Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Movement, at last...

Thanks to all of you who sent me this. I think it deserves a headline, as it's the first credible sign that a reputable aviation business has an interest in the FPJ. Clearly the note holders still retain control of the assets, including the TC, until such time as they decide to sell. But this is the first solid sign of light for the owners. Lets just hope there is more good news in the next few weeks.

Shane


PRESS RELEASE
                                                                  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2009

Hawker Beechcraft and Eclipse Owners Group Enter into Letter of Intent

Westlake Village, CA (April 7, 2009)—David Green, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Eclipse Owners Group (EOG) announced today that the EOG has signed a nonbinding Letter of Intent with Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC). The parties will now begin negotiations for a definitive binding agreement under which HBC would provide maintenance upgrades and other aircraft services to EOG members, consisting of individual Eclipse 500 owners.

“Eclipse owners will benefit greatly by having Hawker Beechcraft as our service provider,” Green said. “HBC’s reputation across the industry and especially among its customers and suppliers is unsurpassed. This relationship is sure to create tremendous confidence in Eclipse owners that their planes will be flying for many years to come.”

In the search for a solution for Eclipse owners, the EOG will negotiate with HBC to provide the needed maintenance and support services to keep the Eclipse 500s flying in the event the EOG purchases the assets of the Eclipse Aviation Corporation (EAC).

HBC will provide services to EOG members through its Global Customer Service and Support operations, which is driven by HBC’s commitment to quality and performance excellence. HBC supports its aircraft with the largest network of trained professionals and the largest factory owned service network in the industry.

“Hawker Beechcraft is pleased to offer Eclipse 500 owners the highest quality service and support in general aviation,” said Bill Brown, HBC President, Global Customer Service and Support. “We look forward to this new relationship and keeping the Eclipse 500s in the air.”
The EOG will own the Type Certificate and be responsible to the FAA and other regulatory agencies for the reporting and compliance required to maintain the Type Certificate. HBC will provide services and support to the EOG so that the EOG can perform its regulatory obligations and keep the Eclipse 500s compliant with FAA and other regulatory rules. In order to support service for the Eclipse 500s, HBC would provide service in designated HBC service centers.

The EOG also hopes that at some future time it will be possible to restart production of the Eclipse 500.

EAC entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 24, 2008 and converted to Chapter 7 on February 24th, 2009. The Chapter 7 Trustee plans to liquidate the EAC assets through an auction to be held in the near future. Several parties have come forward with potential proposals to acquire the EAC assets.

The EOG was formed to protect the assets of EAC necessary for the support, upgrades, and continued airworthiness of the Eclipse fleet on the best economic terms possible for current owners of the Eclipse 500; to evaluate the possibility of, and if appropriate implement, the purchase of EAC’s assets by the EOG or its designee; and to take actions necessary or appropriate in connection with purchasing assets of Eclipse, including forming an entity and negotiating with maintenance and support providers.

The EOG was also formed to evaluate any proposals for the purchase of EAC’s assets by other parties and, if appropriate, support such proposals if they are in the owner’s interests. The EOG will continue to evaluate proposals presented by third parties for the purchase of the EAC assets. The EOG has entered into negotiations with HBC in order to provide a viable and very attractive alternative if the best purchaser for the EAC assets is the EOG, itself.

Eclipse 500 owners who have not yet become members of the EOG should contact the EOG at their earliest convenience at eclipseownersgroup@gmail.com.

For further information, contact Nanette Metz or Randall Sanada at info@JetAlliance.com, or call (805) 409-0426.

###


235 comments:

1 – 200 of 235   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

I'm encouraged by the fact that the EOG chose to send me this 'officially'.

I wish them every success with this effort, which enhances the credibility of their group and increases the chances of some sort of recovery for all those damaged by EAC.

Shane

airtaximan said...

how to fill your shop... with a lot of work...

read between the lines.

julius said...

airtaximan,

read between the lines.

perhaps,we have to wait for the final wording.

Up-to-now HBC should become the exclusive service provider for EOG (and the others go to CWMR & Co!).
For how many years ... how much to pay for the rivercard, will it be a cheapy...?

Anyhow, that sounds better than the ideas of Col. P with his special agent RiP!

Julius

Dave said...

For how many years ... how much to pay for the rivercard, will it be a cheapy...?

Anyhow, that sounds better than the ideas of Col. P with his special agent RiP!


Actually this is straight out Roel. Touting the LOI is exactly what Roel did with the Russian deal and we all see how that turned out. Copying Roel's high profile Eclipse flameout you'd think would scare people away. LOIs are just agreements to negotiate and are not finalized contracts. HBC can be "predatory" (to use Sanada's word for describing other plans) and the AOG can't guarantee otherwise because there is no finalized contract detailing agreed upon pricing and whatnot. For that matter HBC can just walk away anytime they want. There's no actually agreement in place guaranteeing there wont be "predatory" pricing nor is there any guarantee that HBC wont simply walk away.

All I can say to the Eclipse owners is just remember Roel's Russian deal to see how much LOIs are worth.

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rlebel said...

All I can say to the Eclipse owners is just remember Roel's Russian deal to see how much LOIs are worth.


Dave, it is not the LOI it is who signs it. "You can't make a good deal with bad people." But you certainly can make a good deal with good people!

Dave said...

Dave, it is not the LOI it is who signs it. "You can't make a good deal with bad people." But you certainly can make a good deal with good people!

No, an LOI is an LOI. Two saints can sign an LOI and then not have a meeting of the minds or otherwise walk away before executing a contract. If it was more than an LOI then it wouldn't be an LOI, so it makes no difference who the LOI is between.

Kathy said...

How can such a small market bear so much BS? The HBC deal is what it is. The Chicago deal has been going for a while.


FIKI for the EA500 is a myth. When will this fact be recognized? It's a shame there are so many owners out there that actually believe in a FIKI certified EA500.

How about letting owners know BEFORE taking a deposit for FIKI modification that the plane will likely end up with an experimental certificate. That is unless all that "parts sourcing" included engineering a new windshield.

SN 76 is advertised on Controller as FIKI certified. SN 146 is also there:

"S/N: EA.500.0000.0146, N146EA, 95 TT, FIRST ECLIPSE 500 WITH DUAL GARMIN 400W's!......"

Whatever.

BTW, documentation (including FIKI SB) was handed over to Chicago long ago by an EAC VP.

Let's see someone find a copy of the released FIKI SB and link to it. Good luck. BTW it was released AFTER 99% of the employees were sent home.

airsafetyman said...

"The Chicago deal has been going for a while."

That very well may be, however, this 'Brigadoon Aircraft Maintenance' seems to be lacking a FAA Repair Station Certificate, not to mention an actual hangar. Or people. Or equipment. But they have some dude with $10 million dollars who is going to build a hangar. Maybe. Someday.

Dave said...

That very well may be, however, this 'Brigadoon Aircraft Maintenance' seems to be lacking a FAA Repair Station Certificate, not to mention an actual hangar. Or people. Or equipment. But they have some dude with $10 million dollars who is going to build a hangar. Maybe. Someday.

That's because Brigadoon is only open one day every hundred years.

bill e. goat said...

Dave,
Gene Kelly
(August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996 :(

(He, and Gregory Peck, are two of my all time favorite actors).

Hot off the 1952 movie "Singing in the Rain", Gene had great expectationf for his next project, Brigadoon (1954). Unfortunately, the studio slashed the production, and the results were not as impressive as hoped.

His last picture was
Xanadu, the film (1980)
I rather liked it, but it sort of bombed. The same thing could be said of EAC.

Xanadu, the definition
"An idyllic, beautiful place"
(Albuquerque, NM; the "land of enchantment" ??)

bill e. goat said...

Shane,
"I've learned more about helicopters in the three days than the previous 40 years..."

Thanks- me too!
(WT gave me a good workout!)

I had heard so many negative comments about helicopter safety, I had assumed they were true. Not so (for the past few years, anyway), as WT points out.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken Ross is North American Jet in Chicago, sounds like ENC and Brigadoon are offshoots of that.

With a 135 and 145 operation obviously Ken had to pick sides eventually, this is his bread and butter after all.

Hopefully associating with the group he picked does not damage his reputation if the EOG wins or some other development changes the game.

bill e. goat said...

Well, I'm a bit perplexed by these EOG fellows.

Firstly, bully for them, by notifying the public via Shane.

But, does it matter (much)??

Seems like it's up to the EAC note holders, not the EOG guys.

I would put a typical activity from the owners to be around 1/3 participating (260/3 = 90, putting up $250K; 90 x $250K = $22.5M, that maybe buys off Al Mann's DIP financing and a bit more. But not much more. If the note holders want more? Will they take stock in a "real" company like HBC? With the GA market going where it's going? And then the owners would still have to put up another $250K+ for their upgrades? (Maybe more).

HBC is laughing all the way to the bank- I think AATM is quite correct:
"how to fill your shop...with a lot of work"

Now, it seems like our pal CWMOR has some fishy news up his sleeve (if Mackerals wear sleeves):

"Without HBC funding things, someone else will have to fund it, hmmmmm, who might that be? Who might pay for fixes, likely in advance, especially if they have just put up tens of millions to buy the assets?"

The most plausible thing would be: Al Mann is staying in the game, so the EOG's funds could go into the new company (rather than the old).

Or is Wedge lurking, watching, waiting...measuring his breath, looking for weakness, until...POWIE!!
----------------------------------

I guess it all comes down to the fine print:
"in the event the EOG purchases the assets of the Eclipse Aviation Corporation"
Or monkeys fly out of my butt...
Or Al Mann decides to "carry it" for a while longer.
(I'm not sure which is more probable- or comfortable- for the respective participants...)

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
"Johnny Storm would have something to say about that moniker."

Jhhny Storm
Yikes- he DOES look pretty menacing!!
(Nice approximation of the Eclipse logo on his chest).

bill e. goat said...

The Human Torch
From the "Fantastic Four" comic book series.
(At least Wedge didn't adopt the moniker "Mister. Fantastic" :)

Although, maybe Mister Unbelievable...
Or Mister F'n Unbelievable...(Freaking, that is)
Or Mister Believe-Me-If-You're-An-Idiot.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No BEG, I think depending on who 'wins', if anyone, Mann will either be out of the game, will continue to provide some support, or sue the crap out of everyone in sight.

I meant the owners.

Assuming they pony up and win the assets, my put is $25-30M to actually get it, assuming the ChiCom's don't up the pot.

So now what? What do they have?

They have a piece of paper from the Judge, that says they are now the proud owners of some stuff that might be found in some buildings.

No spars. No parts. No SB's. No repair instruction. No existing support network. No nothing.

And now, HBC, or someone else, needs money to start to work through the stuff in the buildings - $2M easy.

Then there are parts to buy.

Then there are repair instructions to complete.

Meanwhile, near 50% of the fleet sits tied down or tucked away in hangars.

Now, six months and $5-10M later, also paid by the EOG, somehtin might be possible, except there are fewer planes flying.

There is no focus on the real immediate need, all else is being sacrificed due to the paranoia about getting screwed over re: the IP.

NEWSFLASH, the screwing already happened - get over it and begin to focus on hitting the ground running - what is needed right now? Training, spares, maintenance by trained and equipped professionals, insurance, repairs, life extension.

These things have been lamenting, sitting around undone for months now. Several of these issues could have been fixed by now. Alternatives could exist right now had somebody stepped up a month or two ago.

There is a cliche, when is the best time to plant a shade tree - answer, 20 years ago.

When is the second best time to plant a shade tree - answer, right now.

Options, alternatives and realistic concepts can be funded and start tomorrow - all it takes is commitment.

Moves are afoot.

Dan Swanson said...

Wow! You guy really do know how to save money! Ask a turbine Beech owner to show you his bills. Now you can buy a CE-510 every couple of years!

Dan Swanson said...

Wow! You guy really do know how to save money! Ask a turbine Beech owner to show you his bills. Now you can buy a CE-510 every couple of years!

fred said...

ohh guys ... ;-)

the saga keeps going on and on ...

Yes , Dave ! this is only a "NON-BINDING" L.O.I. !

to be read as a commitment to may be have a talk on something that may happen one day , if they may arrive to an agreed point ...

don't know about you , to me just a little too many "May or May be" ... ;-)

this Blog has been promoted to be the official bulletin board for EAC , this is how i read the "Official side" of sending to our (excellent by the way ) host Monsieur Shane ...

nonetheless , it is (once again!?) "war of words" or propaganda , as you see it fit ...

it sounds to me like an attempt to attract the most owners to have the financial capacity to buy from the note-holders ...

so , as usual , selling the leather of a beast not killed yet !

a little advice for our ColdFish :

you're right = change your plan ...

and call it : "The Diamond++ plan"

fred said...

i forgot ...

Why Diamond++ ?

because it is easier to sell to "Boss" !

like in :

"But Shari , Diamonds are forever !!"
;-))

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Lets pick this apart.

