Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 'final aria' is sung

We Critics knew this day would come. The only real question was when, not if. From Stan's first post in April 2006, and mine just over a year ago, the details were unclear but the outcome was predictable. After almost 10 years, and at least $2 billion of profligate waste, this chapter in GA is now closed. At least we can take away the thought that we tried our very best to warn the gullible and illuminate the dark corners, but we must also remember the men and women who put their heart and soul into this project, be they the staff, the suppliers, the depositors and investors who've all lost something. Even those very few unlucky enough to have become owners, deserve consideration and yes a bit of human kindness at this time.

Earlier today, the 'senior note holders' filed a Motion to Convert to Chapter 7, which will give them effective control of the assets of Eclipse Aviation Corporation. This was accompanied by a Motion to Shorten, which leads one to believe that these note holders do not anticipate opposition from ETIRC. This ends the Chapter 11/Section 363 process, which began on the 25th of November last.

There will clearly be ongoing coverage of this, both here and in the wider media. I'll update the headline and provide ongoing information as soon as it reaches me here in Ireland.

Finally, for now, let's remind ourselves of the debt we all to to Stan and Rich, the former for starting the ball rolling and the latter for defending us in our hour of need.

Shane

UPDATED Wednesday 25th 14.25 GMT

Dear Eclipsers:

We are very sad to report unexpected news today. Despite the efforts of many people at EclipseJet Aviation and ETIRC to obtain necessary funding to close the purchase of the assets of Eclipse Aviation, the closing of the sale transaction has stalled and our company is out of time and money. Given the dire circumstances in today’s global marketplace and the lack of additional debtor-in-possession funding, the senior secured creditors of the Company filed a motion today in US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to convert the Chapter 11 case to a Chapter 7 liquidation. This action, under the circumstances, is being supported by the directors of Eclipse.

What does this mean for each employee? The furlough converted to a layoff effective Thursday, February 19, 2009. Most regrettably, you will not be paid the paycheck due on Thursday, March 5, 2009 nor is any vacation pay available. You may have certain rights to seek payment in the bankruptcy proceeding; you may receive additional information about that from the bankruptcy court.

As it stands today, all benefits coverage will end at midnight on February 28, 2009. COBRA benefits will be available for the month of March if you wish to sign up for medical, dental and/or vision coverage. Later this week you will receive a termination package in the mail which will have information regarding all of your benefits.

The Bankruptcy Court will likely appoint a Chapter 7 trustee in our case within 30 days, at which time the trustee will control all assets of Eclipse and will seek to sell them. We cannot comment at this early stage on any liquidation path that might be pursued or possible interest from potential buyers.

We have times set aside on Wednesday and Thursday for each department to come in and collect their personal belongings in their cubes.

Building Schedule for Employee Access

Ø HQ Wednesday 10 to noon

Ø SP 2 Wednesday 1pm to 3pm

Ø SP 3 Wednesday 3pm to 5pm

Ø SP 4 Thursday 9am to 11am

Ø SP 9 Thursday 9am to 11am

Ø SP 10 Thursday 1pm to 3pm

Ø DEII Thursday 1pm to 3pm

Ø SP 11 Thursday 3pm to 5pm

Ø Gainesville Wednesday 10am to noon

Ø Albany Wednesday 10am to noon

All of the executive management team at Eclipse gives you our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your tenacity and perseverance in trying to deliver this dream we know as the Eclipse 500. We gave it one heck of a try. We are sorry that it came to this today.

Mark Borseth

Michael McConnell


247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Zed said...

It is Tuesday ... after all !

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Now the hard work begins for all those who seek to gain access to the assets, such as they are and of course for the folks who stuck it out at EAC.

As offered before, anyone looking for a recruiter or ideas on where to look for work, drop me a line:

ColdWetMack@gmail.com

There are jobs out there, keep the faith.

airtaximan said...

the Russians will offer $17 Million cash for all assets.

No one else will bid.

Vern will be rumored to be affiliated with a bidder, so will RiP (TM CW, thanks, RiP, clever) it will not be true.

There will be a license agreement for support in the US, and it will take 4 years before an EA50 is built in Russia. It will have the G1000, and gain EAS cert, and FAA cert in 2014. Production will be 10per month, and they will sell for $1.85 million in Calendar 2009 dollars.

Almost none will be used in part 135.

The Russians will have 400 people working in the factory, and support will cost around $250 per hour USD or equivalents.


If the Russian do not bid, no one will.

CW will be providing support in one facility in the midwest - you will fly there and wait.

Upgrades to the 260 lucky owners will run $450k to FIKI, and eventually you will get a G1000 for $300k. Except, Ken - his upgrade will cost $550, and his G1000 will cost $400k.

Maintenance will run $350USD per hour on a plan. Except for Ken, he will be paying $500 per hour, just because...

IMO

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I have something slightly different in mind ATM ;^) but I think the bulk of your prognostication is reasonable given what we know and what we think we know.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

At least in CH-7 a reasonable business plan is not a requirement, just a magic checkbook and the ability to fog a mirror - oh wait....

Now the fun begins.

Shane Price said...

Sorry ATman,

The Russian's who were backing Roel don't have $17 million.

I suspect that the don't even have $17...

No, be assured that AT LEAST 3 bidders are lurking in the wings.

Shane

airtaximan said...

"No, be assured that AT LEAST 3 bidders are lurking in the wings."

I call BS on you Shane... BS BS BS

Joshing of course...

do tell... if yu cannot describe them, let us know their complexion so to speak.

I would Love to poke at their folly!!!!!

airtaximan said...

Hints:

INSANE FORMER CEO = 50% chance of bid - 0% chance of success

Established OEM = no way they will bid, no way

Private Equity or other ignorant former rich group = 25% chance of bid, 0% chance of success

Group of owners = 75% chance of bid, 20% chance of success defined as maintaining their own planes

Support group, MRO center = 70% chance of bid, 50% chance of success defined as supporting the fleet profitably (CW, you are in this group)

Price to be paid for assets = $17Million

thoughts?

Dave said...

I think now it is really important to know what exactly ETIRC's rights are and how Chapter 7 affects them.

I think it is well established that Roel is a distributor, but post-BK what right does he have to manufacture? I think if Roel can manufacture aircraft out in Russia that could really screw things up (unless someone is buying a revenue stream on the license revenue. Alternatively, does Chapter 7 preclude the Russian deal?

This all should be very interesting. I would expect there to be some bid activity once Roel is gotten out of the way and can't interfere in the bid process like how he did before. I think Roel is finally getting what is coming to him since he's dodged a lot of problems before, but he's been able to claim he was just a clueless board member...he can't claim ignorance now.

Dave said...

Price to be paid for assets = $17 Million
thoughts?


What happens with the DIP? Will the winning bid amount be paid to Roel to cover the DIP cost or will there be a challenge to his super-priority claim? I think there should be grounds to challenge Roel's super-priority status given his alleged actions during the BK process.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, there may be an OEM or two that could be interested, think MidWest and think Great White North.

I'll bet feverish discussions are underway in at least two possibly three cities as I type this - even an incomplete program with the challenges the EA-500 represents that can be had for maybe $15-20M, is entirely different than buying another OEM for many hundreds of millions of dollars only a year or two ago.

I agree in principal with you on the other parties but would not count any of them out yet, even #1.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

I think all bets are off so to speak regarding manufacturing rights and licensing deals.

I would love be the one to renegotiate this deal with RiP -

Let's see - you shut down the company, trying to use the licensing money you got from the Russian while at the helm of EAC, to buy EAC, and now, you want to make the same money licensing the right to manufacture planes in Russia...

How about, F&%k Off.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Roel will be lucky if he doesn't get lynched. Like for serious.

airtaximan said...

Great White North.

Aint no way Bombardier buys this dog... they looked 10 years ago and concluded there's no way to make money with that plane, no way.

They passed on SPn, AND they had the faith in Grob to hire them to manufacture the structure for the Lear85... should tell you something.

The midwest - HAwkerBeech - no way, no way. Their Private Equity owners will never support this - never.

All GA OEMS are losing their asses right now. I would bet that there is not one OEM dumb enough to bank on making any money with this plane.

Cessna HAS some capability making money on $3M planes, the other lose money on anything less expensive than say $10M.

Think again.

The EAC world class competency was raising money - and He's gone!!!

Dave said...

I think all bets are off so to speak regarding manufacturing rights and licensing deals.

I presume that with Chapter 7, but I think it is pretty important to know what Roel will lose automatically, what he may lose at the discretion of the court and what he wont lose at all. ETIRC is the 800 pound gorilla in the room and deals were definitely signed between them and Eclipse (with Roel to honor some and disclaim others in the 363 sale).

airtaximan said...

DIP, is gone. Just another sandbagged creditor

airtaximan said...

"ETIRC is the 800 pound gorilla in the room"

not any more, but I know what you are thinking.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wrong part of the Great White North, but a good guess on the MidWest - not sure I agree with your characterization.

We shall see.

Shane Price said...

ATman

I'm one of the bidders.

I've already offered a pint of Guinness for the entire, and got a pretty positive response I have to tell you.

The others are:-

1. The 'owners group' led by John Cracken (Ken hates him, so he must be good) who bid circa $50 million prior to the 'cooked' sale to Roel.

2. An unidentified (to me...) supplier group who have finance and a "proper business plan". These people have no chance, in my opinion. Imagine having a proper business plan....

3. Another group who've been looking at several aviation 'opportunities', including this one. They have substantial overseas money behind them, but have managed to hide from me, despite my best efforts to uncloak them.

Since you asked, I think it's going to get messy, very messy, with lawyers lining up to file. Next thing we'll hear is that Roel and Wedge have decided to sue each other....

Or something like that.

Shane

Shane Price said...

Please remember my comments about irony when reading the first lines of my last comment.

And anyway, a pint costs almost €4 now, which is WAY more than EAC is worth.

Shane

Dave said...

DIP, is gone. Just another sandbagged creditor

Roel is the DIP and the DIP is the first to receive any money from the BK estate - per the BK rules on debtor-in-possession financing. If the assets were sold for $20 million that would mean that Roel would get that money and nobody else would get anything - unless there is some sort of ruling from the court or automatically DIP loses its status in Chapter 7. I don't know what the answer is, but I think it is important to know with near certainty either way.

not any more, but I know what you are thinking

Again this is something I would assume, but I think the stakes are too high to go on based on assumptions. I would not just write off Roel's rights completely unless there are further rulings and motions from the court...with both the DIP and ETIRC's ongoing rights, I would expect there to be some action in the courts regarding this.

Zed said...

The easiest way to keep ETIRC away (IMHO) is sunlight.

The more accurate, damning information that is published about his failure to launch ... the more some Russian officials might feel like they were being scammed.

Data from the VEB websites make it look extremely doubtful that anything substantive will ever happen there.

Zed said...

Dave -

You obviously have the docs, and I still need to study them ... but the Note Holders effectively own/control the company.

I believe that the conversion is like a new start, clean Chapter 7. Baristers among us please chime in.

The Note Holders will assume all of the EAC assets and sell them to the highest legal bidder without regard or sentiment.

If anyone, including all of the lawyers, financial advisors, and creditors get even a penny they should frame it.

airtaximan said...

I believe the DIP will be wiped out in the C7... they had their shot, so to speak - I am no expert, but this makes some sense to me.

It all about a sale now, and the blown DIP money IS not an asset.

eclipso said...

...well...I'll be DIPped in s**t and ROELed in mud....

Dave said...

Since you asked, I think it's going to get messy, very messy, with lawyers lining up to file.

I think that is unavoidable given how Roel has been at all sides of the table and now his deal has apparently fallen through. Apparently the Piranha Brothers want to give to Roel a Glasgow smile.

Zed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
airtaximan said...

I am sure Al Mann is really happy about the last $20M or so...

I wonder if he will sue RiP.

Dave said...

But it has the same standing as every other dollar incinerated over the years

No it isn't and not all creditors have the same standing. I believe the DIP has a "super priority" claim, however, I do believe if Chapter 7 doesn't automatically wipe that out (which I don't it does), the creditors will be able to successfully challenge that and can demonstrate that Roel didn't fulfill his fiduciary responsibilities by a long shot (the DIP is considered a trustee). I expect the fur will really fly as it seems to be happening now with the secured creditors.

Shane Price said...

ATman,

If I was Al Mann I wouldn't bother. Roel is a 'busted flush'.

No, on second thoughts, just make that plain 'bust'.

Al Mann should be building his defenses. As one of the few who had any money to start with, he's a likely TARGET for the lawyers...

Shane

Dave said...

I am sure Al Mann is really happy about the last $20M or so...
I wonder if he will sue RiP.


Al Mann has got to be careful as well. Per the Bradley group Mann cut a secret deal with Roel to get a 20% stake in EclipseJet. Mann might have really gotten taken to the woodshed by Roel, but Mann has the appearance of an EclipseJet insider even if in actuality Mann was as in the dark of what was going on as the secured creditors were.

Shane Price said...

I'm thinking of changing the name of the blog.

How about:-

'Don't sue us, we only tried to warn people about Eclipse'

or

'We were only the messengers, DON'T SHOOT'

(That one is for the Russians)

or possibly

'There are 2 billion other reasons to sue Wedge and we're not one of them'

I know they are a bit long winded, but you must agree some defense is necessary....

