Monday, June 30, 2008

Pilot of Eclipse Jet Emergency Shares Personal Experience

From, with kind permission of the author.

By Karen Di Piazza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nealy Fills in Eclipse's CPC Gaps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparing for Flameout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, June 20, 2008

Time to reflect

I'm in a happy mood. Summer is upon us, the kids are on school holidays and business is good. We, on this small island off the west coast of the continent, gave the European Commission a lesson in the power of democracy, even if we'll have to go again next year to reverse our No vote, but it'll be fun while it lasts.

The blog moves from strength to strength. More posts, from more people, are attracting attention. Try using Google to search for Eclipse Aviation and see how high up we rate. Most times, we are just a few lines below Vern's home page, so that anyone doing the simplest of research on the aircraft is bound to find 'us'.

Things are a bit darker down ABQ way. The 'Midway Incident', which the thought police at EAC initially attempted to hide, has grown into a full sized crisis for the Vern. Deep questions are being asked about the control systems and some pretty fundamental design issues are being dragged (kicking and screaming) into the open.

I've been tempted in the past to make an entire headline post out of your comments, but felt I was being lazy just for thinking along those lines. However, the quality of some recent posts is just too high to ignore. I also think it right to plot a path through recent events, as recorded on the blog. The selection below is by no means comprehensive, and I apologies in advance for those of you I could not include. My comments, highlighted in black, are intended to provide some (limited) context for those new to the blog. 

From 'Dave' June 8, 2008 11:16 AM

I think we've got front row seats to watching something hitting the fan...and that something isn't piles of money reaching the rafters due to Eclipse's profitability. Owners and position owners have got to wonder what Vern is hiding from them given how Vern seeks to silence any talk of problems with the Eclipse.

That just about sums up what the blog thinks of Vern's wasting what little cash remains chasing bloggers through the courts.

From 'Black Tulip' June 8, 2008 2:24 PM

Thank you again Gunner. We've offered to send more lawyers, guns or money, and so far you've said you don't require additonal assets. Please let the bloggers know if we can assist in this noble effort.

Just a reminder that Gunner has stood up to the plate, big time, against nosey egotists who don't like critical oversight. I like the bit about sending more lawyers and, especially, guns...

From me, June 10, 2008 12:46 PM

I have a feeling that it's the little things that will cause meltdown in EAC. I suspect that the little ROUND things with air in them might, just might, be the excuse the FAA need to 'review' their position on the FPJ.

I was of course aware of the Midway Incident when I wrote this. The time stamp is therefore important. Checkout the following, which came from a 'one time' poster.

From 'airjet' June 12, 2008 4:04 AM

An Eclipse 500 pilot recently experienced a dual engine control failure after applying forward force on the throttle levers resulting in exceeding the design throttle range of operation. This situation resulted in an inability to control engine thrust through normal means. Eclipse is working with the NTSB to investigate this occurrence, but is issuing immediate guidance to Eclipse 500 pilots to avoid excessive forward throttle force against the throttle stops.
Following a reported windshear encounter on final approach, an Eclipse 500 pilot applied full throttle using enough force against the forward stops to result in exceeding the design throttle position signal maximum range. This out-of-range position signal for both throttles subsequently activated the ENG CONTROL FAIL CAS message for both engines. Since this fault mode was caused by invalid position signals, the system logic held the engine thrust settings at the last known throttle position, which was maximum.
Following a balked landing, execution of the L(R) ENG CONTROL FAIL checklist, and shutdown of one engine, the pilot was able to return around the pattern and land the aircraft with no injury or substantial damage, although both main tires were blown during the event. Initial throttle quadrant testing indicates a force in excess of 30 pounds against the forward stops is required to cause the out-of-range condition.
After becoming aware of this occurrence, Eclipse immediately notified the NTSB and FAA. An Eclipse Safety Investigation Team was dispatched to the aircraft and is currently participating as a party to the NTSB investigation. In accordance with NTSB rules, we cannot divulge details of the investigation, but we are aggressively working to determine the root cause and implement permanent corrective actions. We are also working on an immediate Temporary Revision (TR) to the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to address this situation. In the meantime, we have determined that communicating this issue to operators now is essential in preventing a similar occurrence.
Eclipse 500 operators should avoid applying excessive force to the throttle levers against the
forward throttle stops.

The lesson here is, read my posts carefully. When I hint at big trouble looming for EAC, the storm clouds are gathering...