HBC is publicly stating they are willing to talk about doing the maintenance in their service centers.

Does HBC actually own any service centers, or are they all private companies with a sort of franchise agreement with HBC. Are all of these service centers really going to tool up for a dying fleet of unfinished planes owned by rape victims? Can HBC force them to?

No service center wants hangar queens. They have business plans based on customer satisfaction.

You can not satisfy the EA-500 position holders (owners). Due to the lack of a TC holder and production organisation, they can't help but have AOG problems. HBC gets a few more hours of labour for their shops, at the cost of them coming from cheapskate, pre-pissed off who were too stupid to buy a decent product in the first place, and are thus unlikey to ever step up the HBC product chain.

The other side of this "done deal" to talk about doing a deal, is EOG (which I will from here on refer to as "the AOG group" for obvious reasons).

The AOG groups side of the bargin is to perform the TC holder responsiblities. I might have missed something here, but as far as I know the AOG group does not own the TC! Maybe never will.

Basically HBC is saying, if you can get your shit together, you can spend you money in our shop. We will do our best, but can't solve your problems.

What is the difference between this and having a tire blow out at an airport where there is an HBC service center, and paying them to change the wheel?

Storm in a teacup, unworthy of a headline post!

fred said...

them coming from cheapskate, pre-pissed off who were too stupid to buy a decent product in the first place, and are thus unlikey to ever step up the HBC product chain

freedom ...

you are touching an other sensible spot in the (dead?) body ...

the vary nature of EAC business may result in customers UNABLE to be happy with anything related to the Fpj ...

like one should never try to build a castle on sand ...
no one can build a sustainable business on dreams ...

i suspect that this attempt is only an other way to gather some "financial means" ...

it miss the most 2 important topics that most owners should have on mind now :

"How much ?" and "When ?"

Shane Price said...

Fred,

"But Shari , Diamonds are forever !!"

Very funny...

However, I think we should leave poor Shari out of it. The Meyers have had enough (self inflicted) pain, without trying to link them with yet ANOTHER VLJ.

Mind you, the ConJet deposit was in her name, so maybe she bullied Ken into this mess, rather than the other way around....

Shane

fred said...

Monsieur Shane


i am sorry to put Mrs Meyer in this ...
i couldn't resist to tickle a bit our "Kenny" ...

you probably do not see it , my forehead is touching the floor in apologies !!

PS: your prediction was perfect : the Blog became the Official-Board !

julius said...

Fred,

bonjour!

Yes , Dave ! this is only a "NON-BINDING" L.O.I. !


I think the victims (owners) will learn that they always have to pay sooner or later - and some don't believe it right now.

IMO HBC simply wants to be responsible for the staffing of the "work force" and does not want to invest any money...

Therfore the victims must perform all investments - and that is a lot,
perhaps close to delta (of their price) to the realistic price of the fpj, depending on the number of involved fpjs.
There are no dreams that these expenses may be reduced by a future production!

Up to now HBC offers "pay for your play" and that is fair - like in real life today.

(Even O. (ohhhh) has to accept that otherwise he will jeopardize his reelection! For the beginning Rep. Gates must play the bad boy!)

Julius

Shane Price said...

Freedom,

Storm in a teacup, unworthy of a headline post!

At first, when I saw this, I had a similar reaction. Then the rational part of my (shrinking) brain took over and decided that this was a) movement, of which there has been precious little of late and b) sent direct from the EOG.

The people who now own an FPJ are not all members of the EOG, but those that are have a difficult situation to manage. Yes, the wound is self inflicted to some extent, but they deserve the same visibility for their efforts that I've afforded others, including our very own ColdWet.

We're in the lucky position of having avoided getting burned by this mess. I came close myself, but came across Stan's blog in the nick of time.

So, cut the Eclipse Owners Group some slack. By all means pick holes in the plan (we are critics...) and subject it to a proper stress test. Give it a good 'bashing' to see if makes sense, which I'm glad to see you are happy to kick off.

But...

Listen to what these people are actually saying. They are in a unique position, having sight of almost all the plans, from every bidder, since the Chapter 11 process began last year.

Then, ask yourself a key question.

Why?

What do they know about the potential market for the assets, which caused them to sign a letter of intent with Hawker Beechcraft?

Shane

fred said...

Gutten Tag , Herr Julius


yes , i agree with your opinion !

something i find (almost) comical :

owners have to make their minds , they have to decide either :

to spend a lot , whether now or later ...
or
drop the whole matter , which would be a 100% loss ...

so what i find near funny (ok , i've got a very weird sens of humor !) :

it seems (to me) that owners are lost between a dream which revealed to be a nightmare and a dream (nightmare?)they don't want to wake-up from ...

the saga is far from being finished ...

hang-on , grab some pop-corn !

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

What do they know about the potential market for the assets, which caused them to sign a letter of intent with Hawker Beechcraft?

the answer can be quite simple :

no value or market for assets = no future for their planes ...!
(well, even shorter time for Fpj !)

i accept the fact of the concern ...
it is the way it is done that i find "bit weird" ...

fred said...

i feel the need for developing a bit :

it is not "What they know" the important ...

it is the way it is done ...

after so many broken promises , so many stunts , so many lies , so many whatever you want to call it ...

a group which should have ONLY the interests of owners in mind and HAVE TO know the "state of mind" most unfortunate owners are (or can be , if they stopped dreaming ...)

what would you expect if you would have been cheated , lied , raped , etc... for about as long as they (owners) have been ?

Truth and Facts !

instead this group come-up with "may be" , "Non-binding" , "you can spend a lot in our shop..."

curiously NOTHING about "WHEN" (= are assets already in hands ?) or "HOW MUCH" (don't count on HBC to put a cent to buy those assets !!)

so to say , the worst possible way to present any progress ...

just to have a move to show there is still some hopes ..

fred said...

Julius

on your comment on "Even O. (ohhhh) has to accept that otherwise he will jeopardize his reelection!"

i will assume that you don't know HOW difficult it is to tell to someone , a few person , a big gathering or a whole nation :

"WE have been WRONG ! so WE have to PAY the price ..."

whether his fault or not (which isn't in this case!) what will most remember ?

= he is the one who stopped the dream !

elected ones aren't meant to do this , they are elected to keep the dream alive ! (in most cases )

so it is already jeopardized , unless a miracle happen ...
like for the Fpj !! ;-)

WhyTech said...

"I've learned more about helicopters in the three days than the previous 40 years..."

Perhaps more than most wanted to know. Just trying to add some value in an othewise slow period on the blog. In any event, Billy made me do it!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

How does a LOI with HBC to talk about doing maintenance change anything?

The AOG Group are not the TC holder.

The AOG Group have no parts or production certificate.

The AOG Group has no IP.

HBC has no EA-500 experience.

HBC makes no significant EA-500 parts.

HBC is offering no commitment to get involved with the differcult bits.

What does the AOG Group know that we don't know? They know a value proposition when they see one!

Historically it's been the other way around. We have figured out things which should have been obvious to them.

Given that it's been about six months since the BK process started, the AOG Group crowing about the maintenance division of a "Dinasaur" agreeing to talk with them is a little underwelming.

Two years ago we identified that Ecorpse was doomed. I originally thought it would go straight to Ch 7, but the Baron95's power of persuasion made me correct that opinion to include one failed New Eclipse resuscitation before CH7.

The few EA-500's still operating in 2017 will be on experimental Exhibition special flight permits. The rest will be in beer cans, museums or dark corners of hangars.

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

"How does a LOI with HBC to talk about doing maintenance change anything?"

As you suggest, it is highly unlikely that it changes anything. IMO, this is a publicity stunt to get some media coverage. It would appear not to bind either party to any course of action. They could have more easily engaged in exploratory talks in private (without announcing this to the world).

Kathy said...

http://customers.eclipseaviation.com/owner_talk/forum/index.php?topic=341.15;wap2

Classic!

fred said...

freedom :

i think you miss a bit of Monsieur Shane's goal ...

that "thing" was really worth a headline ...

not because it give some more clarity into the matter or simply making sens ...

only to make give an equal opportunity to all "willing to do anything " in this mess !!!

i don't know if you remember some comments posted on Monsieur Stan's blog ( i think it was that Jackass "i remain amused" ):

"you of the blog , you are tarnishing so much the reputation of EAC , that it may cause jobs and money to be lost ..." (or something of the same sound , can't remember more exactly ...)

i understand perfectly the "Need" to treat any "player" with the same step of audience ...to avoid the one who are still dreaming any such form of behavior ...

let themselves inflict self-injuries ...

Dave said...

Listen to what these people are actually saying. They are in a unique position, having sight of almost all the plans, from every bidder, since the Chapter 11 process began last year.
Then, ask yourself a key question.
Why?
What do they know about the potential market for the assets, which caused them to sign a letter of intent with Hawker Beechcraft?


In this particular case the answer as to why is that they are jockeying for position. The press release in one sentence is basically "join our group because we have a competitive advantage." In fact I think they had no choice but to address this issue, so I think it would more be a question of why not if they didn't address it. Eclipse Jet then responded by offering alphabet soup claiming it was actually them who had the competitive advantage. This is about competition, not inside information.

fred said...

Whytech :

we arrived to the same conclusion !

what is the need for such publicity ?

= money matter are to be resolved , HBC won't put a cent into the mess , so need to attract victims to be even more victimized remain ...

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreedomsJamtarts said...

In this particular case the answer as to why is that they are jockeying for position

The only jockeying for position I can see is:
Your turn...
No you can go first.
No I don't want it, you take it.
You touched it last


Reminds me of the saying "If my dog was that ugly, I'd shave it's arse and teach it to walk backwards!".

drillingahead said...

Dave you are correct. What we have here is two parties fighting it out in the press over control of something neither one have any idea what to do with. Press has not and will not release any details of his plan. EOG will only discuss that they need 35M from the owners and if they get it they will buy the assets and then do something with them. No details. All they will say is that they have pissed away almost 900K they bullied everyone into puting into the legal fund. No results. Now they bring HBC into the picture. HBC is damn near BK also. Lost 125+ million last year. Own a beech product for a few years and you will know enough. Both groups are paper tigers playing a game of lets make a deal. In the mean time data update about to run out and looks like Mike M. is not able to come to the rescue this time. Now you have a jet with 675mi range in the mid 20's.

fred said...

freedom :

you reminded me of Monthy Python !!

Holly Grail ; the scene with the dead ... or almost dead , or on the verge of dying ...

Tchhonkk : now dead for sure ! ;-)

airtaximan said...

brilliant!!!

"Then, ask yourself a key question.
Why?"

Yes Shane, this is the KEY to figuring out what is really going on...

Why do a group of owners, with zero service provider experience, FEEL THE NEED to go about providing their own Support services?

My answer: they remain unrealistic about the true cost of such an endeavour, and of the true cost of maintaining/upgrading the fleet.

Pure and simple - the same thinking that got them into this mess, will of course get them DEEPER.

They remain convinced they know more than anyone else.. and the LOI is just a paper to agree perhaps one day on how deeply they will be digging into their check books for upgrades and continued airworthiness.

HBC does not need this LOI for anything, except AOGs money... once (if) they have aquired the "assets" (term used very loosly) they are just that much deeper in doo-doo.

The real leverage comes from somoene else ending up with EAC assets - THEN the owners are on top - they can sell them parts (planes) and or not buy services if they are too expensive -what has the acquirer done? Blown a bunch of money.

They are, once again, blowing their own heads off.

and, by making it appear as if these "assets" are in demand from some bidders - it racks up the price, AND makes ROI for the acquirer even tougher... so Support will be more costly not less.

Anyone?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FWIW, I think the HBC development, such as it is, is probably the best bit of semi-newsworthy news to come out since the switch to CH-7, well that and Mann's suit against Pieper.

HBC has an excellent and global service organization, and for now anyway surely has excess capacity both in the service centers as well as in engineering - but that still does not address the 800 lb gorilla in the room, the need for a workable plan.

This represents, IMO, the most mature and foresighted thing the EOG has done to date and I think they should be commended on it, but it needs to be taken at face value, a non-binding LOI, to discuss binding arrangement, IF the EOG buys assets.

Where will HBC's loyalties lie when the economy rebounds and GA/Biz Aviation are no longer on the President and Congress' outrage of the week list? With 150-200 preemie jets or with 50,000 fielded Beechcraft and Hawker products?

After spending $20-30M to get the assets, the owners will then have to pony up to pay for development of upgrades, then pay for the parts and the labor to put them in.

I estimate some owners will be into their early Eclipsii for an additional $500K in EOG and support costs within the next 12 months before they have a single new part in their planes.

HBC is a good organization but the service engineering expenses are going to be titanic compared to what could be done with a smaller, leaner team - and certainly more than the owners will be expecting.

On the surface, a good development, under the surface a potentially decent development but nowhere near a cost efficient approach.