Shane

Zed said...

Dave -

Concur. Not sure if I misremembered, or mistyped.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

I'm sorry if an earlier comment implied that you'd told me about John Cracken. Many other owners have, as well as most (it seems) of the North American GA community.

But you did not.

And I'm also happy to confirm that you don't hate either John or me.

Now I wondering how you feel about Wedge, today....

Shane
PS Speaking of Wedgie, anyone heard from him?

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

You know now I am speculating but...

This whole Chapter 7 thing was forced by the note holders. And correct me if I am wrong but doesn't this basically wretch it from Roel's incapable hands and throw a hail mary up in the air for someone, who has some kind of backing, to jump up and catch this ball. I mean even Shane is saying that there are three possible parties interested in the purchase of Eclipse during the liquidation process?

Disclaimer: EXTREME OPTIMISM

Doesn't this effectively take Roel out of the mix? And should we be upset about that, because all the guy did was lie, lie, lie, and lie some more? There is some guy even offering depositors claims to the Day Jet fleet, and thats not all. He is saying these planes will be upgraded to FIKI and NG 1.5 capability. Seems interesting. No idea how their gonna do it, but I wish them the best of luck. That leaves me the possibility to upgrade my plane in the future.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
Thanks for all the hard work covering the rapid events of the past couple of months.

I'm sorry for our friends in ABQ.

For the owners, I think things will come together in a few months, so I hope they don't have too much to worry about- if they've waited for several extra years to get their plane, I hope another few months for the re-corpratization of EAC's old assets won't be such a big deal- some operators might have to park their bird for a couple of months- I hope that is the worst case for them.

For the many talented and dedicated folks of EAC/EJAI, I'm sorry things didn't work out better. I really do think RP tried his best- it's just the global economy pretty much took an accelerating nosedive every month he was involved. Too bad he wasn't involved a year or two earlier- I think things would have turned out much differently, but he wasn't.

I do think Eclipse will reopen, but can't say when- gut feel is things could move fairly quickly- a matter of weeks perhaps, or a bit slower, maybe two-three months. Seems like it is just prudent to earnest start looking- the rough ride and suspense is over- I hope a smoother ride with less drama is in store for all. And I hope for some it is still in ABQ, to others, I encourage you to look upon the current situation as an opportunity to travel for a year or so. Kind of stressful if you don't want to travel initially, but I really do hope there are many silver linings in the clouds.

Best wishes,
Goat.

bill e. goat said...

EPx,
I guess you could say with have a different take on RP.

But I'm glad we share a cautious optimism for future events.

Shane Price said...

And another thing, 'Mad Mike' McConnell.

Is he still spouting rubbish from the 'bunker' in ABQ?

Or, praise be, has he finally shut up?

I think I know what's happened. The Russians think he's Roel in mufti and have 'surrounded the Chancellory'.

Run Mike, as fast as you can. These guys don't believe in taking prisoners!

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Omsiv, CH-7 is the best possible outcome for any of you who already have a plane as it does precisely what you said, takes RiP out of the picture and at least presents an opportunity for someone with your interests (continued airworthiness and hopefully meeting spec at some point) to get involved.

It is of course bad for the position holders, it is bad for the former emoployees, it is bad for the vendors and it is bad for the investors.

My position is that without the 'delivered' aircraft being completed and flown and enjoyed, there is no hope for the brand in any shape or form.

What is coming is a painful and I suspect nasty fight, maybe even series of fights - but talk of restarting the line is only a harbinger of sitting through deja vu all over again, 6 to 12 months from now. The focus should be on establishing whether or not a sustainable business can be built to support the existing fleet at a cost the owners can and will pay - all else is distraction IMO.

airtaximan said...

OMSIV,

I like your style...

and lest we forget:

Roel Tried and Lied just like Vern before him.

There's no way any reasonable person/entity bids anything for this company beyond some inventory at pennies, and the necessary support-rellated docs, and them provides support/upgrades (perhaps) to the 260 fleet.


at $300/hr , and 300hrs per year, that's a whopping $90k per plane GROSS. X 260 planes, thats $23.4 M in gross revenue per annum.

Profit, if there can be any at 10% = $2.3M.

Any takers?

My guess would be more like $500/hr, given the part sourcing issues and supplier problems... and same profit at more like 6%.

Any takers?

CW, care to comment on my napkin?

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

you know. 500/hr really isn't all that bad. if it comes to that.

airtaximan said...

epomsiv,

like I said, I like your style!!!

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

This pretty much still sucks. I am gonna start drinking. Funny today I had the piece of mind to pick up a case of Guinness on my way home. Very fitting I think.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, without access to specifics I think you are getting pretty warm.

Add in upgrades to get the fleet to a singular configuration (the TCDS recognizes 3 distinct config's and I suspect it may actually be worse than that) and there COULD be a compelling opportunity.

The engineering resources to support the fleet can probably be had, IF the supporting data is gathered.

If the SW loads and upgrade SB's are mostly developed for FIKI/latest Avio NfG, then I could see a business case being made.

Getting a partner to provide the resources for the upgrades (space, labor, etc.) may be a challenge, but with the current assault on BizAv by the President and his cohorts in the Congress it might be easier than it would have been otherwise.

We'll have to see how the CH-7 goes assuming today's motions are granted.

airtaximan said...

omsiv,

like I said, I like your style.

Did you think RiP would pull it off, and somehow things would be better?

In the end, its just a race to the bottom.

No way to make money with this plane... perhaps since the dream is dead, someone will make some money on support.

ea500s said...

for those of you who predicted this i am sure you would have rather been wrong then right as it is sad when us as aviation enthusiast are witness to this event. The concept was great, the design of engines and airframe was spot on, however the true reason the eclipse failed was due to inept, incompetent and possibly criminal activity by the management that was reponsible for the dicision process that went into the production of this jet and the operational decisons of the company. They without a doubt in my mind are the reason this company failed. A lot of people were hurt by this ( yours truley included) and it is indeed a sad day for me.

For those that think history doesn't repeat it self, maybe you recall the Preston Tucker story. He too was a visionary and applied it to the automotive industry intruducing things in his auto that were cutting edge technology. Unfortunately with similiar results.

Good luck to all of those that have been affected by today's events, I wish everyone the best of luck going into the future. Hopefully in time somehow the resources to support the continued airworthiness of this jet will be developed and the fleet will have the opportunity to be maintained. I can't imagine anyone would wish ill to those that have been so much a part of the eclipse story.

cheers to all.

Dave said...

Doesn't this effectively take Roel out of the mix?

I think it is too soon to tell, though I believe the odds are that Roel will be taken out of the mix. We have to keep in mind this is only a motion to take this into Chapter 7 rather than a court ruling and that all the parties haven't weighed in on this nor has there been a hearing.

I think other parties have to be careful about getting on the secured creditors bandwagon since afterall the secured creditors steamrolled things before and basically tried to cut everyone else out. I'm hesistant of anyone who stabs you in the back and I balance that with the concept of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

There are ways to respond in agreement with the secured creditors where you don't exactly buddy up. The other creditors could for instance file limited objections to the Chapter 7 motion where they support much of what the secured creditors have said, but they weigh in their own concerns and make clear to the court that they don't want to be steamrolled this time.

I for instance am not sure that another auction like what was had before wouldn't be better with Roel's trumped up bid out of the way as well as Roel's interference with other bidders no longer being a problem. I'm trying to be cautious and don't want to assume too much - I believe that Roel will be cut out of the picture and that things will go Chapter 7, but I just have uncertainty to state that the former will definitely happen and that the latter is the best possible option.

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TBMs_R_Us said...

Shane,

And anyway, a pint costs almost €4 now, which is WAY more than EAC is worth.

Come on Shane, you said the price of a pint was coming down!! Come to the states boy, a pint here is only $2 (for now).

Check out pintprice.com.

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
"No way to make money with this plane... perhaps since the dream is dead, someone will make some money on support."

You betcha on support.

And, if someone can pick up the pieces without picking up any of the liabilities, I think they can make money on building new airplanes as well, at least with a reasonable volume infrastructure (100+ year eventually).

(IMHO, YMMV, FWIW, IANAL, YADDA...)
---------------------------------

(If not, maybe I can sell RP dolls along with Wedge and BigEd medels. Lawyers aren't the only ones who gotta make a living !!).

Shane Price said...

EclipsePilotOMSIV,

PLEASE don't drink that canned Guinness.

It's dreadful stuff...

Now, if you ever find yourself over this side of the pond, I'd be happy to introduce you to a proper Irish pub (or three), serving the real thing.

ea500,

Agreed. Lot's of good people hurting tonight, as noted in my headline post.

Goat,

Thanks for the kind words. Speaking of work, I'd better try to get some zzzz's. It's almost midnight in this (emerald) green island off the coast of Europe.

Shane

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Shane its not canned. It is the bottled stuff with the widget. Believe me I know many pubs over there as I have been many times. Grandma was from Limerick originally. The beer tastes much better over there than here. If you don't believe me, it is worth the plane ticket to find out...

airtaximan said...

Bille,

no one makes money building planes, they make money selling them.

So, at north of $2.5, they ain't going to sell many. And with a small fleet, $500per hour support, will not attract many to this value proposition.

It was supposed to be an IPO based on a huge market for a cheap jet that would revolutionize the air transportation system.

Turns out, it was a CH7, based on an trupmed up market for a marginally affordable subsidized jet with $1.5million ponzi dollars per plane, revolutionizing NOTHING except terminologys, like delivery position, guarantees and the like, in GA.

Sorry, comment stands, and BTW, I was very charitable with RiP. My position was perhaps he knew something we all did not. Perhaps he had a plan to make money with this abortion of a plane - HE DID NOT.

RiP.

Eclipse said...

Now is the time to stick together and scoop up the equipment needed to maintain your aircraft. It's a massive opportunity for owners to take control. EA was charging $95/hr...and the incoming and outgoing inspections were around 5 hrs total. $500 just to park your plane in one of their hangars. We can and WILL do MUCH BETTER! Thanks all!

Eclipse said...

BTW I'm eclipsejetcare.com. We can be reached at our website or eclipsejetcare@gmail.com I wonder what the hell is going on with customers who have planes in the service centers. I don't think NY or FL was real busy but there were 5 in the NM location last Tuesday...why is it always a Tuesday?! Anyway I cant overemphasize the need to stick together if we wish to safely maintain the airworthiness of the jets in the field. FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME FOR ANYTHING!

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Frank Castle said...

Bell Helicopter has openings for flight mechanics and assemblers, in Amarillo, just a hop & skip from ABQ.

I'm outta here. Had enough of your double standards, Shane, besides, I'm tired of Uncle Jack and the way he's treated some of his "finest".

So, I'm takin' the ALP, and going into civil work. Maybe I'll be ready for all those "shovel-ready" projects comin' down the pike.

Gawd knows I've seen enough shovelin' around here, pilin' up around Ken's arse.....

Hasta Lasagna !

Frank

bill e. goat said...

Hello Real Frank,
I'm glad Shane has standards- and I don't see the number two in anything I read.
But- it was fun to read (most:) of your posts- I hope your journeys are safe and happy.
Cheers,
Goat.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Even Darth Campbell is carrying the story now, scooped by the blog by only 10 hours or so.

Funny how much glee he seems to be taking now, hell hath no fury and all that....funny when you think how long he carried the water, but then there is the fact he is on the list of creditors.

This is about to get ugly.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just read the petition thanks to Avweb, and all I can say is....

Holy cow $2-3M/wk!!

It is interesting that this was the cashflow many of us here proposed - in the absence of hard reference info.

Also interesting is the fact given in the motion that the bank, VEB, is itself, INSOLVENT, and has been for weeks.

This thing is unreal.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
Thanks for the info-
AVweb Eclipse Motion to Convert

The Real Frank Castle said...

Wm. E. Goat,

Cheers to you bud. It's been real.

Fun.

Bubba said...

Where's Ken?

I suspect he is crying in a pint of Coors over recent developments. He wouldn't dare drink Guiness after all the grief Shane, et.al. have brought to him over the last few years.

Well....surely a Dilbert like Kenny can see the end is here; that the fat lady has sung, and his FPJ is now near worthless.

Surely Kenny will now chime in and tell everyone how things are going to get better.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Frank,
I hope your paths lead to Fun-
and profit too !!

Good luck with the infrastructure biz. Please do stop back in and let us know how things are going from time to time. We'll still be here- I think the Eclipse story is not over yet! (I suspect within a couple of months some sustainable business plan with adequate (for a while anyway) financing will gain traction in ABQ).

Until then,
Happy (Con)Trails

(Er, since we're talking about Eclipse, better leave that "con" part out :)

Dave said...

