Friday, June 12, 2009

A few lessons learned

As I move from custodian of this blog back to an interested observer of VLJ's, I thought I'd put together a short essay highlighting what I've learned. Where appropriate I'd included comments from others and of course provided links to other web sites. There were many 'themes' on the blog during the past 18 months, which I'll try to interweave with my own opinions. So, with that short introduction, here goes...

Many people, myself included, were attracted by the siren call of a very light jet. The concept seem to offer a beguiling combination of speed, low cost of ownership and ability to get into may fields a larger aircraft would have problems with. In the 'age of Google' it's very easy to research almost any subject with a few mouse clicks, so pretty quickly I found myself orbiting the Eclipse Aviation web site, and associated stories. One caught my attention. It was of course, the original critic site, run by Stan Blankenship. Read his first headline post, which made many correct observations/predictions.

In April, 2006....

From the middle of 2007, I started to participate, having been a reader for many months. Stan 'kept house' with regular headline posts and his own comments, and a range of fascinating individuals (and Ken Meyer) kept the pot stirring. For reasons already explained by Stan, he decided in early 2008 to pull up his own drawbridge. Yours truly stepped up with 'this' blog, and we had a very 'clubby' atmosphere, which still managed to keep a critical view of the peculiar behavior in ABQ. One of the very first comments, from Gadfly, summed up what the blog was about during early 2008:-

"Put on the kettle, and this will seem like home in no time."

We also covered the 'Russian' factory, various suppliers disputes and FAA rumblings about the Production Certificate. Almost all material that reached me during this period was from suppliers, staff, customers or officials who had genuine concerns and felt that our blog was the only place remotely interested in what they had to say. I also took the opportunity to say why I'd gotten involved, by finishing one headline post with a favorite motto:-

"Only make promises you can keep. And keep the promises you make"

And then IT happened. On Friday the 18th of April 2008, an email hit my BlackBerry which began:-

"Google has received a civil subpoena that demands information regarding the source of anonymous comments posted on your blog eclipsecriticng.blogspot.com"

Things got very 'interesting', very quickly. Vern Raburn saw fit to go after 29 bloggers, alleging they were employees who'd violated a Non Disclosure Agreement or NDA. We were very fortunate that a civic minded publisher, Rich Lucibella, decided to head Vern Raburn off at the pass. And proved successful.

So successful that Vern himself was ejected from his own company exactly 100 days after I got that infamous notice. He was even forced to make the announcement himself, on the opening day of Oshkosh in July 2008. In typical style he said he was taking up an 'advisory' role in the company only to break all ties a few weeks later. He did, however, manage to hold onto an E500, for a limited period. I wonder if he's still flying it....

During this period we also saw contributions from many more parts of the world. The blog became more 'international', which was clearly a new experience for some of our longer serving American readers. A steep rise in the cost of oil, continuing doubts about the reality of the '2,700' orders and a very clear 'failure to launch' at DayJet cast a cloud over the future of Eclipse.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the 17th of September, regarding the Federal Aviation Administration's issuance of its type certificate (TC) granted to Eclipse Aviation Corp. for its Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). The result was a 'victory' for EAC, in that nothing came out of the woodwork to question the original grant. However, in the fashion of 'don't get mad, get even', I learned that a very strict view would be taken of any future Production Certificate reviews.

Things looked up, at least for a short while, when Ken Meyer broke his (self imposed) exile from the blog and returned with a bang. I 'gave' him a headline post which he used in describing his many flights, the capabilities of the E500 and generally promoting the aircraft. The nicest part was his own description of himself as The Cardinal, which was a reference to his leading position with The Faithful. This was the name given by 'us critics' to those who supported the E500 through thick and thin.

However, this is not a month I look back to with any joy. My father passed away, suddenly, leaving us all shocked and saddened. The day before I buried him, one of the very few truly bad people I interacted with on the blog, sent me the following:-

"See you in court, thief. 


Jim Campbell, Editor-In-Chief/CEO 

Rocket Racing League X-Racer Mk 1 Rocket Pilot"


Have you noticed, in life, how the really small minded people always have the longest job descriptions? Captain Zoom is a prime example. All through his mindless support of Vern Raburn he parroted whatever EAC released as 'fact', without bothering to engage even the tiniest part of his brain in the most basic question which faces everyone in business, all the time.

Will I get paid?

Thankfully, there is a 'higher justice', and Zoom later got hit for $80,000 when EAC went bankrupt. Is it too much to hope that someone, who is a prime example of what we Irish call a gobshite, will make the same mistake again?

This month was generally a 'bad' one for EAC. The premise behind the vast order book was air taxi, the most prominent of which was of course DayJet based in Florida. On the 19th of September, without any notice, they closed their doors. They blamed the inability to raise further finance and difficulties they had had with the Eclipse 500.

