with the following, which I told him I would be delighted to post as part of my next headline. It just shows how well read 'we' are and that Cessna buyers are a clever bunch of people. No, not just for buying a Mustang, but for doing their research properly.

"Shane, this is not directly related to the Eclipse 500, but something I wanted to make you aware of. I am writing to tell you about a new group I have formed for Citation Mustang owners called the Citation Mustang Owners and Pilots Association (CMOPA). 
You are welcome to participate in the group or even in its formation, as I am actively seeking ideas and help. If you run across others that may be interested please let them know we are out here. And if you ever make it to Houston, please look me up, as I would love to meet you over lunch or dinner.
Sincerely,
Mark J. Baumgartner"

The Parting Shot
EAC always exuded class and style when dealing with staff.
Not!
But this takes the biscuit. It's in the 'Termination Agreement' otherwise known as the waiver, which all ex employees end up signing. Naturally, a copy has made it's way to me. One paragraph stood out:-
"On your termination date, your stock grants will cease vesting. If you wish, you may exercise
your vested stock options anytime prior to 30 days from your date of termination, or the
expiration date of the option, which ever comes first. If you do not exercise your options before that time, the vested options will expire." 

OK, let me work this through. The company, which has no money to pay refunds to customers, has shed half its staff, slashed production by 80% and increased the price of the product by 40% wants to sell stock to a person who's just signed a termination waiver?
Only one word for it. Someone at EAC is just plain bonkers....

Another headline, another milestone.
This is Number 50 in the series I've been responsible for since taking up the baton. The future looks bright and the blog is now widely quoted and discussed. I probably shouldn't tell you, but even the Eclipse Aviation web site for customers called E5C has taken up reposting from here!

Take good care of your friends and wrap up warm before you venture out. I will anyway, as I head to my local pub for a pint (or three) to celebrate....

Slan go foil,

Shane


274 comments:

1 – 200 of 274   Newer›   Newest»
Dave said...

Congratulations on the 50th headline! Regarding CMOPA I'd recommend that JetDollars operate it more like this blog (namely being open and hopefully free or cheap) than like Eclipse customer message board or the Eclipse club message board.

TBMs_R_Us said...

OK, let me work this through. The company, which has no money to pay refunds to customers, has shed half its staff, slashed production by 80% and increased the price of the product by 40% wants to sell stock to a person who's just signed a termination waiver?
Only one word for it. Someone at EAC is just plain bonkers....


Shane,

Come on, they still have legal obligations and attorneys. Providing such a legal notice is standard practice for every company that has stock option plans and terminated employees. Employees have certain rights under those plans when they are terminated. Standard practice is to tell them again just what those rights are, irrespective of the fact that the options are seemingly worthless.

You're right, no one would seriously expect any departing employee to exercise a stock option.

Dave said...

Providing such a legal notice is standard practice for every company that has stock option plans and terminated employees.

That is correct. If Eclipse gone public those employee stock options could have really meant something and such things would be important when an employee was jumped/pushed out the door.

airtaximan said...

Al Mann is a cleaver guy, really. He made all his money in the Health Care industry... perhaps he sees the air taxi/VLJ businesses as a feeder business?

Bad joke - I cannot even imagine the decision to go into this - maybe he has some new advantageous "Seller" financing from the equipment manufacturer to his new taxi business?

Dave said...

This is something Roel should buy:
Got a spare half million dollars? Buy the Cowboys end zone!
Seeing how much Roel likes to astroturf Eclipse's support. It coincidentally costs the same as a DayJet FPJ, which DayJet was used for considerable Eclipse astroturfing.

eclipso said...

You got to love them Cowboys!

(from a Texas point of view)

Dave said...

Mike McConnell on a VLJ panel:
VLJ and credit crisis panel MP3

Joe Patroni said...

"....plain bonkers...."

No, they are taking the opportunity to throw their employees under the bus one last time.

When my previous flight department shut down, I was allowed to keep my options (which had an expiration date approximately six years in the future (at the time), or convert them to common shares using a 2/1 ratio.

Taking options instead of pay doesn't look like such a good idea now, does it?

The cynical, hard a## Joe Patroni doesn't feel all that sorry for the Eclipse employees; if things were as they appear to be, and they weren't smart enough to get the hell out of Dodge, then maybe they shouldn't be working in aviation to begin with.

Like my former marriage, sometimes it is easier to wish/hope things will get better (actual evidence notwithstanding), than look reality in the face, and make the decision to cut your losses and move on.

The principle of taking options in lieu of pay is a valid one. But in the real world, there are too many opportunities for managers to screw with them, and make them worthless.

With apologies to Deep Blue, I don't mean to beat up on the entrepeneurs out there. My personal observations have concluded that 15% of management and 15% of the labor force are always out to screw the other.....too bad they can't all work for one big company out in the middle of the desert somewhere, where they can beat each other up to their heart's content. Instead, they are scattered all over the country. :)

Dave said...

Eclipse claimed they'd find salvation in Europe because the Eclipse brand was damaged in the US but not in europe. Well, now the europeans are getting pissed at Eclipse's actions. Eclipse now has two europeans suing over refunds. In addition to IBAL, there is now Royal Properties in Belgium who is suing for a refund.

Dave said...

Future uses for the FPJ -
Restaurant
Hotel
Limo
The possibilities are endless!

Dave said...

Neither the restructuring nor
the management shake-up have
affected Eclipse Aviation’s project
to build an Eclipse 500 VLJ production facility at Ulyanovsk in
Russia. “The project is pending financial endorsement,” Nikiforov
said. “We also are preparing to announce plans for setting up a network of Eclipse 500 service centers across Russia. As for pilot training, we have an agreement on conversion training with the Ulyanovsk flight school.”

Nikiforov estimates the potential
Eclipse 500 market in Russia and the CIS to be between 1,100 and 1,300 units over the next five years

JetExpo Moscow 2008 Show Observer

Dave said...

Here's a recent survey of Russian business aviation:
A survey of Russian business aircraft operations

happy said...

great plane -good on fuel ,takes the load ,flys nice .Given the world money wow's may be the only real choice........nay sayers

airtaximan said...

Happy,

Try a prop, instead.

;)

PS. we are not the naysayers, the marketplace is. Dayjet is a failure becasue there was not enough customers, same with Eclipse. Sorry... be Happy!

Dave said...

great plane -good on fuel ,takes the load ,flys nice .Given the world money wow's may be the only real choice........nay sayers

Yes, there are many private pilots who are happy with the Eclipse 500, but that was supposed to be a secondary market not the primary market. Eclipse needs to manufacture hundreds each year just to breakeven in ABQ and that problem is further exacerbated if/when Russia goes live. It is simply a matter of being realistic. Do you think Eclipse can manufacture and sell 2000 units per year or for that matter 1000? Eclipse isn't a charity out to sell multimillionaires aircraft for below cost and if the company can never make a profit, it will sooner or later shut down and however good it is wont matter.

Dave said...

PS. we are not the naysayers, the marketplace is. Dayjet is a failure becasue there was not enough customers, same with Eclipse. Sorry... be Happy!

We are naysayers (a critic is a naysayer) and we've been proven right.

Black Tulip said...

Happy,

Fly much?

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

Happy,

Fly much?


Happy,

Fly much IMC? Icing conditions? Real world cross country?

Or is it a great VMC toy.... Why we refer to it as FPJ.

Dave said...

Roel has been CEO of Eclipse for about 72 days. How many assets do you think he's transferred to ETIRC in this time? The longer he's in there without being challenged, the more time he has to transfer assets outside the jurisdiction of the US courts. Roel isn't above blackmail...

eclipso said...

For the record...we were "naysaters" because of the WCSYC mentality of Vern. We said he could not deliver what was promised and were only 100% correct. As Gad always keeps it in perspective, Eclipse has not delivered ONE jet that was claim to be delivered! So.... appparently the the song for this program is WCAWCE...(we can't and we can't either).

As for the folks that got heir partially complete, questionably certifed FPJs, congratulations, and it seems the ones flying them DO like them. But the depositors the paid for YOUR plane are taking the hit and so you get a partial plane, solely be chance that you were in the front of the line.

The EA500 may be a good plane to fly, but this is Eclipse. If you didn't get screwed up front, you will before it's over. I was there and I KNOW there will be disappointments.

TBMs_R_Us said...

How many assets do you think he's transferred to ETIRC in this time?

Beyond whatever was agreed to in the original investment deal, ZERO.

gadfly said...

Let’s think this thing through . . . that is, the overall results . . . and we’ll leave the motives of the founders alone:

New Mexico has been fed a line . . . with leaders, including and especially the governor, that should and do know better. The results are becoming most apparent.

Young folks, that are attempting to “better” their technical skills, and their modest family condition, have bought into the promises of the “little bird factory” . . . putting their financial future on the line, to move into the offered promises. Few of these folks have ever been closer to a jet aircraft than meeting a relative at the gate, at the airport, or going on that first airplane ride to some distant exotic destination . . . Disneyland, or some other land of dreams . . . at great cost, but providing a lifetime of memories.

But reality soon sets in . . . the “leaders” into this new life are found to be imbeciles . . . without much more intelligence than required to get under cover from a hail storm . . . but masters at lying . . . with the “media” ready and waiting to believe each and every golden syllable that drips from their self deceived lips.

Nothing of the last few years was done in a dark corner . . . it was all wide open to anyone with the slightest “savvy” of the situation.

Aircraft designers looked at the first pictures, and quickly determined that “this thing is not right”. Engine folks looked at the data and said “this thing isn’t going to fly”. Financial types looked at the situation and declared “This is a scam!”

The politicos looked at it and plotted great things, to fleece the taxpayers, and the great “unwashed”.

The public looked at it and said, “What a wonderful thing!”

And one day, a man named “Stan” offered the opportunity for experts in the field of aviation to express the results of discovery, by those who have a “handle” on the situation. But the damage had already been done . . . the “roots” of deception had already taken hold in the fertile New Mexico soil . . . and we wonder, with amazement, as various folks attempt to chase down bits and pieces of a puzzle . . . that was so plainly laid out, just a few short years ago.

‘Like watching a documentary of the yearly cycle in the life of “Wildebeests” in Africa, we watch the “diehards” plunge down the slopes, attempting to cross a river, while the “crocodiles” enjoy a brief feast. And the few small animals, caught in the melee, struggle to the shore . . . hoping that there is life after the brief 12 week tech school.

gadfly

(A note to you at Eclipse that made great promises to these, the least in the “food chain” . . . It’s not over yet. “They” will go on, with great difficulty, but they will go on. But, you have a long life of memories of your behavior . . . when you could have been a help, but chose to protect yourselves, instead. Now what!)

Shane Price said...

TMBS,

Shane,

Come on, they still have legal obligations and attorneys. Providing such a legal notice is standard practice for every company that has stock option plans and terminated employees.


I'm sorry, I was making a 'cheap' point. You are of course correct that the lawyers were involved and the statement had to be made.

However, I was also make a subtle declaration.

A copy of the 'termination waiver' with it's oddball attachments, is in the possession of the blog.

Which proves that the INDA is being taken really, REALLY seriously by the ex employees.

When bankruptcy hits, and the E5C website shuts down for lack of funding, this blog will be the 'official' web site for staff, customers, suppliers and depositors.

Hang on, it's already the only credible source for these people.

Mission accomplished, so far...

Shane

gadfly said...

Shane

Hang in there, friend. You are doing a good work . . . yet may rarely receive proper thanks.

The "Lord" spoke of casting bread on the waters . . . another place, another time, we can discuss the implications.

'Time to go home and play with the children's mother. Hey, the kids are all gone . . . including the 18.9 grandkids! (Gettin' old has certain advantages . . . 'don't knock it!)

gadfly

(Aside from Eclipse, New Mexico is a great place to live. Now if we can get rid of the politicians . . . )

Anonymous said...

Yet another opportunity has arisen to purchase your very own FPJ.

Photos

Hurry! Bidding closes at 4:30 EST, 10/10/08.


DISCLAIMER: Aircraft has a few small scratches.

gadfly said...

. . . mous!

That aircraft is perfectly safe, until its first test flight!

gadfly

(Somehow, I think I'll decline signing off anything . . . to keep my A&P record clean.)

airsafetyman said...

Ah, JetsAmerica! Their website leave a little to be desired, like where they actually do business and what exactly their business is as opposed to what it will be, someday, maybe, or maybe not. But have heart, their listing of Eclipse 500s for sale lists several that are "EASA equipped"! Think I just found out all I need to know about "JetsAmerica".

airtaximan said...

For More Information Contact: avclaims1@cfl.rr.com

Ken, you listening? Opportunity knocks, buddy...

Black Tulip said...

Just needs a little Bondo. The interior looks nearly new on photo page two. It must be a pretty advanced airplane, as it has the INOP stickers factory installed... no need to worry with a Minimum Equipment List in the field.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Yet another opportunity has arisen to purchase your very own FPJ...

DISCLAIMER: Aircraft has a few small scratches.


This is an extraordinary aircraft! If you look at the second frame on the linked-to page, you can see that there are TWO left wing roots!

I think I'll actually put in a ( very ) modest bid, to mount on the roof of my garage. If the city raises a fuss, I'll just build a tall pylon and call it a lightning suppressor. I don't think I'm kidding...

It's interesting that the aircraft description includes Garmin 400Ws - and the cockpit photo of course shows none. In effect I'd be bidding on the likelihood of Eclipse actually delivering on the Garmins, multiplied times the value of them ( note to self - allocate ZERO dollars for the 400Ws ).

I should also assign some value to the engines. They were shut down with foam, so I suppose they'll need to be hot-sectioned before they'd really have value - so deduct the cost of doing so. Then, they'll only be of value to somebody requiring major service on one of their engines. How many FPJs will still be operational by the time they need their hot sections? ( note to self - allocate ZERO for the engines ).

I'd be the only guy in town to own an FPJ ( paid in full ), that rents a steam gauge Skyhawk when I want a Real Flying Machine. I'd have the satisfaction of knowing that the 172S has more capable - if less pretty - avionics.