I think Roel is going to have a lot of explaining to do. First he'll have to show that he had more than an LOI and actually had a financing agreement instead of an agreement to further negotiate. Second he'll have to show how that the terms of the financing even let them do what he is claiming they do. This being directly from the VEB website:
Construction of a factory in the Ulyanovsk region to manufacture and assemble super- light jets Eclipse 500 as well as provide after-sales services. The factory’s projected capacity will amount to 800 jets per year. Vnesheconombank is expected to finance the project in full the total value of which is 205 million US dollars, moreover Vnesheconombank and the Ulyanovsk region Administration will be among the shareholders of the enterprise.
VEB Eclipse Factory Announcement From 9/15/08
Doesn't sound remotely like said financing is to be used to buy up any businesses in the US or to fund other factories. It sounds like if there was such a finalized agreement, the terms would restrict the use of the funds to not include being spent on a 363 sale in the US.

Roel has made a lot of representations to many different people in a variety of countries and he'd better hope that he hasn't pissed them all off due to lying to them all while putting them in bad positions. Even if Roel could get Putin to get money from the VEB, I can't see Putin sending millions of dollars to the US when he could use that money to go to companies that are clearly in Russia and will be used for the employment of Russians nor would Putin want to be seen buying Eclipse through Roel - either scenario risks either internal political issues or a diplomatic incident. Flashing Putin's name around seems pretty stupid actually. Just having done this now invites Russian reporters to ask Putin if he was working on doing special favors for a foreign in order to send Russian taxpayer money to the US when Russia is in the middle of a financial crisis.

Roel had better have an airtight case to show that he's been consistent in what he's told all the parties involved and that all his actions have been above reproach given how hhis company is an Eclipse distributor, he's ETIRC's CEO and he's Eclipse's CEO.

easybakeplane said...

For a slightly off-topic item of discussion, who agrees with me that the following a/c programs will suffer severe delays or cancellations in the next year:

ex-Columbia a/c now part of Cessna- the red-headed step child is getting ready to be orphaned

Diamondjet - it's got a shot!

Piperjet - damn that thing's ugly!

Spectrum Aeronautical - aren't they certifying an a/c this year?

Grob SPn (is it alive or dead!)

LJ-85 - they bit off way more than they can chew!

Cessna Columbo, I mean Columbus - victim of Textron cash crunch?

Hawker 4000 (they seem to losing money on each one, but making up for it in volume!)

787 - the fun is just beginning!

A350 - they don't even know what they don't know!

Notice any similiarites in most of these programs? It's not as easy of just throwing these new guys in the oven at 400 deg for 1.5 hrs!

Dave said...

Where's Ken?

He's drafting a response to the secured creditors since it's as if they were responding to Ken's post from a couple days ago when Ken got upset with bloggers for suggest that Roel didn't actually have the money:
"He doesn't even have the money this time."
You don't know that. Nobody on this blog knows that. Quit proposing your opinions as if they're established facts.

Ken's reply to the secured creditors will be to drop the Chapter 7 talk because they shouldn't be proposing their opinions as if they're established fact.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
"The emerald isle off the coast of Ercoupe..." !?!

(oh- Europe, sorry:)

Thank you for mentioning Stan and Rich in the headline post. With you three guys, we've been blessed with three great hosts/sponsors !!

Special thanks also to David and Becky Johnson ("Ringtail"s) for signing the petition which Rich paid for, to derail Wedge's deranged scheme of deception.

Thanks also to Karen Di Piazza, for being about the only media expert to have asked the hard questions in search of the truth.

It really is an amazing blog!

(Dare I say thanks to Wedge too, for providing the source material? Decisions, decisions...
:)

bill e. goat said...

And speaking of Wedge,
BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH !!

"A certain soothsayer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "The Ides of March has come," and the seer said to him softly: "Aye, Caesar, but not gone."

Well, does anyone know where Wedge is ???
I shudder to think of possible developments...
.)

Wiki, Ides of March

bill e. goat said...

Easybakeplane,
Well, I'm glad I put off this post until now, you gave me a perfect lead off!
------------------------------------

Eclipse belly flops, okay, or not okay, but most of us have seen it coming, I'm sorry to say.

But what the heck is going on with Boeing !?! They can't even update a 40 year old design without floundering about !?!
Boeing slips 747-8- by another year or so

I'm FED UP with tax laws which reward short-term profiteering, and allow long-term capability to be frittered away for quarterly report posturing.

Big Time Fed Up.
--------------------------------

Guess we get a little preoccupied with "our favorite airplane", and forget the other disappointing news in the industry; Boeing laid off 10,000 employees last week, 10 times the number of our dear friends in ABQ with Eclipse. HBC, 2500; Cessna 2500, Learjet 300, Piper 300; Cirrus, several hundred; I'm sure suppliers are likewise affected. Abroad, as EBP points out, Grob is bust, Bombardier is laying off 10%, Embraer 4,000, I'm not sure about Airbus.

I don't bring this up to discourage our buds in ABQ, not at all- but rather illustrate that the industry as a whole is under pressure, so they didn't do bad by choosing Eclipse for a while.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Easybake asked for prognostications on the following:

Corvalis - Even Cessna isn't always right, may fade away

Diamondjet - Will work out but fatter and slower and delayed

Piperjet - Will be delayed but will make it

Spectrum Aeronautical - The big one will make it, but also delayed

Grob SPn - DOA

LJ-85 - Delayed due to composite issues - maybe partner with Adam Aircraft Acquisition Inc. for composite engineering expertise

Cessna Columbus - Development will slow but not much - should come online when economy rebounds, this is Cessna after all

Hawker 4000 - They will never sell enough to recoup development costs, but it will remain HBC Flagship

787 - Ouch

A350 - ceci va blesser (~'this will hurt' au Francais)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Also there is the new offering from Brand G - on time and meets spec out of the box, as usual

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
"Will work out but fatter and slower and delayed"

No need to insult me!
--------------------------------
Fred,
Wake Up!
It's your "shift" !

I never fail to be "amused"/exasperated by those who find you unamusing/exasperating. Those Simpletons!!

Please don't change a bit!

(You have to realize, in the US, media is prescribed for those with a 12 year old's comprehension. Really, I am depressed to say).

Personally, I find words just so...tiring. If only everyone would just draw cartoons and use captions with short, small words. (Like, something even GW would understand:)
"Is our children learning"?

TBMs_R_Us said...

I think Roel is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Dave,

Doubt that RiP will be showing up to explain anything.

Why bother?

gadfly said...

The announcer seemed to say, "Creditors put the final nail in Eclipse' coffin!"

KRQE . . . Channel 13, Albuquerque

gadfly

Dave said...

Doubt that RiP will be showing up to explain anything.
Why bother?


Because Roel in Western Europe is between a crap sandwich of Russia and the US. He's got explaining to do in both countries. Actually the Russians might have many of the same sort of questions that would await Roel in the States. Of particular interest to the Russians might be how Roel inflated the Eclipse european order book by having those be his own orders along with orders from ETIRC front companies - worse than the DayJet/Eclipse deal. The Russians might really question the veracity of what Roel told them if they were to wonder how Roel would pay for his dozens/hundreds of orders when he's got all these financial problems just to fund operations. Those in the Russian government might also take a keen interest as far as the representations he's made about the Russian government to those in the US. The list can go on, but I'm saying Roel has a worldwide problem rather than something that he can just blow off by ignoring the US.

Dave said...

Of particular importance might be what the exact terms of the various agreements Eclipse had with ETIRC...I'm thinking in the way EASA. It could be very interesting to a court if it was to for instance find out that ETIRC would have had to have made "progress payments" to Eclipse for getting EASA, but Roel declared BK to prevent ETIRC from having to pay a big bill by trying to sweep it under the rug and use his power as Eclipse CEO to just sweep it under the rug. I'm definitely not a fan of Vern, but Vern might know where the skeletons are buried as far as ETIRC/Eclipse goes. There's been very little explanation from Roel-run Eclipse about ETIRC's orders and what would trigger payments for those orders, but Eclipse did make a big deal in general on how EASA would bring in revenue so that gets one wondering. There's been two different triggers for revenue streams and that has been VEB financing with Eclipse getting a licensing fee and more vaguely has been about EASA being a trigger for payments. Once Roel is out of the picture as Eclipse CEO and real discovery can be done, there could be some very nasty details to emerge. I do believe if this is non-felony criminal that Roel can basically get off scott free both financially and criminally, but if it looks like there has been felony criminal activities that are being pursued by law enforcement, all bets are off and Roel could end up as someone's girlfriend behind bars. There was many hints of this in the public about EASA releasing funds and the most logical source of those funds being ETIRC, I can't help but wonder.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

I don't get it.

What is all the hoopala?!!!??? Nothing has really changed with the filing of a motion to convert.

Have you guys considered that this is THE ONLY avenue the creditors have to put prssure on RP to get off his ass and cough up the money?

This is standard practice in all Ch 11 process (particularly a 363 sale that is not closing). Creditors are always treatening to push it into CH 7, sometimes by filing motions to prove that they are serious.

I'm not saying that this is the case, but, for all we know, RP himself, could have coached the creditors to file the motion, so he can go to the Russians and say "you need to cough up the money now, or you will lose the deal".

I really don't think this motion brings this case to conclusion, at al.

Shane, how many obituaries do you plan to write for Eclipse.

This is like number four, right?

baron95 said...

But it is still amazing that this guys are still burning cash at a $15M/month rate. Incredible.

fred said...

Billy ...

i am sorry about the hours of my "shift" but living under some other skies (like Monsieur Shane , just a bit more eastward ...) you may understand that when the sun is up for me , you are zzzzzz ! ;-)

i am quite depress myself by reading your post on the "12 y.o. like audience" ...
but it remind me a talk with a medias and marketing expert (a german guy) commenting the length of TV-show on both sides of Atlantic ...
he was talking about the fact that a "normal" length for an European series is about 1 hour and half , while in USA it's rarely more than 48 minutes ..
attributing this to the impossibility to "catch" the US public attention for more than 50 minutes ... now with your explanation of the "12 y.o." threshold ... it making sens ...!!;-))

since you seems to prefer a few images to a lot of words (i apologize if my command of your language is not concise enough to express my thoughts in less that too much words ...)

i post here a link to illustrate the "contracts" made by Wedge in his time , then by Rp ...

it is coming from a pre-WW2 french comedy , past the commercial at beginning (Grrrr !!!) , you will find that there isn't anything new under the sun with Wedge+RP garbage talk ...

i just wonder if the guy getting his "contract" wouldn't be our kenny ... ;-))

do not worry , it is with english (proper , not mine !) subtitles ...!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x81gqs_le-schpountz-pagnol-fernandel_sh

as Lavoisier said sometime before having his head chopped off in the french revolution :

"never anything new under the sun , only transformation of old into some new ..."

Jackrabbit said...

Harking back to our pre-Ch7 motion discussion:

I looked back into blog posts from last fall and found the following:

Wedge stated at a conference:
"The reason I got fired was simple, I pissed off the investors [some said this refers to RP/ETRIC]. I stood up to them, didn’t want to do what they wanted to do. When you’re CEO, your job is to lead, to decide.... I was going in a direction that the investors didn’t want to go. So they fired me.

I also learned that Eclipse was essentially BK at end of 2007, AND that Wedge started selling positions in the Single Engine Jet Concept in May 2008, AND that FAA cert. was apparantly rushed so Eclipse could secure some funding.

So, putting all that together: Wedge does a deal with RP to rescue Eclipse from BK but he doesn't like the terms. The writing is on the wall for his departure -- creating some friction between Wedge and RP and RP probably tries to find other financing (unsuccessfully) and then tries to raise $ by selling positions in a plane that Eclipse has no plans (why would a nearly BK Co. sell positions going out years) to produce.

We can imagine what happened next: RP fumes to the Board: the plan was to get EASA! & "right the ship" - Wedge is only adding problems. He goes or I go.


Interestingly, I also found a *description* of a press release:
On Sept. 23, Eclipse released a press release stating that it had gained approval and financing for its Russian production facility for $205 million. The financing, led by Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia and recent former two-term president, will oversee the financing, which is owned by the country.

Isn't it interesting that Eclipse/ETRIC/RP was saying as early as September 2008 that the VEB/Russian financing was "approved"!!??!?

Jackrabbit said...

Oh, regarding my reference to the FAA cert.:

I just thought it was interesting that funding was triggered to that because the blog has speculated that EASA would have also triggered funding (from ETRIC, VEB, others?, etc.)

Jackrabbit said...

NOTE: I should reiterate and make it clear that this info comes from reading prior blog posts. When I say "I learned that...", it doesn't mean that I have found any new info or know anything more than anyone else.

I've been trying to understand how ETRIC/RP came to own 68% of Eclipse without delivering, or prior to delivering, the Russian investment.

fred said...

yes , jack ...

RP tried to buy everything with nothing in hands ...

or at the best , nothing else than (empty)promises and futures conjectures ..!

that's why i don't really believe in Wedge "painful firing" ...

if Wedge was fired with lots of griefs and sorrows from his part , it would only mean that his intellectual capacities were opposite to his Ego ...

but he managed to fool a lot of good peoples for 10 years + ...

so it doesn't really fit the picture ...

the other possibility : they planned the "firing" together !

where we will remain in the doubts : was it a way designed to screw all past liabilities and therefor a path to potential future profits

or

just a way to get Wedge out of potential troubles in USA ...

sit comfortable , grab some pop-corn ... the fun has only started !!! ;-))

Jackrabbit said...

At the beginning of 2008, Wedge said that ETRIC's investment was "substantially more than $100m". But some on the blog have suggested that ETRIC is a shell and has, (and has always had?!), no -- or very limited -- financial resources.