During this period I was also allowed access to the customer conference calls given by Mike McConnell, with input from Roel Pieper. Both came across as dismissive of the depositors in particular and made very light of in service problems with the aircraft. There were lots of promises to 'get back to people' but (surprise, surprise) nothing happened.

All in all, probably the 'busiest' month during my time here.

October 2008 was not a good month for EAC, publicity wise. Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group published his much anticipated report on the VLJ market. Basically, he rubbished the Eclipse 500 and predicted that EAC would not produce any aircraft in 2009, as he thought they'd be bankrupt. How right he was....

November was interesting, for several reasons. First, there was a temporary delay in payment for the staff, quickly corrected. EASA certification was granted, with conditions. Then Vern Raburn made a speech, fully reported only on the blog, at the VLJ Forum in West Palm Beach, FL, on Tuesday 11th November. He made several remarks that bear reviewing, but his venom for 'us' was clear, as was the denial that he had made any mistakes. This thread didn't last very long, as 4 days after I put it up we got this:-

Eclipse Aviation Seeks Court Approval for Restructuring under 363 Sale
Procedures and Debtor in Possession Financing


The 25th of November 2008 was the (long predicted) first step to bankruptcy and clearly a 'pre cooked' event. In a effort to control every aspect, Roel had a) valued the assets and set the price, and b) arranged the DIP finance with Al Mann. We all know now that he a) didn't have the money to buy the company and b) the didn't have the DIP either. He 'borrowed' it off Al, who's now suing him personally to recover it.

Oh, and another thing. This was the month that America elected it's first president called Obama. Michelle will clearly be the second....

December 2008 was a time of 'Notices', a number of which first appeared here. Various groups formed, some to purchase the company, others to pursue lost deposits, still others to represent owners. The inbox became a job on it's own, almost to the point that I needed assistance. Thankfully it never came to that, but it was a very busy month 'behind the scenes'. What rapidly became clear was the 'false' feeling around Roel's bid. I became convinced that he either didn't care or had alternative motives. I still think there was a background to his activities which would not bear close scrutiny. Remember the background at this time was of increasing disorder in the financial markets, with banks being rescued and the capital markets in free fall.

2009 opened, as always, with January. Initially there was optimism for the staff at EAC, since Roel was on a clear run to purchase the assets and move forward. But I began to get informal hints that all was not as it seemed, especially from people 'close' to the process.

During February I posted an in depth headline written with help from several Eclipse 500 owners. It's worthwhile going over it, if you're ever tempted to buy one! However, this was also the month when the wheels and the wagon finally parted company. On the 18th almost all the remaining staff were furloughed and on the 25th the 'Senior Note Holders' filed a Chapter 7 motion, which the company didn't oppose. Again, the inbox filled rapidly, especially with notices from prospective purchasers. I talked to several, none of whom seemed to have access to enough money to a) satisfy the Note Holders and/or b) restart production.

March began with the formal notice from the Court, and proceeded with a 'beauty pageant' of various entities who were preparing bids. Of note was one from our very own ColdWetMakeralofReality, who's professional background in aviation and interesting 'take' on what should be done with the airframe is worth looking at. I was also filled in on the whole 'Russian' thing, some of which is so hot it's radioactive. My lawyers will publish the book, if I ever come to an untimely end.

The EOG (Eclipse Owners Group) scored a notable success early in April, when they persuaded Hawker Beechcraft to become involved with servicing the Eclipse 500. Mike Press got his bid going, initially with Roel Pieper, but then (wisely) dumped him. Stan Blankenship contributed a 'Birthday Post' which illuminated some of the background to his own blog experiences. I began the process of seeking 'another' to move the blog forward, and several interested parties contacted me.

The 'tail cone' issue came to the blog in May. I can't convey how much email I had around this single issue, all of it most helpful in reaching a successful conclusion. We also had our 'official' list of the good, the bad and the ugly. Finally, another update from Mike Press reminded us all how little had changed since the Chapter 7 motion was granted. Nobody bid enough to satisfy the Note Holders. Talented people continue to leave ABQ, and the whole sad affair seems destined to end with an orphan aircraft. I hope I'm wrong, but it sure looks that way.

I don't think Vern Raburn started Eclipse Aviation Corporation as a Ponzi scheme, but I pretty sure he ended up that way. Roel Pieper was probably the worst possible 'investor' at the time, but by Vern's own admission there was no option. Those worst affected by all of this sorry mess were, in this order, the staff of EAC, the suppliers to EAC, depositors who didn't get an aircraft and finally the owners of what will almost certainly be 'orphans'.