So.

How many hours of Skyhawk rental is it worth bidding, to have a pretty lawn ornament with questionable karma?

Would you like the combo?
DI

gadfly said...

Seriously, from a strickly salvage point of view, this aircraft is "totalled". 'Even the engines are "suspect", depending on possible damage while getting them shut down (Is this the one that the fire department had to "shut down" with foam?). It's one thing to have a strong basic airframe, but being "too" rigid, transmits damage throughout most of the aircraft. If there were a thousand other E500's out there, a small market would possibly exist for "knobs" and seat-belts . . . non-critical parts. But regardless of the brand label, I don't see anything much worth salvaging . . . and certainly not worth a man's (A&P) career, should he "sign off" the parts shown.

Regardless of the brand, this aircraft, with all of its stir-fried welds, et al, is a "use it once, and throw it away" sort of thing. There's nothing wrong with that . . . most of what we buy these days is built that way. But things made of aluminum (unlike "steel"), cannot be "pounded and pulled" back into alignment, and considered safe for further use. That's just reality!

gadfly

gadfly said...

An interesting anecdote on “rebuilt” aircraft parts:

Years ago, at my alma mater, Moody Airport, one of the students made a beautiful landing about thirty feet off the ground (either a “150" or “180" . . . I forget . . . Moody had about fifteen aircraft for about twenty students, in the two classes). The main gear of the Cessna spread out rather “flat” . . . not totally, but let’s say the aircraft became a “low rider”, with a certain lean to the side.

The chief shop instructor decided to repair the gear rather than buy a new one. So the process was followed, carefully following the Cessna repair manual . . . straightening, re-heat treating, “shot peening”, etc., etc. The repair was a success . . . and only cost about two or three times as much as a new factory fresh main gear.

Even counting the experience gained, that was the first . . . and last time a main gear was repaired in that fashion.

gadfly

(It seems that Eclipse is having enough problems attempting to complete an airworthy bird the first time . . . can you imagine one being rebuilt after an ‘almost landing’?)

baron95 said...

On other news, Cessna is just now, after three years, about to achieve full rate production of 3 Mustangs/week...

From Aero-News-Net...
Cessna announced at NBAA 2008 this week the planemaker will achieve its planned full-rate production level on the Citation Mustang sometime this month.



Once full-rate production is achieved, Cessna will average three Mustangs rolling off the production line each week at its Independence, KS manufacturing facility. At full rate, employees on the Mustang line are scheduled to deliver 150 entry-level business jets per year starting in 2009.


crawl, walk, run vs run, trip, fall

Dave said...

crawl, walk, run vs run, trip, fall

Plus you're far more likely to find buyers for 150 units per year instead 1200 units per year.

Dave said...

Beyond whatever was agreed to in the original investment deal, ZERO.

It's called preferential payments. Roel is paying himself, but giving the depositors the finger in breach of their deal with Eclipse.

Black Tulip said...

Given the state of the Brandywine aircraft, here is another possibility - a non-aviation application that would not require repair and certification. The aircraft could be converted into a very nice airboat. You could be the best-dressed alligator hunter on the bayou with this rig. Forget the old Lycoming piston engine when you can have a Pratt turbofan plus a spare in the garage.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

I can see it now:

Now judge, this is Roel-banker, not Roel-CEO...

So, ROel-banker took money, ROel CEO stopped paying depositor refunds, suppliers, fired half the company, refused to pay for IOU to customers, etc... while ROel-banker took the money? I see...

thanks

eclipse_deep_throat said...

airtaximan,

wouln't that - Roel stealing money - count as a breach of contract? like a failure of fiduciary responsibilities?? ETIRC is essentially another investor. and that one investor has taken over the company by default. if anything ...i'd think that other investors AND position holders AND current owners would all have a good class action case against Roel, all senior EAC corporate officers, AND even against the Board of Directors for blatant mismanagement of company funds and labor resources. a class action case could put those that already have planes in line AHEAD of those that don't yet have planes. it may be a matter of semantics, but i do think the company has an obligation to get upgrades and retrofits done BEFORE they make new planes.

this will be a big mess for the FAA and even for a Federal bankruptcy judge to digest. like with all the carnage on the market yesterday ...who would service GM cars that still have warranties if GM were to enter bankruptcy? i think that is an 'easy' issue since GM has lots of assets for a judge to quarantine in order to pay for future obligations; EAC doesn't have that.

how would the FAA continue to allow for CofA's on the existing fleet IF there is a design defect found AFTER tits up, and AFTER a fatal crash? if i understand the mechanisms correctly... i believe owner/operators would be required to get any issues addressed by an MRO facility although their JetComplete has vaporized.

they are now using the word crash on CNBC. let's see how low things go today. as DI says, "ya want fries with that?"

E.D.T.

Dave said...

Another article on DayJet:
“Who in their right mind starts a new company with an untested airplane?” Klaskin asked.

While Eclipse can’t be blamed for all DayJet’s problems, Klaskin said he thinks DayJet will likely take legal action.

Mike Boyd, an analyst with Boyd Group International in Denver, agreed that litigation is possible, but said the DayJet concept was never feasible. With the overhead to put small planes with just a few fliers in the air, it would take extremely high ticket prices to be profitable.

“What I couldn’t see was how they could aggregate enough revenue per seat to get to any given destination,” Boyd said. “The customer base was not well defined and, No. 2, I don’t think the customer base exists.”

Despite the company’s failure, Klaskin thinks the DayJet model may work someday.

“This idea was very sophisticated in concept and, therefore, very difficult to execute,” he said. “Somebody will have success with a similar business model, and the roots of that success will be in the roots of this failure.”

DayJet’s woes go beyond financing
One of the great things about greedy dishonest scammers is that they can really turn on each other. If they lie and screw over others, they don't realize that they'll also do that to each other.

I thought the customer base was well-defined (1.5% of all business travelers), but I thought the customer base simply wasn't there. I also thought that those interviewed in the article kinda missed it as I didn't think DayJet was "radical" and I think that others already have succeeded. All DayJet really was was a charter operator who payed too much for its back office system, had way too much staff, had way too many aircraft and used the wrong aircraft.

And here's the next installment of the VLJ panel with Mike McConnell:
VLJ panel podcast
Mike McConnell whines that Eclipse took offense to it being said of Eclipse that they hired inexperiened people - well Mike, I hate to break it to you, but Eclipse bragged about their inexperience as an asset over and over and over again!

fred said...

EDT:

#i think that is an 'easy' issue since GM has lots of assets for a judge to quarantine in order to pay for future obligations#

sorry to play "trouble-maker" but GM has not so many left with value still 100% their own property ...

was it last year or the year before that GM put so bounds on the market to cover for their retirement and employment program ?

was it 1 billion or 1.6 billion ?

if you add it with the money they burnt in the last few months , the result isn't looking good ...!

off-course , it is surely a lot better than EAC ...

that is why i am really amazed by Roel , he just arrived at the right time , with the right money , the right management skills , the right move , from the right place (far from US court!) etc...

amazing , i tell you !

and on top of the cake , a big cherry ... he came as the CEO of a firm which was called EClipse before becoming Etirc ...

anyone to believe in
Santa-Claus ???

as for waht can happen to the "Merry Band" ?

= NOTHING !
Ed is a victim ...
Vern will say "all went wrong after i left (with a quitus!)"...
Roel is Dutch ! (off-course , they can cancel his visa ... = wow , how is he going to survive this ?)

now they are enemy , within the next 2 years , they will enjoy cocktails together on a wonderful beach in the Tonga or Bahamas ...!

TBMs_R_Us said...

It's called preferential payments. Roel is paying himself, but giving the depositors the finger in breach of their deal with Eclipse.

And you know this how? Paying himself for what?

Dave said...

And you know this how? Paying himself for what?

Roel came to power as CEO because Peg accidentally forgot to give Roel his scheduled payment. I'm not saying I *know* that Roel is making payments to ETIRC, just I think it is highly likely that Roel is taking care of ETIRC first. This is why I've said from the very beginning that it's bad for the CEO of ETIRC to also be the CEO of Eclipse because there is so many conflicts there.

fred said...

dave :

#This is why I've said from the very beginning that it's bad for the CEO of ETIRC to also be the CEO of Eclipse because there is so many conflicts there.#

bad , you say ?
For EAC , it is deadly !
for the "Merry Band" it's state of art !!

fred said...

TBM :

it is even simpler than you can believe ...

EAC/Etirc has to show financial capacities of running the plant in Ulyanovsk ...

EAC NEED this deal , all assets transfered to Etirc , master of the holding to have sufficient proof of capacities ...

whatever is the move , they win !

if assets are blocked = No russian money (provided it exist in the term Roel touted which is VERY unlikely = Have you ever seen a Bank paying for making a loan ? or paying to own a worthless ownership or lien in a factory , they finance in the first place ?)

if assets are not blocked , everything end-up in Luxembourg , then for whatever reasons , they don't accomplish the Russian deal ... (bad eco. situation , too many furnishers moving away , demands in fall , etc )

fred said...

you see dave :
# Roel came to power as CEO because Peg accidentally forgot to give Roel his scheduled payment#

sometimes accident are very convenient ...!

a factory doesn't make profit anymore ,a fire break-out a week after owner take insurance ...

or a firm which has totally lost hope of making one day a Kopeck of profit , is suddenly taken over by a creditor ...

without any other previous investors to do any fuss about ...

how convenient !

Shadow said...

Fred, not "state of the art." We're talking about Eclipse here: it's "disruptive!"

fred said...

shadow ..

may i add :

disruptively disruptive ? ;-))

eclipse_deep_throat said...

fred,

point taken ...but i was referring to assets like their 49% ownership in GMAC and, if memory serves, they also own Ditech.com. they could probably sell Hummer if the market was better. but i'm sure they could sell Onstar or set it up as a separate entity so Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. could use the feature in their cars for a fee. i figure that GM has assets in Europe it could liquidate too if necessary...

GM is brilliant in the regard that they managed to convince the UAW to set up a trust fund to manage the health care of the workers. so....i don't think it has been funded 100% yet, but that isn't a direct cost to GM anymore.

E.D.T.

fred said...

EDT :

i agree ...
the point i was trying to make :

when looking at things , don't forget (or don't be shy) to lift a bit the blanket to see what is underneath ...

reality is often a lot more "grey" than the surface ...

who could have said a week before about Enron (well in fact a guy did = he got fired , his boss giving advice to see a psychiatrist !)
Lehmann , A.I.G. (with a special bonus for this one , especially after going on a luxury tour in california on Tax-payer money ! surely , i didn't know the "Merry Band" was in Insurances ...;-)) )

Dave said...

Fallows using DayJet to talk about the economy in general:
Three weeks ago, I mentioned that DayJet, the pioneering air-taxi company, was shutting down not (it claimed) because of overt business problems but because of the impossibility of getting short-term finance. At the time, the credit squeeze might have seemed an excuse for the inevitable diceyness of the air travel business.

But just in the last few days, I've heard separately from three friends who run objectively "viable" businesses that they are on the verge of closing permanently, or laying off much of their staff, because they can't get short-term working capital. One said he was on the verge of having to close a manufacturing facility in the Midwest that, as he put it, "realistically will never open again." And this is from a group of friends that is heavy on writers, political people, academics, etc rather than a lot of business owners. I have never heard stories like this before. When I was living in northern California during the tech crash early this decade, the story was about the relatively slow deflation of (mostly) unrealistic plans rather than the widespread destruction of enterprises with a future.

I wish we some other measures

I find this a convenient excuse. There's such a thing as contingency planning and doing other such things to protect a business. There are businesses that have survived for hundreds of years (and in some cases over a thousand years) living through multiple economic depressions, wars and pestillence.

Afterburner said...

Different subject:

As we have heard, today is Matt Brown's last day at Eclipse. It may be lesser known that today is also Don Burtis' last day.

Following Vern's abrupt departure, Don stated that he would only stay with Eclipse if the E400 ConJet program continued.

Are any conclusions to be drawn here?

-Burner

fred said...

dave :

yes , it is only excuses and bla-bla ...

the business who stand for tens or hundred of years usually do not rely on SHORT term capital ...!

they get long term as investments and then work-out the day-to-day with cash-flow ...

am i such a genius to find it out ? no way !!

just basic good-sens , if you firm is short term credit addicted , something is wrong with your management !
as simple as this ...

fred said...

like you see , i am dying of laughing each time i see on TV a Economic commentator saying : "no one know what going on ...!!"

OHHH yes ? just ask how much collaterals were put on the market in the last 2 years ?

the genius of yesterday , explaining so brilliantly the " new inventive finances " where are they today ?

Dave said...

just basic good-sens , if you firm is short term credit addicted , something is wrong with your management !
as simple as this ...


I wouldn't necessarilly say that. There are high risk start-ups and high growth companies (that also employ high risk). If you make an executive decision to roll the dice it is your own decision and you can either make a lot of money or lose a lot of money. It is the attitude where "If it works I'm brilliant and I get paid off handsomely but if it doesn't work it wasn't my fault" that gets me. Seeing the bank execs testify in front of congress was like this where on one hand they're working to get bailed out while on the other being sure they get their bonuses. Many businesses rolled the dice with the execs cashing in for private profit, but when it came up snake eyes, it is not their fault and so there should be public losses.

With DayJet and Eclipse they made the conscious decision to be built their business based on getting a high volume of customers and whatnot. That it didn't pan out is basically fine (as long as investments weren't obtained via fraud, etc) as start-up businesses fail, but the problem is not owning up to it. Others in the same industry made conscious decisions to model their business differently. Some will make it and some wont, but at least with those who don't make it, they should learn something from it instead of acting like they had no role in their own business failure.

Deep Blue said...

Two comments:

Dave's judgment about RP's likley pref payment actions is one that anyone who has seen this "game" before would surmise as well. RP will likely give the "Bronx Cheer" to ABQ et al after he recovers his financial exposure (or feels he minimized his losses).