With all the concern demonstrated by EOG about not getting screwed by the IP falling into questionable hands (an understandable concern BTW given the current situation, but which could change radically) I think they are running headlong into screwing themselves by spending a ton of money at the wrong time for the wrong things in the wrong place.

Niner Zulu said...

I can't imagine the stress that some Eclipse owners are under. First there is good news, then bad news, then great news, then horrible news.

Like a paper clip being bent back and forth, back and forth. Until it breaks.

Now there's an LOI. Oh boy. Here we go again. I can barely contain my excitement. Time to replay the old Eclipse ads where the champagne cork pops out. Remember that one?

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

I thought I’d respond to some quotes from Freedoms Jamtarts previous post...


“HBC is publicly stating they are willing to talk about doing the maintenance in their service centers.
Does HBC actually own any service centers, or are they all private companies with a sort of franchise agreement with HBC. Are all of these service centers really going to tool up for a dying fleet of unfinished planes owned by rape victims? Can HBC force them to?”



HBC, and Cessna, have been making efforts to establish their own service centers over the past year, including setting up in areas currently served by one of their franchise shops. It’s all about the profits, despite some PR baloney about a higher standard of service.

I think maintaining FPJs is a money losing proposition for a lot of shops. HBC, in a previous incarnation, forced franchise shops to maintain Starships when they first came out. This was not well received. Shops had to spend tens of thousands on Starship specific equipment and supplies, and some rarely ever had the chance to work on any of those 52 birds.

I’ve read the FIKI service bulletin. It listed all the aircraft and where they were based. I think the best located HBC shop might expect to service 8-10 FPJs, simply because the aircraft are located all over the map. Most shops might service 3-5. Some, even less. Hardly worth the extra $10,000-$20,000 expense in FPJ shop equipment or the additional liability. I think many HBC shops would be very reluctant to work on FPJs, unless it was their last means of survival in today’s economy.

A franchise that has a lot of “B” airplane customers, does have some leverage against HBC. Suppose a shop tells it’s customers, it is considering dropping the franchise because the manufacturer demands it spend extremely limited resources supporting a dying airframe. Those customers, who have to use an authorized shop per their insurer, and would have to leave their aircraft at another shop 500 miles away, are going to make some angry calls to HBC, aviation magazines, etc.. GA is a small community, word spreads fast. Prospective aircraft buyers will hear it. I think HBC would reconsider twisting that arm.

HBC, Cessna and others may be big dogs in the GA arena, but the companies that fly their products have a pretty big bite as well. Here’s a ”hypothetical situation” that , uhh, never, happened. —Billionaire Corp needs an unusual part for their AOG bird. Manufacturer looks at parts production schedule and says “six months minimum”. Billionaire Corp, highly upset, suggests a ferry flight to Oshkosh, where thousands of prospective biz aircraft buyers will see the aircraft, wearing a 20ft banner describing the lousy manufacturer support. Manufacturer decides to pull part from a bird on the production line and also send gifts to Billionaire Corp.




“No service center wants hangar queens. They have business plans based on customer satisfaction.”


Very true. If an aircraft is taking up space in a maint hangar, it has to be generating profits from parts and labor. If it is a long term AOG, and parts aren’t available, it will quickly get pushed into a storage hangar. And then the owner will get stuck paying storage fees while Ecorpse#2 fiddles.



Even if HBC and all it’s franchises welcomed FPJs with open arms, I think maintaining these jets is going to be a tortured experience for all involved, for at least the first year or so. The FPJ is substantially different from most bizjets. Who is going to pay for mechanics to learn an FPJ? I pity the poor avionics tech who gets saddled with an FPJ full of electronic gremlins. The shop has to bill out it’s labor to survive, so I’d expect the owner to get hit with some very high labor charges for most every squawk. Gonna be some very unhappy owners, thinking they’re getting raped, threatening the shop, etc. Most shops depend heavily on their reputation. If a shop owner has the option of working on a Beech/Cessna product instead of a FPJ, I think the FPJ owner is going to be told “sorry, I’m just too busy right now”.



I still think liability is going to be a major hurdle. A complex, unfinished jet, with several variations, and now even more difficult to maintain, because Chapter 7 has caused a massive brain drain.
Ecorpse demanded a shop have a minimum $100,000,000 liability policy, verified by Ecorpse, and if Ecorpse wasn’t satisfied with the policy, they had the right to buy additional insurance coverage for the shop, and charge the shop for it. This, when Ecorpse was still breathing and had very deep pockets. Who has the deepest pockets now? When their insurer wants an extra $100,000 in yearly premiums, and a shop expects to earn $20,000/yr profit from FPJs, the decision to maintain FPJs has just been made.




“Basically HBC is saying, if you can get your shit together, you can spend you money in our shop. We will do our best, but can't solve your problems.
What is the difference between this and having a tire blow out at an airport where there is an HBC service center, and paying them to change the wheel?”


I think both the EOG group and HBC are envisioning a more sophisticated level of maintenance support. Changing a wheel/tire is child’s play. Troubleshooting FADEC issues or tail flutter, or any similar major malfunction that could ground the fleet will require well-trained mechanics, diagnostic tools like proprietary computers, and a engineering team well versed in the aircraft’s systems. HBC could assemble a working group, although I’d be surprised if it was capable of solving much of the current FPJ issues. Their RDO impressed me as a bunch of college kids doing work-study.

The still unanswered question.....is assembling such a group a financially smart move?




Ya know what is really funny?


That bowl of BS press release from Eclipse Jet LP (Eclipse Jet) & Eclipse Service Network, LLC


I almost fell out of my chair laughing.





Ya know what is really sad?


About a hundred FPJ owners reading that and thinking “Thank God! We are saved” and sticking a big spoon into that steaming bowl.

Beedriver said...

Shane,

keep posting snippets and announcements whenever you get them. This is an excellent blog because what you post is accurate or is appropriately qualified as to its source.

I always read your posts and those of a few others as they are accurate or well thought out opinions based on their experience.

the other posts that just love to slam what is said and call people names I always jump over as they have no information value and just are useless noise in the saga of Eclipse and what a grand visionary with too much money and not enough good strategic planning and good execution can do to a possibly good business idea.

Stan keep up the good work

Thank you to the other posters who do their best to write thoughtful and well mannered posts.

Beedriver said...

Shane,

Sorry I called you Stan although he did a really good job when he was king of the blog.

why is it that even though I edit my posts, I do not catch some mistakes until they hit the blog. must be my random creative personality (that is my excuse anyway)

Black Tulip said...

ECLIPSE GROUP ANNOUNCES MAINTENANCE INITIATIVE

Albuquerque, NM – April 8, 2009 – Owners of Eclipse 500 aircraft now have multiple options for maintaining their aircraft in the wake of the parent company’s bankruptcy. The Eclipse New Owner User Group Host (ENOUGH) has organized a consortium of maintenance suppliers and announced a unified support arrangement.

Members of this group include AAMCO Transmission Service, Midas Muffler, Jiffy Lube and Sears. Asked for comment, AAMCO spokesman Manuel Ortega said, “We got the men, we got the tools and just can’t wait to see one of them Eclipses. The maintenance manuals are being translated into Spanish now.”

Not to be outdone, Krishna Deepak of Jiffy Lube said, “We can offer far more than any of the other service organizations plus a better cup of coffee and more comfortable waiting area for the owners. Our technicians are uniquely qualified, as many have flown.”

Doctor Snively Gonatz, and owner and president of ENOUGH said, “We are aware that one of the competing groups has gone with Hawker Beechcraft but we think a broader, more holistic maintenance solution is better suited.”

fred said...

yes , BT , excellent ...!

most owners should start to realize this :

there is so many offers , they should pay you for using their services ...!

ooouuupppsss ! sorry , that was really crazy ... as anyone will ever make a buck with Fpj !! ;-)

fred said...

what a grand visionary with too much money and not enough good strategic planning and good execution can do to a possibly good business idea.

grand visionary ???

who the hell are you talking about ??? ;-)

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Beedriver,

The flaw in your post is this "possibly good business idea."

Ecorpse was never based on a possibly good business idea, unless you consider a thermonuclear powered DeLorean which runs on rubbish for $6K a "possibly good business idea".

A highly integrated twin Jet for $800K built in 600H is not a possibly good business idea, it is an amatuer's wet dream.

It is not as if people didn't point out this little error ten years ago.

It was a lame idea from day one, which morphed into a badly executed A/C development company (which is okay - creating a failure company on the basis of a lame idea is an important part of free enterprise), but then morphed into a ponzi scheme.

That is the point were Stan created the critics blog.

We are critics. Thats is our role. We call the BS as we see it.

I don't think I have ever made a single positive posting about Ecorpse or the EA-500. Can't really see that changing.

Shane Price said...

BT,

Our technicians are uniquely qualified, as many have flown.”

That ranks up there with "I love to watch a cash arsonist at work" as one of the best jibes I seen on the blog(s).

Your talents are wasted, whatever it is you do for a living!

Shane

Tail.Dragger said...

EOG should be careful for what they wish for....

Beech marketing as quoted in AOPA magazine.

"Why does a twin Baron cost $1.2 million?"

"Because we know what it costs to build and MAINTAIN an aircraft."

Dave said...

Eclipse getting some press coverage now:
Eclipse owners interested in buying assets
More Legal Actions Erupt in Eclipse Arena (this is the first journalist to have mentioned the Mann complaint against Roel AFAIK)
Hawker Beechcraft Entering Eclipse Support

fred said...

freedom :

you're right !

the "Grand-Visionary" had only one vision :

other people's wallet !!

fred said...

dave :

sorry , i was wrong !!

some peoples will make fortunes with Fpj ...

they are lawyers , i don't really see why ...??? ;-))

Tail.Dragger said...

HBC has 10 factory service centers, and extensive network of independent authorized service centers.

I know of at least one of the independents that has been approached with requests from FPJ owners to perform maintenance, repairs, and modifications and they've turned away the business.

Until the TC ownership issue is resolved, not much is going to happen.

Dave said...

Our technicians are uniquely qualified, as many have flown.”

Our German scientists are better than their German scientists.

airsafetyman said...

"Our German scientists are better than their German scientists."

Our German scientists WERE their German scientists

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

Your mental health is becoming a concern to me. You should get out now and then . . . go visit folks . . . breath some of that New Mexico air . . . inhale some of that adobe dust.

gadfly

Shane Price said...

Beedriver,

Sorry I called you Stan although he did a really good job when he was king of the blog.

I'm flattered that you mention me in the same league as Mr. Blankenship. I would remind our newer readers that the 'original' blog is still readable here.

It continues to have lessons for us all.

Shane

Dave Ivedorne said...

Kathy,

The "Owner Talk" forum is precious - thanks for the link, and good find on your part.

And here we have what might be the introduction of our favorite eye doctor, to our favorite retired Colonel:
"You see Ken, it's just like an F-35"

DI

fred said...

wow .... D.I.

thanks for the gem !

i am sure the "not Col." Press will be offered a 24carat bridge over the ocean to come work for EADS , if he can show them :

the techs to have the first and every try a success ...!

hang-on ...

Boeing is offering the same !! ;-)

airsafetyman said...

to our favorite retired Colonel:
"You see Ken, it's just like an F-35"

DI,

Please tell me this is a joke! Right? Please.

A bit of trivia: N877PM is headed from Naples to Dulles. That is S/N 260 and the "owner" comes up as Eclipse itself on my database. Curious. Gotta go file Chapter 7 and then go fly my jet.

Tail.Dragger said...

According to the court papers i received late last week.

The next creditors meeting is scheduled for May 20th, and proof of claims must be filed with the court by 8/18/09.

WhyTech said...

"airplanes go together smoothly on first try and every try."

ROTFLMAO!

airtaximan said...

CW,

I guess you and I are on the same page regarding the dynamics of the HBC deal...

In the end, the owners approach will be more risky and more costly - no matter what.

I can almost see Ken..

Hey Mainteance Center, we paid $30M for the IP... wanna play?"

MC: sure, service is $500 per hour

Ken: too high

MC: OK, bye.

- there is some master-mind plan (like buying a few EA50 delivery positions to make a profit...) that involves making an "investment" in the IP, and then having inexpensive Service done that also provides a return on the IP...

Boys and Girls, you are shooting yourself in the foot by artificially inflating the demand for the "assets"... in the end, someone will need to make ROI on a higher acquasition price.

And if no one shows up to buy, you can rest ssured its not worth buying.

Finally, if the Service price is too high for your liking, your leverage is, you are the client. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE LEVERAGE BY OWNING THE IP... ITS A ALBATROSS AROUND YOUR NECK so to speak...

fred said...

D.I.

thank you as well for finding the gem stating that Mrs *** BEEEP*** is "the BOSS" ...

so our long time friend Mr K****BEEEP*** has to convinced her whenever the Fpj is talked about ...

Beeep = Censored : i don't want to annoy Monsieur Shane ... ;-)

Dave Ivedorne said...

Please tell me this is a joke! Right?

The best comedy can't be written, it has to be lived. Some stuff simply can't be made up.