EASA is critical to ETRIC's business plan. Why would ETRIC invest so much (and how would they have the $ to invest) without the EASA cert?

It seems *very possible* that ETRIC planned to use the $125m from VEB for its (equity) investment in Eclipse. And this transaction would have been slated to close on or after EASA.

Wedge was fired (at least in part) because of a "missed payment." Maybe that was a payment for the work on the EASA cert., not a payment to ETRIC. (Wedge was trying to back out of the deal with ETRIC??? by selling positions in the SEJ and delaying EASA??)

It was also interesting to find (in the blog posts) that the EASA cert. was only a review/rubber stamp of the FAA cert. and was based on an earlier configuration. I don't understand FAA & EASA well but it seems that more work might be needed for a full EASA.

From August'08, the VEB/Russian investment and EASA was always claimed to be very close (within weeks). Did ETRIC's stake rise to 68% upon EASA? Does ETRIC own Eclipse $$$? As I understand it, the Bradley Group is looking into that very issue.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

Shane, how many obituaries do you plan to write for Eclipse.
This is like number four, right


You are 'almost' correct. However, where, in any of my headlines or comments, do I say 'This is the end'. I'll grant you that a headline of 'The final aria is sung' seems pretty terminal, but remember what happens AFTER the 'fat lady' sings.

She dies.

Not beforehand, not during, but AFTERWARDS.

I agree that this little 'soap opera' continues at this time, but I knew something you didn't before I wrote that headline.

EAC's BoD were simply beaten to the Court by the 'senior note holders', and will probably join them during the process. I suspect the Board will do this to insulate themselves from any future actions by Roel (or others) who provided cash during the DIP period.

So, to recap. It's not over 'till it's over. Roel could still find the money, probably not in Russian (again, I have certain 'hints' from there) but possibly somewhere else.

Pigs might fly.

The Eiffel Tower will be offered for sale.

Anything is indeed 'possible', in this is distorted universe we call Eclipse. However, I like to talk about probabilities. And you will gather what I think is probably going to happen, over the next week or ten days.

Shane

fred said...

it did appear that EASA was more on a "clock worked out" than anything else ...

yes , to obtain a "usable" EASA , it would need some (lots) works ...
meaning more money down the bin ...

Etirc having an investment of 100M$+ ?

No, that was part of the BS ...

the said investment was meant by the Bank-Guarantee , which can be taken at face-value ...

or more likely (and almost always the case ...) for a fraction of the face-value (depending of set timing , verbiage and quality of emitter ...)

when you know that such a "financial instrument" can be rented for some % ...

then the question is : what was the REALITY of the sum procured in this "investment" ?

very probably a lot less than touted ...
as usual !! (the order-book , the accountancy , the profit-aspect , etc... everything has been either magnified , extrapolated or minimized in this story ...!)

so where is the "good faith" ?

i guess such concept disappeared so long ago in the saga , that no one can claim it ...!

fred said...

monsieur Shane

The Eiffel Tower will be offered for sale.

well ... in fact , it has already been sold something like 30 times in its existence ...

off-course , most of the ones who tried to sell it , were rewarded with some months/years of "free accommodation" in a nice place off the coast of French-Guyana , on a paradise island called "l'ile du diable" (devil's island)

what is the most amazing , lots of gullible were ready to buy it (??!!)

i guess nothing is new under the sun ...

Bill said...

Hello everyone.

I haven't posted here more than once before.

I took a position with Eclipse in August '07, and left a "year to the day" in August of '08...fulfilling my contract.

I worked the interior crew in Hangar 5 and then later in 3.

I've returned to the FBO I had left and am happy once again.

I have a phone blog that I kept updated with photos from that period.

If anyone's interested in seeing some pics from within Eclipse from those days visit:

http://yanneck.tumblr.com/page/65

This will take you to the first (oldest) page of the blog which I started sometime in July of '07.

You'll have to navigate forward in time, page by page, to catch various entries as the year progressed.

Intermixed you'll see my life unfold there in Albuquerque...the house we bought...the parks we visited...the restaurants we dined at.

It's all history.

Just thought someone might like to see...

Thanks!

-Bill Yanneck
http://yanneck.com

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Shane said,
So, to recap. It's not over 'till it's over.

No, sadly ...I think it is over. All the local TV stations are reporting the Ch7 as the end. And the Governor's office late Tuesday issued a statement for all EAC employees to file for unemployment. The furlough has officially been converted to a layoff per the statement issued by Borseth and McConnell, as posted on the Ch7 site, http://www.koat.com/news/18788921/detail.html

This is, essentially, the fat lady singing her tune.
:(

e.d.t.

Dear Eclipsers:

We are very sad to report unexpected news today. Despite the efforts of many people at EclipseJet Aviation and ETIRC to obtain necessary funding to close the purchase of the assets of Eclipse Aviation, the closing of the sale transaction has stalled and our company is out of time and money. Given the dire circumstances in today’s global marketplace and the lack of additional debtor-in-possession funding, the senior secured creditors of the Company filed a motion today in US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to convert the Chapter 11 case to a Chapter 7 liquidation. This action, under the circumstances, is being supported by the directors of Eclipse.

What does this mean for each employee? The furlough converted to a layoff effective Thursday, February 19, 2009. Most regrettably, you will not be paid the paycheck due on Thursday, March 5, 2009 nor is any vacation pay available. You may have certain rights to seek payment in the bankruptcy proceeding; you may receive additional information about that from the bankruptcy court.

As it stands today, all benefits coverage will end at midnight on February 28, 2009. COBRA benefits will be available for the month of March if you wish to sign up for medical, dental and/or vision coverage. Later this week you will receive a termination package in the mail which will have information regarding all of your benefits.

The Bankruptcy Court will likely appoint a Chapter 7 trustee in our case within 30 days, at which time the trustee will control all assets of Eclipse and will seek to sell them. We cannot comment at this early stage on any liquidation path that might be pursued or possible interest from potential buyers.

We have times set aside on Wednesday and Thursday for each department to come in and collect their personal belongings in their cubes.

Building Schedule for Employee Access

Ø HQ Wednesday 10 to noon

Ø SP 2 Wednesday 1pm to 3pm

Ø SP 3 Wednesday 3pm to 5pm

Ø SP 4 Thursday 9am to 11am

Ø SP 9 Thursday 9am to 11am

Ø SP 10 Thursday 1pm to 3pm

Ø DEII Thursday 1pm to 3pm

Ø SP 11 Thursday 3pm to 5pm

Ø Gainesville Wednesday 10am to noon

Ø Albany Wednesday 10am to noon

All of the executive management team at Eclipse gives you our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your tenacity and perseverance in trying to deliver this dream we know as the Eclipse 500. We gave it one heck of a try. We are sorry that it came to this today.

Mark Borseth

Michael McConnell

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

We should be thinking ahead about the Eclipse Survivors Memorial… those who have suffered need ‘closure’. I suggest a Friction Stir Welding machine. Conceptually no other item better represents the Eclipse odyssey. Also the machine should be selling for scrap metal value as other applications do not seem evident.

airtaximan said...

Oh Well...

I wonder where our friends EOXXX, eclipsebloger, and some of the ol eclipse proponents are. These guys were pretty level headed and had a lot of good opinions. EOxxx bought and sold delivery positions for sport. He was able to time the rumor-mill and make some good cash flipping EA50s.

Anyhow, I wish the old guys would show up and make some comments, let us know how they are doing.

Thanks for the fun... I guess, this is going to get really boring and either start a fresh in a few months, or just die.

I'll check in from time to time, to see if anything is going on, but I suspect, the debate is over.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM,

The owners are probably knee deep in the muck trying to figure out how to protect their investment and keep their planes flying - that is certainly what I would be doing were I in their unfortunate shoes.

Speaking for myself, I am deeply saddened by the situation, friends of mine will have been directly effected by this collapse, and my beloved industry will have been scarred in ways we will not understand for perhaps a couple years.

My inbox has been flooded with Eclipser's looking for work and the anguish and despair is palpable.

I have also been contacted by current and potential vendors and others with offers of help if there is a support concept developed. So even in this collapse there is hope.

The saga is far from over, but I think there will be a liquidation. I believe this is the best possible outcome speaking in big picture terms.

RiP failed, Wedge failed, now comes the possibility of experienced adult supervision or simply more of the same, depending on who buys what and what the intend to do with the pieces.

As I have always said, there is a reason why airplanes are designed and supported the way they are designed and supported - maybe now the Eclipse can join the rest of us.

Maybe now the focus can be on completing the existing planes to a singular specification and supporting them in the fashion jet owners are accustomed.

Rest in peace WCSYC, WTYS.

Bubba said...

"A certain soothsayer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "The Ides of March has come," and the seer said to him softly: "Aye, Caesar, but not gone"

Yes, but this seems even more appropriate - especially the last two words:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,

Alas, poor Wedge...I knew him well!

fred said...

Yes Atm ...

how about a good old :

i remain amused !

airsafetyman said...

"RiP failed, Wedge failed, now comes the possibility of experienced adult supervision or simply more of the same, depending on who buys what and what the intend to do with the pieces."

I would hope that a large experienced certified repair station with a good avionics shop is brought into the picture. Preferably outside ABQ, maybe in a central location like Dallas, Texas. An organization that can work hand-in-glove with the FAA. Maybe they can sort the mess out. The worst idea I have heard of is these ex-Eclipse people with a website looking for aircraft jacks and other equipment! Please, there is no time to ramp up. Depth of experience, an established reputation, and adaquate funding are needed now.

Shane Price said...

Headline Updated

I've posted the 'Chapter 7' email from EAC to the staff, both for greater visibility and to provide a 'progression' for those who latch onto this blog in future.

One thing I did notice. The 'furlough' notice was signed by Mike, Mark and Roel.

This one is only signed by the first two. Roel is now 'invisible', even as CEO...

I wonder why?

The other bit I noticed was that the state the 'move was supported by the directors of EAC'. No mention of opposition from Roel, ETIRC or (critically) Al Mann.

I'm now moving "The End" from 'possible', through 'probable' to 'almost inevitable'.

So, as the echos from the final notes of our mythical aria fade into the auditorium, the lights begin to dim, and the curtain starts to drop.

Will there be an 'encore' I hear you ask?

Stay tuned to your favorite VCJ (that would be Very Costly Jet) blog.

Shane

fred said...

Coldwet ...

i share your concern for the one who suffered ...
NOT the ones who claimed to be so clever by trying to save a "teaspoon" of fuel now and then ...

but the ones who committed no other crimes than believing the "oral disease" so frequent in EAC management ...

if you happen to have some "candidates" willing to be Expat (living and working abroad)

you can send me some resumes , i have contact with a firm in a gulf-country currently looking for staff ...

they seems to be extremely exigent ... but conditions are really attractive ...!
(like free housing , free school for kids , free medical plans , free leave for holidays 1 month /year )

monsieur Shane can provide you with E-mail ....

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Actually ASM, a hybrid approach is probably best as there are no doubt more than a couple idiosyncracies to the Eclipse from a troubleshooting and maintenance standpoint where the folks who have been keeping them flying have something to offer, but in conjunction with an established MRO provider AND someone with the engineering resources and data to support the fleet.

There are no simple answers, but you are correct that 337's and logbook entries will not do it.

Continued Airworthiness is a very complex issue for a conventional plane, the nature of the Eclipse will make it even moreso and that will require specialized knowledge and experience.

airsafetyman said...

I think many of the people trying to start up the Eclipse support group would be welcomed by any large FBO taking on the task, and I would hope they would find positions there.

Formerly known as "Just zis guy, you know?" said...

Here in the states we call that waste "job creation."

agroth said...

ATM,

EOXXX is doing well. I've had past contact with him through the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association. He's busy with his business, and hasn't been active on any aviation forums lately.

Time sure flies. I don't know if you remember, but you are the reason I first posted here in the summer of 2007. IIRC, you had mentioned big news coming from Epic, and I asked for some details because I was interested in the company. You were right on, of course, and Vijay Mallya put that huge deal together with Epic a couple of months later (before it eventually fell apart down the road).

agroth said...

Fred,

I know you posted a nice response to my post a few months back.

When I finally got back on here to respond, I couldn't track it down, but suffice it to say that I liked it :-)

agroth said...

Shane,

We are one week short of a year to the day (3/4/2008) that we had our only email exchange.

I won't post the whole thing because I haven't asked you, but one line from you is now classic:

"Work rate is low, most of the bloggers are very interesting people and, like you, I've learned a lot about aviation etc."

How did that work-rate work out for you? ;-) What I found funny looking back at the email is that it was mere weeks before Vern's lawsuit against the blog was unleashed.

Thanks again to Gunner for coming to the blog's defense! I supported Eclipse's right to enforce their agreements, but not through shotgunning EACNG. It sure seems like a lot longer than 10 months ago!

agroth said...

One final thing I want to say is that I am sorry about how this worked out for Eclipse's employees, suppliers and customers.

mountainhigh said...

Received this and thought I’d pass it along:

A group of aero engineers (experienced in small jet manufacturing) is providing options for EAC owners and depositors to move forward and salvage their investment. [Facilities/resources already secured.] They want to talk privately with interested owners/depositors (only) ... eclipseoptions@gmail.com

flyger said...