JetsAmerica? Another fly by night aspiration run by a 20-something who told me "he never made so much money before trading E500s/positions (this was two years ago).

JA is yet another bizarre organization that has surrounded the EAC program and reflects the inherent weakness of the market for this aircraft.

Dave said...

like you see , i am dying of laughing each time i see on TV a Economic commentator saying : "no one know what going on ...!!"

Jeff Greene

fred said...

this is where we are VERY different , my friend ...

i believe that whomever build a start-up can get a loan , no problem with that ...
(in fact it's one of the thing missing often in E.U.)

but this loan HAS to be backed by some personal assets !

otherwise , it is just TOO easy :

1° you have a brilliant idea
2°you sell this "brilliant" idea to a banker or a crowd of believer
3° you run your start-up

if things are ok , you become rich and famous ,drinking champagne with many top-model , flying private-jets , nothing being expensive enough for you ...

if you fail , you 'll say "bad luck , bad situation , bad furnishers , bad customers !"

but the losses will be spread onto the community !

in that respect , i really wonder WHY not everybody is doing so ?

ANY C.E.O. failling should be stripped of all his belonging , if not enough , then the shareholders !
not the community ...

baron95 said...

Dave said... There are businesses that have survived for hundreds of years (and in some cases over a thousand years) living through multiple economic depressions, wars and pestillence.


I only know of one. Prostitution.

Dave said...

if you fail , you 'll say "bad luck , bad situation , bad furnishers , bad customers !"
but the losses will be spread onto the community !
in that respect , i really wonder WHY not everybody is doing so ?
ANY C.E.O. failling should be stripped of all his belonging , if not enough , then the shareholders !
not the community ...


In that regard I agree with you as this shouldn't become a public burden, but there is a middle ground with venture capitalists. They put their money at risk in exchange for an ownership stake. Many businesses wouldn't have gone anywhere without VCs privately putting up their own money. My complaints with Eclipse have been their use of public financing in various forms rather than with the VCs who put money into Eclipse. You can have equity investments where it is only the investors who get burned while it is with debt investment where things can spread. That is why I've been real critical of DayJet telling people to file things with their credit card companies even though DayJet isn't BK. For debt investments, there should be collateral and personal responsibility for defaulted business loans, but equity investing can be done however the ones providing equity feel like without risk of it spreading to the community.

Black Tulip said...

Baron,

From there it gets more problematic -

"One lawyer in a small town will starve to death, but two can make a very nice living."

fred said...

no Baron , you forgot the catholic church ...!

2000 years+ in business , never any problems at end of months ...!

Dave said...

I only know of one. Prostitution.

Here's a well-known company that is around 500 years old - Beretta Firearms. Jose Cuervo has been around for around 250 years. These are just well-known companies that have stayed family-owned for multiple generations and it excludes businesses that have gone public or become subsidiaries of larger companies.

airsafetyman said...

"JetsAmerica? Another fly by night aspiration run by a 20-something"

A 200 mile-an-hour motorcyclist that is about to hit the wall. Head on.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Well, if Matt Brown and Don Burtis are gone, and Vern is gone, and Bill Bonder is gone, and Ken Harness is gone - there may be hope yet.

Now just get rid of the rest of the rotten management team (McConnell, Rulo, Fierro, RIccardelli, Billson and Roel) and put people with real-life, relevant aerospace experience in.

Or just finally roll over and play dead.

The saga continues.

Dave said...

Or just finally roll over and play dead

The longer Eclipse keeps up its claims of that it will produce and sell 1000+ units per year along with holding their customers hostage, the less of a long-term chance for Eclipse.

baron95 said...

fred said...
no Baron , you forgot the catholic church ...!

2000 years+ in business , never any problems at end of months ...!


Touché ;)

You are indeed correct.

baron95 said...

I can't believe I actually just agreed with Fred.

Must be my 1/8th Franco-Swiss blood speaking.

Orville said...

Well - you don't have to agree COMPLETELY - Fred said - "never any problems at end of months".

Only true if you add the word "financial" in there. :)

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

baron :

you are with some french speaking blood ?

yakk , puke , what a disgrace ! ;-))

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

orville :

when i was saying "end of months" , i was speaking finances ... ;-)

as for the other problems ,they can strike any other day of the month , unless off-course , your financial situation is so compromised that the "end of month" start around the 3 or 4 ...! ;-))

fred said...

dave :

about "burden spread onto community , we agree !

USA is already too far ...
E.U. is mostly too shy on subject

a way "middle of the road" would be good , if REGULATIONS are ALWAYS implemented ...

i am almost sorry for the ones who are going to suffer from the crisis (almost = because in democratic system you always get the politicians you deserve !)

you see if you read the link provided about Jeff Green , you can read that the "same genius" that made the 700 B plan , was in to make a fortune out of the subprime-crisis ...

amazing ! so , someone making a hasty conclusion would say : 700 Billions ? is taht because all his friends didn't have enough time to grab their slice of the cake ?

at the same time , if you look on history , it has always been the same :
a few guys (whether king,president, tyrant or dictator , make no difference , only in one case the public has a share of the guilt=they are supposed to choose ) start to put in the mind of the public "How fucking great we are ..."

it invariably leads to the same kind of result we can all see lately ...

i don't know any country where it did happen and did not finish in the same kind of way ...

(baron is going to say "this is the french "leçon de morale" ;-)) )

but sometime i really wonder if mankind will learn one day out of his own mistake ???

airjet said...

Just got off of Eclipse Conference call 10OCT08. Mike McConnell said that there is news coming out this weekend about a new and improved Hampson Aerospace lawsuit. He said every one should be hearing about it later today or this weekend. Any one have info on this? THIS IS NOT IN REGARD TO THE OLD 07NOV07 LAWSUIT DOC. 09835.

airjet said...

There will be a link to a clear audio of the 10OCT08 Eclipse conference call later today.

Dave said...

Just got off of Eclipse Conference call 10OCT08. Mike McConnell said that there is news coming out this weekend about a new and improved Hampson Aerospace lawsuit. He said every one should be hearing about it later today or this weekend.

As Eclipse has shown over and over again "Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with." It is toxic to do business with Eclipse in any fashion - as an employee, supplier or customer. They could care less about living up to the contracts they sign and if you try and make Eclipse honor their agreements with you, they'll attempt to blackmail you.

Dave said...

Struggling Eclipse Aviation, meanwhile, is trying to raise $200-250 million in equity and conclude a $205-million Russian government investment in an Eclipse 500 VLJ factory in Ulýýyanovsk. The Russian deal will include the pre-payment of royalties to the U.S. company, which will help fund efforts to achieve profitability.

Eclipse has cut back production to four or five aircraft a month, from almost one a day, as it restructures production. The company aims to demonstrate profitability by the second quarter of next year, says CEO Roel Pieper. UBS is working to raise new private equity to pay outstanding bills and expand operations. "We have enough working capital for the next couple of months," he says.

Aviation Week:Buyer Financing Worries Business-Jet Makers

I wonder how those royalties are being calculated - based on producing 800 units per year? Getting royalties for something they wont build? Also didn't Eclipse already claim to have that money in hand? Also if Eclipse claims to have money to operate for months, why are they still refusing to give refunds? It looks like Eclipse is trying to burn up all the money that doesn't belong to them so that's why they're blackmailing their customers.

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

dave :

the royalties do not exist !

it is pure fiction ...

have you ever seen a bank PAYING for lending money to the one who get the loan ?

if they would get some royalties , it would mean that the Whole package is being sold (ie:Etirc loose all control over everything )

but if that would be the case , how anyone could come with the idea it is worth 200M$ ?

i would suggest that to fix all problems it would COST an an other 200M$ ... no way , such a fiasco , so unfinished , and mostly wrong or poorly integrated for whatever is not wrong , could be valuated 200M$

if the Russians want to have it , they just have to close to money valve long enough to pick-up the pieces for 2cents per dollars after ...

at the speed this crazy-car is rushing into the wall , i would : a few weeks !


as for the other bank (UBS) they made an history for themselves of screwing theirs customers (did you think they work together for nothing ? ;-)think fiscal scandal ! ) sometimes they even screw their own customers to death , literally (in the case of the German Jews )

they are quite busy trying to save what can be saved ...

so what is to be expected ???

Dave said...

the royalties do not exist !
it is pure fiction ...


I don't trust Eclipse/ETIRC one bit, but if they say they've got millions of dollars to operate for months, that means they can pay back their customers but choose not to. Further by having repeatedly stated publicly that they've only got financing for a few months they've raised Going Concern (bankruptcy) issues as well as preferential payment issues. Anyone getting any big checks from Eclipse has to realize that the courts could pull the money back (unless of course they're sending money outside to a foreign entity like ETIRC).

Either Eclipse has millions of dollars now to keep Eclipse running and so can pay back customers or Eclipse is out of money and Eclipse should be in BK court diving up the assets amongst the various creditors.

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

Eclipse 10OCT08 Customer Conference call link MP3 -- 57 Minutes 21 Seconds:

WOULD APPRECIATE ANY FEEDBACK IF THESE AUDIO ARE HELPFUL OR NOT. COMMENTS WELCOMED - THANKS...!

PODCAST - LISTEN ON-LINE
http://web.me.com/usajet/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html

DOWNLOAD MP3
http://rapidshare.com/files/152792767/ECLIPSE_CONF_CALL_10OCT08_1100_CT.mp3.html

DOWNLOAD MP4 PODCAST
http://rapidshare.com/files/152783912/ECLIPSE_CONF_CALL_10OCT08_1100_AM_CT.m4a.html

airtaximan said...

funny thing is, EAC has screwed the customer all along... its actually part of the company culture at this point.

Dave is right. IF they have enough cash to keep producing planes, and keeping the weels on, and IF there aren't THAT many refunds demanded... why not do the right thing, and pay these guys back THEIR money?

pathetic

Anyone know how may refunds have been requested?

This is a double-edged sword question... if its a lot, they are SOL/DOA...gone - no more customers. If its not too many, why the heck don't they refund?

I think we know the answer, here.

Dave said...

Be sure and view the slideshow:
‘R.I.P. Good Times,’ Sequoia Capital Warns
Eclipse should have heeded the advice in the slideshow YEARS ago. I imagine those Sequoia guys would have no patience for Roel's sales pitch of Eclipse making and selling 1000+ units per year...unless they wanted to view it as a comedy routine.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

it IS a comedy routine at this point... the only ones who missed the first run (on Broadway since 1998) are in Russia

that's why he's there

Dave said...

it IS a comedy routine at this point... the only ones who missed the first run (on Broadway since 1998) are in Russia
that's why he's there


I guess it beats the Bolshoi for entertainment.

Shane Price said...

Who are this lot:-

Royal Properties N.V.?

They've sued EAC for $152,000,000.

Yes, that not a mistake, it's $152 Million.

EAC sued yet again

Shane

gadfly said...

http://www.royalproperties.be/offices.html

http://www.robelco.be/

Is this correct?

gadfly

Dave said...

Royal Properties N.V.?
They've sued EAC for $152,000,000.
Yes, that not a mistake, it's $152 Million.


Actually it is a typo. I downloaded the case earlier, but unfortunately I didn't take my flash drive home with me this weekend. They're a Belgian company who initially put down a deposit in 2006 if memory serves me and they wanted out when Eclipse raised the price to over $2 million.

Also on another legal front Eclipse and IBAL have been battling it out with motions and responses. IBAL had filed a motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Eclipse responded and just recently IBAL responded to Eclipse's response.

In the EBAL response they point out how Eclipse is just a complete snake. Earlier you had brought up about how customers were instructed to fill out a form to get their refund and that has become a big issue in the IBAL case. Eclipse says IBAL is in default because IBAL followed the directions in that form because in customers following the directions in that form it meant that they weren't doing what the purchase agreement said. I think IBAL will win in court, but everyone who has ever done business with Eclipse or is considering doing business with Eclipse should read all the filings made by both parties in IBAL court case. I believe in so doing people will see DON'T SIGN ANYTHING ECLIPSE GIVES YOU UNTIL AFTER ECLIPSE DELIVERS ON THEIR PROMISE TO PAY OR WHATEVER. ECLIPSE WILL BREACH THEIR CONTRACT BY CLAIMING YOU'RE IN BREACH BECAUSE YOU DID WHAT ECLIPSE INSTRUCTED YOU TO DO. ECLIPSE WILL ALWAYS TRY AND ABUSE YOU AND THEN TELL YOU DESERVED TO BE ABUSED AND YOU CAN'T STOP THEM FROM ABUSING YOU AS OFTEN AS THEY LIKE.

baron95 said...

fred said...
you are with some french speaking blood ?


Techncally Swiss (but French speaking) greatgrand parents from my mom's side - so yes, I'm 1/8th or 1/16th or 1/8th Franco-swiss.

baron95 said...

Dave said... Also if Eclipse claims to have money to operate for months, why are they still refusing to give refunds?

Because writing checks out for refunds does not advance the company's goal one bit. Spending the money instead on Gavio1.5/G400 and EASA cert does. A) it is prob a condition for funding, B)it basically completes the plane with the now accepted reduced function.

I'd say that everyone (customers, depositiors, employees, investors, etc) except the refund seekers are better service by Eclipse NOT sending out refunds at this time. They are really on the edge. An extra $5M could make the difference between completing the tasks, getting funding and extending their lives or folding.

So they either screw the refund seeers for a while, with a chance to survive and pay them later, or they give the refunds, die, and screw all current owners and depositors of a lot more monney.

It may be the right business decision and the right moral decision also (screw less people of less money, with a chance of not screwing anyone in the end).

baron95 said...

Shane Price said...
They've sued EAC for $152,000,000.


I'm pretty sure this is a mistake and the clerk just added three exta zeros by mistake. $152K is the most prevalent deposit figure for a single EA500, by most depositors.

baron95 said...

Summary of the EAC Customer Call (mo notes).

Took questions in advance from E5C group.

Peg:

All cert tests of Avio 1.5 complete, finaizing docs and working with FAA for cert.