So there you have it. I can't include everything I've 'learned' as the inbox is vast and some of the correspondence is (still) too hot for a more general audience. We have a couple more headline posts before I sign off, at least one of which will be worth reading.

I know, I've seen the drafts...

Shane



322 comments:

1 – 200 of 322   Newer›   Newest»
eclipse_deep_throat said...

Shane,

Thanks for all your hard work keeping this going. We have had our ups and downs ....but this has been an interesting place for the last 2-some-odd years, thanks to you and Stan. Good luck to all you do in the future!

e.d.t.

Shane Price said...

E.D.T.

I'm not finished yet!

However, I have lined up a 'successor' who has some interesting ideas about moving 'our' discussions forward, in the absence of Eclipse.

I think the end of this month is about right, as it's still possible we'll see a decision from the Trustee.

But I'm not holding my breath either...

Shane

Shane Price said...

And another thing.

Any idea where the 28 DayJet birds are?

They seem to have been dispersed. I've heard a small amount of 'chatter' that some have been sold, and other whispers that they're lurking in the vicinity of Utah.

Anyone with solid info knows where to send it:-

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

Shane

gadfly said...

Shane

It just occurred to me that if the “28 DayJet birds” are in Utah, and downwind of the “Great Salt Lake”, they’d be getting a “double whammy” . . . inside, “PhosTrex” (with possible leaks) and outside, a layer of salt. There are good reasons why aluminum, one of the most abundant elements on earth is never found in “metal form” in the wild.

Early on, I made the prediction (more than a few times) that no complete Eclipse would ever fly, or be produced. I’m neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet . . . and the prediction was so obvious, few could have missed it, by taking a second or two to think it through. And I have a confession to make: It would seem that I have had “inside help” from the start, to assure that my predictions would become true. Who they might be, I have no clue. But it would seem that whoever they are, they were, and remain (or “did remain” until recently), at the highest levels of the company.

‘Just thinking out loud . . . and wondering: Did these people, these “geniuses”, have this in mind from the start? From the beginning, this would have been obvious to a “fifth grader”, who might have built a hand-launch glider, and worked a little bit with machines . . . and took a careful look at the little bird. I cannot conceive of intelligent people falling for this program . . . unless there was another reason . . . a motive beyond my reach.

There’s little danger at this point of hurting anyone. Those that “could be hurt”, are already hurting . . . even if they don’t admit it . . . and we feel their pain. So, my suggestion would be to “open up” and make some proposals as to why people “fell for this gag”, and why it took so long for the obvious outcome. Leave the politicians out of the thing . . . we already know their game. And keep the comments “civil” . . . we don’t need “Dave Letterman” type language which intent is to destroy another human being.

Shane, we need a final chapter or two . . . and a “post log”, a “summary” as it were . . . something to bring this thing gently to earth . . . back to reality . . . a summary . . . a “wake” of the dearly departed (you Irishmen are good at that sort of thing).

Hey . . . what do I know? Not much, to be sure, but some things are rather obvious . . . unless for some reason you’re directly under the thing, and can’t get out, and get a good look at the thing that just dropped on you from out of “no-where”.

gadfly

(And “no-where” is where this thing was going, for the past few years!)

baron95 said...

Well done Shane.

From the previous thread, enjoy your sailing Fred - hope you get good wind, good weather and a wonderful trip.

Don't forget to set up a Tweeter so we can follow you.

Re your comment "i always thought 1 rabbit being cooked in the pot is much better than 3 still running in the bushes ..."

That is just it. Some people enjoy the chase and the hunt. The possibility of eating 3 rabbits one night and going hungry the next is more appealing to a lot of people than eating a steady 1 rabbit/night.

Me, I leave one rabbit cooking in the pan (on a timer) and go out hunt the others.

And deficits and recessions are a part of economic life and serve their purpose. It is possible, if unlikely, that California will have saner tax/spend policies as a result of this recession/deficit. It is possible, if unlikely, that GM and Ford will be more competitive now that this recession forced unions and debtors to take a hair cut. So on and so forth.

Progress is usually made under distress/trauma. Be it aviation progress during WWII and the cold war, conservation progress during oil shocks, productivity/union reforms during deficit crisis.

All good advancements that might not have occurred if we had one and only one rabbit to eat every night.

Cheers.

gadfly said...

baron95

A couple things, here!

One . . . we both landed back on the blog at the same minute . . . timing?

Two . . . rabbits in the pot? Maybe you’re on to something here! New Mexico rabbits . . . cotton tail and “jacks” (along with squirrels, and other rodents) carry the plague . . . and smart people avoid them like . . . “the plague”.

