Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eclipse Jet update




April 24, 2009



At the request of our fellow owners and depositors (Customers) we are pleased to provide the following update on our progress. 

We continue to work towards our goal of acquiring the assets of Eclipse Aircraft Corporation (EAC) and immediately restarting service, modifications, and limited production of the Eclipse E500 aircraft.

In the past three weeks, both Mike Press and I have visited over 30 cities across the country and presented our plan directly to those aircraft owners and potential investors who have a sincere interest in our shared vision. To date, we have given our presentation “face to face” to over 300 aircraft owners and prior deposit holders. We have also given over 50 individual WebEx presentations for those we could not reach in person. We have adapted, and continue to adapt, our plan to meet the collective needs of our fellow customers and our investor group. Based on our meetings, we have well over 95% acceptance of our plan.

Why are we doing this? Well, it needs to be done. What we have is a situation where over 1.5 billion dollars was spent in developing a product, creating a company, building a manufacturing line, and most importantly; the successful production of 260 jet aircraft that are the most fuel efficient twin-engine jet aircraft in the world today! However, these 260 planes are not complete, someone needs to do this! The vision is not complete, this plane deserves to be produced, and someone needs to do this! We are going to do this!

Sometimes unfortunate turns in our economic cycles produce rare opportunities. Due to the lack of investment funding currently available in traditional forms and due to the current worldwide credit crisis there are few, if any, qualified bidders raising their hands to bid on the assets of EAC. Therefore, we believe there may be an opportunity to acquire these assets in a cost efficient way.

Why create a profit-making entity for this effort? Well, because without an incentive for profit, customers and investors have no one to hold accountable for their actions. It is a simple fact, if we do not produce a product of value for the customer (which includes fair pricing, timely service, and quality products), then the customers will not pay us and we will not have the opportunity to earn a profit. We then will be held accountable to our shareholders who trusted us and put their investment dollars at risk with us.

Our group is prepared to purchase the EAC assets for the right economic terms. However, if other bidders “price up” the assets past our value of the assets we will have to make a tough decision. It is simple economics. If we pay too much for the assets then we have a larger basis in cost that needs to be serviced by the ongoing entity in order to achieve a fair investment return. We will not purchase the assets at a price above the point in which we would have to charge what we believe would be above market rates for aircraft or services. 

In our view, the big losers if we do not win the bid for the assets are the current plane owners. We are the only viable bidder raising our hand and offering our investment dollars at risk to immediately provide service, immediately begin modifications to complete the existing fleet, and prepare for the start of limited production when the markets allow for more product. 

If you have not done so, please reach out to us and view our plan. We continue to offer individual interactive presentations either in person or via a WebEx presentation/phone call. In the mean time, in the pages attached to this letter, you will find more detail on the status of the asset bidding process and a series of FAQ’s and our replies as they relate to our plan and progress.

Our tag line is “Customer First” and we mean it! We will complete your product, we will increase its value in the market place, and we will continue to develop this fantastic aircraft and complete the vision of the world’s most fuel efficient jet!


Mason Holland (S/N 473) Mike Press (S/N 4)

Thanks for that, Mike and Mason. As mentioned on the blog yesterday, your entire missive is a bit long for the blog (yes, it really is a thorough update) so herewith the highlights:-

Enclosures: Official Status Report as of April 24, 2009

DATE: APRIL 24, 2009


EAC’s Ch. 7 Trustee has not announced a plan for the sale of the assets (the Assets) of Eclipse Aviation Corporation and its subsidiaries (collectively, EAC), and we are not aware of one.
EAC’s principal secured creditors effectively control EAC’s bankruptcy insofar as they must consent to waive their liens on the Assets in order for EAC’s Trustee to sell those Assets.
EAC’s principal secured creditors are the collection of hedge funds that own EAC’s secured senior debt (the Note Holders) and Al Mann (Mann), who is both a Note Holder and furnished EAC its debtor-in- possession (DIP) debt. The Note Holders hold almost $600M in EAC secured senior debt, and Mann (separate and apart from his interest EAC’s secured senior debt) holds approximately $10MM in EAC DIP debt.

EAC’s Ch. 7 Trustee can, among other things, choose to dismiss the bankruptcy and allow EAC’s principal secured creditors to foreclose on their liens, or he can sell all or substantially all of the Assets; provided that EAC’s principal secured creditors are willing to waive their liens on the Assets. We expect the Trustee to eventually do the latter.

In the last 30 days, we have travelled to more than 30 cities and visited with more than 300 Eclipse 500 (E500) owners, depositors, vendors and other potential investors. Further, we have spent hundreds of hours trying to reach some form of agreement with the Eclipse Owners Group (EOG) led by David Green and Kevin Padrick, among others, to ensure that the owners’ interests are properly reflected in our plan of operations (our Plan) and in an effort to win the EOG’s support for our bid. We have had good success in building a consensus for our Plan among the hundreds with whom we have visited. We have been unable to reach a consensus with the EOG on anything.

Others are rumored to be interested in fielding a bid for the Assets. The EOG proposes an evolving plan that calls for a not-for-profit service cooperative and relationship with
Hawker-Beechcraft to provide service; however, we believe it will be very difficult for the EOG to assemble the capital required to win in an open bidding process. Based upon our current information, we believe EAC’s principal secured creditors are asking for a significant amount of cash (far in excess of the EOG’s expectations). Further, Daher-Socata, a French company and a Chinese company are interested in the Assets. We have met with both of them as has the EOG and other potential bidders. What we have been told, is that both Daher-Socata and the Chinese company want majority control of any partnership and could move the entire factory overseas. We do not believe giving control of the IP or the assets, to a foreign company is in
the best interest of the Eclipse customers; owners and/or deposit holders. Further, there is Phil Friedman (Friedman Plan) and Peter Reed. We are aware of the Friedman Plan update letter that went out to the owners on April 10th 2009. We believe that this letter was an attempt by Friedman to demonstrate to the owners that his plan was more favorable than the EOG not-for-profit plan.

While we agree that the Friedman plan is better than the EOG plan, we still believe that it contains fatal flaws and bad assumptions. For one, it still spreads the NRE burden over the current fleet of owners for the first two years instead of capitalizing the company initially with the vision of an earlier production ramp-up and spreading these NRE costs over future production.  

Our Plan champions the interests of both the E500 owners and depositors. After we buy the Assets, we intend to promptly resume service and support for the fleet (S/N 1-260) and begin preparations to resume production (with S/N 261). We have spent hundreds of hours working with former EAC employees and consultants determining the most efficient methods to resume service, support AND production, and we believe our Plan reflects best practices. We cannot provide specific pricing for our goods and services until we determine the price we’ll be required to pay to buy the Assets and the cost to us for the materials and labor required for us to resume service, support and production. However, we have assembled a group of trained Eclipse personnel and are in the finishing stages of the development of the modification process documentation. As soon as we purchase the assets of EAC we will be able to perform the first upgrades and validate our pricing and labor estimates. We stand committed to pricing work for modifications with margins well below industry averages for comparable parts. More importantly, we will spread any additional engineering burden for those modifications over a much larger fleet number than the current fleet of 260. Our investors consider this an investment in the company to keep these prices as low as possible and spreading the engineering burden cost over the anticipated future fleet size.

Our Plan includes a series of priorities for E500 owners –
Service and support are our 1st priorities – We are prepared to promptly provide service and support related goods and services to the fleet through the existing Eclipse Service Network (ESN). Further, we are currently in discussions with veteran European service organizations who wish to join the ESN. Upgrades are our 2nd priority – We are prepared to promptly begin upgrading the current fleet, including the DayJet aircraft. ESN personnel are working today to complete the upgrade documentation (Service Bulletins) to perform ETT, AvioNG, FIKI, AvioNG 1.5 and EASA upgrades. The ESN is currently hiring some of the most experienced E500 technicians available in the market to position themselves to perform these upgrades at the lowest, reasonable material and labor costs to the owners. Production is our 3rd priority – Once service, support and upgrades are back online and well underway, we will turn to resumption of production. We intend to complete the E500 aircraft on the production line as our first step in validating the feasibility of resuming production. These aircraft will be completed to EAC’s current production specification and sold with a full factory warranty. We will offer these aircraft first to the Production Line Group members who contracted with EAC to buy them, and, if they do not determine to buy them, then to others. Actual full production of new aircraft will begin as soon as market conditions warrant; we anticipate sometime in the next 12 to 24 months. New production will expand the fleet and thereby (1) build the E500 brand and each owner’s market liquidity and value and (2) reduce his direct operating costs. The owners will enjoy material, immediate benefits from an expanding fleet. By contrast, in the absence of an expanding fleet, the owners will suffer as the E500 will be relegated to the status of a failed and discontinued aircraft, and its (1) brand, (2) market liquidity and value and (3) direct operating costs will move against owners.

Our Plan includes a series of priorities for E500 depositors –
Coupon Program – We are prepared to offer each E500 depositor credit (a Coupon) toward the purchase of new E500 at our then-market price. We will have a certain number of Coupon-eligible aircraft in production at all times, and we will sell and deliver those aircraft to E500 depositors who wish to apply their (otherwise lost) deposits to the purchase of a new E500.
Factory Reconditioned Aircraft – Further, we are prepared to purchase aircraft from current owners, recondition those aircraft so they comply with EAC’s current production specification and then sell those aircraft with a full factory warranty. For example, we are prepared to process the DayJet aircraft in this manner. This program will (1) enable owners to reasonably exit their aircraft, if they would like to do so, and (2) provide E500 depositors and others an immediate opportunity to own an E500. Like new production aircraft, we will have a certain number of Coupon-eligible reconditioned aircraft for purchase by depositors from the “old Eclipse”.


Will you charge an “access” fees for service?

Is Roel Pieper still your partner?

Who are your partners?
There are three “founders,” although our family is growing daily, as we continue our diligence and structure our bid to buy the Assets. Our Founders are Mike Press, Mason Holland and John Cracken. Our friend Raul Segredo has returned to his day job as the owner and president of Avionica in Miami, FL. While he supports our efforts, he has elected not to continue as a partner.

Who will manage the new company?
We have retained the services of a highly respected aviation consulting firm who will aid in our transition process during the first year of our operations and with their help we have also sourced our lead candidate for the CEO position of our company. The timing is great. He is finishing up another venture and is excited about being a part of the continued vision of the EA500 VLJ. He is well respected in the aviation community and has deep experience in leading a large company responsible for the manufacturing, production, and service of jet aircraft. In addition, we have assembled a transition team of 15 highly respected aerospace industry professionals, many of whom will be placed in key management roles within our organization.

Please feel free reach out to any of us at your convenience if you have questions or if you would like to schedule a presentation of our plan –
Mike Press –
Mason Holland –
John Cracken –

Well, that's a pretty big post, and I've left out several pages, which went into forensic detail which I felt the blog would not be interested in. I wish these chaps the best of Irish (luck, of course) and hope that whoever ends up with the assets is able to rescue something from the ashes. Other bidders continue to promote their own plans, which I'm sure will get somewhere, eventually. The 'security detail' of 19 'ex Eclipsers' are still getting paid to keep an eye on the plant, which is good news, and the 'Nuclear Option' of forcing the note holders to release the IP to owners directly might even achieve an early end to the sale process.

All in all it's been an interesting week. My own feeling is that there is at most a month left before final dispositions are made for what remains of EAC, but I have been wrong before, in part due to my ignorance of bankruptcy practice in the U.S.

At that point I believe our blog naturally faces a crossroads. We all need to think about direction(s) 'we' might take. I would welcome suggestions to the usual address ( which will be included in a forthcoming headline post.

If, of course, I get any.....



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FreedomsJamtarts said...

ESN personnel are working today to complete the upgrade documentation (Service Bulletins) to perform ETT, AvioNG, FIKI, AvioNG 1.5 and EASA upgrades.I have received a copy of of the draft FIKI SB from ESN, here is the compliance text:
Step one: Remove windscreen.

Step Two: send Windscreen to ESN

Step Three: Sit AOG until the cows come home, as ESN does not have a solution for the windscreen.

I had to run for my inhaler, as this last headline set off my BS allergy big time!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

By contrast, in the absence of an expanding fleet, the owners will suffer as the E500 will be relegated to the status of a failed and discontinued aircraft, and its (1) brand, (2) market liquidity and value and (3) direct operating costs will move against owners.
At least there was nugget of reality in that drivel. Shame there is nothing the position holders or anyone else can do about it!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Our friend Raul Segredo has returned to his day job as the owner and president of Avionica in Miami, FL. While he supports our efforts, he has elected not to continue as a partner.
Smart guy that Raul Segredo. Sounds like one of those experienced aviation engineers who are of course useless in the Ercorpse parallel universe.

I hope he washed his hands thoroughly before touching food when he got home.

Shane Price said...

Headline Post Update
Mike Press asked me to update the headline with one of the 'missing' paragraphs. This was in the two (and a half) pages I chose to leave out, but is a pretty important element.

Who will manage the new company?
We have retained the services of a highly respected aviation consulting firm who will aid in our transition process during the first year of our operations and with their help we have also sourced our lead candidate for the CEO position of our company. The timing is great. He is finishing up another venture and is excited about being a part of the continued vision of the EA500 VLJ. He is well respected in the aviation community and has deep experience in leading a large company responsible for the manufacturing, production, and service of jet aircraft. In addition, we have assembled a transition team of 15 highly respected aerospace industry professionals, many of whom will be placed in key management roles within our organization.

So there you have it. What you don't know is WHO they have chosen as CEO. At times like these, you'd hope it was someone like Marshal Stalin (or even Chairman Mao) who was a) totally in charge and b) used to getting their own way....


Dave said...

We have adapted, and continue to adapt, our plan to meet the collective needs of our fellow customers and our investor group. Based on our meetings, we have well over 95% acceptance of our plan.So do 95% of Eclipse's customers know this? So EVERYOOOOOOONE is behind McRoelJet except for a few holdouts with EOG.

Dave said...

So there you have it. What you don't know is WHO they have chosen as CEODoes the CEO know? Like how they claim the 95%.

FreedomsJamtarts said...


What a crock.

I can smell this plan from here, and I live about eight time zones away.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A nice effort from the Press-Holland team, definitely glad to hear the Pieper is no longer involved, that may improve their possibilities with the owners at large.

The 800lb gorilla in the room remains the dirty little (not so secret) secret that the $20-40M ANY of the asset-acquisition based plans need to raise FROM THE OWNERS represents at best a 10-15% DOWN PAYMENT on the $200-300M it will take to bring the jet back into production, and does nothing to restart the flow of parts or information.

Using the cost structures these asset-acquisition based plans have suggested will result in the $1M jet costing a further $1M over the remainder of the 10 yr life, before ANY upgrades or fixes are installed, before ANY parts are made available, before ANY improvement in documentation, before ANY unfinished options are completed and made available.

It is simply good money after bad, using many small fortunes (OPM), to create one large fortune, to make a small fortune in aviation (sound vaguely familiar).

I am curious to know how Ken Ross's team at NAJ nee Brigadoon nee the 'existing' ESN network (existing since it was announced prematurely a few weeks ago anyway) are currently 'completing the documentation' for FIKI and EFIS 1.5? Is there an STC in the works? Are they trying to do it under the auspices of their 145 certificate?

The existing FIKI solution is an attrocious band-aid that may well be impractical for real-world use, as it reportedly reduces the already limited life of the transparencies which are themselves not currently in good supply - and requires technology for in-situ installation that does not presently exist.