'Shadow' on June 12, 2008 12:46 PM

Oh, how I love to watch a cash arsonist at work.

This was in the 'Have they no shame' post, after Vern had pulled the 'DayJet positions' stunt, but before the FAA Emergency AD. It was only a single line, but it summed up the situation perfectly.

'Avidpilot' hit the nail on the head, again, on June 13, 2008 8:37 AM

So Shane, if you knew about the incident of both engines on the Ecliplse getting stuck wide open upon a FADEC failure, then that means Vern knew about it before he made the special offer. Of course, he notified his customers of this incident and the possible AD that might be issued prior to sending in their $650,000.00 non-refundable deposit, right?
I think was all know the answer to that.
By the way, position holders I know say they had almost no time to think about the offer due to the sense of urgency that was created. Now we know why.

So, in just under 3 days, we went from 'blown tires' to 'cash arsonist' to 'emergency AD'. My, how time flies when you are enjoying yourself....

That's a summary of recent, key events. If I have left something critical out, include it in this thread. Let's not lose sight of what we are about here, and keep moving on.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Albuquerque, NM – June 16, 2008 – Developers of the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet released information today on a revolutionary pilot monitoring device. It is part of a system announced by the company last October.

Eclipse is the only aircraft manufacturer to have received FAA approval for its Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program. Using the aircraft’s highly-integrated avionics; key aircraft, flight and crew parameters are collected, forwarded to Albuquerque headquarters and analyzed. FOQA is used by most major airlines to conduct trend analysis, find aircraft design issues and detect pilot training deficiencies.

President Vern Raburn commented, “We promised to bring you a world-class flight operation strategy using next-generation integrated avionics and data collection systems. We identified a proprietary method of extending this from the aircraft to the crew. We knew we could collect the ‘vital signs’ of the aircraft so why not monitor the pilots?”

Raburn added modestly, “Actually I came up the idea. There’s an old expression in aviation. If a pilot gets into real trouble, then soon he will be ‘picking buttons off the seat.’ I consulted the aeromedicine experts at the Lovelace Foundation here in Albuquerque. They confirmed there is more to this than a sophomoric joke.”

“Thus Eclipse developed and produced the world’s first biosensor for airman physiological and psychological parameters. Disguised as the center upholstery button on the pilot and copilot’s seat, the sophisticated device is actually a miniature strain gauge, and three-axis accelerometer and attitude sensor… about the size of the end of your thumb. We call it the Vernometer… rhymes with odometer.

“Since deliveries began, we installed these in all two hundred Eclipse 500 aircraft and they have provided very important data for the FOQA program. We decided not to announce the existence of these sensors in accordance with our very strict non-disclosure rules for the protection of proprietary information. We act in the best interest of our customers and investors, and had planned to keep this a trade secret. However, we are unveiling this revolutionary invention as a result of a recent minor incident in Illinois.”
Raburn continued, “We have a central monitoring station that displays the output of all four hundred Vernometers, two per plane. I happened to be looking at the monitor when the red annunciator began flashing for a pilot landing an Eclipse at Midway airport. It signaled simultaneous gluteus maximus and sphincter overloads - something we’ve never seen before. Turns out the pilot mishandled the throttles and had to go-around at full power, and then land power off. It ain’t no big deal; the Space Shuttle takes off wide-open and lands power-off all the time.”

“Our full analysis of the FOQA data revealed that the plane worked to design and certification standards, but the crew overreacted and started pushin’ and pullin’ too hard on them levers… it ain’t a tractor, you know. Anyhow… we’re glad everyone is safe. After landing, as the pilot was leaving the aircraft, he noticed that he’d pinched a button right off the seat. Instead of seeing a piece of thread on the seat cushion, he observed the signal cable trailing from the biosensor button and gave us a call. We decided this would be an auspicious time to announce another example of disruptive technology from Eclipse Aviation.”

Raburn concluded, “We’ve always planned on capitalizing on our unparalleled success in aviation by translating it into other fields. Take the large central monitoring capability we’ve built or the FOQA project. It’s a massive commitment in secure facilities, terabit servers, backup power and hundreds of technicians and operators. I’m pleased to announce that Eclipse has won a sole-source contract to control more than two hundred million refrigerators in the United States. We turn the light on or off in your refrigerator based on a signal from opening or closing the door, transmitted to our central station, and a signal sent back to the lamp. That’s technology transfer at its best. Take it from Vern… it ain’t nuthin’ unless it’s disruptin’.”