That is the configuration proposed to EASA. EASA pilots in NM next week to fly it. EASA was in NM last week. This is the last task for EASA cert. After that in about 2 weeks and they expect the EASA cert.

Production Audit from FAA completed last week was regularly scheduled. FAA sent new team with independent regions. ZERO safety findings, ZERO SW control findings. 3 hrs inspecting a plane off the line - only 2 minor findings.A/c 256 delivered today - zero probs from acceptance company.

Mike:

Lawsuit filed against Eclipse by Hampson - EAC will not comment. All other suppliers are playing ball, except for Hampson.

Q&A next.

baron95 said...

Written Q&A from E5C

Mike:

CPC issued on engine surging - no high heat above FL350.

Gavio 1.5 upgrade can only start in Jan, because of parts lead time. EAC taking reservations for those that want to prepay out of pocket. EAC will NOT allow payment direct to upgrade center, $$$ have to go through Eclipse. Cost for parts is $40K for 2 400Ws, 3 AP servos, antennas. No schedule yet for those that choose not to pay.

baron95 said...

Audio/Live Q&A portion:

Depositor: "I asked a bunch of question on financials - why didn't you answer any?"

Mike: "We will not comment, we will not disclose how much cash we have."We believe that funding will happens in 2-3 weeks. If it changes EAC will update vendors and customers."

Depositor: "254 delivered today, When can I expect my (260)?"

Mike: "December". Eclipse estimates 3 weeks to update SN260 to final config, it will only happen in mid-2009 at the earliest.

Depositor: "I'm serial 466, I already have my 60% in, I'm praying for you, when can I expect my plane? How about tires?"

Mike: summer (june to October/2009).

Peg: tests done on new tires, submitted to FAA - should have 4 times longer life.

Depositor question on training.

Mike: Can schedule pretty much at will, there is excessive trianing capability.

(there are 30 more minutes but I stopped listening)

baron95 said...

I have to say, Mike's and Peg's tone was confident, positive, not defensive.

Depositors were very calm and polite, no one was throwing tentrums.

Who knows, maybe these guys will survive into 2009 at least.

airtaximan said...

thanks Baron....

central point - who is going to buy all the planes, or how will they make any money producing the real world demand of maybe 200-300 planes per year, max?

- I guess they are "banking" on Roel's air taxi business?

Here, we go again...

Dave said...

Because writing checks out for refunds does not advance the company's goal one bit. Spending the money instead on Gavio1.5/G400 and EASA cert does. A) it is prob a condition for funding, B)it basically completes the plane with the now accepted reduced function.

Taking care of customers does advance the company. What future customers are going to buy from Eclipse, when they see how past customers are treated? Eclipse needs to have an even better customers image than their competitors since they need so many customers just to break even.

Also who would have put conditions on there - the Russians? Eclipse is so janus-faced with what funding they say they've received and how much they have in the bank. Sometimes Eclipse acts like it has already received money due to the russia deal, while other times not. Eclipse has claimed it has lots of money and just needs the UBS money to get to an IPO, but if they're lying, why should put have six figures tied up with them?

I'd say that everyone (customers, depositiors, employees, investors, etc) except the refund seekers are better service by Eclipse NOT sending out refunds at this time. They are really on the edge.

But it depends on which way the wind is blowing as to whether or not they say they're on the edge. Eclipse has said they just need the UBS money for the IPO, which that is not a claim of being on the edge - quite the contrary.

It may be the right business decision and the right moral decision also (screw less people of less money, with a chance of not screwing anyone in the end).

Eclipse is too dishonest to trust. Also if holding the depositor's money so important, why not give them a better deal than the ridiculous 6%? If the depositors who are being held hostage save the company what is the big upside for them, but if that doesn't work, look at their huge downside. If Eclipse is really that desparate, it should have asked for equity investment from those involved so that they could share in the upside and Eclipse shouldn't be saying they only need the UBS money for an IPO.

Ken Meyer said...

TBMs asks, "Fly much IMC? Icing conditions? Real world cross country?"

Two answers:

1. Ocean to Ocean Service. We took off from Orlando in cloudy weather at 8:45 AM, had a nice lunch in Colorado midday, and got home to California the same afternoon. And all that despite stiff headwinds sometimes over 125 knots on the nose. Breakfast in Florida; dinner in California--effective cross country transportation for sure. And we weren't fatigued when we got home--better pressurization, much less noise, no vibration, a really comfortable cabin and no worries add up to arriving home much better-rested than in any prop plane.

2. Puerto Vallarta trip. Check out our trip to Mexico!

The plane is indeed fast, fun, comfortable, reliable transportation.

Enjoy!

Ken

airtaximan said...

nice article Ken...

I guess we all now know what you need to do to obtain a refund from EAC.

Good job.

- Please let your fellow deposit-refund-requesters know what other publications qualify as a passport to actually getting your money back from EAC.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
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flyboymark said...

I was wondering...Does Vern still own the Super Connie at Minden Air Yard, AZ N51006?

flyboymark said...

If he does...lets take it from there and have some fun comments... ;)

flyboymark said...

FPJ transport in cut-out belly when they are all grounded?

flyboymark said...

Disruptive technology...grounded FPJ with computer interface to analoge Connie so you can sit in FPJ and fly from belly?

Dave Ivedorne said...

Did you want any extra unintentional irony on that?

How bout this, "just zis guy YA know"?

Your login name is an IMPERSONATION of a longtime blog poster. It is hard to grant you ANY friggin' credibility with your complaints, because the basic pretense of your presence here is a deception. Which is a shame, because every once in a rare while you post something informative, interesting, or useful.

The 'Faithful' are welcome here, though they are fairly certain to run into massively dissenting opinion. I request that you change your login name back to whatever you were using before, or perhaps to something new that is not fundamentally based on deception.

The alternative ( for you ) is continued dismissal of the validity of anything you post.

Try the crow, it's delicious,
DI

airtaximan said...

Glad you laughed...

Almost no one appreciates my humor around here...

Enjoy

PS. if you think my posts discourage any faithful from posting here, you don't give them enough credit. These are some of the thick skinned people I've ever encoutered - they've taken up the pooper for years, had their money bascially stollen, took delivery of POS planes that need fixing, mods, etc... a little ribbing towards someone extolling the virues while asking for a refund, is well... a hot oil massage compared to the raping they have enjoyed from EAC.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
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just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
just zis guy, ya know? said...
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baron95 said...

As I said before AT, we'll prob have to wait till 2H/09 to find out if folks like Ken really were very smart and got the deal of the century or took an unreasonable bet that didn't pay off.

There appears to be a reasonable chance, that by next summer, Ken will be flying a modern twin fan-jet capable of carrying his wife and 2 grown kids half way across the country, with FIKI, coupled AP, GPS nav and integrated ship avionics that will be much more capable than a 2007 TBM, King air or a Citation CJ (original), with the lowest direct operating costs of ANY Fan Jet (yes, even lower than an old used Citation).

That is, as Ken posted, a QUANTUM LEAP from the C340 he was flying before. Safer, faster, etc.

And for that, assuming Ken paid around $1M for his EA500 and sold his C340 for $400K, he hand to finance a mere $600K!!!

If Eclipse is in business by 2H/09, Ken would have moved from a decades old C340 to an economical 2007 Twin Fan Jet and gotten Jet type rating and training, for and easy to finance $600K.

How smart is that?

You guys should be careful insulting Ken - he may come back here in mid 2009 and drag your nose through the s$@#y insults you guys are sending his way.

Worst case for Ken? Eclispe folds, FAA assigns TC to another company (perhaps even an E5C-sponsored entity), Ken has to pay about $100-200K out of pocket to upgrade his ship. Engines, Garmins, etc and other components would still be under supplier warranty.

I think either way Ken will come out a winner. But we'll have to wait another 6-9 months to find out how big a winner.

Dave Ivedorne said...

dave ivedorne said,

"Which is a shame, because every once in a rare while you post something informative, interesting, or useful."

I sincerely hope we can say the same about you someday :)


Don't hold your breath on that, m'kay? :)

To avoid any confusion, I'm thinking of changing my name to "formerly known as just zis guy, ya know"

Hmmmmm, let me think that one over...

baron95 said...

Oh, and one more thing. So far, Ken has been more right and this blog has been more wrong, most of the time.

MANY here wrote that the EA500 would never be certified, never get a PC, never be produced in numbers, that Eclipse was going to fold within a month, that Ken would never got his plane.

Well, Eclipse got the TC, got the PC, produced 260 jets, didn't fold (yet), Ken got his plane and is enjoying it.

So what is the Blog betting against Ken now? 1 - That he won't get the his upgrades (FIKI + Gavio 1.5)? 2 - That his jet will be unsupported? 3 - That Gad's aluminum eating critters will consume him in the sky?

I place the odds as 1 - 75/25, 2 - 50/50, 3 - 99/1.

Dave Ivedorne said...

I place the odds as 1 - 75/25, 2 - 50/50, 3 - 99/1

I respectfully disagree with your odds ( except maybe #3 ). Any view that contemplates a 50/50 likelihood of Eclipse getting the financing and/or investment necessary to continue is SO three-weeks-ago ( so to speak ), and underestimates the financial impact of refund demands and related legal actions on the company's continuation.

In a post-bankruptcy environment, Ken is considerably more likely to have support picked up by a third party, than he is to get the FIKI & Gavio completed without considerable additional cost.

I'm just sayin'...

DI

airjet said...

HOW IN THE HECK COULD THEY HAVE FLOWN LEGALLY - THEY HAD TO BE OVER-GROSSED BY AT LEAST 500 LBS - DO THE MATH.

PrivateAir
Article
The Jetsons Go to Punta Mita : Punta Mita

A half-century later, a real-life George and Jane finally step out of the celluloid and onto the sands of one of Mexico’s swankiest resorts. And Private Air is there.
By: Josh McHugh
October 2008 , Page 50


The fiftysomething couple, two of the first people in the world to own and operate their very own very light jet, are the real-life George and Jane Jetson. They're embarking on their maiden extended getaway, a 1,650-mile test run in which they'll navigate their tiny four-seat Eclipse 500 VLJ nearly the length of Mexico at 40,000 feet. Filling the other two seats will be me, and Art Brewer, an award-winning photojournalist who is not only a giant in the field of action-sports photography but, at six-foot-two and 275 pounds, a giant among men. I surreptitiously pan from Art to the Eclipse, with its bulbous cabin barely higher than his head and a pair of miniature engines at the back, looking not too different from the way Hanna and Barbera drew it up, and can't help but worry. How is this thing ever going to get the four of us off the ground, let alone to Puerto Vallarta?

airtaximan said...

Baron, I disagree regarding the blog being more wrong and Ken being more right... just paraphrasing - there have been many specific instances on this blog where Ken has disagreed and has been flat out wrong. This regarding short term, provable issues... not long range forcasts.

We take issue with him, because we suspect ANYONE who claims to have the real inside scoop, NEVER agrees with anything that EAC did wrong nor any problems with the plane...IS just promoting the comapny and plane shamelessly for their own sake.

- cracking winshields
- EAC missing a show in California due to a poor wing attachment design
etc... there's a long list, including my favorite regarding Dayjets orders. NOW WAY THEY HAD EVEN 1,000 orders as I suspected, according to him.

BTW, how come HE got his refund?
I used to spoof Ken talking directly to Vern about what to spin on the blog.

There HAVE been many faithful that I respect... even ones I did not get along with at first, but learned to respect. EOXXX even told us when he was buying and selling EA positions and making money - he was never as shamelessly onsided as Ken.

In any case, perhaps you think Ken's a clever guy. I just put him in the same category as Vern and Ed. Maybe smart/clever... to some, but not to me. They are more dishonest than anything else.

Truth be told, THIS fact will be the ultimate downfall of the company - they lied to themselves and everyone else about the order book, Dayjets "orders", and a lot of other stuff along the way.

Aviation is about dealing with the realities. There's no way to make money with the E500, or no way to sell enough at a price where they can.

This, is a fala error, and the ability to find and burn cash for 12 years does not make it a success - in fact, it just magnifies the failure.

BTW, I would love to see some opinions on this blog about IF there's an air taxi model that differs from charter, and what sort of equipment would be required. What value needs to be delivered to GA, so that it can become part of the transportation system in a bigger way... or if this is even a good goal.

Afterall, EAC proved one thing if nothing else, this was their GRAND plan - and they missed it by so much, its sad.

PS. why did Ken sell his second plane? Hint: its not because ONE E500 is TWICE as good as even he expected!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Baron95,

You keep swinging between "this plane is so safe, and Ken is a genius", to "the plane is unsafe for operations in anything more than Soft IFR"? Please make up you mind.

Does only paying $600K make this plane safer, when we know the A/P drops out in turbulence, the transponder is prone to uncommanded code changes, the altitude preselect does random level changes, the tires are about 1000 times more likely to blow out on landing than any other business jet, the manufacturer was signing off conformity without adequate conformity inspection, and one of the managers who built the things says that the quality of these planes is really crap?

I know you like to play devils advocate, and you do it well. Your posts are often very insightful and broad minded, but this flip-flopping is really killing your credibility.

airtaximan said...

Correction: he asked for a refund, after putting it up for sale, IIRC.

airtaximan said...

Freedom, thanks for the post regarding safety/EA50.

I had the same thought regarding safety - Ken is absolutely OK with buying a refurbished crashed Cessna prop. That was his previous plane, and I guess this one IS safer? Who knows.

Its just another view into the mind of an EAC buyer.

Again, IF BAron thinks the guy is smart, we can just disagree... and yes from time to time BAron cites the safety issues, as well. I am sure the bashed up Cessna could be viewed as less safe.

That's no standard, though - for most.

airtaximan said...

"You guys should be careful insulting Ken - he may come back here in mid 2009 and drag your nose through the s$@#y insults you guys are sending his way."

what insult?

Shane Price said...