A comprehensive and mature solution addressing all parties remains what is needed, one that meets both the long term and immediate needs of the customers, including completion of the airplane, AOG service, and a Service Life Extension Program.

Buying the assets is an unneeded anchor that will prevent any successful outcome for the owners and will only result in yet another example of how to make a small fortune in aviation.

Claims against the estate have until mid-August to file, making it unlikely any purchase will be aggreed to before that.

It will take months and $ millions to wade-through the data purchased, and the liability and other responsibilities associated with the TC will be nothing more than a crushing weight (paper weight) that these inexperienced parties are very likely ill prepared to deal with.

There will still be a need for millions to develop the fixes and source the parts, there will still be a time delay as things work through certification.

Any 'newco' approach will be encumbered by needing to establish a new relationship with FAA (cannot take place until after the TC is acquired and many, many things are in place such as a Quality Management System, vendor surveillance program, etc.) - all of these things adding millions and months upon millions and months.

This is the reality - we may as well approach the Discovery Channel about a new reality show / docudrama, maybe call it 'American BizJet'.

airsafetyman said...

The owners only have one option: align themselves with Hawker-Beech in whatever manner they can to get control of the TC. Hawker-Beech already has whatever engineering talent is needed and already has a whole network of world-class FAA- certified repair stations capable of evaluating the needs and doing the work. Either that or park the aircraft, because this Mike Press nonsense is the biggest load of BS to come down the pike since the last load of BS. They have none of the knowledge, experience, and management ability required to even evaluate the problems, much less plan and implement solutions. Beechcraft can do it if it can be done.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
Thanks for reviewing and editing the letter from Mike Price & Friends. It is nice they too have elected to get some "air time" here. (Fresh Air time that is :)

From yesterday:
"Mini Snippet- Roel and Mike (Press) have indeed gone their separate ways."

I think while RiP and MP are now operating independently, I believe the universal intent is to get the owners and their wallets to go separate ways too !

From today:

"Is Roel Pieper still your partner?"
(Nice MP didn't embleslish that with profanity- at least not in the edited version Shane posted !! .)

"Who are your partners?"
There are three “founders,” although our family is growing daily, as we continue our diligence and structure our bid to buy the Assets. Our Founders are Mike Press, Mason Holland and John Cracken. Our friend Raul Segredo has returned to his day job as the owner and president of Avionica in Miami, FL. While he supports our efforts, he has elected not to continue as a partner".

I think there are some substantial issues about this last paragraph:

Why did RiP leave- was he voted off the island? Considered a liability if he couldn't come up with the cash (this time either?) Or he's cooking up something on his own, without MP ?

Also, regarding the departure of Raul Segredo, of Avionica.
I think there is a significant implication there. Given Raul's company product lineup, he would be in a unique position to "know people" in the avionics/display world.

Or, it could be with the industry downturn, his core business is affected, and they don't have the money to get involved- in which case, I would consider his actions a bellwether for the industry.

Which, brings me to an earlier conclusion: the best thing for everyone, is for owners to throw a tarp over their airplanes, and the factory to board up the windows for a couple of years. It's just going to be a money pit until the economy improves.

I suspect the bidders know this, hence the machinations trying to massage owners, instead of just putting up the cash and getting the job of acquiring EAC over with. Instead, they are trying to figure out how to acquire it on a shoestring, hold on to it for two years, and then flip it at a profit. The concern is how to minimize their risk (read: investment) between now and then.

In the interim, I would make the following -disruptive !?!- suggestion. The IP be licensed to HBC for two years, for use only on AC 1-260 (no future models, and only for 2 years). Owners wold pay off Mr. Mann's $10M DIP financing (or is it $20 with RiP default- guess that's between him and RiP).
Senior note holders schmoozed into waiting 2 years to avoid going nuclear. (They aren't going to get zip now, from the sound of things- so they don't have anything to loose by waiting 2 years).

Put in some kind of "buy out" clause in case Chairman Mao or Field Marshall Stalin or General DeGalle (or their contemporary countrymen associated with their respective aviation industries :) come along with a few suitcases of cash.

bill e. goat said...

You beat me to it- I posted before I saw yours.

I agree- I think HBC is the way to go regarding IP-related issues.

I think CWMOR would treat 'em better, on non-IP issues though. (Not sure if the pie is big enough to be cut more than one way).

Shadow said...

I sure hop that Jim Schuster isn't the CEO that Mike Press is talking about. If it is, it'll be a bad move for Jim.

airtaximan said...

"...the successful production of 260 jet aircraft that are the most fuel efficient twin-engine jet aircraft in the world today!"

anyone would be well advised to stop reading, here... and move along

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shadow,

I've never met the man, but we seem to have different impressions regarding
Jim Shuster(HBC ex-CEO, booted out in Nov 2008- just after HBC finally got the Horizon/4000 certified.

(The Wiki article is not quite correct- first flight was on August 11, 2001. Like EAC, they had a lame-o provisional TC in 2005 or so- but they kept screwing up so bad, the FAA didn't grandfather in new FAR's, and eventually it had to be redesigned to meet them. Finally, over 12 years after it was announced, and over 7 years after first flight, it got a legit TC).

"When Schuster took over, the company consumed $1 million a day and lost $1 billion over a three-year period. Schuster eliminated thousands of jobs and focused the company on engineering and final assembly work."A few months later, they are on the verge of bankruptcy. For the past 10 years, I have never met anyone who left HBC that had anything good to say about the place.

Shuster sounds like just the guy to replace Wedge.

Mr. Mann: Run, Forrest, Run !!!

bill e. goat said...

".the successful production of 260 jet aircraft that are the most fuel efficient twin-engine jet aircraft in the world today!"Sounds familiar- I did a doubletake- I had just read about the Beechcraft Premier"Number built: 260+"

(At least the EA500 -as well as the Premier- still selling modestly well- beat the Beech Starship record of 50-or-so.

Interestingly, we've mentioned the the Hansa Jet in our forward-swept wing discussions. Also, 50-or-so...

airtaximan said...


the sentence is so loaded with BS or ignorance, I would as you put it RUN in the opposite direction.

successful production?
- then most fuel efficient twin-engine jet aircraft...
OH really... what parameter?

- fuel per passenger mile?

OK, I admt, I went back and read the rest of the post - I must say, if EVER BT was given a run for his money...

DID I SAY immediately ???

THIS IS A BIG FAT JOKE, fellas, and its not a funny one either.

gadfly said...


Here’s some numbers from the internet that confirm the “big fat joke”:

Our most famous E500 advocate boasted on a WIKI site that the fuel mileage of the little jet was 6.7 mpg. He seems to be referring to his own flying, which as I recall, included two people (husband/wife team) . . . but say we stretch that to four passengers . . . that brings it to just under 28 pmpg (passenger miles per gallon).

Industry average for all commercial jets seems to average out at about 35 pmpg.

A reference to “Southwest Airlines” indicates their 737's (twin engines, of course) get about 42 pmpg on a typical flight (607 miles average stage length, not often achieved with an E500, regardless of payload), or 59 pmpg for a full flight.

So, as you say, “what parameter?”


(Maybe it isn’t “fuel efficiency” that was meant . . . remember, there’s no “potty” in the little bird.)

bill e. goat said...

"the sentence is so loaded with BS or ignorance"Rats.
(I thought you were complimenting ME there for a minute there, rather than MP ! :)

I have heard the 747 is a "wonder of efficiency", so, I did some... HOMEWORK !!

CAUTION: Another episode of

The 747-8:
Fuel = 64,225 gal
Range = 8000 nm
Pax = 467 (3-class)
Seat-miles/gallon = 58.2

The EA-500:
Fuel = 200 gal
Range = 1200 nm
Pax = 6 (no-class- HA HA HA- just kidding)
nm-seat/gal = 36.00
Seat-miles/gallon = 36.0

Hey now!! Let's look at those ERcoupes again !! Six gph, two seats, 90 knots, comes out to about (!!) 30 seat-Nmiles/gallon (pretty dang close to the EA-500, do some Nascar-style drafting from a nearby blimp, and it might even better the Eclipse).

Figure a Corvette, at 25 mpg and 2 seats, = 50 seat-miles /gallon.

Interestingly, someone did some math and figured a packed 737 gets 58.56 seat-miles /gallon...

Aibus 380 is claiming something like 100 km, 3 liters per passenger, which (I think) comes out to 78 seat-miles /gallon.

FIgure a 4WD, 3/4 ton SUV gets 16 mpg, and has 6 usable seats, that's 96 seat-miles /gallon.

Reckon a typical motorcycle gets around 50 mpg, with 1-2 seats (maybe 3 with a side car!!), for 50-150 seat miles /gallon. Flight Into Known Icing is reported to be strongly not recommended though (but enhanced with the optional sidecar).

An urban bus, getting 3 mpg, with 40 seats, gets 120 seat-miles /gallon.

A hybrid car, 4 seats, 40 mpg, gets 160 seat-miles /gallon.

"A diesel bus commuter service in Santa Barbara, CA, USA found average diesel bus efficiency of 6.0 mpg (using MCI 102DL3 buses). With all 55 seats filled this equates to 330 passenger-mpg, with 70% filled the efficiency would be 231 passenger-mpg."

Biggest offender: Sikorsky S-76, with 20 seat-miles/gallon. (and that's probably about as good as it gets for helo's- maybe WT can update us though).

Make that second biggest offender:
Baron has been coaching me on the relative safety of large SUV.
I think this one even comes with an anti-roll over computer ("within plus or minus 10 minutes of arc, while moving along the 5% upgrade". Nice touch. ? Leather seats too ?).
Top speed (2 mph) and parking lot inconvenience are a bit of an issue though.
"NASA's Crawler-Transporter is used to move the Shuttle from storage to the launch pad. It has one of the the highest fuel consumption rates on record, 150 gallons/mile, which is 32 feet/gallon."Figure, 2 control cabs, that's 64 seat-feet/gallon.
But, lest I be corrected for being harsh on SUV's, let's consider the total payload though: 8.23 million lbs empty, 11.0 million lbs loaded= payload of 2.77 million lbs. Figure an average pax wt (with bags, but not space suit) of 190 lbs, and we have payload for 14579. Give the floor plan is 131 ft long x 114 feet wide (THAT's a wide body!!), the seat pitch would have to be rather "snug" to accomodate everyone. Perhaps a "multi-tiered" approach, ala A380, is needed to make it truly a plush travel experience. Fully occupied, this would boost the NASA SUV to 97.2 seat-miles/gallon- just nudging out the Chevy Suburban (at 96). It does come with an impressive "tow package" too, for those QM2-sized yatchs...

Kennedy Space Center fact sheet----------------------------------

Harkening back to our discussion on overall modal efficiency:

"A trial of a Colorado Railcar double-deck DMU hauling two Bombardier Bi-level coaches found fuel consumption to be 128 US gallons for 144 miles (232 km), or 1.125 mpg. The DMU has 92 seats, the coaches typically have 162 seats, for a total of 416 seats. With all seats filled the efficiency would be 468 passenger-mpg, with 70%[citation needed] filled the efficiency would be 328 passenger-mpg."Fuel Efficiency in Transportation

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
You mention the need for a potty...

I had carelessly neglected that on my "van conversion" project involving the NASA shuttle crawler.
But with 14,579 passengers, and a 1-2 mph top speed, I think that is definitely an issue that will need to be addressed on longer trips.

baron95 said...

ATM said ....the sentence is so loaded with BS... then most fuel efficient twin-engine jet aircraft...
OH really... what parameter?
Hummm.... the ONLY parameter frequently used in GA - total fuel used for a trip.

Gad said ...but say we stretch that to four passengers . . . that brings it to just under 28 pmpg (passenger miles per gallon).

Industry average for all commercial jets seems to average out at about 35 pmpg.
Per seat fuel consumption is only used in Airline/Air Transport. It is never used in personal/GA flying, and seldom if ever in Biz Av.

Mike press was entirely correct in claiming EA500 fuel efficiency in the segment - GA twin Jet - using the only and/or most commonly used parameter, and the exact parameter that potential buyers use.

BEG said ... I have heard the 747 [-8] is a "wonder of efficiency", And in the act of desperation above - going from GA Twin Jet - to a YET TO BE BUIT four holer airliner.

Ask yourself, why EVERY airline in the US dumped their 747s for transcon flight. Because all those wonderful figures you calculated, ONLY work at the edges of the range envelop AND IF ALL SEATS ARE FULL.

Even the lowly 767, when introduced on transatlantic, killed the 747 (on most deregulated markets), and the 777 nearly did the same in transpac.

Why, because, even in air transport, total trip costs are just as important as CASM. And flying around empty 747s is the fastest way to bankruptcy, as proven by the likes of PanAm and TWA.

It is nice to see, that even when the opponent is down and out, the critics still feel the NEED to criticize even the correct claims of the opponents. Why is that?

Envy? Hate? Reflexive critic syndrome.

Who knows. It is just sooooo boring.

Anyway - all these plans are just paper exercises right now. Lets see if anyone comes up with the money to placate the Note Holders, and make a go of it.

I for one, am tired of reading these paper plans. I've been pitched more than enough "Business Plans" in my life. In the end, I only care about one thing. Who has skin/capital in the game?

As of now, I have yet to see any skin.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
"still feel the NEED to criticize even the correct claims of the opponents. Why is that?"Hey Mr. Pot, there is someone I'd like you to meet...

If you promise not to get mad at me for doing it- I'll agree with you. (Actually, I have been a consistent advocate of the fuel efficiency of the EA500).

For comparison to "a model of efficiency", I mentioned the 747. Not to rate it against it. Anymore than I rated it against the NASA SUV.

Quite correct on the 767 and 777 (It doesn't hurt that they are 15 & 30 years newer either). And about business jet usage concern with overall trip cost, rather than seat-miles cost.

That being said, you'd think all execs would fly commercial- it's not seat-mile costs, and it's not total costs- "business" aviation is about perks and tax deductions and advertising ("image projection").

I thought you'd enjoy the slack I was cutting SUV's by using seat-miles though...

I concur on your observation about "paper plans", but it is still interesting to see the wrangling and the machinations involved, in trying to get the owners to "declare". (Which, I take as financial incapacity).

As -gasp- uncritical as it sounds, I think EAC's best hope of survival was with RiP at the helm, the EASA cert in hand, and the staff still on board. If he could have secured another $200-300M, I think things might have worked out. Probably never profitable, but production and upgrades might have continued.

I think things can still get going- but it's still going to take $200-300M, and instead of a year or so, now it's going to take several years to recover the momentum.

fred said...

yep , freedom ...

it stinks so much that i can smell it here as well !! ;-)

eg: "depositors will be offered a coupon ... "
= oh yes ! to have some more hostages in the plot can only benefit the care-taker ...!

still , there is one thing i don't get :

if EA500 couldn't make a kopeck of profit ...
now , it is sold for a lot more than previously ...
but still , previous ripped-off deserve some kind of compensation ...
(in the name of what ? EAC is dead , so is their deposits !)
so they get a coupon :
who sustain (support?)that discount ?

is it something to be seen as an other reason why Fpj will never make a kopeck ?


the cost of this discount is "spread" onto next buyers ?
(like a good used-cars dealer : raising prices in day 1 , to be able to lower it for a customer on day 2 !)

still , there is something i found admirable = it is such a good business-proposition that NO ONE come with his own money ...

it always seems to be : pay in advance for a product not finished yet (for its dev.?)

pay for all mistakes done previously ...

pay for all blunders , a bunch of crooks did ...