In case you have not been a regular reader, Black Tulip is our 'official satirist'. And, as usual, there is a germ of truth in what he says. After all, how can Vern be so certain it's always the pilots' fault, unless he knows something we don't.....
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Have they no shame?

Remember when Vern said the last company he was concerned about was DayJet?

Seems, like in so many other ways, he was wrong. The following issued from the 'bait and switch' department at EAC yesterday. I've checked it out, changed a few details to protect the source and put it up for your information. However, if you are a potential purchaser of an FPJ, remember that we have now lost count of the number of times Vern has pulled similar stunts.

Mike Press and his fellow speculators must be especially happy to be in competition for orders, yet again, with Vern. Finally, the owners club have to be delighted that all of this years DayJet production is looking for a new home.

Next years has to be another 'special offer' in waiting. What value a position now?


From: Eclipse Aviation Sales
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
To: Snow White
Subject: Special Customer Offer from Eclipse Aviation

Dear Snow White,

Eclipse Aviation has a special customer offer based on a unique set of circumstances. You may know that DayJet has slowed its 2008 growth rate. Consequently, the company will not take delivery of additional Eclipse aircraft this year. Starting today, Wednesday June 11, 2008, Eclipse Aviation is offering existing customers the opportunity to move to one of the 16 DayJet aircraft positions to be delivered between October and December of 2008. They will not be configured as DayJet aircraft.

As you also know, Eclipse Aviation recently announced an increase in the price of the Fisher Price Jet. Customers who have not paid their 60 percent milestone deposit are affected by this increase. However, customers who successfully move up to a 2008 aircraft through this special offer will not be subject to the price increase.

You are eligible to secure one of the 16 delivery positions if you are scheduled to receive your aircraft in 2009 or beyond. This offer is open only to customers who have not been invoiced or paid for their 60 percent milestone deposit. Please note that all customers scheduled for a delivery in 2008 have been invoiced. The customers that took advantage of our December 2007 price offer are not eligible to participate.

If you are interested in this limited-time offer, the process is simple. Eclipse Aviation will assign the 16 positions, which start in October 2008, on a “first-deposited, first-served” basis. Because milestone deposits paid to date have been at least $700,000, we require that any customer interested in this offer fund an additional $650,000 toward one of these positions. The remaining balance can then be paid at aircraft delivery. If more than 16 customers fund the required deposit, Eclipse Aviation will promptly return the $650,000 deposit in full to those customers who did not fund in time and they will retain their current position. Partial deposits will not be allocated toward any delivery position.

To participate in this special offer, please follow the steps below:

1. Wire $650,000 to Eclipse Aviation
Bank: Last Chance Saloon
ABA No.: 3456789
SWIFT Code (if wiring from outside the U.S.): MUG
Credit A/C No.: Gotcha, again!, Eclipse Aviation Corp., Aircraft Sales

o Checks will not be accepted, especially from Russia.

2. Fax this form to (505) 123-4567 with your election to participate in this offer. An email will also serve as notification. You must include the following information:

o Account number _____________________________________

o Name on account funding ______________________________

o Bank routing number __________________________________

o Federal or SWIFT wire number __________________________

o Phone number to reach you _____________________________

3. You may call our sales number at (877) Bend Over or (505) Hard Luck for any clarification or status on your wire.
[ ] I, ________________________________ (name) elect to participate in this offer to move into an earlier delivery position.

Warmest regards,

Michael McConnell
Vice President
Marketing & Sales
Eclipse Aviation

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Fan Club get restive

Now that the judge has stayed our ‘motion to quash’ until the first of August, I think it’s time to review what Vern’s fan club are thinking. Clearly, to be a fully paid up member you need to have demonstrated below average intelligence and have a lot of cash lying around that you are willing to blow. Putting aside these obvious qualifications as future winner of the coveted Darwin Award, you must also believe Vern's fairy tales.