No, this is not a joke . . . Albuquerque, and the Sandia Mountains (and the other range, the “Manzano’s” behind the nuclear storage facilities on the eastern border of Sandia National Labs), happen to be the “bubonic plague capital” of the US of A. We do not mess around with rabbits, alive or dead, nor the many other critters that carry the fleas. Dogs get sick and recover , forever-after, immune . . . the cats get it, and die. People get it . . . get help and recover . . . or don’t get help, and it becomes the “pneumonic form”, and die.

Well, maybe there’s something to all that . . . but for the “locals” that get the plague each year, and get treatment early, it’s curable. The ones that continue, thinking it’s a minor thing, like the “flu”, they’re the ones that don’t survive . . . and it becomes the “pneumonic” form, and there is no cure.

Well, back to the discussion . . . but I felt a responsibility to share something that you won’t read in the travel brochures.

gadfly

gadfly said...

The rest of you folks, that look in from time to time, share your thoughts. What do you have to lose . . . a little bit of pride? There should be more of that sort of thing!

But if you share something, you may well help many of us . . . give it a shot, you're safe, and may find how valuable your thoughts are among the rest of those given. Dare to make an impact! For one, I'll listen and take note!

gadfly

(If you help just one person, you have earned your keep!)

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Shane your "columns" suck. Just FYI

bill e. goat said...

Shane your "columns" rock! Just FYI.

!!
.)
---------------------------------

In fact, I think this one is the MOAHP- Mother Of All Headline Posts !!

Thanks for summarzing the many "adventures" of the past 18 months. Our collective condolesnces for the loss of your father, and the unfortunate timing of the nit-wit Zoom's delusional rant.

Speaking of delusional rants (other than mine), it really was fun to read the link to Wedge's interview in November- he give's Zoom a run for the money.

(In fact, I think Zoom probably IS running after Wedge, for the money... :)
--------------------------------

You mentioned the many things you've learned from the blog- as I'm sure the public has too.

It does make me wonder if Wedge has learned anything, as well?

(Wishful thinking, probably ... :)

Kathy said...

Eclipsepilot, I can agree that some of the columns "suck". There WILL be better. I promise! In the meantime I'd suggest keeping it under 7PSID so that nobody is actually "sucked".

Mr. Meyer, I'm pretty sure you'll be one of the early customers of the fire suppression system mod. It "sucks" not knowing about it doesn't it.

julius said...

Shane,
thanks for the nice summary!


For those who dared to buy and fly fpjs it simply ignores the hopes and perhaps nice flights or the "perfect" sales of fpjs...
but this blog is about critics in terms of technical and finacial aspects!

Julius

P.S.: EADS hopes that there will be a recovery in 2010/2011 (T.Enders 2009-06-12)... and EADS needs a "positive mental attitude" to stay in business.

fred said...

Baron :


thanks a lot for your wishes ...
i appreciate !

yes , if you dare to hunt rabbits when one is already in the pot ... it is fine !

you know it and i do ...

but what about the BIG chunk of populace who prefer to ignore it or is kept into the ignorance ?

you see , this is something very much related with the sore plot called Fpj ...

How many of the victims thought they could afford it ?

this is where basic common sens should warn them ... with sentence like "free lunch do not exist" or "be aware that what is proposed as free is often what cost the most in the long run " ...

i would believe (guess) that we have a very different appreciation of things while our views are so widely apart on the spectrum , we have about the same thoughts ...

You know that taking risks is risky !! (at least i hope so ! ;-) )

i believe that the best way of not being at risks is to not taking any ... (or at least to be able to qualify and quantify risks before taking decision ...)

you and i are on the same line , we both know that nothing comes with a 100% guarantee !

the problem : all the ones kept over-busy for them not having the luxury of standing-off , breath slowly and try to understand what is the hidden meaning of all what they do ...

if most peoples who got trapped into this crisis had the time to think a bit , they would probably understood a few things , they have bet their life on without thinking ...

like : NO , houses prices never go up eternally ... especially NOT when earnings are going the other way !

or

no , when you spend 1.14$ for each $ earned , you ALWAYS end-up in problems ...

you see , This EAC is lots of fun to be analyzed ... (for someone with a perverted mind like mine)

WHY ?

because more than a fiasco for the few owners or workers , it define and show very well what are the dream-pipes and structural-downturn of the systemic capitalism it did grows in ...

at the end of the day (plot) it is very sad , but the conclusion cannot be any different of :

"you have been played , both by your refusal of trying to do a cold-analyze and a bunch of crooks ... too bad it did happen to you ... don't stay with your pants down on your knees ... swallow your pride and move on !"

sad ? yes , but perfectly normal !

there is few lessons to be learned into this plot ...

* think with your brain , not with someone else's dream ...