WHAT ? you want your money to be used to produce the "thing" you are buying ??? are you nuts ???!!

definitely , the best option :

drop the thing , eventually get what was good in project to be put on some other bird ...

but as a whole "thing" Fpj = 0 !

julius said...


Fuel efficiency EA500
Col. P's paper
the fpj is the smallest jet with a modern engine.
I think everybody assumes that it will have the lowest fuel consumption (fuel per mile according to described trips)! The wedge did not design the Pratts nor was he responsible for the aerodynamic shape (a legacy of Pronto?).
But to repeat again - that isn't all of a normal jet!

Col P. partners consist of the "founders" and not of the RiP and R. S... Then there is a family - nice.
I think Col P. is still looking for partners - after losing two of two!

Is that the dream team in competition with the Chinese bidder (who might book his expenses as preparatory operations for a civil jet industry?)?

Perhaps Ken has some experience in flying the fpj in the FL250s and the fuel consumption!


airsafetyman said...

"and the exact parameter that potential buyers use."

Nope. The corporation I worked for was a real buyer and we evaluated the seat mile costs. We were able to justify an eight passenger airplane over a six-passenger airplane to our accounting department even though the absolute costs of the eight passenger aircraft was slightly more. We needed the extra seats as we had a high load factor on most of out trips.

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


The Eclipse 500 would be no bargain even if it consumed no fuel at all. Kerosene consumption is the least of the owner’s worries now. Suppose the Eclipse was able to produce and store fuel on each flight. Even then direct operating costs would be swamped by massive depreciation. Now throw in no RVSM, no known ice, lobotomized autopilot…

fred said...

BT :

lobotomized autopilot

i thought autopilot was for lobotomized pilot ? ;-) (only kidding !)

you are totally right , just add the spares problem , the "worldwide" use , the lack of about anything as service out of the US , etc...

definitely a bargain !!!

airtaximan said...

Baron, I believe the ej22 powered was more fuel efficient, based on your criteria, for example.

If you think I am joking, well, I think y'all are joking here regarding the benefits of this plane.

Right now, its like an experimental IMO, and there are some of these with greater fuel efficiency as well.

Some looking a CASM... well, thats a smart way to evealuate a plane... otherwise, why not look at the right plane for the specifi GA mission the ea50 (if finished) could compete with all things considered.. speed, range, etc... and you'll find a pro the right answer, for most missions at a lower fuel cost.

Yes, one could match the plane to its best mission, and it would be of very limited use, and not fair well vs other planes... so in short, who cares about the ovely braod comment... which BTW included successfully produced in the same sentence.

Its just a cluster, buddy.

We're going to save it becasue it might burn a little less fuel per minute that some other twin jets... OK? Again, who cares.

julius said...

Mike press was entirely correct in claiming EA500 fuel efficiency in the segment - GA twin Jet - using the only and/or most commonly used parameter, and the exact parameter that potential buyers use.
perhaps Col.P now believes that the fpj is not suitable for professional users who also look for the declining balance, amortization,...!

If one talks about professional usage of GA jets, one should ignore preemie jets (like the fpj)!

It doesn't make any sense to compare an incomplete jet with a complete jet! What are the current cost per mile of a fpj - now restricted to FL270? What are the cost per mile if the airport only has a GPS-based approach and not an "old" ILS-based approach...One has to wait for better weather or fly to another airport etc...

Col P. has one big problem: The jets he brokered are still incomplete jets!


Dave said...

Per seat fuel consumption is only used in Airline/Air Transport. It is never used in personal/GA flying, and seldom if ever in Biz Av.The Eclipse was primarilly designed for air transport and Eclipse themselves repeatedly used costs per seat mile. If anyone has a syndrome, it would be you. Why is it OK for Eclipse to have done it, but not OK for critics to do it?

julius said...

Black Tulip,

lobotomized autopilotvery good description for a not so good autopilot!

I agree with you (see above)!
I think very few owners will accept a fpj price per hour north of §1500 before training, fuel, maintenance, hangar and insurance expenses!

There is perhaps a chance that the fpj will get an updated version of the Jep db - apart from the current support, but more... even an Oracle of Delphie couldn't help.


baron95 said...

B.E.G. - You are a class act. I'd tip my hat to you if I wore one. I re-read my comments to you and realized they came across rather rude - my apologies - and yet you took the high road. Thank you for showing us (me) the way.

The 767 is a contemporary to the 747-400 using virtually the same engines - so it is apples to apples twin vs quad or smaller vs larger. The 777 is a bit newer with the 77L and 77W being newer still.

For everyone, you have reverted to SOP for the Blog.

Proponent 1: E500 is most fuel efficient GA twin jet.

Critics: Fantasy, lie, not so, blah, blah, blah...

Blogger: Demonstrate that the EA500 is in fact the most fuel efficient GA twin jet using the most commonly used way to evaluate such a claim in the intended market.

Critics: Change the discussion. Yes, if may be fuel efficient, but the depreciation and blah, blah, blah it is not complete, blah, blah, blah, it is only good for a niche.

Blogger: Gives up.

airsafetyman said...

Baron, you were the one that said: "..and the exact parameter that potential buyers use."

And you were wrong.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Barons right,

The Col P's buddies statement that the Ecorpse is the most efficient twin jet ever made is bollocks, but so what.

Basically everything Col P has ever said about the FPJ is bollocks. He was just being consistent.

It is not about fuel efficiency and never was. BT summed it up perfectly. Even if the FPJ made fuel it would still be doomed to the breaking yard.

Dave said...

A great use of Air Force One: A secret PR photo op in NY that scares people into thinking there's another 9/11 happening

Beedriver said...

I think I will hold my estimation of the chance of success until we see who buys it. if EAC is bought by a small group of smart experienced engineers that have a lot of experience dealing with the FAA and have enough money to complet what needs to be done than there is a reasonable chance of success. This is they kind of situation where a few good people with the right stuff can go and get it done. because they will just do it.

If it is a bunch of bean counters and the second or third string engineers it will fail for sure.

It will be interesting to see the makeup of the final group.

in any event it will take a lot of money to finish the airplane to meet spec. it will not be cheap for the existing owners.

I am very worried about AVIO jinxing the success of the project. Unless the purchasing group has the original software architects and writers, understanding the software well enough to improve it will cost more than starting from scratch.

If I was doing the estimates I would figure out how much it would take to completely redo the control software from scratch as there is a very good likely hood that is how much time and money it will take unless the exact same group that Wrote avio is doing the up grades.

michal said...

.The Eclipse was primarilly designed for air transport and Eclipse themselves repeatedly used costs per seat mile.Because these number look good in their advertising. This is a tiny aircraft with not much room inside. I agree that it makes little sense to compare seat-mile costs in GA unless you account for seat arrangement, roominess, luggage space, headroom, legroom, etc. In airline flying these are fairly standard arrangements, in GA these numbers can be all over the place. Plus it is impossible to know what this number will be for EA500 until long term operation of this aircraft is well established.

Niner Zulu said...


Wake me when you put up the "We Told You So" post.

I haven't been keeping up with what's been going on with Eclipse lately, but what little I did read about the future plans put forth by Mike Press was just more drivel and I started to doze off. There really isn't much left to be said about the future of Eclipse (or lack of one).

airtaximan said...

michal et als...

the config of the ea50 is pretty much established as is the payload-range... full normal sized pax = very limited... 6 seats... very very limited.

Face it, the plane was supposedly designed as a revolution in transportation, this claim designed to make people think there was some mysterious large market for a tiny plane competing for jet trips against cars or the airlines.

Crock of hooey...

It ain't our fault someone tried to promote this, "silly little jet" as something other than a "silly little jet".

It was not "successfully produced" it was rushed out the door and unfinished. AND compared to many other planes, its REAL WORLD MATTER OF FACT fuel burn is just OK... there are many planes effectively as fast, carrying effectively the same load or more, that burns less fuel. Single, twin, cert, uncert, who cares.

My example stands -the EJ22 powere d EA50 was amuch better performer for fuel burn - see how this BS works? Look at only one aspect and see what you wish to see, say what you need to say to distract from what matters.

Sorry, this ain't no bargoon, no matter what anyone thinks. No matter what spin/fuel burn story or otherwise anyone wished to put forth.

Crock... crock...

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
No worries here- you were correct on the lowest trip cost for the EA500- and in general about the reaction the "proponents" propositions are greeted with- rather skeptical, so to speak !

You sounded a bit frazzled- I couldn't resist "twisting your tail" a bit- sorry- you were a good sport about it- as usual- thanks!

And I did muddy the water, mentioning a 747-8, which is indeed the newest of the aircraft I mentioned, but with a legacy wing, I think it's efficiency is going to have a slight handicap.

Cheers !!

bill e. goat said...

Speaking of airliner effiencies, maybe someone can comment on this- I've heard the MD-11 was not as successful as hoped, because "it really needed a new wing". Also, one of the reputed reasons Boeing was interested in McDonnell Douglas was the blended wing thingee.
Over ten years later, all they have is a
scale model remote control airplane.
Rather... underwhelming.

bill e. goat said...

"Crock of hooey.."
re: general Wedge-ish hyperbole about air taxi's.
(That made me smile ! :)

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

Well- okey dokey now.
What with buckeroos (but not ya-hoos) being hard to come by, how about a:


(or- idiotic thought- or maybe- BOTH !! :)

Time for IPO ???

Ain't that a grand way to ah, raise a few grand ?? (Kilograms, er, kilo-grands that is- about 50 of 'em, as in, $50M).

Seems like Wedgie was waiting for "profitability" before going IPO.

Well, with the doors locked, this is probably as good as the cash flow is ever going to get.

bill e. goat said...

Speaking of IPOs and corporate org stuff-
what ever happened to the buzz that Cessna (actually, all of Textron, I think) was going to be bought by the middle eastern guys (about a month ago, this sounded like a done deal- haven't heard a peep about it since.

Maybe, they are shopping, for something, different. (ABQ ???)
Cessna for sale ??

April 07, 2009: YES
April 24, 2009: NO

bill e. goat said...

Swine Flu epidemicThe human impact is obviously the top concern, but I can't help but think it won't help the aviation business climate.

Interestingly, the Andromeda Strain was on cable TV Saturday. Coincidence? Irony? Fluke?

I did read the book (1969), but checked out the (very prolific) author,
Michael Crichton(I hadn't realized he died- on Nov 04, 2008; the same day as the U.S. Presidential election- guess that's why we didn't hear more about it).

I read Timeline (excellent book- really, a tribute to great writing, because the plot was corny, but excellent character development and suspense- the movie however, was completely wretched), and Prey (WAY excellent novel- highly recommended).

baron95 said...

Michal said... in GA these numbers can be all over the place Exactly right. For many owners of light very-light jets, financing, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, etc represents a much larger component of CASM than at the airlines, where fuel and labor are dominant, with fuel being more dominant of late.

At 200 hrs per year, fuel costs are almost (not quite) a rounding error and the average owner of this class of plane, makes trip decisions based on trip costs most of the time.

The loss of value on most biz jets in the past year alone, was probably enough to pay for 3 years of fuel at light GA utilization rates.

I just got a call from another airplane owner last week, asking desperately for me to buy his plane or find a buyer. He has a balloon not coming due, and the bank is not refinancing that. He is simply trying to get the balloon payment out of the deal. Amazing, what I'm seeing out there is depreciation.

This may be THE time to build a biz jet airforce and start charter or fractional business with it.

There has been NOTHING compared to this level of airplane value loss in the airline world. Not even NW run out DC-9s or AAs decrepit A300s are getting anywhere near this hit.

Quite amazing if you ask me.

baron95 said...

BEG, not that I think the 748I will have any impact in passenger air transport (assuming it even gets built), but the 748 wing is actually "new", and pretty high tech at that.

Here are some of the improvements and design changes on the 748 wing vs 744.

baron95 said...

Re Textron, the issue is that there is no hurry to acquire. They'll only get cheaper as they lose more business.

Same with Chrysler, Eclipse, etc. Wait a bit, save a penny.

Kathy said...

There are no less than 8 data protocols with avio (and I may be missing a couple with my memory). Airinc 429 and 453, RS 232, 422 and 485, byteflight, ethernet and USB 2.0. Is that normal for an architecture considering the size and capabilities of the EA500?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Beedriver wrote:
a small group of smart experienced engineers that have a lot of experience dealing with the FAA and have enough money to complete what needs to be doneThis sounds like the classic production dilema.

Choose two!
I don't see any groups lining up to do CPR on the Ecorpse, possessing those three characteristics you identified Beedriver.

Smart experienced engineers, with good FAA experience and lots of cash are about as common as easter bunnies, yeti's and christmas elves. Lots of sightings, but nothing confirmed.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I doubt there has ever been a commercial A/C with this range of avionics buses certified before. So no it is not typical.

What was typical on the Ecorpse?

bill e. goat said...

HI Baron,
Thanks for the info on the new 747 wing- that does seem pretty nifty- a lot of changes, should reult in some big improvements. Like you say, if it ever gets built. Boeing has been talking about a newer better 747 for over a decade now, ever since Airbus announced the 380.

Regarding depreciation and a time to buy- I'd say not juect EA500's (or about everything else), but also factories- especially the Eclipse factory- I think it is a give away for $20-50M.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
I'm puzzled about why Chrysler is being pushed into a deal with Fiat- why not a merger with GM - any thoughts?

bill e. goat said...

Hi Kathy,
I think there might have been a couple of others:

CAN bus

Flex Ray

Although, with fancy marketing buzz words, I'm not sure if you might not have already addressed them.

This does seem to be an unusual number of prootocols for an airplane of this price range, but oddly typical for this level of integration.

BTW, how many wings and landing gear sets ARE in ABQ?? thanks.

bill e. goat said...

FJT, Beedriver,


fred said...

I'm puzzled about why Chrysler is being pushed into a deal with Fiat

answer (simple)

1° currency
2° market


bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
Fiat doesn't seem to be a good match for the US-although I did have a wonderful experience with one for several years in my youth:
Fiat 124 Spyder
(And a couple of Alfa Romeo's later on. The Fiat was more reliable, but that is still not saying too much- sadly, in the late 70's, Alfas and BMWs were roughly equal market share in the USA, from my observations. Things sure changed, not sure why. Alfa tried with the nice 164, but pulled out of the US market in the mid 90's- I think Fiat had exited by the mid 80's

I don't think Europe is interested in 6000 pound 14 mpg pickup trucks, and I don't see Chrysler selling any of the Fiat products in the USA- so- what's up with this merger?


baron95 said...

BEG - don't get me wrong. The 748F will be built and sell very well for a new (vs BCF) large freighter.

My comments were exclusively on the 748I (the passenger version), which has only a single airline order form LH.

I believe that the VLA (very large aircraft) market has been permanently split between Airbus for passenger transport (A388) and Boeing for freight (748F).

The real wide body battle, of course, will be 788/789/77W vs A333/A358/A359/A351. That is where the money will be for the next 20 years.

Re GM/Fiat/Chrysler.... There is NOTHING that Chrysler has that GM wants. The only possible exception, being the Minivans, which is a market segment that is unraveling for Chrysler. GM decided, correctly, to go with the Lambda (Acadia, Enclave, Traverse) crossovers vs minivans - so there was truly nothing in it for GM.