Yes it's a joke. Sadly for all, it's a very REAL joke.

DI

airtaximan said...

on the snow job received by Ken from Col. Mike..

"However, tell your wife not to worry and move up--"

choice words.

I think Mrs. Meyers was completely correct in her vision for how this would all go - and Ken's persuading her to get her own ea50 instead of the Mustang, was indicative of the root of the problem.

And yes, the exchange between Col. Press and Ken is laughable - but indicates the kinds of arguments proposed for buying the ea50.

Crazy, scary, sad...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM re: HBC - you get it man, you really get it.

flyboymark said...

Time for me to chime in again:
This is the FIRST "somewhat credible" interest in EAC that might jus' make sense to some degree. If it follows through, it could be a very good thing for the little Tonka Toy. It is a helluva lot better than some of the other scenarios/offers I've heard....

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken and the Colonel are a great comedy troup. BT, you are in danger of being dethrowned as the reigning comedy king.

Shane, that link D.I posted is worthy of a headline! More worthy than the AOG group finding someone willing to talk to them.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

FBM,

What exactly does the HBC LOI do for the AOG group?

airtaximan said...

it does nothing.

It tries to look like HBC is going to do Service for the fleet... it does not do this - its the same as RiP having a deal for Russian money.

Its meaningless.
It shows desperation... that's all.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

According to Col Press, the wing should fit like a glove, cause it was designed in CAD/CAM.

From what we have read about twisted wings and wing bushings - I think it was OJ's glove.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

If it doesn't fit, you must acquit!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM/FJT - I would actually not call it desperation, it is a solid development, when take for what it is.

It is not a panacea, it is not even a real answer yet, but it demonstrates some mature thinking about the longer term needs of the fleet.

Costs are questionable, both for the engineering component, as well as the actual maintenance component, but it is, IMO, a step in the right direction.

If this development, and the owners themselves, could be divorced from the belief that they need to own the IP, then needed activity could be taking place right now, not a month from now, or more.

Reliable intel suggests as much as 50% of the fleet is either AOG or not being flown for fear of ending up AOG with no OEM for support.

There are alternatives to having to own the IP, there are ways to return AOG planes to service and to support the fleet right now - and it has nothing to do with posturing via press release.

Eventually, people will have to get down to the business of getting down to business, that needs a realistic and manageable plan, strong leadership with a clear vision, and money.

While prices are low, spares birds could be purchased from desparate owners to provide for near term needs while new or previous vendors come on line, while credit terms are established, while insurance requirements are met, while repairs are developed, while PMA and STC programs are initiated.

There is so much going on in the background that cannot be spoken about yet but which will, in my belief, result in a truly comprehensive approach for the needs of the operators/owners it is frustrating to see the conversation being driven about a non-binding LOI or announcement of the Service Center equivalent of the Homeland Security Threat Level color chart.

Are decision involving tens of million of dollars gfoing to be made, again, based on press releases and sketchy presentations or is there an interest in determining a realistic and workable approach?

We all know how well the former approach worked, maybe it is time for something completely different (with apologies to Monty Python).

Dave Ivedorne said...

What exactly does the HBC LOI do for the AOG group?

It provides AOG with evidence of a hint of credibility to the note holders ( something that has proven elusive in this process ). In light of the fact that AOG doesn't own anything other than a bunch of tentatively airworthy vehicles at this time, a LOI is the maximum that HBC could responsibly provide.

While I agree that a LOI between two saints doesn't really amount to much, it's probably stronger than bringing a LOI from Jim Bede.

And on a more cautionary note, we all know what HBC's predecessor did for the last disruptive airframe they were saddled with: they shredded 'em to bits!

DI

airtaximan said...

my point on all of this is simple:

the owners want cheap maintenance and support.

none of what they are doing is leading them in that direction - NONE.

If they just wanted reliable and convenient support, they would be signing up owner-by-owner with a real company.

Real mainteance/support costs a lot - no amount of work by the owners will mitigate this, and from what I see, they are actually making the problem worse.

So, the PR is just another indicaion of how off the mark these guys are. Smacks of desperation, IMO.

bill e. goat said...

One of those things that comes to mind...

If the AOG (EOG) group does acquire EAC assets, it would be "amusing" if the 60% depositors came after them...

I don't know the plausibility of that- but it would be an intriguing spectacle.

Tail.Dragger said...

with a 20 lbs sledgehammer I can make anything fit like a glove

NoFPJ4me said...

If you go to the 'document index' on the FAA page the following info indicates the plane has documents filed so prob a sale:

Collateral Entered : 877PM
Number of Records: 3 (Page 1 of 1)
Type Collateral Collateral Party Document Receipt Date
Aircraft 877PM 100 PM INC 03/26/2009
Aircraft 877PM BURTCH JEOFFREY L TRUSTEE 03/26/2009
Aircraft 877PM ECLIPSE AVIATION CORP 03/26/2009

airsafetyman said...

"If you go to the 'document index' on the FAA page the following info indicates the plane has documents filed so prob a sale:

Collateral Entered : 877PM
Number of Records: 3 (Page 1 of 1)
Type Collateral Collateral Party Document Receipt Date
Aircraft 877PM 100 PM INC 03/26/2009
Aircraft 877PM BURTCH JEOFFREY L TRUSTEE 03/26/2009
Aircraft 877PM ECLIPSE AVIATION CORP 03/26/2009"

Thanks. This caught my eye as it was the last airplane made. The destination was also Washington Dulles, location of the FAA FSDO that managed Big Ed's Dayjet farce. The sale date is several months after the Chapt 11 filing. Wasn't there a big flap with a customer about taking delivery on the date they filed and being denied possession?

Shane Price said...

Freedom,

Shane, that link D.I posted is worthy of a headline! More worthy than the AOG group finding someone willing to talk to them.

It's an 'honor amongst thieves' thing. I don't post E5C stuff here and they don't post CriticNG stuff there, without asking (and getting) permission.

Call me old fashioned, and a fully paid up member of the 'proper' printing establishment, but I think I'll follow my own rules on this one.

Shane

Dave said...

Given how this was only an LOI, I think this announcement is bad news for EOG. Because there is no finalized contract with HBC, HBC has EOG over a barrel due to the public announcement. EOG is publicly on the hook now to HBC, so this gives HBC the power to charge "predatory pricing" which the EOG over and over again claims to be against. Alternatively if HBC feels that it isn't worth it or EOG wont agree to the "predatory pricing," then it has a PR disaster by looking like the worst part of Eclipse by having vendor problems with a high profile vendor shake-up. HBC now has little incentive to bargain because if there is no finalized contract, it will be the EOG that looks bad. It's all well and good getting the HBC LOI, but the EOG is voluntarilly tying their own hands at the bargaining table. I believe the EOG that they oppose "predatory pricing" and aren't just saying that, but they've put themselves in a position where they might have to offer the very thing they are against. HBC must be licking their chops with how the EOG gave them a de facto no-bid contract.

WhyTech said...

"HBC must be licking their chops with how the EOG gave them a de facto no-bid"

You are reading my mind, and then some. Right on target!

baron95 said...

Dan Swanson said... Wow! You guy really do know how to save money! Ask a turbine Beech owner to show you his bills. Now you can buy a CE-510 every couple of years!

Or ask a piston Beech owner to show you his - it will make you not want to ask to see a turbine's bills.

And while we are at it, lets ask Beech about their lighting fast engineering team and the incredible pace of innovation they have brought to the Bonanza, Baron and King Airs.

WOW!!!

If you think Eclipse consumed too much of your deposit money - well, "LETS GET READY TO RUMMMMMMBLE".

CW, whatever you may think of his plan, is right on. You may have the IP and an HBC agreement and still not have anything. Other than a big bill to produce a plan to take a look at the IP to see if they can price a plan to do something with it.

WOW!!!

TBMs_R_Us said...

Baron,

Wow, great post! It's like you've come over from the dark side. ;-)

Did you see the Flying article about the Phenom 100? 35,000 cycles! Now that's an airplane worth buying.

WhyTech said...

"the incredible pace of innovation they have brought to the Bonanza, Baron and King Airs. "

So, tell me again what your are flying these days? And why?

baron95 said...

Tail.Dragger said... According to the court papers i received late last week. The next creditors meeting is scheduled for May 20th, and proof of claims must be filed with the court by 8/18/09.

Pretty good bet that GM will exit BK before Eclipse. Not that Eclipse will exit, but you know what I mean.

gadfly said...

“ . . . the wing should fit like a glove, cause it was designed in CAD/CAM.”

Earlier today, we had the privilege of meeting with possibly the most gifted author on the blog-site. He and his lovely wife spent time at our facility, observing the things that are the result of connecting the dots between “brain”, CAD/CAM, CNC machining, and final product, built on aptitude/native ability, from concept to final product . . . using the best of human ability, yet maintaining complete control and understanding of the product, the material, the method, and human nature.

It’s a piece of cake to design a near-perfect product in a high-end CAD/CAM system. But most often, it is coupled with old habits of manufacturing . . . failing to take full advantage of the machines now available. Design and manufacturing is not a science, but an “art” . . . never forget that. Education is important, but it is only a “tool”, to be used as a supplement to understanding, aptitude, training, . . . and experience. No computer nor mandate from a CEO can “shortcut” the process. God, Himself, the “ultimate designer and artist”, created time and matter, and then in six long “days”, measured in billions of years, formed His creation into what we observe, and . . . “it was very good”. Who can improve on the system! Adam thought he could improve on it . . . and we’ve been in trouble ever since.

(Yeh, I know . . . Adam blamed Eve . . . Eve blamed the serpent . . . and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on!)

Well, few people will listen . . . so I’ll not attempt to explain it now. But our most favorite contributor (. . . something to do with flowers once grown in the Netherlands) observed “first hand” the concepts that “could” have made the wing “fit like a glove”, each and every time. (Of course, making it “fit like a glove” in this case only applies to “assembly”, and does not address the lack of knowledge of the many other problems that were never solved, with the little bird from ABQ.)

“Dark Blossom”, thank you for the time you spent here, “inhaling adobe dust”, and your patient observation of a small portion of the things we have done over the years.

gadfly

(And who would have guessed we’d both be reading the same book, speaking of blossoms, . . . “Blossoms in the Wind, Human Legacies of the Kamikaze” by M.G. Sheftall . . . highly recommended. Please notice: I never once mentioned your mental condition . . . your dear wife is so patient! You certainly look normal.)

(Hey, folks . . . The “Black Tulip” is a real live person . . . he walks, he breathes, he thinks . . . and I enjoyed the entire time we had, sharing thoughts and observations.)

baron95 said...

WhyTech said... So, tell me again what your are flying these days? And why?

Still the best handling and sturdiest piston plane of all times, one that is uniquely suitable for the Cape Island flying mission at 200KTS and 3,000 ft.

The Baron, of course ;)

So, yes, I am being raped by $10K+ annuals, but at least I'm being raped by a hot-beauty ;)

Forever looking for a better lover....

B95

baron95 said...

TBMs_R_Us said...Did you see the Flying article about the Phenom 100? 35,000 cycles! Now that's an airplane worth buying.

I'm indeed very impressed with the Phenom 100. I'm seriously thinking that, rather than going for a $1.5M Jet, it may make more sense for me to go for a $3.1M Phenom 100 with the right partner.

But then again, it could be a $2.2M CE510 with a partner for the price of the Baron.

I figure I'll need to wait till late this year, early next till Phenoms are available on the secondary market with no wait.

baron95 said...

If I owned an EA500 right now, I'd leverage the LOI press release to extract whatever minimum price bump it provided to the unwary and SELL.

WhyTech said...

"So, yes, I am being raped by $10K+ annuals, but at least I'm being raped by a hot-beauty ;)

Forever looking for a better lover...."

Sounds to me like you are getting considerable pleasure (and value) from your $10K+. However, you are paying too much.

My Beech experience has been uniformily quite positive. Bought a 10 year old A36 in 1991 and had it maintained by Elliott, a large independent Beech dealer. Most expensive annual over four years was $1400. Bought a new 2000 B58 and most expensive annual was about $5K, but this included about $2200 of owner requested enhancements. The A36 and B58 are still hard to beat in terms of what you get for what you pay, IMHO. The fact that someone as worldly and discerning as yourself owns one of these instead of an "innovative, modern, plastic" airplane speaks volumes. Maybe you just need someone to teach you how to fly that thing!

gadfly said...

WhyTech

Careful, now . . . baron don’t mean no harm.

A long time associate in certain projects . . . a neurosurgeon (don’t hold that against the man . . . he couldn’t really help it . . . he “twitched” and drooled a lot) would often say, “Some dogs like Alpo, some don’t!” . . . words of wisdom.

gadfly

WhyTech said...

"Careful, now . . . baron don’t mean no harm. "

I know, but its such good fun to pull his chain!

airtaximan said...

baron,

where are you located, again? I may have some Phenom/Mustang owners in the Boston-ish area.

very nice, interesting folks, to boot.

baron95 said...