The blogger pretending to be someone else says:-

Then, when someone makes a post about enjoying their jet, you insult them! Even Shane, who can drip honey when he wants to, is guilty of this. Is it ALL blarney then, me bucko?

Sorry mate, I stand by my headline post invitation for Ken to 'drop in' whenever he likes. I gave up insulting people here a long time ago.

You should try it sometime, it's a good way to win friends and influence people...

Baron,

Oh, and one more thing. So far, Ken has been more right and this blog has been more wrong, most of the time.

Gotta call you on that one my friend.

Ken went to extraordinary lengths to parrot Vern's lines. This man was a genius and we were troglodytes, unable to see the future.

Where's Vern now?

Ken insisted that EAC would meet their production targets in '07 and '08, which justified the 60% progress calls.

Guess he was wrong there...

For extended periods we were regaled with the wonders of AvioNG.

No mention of Garmin was ever tolerated.

DayJet was proof positive of the vast intelligence behind the grand and visionary air taxi future.

Anyone seen the ramp at Gainsville lately?

Need I continue?

Shane

airtaximan said...

Nice post Shane. There's a lot of stuff like that.

It is fun to assume that because Ken bought a plane, ad was one of the lucky one (sorta) to actually receive one, albeit unfinished, probably non-confomrng, unreliable and if I may unsafe (according to many) Ken was right.

I firmly believe buying one of these things is the WRONG decision, for anyone. It shows a lack of respect for risk, all over the place - financial as well as safety, reliability, maintainability and overall predictability of everything related to this plane.

IMHO

and, I am not saying its a flat our wrong decision, just not one that accounts for all the known risks, and the liklihood of unknown issues due to the reputation of the company for years now. There is risk in flying, and there are better and worse planes and companies. This one has a long way to go to overcome what we sincerely know to be problems. Its not worth the little savings associated with skipping a real alternative from a reputable company with very few issues... not for this trade of a few dollars.

gadfly said...

“Gad’s aluminum eating critters . . .” . . . ‘has sort of a scientific ring to it, now that you mention it. Some doctors would sell the eyeballs off their dead grandmother to have something like that named after them. But, alas, some Japanese scientist would claim credit . . . since they invented the 7XXX series aluminum alloys! Of course, the principle is as old as creation . . . and part of the original “recycling process”.

“Dr. Ken-root-canal-Meyer” is enjoying the pleasures of a fun product . . . ‘like when I got my first new BMW. It was great while it lasted . . . but began to wear thin after a rear-end locked up unexpectedly in front of an “18-wheeler” on I-40. It took a second BMW to convince me that “fun” and reliability are not the same thing. Even a new “Volvo” . . . that “safe reliable thing from Sweden” had its moments . . . rattles in the exhaust system, leaking fuel injectors . . . the big puddle under the transmission . . . and the time I almost lost it with those wonderful “original Goodyear tires” getting off at Carlisle, one day . . . and I finally had to admit that Japanese quality trumped the rest.

But for now, if Ken et al are having a blast . . . along with the “PR”, let them enjoy it. Time passes all too quickly.

‘Hope I didn’t strike a nerve! . . . I was ‘just jawin’, as it were!

gadfly

(Let’s see here: “Gadites?” . . . no, that’s been used! “Aluminites?” . . . ‘doesn’t really tell the story! . . . . Fame is so illusive . . . back to the drawing board, to invent the perfect “alumicritter”. ‘Like the French say, “It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you pronounce it correctly.”)

gadfly said...

Hey, I’m giving this thing my best shot . . . the aluminum eating critters, the “aluminites”, that is. I went over ‘just about everything on the web . . . and Googled “all manner of ites”. Old Joe Smith, back almost a couple centuries seemed to have the same problem, while he was working late into the night, next to a candle, tryin’ hard to be ‘riginal n’ all, writin’ his “holy” books. There it is*, big as life, Chapter one, verse four (and I quote) “and all manner of -ites” . . . just a few words after menshnin’ plywood, or somethin’ . . . the “lamanites”. (Poor guy, he just couldn’t figger out no more “-ites” to copy off those plates.)

gadfly

(No wonder gettin’ my patents was so expensive . . . and I’m glad others paid most of the fees . . . ‘seems like everythin’ has already been thunk of, or at least called sumpthin’! ‘Course, I been called stuff . . . but it don’t make much profit! “All manner of -ites” . . . now that’s a term that sticks with you . . . ‘just not sure how to use it in a serious sort of discussion! . . . but I’m workin’ on it.)

* ( http://www.bookofzelph.com/sob/01.html )

sphealey said...

> Because writing checks out for
> refunds does not advance the
> company's goal one bit. Spending
> the money instead on
> Gavio1.5/G400 and EASA cert does.
> A) it is prob a condition for
> funding, B)it basically completes
> the plane with the now accepted
> reduced function.
>
> I'd say that everyone (customers,
> depositiors, employees,
> investors, etc) except the refund
> seekers are better service by
> Eclipse NOT sending out refunds
> at this time

And the legal basis for not providing the refund according to contract and civil law is...?

sPh

airtaximan said...

sphealey,
Great question...

ANSWER: "everyone in America has the absolue right to get F*&^%D.

Period.

You can transaxt all you want - when it come to right and wrong - you'll be on the wrong side of a fat wallet every time - these guys know it, so watch your A%%.

In other words - guarantee, refund, etc.. are all subject to interpretation, as required by law. Congrats! you have bought yourself the pain and sufferng of being heisted, AND the cost of proving such in a court of law.

Simple fact

gadfly said...

An interesting way to build a customer base . . . be forced by law to treat the customers with fairness.

gadfly

(‘Bet once the potential customers find out about this method, they’ll be lining up in droves to place their orders.)

baron95 said...

FreedomsJamtarts said...
Baron95,

You keep swinging between "this plane is so safe, and Ken is a genius", to "the plane is unsafe for operations in anything more than Soft IFR"?


There is no such thing as a "safe" plane or an unsafe plane.

Ken and his family were much safer in the flights Ken described here in their EA500 than if they had done the trip on the C340. Much safer. And one of the reasons is simply the fact that Ken (and his wife) have both been through the Eclipse type rating and training process.

Similarly, the EA500 would be safer for a VFR run to MVY than almost any twin turbine that you can buy for $1M. PERIOD.

Safety is relative. I have asked MANY times in this blog, for anyone to show me ANY twin turbine plane with zero time engines, that Ken could have purchased for the same $1M that would be safer for him or his family. NO ONE has ever come up with one, because there is none.

So if Ken only had $1M to spend on a plane, and had his mind set on flying twin turbines, he made the absolutely safest choice possible with the EA500. PERIOD. Capiche?

Now,for a hard IFR flight in a busy terminal area, single pilot, as currently configured, I would not fly the EA500. A $1.2M G58 Baron is a safer plane for that environment.

Is that so hard to understand? Safer compared to what and for what mission? That is what matters.

I could care less if Ken's EA500 is less safe than a Mustang. The Mustang costs 3 times more than what Ken paid, so it is a completely irrelevant comparisson.

And I haven't heard Ken post a single flight single pilot in hard IFR. He has posted mostly VFR or soft IFR with his wife (another type rated EA500 pilot) is the right seat. That is a very safe environment.

baron95 said...

Sphealey said ... And the legal basis for not providing the refund according to contract and civil law is...?


None. There is no question that Eclipse is in breach of contract. That is why I have said many times that depositors waiting for a refund, and in fact all depositors, should form an association and sue. Given that they seem to be totally passive, Eclipse continues to disregard their contractual obligations with no consequences.

Shane Price said...

Snippet time.

One of the depositors has contacted me (again) to say that they were promised a call back from Mike McConnell after the customer call on Friday and still (at time of writing) had no had one.

This chap has a list of questions he would like answers for, but has not been able to.

For months, at this stage.

I'll give EAC the benefit of the doubt, until Monday. Then I'll give you the list and let you see how badly these people are getting treated.

Shane

fred said...

baron :

don't worry about your origin , there isn't a single place on earth with a 100% good guarantee attached to the fact one come from there ...!

nationalism is nothing else that inability of understanding one an other ...
patriotism is only a way to have a majority fighting for your own interests !
(end of "leçon de morale" ;-)) )

i think you're pushing the cork a little over the edge ...

EA500 and Kenny-Boy (for me , it seems it is more a grown-up kid playing with his toy , there is NOTHING pejorative into this term) :

i fail to see any cleverness in the fact of buying anything ONLY 50 % finished , even at any price ...
considering no one knows when it will be finished (if it will be one day) at the paid price !

at some point , provided that you can pour an infinite amount of money into it , ANYTHING is or can be a great thing ...!

i perfectly know we are going to disagree on this , but most great discovery were made by peoples who didn't have any resources (as infinite means) , so had to find a way around ...

so pretending that something unfinished can be a bargain is to see only the good side of things !

and to claim that in a said spot , you can achieve anything is only related to the amount of resources you can waste into this place and thing ...!

so EA500 is a bargain = NOT at all !
is it enjoyable = WHY not ? anybody has the right to experience whatever he wants ...

where is that disturbing ?
A: when some claims value and qualities which are only a very personal opinion !

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

baron

one thing we can agree on :
(i definitely need to see a doctor! ;-) )

the reaction (or the non-reaction) of most seems to me a bit odd !

it is really very good for EAC that i never became a customer : by now , they would have really understood the meaning of "painfully disturbing " ... ;-)

i would to give an advice to those ones who have bought in :

it is probably already too late !
so consider any money as lost ...(it is always better to be surprised than to be deceived !)
take a comfortable armchair , watch the end of the show with a smile ...!

if most can treat the "Merry band" with a big smile , a zero tolerance to BS and "anyway we don't give a shit" attitude ...

then they would have lost any possibility of black-mail , further scam , day-BS of today being pushed tomorrow by the day-BS of the day ...

watch the end of the show without spending a cent more on this...
(if the firm isn't mature after 10+ years , it will never be !)
watch the show with only ONE sentence in mind and mouth =

NOW FACTS AND RESULTS ONLY , NO MORE PROMISES AND FANCY CRAP AND "TOMORROW WE'LL SHAVE AT NO COSTS"!

airtaximan said...

BAron:
"I could care less if Ken's EA500 is less safe than a Mustang. The Mustang costs 3 times more than what Ken paid, so it is a completely irrelevant comparisson."

Unless you really just care about safety!

I have to believe that anyone chosing to buy one of these things, CAN afford a safer plane for 3x the money. Especially considering the real cost, with resid values worked in.

All things considered, I bet the mustang costs around $150k per year more to operate, than the EA50. That's not too much more.

If you think the EA%0 are not worth arouind $500k (Dayjet example)... they have "Cost" $500k in lost reid in just one year...

no a "fair" comparison, BUT a real one nonetheless...

Safety is relative, but I think there are unsafe planes, less safe... is a better way to say it. And, for $150k...I'd want the safer plane.

Deep Blue said...

I recently listened to VR's interview at NBAA. While I found the discussion generally coherent, it especially begs the question--again--concerning high production.

The interviewer asked VR why high production failed at EAC (as if that were the core issue and implying that "if only" EAC had succeeded at production levels it would be a realtive success today). VR pointed to previous examples of HP, for example during war periods.

But I'm left wondering what any previous examples of military HP have to do with EAC, or even civil, in general, in the absense of up-take (the military made a market for its HP--immediately putting output into service and as replacement craft).

But even if EAC nailed its pro forma and relatively perfected a high production routine, I have only a vision of thousands of E500's sitting parked in ABQ looking for buyers (even if they were "in spec").

This may seem overly obvious but listening to VR speak to EAC's production goals (versus spec goals) really reinforces the illogic of the entire venture.

fred said...

deep blue

you're right ...

i always thought Vern was the kind of guy talking about Nuclear energy when asked about batteries ...!

that's brings back to the "planned from day 1"

as you wrote everything seems so illogical , that it had to ordered in some ways ...

"playing" so much with reason and reality demands so much energy and precision that it is almost impossible it wasn't planed or Vern has been the luckiest bastard on earth to be able to mess so much around and last for 10 years+ ....

baron95 said...

DB said...But I'm left wondering what any previous examples of military HP have to do with EAC, or even civil, in general,

DB, to be fair Vern mentioned mostly the high rate production of Cessna, Beech and Piper in the late 70s. There were almost 20,000 GA planes being produced then. Now there is 1/10th as much when planes (excluding the last 3 months) have been incredibly much easier to finance, disposable income is way up. So what happened?

I think it is TOTALLY FAIR to conclued that there was a problem with the product. And sure enough, new entrants Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, TBM, Pilatus, along with a new Citation CJ series, completely stole the show at the lower-mid end of GA.

I sincerely believe that, had the Eclipse come to market on time (4 years ago), with a completed avionics suite, as speced, and producing the one-a-day they have achieved, they would indead have made a big impact on GA (not disruptive, but an impact).

The fact that they screwed up the engine selection and avionics architecture, is just that a screwed up execution which made them lose the window, lose credibility, etc.

Could they sell 1000-2000 a year? Not likely. Could they sell 300? Yes. 600? Maybe under ideal conditions.

Could they hold the price at under $1M? Unlikely. Under $2M? Yes. Under $1.5M? Maybe, under ideal conditions.

Dave said...

The fact that they screwed up the engine selection and avionics architecture, is just that a screwed up execution which made them lose the window, lose credibility, etc.
Could they sell 1000-2000 a year? Not likely. Could they sell 300? Yes. 600? Maybe under ideal conditions.
Could they hold the price at under $1M? Unlikely. Under $2M? Yes. Under $1.5M? Maybe, under ideal conditions.


To me they lost their credibility with their touted production rates. I can understand excusing them for what they said prior to starting up a factory, but they just go on and on about how they'll produce and sell over 1000 units per year. It is like they can't function unless they stick to that mantra. So because of this we end up with Nimbus, DayJet, etc inflating their order book because they simply refuse to deal with the reality of even if they could produce that many they couldn't sell them all anyway. DayJet at least was willing to scrap their business plan to degree and have vacation travelers and all sorts of other things, but Eclipse instead is doubling down on the claims of what they will produce and sell. Producing and selling 300 units per year is extremely good - if you base your business around that and don't instead end up with red ink for underperforming because you set your factory up for 1000 units. They had multiple screw-ups, but the overarching screw-up (I frankly don't think it is a screw-up - at least not now) is how much their business requires a high demand and even if they had gone with P&W from the beginning, etc, they still wouldn't have the demand they needed and continue to need.

julius said...