So, what have this merry band of owners/position holders been saying to each other since Vernicius the First put his hand in their pockets for the Con Jet? For a change, the ‘fan club’(his term, not mine) reacted poorly. It would appear that many have decided to cut their losses and run. They can of course now do this, as the price increase triggers a ‘refund event’, which is probably why Vern waited so long before he finally did the logical thing. The next group are prepared to wait for the Fisher Price Jet which MIGHT come their way, even at the higher price announced last week. Seems a bird in the hand is still worth more than two in the bush. Very few, if any, want to wait another 3 years (probably more) for the Con Jet. They are also very miffed that you can’t get anyone from ‘Customer Care’ to talk to once you’ve decided you want your money back. A desire to become an ex customer will do that to you every time….

You will be glad to hear that some of ‘them’ are finally convinced that ‘we’ were right. Even our old dentist friend thinks that The Great Raburn is dumping on his long suffering supporters. I can also confirm that several owners and position holders have joined us in another way. Lawyers are being hired all over the place, with EAC as the target. Seems that Vern going after us might have given his 'fans' similar ideas....

Mike Press, on the other hand, is having a field day. Positions, which have early serial numbers are changing hands because of the price increase. Sort of a ‘dead cat bounce’ I suppose. Although the blog has always maintained that a price increase was one of the few sensible things Mr. Raburn could do, he can’t do it again in the short term. EAC needs cash, and lots of it, to survive. Informed speculation has it that The Duke of New Mexico has indeed managed to find more money from somewhere in the recent past. If true, I would be most interested to hear the detail, to the usual address.

Tires are becoming a really, really big pain. An FPJ with three passengers, along with the poor pilot, had an incident this week in Midway. Loosing one tire on touchdown is, how shall we say, interesting. Blowing two is bound to raise the excitement level a notch or three, especially in such a small cabin. Nothing too special, one would think, with the number of tires your average FPJ will chew through. However, it appears the thought police in EAC have issued strict instructions that NO communications take place with the outside world on this subject. When you see reactions like this from a company, to what is a pretty standard event (OK, I‘m sure that pilot was unimpressed) you begin to suspect there is ‘no smoke without fire’. Why try to hush up something, unless there is more going on?

On a practical note, I think Gunner, and his excellent lawyer Norman, deserve our gratitude for their work on our collective behalf. However, I am coming around to the view that Gunner should not be left alone in supporting this financial burden and I would, on behalf of the blog, welcome offers of assistance. Helpful suggestions to the usual address,

Finally, as the summer (at least here in the northern hemisphere) moves towards the longest day I would like to wish you all pleasant weather, good flying and plenty of ‘quality time’ with your families.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Urgent Notice for the 'Honor Roll'

This may require some work to get exactly right. However, I have to start somewhere, and I have to do it NOW. Please note that Gunner and Norman need as many responses as you can get off to them by late Thursday 5th of June 2008 to his email address

Please review the PDF, which is an image file so the text can't be copied and pasted and use the .xls (Excel) format to respond. Many thanks to Gunner (and Norman) and to all of you in advance for your replies. And if anyone wants to suggest a better way to distribute this, let me know.

Vern has personally provided specific postings from each of the targeted Bloggers to support his claims that some or all of them are engaged in a vast conspiracy to violate Eclipse INDA’s. Our position is that his Declaration actually supports OUR position that he’s on a fishing expedition with nothing less than the First Amendment on the hook.

Please review the attached Declaration for comments Vern has attributed to you. Where appropriate, fill out the Excel spreadsheet titled Blogger_Response.xls, using the same format as Vern’s Declaration. (See the example provided in the spreadsheet)

We don’t need to respond to each of Vern’s claims to demonstrate that he is shot-gunning any negative comment about the company or the plane. Many of the Eclipse-provided posts are self-explanatory.

When crafting a response, avoid long editorial, personal opinion, sarcasm, grandstanding, armchair lawyering, etc. If your original comments stem from publicly available information or simple personal opinion backed by experience and/or publicly available info, say so in a concise, straightforward manner.

Above all, save Blog-appropriate commentary for the Blog. Avoid making this personal. Recognize that your responses and comments may be relied upon by the Judge in this case and he’s not interested in your opinion.

Unfortunately, commentary cannot be copied from the PDF, as it’s in image format. You will need to retype your original comments onto the spreadsheet or copy them from the Blog using the time stamp in Vern’s Declaration to locate your original posting.

All responses must be returned to in the attached spreadsheet format by Thursday evening, June 5th. We will not be in a position to use or respond to comments offered in any other format.

Vern Declaration here

For your Excel sheet, Gunner has posted the location in the fourth posting on the blog. Please click on the link he has provided there.