BDR is home field

gadfly said...

WhyTech

That’s almost the same correct answer at Moody Wood Dale Airport (Illinois) in “A&P” school on the test on “riveting” . . . How do you make them flush? . . . “Pull the chain!”

I aced it!

gadfly

(For anyone who might understand, I blame Bob Rich, the finest instructor ever, who flew B-17's in the "big war" for my answer! . . . God Bless him!)

baron95 said...

Anyone that has had their planes maintained at Three Wing Aviation at BDR knows that we have to pay 3x going rate.

It is the price of monopoly, plus convenience, plus never, ever since 1991 having to have them re-fix or re-diagnose something.

That is why they get jobs from as far away as South America - you'll be surprised at what was found in some of the fuselages ;)

P.S. Would love to learn how to fly anything ;)

But now it's time for car racing - after all the snow. Cheaper toys, more fun, same love ;)

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

Many thanks for the time we spent today in your shop. My wife and I enjoyed seeing what you have accomplished, and are equipped to do in the future. I encourage other bloggers to visit Gadfly in the Land of Enchantment...plus he serves a good cup of coffee.

airtaximan said...

Dave,

imagine the size of the barrel IF the AOGs buy the "assets"...

man, this is some of the most perverted business thinking I've ever seen.

- I am in a hole
- I need help getting out, and I am not willing to pay the going rate

What to do?
- I will make the hole a lot DEEPER

airtaximan said...

Baron,

my guys are at BED

gadfly said...

A long-long time ago, we visited an engine “rebuild shop” called, “Hartzog-Schneck” . . . seems it was in the “Quad City” area, in Illinois . . . time and memory fail me. (Hey, you “young bucks” . . . just wait until someone asks you details about something a half-century ago!)

What I remember is that their best “craftsmen” (in the finest sense of the word), were from Mexico . . . dedicated to be the best in their field . . . and “old timers” will remember the excellent reputation of “Hartzog-Schneck”, in re-building Lycoming and other “pancake”/ “boxer” four and six cylinder aircraft engines.

Some readers would question, “So what’s the point?” . . . and throughout the blog there is a thread . . . sometimes obvious because of its omission . . . but never the less, always present, even if silent. The basis of aircraft excellence comes down to a foundation of humans that will settle for nothing less than “excellence”, in everything they do . . . even if it is something so simple as “upsetting the tail on a rivet”. It doesn’t matter what you do, do it all as if your own life depends on the excellence of your own work. Then, there will be no further need for a “critics’ blog site”.

“Black Tulip” . . . the coffee comes in a sack at Costco . . . “Dunkin Donut’s” brand. Anything else is simply sharing experiences between folks that seek to be good friends.

Beyond that . . . doing something “right” is reward in itself, regardless of who gets credit. Thanks for the honor of your visit!

gadfly

The Real Frank Castle said...

Hey Kathy, found the Controller ad listing a FIKI FPJ, and am wondering the same thing.....

How can they advertise this ?

Isn't FIKI only in the hot schweaty dreams of Wedge ?

Or, did they get their FIKI from Sears also ?

The Real Frank Castle said...

Hey by the way, my "training" has been going pretty good....

There's not much diff between the two disciplines, and, shortly, I should be making your waterlines and highways safe and airworthy !

Oh. Maybe not airworthy.

P.S. Got an email from an old friend formerly of Indy, who tried to work for Spirit in Tulsa. Said he would kiss Uncle Jack's ring if he ever got back on there. Seems they have a habit of busting out HiLoks and just put some more in, just smear some sealer around it. Got a funny look when he mentioned that these were supposed to be close-tolerance fasteners. He walked after that.

bill e. goat said...

WT,
Thanks for the helicopter "schoolin" - I hope we can go through lesson two later this week (after I recover from the first:)

It was interesting to see how many interesting things have been going on in that arena of aviation- makes the fixed wing world look pretty staid, and , ah, "un-disruptive" by comparison !!

bill e. goat said...

Thoughts on things Chinese...

Our old friend Ken, tired of relentless piquing by the blog, sought asylum in China (no unkind comments about other "asylums" please :) Part of the deal was, he has to bring something back if he wants to stay- IP, TC, or both.

Discussion of late on the blog, it has occurred to me, that IF the Chinese acquired EAC, the owners would probably be even worse off, because things would be screwed up for years. (...Although, maybe not worse than if EAC had not gone BK, given the track record).

Then I thought, what IF the AOG/EOG does buy the IP and/or EAC facility. I figure they'd sell the EAC facility within months, but might "license" the IP to both a US concern (?Garmin?), as well as to the Chinese or Indians, to
reverse software engineer" things, and build enhancements upon that information, eventually (a couple of years down the road, but minor "bug fixes", which might ground the fleet, more quickly).

But, what if the FAA does pull TC. If Piper or some such wants to acquire the TC, things work out great for everyone. But. What if the Chinese want to acquire the TC? Pretty far fetched, in practice, but a troubling potentiality.

Given it costs probably $300M (to, oh, $3B in some cases:) to get a TC, it would seem a good business move for Cessna or Piper to buy the EAC, just to secure the TC (and force the Chinese, or Russians, or Indians) to spend $300M to compete, rather than just $30M to compete if the TC left the USA.

This afternoon, I drove past a long time Caterpillar service center. The building was closed- victim of the economy. A weathered sign read "$1000 off engine rebuilds", which prompted me to contemplate the relative cost of overhauling a Cat engine, versus a GA piston engine. Where is this going (one might often and correctly wonder)? It occurred to me that, GA engines are the PERFECT target for a developing nation with industrial capacity (foundries, machine shops, technical schools) to exploit. Dang things cost more than a Hyundai to overhaul, and would seem to be an attractive market. Plus, a practical first step towards "getting their feet wet" in learning the FAA cert process. (Even more so, considering they are building the Cessna 162).

Did I mention I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch today?

WhyTech said...

"I hope we can go through lesson two later this week"

If I give anymore helicopter lessons, I'll be thrown off the blog!

bill e. goat said...

Fred,
It is easy to find Chinese, Mexican, Italian, French, Indian, etc. restaurants.

But no Russian restaurants are to be found in my "neck of the woods" (for that matter, I don't think I've ever seen one). Yet, I've seen a lot of Russian folks running around here lately.

How come no Russian restaurants?

(Maybe for the same reason there are no British or German restaurants here ? :)

bill e. goat said...

WT,
No worries- I think you've been granted "tenure" status here!
:)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Real Frank,
(Boy, does THAT name fit !! :)
(Almost as well as mine !!! :)

It's nice to hear from you again!
Glad the other transportation activities are working out well- can you say roughly where you are at? Maybe the Great Lakes region, E or W or Gulf coast?

(Wondering if you'll be back in TLOE -The Land Of Enchantment-, or Indy, anytime soon?)

Thanks, and keep 'em flying.
And Rolling.
And floating.

-There is truth in the old observation, "those that move first, find the best alternatives".
-----------------------------------

I suspect Wedge staying around until the door hit his ass is proving the reciprocal hypothesis.

Bubba said...

Looks like tires aren't the only expensive problem on an E500. These damned things should be grounded by the FAA NOW!

http://customers.eclipseaviation.com/owner_talk/forum/index.php?topic=532.0;wap2

Kathy said...

Bubba, get a grip. Seriously. Landing lights and blowouts do not ground a plane. I assume your kidding.

fred said...

Billy :

British restaurant ?

with something that can be more or less called "food" ...inside ?

are you totally out of your brain ?

i remember when i was living in London , most colleagues thought i was nuts to simply cook ..., just a waste of time , they said , i was answering by "just a lack of taste !"

the 2 best dishes of Brits :

you take the best T-bone money can buy and boil it for a day or two, then eat it with mint sauce !

or

Fish&Chips : the only "food" i know of , where you can actually put something in your stomach (don't want to call that eating) and do 15 kilometers with your car (if diesel) by pressing the wrapping-paper in your car-tank ...! (off-course , i am slightly exaggerating ... Brits don't eat : they nourish their body !;-))

as for German and Russian :

you have ever been to a Weinstub ? it can be quite a good experience ... and a must in Germany : Wurst ( sausages ) many different types roasted or not ... all my youth ...!

Russian : quite close to German food , with 2 limitations :

due to communism and the lack of about anything it implies , i have wondered for a long time if SALT was not the BEST SPICE to be found in Russian cooking ... until i had the chance to eat "in family" which makes things a lot better ...

one thing i love in Russia : eating Caviar for breakfast , simply on bread with butter , but only if it is fresh one ...!! ;-)

Shane Price said...

Fred,

Agreed. A 'British restaurant' is the classical oxymoron. However, a side benefit of a 'multi cultural' United Kingdom is the impact on their kitchens. Don't rule out one or two of the more modern establishments, on the occasion of your next visit there.

Beluga is somewhat overrated in my opinion, although I agree that breakfast is the best time to enjoy it.

Have you ever tried a pint of Black Velvet with fresh Atlantic oysters? That will really set you up for the day.

For those of you lucky enough to have avoided the Galway Oyster Festival, held here annually since 1954, 'Black Velvet' is a mixture of vintage French champagne and fresh Irish Guinness.

Trust me, it's something NASA should investigate as a 'green' rocket fuel....

Shane
PS What exactly does this have to do with the FPJ?

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

relation to Fpj ?

none , i am afraid ...!

i was answering Billy the goat ... ;-)

bill e. goat said...

"What exactly does this (bad restaurants) have to do with the FPJ?"

Well, lots of gas for the first;
And lots of hot air for the later.

It stinks in both cases ?
:)

bill e. goat said...

?And leave a bad taste in your mouth?
:)

fred said...

Hot-air ? ...
hot-air ...

and if after all , you would be right Billy , if Fpj was only about Hot-Air-Balloon ...

at long last , you would have found why nothing is working as it should ...

;-))

Monsieur Shane , in Eire , do you eat oysters raw ? that is tempting !!!

Shane Price said...

Fred,

In Eire , do you eat oysters raw ? that is tempting !!!

Bien sur, mon ami.

We Paddies are incorrectly regarded as culinary savages.

It must come from our unfortunate geographical proximity to 'les Rosbifs'...

Shane

Dave said...

No mention of the Albany service center.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

you know I am a huge fan of Irish Lamb stew. So much so I ate some yesteday with a good pint of Guiness. I might even do it again today. That in my opinion is one of the best culinary things to come out of the UK.

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

i am delightfully surprised by your knowledge of some of our prejudicial ideas about our common neighbors ...;-)

you cannot be "sauvages" in your food tastes as raw oysters is the best way ...
cooked , if not absolutely perfectly done , it is like old chewing-gum to me !

you are tempting me on your beverage for Nasa (i wonder if they would know what to do with ?) even if i must admit that mixing those 2 ingredients will have you shot on spot in Champagne-Ardennes...

since i have some family producing Champagne , i could supply one of the 2 ....

fred said...

eclipseosmiv


Irish and UK in the same sentence ?

do you want to be stoned to death ? ;-)

fred said...

i am going to make a fool of myself
(old habits are difficult to kill !)

i am wondering what is the meaning of LLC ?

if anyone can spare a light ...

Shane Price said...

Fred,

LLC is the American equivalent of LTD.

Its short for 'Limited Liability Company', generally used by smaller outfits or those that choose not to offer stock for sale to the public.

In America they love to say 'incorporated' or 'INC' when I would say PLC (Public Limited Company)

Shane

Shane Price said...

EclipsepilotOMSIV,

It's the time of year for lamb stew, for sure. Just be certain it's lamb you're getting, not mutton.

Another good choice now is boiled bacon, served with fresh cabbage and nice clean boiled potatoes.

Yummy...

I actually had some really lovely fresh Atlantic cod, pan fried and served with carrots and french beans, for lunch Tuesday. If you are near the sea it's always worth checking out the local bars. They generally try harder, and charge less.

Unlike our favorite (ex) aircraft company, which charged, in advance, for not delivering what they promised.

Shane

airsafetyman said...

Dave,

Thanks for the link to the Albany news article. The article assumes that Brigadoon Aircraft Maintenance LLC in Chicago is a real company, It doesn't exist any more than Roel's Russian factory existed. Why would anyone spend 10 million dollars building FBO buildings and hangars when there are two former, almost brand new, empty hangars expressly built for servicing that make of aircraft which are available?

Shane Price said...

And just in case anyone thinks I've lost the plot, time for a few

SNIPPET(s)

1. Seems that Diamond have indeed let about 50 people go. Official reason is the delay in the DA-42 caused by the difficulties with those pesky Germans (Thielert).

2. It would appear that s/n 260 has indeed 'escaped' from ABQ. This is significant in that it's the first 'FIKI' bird to fly the nest. How official that will be, given that EAC didn't last long enough to complete all the forms for everyone, is a moot question.

OK, enough with the FPJ already. Back to our (much more interesting) culinary discussion.