Baron95,

it's perhaps difficult to produce in big numbers (with corresponding profit) but the real challenge is to produce in varying numbers for some years - and each year with profit!
In automotive sector you have to run the shop with 80+%/90+% capacity utilisation!

I think RP has no need to show the real order numbers and the current development of the order numbers - there will be no one who will care about this fact!

Julius

airtaximan said...

...So because of this we end up with Nimbus, DayJet, etc inflating their order book...

please add ETRICK

Shane Price said...

Snippet time.

Seems Mike Press has confirmed on the E5C site that UT and Eclipse have physical control of the aircraft at Gainseville and have begun to return them to ABQ.

They will be brought up to a more current spec by EAC and then offered for sale, sometime in the future.

Looks like Brandon won't be getting his hands on those $500K FPJ's....

Shane

Dave said...

They will be brought up to a more current spec by EAC and then offered for sale, sometime in the future.

Eclipse of course wont give preferential retrofits would they *snicker* Since they've got all that money to do retrofits for themselves (and of course they'd also have to be giving these retrofits to everyone else), they can afford to give refunds. If $5 million dollars in refunds is all that separates Eclipse from success or failure, why not instead ask all of Eclipse's customers to become investors rather than turning them into OIVCs (Obligated Involuntary Venture Capitalists - taken from "Spies Like Us"). It is bad business forcefullly exposing your customers to all your downside while not letting them share in any upside. That sends a message out in the marketplace that if anyone is considering putting a six figure deposit down, you could kiss all that money away because Eclipse might turn it into an extremely low interest unsecured bridge loan. Repeatedly taking advantage of customers for some short-term benefit only succeeds in eroding the long-term future of the company. No customers - no company. Eclipse should find some other source of funds to pay off the customers who want out and if Eclipse can't and must resort to blackmail, breach of contract and conversion, then that would seem to point to Eclipse not having much of a future in finding buyers for all these 1000s of units.

TBMs_R_Us said...

There is no such thing as a "safe" plane or an unsafe plane.

Baron,

At this point you have contradicted yourself so many times on the subject of aircraft safety that you have destroyed what little credibility the benefit of the doubt would bestow on you.

The net of your posts about "safest twin turbine for under $1M" is reducto ad absurdium. Might as well say nothing at all, it would carry the same intellectual content.

Dave said...

DayJet also blamed its aircraft supplier, Eclipse Aviation, for failing to meet contract obligations, which leads some observers to wonder if litigation will ensue.

“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,” the statement said.

Eclipse declined comment but reiterated in a statement that DayJet was unable to raise capital to continue operating.

SFBF:DayJet’s woes go beyond financing

So isn't Eclipse begging for DayJet to sue them if Eclipse retrofits DayJet's former jets? It would seem like all customers with aircraft would have a case against Eclipse for failing to deliver a product that meets contractual specs and that includes DayJet, which DayJet themselves brought up in their goodbye press release. Eclipse lets DayJet's business suffer because they wont do retrofits, but then once those aircraft return back to Eclipse the first thing they do is get the aircraft more up to spec. I don't think DayJet would have lasted anyway, but that is no excuse for Eclipse breaching their contracts with their customers by giving them incomplete aircraft and refusing to retrofit them.

airtaximan said...

I can almost see it now:

"your plane sucked"

"Your business model made no sense"

Global Thermo Nulear War

funny thing is, they would both be HONESTfor the first time, sedcribing the real problems with the planes as taxis, and how far off the mark the business model was.

It'll never happen.

airtaximan said...

Baron is roght about something, I just am not sure what it is...

If you pinpoint the EA50 into its absolute smallest possible market - a private pilot, without real mission readiness issues, no real bad weather issues, not a lot of friend, family or way off places, and desireous of a more dangerous than prop, but less dangerous than outdate used turbofan... witho little more than $1M to spend and $100k per annum to spend on operations, BUT willing to lose 50% resid value on the plane or moe on day one...I guess he's right.

It IS important to focus on the positive... sometimes... and he's been a good devils advocate - I like him, and respect him - so I'll give him that.

BUT, its still adumb choice... like buying a crashed 401... pennywise - live-foolish IMO.

There ARE a lot of comparable choices for most missions... IMO..

BUt give BAron this - for the narrowest definition of the mission/value prposition - they hit the mar dead nuts on - problem is, its really thin, and a really small segment.

Never enough to make a lot of planes and make money based on rate.

airtaximan said...

DAve,

the BEST thing EAc could do is pay off the pissed off people who are asking for refunds. NOtwithsatnding what BAron points out as a fact regarding a desperate company preserving (or obsconding with the) cash... and cutting staff, production, and making incredibly lofty claims about $100s of millions from russia...

You wuld think tey would radiate the cancer of the lawsuite and disgruntled depositors, and provide the refunds, and be done with it?

I think this shows haw diabolicle, nasty and deperate the are.

There's no good reason for stiffing these folks, afterall, the refunds were called for by EAC itself, to purge the loser r500 was all along.

I guess the orders for the e400 did not really pan out.

DOA #2, IMO.

airtaximan said...

"They will be brought up to a more current spec by EAC and then offered for sale, sometime in the future."

What a bunch of assholes.

I guess Roel is screwing everyone... HeY Ed, pay for the retorfits, or waut and take it up the ass like everyone else.

OK, We'll take the planes back, and we'll pay to retofit them for ourselves.

I am SURE the DAYJET buiness model was going so well!!!!! Why not just throw a nad grenade on Ed house?

Pricks

baron95 said...

Dave said ... Eclipse of course wont give preferential retrofits would they *snicker*

They don't have to. Eclipse has said that they will schedule retrofits based on serial number, and it just so happen that the DayJet fleet has some of the lowest serial numbers.

Deep Blue said...

B95 said:

"To be fair Vern mentioned mostly the high rate production of Cessna, Beech and Piper in the late 70s. There were almost 20,000 GA planes being produced then. Now there is 1/10th as much when planes (excluding the last 3 months) have been incredibly much easier to finance, disposable income is way up. So what happened?"

B95: yes, you're right; he did indeed refer to them as well as military HP.

Your question" "So what happened" is a great one.

What the hell did happen?

Has GA actually suffered a huge structural decline that we're not recognizing?

Did EAC realize this and try to stimulate the GA/bizav market with a new offering that could have made the old GA fleet obsolete?

baron95 said...

ATM said ... BUT, its still adumb choice... like buying a crashed 401... pennywise - live-foolish IMO.


No arguments there. I'd never buy one, but I can understand how Ken et all arrived at a different conclusion knowing what they knew then.

Unfortunately for me, it looks like I'll have to wait several more years to get better plane for my mission than the G58 Baron for about the same $1.2M price.

Maybe the D-Jet, maybe the Cirrus, who knows. In the meantime I need to keep on flying a plane with a 40 year old airframe and engine design. It is an embarrassment to GA that no one can improve on that to date. A real shame if you ask me.

Think about how much a car structure and engine hs evolved in 40 years - cars have roughly double the performance (acceleration, handling) at half the fuel consumption as 40 years ago. To boot, the frame does not corrode and people walk away without a scratch from accidents that would have killed all aboard 40 years ago.

And don't tell me it is because cars are high volume mass market items - it has nothing to do with it.

Ferrari will make about as many Californias and Lambo will make about as many Gallardos as Cessna will make the 172/182/206 cousins. Yet, the technology behing those cars is advancing at breakneck speeds, while other than avionics, the Cessna's are stuck with engines and aerodynamics that are embarassing. What gives?

flyboymark said...

I would not be surprised to see NEW FPJ's showing up with low time engines hot sectined for a slight discount and the old airframes used for parts?....


Damn that number 14 screw hurts....

airsafetyman said...

"They don't have to. Eclipse has said that they will schedule retrofits based on serial number, and it just so happen that the DayJet fleet has some of the lowest serial numbers."

But Eclipse owns the DayJet airplanes. So they are putting themselves ahead of their customers on the off chance they may find a buyer for their own airplanes. No money for refunds, but plenty of money to pee away on their own hangar-queens? Between the lines on these posts I am seeing that Eclipse is settling out of court before the lawsuits get that far. I would sue the hell out of them and go buy a Mustang or Phenom, even if I had to partner with another owner-pilot. You have to be out of your mind to: (A) do business in any form with these people, and (B) get in one of the damn airplanes.

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

Ever wonder what those numbers mean . . . when related to a screw size?

Most probably don’t care, but since a few of you are into the technical stuff, I thought it might be helpful . . . and I’ve found that even most machinists, mechanics, and engineers (even at Sandia Labs) don’t know these basic things.

The basic unit is 0.013" of diameter across the theoretical “sharp point” of the threads, plus 0.060".

The second number, after the “hyphen”, is the number of threads per inch . . . the “pitch”.

The capital letters, NC, NF, NEF, etc., refer to National Coarse, National Fine, National Extra Fine, etc.

Probably, the most common thread size, found in the “skin” of small aircraft is a “10-32 NF”.

When the screw sizes go beyond that, they usually go to fractional sizes . . . 1/4-20 NC, 1/4-28 NF, 5/16-18, 5/16-24, 3/8-16, 3/8-20 . . . etc.

#0-80 thread = 0.060" + “0" = .060" diameter with 80 tpi (threads per inch)
#1-72 = .060" + .013 = .073"
#2-56 = .060" + .026 = .086"
#3 = .060" + .039 = .099"
#4 = .060 + .052 = .112"
#5 = .060 -.065 = .125" (1/8" in diameter)
#6 = .138"
#8 = .164"
#10 = .190" (just over 3/16" diameter)
#12 = .216" (rarely used, but still available)
#14 = .242" (rarely used . . . usually, 1/4-20 is used in brass and aluminum . . . 1/4-28 used in steel, and steel inserts)

Good design practice calls for a coarse thread in aluminum, brass, plastic (without inserts) . . . such as #10-24, 1/4-20, 3/8-16, 1/2-13, etc. A “fine” thread is used in steel, or the “steel inserts” in the softer metals or plastics . . . such as #10-32, 1/4-28, 3/8-24, 1/2-20, etc. You’ll notice that the “Phillips” head screws in the inspection covers, for instance, are 10-32 . . . and screw into a steel insert in the aluminum skin.

In addition, there are other numbers, indicating the strength of the bolt or screw (called a “fastener”) . . . beginning at 1 or 2 (extremely weak) and working up through 8. Therefore, when fixing an aircraft, never use something you bought at “Home Depot” in a little bag, “made in China”.

gadfly

(The rest of you can come back awake, now, and return to the discussion.)

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

Clouds at 20,000, thunderstorms over MMPR. Sounds pretty FIKI to me.

How about it Ken? Do you routinely fly into FIKI conditions in your EA500?

My question about "real world cross country" is just that: It is pretty much impossible to fly routine cross country trips in the flight levels without having to climb or descend through FIKI conditions on a significant percentage of the flights.

airjet said...

The question is: How much over-gross was that flight especially with the 275 guy on board. I am guessing at least 500lbs over-gross?

flyboymark said...

And Gad.....make sure they have or able to have "certs" if you are using them on certified production aircraft.....


Damn that 1/4" lag bolt hurts!

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

"fbm"

It doesn't hurt near as much as that sharp piece of stainless-steel safety wire, that the "last guy" didn't bother to bend back out of harms way. Maybe that's why we always used "red rags", to hide the blood.

gadfly

(The plot thickens . . . FIKI, flying over "gross", winter weather settling in over the Sandia Mountains near the "home nest" . . . )

airjet said...

I WOULD IMAGINE THAT MOST OF DAY JET'S FLIGHT WERE FLOWN IN CONDITIONS THAT WERE NOT LEGAL. ICING, MX ISSUES, MEL, ETC....!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Here is the maritime equivelent of the FAA'S SCR of the EA500.

Front fell off

As you can see all aspects of the certification and operation have been thoroughly addressed.

fred said...

freedom :

your link = hilarious !

fred said...

now , thinking of it , while i was at it , i watched the rest of videos (specially the dumb Miss Tennessee)

it does not really help to understand WHY most Americans cannot place USA on world map but quite funny ...!

flyboymark said...

Ken.....
I don't chime in too often and I jus' take EAC at face value and I DO think the E500 is a kool little jet despite its present short cummings, it's jus' not quite ready for prime time yet.
BUTT!!!.......I see in your mag article pics you do have boots. Dija' get a deal to have the FIKI approved installed or are they the ones that are for occasional use in inadvertant icing?

DAMN....That 5/16" lag bolt hurts?

julius said...

freemdomsjamtarts,

front fell off

great link!

Mr. Hickey speaking ....

Julius

Deep Blue said...

B95 makes a great point about the incredible technological advancements made in auto and the very modest ones made in GA (except avionics, on some models). Even then, as I tell many younger pilots, the avionics don't make the airplane fly any faster, go any farther, climb any higher or turn any faster. In fact some believe certain modern avionics packages are a distraction to the very fundamental requirements of flight: heading, altitude and airspeed. Navigation is still 1950's style as well, with VORs, J_airways, NDBs, airspace management (OK, a few direct flights as deviations from plan with the right equipment).

But why indeed as B95 states so correctly, is GA (much of aviation really) stuck in a 50 year old format? The Cirrus certainly is a step up from a Skyhawk; the Icon may be representative of change; the Pilatus is neat but based on rather old tech.

The 787 is full of new goodies but does it really achieve some kind of breakthrough performance (same for A380, except it carries a small town inside)?

The E500 promised to get GA into turbine and make the old GA fleet obsolete; but in this regard, it doesn't work at +1MM for most GA buyers.