Fiat, on the other hand, wanted US assembly capacity, dealerships/sales channels, financing arm, etc to try to sell their wares over here (Fiat, Alfa).

Either way, Chrysler is doomed. With the UAW owning 55% of the company (IF the Obama deal goes through) it will be dead in a few years anyway, Fiat or no Fiat. But my bet is still on the bond holders holding firm and forcing an asset auction, unless Obama further leans on them hard.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So Baron, since we are off topic right now anyway, if you think the Chrysler deal is bad how do you see FedGov and UAW collectively owning 89% of GM then for effectively $10B?

Between $20-40B in shareholder equity (such as that is) will simply be erased by a stroke of the pen and 'we' will own a pig of a company with a labor and benefit cost structure that is unsupportable even if owned 100% by the Fed.

Frightening developments in my book (Atlas Shrugged for those looking for a 1000 pages of eerily prescient fiction).

baron95 said...

I agree CW. The Obaminator is trying to give the UAW 55% of Chrysler and 39% of GM as a reward for playing a major role in bringing down both companies.

It is brilliant if he pulls it off - big political pay back.

I don't think he will, unless he risks much more of his reputation by leaning on the bondholders (mostly banks receiving federal aid and now partly govmt owned) to take the deal or else.

The difference between Chrysler and GM? I think a restructured GM has a chance to succeed based on product, scale and global reach. Sooooooo, I believe the US Gvmt and the UAW can sell their shares on the open market and return the company to private investor ownership fairly quickly (12-18 months post-restructuring).

So I am somewhat less concerned about the Gvmt temporary ownership in GM. In Chrysler case, the US gvmt and UAW ownership would be long lasting - which does not last.

Lets see the testicular volume of the bond holders though. If it were me, I'd want an asset sale, with the UAW getting nothing and the US gvmt footing the bill for the pensions. I'd call the Obaminator's bluff and take my chances on a CH7 or 363 asset sale.

Unlike Eclipse, I like the position of a secured Chrysler or GM debtor. There are some good assets there - Jeep, Minivan plants/product line, GM Lambdas, Caddy, Corvette brands, etc. These are valuable assets. It is worth WAY more than the Obaminator wants to give to the secured creditors.

Go to the mat - that is what I'd do.

baron95 said...

I should point out that the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Chrysler's debt holders have reached a deal last night with the Obaminator. So far it is the only news agency reporting that. So it is possible that they have blinked already.

So yeah for the Obaminator and the UAW. Impressive job.

Now lets see if the US GOvmt + UAW + Fiat + $10B of US taxpayer money can actually produce cars that we want to buy.

baron95 said...

The AP just reported the deal also.

baron95 said...

Exchanging $6.9B in unsecured debt in Chrysler for $2B in hard cash - sounds like a good deal.

Looks like Chrysler will pull it off out of bankruptcy. Congrats to all the parties.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


One correction IMO, they will not be allowed to make the cars we want to buy - they will be forced, as will GM, to build the cars the wizards of smart think that we should be driving. That is why the push for Fiat IMO. Chrysler will be forced to sell SmartCars through their dealer network, the Crossfire will be gone, like Pontiac at GM.

Ford stands a chance to be the Hammond Motors of this passion play as the only one not to take the 30 pieces of silver from FedGov. They only lost $1.4B last quarter.

baron95 said...

That is right CW. While the most successful automakers in the world are on a horsepower and size increasing streak - from BMW to MB to Audi to VW to Toyota (even the Prius is both bigger and more powerful for 2010)..... the Obaminator is forcing GM/Chrysler to bet on small cars with downsized engines.

This will end badly. Basically the only buyers that GM has are those that rejected the Toyota/Honda formula. Now the Obaminotor will make sure the only vehicles they are still buying from GM (et all) - Escalades, CTSs, Lambdas are gone.


I can't wait for the Obaminator to start "managing" the aerospace industry. Lokheed, Boeing, .... watch out!!!

You don't need to build no stinking F22 or 777 - you need to build electrically powered drones and trains.

baron95 said...

That is right CW. While the most successful automakers in the world are on a horsepower and size increasing streak - from BMW to MB to Audi to VW to Toyota (even the Prius is both bigger and more powerful for 2010)..... the Obaminator is forcing GM/Chrysler to bet on small cars with downsized engines.

This will end badly. Basically the only buyers that GM has are those that rejected the Toyota/Honda formula. Now the Obaminotor will make sure the only vehicles they are still buying from GM (et all) - Escalades, CTSs, Lambdas are gone.


I can't wait for the Obaminator to start "managing" the aerospace industry. Lokheed, Boeing, .... watch out!!!

You don't need to build no stinking F22 or 777 - you need to build electrically powered drones and trains.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

They've already targetted more than 50% of GM's best selling vehicles (trucks and SUVs) to be shut down as 'too big', 'too powerful' and 'inefficient'. Never mind what GM is actually selling, invest more into the Volt and toy cars - Al Gore says it will save the planet.

All hail Obammunism, recreator of the 'achievement' that was the Pinto and the K car.

And now back to our regular scheduled programming....

baron95 said...

Yep - we need some Eclipse news.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I'm puzzled about why Chrysler is being pushed into a deal with Fiat- why not a merger with GM - any thoughts?

Boy, would that be the two stone theory of management at work.

bill e. goat said...

I've heard of the two birds with one stone, but one bird with two stones??

Orville said...

That would be a 'male' bird.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Two stone economic theory...

If one stone sinks, tie another stone to it to see if it then floats.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

You guys see avidyne entegra 9? It would be interesting to see an STC for the eclipse. That might help us plain Avio users. Too bad this didn't happen 2 years ago like vern wanted.

baron95 said...

I wouldn't put Avidyne avionics on my plane even if it were free.

They are toast. They are loosing OEM deal after OEM deal.

Last to move away from Avidyne was the Meridian - now a full G1000 deck.

They won't make it.

Shadow said...

Baron, fly Entegra Release 9 and even you might change your mind. Avidyne said the new boxes are much more robust since they have LED backlighting now.

And speaking of toast (burnt probably), what's the latest on the Eclipse bankruptcy process?

michal said...

They are toast. They are loosing OEM deal after OEM deal.True and I was always wondering why. I as a single user always preferred the "look & feel" of G1000, primarily because how PFD is designed - unlike Avidyne they don't divide the display into 2 thin horizontal rectangles (AI and HSI) so they have so much more real estate for their SVT which looks quite impressive. I think Avidyne suffers from "not invented here" syndrome and is unable to borrow better ideas from Garmin however this is only my slant and I was always wondering why majority of other pilots prefer G1000. Cirrus rep told me recently that up to 85% of their aircraft now leave factory with G1000.

baron95 said...

Shadow said...Baron, fly Entegra Release 9 and even you might change your mind.

And how many OEMs have decided to offer planes with Entegra 9?

Michal said...Cirrus rep told me recently that up to 85% of their aircraft now leave factory with G1000. And that is ONLY because Cirrus wanted to burn Entegra inventory on hand, and only recently allowed SR20 buyers to order G1000. For a period of a few months they spewed the BS that "G1000 was too expensive for SR20". Yes, really???!!! But not too expensive for C172 and DA40 where it was standard equip - who believed that? They had to accept market demand and offer G1000 on SR20. I think they have an agreement with Avidyne, that forces them to offer Avidyne as an option, which they did as their (no one buys it) bare bones option.

So recap:

Cessna: 100% G1000 - C172 to Mustang.

Diamond: 100% G1000 on 4 seats and up, DA40 - Djet.

Mooney, TBM, Beech Piston, Most (soon to be all) Piper fleet: all 100% G1000

Husky: Virtually 100% G600 leaving the factory.

Avidyne next Gen: ZERO OEM, ZERO Retrofit.

G1000: retrofit on King Airs

G900: multiple experimentals

G600/Aspen 1000: Retrofit STCed with master list on countless planes.

Avidyne = toast (being kind)

Shadow said...

Baron, you do realize that there's far more airplanes in the field without glass cockpits that need avionics retrofit upgrades versus the number of new G1000-equipped aircraft that will be delivered this year, right? Or are all of the avionics retrofit shops toast, too?

Shadow said...

If Avidyne can get just 10% of this retrofit market, then they'll hardly be toast.

baron95 said...

Yes. I do realize the size of the retrofit market.

How many STC aircraft are covered by Aspen and Garmin 600/1000? Virtually all likely candidates.

How many are covered by Avidyne? A hand full.

Strike 1.

Retrofit market absolutely follows the OEM market - Garmin has been holding out on being more aggressive on G1000 retrofits, because they have their hands full with OEM projects plus pushing G600 - but that won't last.

Strike 2.

Garmin has a stellar reputation. Aspen is building a good reputation. Avidyne has a lousy reputation.

Strike 3.

They are out.

Shadow said...

OK. My final say on this subject. If you could input a flight plan for a Mass.-Florida route into FMS A with about 65 dial turns/knob pushes or FMS B with about 1,200 dial turns/knob pushes, which one would you want in your airplane?

FMS A=Avidyne Entegra Release 9
FMS B=Garmin G1000

If you like making 20 times more knobs twists and button pushes than I do, then by all means be my guest and stick with the G1000.

baron95 said...


First, I'd fight ATC for a better route.

Second, you must be referring to Airway/Jetway routing which has been added to G1000.

In case I am wrong, I'd assume that Garmin, having a much larger share, a much larger R&D budget, would close ANY feature deficit in short order.

So, to throw your question right back at you, would you rather have a slicker avionics suite from a moribund company e.g. Eclipse or a somewhat less slick but functional suite from a solid company with dominant market share?

Shane Price said...


I can't entirely agree with you on Avidyne. Personal experience with OEM deals in 'my' industry is that very few suppliers gain permanent dominance.

Let's take a classical example, from the computer industry.

From 1977 to about 1981, Apple were (for all practical purposes) the only game in town. Everyone bought an Apple II, for Visicalc.

Then, in 1981 Bill Gates licensed MS-DOS to IBM, and Apple II sales started to slow a little. They didn't stop, and it was in late '82 before the 'PC' overtook it, but the writing was on the wall.


Lotus 1-2-3.

And a bit of WordPerfect...

Apple responded (Superbowl, January 1984, Ridley Scot, check out the ad) with the Macintosh, which is still the best selling integrated personal computer experience, a mere 25 years later.

But Apple are no longer known to the general public as a supplier of personal computers. They build phones, and music/video players.

Oh, and IBM don't make personal computers anymore.

And as for Microsoft? In my opinion, they never made a proper operating system, for anything.

And they never, EVER, built a single PC.

Go figure.

So, Garmin will be the dominant supplier of glass cockpits. Until someone else builds a cheaper alternative. That could well be Avidyne....

Costs will now be the principle driver in almost every market, as GA struggles to survive.

Oh and the FIAT Chrysler deal stinks. Remember that FIAT is actually short for






michal said...

Mass.-Florida route into FMS A with about 65 dial turns/knob pushes or FMS B with about 1,200
I am not sure whether 20-times advantage in number of pushes and/or turns is not a gross hyperbole. But also this must assume some darkest possible flight plan. Just out of curiosity I checked what Pilatuses or TBMs are getting today on that route. One PC-12 shows a flightplan with 3 (!!) entries only, another with 5 or 6 between Bedford,Ma and Tampa area. One has to weigh a possible saving of say 90 sec in entering the plan versus all other advantages during the flight that lasts a lot more than 90 sec.

bill e. goat said...

Maybe a Fiat-EAC merger is appropriate- I think the airplanes are pretty reliable, but given the number of IOU's on the aircraft that rolled out the door:



TBMs_R_Us said...

In case I am wrong, I'd assume that Garmin, having a much larger share, a much larger R&D budget, would close ANY feature deficit in short order.


I wish you were right, but I think not. Garmin is more and more acting like a company without real competitors, at least in the aviation area. They don't need to close ANY feature deficit. It's not good for GA to have only a single healthy OEM avionics supplier (not counting high end Collins et al).

Having said that, I think you are probably right about the 3 strikes against Avidyne. In some ways I preferred the Avidyne PFD to the G1000, but the advantages aren't enough to drive the market. At the same time, Avidyne has a horrible reputation, well deserved from what I can tell.

baron95 said...


What you described may be true in consumer goods and it certainly WAS true in the incipient phase of the personal computer, software and internet era.

It is NOT true once the shake down occurred.

There were TONS of computer platforms contemporary to Apple II - Radio Shack TRS, etc. There were tons or word processors and spreadsheet SW. There were tons of internet search sites.

Today, there is Microsoft Office AND NOTHING ELSE, there is Google AND NOTHING ELSE.

In light GA avionics it has ALWAYS been a dominant player + a bunch of second class also runs.

Pull out any Trade-a-Plane issue from the late 80s and early 90s and what did you see in the adds? "FULL KING IFR" or "FULL KING SILVER CROWN STACK". It was either King or it was junk valued at close to Zero.

Now, it is either Garmin or it is junk valued close to zero.

For most products that require substantial user interface learning, the natural order is one (or at most two - one entry level, one high level) dominant players.

In fully integrated Suites, there is G1000 and Pro Line 21.

In entry level retrofit glas PFD there is G600 and Aspen (maybe).

In Integrated SW suites, there is MS Office and some other give aways.

PC users want to be able to move from PC to PC and even PC to Mac to PC and intuitively know how to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint. It is highly unlikely they'll put up (voluntarily) with learning anything else.

Same with GA integrated avionics. They want to be able to move from club plane to club plane and step up from DA40 to DA42 to DJet with a single suite.

Michal, I do agree, that Garmin has slowed the pace of feature integration and is acting more like a monopoly.

What we need in the market, is for someone to develop plug and play G1000 modules at lower price.

E.g. I want Shelton to develop a $10K GFC700 plug and play alternative.

I want IS&S to develop a plug and play set of G1000 screens.

Ditto for the behind the panel boxes.

Get those things STCed and we'll put real pressure on Garmin.

Total Eclipse said...

My first car was a brand-new Fiat 850 Spyder. FIAT, being an Italian acronym, is actually short for:





Troglodyte said...

Baron95 and TBMs_R_Us:

There have been a number of negative comments regarding Avidyne’s reputation. Could you please elaborate? Are the problems related to reliability, service, features?

The Garmin 1000 is indeed a great system, but Garmin has been, and continues to be, very difficult to deal with for OEMs. They are often arrogant and inflexible, and I believe this attitude is causing OEMs to pine for a good alternative.


baron95 said...

B787 ZA001 has just completed factory gauntlet and is NOW in the hands of the flight test department.

Flight line gauntlet is next with gear cycling, engine starting, etc.

It could fly in 8 weeks or even less.

Congratulations to the Boeing team for completing the assembly portion of the job on ZA001.

We need some aerospace good news, don't we?

Troglodyte said...

I have only limited flight experience with the G100, and none (yet) with synthetic vision, however I have studied the system carefully for a number of reasons, and spent many dozen hours with the simulator. It’s logic is solid but there are many areas where the user interface is awkward, though I think generally consistent.