When the Ch 7 liquidation is approved, what happens to the planes presently stuck in the service centers?

Seems like there might be an immediate need for a "rescue" team to put them back together and get them out of the service centers ASAP. The owners of such planes should file a motion to be heard at the Ch 7 hearing so the judge can order the release of the hostages.

Did #260 ever get delivered? The FAA registry shows no papers filed, and no FA activity. I guess the saga of #260 continues.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Flyger, I would suggest any plane that was not hard AOG be recovered now. Get ferry permits if need be.

It will be at least 2 months (my estimate) before anyone or anything can be truly in place and ready to support the owners.

Then there is the need for documentation, repair instructions if needed, spares, etc.

Any owner who does not have all the necessary documentation in their posession needs to get it from EAC while there are still any people there answering the phones. Download, print, whatever it takes - every document available.

The next challenge for the owners, and it is only just beginning, is to sort through the soon to be myriad offers of help and support, all of which will be working against the other offers of help and support - and then combine that into their thinking and positioning re: the assets from CH-7.

Support is going to be a mess to sort through, owners need to be prepared for a significant wait for anything other than routine inspections - anyone telling them other than that either does not get it or is saying anything to get their trust IMO - remind you of anyone?

Aviod deja vu, gather all the various offers, and consider them in due time - do not let yourselves get rushed.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

What does it mean if things get nasty in the Chapter 7 hearing, and various parties file objections?

Does this happen in US bankruptcy court that the assets get tied up in legal limbo for a year or more, while the complex legal argument's and opposing claims get unthreaded?

I it conceivable that none of the parts, IP, documentation or tooling associated with the Ecorpse wake is actually sold to anyone in 2009?

Nothing about this outfit has been simple or straight forward so far, why should chapter 7 be any different?

Personally I don't believe that the Chapter 7 is happening yet, as I haven't seen Ken on here sugar coating it. No bad news is confirmed till the Cardinal Ken of the Church of Flyantology assures us of the blessing in disguise.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Do we have anyone here from the service centers?

What are the most used parts?

Tyres, fuel filters, flap actuators ...????

If the vendors of these kinds of parts don't have PMA, how do you get past the first routine inspection?


In ten years most EA500's will be in museums or beer cans. The few that still fly will be on experimental / Exhibition or similar highly restrictive certificates, and will be operated like warbirds, cannibalizing the rest.

Dave said...

Does this happen in US bankruptcy court that the assets get tied up in legal limbo for a year or more, while the complex legal argument's and opposing claims get unthreaded?

Generally speaking in courts things can get tied up for a long time if there's sufficient will to throw enough money at the dispute. However, I think we'll have to see where everyone stands to see what is disputed and what isn't.

Personally I don't believe that the Chapter 7 is happening yet, as I haven't seen Ken on here sugar coating it. No bad news is confirmed till the Cardinal Ken of the Church of Flyantology assures us of the blessing in disguise.

Ken must have really drunk the Roel "I'm buddies with Vladimir" Kool-Aide.

Soccer Dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I bet this CH-7 goes fairly smooth and the assets fetch more than we originally expected.

The BoD and secured note holders are only out to maximize the pennies on the dollar they get from the fire sale - biggest checkbook wins.

Business plan or market intent is irrelevant at this point - cash is king.

Only issue is if they are snatched up by someone who is delusional and wants to restart production, or by the owners or some other group with the intent of supporting the fielded planes.

One will fail for certain, the other MIGHT be able to build a sustainable business.

IMO of course.

flyger said...

The motion to convert has exhibit A and there are some curious things in there.

For example, EAC was spending $450K per week for "Advisors". This represented the largest non payroll line item in the entire budget.

I wonder who these people are? Sounds like their "advice" wasn't worth much. One wonders if this hiding something.

bill e. goat said...

Flyger,
I suspect Wedge is being paid to keep his mouth shut via "advisor" payments.
True irony if that is used to reacquire EAC.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Dave and CWMR thanks for the opinions.

It has been asked a couple of times, but do you have any insight into the status of the DIP financing now it goes to CH7? If the DIP is super duper superior, and gets basically all the cash from the auction of assets, I could imagine some parties opposing that.

At the start of the BK proceedings, RP/Etric/EJAI/whoever the DIP financier was (Henforce refered to as the merry band of thieves) DIP package had a set value ($28M?). If he has some super duper superior right to the first $28M out of the liquidation, who audits to determine whether $28M was ever paid from the merry band of thieves into EAC?

Was EAC paying all bills in the last three months (I am sure there is at least one new creditor dumb enough to not go to cash up front with them). Were they paying employees from the sale of parts on stock, sold to the owners through the MRO's?

We know EAC was claiming 800 workers up to the bitter end, but we also know there were only 80 cars in the car park. What if Ecorpse only employed and paid about 200 workers during the DIP phase? What if the real cash transfer of DIP financing was only say $8M and RP and his merry band of thieves is now lining up at the trough to skim the first $28M?

Purely hypothetical questions. Maybe the DIP process involves a court appointed accountant/Auditor/referee which does a weekly balance sheet and keep track?

Anyone got any experience or solid insight into this?

gadfly said...

Think of the things we’ll never see:

Governor Bill paid $19 million (of our money) for a ride in the little bird . . . and we still don’t know if it could lift off with his majesty on board. (Or even if he could get through the door.)

We were promised a great little bird, that would darken the skies with “new technology”.

Stir fried construction would revolutionize the building of birds.

“Ant farms” would predict business models.

“Eclipse Aviation” would make Albuquerque a center of aircraft excellence.

3M stock would go up because of the use of “Bondo” (tm) in making aircraft look much better, and aerodynamic.

Michelin would make a fortune . . . selling replacement tires for “Very Light Jets”, of the “Eclipse” persuasion.

. . . the list goes on and on, but must come to an end with the final nail . . . One single complete Eclipse E500, produced at any price, complete!

gadfly

(But then, what would a simple insect know? Do insects laugh? . . . do they cry? . . . sometimes “both” . . . and at the same time.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT, the attachment to the conversion motion indicates EAC was burning around $3M per week and was administratively insolvent a week or two ago, the DIP used up in other words.

I do not know if the DIP has precedence in a conversion to CH-7(Damnit Jim I'm an engineer not a lawyer), but I suspect not, it was a poison pill to scare away other bidders for the 363 IMO.

With the CH-11/363 Sale a no-go, I think the DIP is sunk costs, like everything else.

The secured note holders and other creditors will now work to QUICKLY sell off the assets and get whatever they can out of it.

It is beginning to appear like there may be several well heeled bidder groups with significantly different competing interests (restart production, support flying planes, snatch IP).

The creditors just want out at this point and will not care I think what the bidder intends to do with the assets unless the bidder is spinning the same kind of siren song as before.

Hopefully the trade creditors are now immune to that BS but who knows at this point.

Shane Price said...

Advisors

The high costs listed in the 'Exhibits' are due to the very high input by various lawyers, accountants and those involved with selling the business.

I recall seeing 'initial' payments in the BK docs of several hundred thousand dollars to each type mentioned above.

Several times....

So, if you think about it, the delay caused by Roel not finding the money ended up costing EAC another pile of cash they couldn't afford.

Management excellence was notable by its absence.

But we all knew this, didn't we...

Shane

gadfly said...

Someone new, going by the pseudonym of "Soccer Dad", was about to say something . . . and I surmise it was important, but for whatever reason, he removed it.

A word of encouragement to "him", and any others who have something to say: If it isn't an attack on someone's person, other than the leaders and/or politicians (who have placed themselves by their own choice in the "line of fire"), "we" welcome comments . . . and would count comment of great value, especially from within this failed enterprise.

"Soccer Dad" . . . please contribute your comments . . . we value your input. And suspect that you have things of which great stories are made.

gadfly

(Requirements? . . . be polite and fair . . . and leave the gutter language of "some" . . . in the gutter. Such language says far more about the "author" than whatever it is they're trying to prove . . . regardless of position.)

WhyTech said...

IMO, its over. There will be no adequate ongoing support for this acft:

1. The flying base is relatively small - about 260
2. The owners are economy minded (cheap) or they would not have bought a pig in a poke in the first place; highly unlikely that they will pay the $500K +/- necessary to "finish" their acft and the ongoing support costs, especially if the market valu of the acft even finished is $1mm or less. The known issues are the tip of the ice berg - much more to come.
3. The cost of learning the acft to be able to support it will be high.
4. There are huge potential liability issues for any maintenence shop that touches the acft.
6. There are parts supppliers who have been so badly burned that they wont make parts at any price, and who will step in to tool up parts for 250 airplanes?
7. Etc, etc

Soccer Dad said...

Gadfly:
It was nothing particularly insightful, just a question related to the FAA's stance on the TC. From what I read on Aviation Week's site

Company insiders also believe the FAA will move quickly to ground the entire Eclipse 500 fleet because no entity will exist to support the Type Certificate.

it would appear questionable whether immediate support to keep the aircraft flying would be worthwhile if the TC is pulled.

Finally, this blog has been fantastic to keep up with the boys at Eclipse - I did a lot of work on various fairings and composite structures early on and it's been fascinating keeping up with the progress or lack thereof thanks to the blog.

Cheers

Robert

gadfly said...

A last comment for the moment:

Some of you seem to think that “just another application of the pads”, and “turn up the voltage”, and the “stiff” will somehow come back to life.

"Ah yes . . . there’s a spike on the CRT . . . a sign of possible life! Turn up the O2 . . . and rush the “patient” into ER . . . surely it’s not over !"

('Someone go into the "waiting room" and comfort the relatives . . . tell them something, anything . . . to give them "hope".)

Maybe it’s OK to harvest “vital organs” . . . an actuator here, a component there . . . shucks, this “patient” is a gold mine of various stuff . . . maybe we can “stuff it” to some of the surviving “kin”.

But then, cannibalism . . . is . . . well, cannibalism. Whatever is taken from the “victim” is soon metabolized . . . and soon there is no recognition of the original . . . only the “remains” of normal and natural physical processes.

gadfly

(“Scott tissue” in the 1,000 sheet roll is a good buy . . . watch the ads for a sale.)

Dave said...

It has been asked a couple of times, but do you have any insight into the status of the DIP financing now it goes to CH7? If the DIP is super duper superior, and gets basically all the cash from the auction of assets, I could imagine some parties opposing that.

I could see a big fight there to get Roel's status as a super-priority creditor who gets paid before anyone else being challenged. I think it would be a valid challenge rather than a hail mary challenge because there are plenty of good reasons why Roel shouldn't be able to walk away with most or all of what Eclipse sells for in Chapter 7 (or Chapter 11). Roel using the "advisors" to prevent competitive bids while touting his own phantom bid and running up the legal bills should be a good incentive for the judge to not reward Roel. Because Roel didn't do his fiduciary duty, the Eclipse estate has been permanently damaged. I don't know what the legal requirements are to overturn a super priority claim due to wrongdoing, but I think pursuing that would be a worthwhile action.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Soccer Dad,

The TC is at risk because of the unusual nature of the Eclpise, resulting from the integrated avionics and incomplete nature of so many planes. There are probably a bunch of IOU's to the FAA re: the CofA and registration paperwork on each of the 'delivered' aircraft.

There are lots of planes out there with no OEM support, but none of them are as complex or technology dependant as the EA-500 with a Standard or Utility Category CofA.

This is one of the risk areas we have talked about at length before from Avio/Avio NfG.

Continuing Airworthiness for this fleet will be more complex than any other GA aircraft ever built.

gadfly said...

Robert . . . aka “Soccer Dad”

“Company insiders also believe the FAA will move quickly to ground the entire Eclipse 500 fleet because no entity will exist to support the Type Certificate.”

Well, to encourage you with your “insights”, the information that you just shared is worth a “week” of our normal comments.

There were times we would have sold our dead grandmother's eyeballs for such information.

Where ‘you been all this time?! . . . back when the discussion was “hot and heavy” over the various fairings . . . wing-tip, wing root, vertical fin, etc., etc.. At times, we almost believed that the “fairings” were made from about fifty or a hundred pounds of “Bondo”, and “smoothed” into place with a spatula.

You, Sir, may be a gold-mine of info . . . concerning such things.

gadfly . . . aka another “Robert”, etc.

You just made our day!

JDaddio said...

While I am sad that the end is near for Eclipse and the employees that were duped by the Little Wedgie and his rants that were supported by Miss Piggy, it is certainly not a surprise that this is the outcome!

For over two years I have been what my wife refers to as “blog-obsessed,” however, have abstained from any posting. With significant insider knowledge about the immaturity, arrogance, “They can’t; we did,” attitude (clearly “they” wouldn’t try for they were smarter; Eclipse tried, lied, scammed, flimflammed and failed), and narcissistic attitudes of the upper level management, I felt that while there was still a chance, I would remain silent.

Now I must vent - From the announcement of this idea last decade to about three years ago, I was a major supporter. Not until I was exposed to the management style of the Little Wedgie, Miss Piggy, and the Kool-Aid drinkers (I could have made a fortune selling Wet Wipes around the corporate office. Every time Wedgie stopped, walking a chain reaction of “Brown Noses” would be a hundred deep….if only I could have been there with a large supply saying, “hey, you got shit on your nose – wanna buy a Wet Wipe?”) that believed in Wedgie, did I become completely convinced that the company would fail!