Evidently, investment in new GA tech doesn't allow for the same payback as auto.

airtaximan said...

Baron, look at the epic single.. I forget the name.

Go sit in one, somewhere. I bet you fall in love.

PS. I have nothing to do with Epic... just sat in the mock up at NBAA, and was shocked at how roomy the interior is... more comfy space than their bigger prop. Great design.

airtaximan said...

regarding the technology advancements of cars vs planes...

Just a thought, but perhaps planes needed to be more advanced just to fly compared to a car whose life is spent on the ground?

I am not saying there's no room for advancement in aviation, BUT, given the weight and reliability issues that are required to begin with in flying vs driving, there's inherently more room for improvement with a sloppier car design over time, compared with a plane over the same time.

In otherwords, planes are more advanced to begin with... therefore advancing them further is harder... making a real leap is tougher still, compared to incremental jumps...

Just a basic thought.

Dave said...

In otherwords, planes are more advanced to begin with... therefore advancing them further is harder... making a real leap is tougher still, compared to incremental jumps...

It's like with firearms. Firearms haven't changed significantly since the second half of the 19th century and the invention of cartidges...and it hasn't been for lack of trying. Short of finding a new propulsion system (which eventually will happen), there's really not much that can significantly happen.

airtaximan said...

Seems like Baron would mostly like advancements regarding aircraft affordability -

one could always just forward price the craft to an unusually low price to attract a larger than normal market...

We all know how that ends.

Deep Blue said...

Dave, interesting point about firearms. I note as well that there are creosote wood posts with wires attached to them, running past my house. Not much real change there either (energy or landline telecom).

Anyone have any thoughts about the BWB (blended wing body) as an advancement? As for thrust: VTA(vacuum thrust); Hydrogen; Magneto-plasma (non-atmospheric).

I was recently at an engineering conference; concensus was thyat jet aircraft will be the last machines to burm fossil fuel (given engineering challenges of replacement; weight etc).

Dave said...

Dave, interesting point about firearms. I note as well that there are creosote wood posts with wires attached to them, running past my house. Not much real change there either (energy or landline telecom).

And that's an area that is that way and not for lack of trying. Going back to 1904 Telsa proposed setting up a network to transmit electricity wireless and there's been other such things that really haven't panned out since then. With telecom we do have cell now though as well as fibreoptic, though much of the telecom system is still copper.

fred said...

deep blue

have you heard of GTL ?

seen a few things about , didn't know what to think ...

major improvement ?

or fantasy touted ?

forest said...

ATM mentioned Epic. I sat in the Sport-Jet at Oshkosh. Very roomy and another great design. Both Epic and Sport-Jet/Excel-Jet are using a different business model... more equivalent to Cirrus (in the beginning). I hope the market supports these two... especially after all the failures (EAC, ATG, etc) generated using the "market hype, high burn rate, weak product" business model.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Deep blue,

I agree with Dave and ATM in rebutting some parts of your post, although you start with a point I strongly agree with.


In fact some believe certain modern avionics packages are a distraction to the very fundamental requirements of flight: heading, altitude and airspeed.

I think the modern glass cockpit with a wide color horizon + high definition moving map is a huge safety benefit in IMC or marginal VMC conditions. I think there is probably a moderate (but significant) increase in risk in severe VMC/high density VFR traffic areas as these installations distract from the primary task to "see and avoid"

But why indeed as B95 states so correctly, is GA (much of aviation really) stuck in a 50 year old format? The Cirrus certainly is a step up from a Skyhawk; the Icon may be representative of change; the Pilatus is neat but based on rather old tech.

I am no great fan of the Cirrus A/C. Their instrumentation is a step up from what Cessna used to install, but is comparable to the current C172. The SR20 will have a significantly higher accident rate due compromises made in the pre-certification R&D phase (or lack of one). They screwed up the stick force per G feedback, and swamped it with springs to meet certification. The C172 has it's outstanding accident rate for a reason.

I think that all the A/C design teams since the sixties have been pursuing the wrong performance matrix, with Top speed overprotionately addressed, and a sweet seat of the pants, easy to fly feel being under addressed. Ironic that this is one of the very few areas whereby the EA500 shines according to pilot reports.


The 787 is full of new goodies but does it really achieve some kind of breakthrough performance (same for A380, except it carries a small town inside)?

The 787 and A350 will acheive breakthrough performance, but Joe public won't notice it except in ticket price. The breakthough of the last forty years is a ticket for under a grand to nearly anywhere in the world. Some engines are now running to first LLP on wing (eg 25 000 cycles without significant hot section maintenance is an enormous technical acheivement).

If the incremental technological improvments of the last 40 years had been invested into a different performance parameter than cost per seat mile, A/C would probably have evolved into a different shape.

If you lay the 1960's hull loss rate over the commercial aviation growth curve, you would have predicted daily catasrophic hull losses at the latest by the early 90's. This has been avoided though, because safety is a parameter which the manufacturers have also be optimising for.


The E500 promised to get GA into turbine and make the old GA fleet obsolete; but in this regard, it doesn't work at +1MM for most GA buyers.

Vern had no clue what the dinosaur industry had been investing their hard earned R&D dollar in, as he was Joe public. He misinterpreted his ignorance for industry inaction. This hubris has so far cost about a billion dollars.

The reason the dinosaurs have not offered a twin jet for under a million, is because a twin jet costs more than a million to produce with current technology, (or any the of technologies which are in the pipeline). Vern has graciously volunteered other peoples money to confirm this data point.

I'd like a thermonuclear powered Ferrari for $7500. Why are the dinosaurs of the auto industry too stupid to fill this obvious market niche!

Evidently, investment in new GA tech doesn't allow for the same payback as auto.

The automotive industry is optimising for different performance parameters. The US automotive fleets fuel's SFC has barely budged in decades. If you had been paying $8/gallon over this period like we were, you would also have VW polo's in the drive :)

Don't underestimate aviation. Lycoming has had engines producing nearly a HP/Lb with SFCs down around 0.45 lb/hp/hr which last 2000 hours since the sixties.

Despite numerous attempts, producing a product with a better performance along the parameter matrix: power/weight, SFC, reliablity, and power to frontal area; is proving to be a whole lot more differcult than Joe public assumes. Even at $35K per engine, no one has produced anything better with a stable business model.

Dave said...

The reason the dinosaurs have not offered a twin jet for under a million, is because a twin jet costs more than a million to produce with current technology, (or any the of technologies which are in the pipeline).

For sake of argument assuming that it could be done based on Vern/Roel's production rates and that those rates are achievable, there simply isn't a large enough market and you'd end up with something like this. As Vern ironically point outs (while also claiming at other times aviation industry hasn't done it before or can't do it now) there have been times when the industry has cranked out loads of aircraft - namely for the military during war. Seeing how that Eclipse isn't a military supplier and we aren't in WWIII, there's simply not enough buyers. If you gave a millionaire (not a multimillionaire) an Eclipse for free, they simply couldn't afford it if they actually wanted to use it instead of have a hangar queen. For those who could afford to operate it, then there's the whole issue of getting certified to fly it and so if you were going to give away someone a million dollar vehicle and only make them pay operating expenses, then something like a motorboat, car, house, etc would be easier for both operating costs and ease of use.

Dave said...

It turns out that Linear Air is having the same problems as DayJet in regards to having a commercial Eclipse fleet that can actually be flown:
Part of the problem is that the Eclipse jets have proved tough to maintain. "There has been a lack of support for the aircraft from [the manufacturer], and problems with spare parts supply," Herp said. That hasn't been helped by a restructuring at Eclipse Aviation that, according to Herp, has consumed its maintenance staffers. On a typical day, Linear has only one or two of the four Eclipse jets in its fleet available for flights. (The rest of Linear's fleet consists of three Cessna Caravans, which are single-engine turboprop aircraft.)

Linear recently laid off about one-third of its staff, Herp said, or about 15 employees.

He still believes that the air taxi model can work, and is currently trying to raise $1 million to $1.5 million in financing to keep the company running and give it "12 months of breathing room."

Innovation Economy Blog:Hitting Turbulence at Linear Air
The air taxi business has already been proven - it was proved decades ago! This is still talking about something old and painting it as something new.

Dave said...

This is the original Hampson complaint.

airjet said...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hitting Turbulence at Linear Air

I've been wondering for a while what's up with Linear Air, the pioneering air taxi service operating out of Hanscom Field in Bedford.

... First there was the crazy spike in oil prices.

... Then the FAA temporarily grounded the zippy new Eclipse 500 jets that make up part of their fleet, pending an inspection of the throttle.

... Then there were questions about whether the FAA's certification process for the new Eclipse "very light jet" was conducted properly.

... Then, last month, one of the biggest air taxi operators flying the Eclipse, Florida-based Dayjet, stopped flying "as a result of the company’s inability to arrange critical financing in the midst of the current global financial crisis."

All tough breaks for a start-up.

I spoke with Linear CEO Bill Herp last week. He told me that "fuel prices are not as much of a problem. They're coming back down." The throttle inspection was completed in a couple of hours, he said.

Herp said that the demand for flights in July and August was much greater than the company could satisfy.

Part of the problem is that the Eclipse jets have proved tough to maintain. "There has been a lack of support for the aircraft from [the manufacturer], and problems with spare parts supply," Herp said. That hasn't been helped by a restructuring at Eclipse Aviation that, according to Herp, has consumed its maintenance staffers. On a typical day, Linear has only one or two of the four Eclipse jets in its fleet available for flights. (The rest of Linear's fleet consists of three Cessna Caravans, which are single-engine turboprop aircraft.)

Linear recently laid off about one-third of its staff, Herp said, or about 15 employees.

He still believes that the air taxi model can work, and is currently trying to raise $1 million to $1.5 million in financing to keep the company running and give it "12 months of breathing room."

I wrote about Linear and the Eclipse in the Globe last August; also shot some video of the first Eclipse the company acquired for its fleet.

Labels: aviation, Eclipse 500, Eclipse Aviation, Hanscom Field, Linear Air

posted by Scott Kirsner at 10:03 AM
http://www.innoeco.com/2008/10/hitting-turbulence-at-linear-air.html

Deep Blue said...

Freedomsjamtarts:

Thanks for the pushback; excellent post.

I might argue that, yes, it is a breakthrough that one can fly generally anywhere in the world for <$1K each way; however, just as EAC "forward priced" (as ATM states correctly) its E500, the airlines sell seats often for just cash flow and over the last 6 years especially have lost over $50Billion in operating cash (not market cap; that was $100B) by underselling its service.

So I'm not sure airline service has actually realized an economic, sustainable breakthrough and has not been an industry much more rational than EAC.

The GA market is arguably the same; i.e. DayJet: they weren't even close to recovering variable cost per flight.

Air charter really isn't any better: find me a charter company you'd invest in (ones like TAG, Jet Aviation etc make money on fuel, maintenance, parts, but not really on flight operations).

Which begs the question: has aviation actually ever revovered its fully loaded costs? (OK, Southwest may be an exception, but they make a tiny 5% net margin; hardly what one would call a "risk-adjusted rate of return").

Your points about aircraft engineering are well taken; however, I wonder when as an industry we'll get back to optimizing to speed. That is, mutliples of Mach 1; that to me is the long forgotten real value of flight. Forget about meals, sleeper beds, DVDs etc; the true utility of flying, really, is getting off the airplane, fast.

Deep Blue said...

A comment about Linear Air:

While I've met the team there and find them generally thoughtful businessmen, I think the VLJ/air taxi industry, and GA in general, has to keep companies like this in perspective.

They have a handfull of Cessna Caravans and a couple of E500s that fly charter and a very limited (because they never overcame the frequency limitation under FAR 135) "scheduled" service" in a seasonal format with a frequency at less than 5 per week per city pair.

A very credible private survey of the GA/Bizav market showed that of all the operators, >90% have a fleet of less than 10 aircraft, most of which are non-turbine, with revenues <$10MM per year, ususally significantly less.

Ask yourself what industry gets so much attention over such immaterial levels of scale and financial importance, compared to telecom, IT, auto, consumer goods, even airline.

GA/Bizav is really a terribly immature, low scale, very "hobby" based niche industry made up at the retail end of mostly very small, marginal operators.

Linear Air is limpijg along, raising very unimpressive, tiny amounts of capital, esp. in relation to their capital costs, the marketing costs necessary to build a business, etc. It's a hobby company: and this is it for the VLJ promise? DJ is idled; Pogo is a paper company; are we missing something? Netjets is a wonderful success; however, I would wager that Buffet's particular generosity is its true asset; if Buffet tried to sell the company today, what financial investor would buy it? It really doesn't make any money either; it just bleeds slower.

On a sep. note:

Gad: enjoyed your tutorial; one of the things that makes this Blog so enjoyable; thanks.

(And I'm still laughing over someone's comment of "Gad's aluminum eating critters." Damn funny phrase; but your point is still well taken).

Dave said...

The FAA SDR database is now online!:
http://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx
There's 104 for Eclipse now, so Eclipse must be glad that DayJet is grounded. Since DayJet isn't flying, they'll probably tout their SDR record because their biggest commercial user is no longer flying commercially and hence wont be filing any more SDRs.

gadfly said...

Deep Blue

So many of the problems of the “little bird” are people taking themselves seriously . . . far too seriously. Humor is basic to much in God’s creation . . . if you don’t believe it, tomorrow morning, take a good long look in the mirror. At any rate, the “aluminum eating critters” are very real . . . but giving them their correct scientific description doesn’t have quite the impact. And “inter-granular corrosion” does not begin to exhaust the problems, set in motion, when someone takes delivery of one of the little unfinished birds.

Recently, at a “tree hugger convention”, people were signing petitions to ban “di-hydrogen-monoxide” from the water systems . . . (H2O?).

Whether a campaign to elect a socialist as president, or to purchase an unproven jet . . . logic has little to do with the final decision. It’s mostly emotion. Humor has a tendency to de-rail the train of thought long enough to make some folks take stock of their intentions . . . and sometimes, humor can save lives and fortunes. But then, many folks have no sense of humor, to their own destruction.