*in Aviation related topics , when things have been done a certain way for ages , don't claim too fast it is because others are backwards ...

*above all others lessons : NEVER give a cent to someone who doesn't seems to have ETHICS as a way of life !

Shane Price said...

EclipsePilotOMSIV,

Shane your "columns" suck. Just FYI

1. Do they 'suck' as much as owning an orphan aircraft?

2. Or being proven a sucker by a gang of con artists?

3. Having to suck in hard before admitting you made a BIG mistake in buying that E500?

OK enough with 'bashing the owner', who after all is partly a victim of this sorry mess.

You're luckier than the 700 odd depositors in that you might be able to sell the aircraft. Unlike the Trustee, who can't seem to find a buyer for ANY part of the company.

As it happens, I agree with your base premise. My writing is not good enough to the task. It's one of the reasons I'm 'standing down'.

However, you always have the option of not reading these small efforts, which is your right.

Just as it's mine to write them....

Shane

Shane Price said...

DayJet aircraft located Snippet

It appears that most of these early 'birds' are roosting in either ABQ or GNV. They are in hangers, which explains why they hadn't been sighted in the wild for some time.

The same source says that all remain the property of the original owner(s) and have not been sold on.

My thanks to a 'friend of the blog' for the prompt response on this one.

Shane

airtaximan said...

anyone need tires?

http://southflorida.bizjournals.
com/southflorida/stories/2009/06
/08/daily73.html?surround=etf

airtaximan said...

so, if I understand the comment correctly:

folks that like the EA50, hate Shane's posts...

I think this is a good sign...

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

My writing is not good enough to the task ...

you are getting insane or are you seriously joking ?

you do and did the best job , anyway ... what can be good or bad in stating or/and organizing as well as moderating thoughts and opinions ?

off-course , some may disagree ...
but isn't it this kind of attitude that push them in the sorry-mess they are in now ???

i think WE have to be more than grateful to you , for what you did ...

there is no best company which doesn't part on some occasion ... nonetheless i feel like an honor to followed you on this blog ...

never feel ashamed for what you did , few choose to disregard the warning and many red-flags you and Monsieur Stan had enough respect for other humans to raise ...

few persons in the world , i feel blessed to know , you're among them !!

PS: we should organize a gathering somewhere to put face on writings ... if some agree , i would invite them for end of year in Morocco .

julius said...

fred,


bonjour!

...end of year in Morocco


That's a nice idea! Thank you!

Hopefully you will be back in time from the Caribian or Tahiti! These trips must be a dream for every sailors (I think so - I am not a sailor!).
Dayjet had to wait for eight months to "enjoy" the perhaps final step (auction will be next week) - EAC is now in its fourth months waiting for the auction - we will see!


Julius

P.S.: Crazy - Dow Jones, Dax,... all up - but oil price up, unemployment up, production down,... If I believe I can see the bottom or "the light in the tunnel" - that's not enough for me!

mrhelio said...

Shane,

Since we live in Oshkosh a lot has been pumped up about Eclipse since their debut. I was good friends with some top people at Eclipse. After the demise of Adam Aircraft there was a flair about the whole VLJ buzz. That deal is done me thinks, and I don't think the market is ready for such lively idea's until Washington gets their act together which mat never happen

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

Shane,
I think that your comments and reports have been insightful. Many people accepted them as being factual and creditable. In fact... much of it was. With that said, do you believe, even just a litle tiny bit, that you fanned the flames and contributed to the demise of Eclipse Aviation?

fred said...

Gutten Tag , Julius

well , crossing the ocean is not really a dream ... ;-)
(not a first time for me...)

dreams : what you do at night when your eyes are closed , with their pendant : nightmares ...or bad dreams !

normally dreams have nothing to do with reality , even if sometimes "dreams" can be very factual = EA500 is a good proof of it , a dream turned into a nightmare ... :-)

actually , dream (or nightmare) is not the best word for describing the situation ...

Fantasy would have been more appropriate , something coming from a wishful thinking but with no possibility or interests to get it for real ...


as for your comments on the "UP" ...

yes, we are in a curious situation ...

with all the Trillions dumped into economy , Crisis should be already something for memories ...

peoples should roll themselves in an orgy of consuming ...

Economy getting so much stimulus should be booming like never before ...

this is why (IMO) i would say it is not a conjectural problem , but more a structural one ...

the world and its order as we have known it since the end of WW2 have probably ceased ...

still quite uncertain with what it is going to be replaced , but the "previous situation" is no more ...

basic fact of life : for a beginning can be , end have to exist as well !

if i agree with more or less what Baron suggested (The Minsky's theory : Bubbles benefit the sector they are in as a magnet for Dev. money) they are some facts that should be remembered by humans = this Dev. money should be used to produce some tangible results , not pipe-dreams

this is where the EAC plot failed in most respect :

putting the dreams levels so high that achievements couldn't really be without a major breakthrough ...