The few that continue to maintain that someday the Little Jet That Couldn’t will be complete, have no idea that there is NO FINAL SPECIFICATION. IMHO, this is the number one reason (behind the incompetent leadership) for failure of this product. At no time in history has there been a Final Specification in order for designing, building, testing, or certifying an end product. Perpetual design changes, each either side tracking the regulations, experimenting with new non-conforming ideas, knee jerk reactions, or just plain dreaming, were the norm. EACH WITH THE GOAL OF SHORT-SIDING CERTIFICATION to the extent that SAFETY WAS COMPROMISED IN EVERY CASE! The only goal was to meet self imposed dates to scam depositors and investors!

Any non-Kool-Aid drinking certification team will tell you, when you are calendar-driven to certification instead of event-driven, you are compromising safety! It is a blessing, but also unbelievable that there have not been more incidents to date. (If given a choice for a root canal without an anesthetic or a flight in an Eclipse, I would take the root canal and ask to have my fingernails pulled at the same time.) The Little Jet That Couldn’t is sort of like a beautiful woman with AIDS. Fun to look at and touch, but you die in the end!

So I say to the Little Wedgie, Miss Piggy, and all those that sold their soul to these
Scammer’s…… you got what you deserved! You all remind me of when I was sixteen years old and thought that no one was smarter than me. All wisdom was flushed with the notion that no old-fogy could tell me what to do, no rule was written that couldn’t be broken, and the world revolved around me as the center. It didn’t take many years to learn that this certainly isn’t so and just how much I had to learn…..I am just glad that I did not burn through $3 Billion dollars of OPM to get where I am today!

My prayer is that someday I am able to meet with the Little Wedgie face-to-face to tell him what I think of him. As unfamiliar he is to this type of behavior, talking behind his back as he is so capable, just doesn’t feel as good as telling the little coward what I think – Face To Face! Yep Little Wedgie, I can’t wait to see you out and about!!

Many thanks to Stan, Shane, Rich and all of the regulars that have kept the truth ongoing! It has been a pleasure to see all that I would have written published for the benefit of others! Godspeed to ALL!

baron95 said...

JDadio said... Any non-Kool-Aid drinking certification team will tell you, when you are calendar-driven to certification instead of event-driven, you are compromising safety!

Welcome to the Blog - love to read your insights.

But the comment above is just plain silly. The JOB of ANY certification team is to suport the business goals of the company, including schedule.

I'd counter what you said, by saying that ANY certification team that does not drive to a schedule is an amateur/naive team and will NEVER EVER certify an aircraft.

Orville said...

It's amazing and welcome to see all the 'silent' bloggers coming out of the woodwork - expressing their support and gratitude for this blog. Just further evidence of the value all you 'regulars' create.

FWIW - I have a window open on my computer everyday - showing EA50 activity (yeah, I need a life) - and while it's not very scientific - I can certainly tell you that the number of flights - and the number of planes (I recognize most N-numbers and know who they belong to) continue to diminish.

It won't be long before the skies are clear again. :)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The truth lies between JDaddio and Baron's belief - but the key is the previously identified lack of a final specification.

There can be no requirements management (necessary in a software development and certification program) without a stable specification.

Defining this final specification is the first action that needs to take place when determining how best to support the fleet - there needs to be one configuration (excluding options) that all planes are taken to, and that configuration then becomes the baseline for determining support requirements, it will simply cost too much to do it otherwise.

The challenges for getting to a supportable configuration are tremendous.

fred said...

dave :

as far i understood it :

the DIP deal can canceled by RiP gone missing ...

off course , i can be wrong ... but he s facing a strange choice

*Stay in Europe (where i believe he is ...)

*Try Russia , but i am not really sure he would be "warmly" welcomed ...

*Go USA , where he might get into troubles for his conduct ...

i would say that it would be only fair if he could forced to swallow his own poison pill (the DIP) by loosing it all and become an unsecured creditor of minor rank than a 10%'s ...!

Whytech :

i think your reason N°2 is going to be the most problematic ...

ColdFish wrote it , if any support is to be , it's going to be nothing but a mess to sort-out ...

as you said , most buyers did it for "the Value Proposition" (sorry if i stick the knife back in the wounds ...)

i used to believe it could work IF the owners would stay together ...

but when i read our Kenny asking for $ of help to pay for legal fees , all broke apart !!!

i am not judging anyone , but i feel that owners can be divided in three groups

*the money maker = they have nothing but a loss , if they are still around ! don't expect any cash from them , they already lost too much ...

*the concept lovers : they did it because it was cheap , will they stretch a little more their purse ? if not who can blame them ?

*the FPJ lovers: the real core of owners who will (if they can ) support the bird , the most painful question : For how long ?

you know when your loved-ones are under artificial respiration , you can keep them for ever ...
until the day you understand that the best way to love them is to let them go ...


so there is about 230/260 Fpj to maintain (what about dayjet ones ?) i would expect a drop-out of 50%
( not the right time , already too many $ wasted , not enough faith ...)

then another few % of drop-out from year to year ...

to end-up exactly at the same point !!

i think the best is probably to fly it as much as they can ...
then let go

the whole thing is much too damaged to survive again !!

airsafetyman said...

"But the comment above is just plain silly. The JOB of ANY certification team is to suport the business goals of the company, including schedule."

Well, that worked really well for Eclipse didn't it? Silly us. We thought the idea was to certify an airworthy airplane.

baron95 said...

CW, I'm sure you are well aware that "final specification" is not a on/off, black/white switch.

As a matter of fact, most companies (Boeing and Airbus included) have specification gates and release to mannufacturer milestones.

You'll see Boeing and Airbus announce even to their customers that the 50% specification gate has been passed or that the 85% gate was passed, etc. This flows through the supply chain, certification teams, certification authorities, etc.

If you (not you CW personally) can't deal with "partial/incomplete specifications", then you don't belong in product development.

The key is configuration control, not configuration freeze.

When Boeing lost configuration control on the 787 LN001, they decided to STOP, fix and regain configuration control at a 9 month schedule delay cost.

Tough pill to swallow, but needed to avoid terminal mistakes.

baron95 said...

ASM siad...We thought the idea was to certify an airworthy airplane.

NO.

The job is to certify an airworthy airplane with the features that customers require to buy BEFORE THE COMPANY RUNS OUT OF TIME/MONEY.

The failure of Eclipse was a failure of schedule control.

Everything dragged for way too long, burining way too much cash, eventually exhausting even the huge amounts of funding.

Eclipse had a good architecture, a good design, good funding, good orders, they just took too long to get there.

airsafetyman said...

No, Baron they did not have a "good design" at all. It was way over-integrated to a needless degree. A degree it never, ever achieved and was not worth pursuing in the first place.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

I live in product development, in the aviation and defense fields, and have been for coming up on 20 years.

The point is that the specification was not subject to the rigorous controls necessary in any project, let alone one with the level of integration Eclipse sought. It was changed on a whim, by the Vernperor and his minions, without comprehension or acknowledgement of the downstream impacts.

The dirty little secret is that when you come from Microsoft or Dell you have a totally different mindset than if you come from Boeing or Beech or Piper.

There was a development plan for the 777. It had phased introduction of certain capabilities. Same goes with Avidyne's Entegra suite, the G1000, etc.

This concept of crawl, walk, jog, run was deliberately rejected by the wizards of smart at Eclipse (Wedge and a few others on the executive team) - this is where the ridiculous WCSYC crap originated.

And we all know now how it turned out. A $3B smoking hole, 900 people freshly out of work, and confidence in aviation startups shaken in a way they may never recover from.

I have run my departments and programs and projects with an understanding and appreciation of the competing requirements of schedule vs. functionality, the chasm between the sales spiel and reality, and between what management says it wants and what technology can deliver.

An incomplete but planned and controlled spec was not the problem at Eclipse.

WhyTech said...

"There will be no adequate ongoing support for this acft:"

When I posted this, I should have added that this does not mean that some will not try to support the acft. IMO, however, this will not be a sustainable business, and will not result in a level of support which will enable these acft to be used as serious transportaion machines. Sunday flyers maybe, but not serious business aircraft, and this will erode the value even farther.

I estimate the value of the fleet today at at about $125mm to $250mm, and project this to decline as some acft are abandoned, new problems arise, etc. Only a portion of owners will elect to maintain their acft to a high standard. Say, 50% of the fleet, or about $60mm to $125mm in fleet value. If owners of these acft are willing to spend 10% of acft value per year (unusually high for a newer acft) on support, this is $6mm to $12mm in GROSS annual support revenues. Who will make the up front investment in facilities, training, inventories, insurance, tools, process, etc for a market of this size? These probably are not the exact numbers, but do a sensitivity analysis to determine what the numbers need to be a reach a different conclusion, and I think you will find that the supporting the EA50 is a non-starter as a business proposition.

In my opinion, no where near 50% of owners will say "yes" to a "finish it" package priced at $400,000 or more, so the numbers above may be optimistic.

Dave said...

Eclipse had a good architecture, a good design, good funding, good orders, they just took too long to get there.

I have to disagree with the design of the aircraft because I'm not convinced that it wasn't underbuilt. I believe that Eclipse use parts and equipment that didn't fully compensate for the increased weight from having to switch to P&W and there are a number of issues with that. The less you use the Eclipse, the less I think this matters, but I don't think the design was good. The design of the Williams Eclipse probably was much better for long term use (if the engine had worked out), just Eclipse knew or should have known about the engine problems. The aircraft I don't think can stand commercial use (which is what it was supposedly primarilly made for) and for recreational use I believe over time there will be more parts to replace than an average aircraft of similar age. I believe it when people say it is fun to fly, but that is just one aspect of it. I do hope it is able to continue to fly safely.

JDaddio said...

Baron95 said, "The JOB of ANY certification team is to suport the business goals of the company, including schedule."

You are right, however, skipping events to satisfy that schedule will lead to disaster - er um, bankruptcy, um, I mean, unfinished product, oh, um, non-working product, or much worse! Fortunately the latter has not happened!

Zig Zigglar said, If you do not have a goal (Final Specification) you are a wandering generality. But is have a goal, you become a meaningful specific!

There were no Meaningful Specifics in a leadership role at ECLIPSE!

Adam Hunt said...

In case anyone is interested in AvWeb's two articles:

Eclipse Creditors Want Chapter 7 by Russ Niles including links to the two court docs.

Eclipse Finally Fails, Fails Finally by Russ Niles

On Wikipedia there is now a new much abbreviated history of Eclipse Aviation with the much longer and expanded version at History of Eclipse Aviation. Both articles are linked to each other. That split of the history was due to a deal reached by Wiki editors to keep the company article concise, while allowing room for the total story elsewhere. The history includes some new quotes as well.

airtaximan said...

if you are serious about being in the ea50 support business, you should start buying ea50's right now.

if you are looking for a support group to take care of your ea50, find the one that ownes some ea50s.


get it?

eclipso said...

Turn up the O2 . . . and rush the “patient” into ER

GAD!!!

DO NOT turn up the oxygen! Remember, dis-similar metals to build an O2 system?

Don't even turn it ON!

WhyTech said...

There is a fly in this ointment (sorry Gad, no offense!):

The more you buy, the smaller your support customer base becomes, and they aint gonna make anymore of these turkeys! Also, there is a definite ceiling on what owners will pay to keep an acft running, so you wont be able to raise prices unreasonably.

airtaximan said...

"I have run my departments and programs and projects with an understanding and appreciation of the competing requirements of schedule vs. functionality, the chasm between the sales spiel and reality, and between what management says it wants and what technology can deliver."

HOw about trading "cost", for say technology, or schedule.

I believe the single biggest problem with EAC was a lack of focus. HAd they tried to build a simple twin jet for $1.25M or so, without the manufacturing and Avionics BS, they probably could have been a huge succes.

They might have selected the Pratt engine, becasue the risk/benefit was not there with the FJ22, IMO.

Imagine how well this simple, COTS, low cost conventionally built jet could have faired, if it was in production say 4-5 years ago?

So, lack of requirements, or lack of focus was the killer.

Then again, some of the investors LOVED the idea of the tech play... no matter how bogus it was - it sunk the cheap-jet business plan, before it could ever get off the ground.

Looking back, any technology was a boondoggle. Show me one technology that added value on this plane?

Should have been keen focus on cost, COTS, low risk, low program/development cost.

Heck, Vern could have had Avio integration working in the background as an upgrade possibility.

Just my 2 cents.

airtaximan said...

whytech,

you are so right.

I was thinking that eventually, Ken would actualy be able to say, I HAVE THE VERY BEST EA50!!!

But, yes, you are correct.

WhyTech said...

"I was thinking that eventually, Ken would actualy be able to say, I HAVE THE VERY BEST EA50!!!"

It seems to me that he has been saying this since even before he took delivery! ;-)

airtaximan said...

"Eclipse had a good architecture, a good design, good funding, good orders, they just took too long to get there."

not so.

poor architecture - too expensive, too much dev time, too much cert risk.