A few comments about routing: In the Northeast it’s very rare to get a rout with direct anything, or less than a full or near full-rout clearance. This is, in part, altitude dependent. Generally, below FL250 there’s more room for negotiation. FL260 and 270 are a bit busier with folks who can’t get into RVSM airspace. In RVSM airspace in a fast turboprop or jet you can pretty much forget anything but flying on the airways. You can ask if you’d like a sarcastic remark or clipped “unable” in return, unless you are unlucky and get a longer rout for your trouble. (Note: in my experience this does not apply to reasonable requests for wx avoidance, which are almost always approved as requested). In fact, in the lower 30’s it’s generally reasonable to expect several very long re-routs as you make your way up or down the coast. It’s even worse in a Citation I-SP (CE-501) at FL410, where you are essentially a flying road-block -- and the same applies to pretty much anything without swept wings. The ability to enter the ATC clearance directly as given is not a feature of the G1000 but is, apparently, a feature of the newest Avidyne release, in a manner very similar to a Universal (or equivalent) FMS.

Michal, when you looked up what TBM and PC-12 aircraft were getting between BED and Tampa I presume you looked at the “Planned ATC Rout” from a source such as or FlightAware? I strongly suspect that the clearances you found will be amended at the time the actual clearance is given, or worse, airborne during climb before center will accept the handoff.

Here are recently issues clearances between KBED and KTPA from

Recent Planned ATC Routes between KBED - KTPA

I would LOVE to be able to input them directly as they are!! By the way, I believe that this was on the list of promises made by Avio. Does it do this??


Troglodyte said...

Hmmm... looks like I need more work with my Find and Replace skills re: spelling of route... Apologies.


Total Eclipse said...

Now getting back to Eclipse...Kathy, the primary communications bus is ARINC 429, with CAN Bus used internally between FADEC channels. RS-422, the full duplex version of half-duplex RS-485, is normally only used for GSE, but I'm not sure if it is used on the EA500. The FADECs are a good example of Vern's original premise of driving the individual subsystem component costs way down by using smart design and full automotive grade (-40 to +125C)inexpensive components which were just starting to become available to the general electronics market in 2004-2005. However, I wish I could say the same about the POS APC system that they plug into......

bill e. goat said...

Thanks for the good news, and I second your congrats to the cowpokes at the Lazy B ranch.

I heard "first flight by the end of June"- indeed 8 weeks or so. But the terminology made me suspect 2008Q3. (Still, they are obviously not rushing to meet artificial milestones now, so perhaps this is "the real deal" as opposed to the rollout stunt- if it is real, then I agree, it "otter fly" in a few weeks).

The lengthy build process, makes me wonder how long the flight test program will take. Should only be 12 months or so, for initial cert. If the only bugs were manufacturing related, this will probably hold. But still...

"Garmin has slowed the pace of feature integration and is acting more like a monopoly. What we need in the market, is for someone to develop plug and play G1000 modules at lower price. I want Chelton to develop a $10K GFC700 plug and play alternative. I want IS&S to develop a plug and play set of G1000 screens. Ditto for the behind the panel boxes. Get those things STCed and we'll put real pressure on Garmin."Well now, I think that's just what Wedge was thinking! :)
Seriously- I thought it incredibly S-T-U-P-I-D for Wedge to try to develop:
1) A new factory
2) A twin jet
3) An avionics suite

All at the same time. Erroneously giving him credit for not being THAT dimwitted, I had thought that perhaps the EA500 was just a ruse for launching just what you describe- a new avionics company.

bill e. goat said...

"I can't wait for the Obaminator to start "managing" the aerospace industry. Lokheed, Boeing, .... watch out!!!"This would not be a new thing:
Lockheed Bailout, circa 1971Results of "government intervention"
Company saved.
Jobs saved.
Tax payer repaid.
"stinking F22" built.

(I personally preferred the YF-23)

bill e. goat said...
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bill e. goat said...
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baron95 said...

BEG - you'd be giving the Boeing shareholders a heart attack, by mentioning a 12 months flight test program.

EIS (IIRC) is planned for 5 months after first flight. I don't think they'll make it, but that is the plan.

For the record, I personally don't think there is any correlation on the much longer than anticipated build time and flight test length.

I have to believe that Boeing took a long time, but built it right, and the flight test program is just a confirmation and documentation exercise.

So lets see if they can pull it off in 5 months of flight testing.

fred said...

Billy :

Lockheed Bailout, circa 1971Results of "government intervention"unfortunately , it doesn't seems to be gone with time passing by ...

do you remember a few months ago , some "nearly secret stuff" from Boeing was supposed to have been internally published by EADS ...

do not ask where i go that info from ; IT seems that the said stuff was leaked by Boeing ITSELF ...

Q: Why ?

A: to push US public-opinion to believe that EADS is an "evil-firm" therefor should not be allowed to compete for the renewal of "fuel cargo" the Pentagon is putting on the table since a while ...

so expect Boeing to get the contract and ask for a Mega-bailout on tax-money ... off-course !!

i wouldn't say EADS guys are angels ,but behind the curtain are you sure everybody plays with the same rules ?

as you know , protectionism can be disguised in many forms ...especially in the good old BS manner ;-)

baron95 said...

Troglodyte said... There have been a number of negative comments regarding Avidyne’s reputation. Could you please elaborate?

I don't want to disparage or sound too negative about the Avidyne Entegra, but, IMHO, you can't even compare the two systems.

The G1000 is very modular, easy to troubleshoot and replace the remote components and screens as needed, it can be air restarted, pilot keeps his/her eyes on the display (PFD/MFD) vs looking down and pushing buttons on remote boxes (e.g. G430s), it has great field support, etc.

The Avidynes have had very poor reliability and support experiences are mixed at best.

If you try to sell a used light plane in this market, if it has a G1000, it will sell 10-20x faster than if it has an Avidyne or something else. Simple as that.

I think this is one of those Microsoft Office vs Lotus Smartsuite discussions that Shane brought up. Smart what? No one even remembers what that was.

It is prob too little too late for Avidyne.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
Yes, I heard the 5-month flight test program too- I about had a heart attack !!

(If the stockholders believe that, then I know where they can pick up a nice little piece-part factory in ABQ :)

I almost posted the above as-is, but did stop to think about the 777 flight test program (which, by all accounts, went unusually well- but back then, Boeing did things unusually well):
"On April 9, 1994, the first Boeing 777, line number WA001, was rolled out in a series of fifteen ceremonies held during the day to accommodate the 100,000 invited guests. The first flight took place on June 14, 1994...the 777 was awarded simultaneous airworthiness certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) on April 19, 1995"
Boeing 777

"Nine aircraft in total were used in 777 flight testing, five powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, two by General Electric GE90 engines, and two by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines."

With only two engines offered (GE and RR) on the 787, this should simplify things a bit; and the 777 was fly-by-wire, then a new thing for Boeing, so, maybe things will go even more quickly this time around- some will depend on how long it takes to get the rest of the flight test articles flying- I'm not sure all will be in the air within 5 months, let alone certified !! (But, it will be interesting)

And like you say, with the advances in modeling over the past 15 years, it could go "just as predicted". (The track record for that isn't so good thus far:)

I was actually pretty impressed with the EA500 modeling- (or guessing- whichever they used, it worked !!); other than pesky windscreen issues, and some minor fairing changes, it seemed need little tweaking.

bill e. goat said...
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bill e. goat said...
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bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
I think you are way underestimating the US public, regarding the IP the EAD allegedly had: it didn't "push US public-opinion to believe that EADS is an "evil-firm".

It's the well known fact the EADS board of directors eats babies and worships goats that has us a bit concerned.

Not that there is anything wrong with -admiring- goats...

bill e. goat said...
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bill e. goat said...

I know the EADS BoD had something to do with this.

The USA will never buy an AF tanker (or another quart of goat's milk) from those EAD scoundrels !!

bill e. goat said...

No disrespect intended there - in fact, just the opposite.

The good pastor "suffered a heart attack as he tried to return the animal to its pen. It's believed the minister bumped his head as he wrestled with the goat Tuesday morning."

"The goat that contributed to Richardson's death was shot and killed."I don't think the good pastor would have approved !!

(Maybe it was an ornery goat though. Hmmm, with that, I'm signing off !)

Shane Price said...


I have to believe that Boeing took a long time, but built it right, and the flight test program is just a confirmation and documentation exercise.

So Boeing are immune to the 'Skycatcher disease' that Cessna seem to have caught? Remember, this hiatus has been suffered by the GA company with the MOST experience of new model introductions.

Methinks Boeing shareholders are in for a rough time over the 787 flight test period. And as for EIS in 5 months, the real question is, will anyone be left to buy tickets for the 'long thin' routes that the 787 is designed to address?

Or will the A380, with it's lower cost per passenger (by the simple expedient of packing more of them in) scoop the business that remains?


fred said...

dear Billy :

It's the well known fact the EADS board of directors eats babies and worships goats that has us a bit concerned.

Methinks that you're mistaken !!

it is me who eats babies (for breakfast !)

i worship Goat , but not the same as you ...

on top of it : i boil cats in frying Oil ....!

ok , after this non-sens , i can confess a certain lack of confidence in US public-opinion ...

after all , it didn't fall for such trap as :

WMD , who would be dull enough to believe it ?

OBL a terrorist ?! after being on CIA payroll ...

Ukraine's Orange Revolution ...

etc ...etc...

as you said , i must confess underestimation ...
or may be a big lack of trust for US Medias ...!

bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
I agree about the media not being entirely trustworthy,
But regarding unsavory characters on the US payroll, I must remind you of:

a) Wild Bill Clinton
b) G.W.Bush

(take your pick of unsavoriness :)

I think OBL is one "cat" I would not recommend get to close to the oil- "accidents" can happen !!

fred said...


i am glad you are not fooled ... ;-)

it is not the responsibility of people's nation to have untrustworthy medias ...

much more a system problem when opinions is being oriented one way or an other ...
in any country of world , journalist's job is about presenting fact , unfortunately most of times those "facts" became one's opinion , often very partial opinion on a very partial knowledge ...!

just the fact that in the country of freedom , until very recently , coffin(s) of dead soldiers who have given their life (in vain) for foreign mistake couldn't be taken on photo or/and published in newspaper , is for me very weird ...!
(it has nothing to do with family protection : what is a coffin ? a wooden box that may be filled or empty ! nothing personal into this ...)

the only thing that can be reproached :

lack of reaction ! (may be with the lack of desire to know others "out of country" ...)

as for the "cat" you mentioned , even if i believe it is only a weird lunatic with a story has been stretched a bit much ...

you are definitely right , some cat are bit more dangerous to handle that other ones ...!! ;-)

you see , i found some intriguing parallel with EAC story :

IF the media , for some obscure reasons , wouldn't have ported Vern and his "Flying nightmare" to the pinnacle ...

the story would have not reached New York by now !! ;-)

FlightCenter said...

G1000 and E500 – Not Gonna Happen

There are at least 3 strikes from Garmin’s perspective. Strike 1 - Garmin sells the G1000 to OEMs. There is no OEM for the E500.

Strike 2 - Garmin refused to accept the liability of integrating the G1000 with the E500 when there was a viable OEM in the eyes of most of the industry 4 years ago. If Garmin thought the liability of working with the Eclipse of 4 years ago was too high, they will certainly refuse to work with any of the shadows of Eclipse that are scrapping for the right to support the airplanes in the field. Garmin is a very risk averse company.

Strike 3 - Integrating the G1000 with the E500 would require a huge amount of engineering and flight test to do the simplest and absolutely minimal integration of the autopilot and the EICAS. There isn’t sufficient return on investment for Garmin to support these activities for an aircraft that isn’t in production.

A Shadow of Eclipse – any company who inherits the E500 Strike 1 - The engineering talent who understands the E500 well enough to manage a G1000 integration program are all gone. The intellectual property required to complete this program is also unavailable.

Strike 2 - Even if a Shadow of Eclipse could assemble an engineering team capable of managing such a program, their first responsibility will be to support the current fleet and to get the AOG aircraft back in the air. There won’t be any time to spend on integrating the G1000.

Strike 3 – Any Shadow of Eclipse attempting such a project will find very quickly that they have no chance of ever recovering the money invested in a G1000 retrofit.

E500 Owners’ 3 StrikesStrike 1 – Opportunity Cost. Any energy spent on the G1000 retrofit is energy that could be spent on getting my AOG aircraft back in the air.

Strike 2 – Equipment & Installation Cost – Relatively few owners will be willing to pony up the $400K - $500K required in new equipment and installation costs.

Strike 3 – Time – Relatively few owners will be willing to wait 2 to 3 years for the G1000 engineering project to complete, only to then have the opportunity of having their aircraft down for the 3 to 4 months it will take to complete the retrofit.

3 Technical StrikesStrike 1 – E500 / G1000 Incompatibilities

You’d have to replace a lot more than the displays. Some items that come to mind are:
Wiring Harness

Strike 2 – G1000 weighs 50 to 100 pounds more than Avio in all the wrong places. You’ll have less fuel, less range and more weight and balance issues.

Strike 3 – Third party technical and integration changes
Air Data system
FIKI / Ice Protection Systems
Fire Protection Systems

Certification Risk Strike 1 – The FAA has been burned badly by Eclipse. Their is no one in the FAA who will be interested in risking their career to certify a G1000 version of the E500. Expect obstacles and delays, followed by delays and obstacles.

Strike 2 - Ditto for EASA.

Strike 3 – Anyone from Eclipse or the FAA with an E500 certification track record will be suspect when it comes to participating in a new E500 certification program.

In summary, a G1000 retrofit has overwhelming financial risk, technical risk, certification risk, and schedule risk. On top of that there is opportunity cost. Everybody who would be required to be involved will have many, many higher priority and higher return on investment tasks on their plate.

Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

bill e. goat said...

"IF the media , for some obscure reasons , wouldn't have ported Vern..."Fred, there are only two kinds of "news" (entertainment, really) stories that "run" in the US "news":

1) Those that "titilate" (car and airplane accidents, disasters, etc. "If it bleeds, it leads". Never any background, or investigation, just simplist exploitation).

2) Those that make us feel good about ourselves.

Both topics expressly avoid anything which requires any knowledge, or analysis. (In fact, media is orchestrated for simpletons, who might be intimidated or bored and tune to another station, and miss the advertisements).


You would never make it in mass media- too much thoughtful analysis !!
(I'm glad you're "reporting" on station W-EAC-NG though !! :)

fred said...
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ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Word of our evil plan is spreading.

With each new piece of additional analysis by FC or Baron or BEG and others I actually feel better about the prospects for the owners.

As reality continues to set in more and more owners are coming to the realization that making a small fortune in aviation is not the answer to ensuring they have a safe, efficient and reliable plane.

As everyone knows, I am not a duelling press release or glitz and glamor kind of guy, but I cannot wait to share more of the details of the plan we are putting together when the time is right.

fred said...

Billy :

i am amazed by the clarity of your look into your own system ...!

perfect system remain to be invented , still i am not sure it would stay that way for very long ...

it is so much more relaxing to be only a follower ...or its worse form : a follower pretending to be a leader ...

and so , for any political scum it is so easy to say what peoples want to hear ...

may be you should be President ?? ;-)

PS: often i am amazed by the Tone of French or German news (the first are the best in most things , the second are so well organized that they equal the first ...)

the big difference ?

often , they talk about other part of world !! (which i was very surprised when i was in New York to see very rarely on TV , except if Britney was doing some poop in Paris or Paris [the bitch not the town] showing her boobs in Berlin ... i was lucky enough that my family was living in a part of world where they knew electricity and telephone (already) to call them sometimes ... otherwise i could have thought the rest of Earth was not , anymore ...)

i suppose that nothing has really evolved since a very long time ...