I'd hate anyone to think that the Price household subsists on a diet of boiled potatoes. Last night, my son was kind enough to cook a very nice Thai 'green' curry, with prawns, and tonight we're having pork chops served with pineapple and rice.

I'm beginning to see an RoI from my eldest! Hopefully the other two turn out as well as he did....

Shane

Dave said...

Thanks for the link to the Albany news article. The article assumes that Brigadoon Aircraft Maintenance LLC in Chicago is a real company, It doesn't exist any more than Roel's Russian factory existed.

On one hand you have a contract with a non-existent company (Eclipse Jet/Brigadoon) and on the other hand you have a non-existent contract with a real company (EOG/HBC). All these different factions are only shooting themselves in the foot. Like with Jet Alliance doing a seperate side deal with the DayJet aircraft, that's got to suck financing away from EOG. Just with the money Jet Alliance is talking about for the DayJet aircraft, EOG could buy Eclipse assets, but JA would rather grow their own company over 500% where they can't even show they could support a nationwide fleet. With what JA is doing, it looks everyone loses - EOG can't afford to buy the assets and JA not having the ability to operate nationwide with a larger business. What is going to happen if you give JA $1M for a DayJet aircraft and then the Chinese buy Eclipse assets and don't want anything to do with the existing fleet? JA makes money even if they hurt the EOG's efforts to acquire the Eclipse assets while also putting these DayJet owners in a terrible financial position.

airtaximan said...

you might want to consider the definition of Brigadoon, before considering them for service:

"a place that is idyllic, unaffected by time, or remote from reality"

no joke

Deep Blue said...

Drillinghead has this one right; he said:

"What we have here is two parties fighting it out in the press over control of something neither one have any idea what to do with. Press has not and will not release any details of his plan. EOG will only discuss that they need 35M from the owners and if they get it they will buy the assets and then do something with them. No details. All they will say is that they have pissed away almost 900K they bullied everyone into puting into the legal fund. No results. Now they bring HBC into the picture. HBC is damn near BK also. Lost 125+ million last year. Own a beech product for a few years and you will know enough. Both groups are paper tigers playing a game of lets make a deal. In the mean time data update about to run out and looks like Mike M. is not able to come to the rescue this time. Now you have a jet with 675mi range in the mid 20's."

HB was sold for over 2 billion less than ask a few years back by Raytheon to a private equity group formed by a bunch of cherry ex-Bain consultants. Bad timing; bad products; management challenges. Raytheon had had enough and effectively dumped it.

Point?

This LOI means nothing; there is no working capital to first make the product whole, let alone service it. EAC needs Cash; lots of it, to have any chance of even going through a thorough clean up.

But the product is just simply a failure.

EAC owners would be well advised to trade into a Cessna or Embraer jet product (if they must have a jet), go fractional even or simply exit. If they want to fly a jet once in a while as a pilot, charter one with a PIC instructor.

The EAC 500 is a bust. The only thing of any potential value--and here even somewhat limited--is the PWC engines. The airframe is scrap. Literally.

No service agreement or service provisioning can change that. HB in this case if just showing its desperation, bad business judgment and otherwise on a likely slope of eventual extinction as a stand-alone OEM.

airtaximan said...

thanaks for confirming the situation at Diamond, as I suspected.

I'm told almost all the contractors were let go without any notice (normal) and the remaining level of effort on the Djet is cut in half again, or so.

The reason I'm posting this is just becasue it WILL cause a further delay.

Level of effort is cut by more than half, IMO.

airtaximan said...

deep blue,

yes... and I've said since a long time...

the ea50 is DOA.

It just amazes me, how the owners thing they were smarter than everyone jumping in first... and they continue to believe they are smarter than everyone regarding service, and they seem to belong to an underground cult of those who worship money-burning.

How many times to you need to fail before you realize the dumbest thing you can do is pay for something related to this DOA situation "up front"?

Deep Blue said...

ATM:

I think its just sunk cost fallacy; I sympathize with owners/depositors, but their energies, I think, would be so much better spent, in so many ways, by negotiating with another OEM to take them out of this failed airframe.

In that regard, it is interesting that HB is not evidently offering "trade ins" to the HB line. Now, that would be smart and gutsy of them; but I suspect they may not have the financial strength to bank the trade deals and realize the tax benefits from the E500 retirement losses, as HB is operating at a loss.

A real win for E500 customers would be a full "wrap" product exchange and service deal from a prime OEM; or if EJM/Netjets were interested, even a hybrid fractional trade-in with a "pilot" flying component for the owner/operator segment (i.e., you get 25 hours of flying/jet instruction time in say, a Citation or Hawker 400 with a PIC instructor, for certain trips; (insurance etc all notwithstanding).

Of course, even Berkshire is crying and just got downgraded yesterday; Netjets may be coming into some structural difficulties, but that's another story.

airtaximan said...

Netjets may be coming into some structural difficulties, but that's another story.


explain, pls.


on the other points, I see no possibility of a trade in value for the ea50.

michal said...

"thanks for confirming the situation at Diamond, as I suspected"

Sorry but I see little significance of this piece of news. Percentage wise their cuts are in line with the cuts at Cessna or Piper and apparently have nothing to do with their D-jet but rather with a very soft market for their flagship product - DA40.

airtaximan said...

m:

when you hear a year delay announced, yu'll remember this post... that's all. It's as significant as Cessna delaying the Columbus... no more, no les... just another VLJ-ish plane delay.

Shane Price said...

Updated Snippet

Seems I was wrong (again) in my earlier assertion that s/n 260 was the first 'FIKI' bird.

It would now appear that it wasn't. The following hit the inbox (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) in the past hour:-

266 and 267 are the only two birds, on which it was attempted "many many times" to use the coated windshields, which was never
successfully completed. 266 is the block change sn for Garmin/FIKI.


Hmmm....

Does this indicate that FIKI is a greater challenge that we've previously been led (by the Faithful) to believe?

I suspect there may be other issues 'lurking' underneath the surface, waiting to surprise the unwary.

Especially those who may hail from the Peoples Republic....

Shane

Shane Price said...

Roel has money, again, Snippet

I'm pretty sure this is all a 'cock and bull story' myself, but it seems the our Favorite Fantasist, Roel Peiper, has been putting it about that he's sourced monies which he's happy to invest in a revival of Eclipse:-

1. The Turks are giving him $125 million.

2. Sorry, no, it's the Spanish, who've discovered $75 million they urgently need to lose.

3. Hot dang, I got it mixed up, it's the Russians who've turned up with their 'original' $205 million.

You just don't know what to believe these days, do you?

Shane

michal said...

Cessna delaying the Columbus... no more, no les... just another VLJ-ish plane delay.

I am pleased to see you switch to a more adequate wording. No more carnage at Diamond.

gadfly said...

Shane

Oh my dear Irish friend. It’s time you take a rest . . . maybe in “Glasgow” or “Edinburg” . . . those Scots aren’t all that bad, really! And then, when you can no longer stomach “haggis”*, you can come back to your gentle green isle . . . and you’ll feel much better.

You see, my little Irish friend, you have forgotten the basic truth that no where, no how, will the little bird from the “colonies” ever rise again. (Now, had it begun in “Phoenix”, Arizona . . . that’s a bird of a different color.)

Maybe, for the sake of your sanity, you should “borrow” one of the only “slightly used Eclipseseses”, stand it up in a corner of a very tall Irish pub, and have a genuine “wake”. Everyone could shed tears, drink that stuff . . . “Guiness?” . . . whatever . . . maybe some Irish whiskey . . . whatever it takes . . . and lay the bird to rest.

“. . . It is not pining, it has passed its sell-by date... this amateur joker is no more. It has lost. It has ceased to be a credible political force. It has expired and gone to meet its Careers Adviser. This is a late patriot. It is totally stiff. Bereft of hope. R.I.P. - it rests in puce. If you hadn't nailed it to the bar, it would be pushing up the optics. It has run down the country and joined the black economy. It has absolutely no proper purpose, it is no use, it is without any nous! A goon! A ruin! A wooden puppet! A stupid dummy! It is a total wrong'un! This is an ex-next Prime Minister!”

It’s as if the script had been written long before the first desperate “fly-around” in the airspace over the city by the Rio Grande.

gadfly

*Hey, . . . that’s a real “funny” . . . “stomach” . . . “haggis” . . . the rest of you can “look it up”.

H.M.E said...

EA500 fiki: see ea500s post

D-Jet delayed for one year: see Flightglobal article

Not to be out done, Cirrus SF50 delayed even further: see Flightglobal other article

Something tells me that both companies had a sip from wedge cool aid.

By the time they have certified the jets and tooled for production, they may spend ~100 million each.
I bet they rather didn't start either of those projects.

============
@fred: I gather you aren't fond of our cuisine.
Allow me to recommend something different: ctm.

Dave said...

1. The Turks are giving him $125 million.
2. Sorry, no, it's the Spanish, who've discovered $75 million they urgently need to lose.
3. Hot dang, I got it mixed up, it's the Russians who've turned up with their 'original' $205 million.
You just don't know what to believe these days, do you?


Per my recollection #2 and #3 were both a part of the original RoelJet offer. If think #1 is new. This should be good news for Mann if Roel is claiming to not only have $10M but to actually have at least $75M. Does this mean that Roel has left McRoeljet to go back to the original RoelJet or does Roel not know what he is doing?

gadfly said...

"Spanish? . . . Russian? . . . Turkey?" For years, since before the "FAX" machine, we heard it was someone in Nigeria!

gadfly

(Shucks . . . all those foreign stamps might have been worth a fortune . . . we should have saved them! At least, we could have recycled them, and saved the planet.)

Dave said...

After Cornering the Alphabet Soup Market, Eclipse Jet Will Sell Refurb Aircraft for $1.9M. So is it with all of Mann's money that is going to pay to purchase and refurb these aircraft? The Eclipse owners and depositors of all people should recognize how damaging it is to use OPM against their will. If Roel has all these tens of millions for Eclipse Jet, he can payback Mann.

gadfly said...

Let’s see . . . refurbish an unfinished bird to the incomplete status that it left the original factory? That deserves at least some deep thought. OK, now that I’ve thought about it, this sounds about as sound as the original offer . . . only with a lower expectation of achieving the original plan, which it never achieved, but was promised when the original factory had refurbished it.

Boy! . . . that’s certainly clear enough!

gadfly

(It’s amazing how clear things can be, when they are clearly explained, based on clear promises, and a track record of clear transparency. Did I make that clear?)

(Can I get that in writing?)

Dave said...

Let’s see . . . refurbish an unfinished bird to the incomplete status that it left the original factory?

Actually what they are talking about doing is putting in all upgrades that were supposed to be in there in the first place (FIKI and NG). It sounds like they estimate the cost of putting in the uprgrades to be around $250K, but essentially they are going to charge $650K for the upgrades to the person who buys the upgraded aircraft, but what is a 250% mark-up between friends? Then again these guys are doing the books, so they can do this like film industry accounting so that the ex-owners don't see a dime of the mark-up.

airtaximan said...

"Meanwhile, Diamond's other big project - the single-engined D-Jet "personal light jet", for which Diamond has more than 600 orders and will be built in Canada at its London, Ontario factory - again saw its certification move to the right. A decision to swap the existing Williams FJ33-15 engine for the uprated -5A version selected by rival Cirrus for its Vision SJ50 and changes to the de-icing system have pushed the likely start of production to the first half of next year."

as predicted... and this delay will be longer than admitted IMO.

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

Are the “critics” picking on the owners of Eclipse 500's? No, we are not. We think you were naive, and deceived . . . the true nature of Eclipse was obvious to early observers, with a basic knowledge of aircraft and business ethics, but we are not “picking” on you, per se!

But from the standpoint of an industry that for the most part has been careful to maintain a certain amount of integrity, we (many of us) are attempting to protect our industry from further erosion.

The discussion seems to center mostly on the financial aspects, yet the technical aspects provide the foundation, without which there is no financial advantage.

At this point in the game, it no longer matters which is more important. “Honesty” may trump everything else . . . I would argue in favor of that. But for whatever reason, the little bird is dead . . . regardless of all efforts to resurrect it. The “phoenix” is a myth . . . it will not rise from the ashes.

The critics will continue to share comments, this way and that . . . simply because the inertia created by years of emotion cannot be simply brought to an instant stop. But whether instantly, or over time, these matters are over . . . the bird is dead.

If you only knew . . . the design was never complete! All good aircraft of the past had room to grow, to improve, to expand. And the little bird was locked into a dead end, from “day one”. The only direction it could change was downward . . . in a graveyard dive . . . heavier, and less able to deal with change. Everything it did was a band-aid fix . . . never an improvement. P&W engines do not count . . . they were also a band-aid fix . . . excellent in themselves, but not part of a logical improvement, within the bounds of the original design.