If vern and mignon would have had some "brain" instead of having only a big mouth , they would have used this money to really develop this "breakthrough"

but then the money wouldn't have been in such quantity ...
(to attract victims money they had to present the "Finished" product ... they couldn't really explain that they were more on the first day of dev. than on its results final days ...or the money would have been flying off so fast ...)

this is where any capitalistic system is doomed to fail (in the long run) Day1 everybody works to do wonders , day2 everybody eventually get those wonders , day3 most take those wonders for granted ,day4 most risk above common sens because they cannot remember about day1 ...

morality = remain humble , it is much easier to be used to a simple life and get some luxury , sometimes ...

than to grow-up in luxury and have go back to simple life ...!

Shane Price said...

JustinTime,

With that said, do you believe, even just a litle (I think you mean 'little') tiny bit, that you fanned the flames and contributed to the demise of Eclipse Aviation?

Shane as 'Ruler of The Universe' is not a theory I subscribe to.

At least, not yet....

In a serious response, let me say this. I'm an Irish businessman, living and working 4,000 nm from ABQ. In early 2007, I went looking for a jet, reviewed the various 'offerings' and narrowed my search down to a few, one of which was the Eclipse 500.

As you do, I checked for any negative comments, and eventually found Stan's site. What I read there, in combination with a simple business brain, convinced me that EAC was a classic Ponzi scheme. Later depositors, especially the '60% progress payments' were funding the early serial numbers.

So, when Stan decided to stand down, I decided to keep pointing this out.

I don't think more than a couple of thousand people knew about 'us' at that stage. In fact, around about April last year I wondered if there was enough material to keep the blog going. Stan provided a key phrase, which gave me hope. He said that he'd had similar thoughts, several times, but that EAC, and Vern in particular, would always 'screw up'.

Within a couple of weeks, Vern sued. 'We' went from being regarded (at best) as part of the lunatic fringe, to a First Amendment battle, overnight.

In my opinion, if anything sealed the fate of EAC, it was that single event. Suing a blog has got to be one of the stupidest things Vern ever did, and he did some pretty stupid things at EAC.

Trust me on the 'stupid' comment, even if you regard everything else I've ever written as a total fabrication.

Vern was stupid.

Now, in business, you can get away with lots of things. You can be lazy, you can be unlucky, you can be inefficient, hell you can even be too clever. I've been all of the above, but I still manage to open the doors every day.

However 'stupid' will get you, every time. I've seen it many times, in businesses that have failed. Sometimes it's the core idea, although that's self limiting. More often it's the human factor, in that the 'leader' loses sight of basics or hires the wrong people for the task. And yes, the economic environment can have an influence.

So, did I contribute to the demise of EAC?

I don't think so. I think Vern (and later Roel) managed that all by themselves, with a little help from their own poor judgement(s), and latterly the worst depression since 1929....

Shane

Shadow said...

JustinTime,

The Eclipse critic blogs merely helped to removed the facade from Eclipse. Beneath the facade resulted from Vern and Roel. In other words, it's not Shane's fault, nor Stan's, that Eclipse was basically an empty suit. We shouldn't blame the messenger here--Eclipse was a house of cards just waiting to collapse.

fred said...

shadow ...

i agree 150% ...

if the blog and the crisis wouldn't have existed : who could they have blamed ?

probably as they did before with many furnishers ...

the "funny" bit = in all those failures and broken dreams/promises , they were the common point .

a bit like if one person talk about a restaurant saying "food is horrible"

1 pax = it is a question of taste ..
2 pax = it is bad luck or missed expectations ...

3 pax = you've got to start thinking the cook is not good !

Black Tulip said...

Justin Time,

I don’t believe the blog contributed at all to the Eclipse demise. Suppose the blog never existed and hundreds or even thousands of additional people had ordered airplanes. This would have only delayed the inevitable and taken even more money down the rat hole.

airtaximan said...

Justin:
I would look back on the posts and headlines to see if there was anythng that could have fanned the flames... I think its one thing to say "guys, there's a fire over there" and another to "fan the falames".

I do not think any statements on this blog were designed to fan flames, only to alert someone to a fire.

Even an alert to an upcoming fire.

Just my 2 cents.

Deep Blue said...

Here's another way to look at EAC's economic fate.

Even if the E500 were "perfect" as far as on-spec, with no avionics issues, windshield, braking, carbon or no tail cone or phostrex issues,no glitches of any kind, and even if that "perfect" version had a price of $1MM, the EAC pro forma of thousands of aircraft sales was simply not going to be absorbed by the market. Or at least not fast enough to make them solvent.