Decimus Iunius Iuuenalis (more known as Juvenal , writer of "the satyrs") stated more than 2000 years ago " Vox populi , vox dei ;populi desirae panem et circences "

(people voice is like god choice , so give them bread and circus )

Beedriver said...

in the PC world there is a major growing competitor for Microsoft that is already giving them some problems especially in the big business users market.

It is called Cloud Computing. it is where your processing power is not on your PC it is out on the net. your P C just becomes a IO device connected to the net. Basically people just pay for computing by the hour or by the year etc.

these companies providing Cloud computing are growing like mad and are the big future problem Bill Gates is worried about. they do not use the MS operating systems. and it really threatens their future dominance of the market.

This is where a lot of the smart money is putting their money to bet on the future of computing.

fred said...

ColdWet :

yes , your plan is really Evil !!!

you pointed out that making a fortune in GA and having a safe plane could be conflicting ...

how could you break the dream of so many victims ?? !! ;-)

fred said...

beedriver :

sorry to point that out !

i have been working in money-matters for 15+ years ...

smart money never heard of !

money can be a tool , never a goal !
it can be a bet , if you loose , it won't look smart ...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Big news from Cessna today.

Columbus on hold, Bend facility to close (moving Corvalis lines to KS), 1600 layoffs, company shutdown extended to 4 weeks in June/July. Skycatcher and CJ4 programs continue development.

Future investments, what CEO Jack Pelton calls 'strategic spending' are select ongoing new product development and customer/product support.

No doubt a painful and difficult decision.

I have made it no secret that I believe Cessna to be the best managed/run GA company on the planet - all aspiring aircraft moguls should pay heed to where Cessna is and is not spending money.

Black Tulip said...

Looks like Cessna is making good decisions.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


The larger and I presume obviously self-serving (for me) point is a comparison of what Cessna is and is not doing in relation to the various options on the table, including mine, for the Eclipse Owners.

Cessna's Columbus decision can be compared to 'resuming production' in Eclipse terms.

Cessna is only going to work on the incremental improvement of the existing product (CJ4) and on enhancing their service and support activities.

Comparing/contrasting to the Eclipse plans, Cessna is saying no to the Harlow, EOG, and Press-Holland plans, and saying yes to what I have been advocating for several months - finish/improve the existing product, and provide the fielded aircraft with the best possible ownership experience.

Only doing that successfully will there potentially be a market for the Eclipse in a few years when the market is buying again AND when the capital markets are willing to lend again in the amounts needed ($200-300M).

What Cessna realizes is that they need to keep their current customers happy amd they recognize that service and support is a key element of that. This is the result BTW of a painful lesson a decade ago when the Citation Service Center capacity failed to keep up with the growth of the fleet.

bill e. goat said...

Columbsu, EA500, ???

Who Dares Wins

...sometimes, yes-
...sometimes, no...

Most predictions I've seen shows a sharp upturn 2012Q1, sustained with moderation through 2020.


fred said...

billy :

those predictions have all risks to be OK ...
still they remain predictions , now apart reading in coffee-stains , anyone risking any prediction is suspect of something ...

the return of the upturn of a cycle make absolutely no doubt !

the problem will be What KIND of a cycle , first ...

then in what conditions ...

i would risk to say US$ is going to be history as World-reserve currency !

replaced by what ??? i just hope it won't be Euro , our Big-Head politicians don't stand a chance to be much better than yours ... only a matter of time before falling in the "easiness trap" ...

the most "reasonable" would be a basket of different currency (Chinese are already working on such a basis ...) if backed by some goods (like Gold or anything in fixed and finite amount) which cannot be toys in the hands of kids like bernanke ,greenspan or any (supposed to be) big head at the wheel of Bizz-banks it could be stable and workable ...

then the massive debt-problem could be addressed with some reasonable hopes to be more or less successful ( success in that meaning = stop amassing debts for generations who will have no other choice than paying for mistakes they wasn't born to make ... or adapt to a considerably lower life)

RAD3 said...

When I read that story on AvWeb this morning I figured that it was part of Cold Wet's nefarious scheme;>)

Now this next thing is a little off topic (although with all of the recent avionics discussion maybe not so far off)

Perhaps some of you have read this
Vanity Fair story but here is the link for those who havn't. I'll be curious to read your thoughts about it. crash200901

This is about the mid-air in Brasil in 2006...Legacy vs 737.

I found the link on the JetBrief Forum (Phenom)

Orville said...

Interesting - N777ZY and N888ZY are both leaving Mexico for Texas. Swine flue delivery by FPJ?

Orville said...
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Orville said...

Oops - make that 'flu'.

Shadow said...

Trog, to answer your question on Entegra R9: yes, you input the flight plan exactly as a controller would read it to you. An Avidyne demo pilot told me he no longer writes IFR clearances down because he can enter them in the Entegra R9 FMS as fast as the controller can speak.

Besides Baron, of course, can anyone else do that with their G1000?

baron95 said...

Shane, I think the 787 is going to EIS just as the economy is rebounding and accelerating.

As to the 787 vs the A388 in a down cycle, just think about it. If traffic is thinning on a route say LHR to SYD, would you rather have:

A - 3 daily B788 flights that you can downsize to 2 and repurpose the aircraft.

B - A single A388 that you'd have to fly 1/3 empty.

If you look at the transatlantic traffic patterns, average plane size has been going down for two decades. Most of the US majors now are flying narrowbodies (757) across the Atlantic. Even AA will move some of their 752s to transatlantic service.

I would not want to be a fleet manage with a bunch on A388s on a down cycle. No good options there when capacity on a route needs to go up or down in increments of 500 seats - that is "bad to the bone" ;)

Shane Price said...

God loves a tryer, Snippet

From Controller, today:-
2008 ECLIPSE 500 $1,950,000
S/N: 253, N427X, 89 TT, IFR, Eclipse EA500 jet with AVIO NG, ETT, LX Edition, 5 Seats

Will someone please tell these people that they could probably buy the ENTIRE company for a few million more, and get the 28 aircraft on the production line thrown in, for 'free'....


Shane Price said...


I'd prefer to manage a few aircraft I actually had, rather than those I'd ordered which hadn't arrived.

Even in a downcycle.

But that's just me. I'm a bit old fashioned about promised delivery dates....

Hey, didn't another company promise to deliver a twin jet, designed with disruptive technology, that would change the way people flew?

What was that name? It's sure to come to me anytime now.


baron95 said...

Touché, Shane.

You are of course correct, as Boeing has screwed up royally on the 787 execution.

CW, re Cessna, I'm not feeling very optimistic about their prospects.

With the Phenom 100/300 aimed squarely at the CJ1+/Cj2+ volume seller, the SR22s being the perceived leaders/innovators on the high performance singles, the DA40/SR20 marginalizing the 172/182 and the extremely competitive midsize jet market, Cessna has no where to run.

They need to duke it out on every sale. They are in a brutal volume and margin squeeze.

As we've seen before (e.g. 1985) Cessna does not handle that well.

Gosh, what do you do when a world class manufacturer like Embraer aims a $3M jet at your comparable $5M offering?

baron95 said...

Meanwhile, US consumer spending grew by 2.2% in 1Q/09 and stock market advanced another coincidental 2.2% today.

Put the chips down boys. Get out of non-performing assets, be it EA500s or Cash or Gold ;)

Anonymous said...

"Further, Daher-Socata, a French company and a Chinese company are interested in the Assets."Regarding Daher interest, not sure they have the funds.
Source of info ?

See last paragraph of this article.

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

Hello Fred,
"or any political scum it is so easy to say what peoples want to hear ...may be you should be President ??"
Thanks Fred- I think ! :)

"give them bread and circus"
A more contemporary rendition is, welfare and lotteries

I had heard the term "tax on stupidity" in reference to the lottery, and for a while, that sufficed to quench my curiosity. But repeated exposure (but not indulgence!) to the "game", made me realize, people play it because it gives them hope.

Now, I'm all in favor of lifting people's morale, and giving them hope. But lotteries are just escapism- in fact, it is excusing government from providing opportunity to improve oneself, and instead, willingly betting on a rigged game. It is sad that some people don't have enough hope, to hope.

Rather than spending money on extra taxes to fund education and job training, people willingly "gamble"- the payback is about 50%, and the "government's cut" is a small fraction of the remaining 50%. (And in my experience- the state governments actually CUT expenditures, in anticipation of gambling revenue, so there is NO revenue increases to the "supported" programs).

I rather liked the NY State lottery homepage:
"Raising billions to educate millions!
(It reminds me of Wedge !! :)

bill e. goat said...

Vanity Fair, Jan 2009It's a long article, with lots of flourish making it even longer,
the gist is: everybody (though not the 737 crew) messed up- except the GPS-aided nav system, which kept both airplanes on a perfect headon course.

I think Brazil dropped the criminal case (still lots of private civil legal action), the same week the FAA certified the Embraer Phenom. Probably just a coincidence. (R-i-g-h-t; Baron might know more about the exact dates and specifics). ATC goofed up, Legacy pilots goofed up. The 737 Gol crew did not- very professional.

Gol Flight 1907

bill e. goat said...

Reader's digest of Legacy-side of events (good coverage of ATC-side events also in the article, but not summarized below)- that guy is longer winded than even me:
...the transponder did not power off but switched from “Altitude” to “Standby.” It did this either by itself or because one of the pilots unknowingly pushed a button. Though both are possible, and the latter seems likely. The third was an autopilot that flew better than its human masters, and, however mindlessly, worked with the altimeter and G.P.S. to keep the airplane spot-on.

Such capability is relatively new. Until recently, head-on airplanes mistakenly assigned the same altitude and route by Air Traffic Control would almost certainly have passed some distance apart, due to the navigation slop inherent in their systems. But this is no longer true.

As the Legacy sailed beyond the range of the antenna on the ground, eventually the controller’s side of the transmissions could no longer be
heard the pilots still did not notice that the transponder was on Standby. Another warning they missed was a small sign saying tcas off, shown at the bottom of each pilot’s Primary Flight It (TCAS) works, however, only between airplanes with active transponders.

In the Legacy cockpit, therefore, the tcas necessarily dropped out when the transponder switched to Standby. Again, there were no warning chimes.

systematically giving each frequency two tries, for a total of 12 calls over a period of five minutes. It is now known that none of the calls got through to de Alencar, and for a variety of reasons, including that some receivers were simply switched off at Brasília Center, and that by a vicious fluke at least two of Paladino’s calls were blocked by other airplanes transmitting at the same time.

The Legacy’s winglet acted like a vertically held knife, slicing through the Boeing’s left wing about halfway out and severing the wing’s internal spar.

The outboard section of the wing whipped upward, stripping skin as it went, then separated entirely, spiraling over the fuselage and demolishing much of the Boeing’s tail. Instantly the Boeing twisted out of control, corkscrewing violently to the left and pitching straight down into a rotating vertical dive.

The cockpit filled with alarms—an urgent klaxon and a robotic voice insistently warning, Bank angle! Bank angle! Bank angle!, as if the crew might need the advice. Back in the cabin the passengers screamed and shouted.

The pilots reacted as one might expect, fighting desperately to regain control. They probably did not know what had gone wrong. They certainly never mentioned it. What is unusual is that they also did not swear.

Ten seconds into the dive, one of them did cry “Aye!,” but the other urged him to stay calm. “Calma!” he said, and seconds later he said it again. If pilots must die in an airplane, all would choose to finish so well Paladino said, “Yeah.” Somebody gasped. Apparently Paladino had scanned the displays. He said, “Dude! [Do] you have the tcas on?”

Lepore said, “Yes, the tcas is off.” There are two ways to understand the reversal in his answer—either that he was fumbling his words or that right after “Yes” he finally noticed the warnings on the cockpit displays, showing that the tcas was off and the transponder was on Standby. From his intonation on the recordings it is impossible to tell. But far away on Air Traffic Control screens, at that moment, the airplane’s transponder suddenly reappeared.

Beats me how the US NTSB said no pilot error. I imagine it was not well received by the Brazilians either- I think the Vanity Fair article adds some good detail I had not read before.

fred said...

billy :

"Raising billions to educate millions!

i quite like this formula ...

somehow it remind me of some UK lottery , where instead of catching gullible 's eyes with billions no one can reach ...
they advertise on what the raised money is going to spent (like an ambulance or a new roof for the elderly shelter) .

still the link you provided , is a bit hilarious ...

if you click on some of their stuff , you will get a flash animation "Teaching you" the step :

1° Go to the Shop !

very good !! this is what i call "Education " with a big E !!! ;-)

fred said...

and the "Bread & circus"

i have a friend and colleague which has an other definition for it ...

bread = easy credit

circus = report on CNN or (worse) Fox about the way "in messing with other's business in some other part of world "

He is from your side and always add when asked about his accent "you know : nobody's perfect !"

Shadow said...

BEG, there are many inaccuracies and editorial comments throughout the entire Vanity Fair article. Caveat emptor!

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shadow,
You are right about the Vanity Fair having a lot of "sytlistic additions", but I thought the reader's digest version I condensed it to, is pretty factual-

I regret I didn't put everything in quotes (too lazy), and the 737 pilot's are the ones saying "stay calm- pretty calm guys indeed): is there a sentence in particular (in the "condensed" version), that is erroneous? Your elaboration would be appreciated- thanks!

Jim Howard said...

With respect to the B787, maybe someone should start a 787 critics blog.

Wait, someone already has!

michal said...

except the GPS-aided nav system, which kept both airplanes on a perfect head-on course.I wonder why just to protect against such perfect alignment of two aircraft they don't assign courses which are slightly off the main track - say a 0.2 nm displaced parallel track. Many modern FMCs are capable of maintaining such parallel course. I never understood the logic of forcing airplanes to fly so precisely that only increases chances of such horrible accidents.

RAD3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Price said...

Snippet time
Seems there are 'issues' lurking that people should be made aware of. I've been strongly advised that people should watch out for delamination inside the tail section of the FPJ, which is a problem which may bite you at any time.


We better add that one to the database of 'things to do before taking off'.

When I asked another source what the best repair method was, he advise cutting the tail off.

Then the wings, the cockpit, the engines...

You get the picture.

He claims it's cheaper to scrap this bird that keep it flying.

I think that's unkind.

What do you think?


Kathy said...

Shane, may I recommend clarifying the "delamination" if only to keep the blog from picking up flack?

Their are 4 different parts on the tail section that could "delaminate". They are all fairings. Do we know which one is suspect? The structural components of the tail section are metal. It would either be the vertical leading edge fairing, fuselage tailcone or one of the 2 horizontal to vertical fairings.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FYI - Daher-Socata has publicly committed $330M to develop their NXt aircraft, so I doubt they are interested in the EAC assets - maybe that BS story will die now.

Shane Price said...


I'm being deliberately vague.

Sometimes I get 'stuff' which requires me to protect the source. Until I'm allowed post the photos I can't say exactly which bit I'm talking about, since to do so might identify the bird affected.

And, by extension, the source.



Shane Price said...

Adam Aircraft is finally gone

Sad, but true. Last week they cleared out the factory. The A500 is officially an orphan and the A700 is now unlikely to get certified.

Seems the Russians failed to come through with the goods on this one as well....


Kathy said...

Understood Shane.

Soccer Dad said...

I too would be very interested in hearing about the delamination issues. My group originally designed the composite fairings on that bird and although I left long before it got to it's current configuration, our components were not structural components and would be relatively easy to repair any delaminations. I suspect this particular snippet might be a little over hyped and not worthy of a scrap comment. Now the rest of the airframe, I dare not comment.

baron95 said...