Poor design - could not mke money at 100 units per year or even 200 units per year. COuld not be sold at a profit. BAD DESIGN.

Wing nuts forget this every time. You want wizbang at low cost... you can have a low cost jet, yes you can, but it better not be based on in development high tech stuff, and it better be easily certified and produced.

This was a tech guys mistake, he tried to build a high tech low cost jet. GONG!

Low cost was his market, and I believe there is a path, it just leaves out a lot of the program risk Vern adopted, 'cause he was a tech guy. So were his investors.

airtaximan said...

but when he has the only one left flying, no one will be able to argue with him

;)

WhyTech said...

IMHO, not only has the fat lady finished her song, she has left the building and is enroute to:
Grob?
Spectrum?
Piper?
or, you name it!

Dave said...

Looking back, any technology was a boondoggle. Show me one technology that added value on this plane?

I think the tech either reduced the value of the aircraft or at best added none. Avio is the worst for dragging down value and causing all sorts of problems down the road, Phostrex at best might be neutral (though it was far from revolutionary but was instead re-treaded 80s tech that was rejected by the military) and FSW doesn't seemed to have lived up to its hype of letting the aircraft be built in 600 hours (and potentially down the road there could be structural issue).

I don't think Vern really cared about if his much-touted tech actually worked as I think all he cared about was the IPO. That's why processes were done the way that they were. I agree that less would have been more and Eclipse both as an aircraft and as a company would have fared much better just being a simple little jet with as much COTS as possible and a well-focused development plan. Vern (and post-Vern) leadership actually gave the company a thousand tiny cuts and it didn't have to be that way.

AvidPilot said...

Dude, I'm not getting a pulse on this Eclipse.

Get out the paddles.

CLEAR!!!

Still no pulse.

CLEAR!!!

^_____________^___________^________________^_____________^_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Doctor, do you want to call it?

"Eclipse Aviation. Time of death: February 25, 2009 07:31 am"

Shane Price said...

agroth,

Thanks for reminding me of those early days, when I thought running this blog would be a walk in the park.

I attended a retirement party for one of the very first Aer Lingus trans Atlantic pilots. He had started doing the run in the late '50's and retired in the early '80's. He made a very nice little speech, which rang true for a time when AIDS was very much in the public mind, and finished as follows:-

"When I started flying 'the pond', flying was dangerous and sex was fun"

Lets' hope that we can have some fun back in our lives, and less of this doom and gloom...

Shane

mountainhigh said...

ColdWet,

Totally agree with you. There will be several competing plans for support. Many will be "half-baked" others may have some merit, who knows.

Owners would be wise to investigate all the options and weigh carefully. Review the costs and certainly investigate the integrity of the groups offering support.

Also, a certain set of owners may be very difficult for any support outfit to deal with ... in terms of costs, expectations, etc.

Dave said...

"When I started flying 'the pond', flying was dangerous and sex was fun"

Aer Lingus sounds like the scientific name for joining the mile high club.

airtaximan said...

not exactly, but I know what you mean

;)

airtaximan said...

agroth,

thanks for the update on EOxxx... tell him to stop by, he is missed. One of the blog superstars, in my opinion. AND, he made money with this plane - a real feat!!!

Remembering I was the reason you blogged, is flattering. I appreciate remembering I was on the mark with Epic.

This industry has an incredible rumor mill... knowing what makes sense and what does not, is a product of sources, credibility and experience.

I like to think I was more right than wrong, on this blog - and I think the record shows some pretty good predictions/opinions, regarding some pretty detailed stuff.

Despite some agenda-obsessed a-holes calling me a liar.

There, I said it.

Finally weighing in said...

Since Ken has gone dark, we'll sub for him:

A history of selected Ken Meyer posts for your enjoyment in approx. reverse date order


"The Eclipse 500 is a really good design that will live on no matter what happens to Eclipse Aviation, Inc. I have a high level of optimism that the new Eclipse management can and will fix the problems the company has had in the past. But even if they don’t, the Eclipse 500 will live on precisely because it is a good design, there is a type certificate, a production certificate, a proven production line, FIKI, and a growing support network."

"Lousy company, ... and we have a new company now. I say give 'em a chance."

"So once again, having held the wake before the death, Shane sheepishly has to wipe the egg off his face :)"

"And the people I've met, the places I've been, and the things I've done since getting involved in Eclipse have been priceless."

"There will of course be an AMOC restoring FL 410 to the Eclipse. .. Have no fear; we're working on it :)"

"In the meantime, they can and should be doing a lot to regain the confidence of the marketplace. 1/22/09"

"Sell it? You're nuts. 12/19/08"

"It provides quiet, comfortable, reliable, affordable jet transporation. I'm delighted to hear that it will keep being produced. 11/29/08"

"As you may know, the Eclipse 500 is now approved for flight into known icing. You seem to want to focus on a moot point. 11/16/08"

"My point is this: Precisely because the plane is a good design that is fast, comfortable, quiet and very efficient, it will live on even if the names on management's doors wind up changing (which right now looks less and less likely). 11/16/08"

"Now that you've held the wake before the patient died...

Friends, the Eclipse is the most fuel-efficient, cost effective personal jet on the market. Its nearest competitor costs 40% more upfront and 40% more every mile you fly it. There isn't anything that can touch it on the market or even on the horizon.

Whatever happens, the design is fundamentally a very good one that fills an important niche for owner/operators and thrifty commercial operations alike. You just can't find a jet with this combination of good speed and great efficiency.

The design will go on... That's the drama we're watching play out in Albuquerque, lessened ever so much by the news reports that long term financing has been arranged. 11/15/08"

"So, you keep falling back onto the "they are doomed" line that hasn't worked for you the nineteen thousand times you've said it over the last two years.

They are not doomed, fellas, sorry.

But let's say one day you turn out right, and Eclipse reorganizes. Do you not realize the plane will still be around 'cause it's a very good design with no significant competition?

So the heading of the Shane's entry, "Sadly, it looks like the end" is pretty silly, isn't it? 11/18/08"

airtaximan said...

FWI,

thanks man... this was one GREAT post!!!!

Nice work.


PS. can yu dig up and post all the personalized pot shots he took at people who were right?

drillingahead said...

Mountainhigh, you are correct there will be several plans for supporting the aircraft in the fleet. I received one email today of a proposal and spoke to a gentleman a few moments ago who interested in the possibility of offering support or parts for the fleet. He is already servicing and building parts for another aircraft company. THis is not to say anything will come of it but they have more than the capability to handle it. It will not be easy but if there is money to be made someone will entertain it.

Dave Ivedorne said...

(An angry FPJ owner stomps into "Ken's New & Used ToyJet" shop)

FPJ owner: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(Ken does not respond.)

FPJ owner: 'Ello, Miss?

Ken: What do you mean "miss"?

FPJ owner: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Ken: We're closin' for lunch.

FPJ owner: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this little ToyJet what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very shop.

Ken: Oh yes, the, uh, the Fisher-Price Jet...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?

FPJ owner: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Ken: No, no, it's uh,...it's resting.

FPJ owner: Look, matey, I know a dead ToyJet when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Ken: No no it's not dead, it's, it's restin'! Remarkable plane, the Fisher-Price Jet, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

FPJ owner: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

Ken: Nononono, no, no! it's resting!

FPJ owner: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake it up! (shouting at the FPJ) 'Ello, Mister disruptive technology! I've got a lovely software upgrade for you if you show...

(Ken hits the ToyJet)

Ken: There, it moved!

FPJ owner: No, it didn't, that was you hitting the airplane!

Ken: I never!!

FPJ owner: Yes, you did!

Ken: I never, never did anything...

FPJ owner: (yelling and hitting the airplane repeatedly) 'ELLO ToyJet!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine-thirty opening bell!

(Picks the airplane up and thumps it on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches the tires blow when they hit the floor.)

FPJ owner: Now that's what I call a dead jet!

Ken: No, no.....No, it's just reorganizing under Chapter 11!

FPJ owner: REORGANIZING UNDER CHAPTER 11 ?!?

Ken: Yeah! You reorganized it, just as it was spoolin' up to taxi! FPJs reorganize easily, major.

FPJ owner: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That airplane is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged lawsuit.

Ken: Well, it's ... it's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

FPJ owner: PININ' FOR THE FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?

Ken: The FPJ prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable jet, id'nit, squire? We like it at this price. Lovely plumage. I'm going to go fly mine, right now!

FPJ owner: Look, I took the liberty of examining that ToyJet when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on the market in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.

( Pause )

Ken: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that airplane down, it would have broken out of its hangar, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee! To FL510!

FPJ owner: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this jet wouldn't "voom" if you put four million pounds of thrust through it! It's bleedin' demised!

Ken: No no! It's pining!

FPJ owner: It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This ToyJet is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet it's maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, It rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the market it'd be pushing up the daisies! It's metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket, It's shuffled off it's mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-JET!!

Ken: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of FPJs. How about a nice Fuoga Magister?

Would you like the combo?
DI

gadfly said...

DI

What a beautiful story . . . it brought tears to me very eyes!

gadfly

(And the crickets . . . Oh the crickets! . . . a wonderful touch!)

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Dumb question,

With the Ch7 BK, does anyone have insight as to what happens with the flight test birds? My memory is fuzzy but, I'm counting FT birds: 103, 104, 105, 106, and 107. I heard that the very first FT bird, ac 101 or 100, is at the Smithsonian ...but I couldn't find anything on their web site.

The ConJet is another beast entirely; could that plane be sold, or is it considered experimental? I mainly worked on test reports for 103-106; 107 was originally a "marketing" plane that was occasionally drafted for pre-TC tests.

If anyone has the delusion of picking up EAC assets to support the fleet, the FT planes are EXTREMELY valuable as a test bed. But good luck trying to re-hire the AEE guys that got all the systems to work. Would be a major shame if/when the HALT lab gets disassembled too...

e.d.t.

Dave Ivedorne said...

For the terminally nostalgic.

Could it be that Eclipse customer complaints date back 1600 years?

Pay at the seventh window,
DI

gadfly said...

DI

Nostalgia isn't the same any more! And after while, it just gets old.

gadfly

(But we'll give them one thing they got right . . . they named it "Eclipse".)

paul said...

Reminds me of May 1982, my last day at Braniff, No paycheck, no payment for accured sick time or vacation. Ended up getting 5 cents on the dollar from the courts.

Herc said...

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Dumb question,

With the Ch7 BK, does anyone have insight as to what happens with the flight test birds? My memory is fuzzy but, I'm counting FT birds: 103, 104, 105, 106, and 107. I heard that the very first FT bird, ac 101 or 100, is at the Smithsonian ...but I couldn't find anything on their web site.

The ConJet is another beast entirely; could that plane be sold, or is it considered experimental? I mainly worked on test reports for 103-106; 107 was originally a "marketing" plane that was occasionally drafted for pre-TC tests.

If anyone has the delusion of picking up EAC assets to support the fleet, the FT planes are EXTREMELY valuable as a test bed. But good luck trying to re-hire the AEE guys that got all the systems to work. Would be a major shame if/when the HALT lab gets disassembled too...

IMO The flight test fleet and other test facilities are the only thing of any real value.

Herc said...

It will be very interesting to see what will happen with the flight test fleet. For me personally it will be a sad day to see them go as I have many hours of my life invested in working on them.

Eclipse said...

Mountainhigh and EDT great points to consider. The owners at this point may get desperate and fail to take a minute for due diligence. All owners that read this blog should heed that advice. There is at least one very capable and established EA500 repair facility in the North US.
Anyone that can manufacture and PMA certain parts without massive outlay should do well.
EDT I'd like to think that the AEE's that put their hearts and souls into the effort would come back to a solid organization. By solid I mean HONEST AND TRANSPARENT. With the exception of fatigue testing though (which I'm NOT underestimating the importance of) I'm not sure if the cost to keep the FT birds up (along with support costs) is paramount. I hate to use the word cost and implication of safety is the same paragraph but we all know how it is. I think the FT birds did their job enough to get 1.5NG and FIKI. None the less can't agree more about the HALT.
Bottom line is that these owners need quality support in the interest of safety and the continued airworthiness of the fleet. It's amazing and embarrassing and just sad that a Collier Trophy winning organization gets reduced to this!
Paul...well said! You've obviously been around the block a bit! Kudos.

Eclipse said...

Herc I was typing as you posted and I can't agree more!

Shane Price said...

Welcome, to one and all

Just thought I should say 'hello' to all our new contributors. I've lost track now, so I can't offer you the usual courtesy we've managed over the years.

Enjoy the conversations and, hopefully, learn some stuff. In return, try and help the rest of us understand more of the 'inside story' at Eclipse Aviation Corporation.

Of 'fond memory'....

Shane

ea500s said...

Herc, I would like to contact you directly, I have a few questions. Would you mind giving Shane your email address to pass on to me so I may contact you directly?

Adam Hunt said...

For those who haven't read it yet, AvWeb's Russ Niles has posted his opinions on the Eclipse story and I should point out he disagrees with Flying Mag's Mac McClellan on what it all means. Worth a read and the opportunity to leave a comment, should you so desire:

Looking Past Eclipse

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Offering support is easy. Come to my MRO, and I'll do your maintenance. Anything I can fix I will at €85/ hour plus material at cost + 20%. Anything I can't fix, I'll charge you €85/ to telephone around and try my hardest to help you find a solution.