And, unfortunately, “hate” motivates people to do desperate things . . . without reason.

gadfly

(My wife has a good sense of humor . . . she married me!)

Dave said...

Here's an Eclipse position holder trying to make around a 100% profit by touting that Eclipse will deliver S/N 831 on 7/2009:
Controller:2009 ECLIPSE 500
Who here thinks Eclipse will crank out that many to get to 831 in July, let alone all of next year?

Then here's Bruce Jenner claiming Eclipse will deliver 722 by the 3Q of 2009:
Controller:2009 ECLIPSE 500

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

From the latest NASA ASRS filing:
Narrative
DURING CLB AUTOPLT FAILED, CLBED THROUGH ALTITUDE BY 280 FT TO APPROX ALT OF 22280 FT. WE CAUGHT PROBLEM AND WERE CORRECTING WHEN ATC ASKED OUR ALT WHICH WAS RPTED AT 22200 FT AT THAT POINT IN TIME. EA500 ECLIPSE JET HAS HAD NUMEROUS ISSUES WITH THIS AND OTHER AUTOMATED SYSTEMS FAILURES ON THE OLD AVIO SYSTEM AND SAYS AVIO NG WILL FIX ISSUES. ON A PRIOR FLT WE EXPERIENCED 6 WARNING MSGS AT ONCE, THEY WERE: 1. RIGHT ENGINE OIL TEMP OVERHEAT 2. STICK PUSHER FAILURE 3. AIRSPEED DISAGREEMENT 4. TRIM FAILURE 5. AUTOPILOT YAW DAMPER FAILURE 6. HEADING DISAGREEMENT. OUR INITIAL CONCERN AT THE TIME WAS THE OIL TEMP OVERHEAT WHICH WE WERE ATTENDING TO WHEN WITHIN SECONDS ALL THE OTHER WARNING WENT OFF AS WE WERE DSNDING OUT OF FL230 TO 15000 FT. SINCE OUR ATTENTION WAS ON THE OIL TEMP WE DID NOT NOTICE THAT THE AUTOPLT HAD DISENGAGED AS WELL AND BLEW THROUGH OUR ALTITUDE OF 15000 FT TO APPROX 13800 FT. DURING EARLIER FLT BRAKE SYSTEM WAS MUSHY UPON EXTENDING GEAR. PUMPED BRAKES THREE TIMES TO STIFFEN BRAKES WHICH IS A NORMAL ROUTINE PROC BEFORE LNDG. BRAKES DID NOT STIFFEN AND REMAINED MUSHY. PIC ADVISED SIC AS PART OF PRE-LNDG BRIEFING TO KEEP FEET OFF THE BRAKES DUE TO PAST PROBLEMS INVOLVING THIS AND OTHER EA50 ACFT. UPON LNDG R MAIN LOCKED UP ON TOUCHDOWN BLOWING TIRE. WE WERE ABLE TO STEER THE ACFT CLEAR OF THE RWY. ARPT OPS RPTED SKID MARKS AT THE BEGINNING OF TOUCHDOWN TO THE TXWY WE TURNED OFF AT, THAT WERE NOT THERE DURING EARLIER RWY INSPECTIONS THAT DAY. BRAKES AND TIRES HAVE BEEN A MAJOR ISSUE WITH THE EA50, ALONG WITH OTHER NUMEROUS AUTOMATION AND FALSE/REAL WARNING FAILURES. THE EA50 HAS A LOT OF GREMLINS AND CAN BE SOMEWHAT DISCOMFORTING TO FLY. ECLIPSE KEEPS SAYING THAT ALL THE ISSUES WILL BE FIXED WITH THE NEW AVIO NG. IN THE MEAN TIME IT SEEMS WE ARE TEST PLTS FOR THIS ACFT AND HAVE TO STRUGGLE NOT TO FILE A NASA RPT EVERY TIME WE FLY THE ACFT.

CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: IN ADDITION TO THE PROBLEMS REFERENCED IN HIS RPT, THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN PROBLEMS WITH BLEED AIR OVER TEMPS, FLAP MALFUNCTIONS, AND CRACKED WINDSHIELDS. ALL THIS IN 100 HOURS OF FLYING. THE MANUFACTURER CLAIMS THAT THE UPDATED AVIONICS SYSTEM WILL SOLVE MANY OF THE PROBLEMS. THIS SYSTEM IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR RETROFIT AT THIS WRITING AND WILL NOT CORRECT THE WINDOW, BRAKE, AND FLAP PROBLEMS.

Synopsis
EA50 PLT HAS ALT DEV CAUSED BY AUTOPLT MALFUNCTION THEN EXPERIENCES LNDG WITH LOCKED BRAKES. OTHER AUTOMATION ISSUES ARE REFERENCED.

NASA ASRS Database

This might also be new:
Narrative
THE PLAN (AND CLRNC) WAS ABC DEPARTURE TO CDE, VOR APCH TO ZZZ ABOUT A TEN MINUTE FLT. VERY ROUGH, TRACON WAS VERY, VERY BUSY, TALKING CONTINUOUSLY, OBVIOUSLY STRESSED, AND I DON'T BLAME THEM. LOTS OF 'STEPPED ON' CALLS. DURING CLB, TRACON STARTED SCREAMING ABOUT MY XPONDER BEING IN THE WRONG CODE, AND CHANGING CONTINUOUSLY. THIS HAS BEEN A RARE MALFUNCTION IN THE ECLIPSE TYPE ACFT, AND IT HAD HAPPENED TO ME ONCE BEFORE IN THIS ACFT. 'GROUND CHK OK,' AND IT WORKED FINE FOR SEVERAL FLTS PRIOR TO THIS ONE. I TRIED TO RESET IT, BUT IT HAD NO EFFECT. THE PREVIOUS TIME THE XPONDER HAD CHANGED THE NUMBERS IN THE DISPLAY AS WELL AS 'FOR REAL,' BUT THIS TIME THE DISPLAY REMAINED ON THE CORRECT CODE, AND THE CTLR SAID IT WAS ACTUALLY OUTPUTTING RANDOM NUMBERS AT HIGH SPD. WHEN I TRIED TO SELECT XPONDER #2, IT FAILED. THE AUTOPLT ALSO KICKED OFF DUE TO TURB, SO I HAD MY HANDS FULL, A BIT OVERLOADED. THE ECLIPSE IS A TWIN JET, VERY SENSITIVE TO PITCH, AND SOMETHING OF A CHORE TO FLY WITHOUT THE AUTOPLT. THERE WAS ANOTHER ACFT WITH A VERY, VERY SIMILAR CALL SIGN ON THE FREQ AND TRACON AND UNFORTUNATELY BOTH ACFT WERE SHORTENING THAT CALL SIGN. I CAUGHT WHAT I THOUGHT WAS MY CALL SIGN TO CLB TO 5000 FT. I WAS CLBING ABOVE 4000 FT WHEN I THOUGHT IT STRANGE (FOR THIS RTE), AND WHEN I COULD GET A WORD IN, ASKED IF I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT 4000 FT. THE CTLR SAID, 'YES, YOU'RE A LITTLE HIGH, BRING IT DOWN.' I DID SO PROMPTLY. HE THEN YELLS AT ME FOR MY HDG AND ASKED IF I'D HEARD THE CLRNC TO CDE. I HAD NOT, IT HAD PROBABLY GOT STEPPED ON. AFTER THIS, THE CTLR ADVISED BOTH ACFT OF THE SIMILAR CALL SIGNS. I HAD FILED /A, WHICH MEANT NO RNAV CAPABILITY, SO 'DIRECT CDE' WAS NOT ONLY AN ILLEGAL CLRNC, BUT ONE I COULD NOT COMPLY WITH. I FINALLY GOT THROUGH TO ASK FOR A 'HDG TO INTERCEPT' THE FINAL APCH COURSE, AND BY THIS TIME I WAS TOO CLOSE TO CDE AND CONFLICTING WITH OTHER TFC. TRACON GAVE ME A BIG RIGHT 360 TURN IN STAGES, PUT ME ON THE FINAL COURSE, AND THE REST OF THE APCH WAS ROUTINE. THE ACFT IS GROUNDED, PENDING A CORRECTION TO THE PROBLEMS.

Synopsis
AN EA50 (ECLIPSE) TRANSPONDER 1 CYCLED CODES IN A RAPID RANDOM SEQUENCE. WHEN TRANSPONDER 2 WAS SELECTED IT FAILED.

airjet said...

WOW - ALL THAT SOUNDS VERY FAMILIAR....!

déjà vu

Deep Blue said...

May I humbly respond to yet another firm that was brought but one which I forgot about: Bruce Jenner Aviation.

With no disrepsect to Bruce (and I've met him and he's been to one of my companies), he is yet another "special" company that makes up the very eccentric (shall we say) mix of entities that surround the VLJ/Air taxi/BizJet/Aircraft sales market.

Bruce is now on some reality TV series "The Kardashians" or some such (one of OJ Simpson's ex-pals).

This whole thing is just pure hillarity. I'm thinking there should be a new "Retreat" and TV special, headed up by Esther Dyson in her Russian astronaut suit; with RP as HRH of the little Netherlands; with VR in "Caveman/Hillbilly/Mountainman" garb; EI as his bearded rotund self (he needs a greased shoehorn to get into an E500); Bruce Jenner with his Dutchboy haircut and a red leisure suit on;, JetsAmerica peddling positions by a 20 yr old boy;, Linear Air; Pogo; Etirc, the Russians and the MOC: Marion Blakey escorted by OJ Simpson with a photo op with John Travolta in a disco suit.

Dave said...

Some SDR statistics -

Count of JASC Code
N-Number Total
146DJ 7
145DJ 7
142DJ 7
139DJ 7
163DJ 6
162DJ 6
153DJ 6
158DJ 5
141DJ 5
135DJ 5
119DJ 4
161DJ 4
152DJ 4
130DJ 3
160DJ 3
132DJ 3
109DJ 3
131DJ 3
115DJ 2
110DJ 2
134DJ 2
156DJ 2
875NA 1
147DJ 1
148DJ 1
116DJ 1
150DJ 1
136DJ 1
164MW 1
568EA 1
Grand Total 104

JASC Code Total
2621 10
3244 7 (7 blown tire events!)
3414 5
2710 5
5270 4
3417 4
3243 4
2731 4
5310 3
2133 3
3411 3
3240 3
3233 3
2200 2
2711 2
3246 2
2721 2
3242 2
3230 2
3150 2
2750 2
2752 2
7933 1
2840 1
2897 1
2820 1
3160 1
2741 1
2140 1
2697 1
2300 1
2297 1
2121 1
2730 1
3250 1
3400 1
3410 1
2110 1
2620 1
2210 1
3457 1
5210 1
2720 1
5302 1
2397 1
5532 1
5751 1
5752 1
7930 1
7931 1

Month SDR Count
Jul-07 1
Aug-07 3
Sep-07 4
Oct-07 11
Nov-07 7
Dec-07 1
Jan-08 13
Feb-08 27
Mar-08 12
Apr-08 4
May-08 4
Jun-08 9
Jul-08 4
Aug-08 3
Sep-08 1

airtaximan said...

DB,

so?


(My attempt at humor - you are correct... spot on - its a half hour infomrcial or a reality TV series... hysterical.)

No role for Vern or Ed? Why, they've already been banished from the Island?

Dave said...

In looking at the monthly SDR count does anyone know why after February things declined? Post-Feb is a near mirror image of pre-Feb. I don't have the DJ FlightAware utilization in front of me, so I'm wondering if February was the month of DayJet's greatest novelty and then the novelty waned from March forward. Or was there some bad news with Eclipse that affected people flying DayJet? I went through the old Eclipse Critic/NG headlines to see if there was something particularly noteworthy in Feb/March, but nothing jumped out (maybe it was in the posts).

Shane Price said...

Dave,

By the middle of March my DayJet sources were telling me that more pilots were on the internet filling in job applications than flying paying passengers.

Even the training flights were being curtailed, to conserve cash.

So, after the initial burst of activity and all those SDR's, Ed started to reduce actual activity.

That's my reading anyway.

Shane

WhyTech said...

"why indeed as B95 states so correctly, is GA (much of aviation really) stuck in a 50 year old format?"

One more time, guys. Listen up! The answer is UTILITY. The lack of utility in present aircraft designs, especially at the "mass market" end constrains demand. Exaggerating to make a point, even if the EA500 were free (or pick another acft of your choice), demand would be limited by the lack of utility for the owner/pilot. Too hard to use for daily all weather transportation without killing yourself. Except for companies selling transportation (seats from A to B) the demand just isnt there and until technology trickles down/over from other industries, no acft manufacturer is going to pioneer the technology to get the utility up which will in turn stimulate demand. What is really necessary, IMHO, to stimulate demand, is to largely take thhe pilot out of the loop, rather than requiring ATP level skills. Once this happens, demand will explode.

airtaximan said...

Dave,
not right on point, but...

I suspect Ed and Vern were in Cahoots and Vern was delivering "free" fleet support. One way to "influence" Vern was to log the SDRs...

I suspect, Roel would not play... just like he's not playing with the depositors or the folks in posession of planes-in-need....

Just a thought but, if Roel was not an air taxi "competitor", do you think his disposition would be a little different (friendlier) to Dayjet and or Linear? Actually, in his own best interest, the planes repo'ed by EAC from Dayjet are being retofitted inpriority, right? WHy not agree to do these FOR Ed? Keep up the facade, so to speak, and obtain financing based on that BS story, instead of just the ETRICK saga?

Linear is now saying they cannot operate their ea50s in winter... and laid off half their staff... why not ram their few planes through the retrofit system, and get them FIKI ASAP.

Either Roel is a competitor, or they cannot for some reason deliver these mods.

Either way, there's enough manure to fillthe entire state of ABQ at this point.

Imagien the gall it takes to stiff your fleet customers, when you have at best a few dozen buyers left on the books?

BIG BS

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