B.E.G the Legacy pilots probably made one contributing mistake (inadvertently turning the transponder to standby), and one grave error, possibly a crime - lying about the fact to Brazilian investigators.

Either way, the majority of the "blame" lies with Brazilian ATC for allowing a plane to fly for one hour at the incorrect altitude under positive air traffic control.

Contributory factors: Legacy transponder going to standby, Brazilian ATC SW which switches the "assigned altitude" data block to the flight plan altitude without warning, Honeywell SW that does not chime or flash when TCAS/Transponder goes off line, lack of crew/ATC pursuit of proper communications.

All in all, a sad event with the loss of 154 people - the worst fatal accident in Brazilian aviation history, until a year or so later when an A320 when off the runway at CGH, likely the result of autothrottles SW command due to crew misconfiguration of throttle quadrant.

Just sad - so many lost opportunities to avert loss of life.

baron95 said...

when = went

gadfly said...

“. . . this particular snippet might be a little over hyped and not worthy of a scrap comment.”

Let’s pretend for a moment that the delamination is part of a fairing . . . and “non-structural”. And suppose that the fairing has only partly come apart, and is “whipping in the breeze” at 350 knots. It might ‘just do some “cosmetic” damage to the empennage, as it whips back and forth, or it might jam into the hinge points of rudder or elevator, etc., . . . or it might (itself) become its own airfoil, causing a dangerous controlling force.

Or, suppose that the fairing comes entirely loose . . . and hits something important, accelerating towards a relative speed of close to 600 feet per second . . . about four times the speed of a “fast ball” . . . not the thing you want hitting something important.

And, suppose that now where you once had smooth flow around a “fin”, you have impact air coming directly into the airframe . . . effectively pressurizing an environment that should not be pressurized, with minus 40 degree air and possible heavy moisture.

It is my personal opinion that nothing attached to the outside of an aircraft can be considered “non structural” or un-related to the structure.

Bottom line: Fairing integrity is extremely important to the safety of an aircraft, exponentially important as speed increases.


(All this left out the part about a fairing coming loose ahead of an engine intake, and the obvious disaster possible, as an engine attempts to chew up and spit out foreign objects.)

Soccer Dad said...

While your comments are valid, you are also as guilty of over hyping the issue. I don't disagree that there is a potential for damage from a non-structural component coming apart, but, given what I remember with these components, their attachment methods and locations, I would think that the disastrous scenario that you paint, would be highly unlikely.

My problem with Shane's comment was that the only way to fix the tail is to cut it off - yes it was a little over the top. The components as I remember them, can be repaired fairly easily using techniques which are fairly well understood and practiced in the industry. Without knowing the details of location and the damage that is being seen, there is no way, that I can see an issue with these components that would result in the dire consequences in Shane's post.

Finally, I must qualify this in that my components were done with the original Williams Engined FPJ and things might have changed, but I still suspect that the delaminations in question are not as serious as we are being led to believe, but without seeing the component and the resultant damage, I cannot be serious. What I think I can say with some certainty, is that the damage is repairable and most likely not terminal.

And you are absolutely correct, anything, anywhere on an aircraft is a structural component, but as it is with anything in life, we differentiate levels of structural importance.

Shane, if you would share the pictures or information in private, I would love to take a look.

Kathy said...

It doesn't matter since it can't be repaired anyway. Sure it's simple...BUT...the SRM states that damage limits haven't been determined and to contact EAC for repair instructions. CH 20 of the AMM is equally as useless in a fairing delam situation.

What do you reference to be legal with the repair?

SoccerDad, don't forget that a LH lower wing to body fairing blew of a plane (as reported in April 2009 AIN although no SDR).

Soccer Dad said...

Valid point about the repair, if the ASM did not address the issue, then there would be no valid repair.

I had not heard about the wing to body fairing, if you have further information I would love to follow up.

I had not really kept up with the FPJ after I left until I ran across the blog. I have found the blog to be very interesting and informative, but unfortunately not really surprising.

Shadow said...

BEG, I would even be suspect of the B737 CVR transcript quotes in the Vanity Fair article. The sources of the VF story were Brazilian officials, politicians (some of whom initially claimed the Legacy was doing loops at FL370) and police, as well as Cenipa. Cenipa gave a copy of its report to VF on a gold platter weeks before it publicly released it. If you recall, the NTSB report was markedly different than the one from Cenipa, suggesting that the Cenipa report was greatly influenced by politics. The part in the VF story about the B737 crew being so calm as they plunge toward the ground makes a great hero pilot story, but I'm inclined to believe it's more fiction than fact.

For more, here are Joe Sharky's thoughts about the VF article.

Kathy said...

SoccerDad, the wing to body event was caused at least in part by not using the conical washers (EAC calls them grommets) under all the screws holding the fairing in place. It was aircraft SN 18.

It's common to find delam at the countersunk holes (if you look for it) on all of the fairings. R&R the fairing a dozen or so times and I think you get the picture.

Soccer Dad said...

Thanks for the info Kathy. I did a quick google search and didn't turn up a whole lot of details.

Yeah, I can see the potential for big problems there.

Kathy said...

If you go to the NTSB site you'll find the factual report. Just use eclipse aviation as the manufacturer.

gadfly said...

Soccer Dad

There is no attempt to over hype anything here. In my own designs, and finished products, we refuse to overlook anything . . . even if it seems trivial to others. If we cut corners on the un-important, it would become easy to move up the chain into the “somewhat” important areas. And many years ago, while working on aircraft as an “A&P”, I felt that everything was equally important, even putting back every inspection cover, safety wire, etc.

In the early “thirties”, a famous racing pilot, Lowell Bayles, piloted a “GeeBee” Model “Z” to a new record of 281.75 mph . . . the record was awarded posthumously . . . a simple little thing, a “gas cap”, came loose, came through the wind screen, knocked him unconscious, and Bayles died on impact.*

It’s often the “little things” that sneak up on a pilot, and seldom the big stuff.


(I’m sure that when this thing is over, there will be enough “secrets” to fill a book or two . . . and maybe there will be a certain redemption in the telling and disclosure of the Eclipse story.)


Julia said...

Shadow, you ignoramus, you mean 'caveat lector'.

Also, if you bother listening to the CVR tape, you'll hear the speech of the GOL pilots as reported in the VF article.

Or perhaps it's easier to assume that excitable Latin types couldn't possibly do well under those circumstances?

baron95 said...

Gad said... a simple little thing, a “gas cap”, came loose, came through the wind screen, knocked him unconscious, and Bayles died on impact.*

It would be nice if an object (e.g. a gas cap) could bend the laws of physics and accelerate from ZERO relative velocity to say 100 MPH or so needed to pierce the windscreen can knock the pilot unconscious in the space of the 6 feet or so.

For crying out loud man - get a grip and give up.

That is a myth. I'm surprised that even you are not capable of running the math on your slide ruler and conclude it is not possible.

The likely cause of the crash was structural failure caused by flutter or over stress when he dove the plane from 1000ft to 150ft to pick up speed to start the run, therefore likely achieving speeds and loads that the airframe had never seen before.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
Thanks for the comments on the Legacy crash in Brazil. (I believe you have some ties to that fair country, from previous comments?)

Re: TAM flt 30541) Short-ish runway (6300 ft)
2) One thrust reverser inop
3) Heavy rains- (standing water)
4) Newly resurfaced runway had not yet been "grooved" for drainage
5) One throttle climb:
a) ground spoilers didn't deploy
b) faster landing speed than normal

As you said about the Legacy crash;
"Just sad - so many lost opportunities to avert loss of life."
Which aptly applies to this one too.

gadfly said...


Earlier, I was led to believe it was a broken control cable. The referenced website gave the conclusion of those that were there at the time, studied the film, and came to their conclusion about the gas cap. (The film has been shown for many years . . . but on old B&W TV's, it is difficult to make out much except for the fatal roll and fiery crash, from level flight.) It is difficult to refute "eye-witnesses". And even I am not old enough to have "been there".

Why don't you write to the authors of the report, and correct their errors!

Regardless, aviation history is filled with small details suddenly becoming large, at the most inappropriate times.


(In the mean time, I'll continue to pay close attention to small details.)

bill e. goat said...

Welcome to the blog- sorry if I hadn't caught your posts before)

"Shadow, you ignoramus...if you bother listening...or perhaps it's easier to assume that excitable Latin types..."Hey Julia, there's a couple of guys I'd like you to meet; Mr. Pot and Mr. Kettle.


bill e. goat said...

Hi Shadow,
You ignoramus, if you'd bother listening or...
Uh, oop- sorry there, Julia threw me a little of kilter there- I must have some Latin blood in me...

Thanks for posting a follow up link to Joe Sharkey's article (he was a journalist bumming a ride on the Legacy).

I must say, this Joe Sharkey guy sounds as unhinged as Capt. Zoom:

("VF author) did some decent reporting in the Amazon, but it was his depiction of events on the Legacy business jet that caught my grave attention, since 1. He wasn't there and 2. He didn't try to contact those who were there, like me."

Why would the author contact this guy- a passenger in the back- what would he know about transponders and TCAS in the cockpit?? If he's the guy that went up front to chat, he had to ask what the altitude was.

"In his zeal to construct narrative, this Langewiesche assigned motives to me, impugned my professionalism, put words in my mouth."

Vanity Fair:
"a New York Times contributor named Joe Sharkey, who writes a business-travel column for the newspaper and was doing a story for a U.S. magazine called Business Jet Traveler. Sharkey was the outsider among them, and potentially an influential one...Sharkey seemed a decent sort..."

The Vanity Fair article does a very "Fair" job of evaluating Brazilian ATC errors, on page 4 of their article.

Regarding Brazilian officials initial assertion the Legacy was stunt flying (I had heard that too):

"(With the Legacy transponder not reporting)- In the militarized environment of Brasília Center, however, an air-force radar kicked in with a crude height-finding function...Because the Legacy was still close to the radar dish on the ground, the height finder was able to calculate the altitude correctly, and briefly showed it on the screen as 37,000 feet...Fifteen minutes later dos Santos (ATC controller) went off duty. His replacement was another sergeant, aged 27, named Lucivando Tibúrcio de Alencar. Dos Santos briefed him on the sector’s traffic, including a Legacy headed for Manaus—at Flight Level 360, he said.

"By then the Legacy was about 150 miles past Brasília, still within effective communication distance on the frequency assigned, but moving beyond the accuracy range of the military height-finding radar, which began to show the airplane’s altitude erroneously—coincidentally first at 36,000 feet, and then at variations so large that the Legacy would have had to zoom wildly to achieve them. This explains the later reports that the pilots had been stunting."

Regarding your thought:
"The part in the VF story about the B737 crew being so calm as they plunge toward the ground makes a great hero pilot story, but I'm inclined to believe it's more fiction than fact."

I was inclinded to agree with you, when I thought about it, but then I read the link to Joe Sharkey, where he says:

"Vanity Fair got a lot of protests for exploiting the horror scene on the 737 by running on its web site the audio from the doomed plane as it went down."
(The audio has been removed for sensibility sake- properly, but I assume the VF author had access to it, and wouldn't contradict it, so I give the 737 crew for being icy-calm).

"Cenipa report was greatly influenced by politics."
I agree, but I think the NTSB one was too.
Brazil exonerated their citizens,
I think the USA tried to do the same.

Both ATC and the Legacy crew made fatal errors- I do not exonerate the legacy crew for being complacent:

"(Capt) Lepore said, “I think he (ATC) just said ‘radar contact.’” (F.O.) Paladino took the captain on faith and radioed, “Roger, radar contact.” To Lepore he added, “I have no idea what the hell he said.” Lepore made no comment."

"the pilots still did not notice that the transponder was on Standby."

"Another warning they missed was a small sign saying tcas off, shown at the bottom of each pilot’s Primary Flight Display

Wait a minute: Capt Wacko has his own blog:
Joe Sharkey: Brazil
He makes a statement:
"Anyway, I direct you once again to a detailed report filed last November by Excelaire, the owner of the Legacy, which argues that the Legacy's transponder had a history of problems and was not "factory fresh" before it was installed in the new Legacy."

Okay, read section 6 of the attachment
The degree of inudeno tripped my BS ALARM to RED, what is REALLY said is:
1) over the service life time of ALL Embraer 135/145's, there had been 9 cases of transponder failure. (Think how many hundreds of airplanes, and tens of thousands of flight hours that is).
2) "An avionic component that houses radio components and a transponder was serviced by Honeywell. (To test for transponder Mode S functionality- the article clevery leaves out whether or not Honeywell repairted the unit, just saying it tested it and returned it as servicable).

Now consider what the Vanity Fair article says:
"Lepore said, “Yes, the tcas is off.” There are two ways to understand the reversal in his answer—either that he was fumbling his words or that right after “Yes” he finally noticed the warnings on the cockpit displays, showing that the tcas was off and the transponder was on Standby. From his intonation on the recordings it is impossible to tell. But far away on Air Traffic Control screens, at that moment, the airplane’s transponder suddenly reappeared."

I believe the author had access of both the Legacy CVR, and ATC tapes- (as did NTSB)- and apparently, lot of people- so I can't imagine him setting himself up to get "busted" for lying. And I don't see anyway to "spin" out of pilot error:
"at 19:59:15 the pilot replies: "Yes, the TCAS is off. After this dialog, the co-pilot, who had taken control and was manipulating the plane's controls, expressed twice (19:59:25 and 19:59:31) his concern with additional possible traffic as the automatic TCAS warnings were not available at that moment. 11 seconds later, at 19:59:42 the MFD of the co-pilot started showing the co-pilot's TCAS screen. 8 seconds later, at 19:59:50, the secondary radar screen of the ACC-AZ (Control Center) established contact with the Legacy's plane transponder."
Brazilian civil litigation

It was an accident- the way for new accidents to be avoided is to acknowledge ALL the actions that led to the old accidents.

bill e. goat said...

Gad and Baron,
I'm not sure what to think of the gas cap theory:

Something to consider, the airplane might have been going 281.75 mph, but air flow velocity behind the propeller was probably close to sonic, maybe 600 mph- throwing a tin cap into that kind of airflow- I wouldn't want to be downwind !! (Maybe it didn't knock him out, but could have caused him to yank on the controls and over-g or something).

Or, aileron flutter resulted in erratic movement:

"I’ll get back to Lowell Bayles now. Bayles, like Doolittle was an extremely talented pilot. Slim, quite and well liked, he was a gracious aviation hero and icon. Bayles was killed in an attempt to break the world land speed record at the Wayne County airport in Michigan on Dec. 5, 1931. The Gee Bee “Z” model had been refitted with a 750 HP Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340. At the speeds being approached at the time a phenomenon known as aileron flutter caused handling and structural problems not then understood. It is theorized that Bayles was hit, stunned, or knocked unconscious by a gas cap that came loose and blew though the windscreen. This caused a radical movement of the controls causing in-flight structural failure. The fact that two young boys found the gas cap and Bayle’s goggles far from crash site leads to this conclusion. An exact replica of the Gee Bee “Z” was built by Kimball Enterprises and tested in the mid 1990’s. It was tested and found to have definite aileron flutter above 240 mph. Since Bayles was said to be doing 314 mph at the time it is possible that flutter alone could have been the problem."Lowell Bayles crashStill, Gadfly's reference says films were reviewed- maybe, like the space shuttle disasters, when video review showed the little tell-tale puff of smoke around the o-rings on Challenger, or the ice that broke off on Columbia, there is something to it.