Need examples? The friction stir welding never met promises. Fixes such as “chem milling” actually destroyed the very thing needed, as the plane “gained weight”, needing greater integrity and strength, not less. Wing tip tanks? . . . you figure it out. “Add-on” sheet metal to reduce drag? . . . again, a band-aid (Take a look at the Convair 880 and 990's . . . in 1970 dollars, $250 million was talking more than pocket change . . . remember the “speed pods” on the wings?).

What’s the old saying about those who don’t know history are sentenced to repeat it? . . . or something to that effect.

Will airplane drivers and owners of the future ever bother to understand the technical basics? . . . probably not. But for the moment, this is the present battle . . . and only future aircraft manufacturers can battle future fiascos. For the moment, we seem to have won this one. The dust is beginning to settle . . . some people need to be “put away” for fraud, and other outright crimes . . . but at least the sky will not be darkened with “lawn darts” carrying innocent passengers. Maybe that’s enough for a day’s work.

gadfly

(They say the easiest person to “cheat” is a “cheater” . . . I’ll not push that too far, but a person that is easily cheated, seems to have a “death wish”, as it were, to be cheated. They wish to hear things that they really know are not true, but if it makes them “feel good”, they’ll believe it. And for those folks, there is little hope!)

airsafetyman said...

"In addition, the aegis of the OEM is vital to upgrading and refurbishing aircraft because Eclipse Jet LP, as the new factory owner, would have the FAA-endorsed quality assurance program needed to sign off on certified upgrade components, including parts needed for Flight Into Known Icing approval."

This quote from the Aviation Week article does not make a bit of sense to me. The new owners, whoever they may be, are purchasing the Type Certificate; the TC is not a Production Certificate and the TC is not a Repair Station certificate. The new owners will not be able to manufacture aircraft without the FAA signing off on each one and they will not be able to do major modifications unless they can find someone to complete a Form 337 and have the FAA sign off on that also. Good luck with that. Basically four or five idiots with a TC comes down to four or five idiots with a TC.

airtaximan said...

its been a long time since I commented on Mr. Gad's comments.. but I must say -

the last post was the once and for all cherry on top of the cake, so to speak.

Bravo - this really illustrated the issues, problems, roots, and psychology of the situation.

If you do not see this - re-read.. and re-read... and re-read.

thanks

Dave said...

But for whatever reason, the little bird is dead...

Roel says it is pinning for the fjords of the Ukraine.

As a bonus here's something pre-BK showing Roel trying to push franchises on naive foreign governments. I guess this would be Albaniaclipse. So gosh, I guess that puts Roel's factories in Russia, Ukraine, US and Albania because there's demand for a 1000+ units per year! You'd think owners wouldn't want to touch Roel with a ten foot pole even if he didn't owe $10M, but I guess certain people don't recognize a "toxic asset" when they see one.

Shane Price said...

Gad,

I'm beginning to appreciate that your 'real' job is to attract intelligent, well heeled aviation enthusiasts to Albuquerque, where you ply them with excellent coffee and the benefit of your experiences.

And who cares if the details are a bit vague after five decades?

Have little care for your favorite Irishman. I'm enjoying both this activity and several others over our holiday weekend.

And I'm also happy to report that we are all in for a special treat in the coming days.

What is this 'special treat' you ask?

Well, like Santa Claus, I'd spoil the surprise if I told you....

Shane

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Gad,

You are insulting man. Excuse some customers for believing in something. 1) NOT EVERYONE KNEW OF THIS BLOG AND ALL OF ITS "INFINITE WISDOM". I personally didn't hear about it until it was mentioned in some off hand article about being sued. 2) SOME PEOPLE THAT BOUGHT THE PLANES WEREN'T INVOLVED IN THE AVIATION BUSINESS AT THE TIME. Your comment is simply pouring salt in some open wounds. Calling the purchasers of this aircraft naive, and then going on to the "easiest people to cheat are cheaters." That is unfair and uncalled for. You know what you have been around aviation for a while. Probably learned some stuff along the way. BUT WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO JUDGE LIKE THAT. You know if someone is a plain asshole then fine, do it all you want. HOWEVER THERE WERE INNOCENTS IN THIS DEAL.

Another thing big man, some people stand to lose their ass on this whole thing, you sitting there saying "You're screwed, no chance in hell," what gives man? You know maybe your right, maybe we're all screwed. But maybe not. But rub it in some more peoples faces. PLEASE.

I pray you in your old age don't make a bad decision regarding anything, and then have people tell you what an idiot you are for taking a chance. And God forbid you actually enjoy the thing you took a chance on. Then you would be a real douche.

Dave said...

You are insulting man. Excuse some customers for believing in something. 1) NOT EVERYONE KNEW OF THIS BLOG AND ALL OF ITS "INFINITE WISDOM". I personally didn't hear about it until it was mentioned in some off hand article about being sued. 2) SOME PEOPLE THAT BOUGHT THE PLANES WEREN'T INVOLVED IN THE AVIATION BUSINESS AT THE TIME. Your comment is simply pouring salt in some open wounds. Calling the purchasers of this aircraft naive, and then going on to the "easiest people to cheat are cheaters." That is unfair and uncalled for. You know what you have been around aviation for a while. Probably learned some stuff along the way. BUT WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO JUDGE LIKE THAT. You know if someone is a plain asshole then fine, do it all you want. HOWEVER THERE WERE INNOCENTS IN THIS DEAL.

I do agree with you to a large extent because the public perception of Eclipse was totally different for a long time and the blog was both relatively unknown as well as being in the minority. I do think it is Eclipse who is guilty for many of the things as Eclipse for instance went out of their way to attract financing from those unfamiliar with aviation and did any number of things. I think some buyers did not do enough due diligence (I think that was a big problem) as they should have, but that even that was so, it isn't a character issue. The vast majority of the blame is on Eclipse and anything that remotely touches on blaming the victim is misdirected. I think that many millions of dollars were lost by those who didn't deserve it. I think that certain owners deserve criticism, but not Eclipse owners as a class.

michal said...

P&W apparently went to EAC with an army of bookkeeprs to study books and business model before deciding on getting aboard as major supplier so even if their 'due diligence' did not do them any good it should be no surprise that your average GA pilot got duped as well. We should be more sensitive to the owners, I hardly made right decisions about my finances in the last 5 yrs, would not like to become an object of ridicule myself.

Beedriver said...

Those early customers that bought the EA500 are early adopters. they buy a dream. they buy the future. if they guess right they eventually have a neat gadget. even if it is not fully completed they still get a charge out of helping complete it.
if they guess right then they will buy the first cell phones and we will eventually all have cell phones. they Will then get the thrill of being first. or they buy Compac computers and they need to buy another brand eventually to actually get one to work.

Vern had a vision, unfortunately the early adopters that bought into it did not pick the right product. however Vern helped pave the way for Cirrus or diamond or some other company to build a fully functional single engine or twin engine personal jet

I watched this happen over and over in the computer industry and in the laser industry.

in 1976 I built 23 large sail plotters for a little sailmaker called North Sails. At that time we used a small computer from a company in Minneapolis. it did the job but that company did not make it. at that time I was told there were 250 companies like them including Apple. some how Apple was lucky and also did things right. the people that bet on apple were right the rest of the people helped drive the market forward but they lost their money and eventually had to buy an IBM or Apple.

So we should not blame the early adopters we should thank them for putting their money in an idea and helping move the market ahead.

gadfly said...

EP

You have chosen to misunderstand my comments . . . but I’ll not attempt to explain.

As far as losing money, I have lost my share, often taking folks at their word (the first time) due to my own naivety. But it is best when purchasing equipment . . . be it aircraft or a major machine, to first “do your homework”, and if you don’t understand a technology, first find disinterested parties that you can trust, and get expert advice. When I have made major mistakes, they have cost me major (for me) amounts of money, and I only blame myself. (For many folks, a 1/4 million or more may not mean much, but for me, two or three of those begin to add up.)

That said, I choose to let my earlier comments stand. And if you choose to “quote me”, please keep it accurate. Some words I do not keep in my vocabulary.

gadfly

Dave said...

When I have made major mistakes, they have cost me major (for me) amounts of money, and I only blame myself. (For many folks, a 1/4 million or more may not mean much, but for me, two or three of those begin to add up.)

That's right - it's not because there's something wrong with you mentally. There's a big difference between someone making the mistkae of not doing proper due diligence versus someone who wants to be lied to. You losing 1/4 million isn't proof you aren't right in the head, so you shouldn't say that others aren't right in the head because they lost money.

gadfly said...

Well, Dave

Let me apologize to those that found my comments offensive . . . that was never my intent.

In watching the "goings on" within and without the little bird factory, I believe we have observed 'just about every type of misunderstanding, ignorance, and downright corruption known to the industry, from the innocent victims, to those who used others for their own selfish gains. No one group is all of one or the other.

In the end, some of us wish to "learn" from what we have observed, and hopefully not allow a repeat performance, for the sake of the general aviation industry, and all those involved.

'Too many words, here, attempting to get the discussion back to better things.

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

"if you choose to “quote me”, please keep it accurate. Some words I do not keep in my vocabulary."

Class Act, Gad.
-----------------------------------

EPx,
I agree with most of what you said, but not with how you said it, which unfortunately detracted from your proposition. And left more of an impression than the thoughts you intended to convey. Regrettable, because it didn't have to be that way.

Deep Blue said...

Michal said:

"P&W apparently went to EAC with an army of bookkeepers to study books and business model before deciding on getting aboard as major supplier."

That's true to some extent, but PWC also really took on the crusade for the "air taxi" model as well and made dozens of formal presentations in the industry about its viability.

PWC was very interested in the air taxi potential because it promised large fleet/engine concentration with high utilization and therefore very attractive volume and after-market service opportunities, not unlike the airline industry.

PWC's very visible and explicit support certainly added enormous credibility to the EAC story and also likely gave individual buyers a lot of confidence, which it otherwise should have.

While air taxi has been much debated here, it is helpful to keep in mind just how much that particular aspect of the EAC story was driving the PR machine, investor/supplier interest and interest/enthusiasm within the GA/buyer community as well.

And DayJet seems to have very quietly faded into the sunset...Ed Ioccobucci seems to be in hiding.

Dave said...

While air taxi has been much debated here, it is helpful to keep in mind just how much that particular aspect of the EAC story was driving the PR machine, investor/supplier interest and interest/enthusiasm within the GA/buyer community as well.

I think a big problem was also the FAA itself on more than one front. Aside from how the FAA handled the TC/PC, the FAA also touted big numbers for air taxis because it was in their self-interest to do so as the number of aircraft under the FAAs authority plays a role in congressional budgeting. However, publicly (and to people who don't know about the self-interest involved and just see the credibility from a government agency) it looks like the FAA is supporting what Eclipse was saying. The FAA also did publicly endorse (rather than just authorize) Eclipse with the very public handing over of the PC.

jet_fumes said...

Beedriver said : "Vern helped pave the way for Cirrus or diamond or some other company to build a fully functional single engine or twin engine personal jet".

Quite the opposite actually.

Stir friction welding? Avio? Making a small fortune in aviation?

The Garmin 1000 existence has nothing to do with Eclipse and the Williams FJ33 powering both the SF50 and the D-JET had been in development before Eclipse even existed. Structures, propulsion, avionics? Eclipse has nothing to do with.

Eclipse did not prove the market existed either, all it did was muddy the waters with an unsustainable business model.

Eclipse had great potential but in the end, they brought nothing but trouble.

Deep Blue said...

Dave said:

"I think a big problem was also the FAA itself on more than one front."

Good reminder, Dave. The FAA did indeed take extraordinary measures to tout this airplane and Blakey was there front and center in the photo-op for the Collier Trophy.

When you add all of these very influential parties pushing the project (along with the marquee board from major industrial corporations) could buyers have anything but glowing confidence in their decision?

In this regard, the EAC story looks more like a government-industrial failure than merely a failed venture.

Turboprop_pilot said...

Deep Blue:

Kinda like GM/Chrysler/Government pushing a profit eating (cash burning?) Volt that is not in any way market driven?

ex Turboprop_pilot

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Basically four or five idiots with a TC comes down to four or five idiots with a TC.

Classic line.

Hey, someone serve the owners some cheese to go with their "we're not naive" whine!

What kind of stupidity is it to lay down the 10% deposit on a million dollar toy from a start-up without an escrow?

How dumb to lay down the 60% (also without escrow) for "delivery in six months" based of fantasy delivery rates.

How about ignoring refund events.

What moron takes delivery of a half finished plane? In our industry, delivery is the event where the buyer has the seller by the short and curlies.

We are all human and have all dumb things. The difference is taking responsibility for your actions.

Read Gads Post.

When I have made major mistakes, they have cost me major (for me) amounts of money, and I only blame myself.

You don't see the Gadfly whining about being an innocent victim.

Read Kens classic stupidity post to Col Press on the E5C site, begging the Colonel for arguments to convince his wife that buying a low serial number is a good idea.

You may not like what we critics have been trying to tell you, but the basic line has been right since Stan's first post. This all sounds too good to be true.

airtaximan said...