To answer Shane's statement about "stupid" (very insightful by the way, about what kills a business), it certainly is centered on building too many incomplete airplanes, too fast.

If the E500 went out the door more or less on spec (or even if they stopped production and fixed it first), and EAC had to live with 75 unit sales a year or less, the financial community, the business community, the State of NM, the employees, along with suppliers and strategics, would have went along and likely supported it in some fashion, including a C11 workout if necessary.

But that didn't happen either. No taker in C11 and none yet in C7. Why? the market knows the underlying product was never fully realized and the LJ/VLJ segment is oversupplied with offerings at +$2MM.

I would say coming in a close second to causality is the Dayjet project and its impact on expectations, cost ramp up, and then of course an utter and sudden failure that destroyed even a very modest level of support for a slow cautious air taxi build out.

The financial markets even if highly liquid and credit neutral could not have covered up the underlying economics of both ventures. Indeed, EAC had very little private equity in its capital structure even during a credit and equity bull market and DayJet was put on a short leash with a small "squirt" of proof of concept funding.

There may indeed have been a viable development path if EAC and dayJet were "spun" as transportation development; as a small, R&D venture backed by DOT (rather than FAA) as a regional private mobility initiative with government backing, linked to Nexgen.

They did try this, but they were also trying to hit a fast profit pro forma on commercial (rather than development) terms and as WhyTech has outlined, that's at least 10 years and and as I added, more like 20.

airtaximan said...

DB,

nice summary -

They had all the time and money in the owrld, just spent it unwisely and over promised on a market that made little sense. Air taxi involved thousands of airplanes today...

How was this little plane going to make a marked difference? I am astill waiting for anyone to shed some light on this?

How would they dramatically grow the market, when they are MORE expensive as air taxis than props for the same mission?

Baffles the mind

fred said...

perfect Db ...

yes , it couldn't work on the basis they claimed ...
even if the plane would have been spotless ...

IF EAC would have developed their product on 100% their own money , without any form of credit or outside investment :

may be they could have adjusted to reality ...

but that was like a major flake in project : they had to attract the most gullible in big numbers ...

or they couldn't the money to develop ...

at the time : to do it , they had no other mean than to run away from reality ...

DayJet was only a way to "pretend" having a adjustable variable ...

and a way to bullish about with victims !

Dave said...

With that said, do you believe, even just a litle tiny bit, that you fanned the flames and contributed to the demise of Eclipse Aviation?

Even if Shane was all-powerful, that's still like blaming the DA for shutting down a Ponzi scheme. Yeah, I'd like to think the various Eclipse blogs hurried up the demise of Eclipse, but that means less people got burned and for lesser amounts and as such it is a good thing.

julius said...

Justin Time,

according to RiP EAC would have been bk without his money (see ETIRC web pages) and EAC lost approx. $1M with each sold fpj.
Did EAC produce any a/c according to specs? Did EAC pay its suppliers?
Oh, EAC had a lot of money: the "saturday night sales show", the frankenstein jet, the superflous partial EASA cert!

Isn't that the theater where a company becomes TU?

just a litle tiny bit

No, not at all! RiP managed to annoy nearly everyboy and EAC had far too many debts!

Julius

baron95 said...

Fred said... basic fact of life : for a beginning can be , end have to exist as well !

---------------------

Hey Fred!!!! Where the heck do you come up with these pessimistic and COMPLETELY WRONG truisms?

A mother gives birth to a child. A new life begins and no life ends.

Someone invents and perfects the airplane. A whole new industry begins and nothing ends or dies.

For crying out loud man. Stop scaring the children!!!

gadfly said...

“Someone invents and perfects the airplane.”

. . . and here all this time I thought the discussion was about Eclipse!

gadfly

(And not only are the children scared, but their parents . . . hundreds and hundreds of them, are out of work, and thrown out like so much trash.)

baron95 said...

DB said.... about what kills a business), it certainly is centered on building too many incomplete airplanes, too fast.

If the E500 went out the door more or less on spec (or even if they stopped production and fixed it first)
=============================
Sorry, DB, this is just revisionist Alice in Wonderland thinking. If Eclipse stopped delivering incomplete planes, they'd stop calling in 60% deposits and getting paid 40% balances. They'd run out of funds much sooner, and die way, way, way before they even got the ETT, NG, FIKI, EASA mods certified.

Make no mistake, after Dec 2006, the ONLY thing that kept the lights on was delivering planes, incomplete as they were, and the willingness of people like Ken to take delivery of those incomplete planes with full payment, rather than walk.

Business is business. If you run out of money you die.

baron95 said...