And the fact his goggles, and the gas cap, were found a distance from the crash site, would seem to support a relationship there- not that the pilot was knocked out, but momentarily made erratic control inputs. Still, like Baron says, that's a lot of G's. But 600 mph wind is a lot of force...

This one makes the Legacy/Gol crash in Brazil seem simple to investigate !!

(all I can say is, I'm glad the ERcoupe has a spongy cork instead of a metal cap, and I don't have to worry much about sonic airflow...)

Kathy said...

Gad, I am certain that you take the utmost pride in your work and I'm also quite certain that those that work for you do the same. Your the type of business owner that employees look to impress out of respect for not only what they're doing but also you.

I propose that the composites on the EA500 are elegant, extremely light weight and structurally sound.

The issue here is EACs predicted reliability and maintainability of the jet itself. They thought that fairings would only be R&Rd at either 300hr insp intervals or for unscheduled MX. The unscheduled MX events requiring fairing R&R surpassed predictions.

Had EAC incorporated into their MX documentation repair guidelines for the composites there are jets that wouldn't have had to have vertical LE fairings REPLACED due to small nicks. The composites aren't inexpensive as the owner of SN 54 found (along with wing deice boot replacement to -19 and -20)...just out of warranty.

The innards of the jet were designed with maintainability in mind (to some degree) however the simple R&R of fairings wasn't. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's a fact. A simple nose cowling R&R is a 8 man hour job to perform correctly! 4 hours if you don't care how it looks.

With that said, there were "repaired" tail fairings that made it into production that I could also see delam events occurring on. This isn't delam of mount holes but delam of the parts due to bad repairs.

bill e. goat said...

I need help (please don't say anything !:) concerning GDP evaluation/calculation.

To wit: I have a suspicion, "what we see, isn't what we get". I think there are some subtle (or maybe not so subtle) errors in using GDP to evaluate an economy.

Any helpful reading assignments?

Shane Price said...

Soccer Dad,

My problem with Shane's comment was that the only way to fix the tail is to cut it off - yes it was a little over the top.

I wasn't a little over the top, I was a LOT over the top.

What surprised me was not that parts of the tail are delaminating, which is old news. Or even that it's proving difficult to repair for a variety of reasons. No, what really raised an eyebrow was the response I got from my SECOND source.

That one made the remarks about cutting off the tail, and then proceeding to break up the rest of the airframe. He did so using an economic argument.

It was going to be cheaper to walk away than start a repair process that might never actually get finished.

Now, I don't care who you are, that's scary.

Especially as there's a nugget of wisdom in this opinion....


airsafetyman said...

"Valid point about the repair, if the ASM did not address the issue, then there would be no valid repair."

The aircraft structural repair manual would have to be FAA approved to be used as a source for a repair in any case. It is difficult to see how the manual could continue to be approved material (if it is) if it is not revised periodically. Second, a FAA-designated engineer (D.E.R.)could come up with a repair scheme, possibly even replacing the composite units entirely with aluminum fairings. If the FAA buys off on the repair scheme it would be perfectly legal. Small repairs to the existing fairings could be be made with reference to FAA AC 43.13-1B, Chapter 3, Sections 1 and 2, by mechanics experienced and equipped to make laminate repairs.

fred said...

My poor Billy ...

far from me any intentions to say anything about your doubts ...!!

as i tried to explain many times before , i don't think that a single source of explanation could be enough on such a point ...!

so , since GDP calculation is something widely exotic in term of methodology , political stance and "National way of view " ...

i cannot (read : i don't feel like being clever enough )to give any books or works to read ...

the best i can tell you :

there is actually 3 methods to calculate it :

Income Method
Output Method
Expenditure Method

so if you really want to know , the best would be to get as much documentation as you can from as many sources as you can reach ...

while you would be at it , it could be "of some interests " to brush-up a bit on 2 other topics , closely related :

Laspalles theories

differentiation between GNP & GDP

the last one being of some importance for USA as it is about the boundaries of richness creation (all in country Vs all by nationals anywhere)

but as a general thing : yes , most of times GDP are "somehow" a bit worked ... the same way than unemployment stats ...

since everybody tends to have some very good (or not) to adjust one way or another , it is sometime difficult to apprehend such matter ...

the best ? = never rely on stats made by any who had any interests into it !

have you ever seen a used car dealer saying :
"what i sell is crap !"

uglytruth said...

With all due family, friends and I are on the ground and don't like being threatened by parts falling off a wannabe toy jet.

As Gad said there are enough little things that can go wrong. Our jobs are to eliminate ANY POSSIBILITY OF ANY TYPE OF FAILURE! We have all been lucky lots of times in life.....but remember ultimately we make our own luck. Attention to detail is what separated the greats from the….geeeee maybe we should have….if I would have only knew then….. Sorry does not undue the damage of ignorance.

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

Fred should we in the US buy gold, silver? If so how much?

bill e. goat said...

Ugly truth,
"Fred should we in the US buy gold, silver? If so how much?"

I'm not sure about gold or silver, but I know where you can get a pretty good deal on aluminum!

bill e. goat said...

Thanks Fred,
re: GNP vs GDP,
I'm not so much concerned about US expats, as I am about US goods manufactured overseas, but sold in the US.
Thanks for the Laspalles theory reading assignment- it didn't come up in Wikipedia, so now I'm going to have to do some REAL research !!

RAD3 said...

Thanks to all who chipped in on the VH article and for the links to more info and other viewpoints.

In my view it seems that there is plenty of blame to go around. The TCAS/transponder issue only goes to re-inforce my puzzlement with Embraer apparently delivering early number Phenoms with no TACS!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Oftentimes, an OEM will take a deliberate decision and not include specific repair information in the SRM in order to force customers to 'phone home' and involve the service engineering team. I have myself been involved in those decisions and although it sounds like an attempt to get money there is actually a good reason for it.

This is done to ensure that engineering is involved in repair design for anything that exceeds what a reasonable A&P will attempt under the auspices of 43.13. If you are replacing a bent piece of sheet metal and can replace it by fabbing up a simple part that is one thing, but if you have damage to underlying structure, and in the case of Eclipse are dealing with perhaps damage to a FSW stringer/skin joint, then an engineer should be inolved.

Simple delamination repair on non-structural fairings could and I think should be handled under 43.13 if the mechanic is up to it, but normally a functional OEM would be tracking things like that so they could determine if the issue is in Mx or if there is a quality issue or if there is a design issue.

The problem right now is that for all but a very small number of extremely smart operators who have the skills, parts, equipment and talent at their beck and call (my put is less than 3, perhaps only 1 that I know of), anyone flying the EA-500 right now is essentially performing without a net Flying Walenda style.

Put another way, unless an operator has a very savvy tech, the right support equipment and training, and a good supply of spares, Eclipse's demise puts them in a situation where flying the plane only moves it one step closer to AOG each and every day. A birdstrike, hangar rash, careless fueling by a lineboy, or simple wear and tear and poof, the dream is over.

Further, each day that goes by without a focused effort to pick up the pieces, initiate PMA and STC development, acquire spares aircraft, evaluate the documentation, work with FAA and to bring real-worl solutions to market is another day currently AOG planes will sit in a hangar, and another day those who are using the planes will be crossing their fingers and holding their breath until they complete their missions.

This is a real, day for day delay in getting anything done at this point. Nearly three months and a million or so dollars have been spent so far, press releases have been issued, high-fallutin' Board of Directors have been announced and members tossed under the bus already, non-binding LOI's have been exchanged and for what?

What is there to show for these efforts so far?

Assuming the assets are purchased today how long will it take to mine through reams of reports and servers full of data?

How long will it take to re-establish a damaged relationship with vendors and FAA?

What will product liability insurance cost to take on the liability of the 260 delivered planes? Anyone with the TC will have that responsibility.

There ARE solutions to these problems, that can be underway today - some already are in fact, but without the involvement and support of the owners themselves these efforts too will take until late '09 early '10 to produce results.

Eventually, people will have to pull the trigger and support one of the myriad plans out there or just cut bait and walk away. But everyone needs to understand that every day wasted is another day longer these guys are going to suffer.

Shane Price said...

Helpful Snippet

This from a well placed person, with knowledge of specific issues. My thanks for the clarity with which you expressed yourself, sir.

"The delamination snippet is not a new issue but may become more prevalent if people begin operating their aircraft outside of approved maintenance procedures. It is caused by "hot start" events where someone either starts the engine after performing a wet motor (with excess fuel in the burner or tailpipe upon start), or, more commonly, when someone tries to start the engine with a low battery, resulting in a slow spool up. These delam bubbles are on in the inner skin and most commonly found in the lower, outer quadrant of the tailpipe (as looking into the rear of the engine) right below the exhaust air mixer. Eclipse designed, and was nearly ready to field, an improved tailcone with an aluminum insert in this area to help avoid these delaminations on the inner skin. Just don't want to start some "swine flu" like mass hysteria that the tailcones are falling apart with no explanation ;-)"


baron95 said...

BEG - TAM 3054's final accident chain is 15 seconds long - from the time the pilots retarded the throttles to the A320's SW commnding TOGA to one engine (likely) to the overrun into a building - the crew alone had possibly 5 seconds to have selected a corrective course of action. Precious little time.

On the GOL accident so many, missed so many chances for so long (over an hour) in the final accident chain - it makes the loss of live even more senseless.

Gad - I'm sorry, I came on so strong - I felt you were trivializing the cause of a fatal accident, when I was responding to BEG about another accident where 154 died.


The video for Bayles crash is here.

And even a lowly wikipedia article states "the Model Z suddenly pitched up, the right wing folded beyond the flying wire attachment point, most likely due to aileron flutter stressing the wing spar and causing it to fail".

I personally believe, you know, for a fact, that a gas cap can not accelerate from ZERO relative velocity six feet in front of the windscreen and by air drag alone achieve a relative velocity to pierce the windscreen and knock the pilot unconscious. I further believe, it is obvious from the tape that the snap was not pilot-dozing induced, and you probably know that as well.

So I'm really at a loss why you are insisting on the loose gas cap story. But lets leave it at that.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Just don't want to start some "swine flu" like mass hysteria that the tailcones are falling apart with no explanation.

Too late.

I was bedridden for days earlier this week after consuming a pork tailcone taco. And if I condescended to describe the UNbedridden parts, you'd all be reaching for the sick sacks. So I won't. Suffice to say that there was something "delaminated" about its chewing consistency - I should have spit it out after the first bite.

There's no truth to the rumor that the complete model number of the EA50 engine is PW610-H1N1. Or is there?


Would you like a Wing Fairing Fajita with that?

Kathy said...

First, one doesn't start engines IAW maintenance procedures but rather operating procedures.

Second, if this whole delam issue was a tailpipe all along what a waste of keystrokes.

Third, CWMOR have you ever read through the "current" EAC documentation? It's all toilet paper. Just about every section of the SRM instructs to "call home". Even when EAC was in business what the heck good is that? The engineers would hang everyone out to dry no matter the urgency of the AOG and that is IF the issue even got to someone that wasn't still in (or JUST out of) school. Also, reference the AC 43.13 at a 145 service center? The EAC SCs were so limited by the FAA it was silly.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


I only intended to explain that 'phone home' repairs are totally legit as an approach to ensure adequate engineering oversight of structural and system repairs. It is a standard approach across the industry - that is all.

Whether or not Eclipse executed well is a totally different question and I think we all know the answer to that.

As with many other things, I suspect there were great intentions behind the documentation but execution was as flawed as the other elements of the program.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A further clarification,

I think Shane's source was only addressing Mx procedures with respect to the fairing issues, not engine starts, although there ought to be Mx procedures in the AMM for one of the specific situation Shane's source mentioned, e.g., wet motor runs.

Hot starts from depleted batteries would be operational (AFM) - I suspect I know who Shane's source is and if correct I would take their word over anyone.

fred said...

uglytruth :

yes or no , it depends ... ;-)

it is mainly up to your thinking-system :

if you are looking for safety or if your sight is able to see a little further than the end of your nose :

yes , definitely !
how much ? = never anything alone has been safe enough ...
but a ratio of your asset could be a good idea ...

what most don't tell you : after "quantitative easing" (all the cash being "invented" now) the very normal course of thing would make almost (here i'm being very kind!) inevitable a burst of hyper-inflation !
if you are old enough to remember the post-vietnam war : it will be the same , with only one major difference : what has been spent , injected , burnt , etc... in the current crisis is already much above the total cost of WW2 ...

(this is where BEG is right into feeling GNP being a mascarade : if you have a run-down house , spend a few trillions on it , would it be totally out of normality to expect making your shack a magnificent castle ??)

right now , i would avoid any paper(s) assets ...

or at the most , i would play paper(s) (shares,stock , etc) on a daily basis ONLY !

but doing so efficiently is a damn full time job !

fred said...

Billy :

laspalles theory = the mathematic formula(s) to determine inflation !

look quite neat and simple on a piece of paper ...

but , like FPJ , open an abyss under your feet as soon as you look at it carefully !! ;-)

gadfly said...


Concerning "gas caps", etc., I'm not insisting on anything. The point was simply that often small seemingly insignificant items can quickly do unanticipated damage.

By the way, I've run up enough engines on the ground to know that small items can achieve high velocity in a short distance, with the aircraft "tied down", a far cry from an aircraft flying at 300 mph with the engine at full power.

But like you say, that's really beside the point I was attempting to make about "fairings" and things coming loose in flight.


gadfly said...

At the risk of being put down by the “real” mathematicians, a quick look at the force of a “gas cap” with, say, about four square inches of cross sectional area would have a force of about 0.7 lbs at 100 mph (air velocity) . . . 2.8 lbs at 200 mph . . . over 6 lbs at 300 mph . . . 11 lbs at 400 mph . . . 17 lbs at 500 mph . . . 25 lbs at 600 mph. Smarter folks than I can figure out the acceleration rate of a 1/4 pound gas cap at those relative thrusts.

It doesn’t really matter, but a jet aircraft with those “thrust to weight ratios” would really be something . . . something approaching an air-to-air missile, I would guess.


(Based on a rule of thumb of 25 psf flat plate drag at 100 mph. It’s been about forty years since I did any serious calculations along these lines.)

airsafetyman said...

"Also, reference the AC 43.13 at a 145 service center?"

What is wrong with that? Any repair, wheither by an individual or service center has to be done in accordance with FAA-approved data. FAA AC 43.13-1B is an entirely adaquate resurce to quote for minor delamination repairs to a fairing.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Big news - Piper has been sold today.

Let's start a pool to predict the amount that 7 existing products, one development project, and a legacy of delivering over 150,000 aircraft in 80 years fetched.

My put, Imprimis paid American Capital $200-250M and is prepared to invest a further $200M.

What say you?

bill e. goat said...

I think your $ are about right for Piper.
A question in my mind- what will they do with the PiperJet- continue development, or "go slow", or cancel.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG my belief is PiperJet continues relatively as before, IOW, not a slowdown.

The focus on Asia from the partners that make up Imprimis is sensible IMO, and will include existing Piper products I think as well as the PiperJet.

paul said...

43.13 is not "approved" it is acceptable.

airsafetyman said...

"43.13 is not "approved" it is acceptable."

You are correct. Still a perfectly adaquate basis to reference when doing a minor repair to a laminated fairing.

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