PW did their due diligence, and they made some basic decisions.

Were they wrong?
Did they get screwed?

I am not sure.

They charged a lot more per engine, than say WI... so perhaps they figured that EAC was a $2M plus jet at say 200 planes a year...

And they priced the engines this way.

Sure looks that way to me.

- then again, looks like UT financed Dayjet's planes for them -which indicates total insanity.

Finally, FWIW: I usually take a good hard look at myself, when I feel like somone has insulted me. If I feel really insulted, they are probably right. Otherwise, I just don't care.

For example: if someone said Gad knows nothing about aviation - I am sure he wouldn't care. I am also prety sure he meant no insult. The descriptions might be a little harsh - but...

RAD3 said...

Eclipse early adopters are not the only OEM customers who are happy...no EAGER to take delivery of incomplete aircraft. From what I've read at www.jetbrief.com Phenom 100s are being delivered without TCAS. It's supposed to be available later this summer. It seems to me that an owner would want that feature in a $3.X mill factory fresh jet but apparently they are so excited to get the plane that they are overlooking the absence of TCAS! To be fair to Embraer it looks like the TCAS cost is not included in these delivery contracts so owners are NOT paying up front for something not delivered as was the case with Eclipse.

Ray

airtaximan said...

When you add all of these very influential parties pushing the project (along with the marquee board from major industrial corporations) could buyers have anything but glowing confidence in their decision?
None of what you are pointing to, matters - its window dressing... designed to make somoen concentrate on the wrong thing, and distract from the real issues:

basically, any critical thinking on the real issues would have resulted in deciding:
1- why do they need my deposit money out of escrow so far in advance of building my plane? Why would they need it for any reason other than to buy parts for my plane? THIS IS A BIG RED FLAG -

2- any refund event was a flare - after they flew with WI engines, took your money and then provided the refund event, you should have concluded they knew so little about what they were doing, they screwed the pooch on the engine, AND/OR they are crooks for demanding the out of escrow deposit based on a failed engine.

3- touting Nimbus as an air taxi company: c'mon. High rate low cost based on an online auction site and perfume penny stock promoter? HELLO?

I personally think the owners do not recognize risk for what it is, do not see warning signs for what they are. I know they are not all the same, but it has always amazed me how some of them NEVER acknowledge even 1 risk.

airtaximan said...

RAD3:

Embraer's agreements make it really difficult to walk away from delivery.

And, its Embraer, not some computer-guy-start-up.

airtaximan said...

DB,

I would love to see a PW air taxi presentation... any clue where?

BTW, where were these given?

THX

WhyTech said...

"Embraer's agreements make it really difficult to walk away from delivery."

No one held a gun to any buyers head to force him to sign such an agreement.

airtaximan said...

I know of at least 2 people who had guns to their heads...

you are correct, BUT... they were hooked.

Dave said...

No one held a gun to any buyers head to force him to sign such an agreement.

But doesn't Luca Brasi work there?

WhyTech said...

"I know of at least 2 people who had guns to their heads..."

Yes, but for entirely different reasons. No doubt, by an irate husband.

Dump said...

With apologies to Black Tulip:

EclipseJot, LLC Announces Patented FSW Technique

Today in Albuquerque, NM EclipseJot, LLC announced that they have been awarded a patent on a disruptive new technique for creating press releases, contracts and even patent applications called Fiction Spin Writing or FSW. In keeping with EclipseJot policy, the patent itself is secret. One of the principals (not the CEO) of EclipseJot, Mostly Hollow, said “While we were studying the history of Eclipse Aviation’s press releases, we thought we saw a pattern. We found some unemployed ant farmer mathematicians and set them to work on it and they cracked the code.” Another one of the principals (not the CEO), Kernel Puff, said “It used to be a lot of work, puffing up Eclipse planes so I could make a commission trading on worthless positions. Now with FSW I can create a press release or forum post in seconds, without the need for any facts at all.” A third principal of EclipseJot (also not the CEO), Rule Pimper, said “I used a prototype of FSW to generate a bunch of legal documents. Despite the fact that my signature appeared 423 times in those documents they actually had no value whatsoever to anyone! Normally it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to create all that worthless paper, but with FSW I was able to create it all in less time than it took to sign it! And so far no one has arrested me at the airport.” The forth EclipseJot principal, Wrong Secreto (not the CEO, we hope), said “I wish I had had this when I was helping Safire go into oblivion. With FSW I could have created a much more spectacular failure. Using FSW on the Eclipse corpse will let us incinerate tens, if not hundreds of millions of more dollars than Safire ever did it its final days!” The remaining principal (not the CEO, either) of EclipseJot refused to be quoted or named but could be heard muttering about how many press releases, business plans, airplane purchase contracts and glossy brochures he could now produce without the need for any real facts or other inconvenient commitments. “I’m rich! I’m rich!” he was not quoted as saying.

gadfly said...

Dumpster

Don't quit your day job, but keep at it. . . You show promise!

gadfly

(Is your first name Dempster?)

gadfly said...

Dumpster

‘One other note: As far as I could determine, your rhetoric used proper English, accurate spelling, and good structure. If you expect to “publish”, you’ll need to mess it up a bit!

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Welcome Dump, what a fantastic piece of satire, outstanding job.

ASM, your comment about the release and discussion of the OEM Aegis is spot on, these EclipseJet guys clearly have zero comprehension of what they might be buying.

They will need to establish a new quality system and get it approved, they will need to establish a new PC and get it approved - even borrowing from the previous systems (and we all know how well those apparently worked out) this is a significant effort. Add in the difficulties of the previous operation and it will be harder, not easier.

They will be rebuilding a damaged brand at a cost of tens of millions per quarter after 'winning' the auction.

The battling press releases are self-defeating, this only drives up the perceived value of the assets in the minds of the note holders and ensures that the Chinese will likely be the ones to walk away with the assets by bidding $2 more than than the EOG or EclipseJet can muster.

As I keep saying, what is needed is a comprehensive plan to separate the owners from the IP, to provide alternatives. A month is already gone, a month where vendors could be contacted to encourage PMA activities instead of discourage it - a month to identify common problems and begin to develop fixes - a month to locate the owners who are ready to let go of their planes into a spares pool to get needed parts to current AOG planes - a month to determine a way forward for the various needs.

A month wasted, more than $1M wasted, press releases wasted, opportunity wasted.

Sooner or later it will be time to get down to business.

michal said...

From what I've read Phenom 100s are being delivered without TCAS.

Per regulations Phenom belongs to class of aircraft that is not required to be TCAS equipped. Also G1000 comes with (optional) TIS which displays traffic around you. If I were a happy Phenom owner TCAS would be the last thing on my mind ...

WhyTech said...

"If I were a happy Phenom owner TCAS would be the last thing on my mind ..."

You wouldnt say this if you had experience flying at jet speeds in busy approach airspace trying to spot traffic through typically small (or blocked by structure) jet cockpit windows. I am currently using TIS in a helicopter (slow and lost of glass area) and it works reasonably well in some cases, but its not TCAS.

Dave said...

ASM, your comment about the release and discussion of the OEM Aegis is spot on, these EclipseJet guys clearly have zero comprehension of what they might be buying.

You mean Roel doesn't comprehend the company that he was Chairman and CEO of? I'm shocked...SHOCKED! An idiot and a thief - what a great combination!

gadfly said...

Dave

The subtle nuances of word meanings are most important. You are “shocked” . . . and I’m right there with you, turning the pages. And here to illustrate is politically incorrect story:

The man experienced a flat tire, along the fence of a mental hospital. He stopped, jacked up the car, took off the flat tire (placing the “lug nuts” in the hub cap) . . . and proceeded to put the spare in place. No sooner had he got the first of five lug-nuts in place, . . . a passing car hit the hubcap . . . flipping the other “four” far into the distance. The man was about to give up, but a “patient” over the fence, who had been watching him all this time, finally spoke: “Why don’t you take one lug-nut each, of the three other wheels . . . attach your spare . . . and that will get you home.” The driver says, “Hey, aren’t you crazy?” The patient replies, “Yeh, I’m crazy . . . but I’m not stupid!”

Well, amongst us who love flying, we are, indeed, crazy . . . but that doesn’t make us stupid. It might be a “fine line”, but like Mason told Dixon, “You have to draw the line somewhere!”

But “idiot and thief”? . . . that’s a bridge too far!

gadfly

Black Tulip said...

Dump,

Excellent work. We need to keep the level of satire and parody high here as the truth would just bring some to tears.

gadfly said...

Dumpster

Now you have it from the master, himself. At the next meeting of satire writers, you just might be nominated to the hall of flame . . . er, fame!

gadfly

(Where's that can of "Phostrex" when you need it?!)

Dave said...

But “idiot and thief”? . . . that’s a bridge too far!

Operation Market Garden?

gadfly said...

Dave

You had me there . . . for a minute or two. September 17, 1944, I was just a “wee lad”, not quite seven years old . . . so forgive me if my memory tends to be a bit fuzzy. But it had something to do with nut-case Englishmen (not to be confused with “mad dogs”) that jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, over the Netherlands . . . something about a bridge . . . etc., etc.

You know the facts. The present generation thinks that “Market Garden” has something to do with organic vegetables, grown by the “burned out” flower children (now gone to “seed”) of the “sixties” and are attempting to put gas filters on the south-end of north-facing cows and termites, to keep floating diving platforms for the “polar bears”, and New York from going under water. (It needs further explanation, but “condensed” it comes down to something like that . . . in other words, an “Al Gore Rhythm”.)

gadfly

(At one time, “Uncle Adolf” seemed far out. He was! . . . and he was truly evil . . . but by comparison, we’ve elected someone even “further out”.)

gadfly said...

Hey . . . I know you're out there . . . I can hear you breathing!

gadfly

(What was it I said?)

Dave said...

You had me there . . . for a minute or two. September 17, 1944, I was just a “wee lad”, not quite seven years old . . . so forgive me if my memory tends to be a bit fuzzy. But it had something to do with nut-case Englishmen (not to be confused with “mad dogs”) that jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, over the Netherlands . . . something about a bridge . . . etc., etc.

The movie about it was called A Bridge Too Far.

airtaximan said...

Gad,
thanks for going easy on me - I thought it was borderline... and I know your joke too... but mine:

illustrates that sometimes things feel really good, eventhough they are not really what they appear to be - this is a BIG deal for the owners who say they LOVE the plane.

also, good marketing sometimes overcomes some hidden problems inherent in what is being sold, through distraction...

I just can't imagine the "innocence" argument for those who failed to ask the right questions, failed to investigate further, and failed (most likely) to listen to their inner voice or someone's enlightened opinion.

Ask questions, and be critical, or you will end up shafted.

The moral.. I guess.

Did you laugh?

Shadow said...

Gad,

Are you comparing Adolf Hitler to Obama?? If so, you've officially completely lost it, as well as my respect.

gadfly said...

Taximan

You have no idea how much I wish to be “your friend”, and even the friend of the others with whom I may firmly disagree. Sure I laugh at your humor . . . with you, not “at you”.

In my life time, I have experienced each and everything I set out to do, at age “five”. I wanted to be a “machinist”, an “inventor”, a “pilot”, a sailor on a submarine, . . . and a father and grandfather. I’ve done it all . . . and much more. But above all that, I wish to be a servant of my God and Savior . . . and be a friend to each and every person with whom I contact, and to introduce them to the “One” who makes my life worthwhile. What does it matter what anyone says about me . . . truth be known, they’re probably more right than wrong. But who cares.

“Did you laugh?” . . . one look in the mirror in the morning . . . how could I not laugh? God has an excellent sense of humor! . . . but He loves me, anyway!

But the subject was “Eclipse”, and we don’t want to lose our focus. So let’s look “Eclipse” for a moment or two:

Why does Eclipse exist? . . . that’s a good question! No body asked it to “exist”. So why? . . . Ego? . . . Profits? . . . an altruistic motive to promote and expand aviation? I have my own opinions . . . you have yours . . . who is right? . . . and what does it really matter?

And now that the bird is dead (some will argue that point, but there’s no “pulse”), what now? Many folks have been seriously hurt . . . hundreds, maybe thousands . . . hopefully, they will count it as the cost of education . . . some will use it as an “excuse” . . . whatever!

What about the politics? We have some elected officials . . . they’ll “get off” for a time, but these things are like a bulldog . . . they get a grip on a person, and never let go. A governor, a mayor, others . . . will learn all too soon about a “bulldog’s” bite.

Well, if I continue, I’ll have to ask the “ushers” to come forward, to take up the offering . . . and we don’t want that, for sure.

gadfly

(There’s an old Hebrew term . . . you’ll find it in the Bible, in the “Psalms” . . . and translators have struggled over it for centuries: “Selah” . . . the best translation seem to be, “Pause, and think about it”. So, “Selah!”)

(Post Script to "Shadow": Study the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin . . . pay close attention to "Engels" . . . and you be the judge.)

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