Anything our partner Part 21 DOA can design STC's and repairs for they will happily do at €125/hour + plus approval costs.

Anything which is not in our power to change, we will sympathise with you for free (one hour per visit max). Coffee and handkerkiefs to cry into are free.

AOG storage management in our hangar will be €30/ day, or €10/ on the apron.

The excessive integration of the EA500 means that there are highly complex parts, carrying multiple TSO's, with DO-178 qualified software, meeting DO-160 hardware qualification which can only be cost effctively supported by the original vendors. From press releases, some of these vendors walked.

Enjoy each successful flight as though it is your planes last. Soon enough it will be.

Has the Midwest wreck been sold yet? That may be the single most attractive EA500 on the market - an organ doner!

GettingReady2FileSuit said...

Ken, Ken are you out there Ken???

It seems that since the "emergency return to base" maneuver on Feb 18th, N85SM has been silent... Please - we won't say anything inappropriate if you just lay out the truth...

fred said...

freedom ...

you're too bad man ! (or too good ;-) )

i would mind myself to "advise" anyone wishing to have his bird fixed and maintained in Russia ...

i charge only 450.000$ one time fee
(still much cheaper then at EAC ...;-) )

Dave said...

The Chapter 7 hearing will be on the 4th of next month.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Clicky to the Russ Niles commentary. I'm basically in full agreement with his POV.

DI

mountainhigh said...

Drillingahead,
Yes indeed, I'm sure lots of folks are scrambling to offer support plans.

I talked to the aero-engineers I mentioned earlier [eclipseoptions@gmail.com]. Their plan is certainly unique and does involve salvage aircraft. They are just looking for a handful of (reasonable) owners who want to consider an alternate path forward. [I don't think they'd even talk to Ken.] At least I know this is an honest bunch.

And no, they aren't trying to turn a 500 into an experimental. I think it's pretty well understood that is not an option .... no 51% builder, etc.

Freedom,
Liked your post. Totally agree, it's easy to offer support! But due to the complexity of cert issues, vendors, etc. don't think it can be successful long-term due to reasons already offered by ColdWet and others.

- - -

I think in the end owners may find the most value by trying to sell their aircraft for salvage. The engines being the most valuable part. Unfortunate 610s aren't used in other programs and airframe has 10yr life!

And also unfortunate is the fact that many owners will probably sink a significant amount of cash chasing unrealistic support options. Even if the owners buy out the assets, don't think they'll be a way forward .... too many problems.

Bottom line, owners check out all the options and keep an open mind. No need to rush into anything at this point.

fred said...

oh yea , dave I.

very good report ...

i would have written (instead of "hot item" ) "Holy grail "
and it would have been perfect ...!

ultimately , there is a very good point in this ...

the statement that "most couldn't care less..." this is exactly why this bird will be damn difficult to be kept flying ...

as i suspect a certain amount of buyers are (were!) not enough into the matter ...

and therefor are and we will be ready anytime to , once again , follow any fool ringing a bell !

kinda sad !

Shane Price said...

Snippet Time

Before I start and for the benefit of our newer readers, I should make it clear that 'Snippets' are items which reach me from one source, which I consider worthy of passing on due to the 'quality' of same. Where something comes to me from multiple sources I'll simply state it as a fact.

So, regard 'Snippet Time' as the sort of gossip you hear around the water cooler. It's not like a 'headline post' which I always second source or cross check.

With that 'health warning' herewith today's collection:-

1. Roel has gone to ground, somewhere in Europe, and can't be contacted. He has become a 'non person' almost overnight.

2. Wedge was 'quietly replaced' as a guest speaker at the 43rd Annual SMU Air Law Symposium, where he was due to speak tomorrow, Friday. How fitting that the lawyers never got a chance to question him in detail. On the other hand, maybe they will, in a more 'challenging' forum...

3. A few of the specialist suppliers are 'out' no matter what. Their liability 'dies' with Eclipse, who did the integration, so they can safely walk away now. Supplying or supporting a revival might open them up to future claims, and it seems they've figured it's not worth the risk. I suppose it's a classic case of once bitten, twice shy.

4. A leading journalist would value contact with owners and/or depositors who are prepared to go on the record. If you can help please contact me at the blog email address:-

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

Shane

Beedriver said...

There is one more avenue to support the EA500 it is called "owner supplied parts" an owner can legally build and install replacement parts for the airplane, record the event in the log book and they are even legal for when the airplane is sold. it is used usually for antique birds like my seabee but it is a FAA approved way to keep a certified airplane flying that is not supported by anyone. Basically the owner needs to take part in one of five activities where he is involved in making sure the part meets or exceeds the requirements. no DER is required even. this method is actually is very lenient in its application however one should take care to use the right alloys etc. If the part fails you can be in trouble.

If anyone wants I can supply the official letters from the FAA that enable this route to keeping airplanes flying.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

If the owners fracture into two or more groups the plane is dead and none will be flying (legally) within 24 months.

Any recovery plan needs to include taking over and completing the fatigue testing or the youngest planes stop flying 2019 and the oldest plane stops flying in 2016. 7 years from now - also rendering the plane dead.

Any critical or boutique supplier can be replaced if someone else owns the IP, that is, if you hold the specification or vendor control drawings, code, etc.

The achilles heel of Eclipse (integration) might also be the mechanism for Continued Airworthiness, but it will take specialized knowledge and experience.

The owners have to come together into one cohesive group with common understandings and expectations or kiss it all good bye.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

"Eclipse had a good architecture, a good design, good funding, good orders, they just took too long to get there."

I think basically this was true way back when, several things could be described as even visionary. Unfortunatly too many bandaids were applied to the initial vision by incompetent management, and way too much hype went into the marketing.

Personally, if I were in any position of authority, knowing what I know, any ex-eclipse manager's possibility of employment in any organization I were involved with would be akin to a snowballs chances in hell.

I just wish I could see the smug self promoting a__holes today.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

One more thing to the above, solid relationships with FAA will be required or they may well pull the TC or issue a grounding AD with nobody to develop the Means of Compliance.

It is time to let experienced airplane people with established relationships and experience with FAA and product support take over or realize that the planes will slowly go hard AOG, never to fly again.

Field approvals will not be happening with this plane without excellent substantiation due the specific wording of the TCDS.

Very hard decisions need to be made, they need to be made relatively soon (before the CH-7 event so that plans and financing can be in place, and so that the appropriate elements of IP, tools and tooling, and inventory can be identified).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deep Blue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Price said...

Coldwet,

You know the 'situation' here with Captain Zoom. To avoid eyestrain (for me) from yet another idiotic email, please delete you post about Lineair.

Even though the same post arrived in my inbox, direct from Zoom's 'publication' only 15 minutes ago.

Nuts, I know, but he goes 'madder than hell' if anyone here mentions it...

Thanks

Shane

Deep Blue said...

A couple of comments (BTW, I believe WhyTech and CWMR have the scenarios quite right).

1. This recent chapter also exposes the hollow nature of "ETIRC" and its plans. ETIRC and RP were pure speculation, entirely consistent with the larger EAC project.

2. This recent development now really limits whatever market may still exist, strictly to hobbyists (I think ATM may have said this); any corporate, fractional, air taxi or even training market, is now foreclosed. Even within the "hobbyist" segment, I think WhyTech has it right; they are probably not in a financial position to sustain the large financial costs; they would have otherwise purchased a different product. For those few actual users remaining, you may see the original "Experimental" sign back on the E500 as cert may extinguish.

3. A possible bidder in C7 could be an entity like Lynn Tilton at Patriarch that owns MD Helo. She may see an after-market "turnaround" play, although I doubt (somewhat) that even she is this naive.

4. A possible little nugget left may be the IP on the E400. This is a neat design, and with the twin-engine VLJ/LJ category saturated with offerings, the SE jet category may (a big "may" right now) enjoy some demand, albeit very small (20-30 units a year). However, the IP may have no value either, as Piper and Cirrus have already done their own (Cessna probably even has something on the drawing books).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Shane I thought he wanted the credit, didn't realize he did not want any mention of his publication.

I'll remove it and suggest people llok around, anywhere but ANN, to find the facts about this developing situation.

Black Tulip said...

Beedriver,

Would you supply Shane with your email address or post information on owner supplied parts?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

CWMR wrote It is time to let experienced airplane people with established relationships and experience with FAA and product support take over

Why would anyone with a solid reputation with the FAA want to risk those relationships by tying it to the Ecorpse?

Shane. Which suppliers have walked? We know ISS stated in there Q4/08 earnings warning/ quarterly report that they were through with the whole program (Which in itself is a clear kiss of death). Who else?

Black Tulip said...

To repeat a previous post, I hear Linear Air is down to four or five employees, one Caravan, one Eclipse and about out of airspeed, altitude and ideas.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Owner supplied parts?

This will not be a significant factor.

Sure if a bracket cracks, you can replace it, but the problems here are SMD, boutique, integrated avionics, driven by certified integrated software, fulfilling TSO's.

Owner supplied parts is just another worthless straw for the drowning owner to cling to. It is unsportsmanlike to prolong their agony.

Let them face reality. Every EA500 which is not yet permanently AOG, is only a single critical failure away from this status (not withstanding a little Cannabalism, and eventually a few Ecorpse stock finding there way to the market giving temporary relief).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT, the same reason that someone of Masefield's reputation got involved.

Airplanes are as much emotional objects as they are business tools or means of tranportation.

I am speaking somewhat tongue-in-cheek but only somewhat. I have been a part of at least one program myself that, in hindsight, was obviously not going to be successful - but I was taken in by the dream.

For the non tongue-in-cheek part, why would someone do that, I am thinking of the mythical exchange between Lee Iaococa and his wife as he was deciding whether or not to take over Chrysler. Lee had been fired by Henry Ford II and was not sure he could turn Chrysler around.

His wife is rumored to have said 'well I am sure Henry Ford II will be happy to hear that'.

The rest is history.

There are legitimate business questions about whether or not a sutainable (i.e. profitable) business can be built, but there are also emotional reasons I am sure, for why myself or anyone else would consider giving it a try.

Imagine if one of we luddite dinosaur types could make it work?

What if the owners could eventually get all or substanitally most of what they thought they were buying?

What better way to prove that you are 'the man', then by taking on a challenge of this magnitude?

airtaximan said...

Well, well, well... the customer now wants to be the supplier...

Anyone crazy enough to build a business dependant on the ea50, is perfectly qualified to run EAC.

All I can say is, there's an expression something regarding "inmates" and "running the asylum"

and I thought this was going to get boring!!!

Black Tulip said...

Owner supplied parts?

For the record, the machine I had in mind was built in 1940.

airtaximan said...

Heck, no one is perfect, and no one has perfect knowledge of all aspects of tis business.

In a vaccum, all of the stories sounded pretty good. Look, these really successful smart investors got bamboozled...

There were a lot of moving parts to the business, and a lot of cards to keep track of so to speak.

One suspension of disbelief issue - market size. IF by some miracle Vern succeeded in convincing anyone there was a huge market for this plane - say by illuding to the WHOLE fleet of 300,000 or so GA planes... or 600,000,000 airline trips, Xzillion car trips... and no one was smart enough to know, that the GA fleet is mostly piper cubs and 40 year old cessna props, worth around $20-$100k... that's $20k... not a typo... and most car trips are not replaceable by plane trips, they are too short and no one will pay $1500 for a carn trip of 2 hours or so... etc. ONE could make the mistake of thinking the market is huge.

Same with the technology - tech guys love to think a new tech will create a new market - not so, in this case. The market IS general aviation. There are air taxi operaotrs flying 12000 planes in the US, many small props at $350 per trip, not plane, trip. The tech offered in the EA50 was a sham. It gave very little value that anyone cared to pay for.

You think Ken would not have bought the ea50 IF it had the same set up as the Mustang or Phenom100? At $1.25M YES he would have.

None of that tech gave EAC any advantage, except it attracted the financing from the tech lovers.

They were not far off, except, the tech drowned them in time and cost and distracted them from the GOAL.

BUILD AN INEXPENSIVE ($1.25m) TWIN JET.

Ball game over.

HARCO said...

To all Eclipse Owners / Operators / Service Centers.


Subject: Air-data System

As you know HARCO holds the TSO and is the original Manufacture for the following Air-data products.

· Air-data Computer
· Pitot / AOA Probe
· Dual Heated Static Ports
· Outside Air Temperature (OAT Probe)
· Pitot Static Probe

HARCO is positioned and ready to Repair / Overhaul, Provide Calibration Services and Sell new product to the market to keep your Aircraft Flying.

As a reminder all units need to be inspected annually per the Aircraft Maintenance Manual. The units also need to be returned to HARCO two years from the date of delivery for Recalibration of Air-data Computer, Pitot / AOA Probe and the Pitot Static Probe.

Please contact the following for further information and pricing.

Ms. Eileen Viglione
E-mail: viglionej@harcolabs.com
Voice: 203-483-3745

We look forward to assisting you with your requirements.


Regards,



Michael Milardo
General Manger
HARCO

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