ATM said...They had all the time and money in the owrld,
------------------------

I disagree. They basically had $750M and 8 years.

That is hardly enough time/money to develop, from scratch, a completely new integrated jet avionics suite from FADEC to autothrottles.

Let alone develop a brand new plane, fund a new jet engine development, build a company, build a factory, etc.

Results were totally predictable.

The ONLY chance they had was to show some early success and IPO and/or take in a massive investment - $1B+ on top of the $750M - to continue for another decade until the avionics and the EA500/EA400 were complete.

baron95 said...

Gadfly said....And not only are the children scared, but their parents . . . hundreds and hundreds of them, are out of work, and thrown out like so much trash.

===============================

Gad, do you mean the hundreds of folks from New Mexico, that had no vocational training, no manufacturing experience, and got a brand new vocation/job/training courtesy of Eclipse and 5+ years of pay on average?

How would these people be better off if the $2B+ (calculated) by this blog hadn't been spent/taxed/etc in NM (a big chunk) and other places?

You mean to say they'd been better off working the previous 6 years at McDonalds instead of Eclipse?

baron95 said...

Or Circuit City?

baron95 said...

Or Washington Mutual?

baron95 said...

Or even the local Hawker Beechcraft service center?

baron95 said...

Oh wait - those folks are out of a job too. Bummer. Evil people. Lets flog them on the ABQ runway intersection.

baron95 said...

Or how about burn them at the wind-sock stake?

gadfly said...

“Results were totally predictable.”

. . . that’s a phrase that a clever criminal defense lawyer will not use. But it brings the felony charges to a higher level, in the range of “pre-meditated”.

The question remains, then, how many of those in charge . . . company officers and politicians . . . can be included among those who could claim, or believed, that the “results were totally predictable”?

gadfly

(An interesting and perplexing mystery!)

gadfly said...

baron . . . Me thinks you protest too much! It seems that you’re beginning to enjoy the fact that a bunch of no-body’s, who are making a major career change from “McDonald’s”, to pushing pop rivets into holes . . . didn’t understand that the implied promises of stock options, etc., in lieu of “overtime pay”, were just a pack of lies . . . and any “street smart kid” that believes the offers deserves to be hurt . . . along with his family, etc.

Let’s leave it there. You dug this hole, you dig yourself out. And no, I’ll not loan you a shovel.

gadfly

baron95 said...

Hummm.....

Gadfly, don't you know that start up companies PREDICTABLY and invariably fail?

Be it Adam, Safire, Tucker, Global Crossing or Pets.com, the vast majority runs out of hype and money and die before making $1 in profit.

You should be shocked, or at least pleasantly surprised, if one of them succeeds.

I know it is fashionable to punish risk taking in this country now-a-days, but America is built on 10 people taking a risk, 9 failing and 1 succeeding. If you don't take the 9 "bad" risks, you will never have Southwest, Intel, Microsoft, Boeing, FedEx, BestBuy, McDonalds, etc. You simply can't have one without the other.

gadfly said...

baron . . . Before you go looking for that shovel . . . You’d be surprised what I know about starting and building a business . . . from nothing except total personal risk, to one that continues after a third of a century (33 years, and almost six months . . . and counting). And you’d also be surprised that it didn’t “just happen”, nor did it depend on, nor include, any lying nor deceit. And if it had failed, it would have hurt no-one, except myself. Period!

gadfly

(Now, you better hustle and find that shovel . . . make it a big one . . . you’re going to need it real soon, and start moving dirt, which seems to be your talent.)

(And your “one out of ten” is far too optimistic!)

airtaximan said...

"ATM said...They had all the time and money in the world

I disagree. They basically had $750M and 8 years."

Account for all the money (equity, debt, gov't, in-kind...), and its a lot more than $750M in this program...

There is no reason $1.5B plus plus plus cannot result in a working small twin jet.

The rest of your points only further highlight how it was blown!

So, once again, if it was the right plane at the right price... they probably would still be in business today, IMO.

Biggest problem was technology for technology sake, and no real idea of the value required for the market that would be large enough to sustain higher volume and lower cost.

airtaximan said...

Baron,

it would appear that you are lost in the flaw of averages...

would you agree that business success is not dependent on 9 out of 10 failing, but the result of letting too many (unqualified)people try?

Serious question, not sarcastic or even prescribing an answer... just a question.

Just because on average 9 out of 10businesses fail before reaching profitability, does not mean it is a requirement for having successful businesses. It could be the product of "your way of thinking" in fact.

Just a thought

Ihaveone said...

This blog brought out many good points.
It allowed many that were damaged in one way or another, to vent their feelings, and opine about many other topics while they were at it.
It also allowed others, that were very bitter, to simply rant and rave.

I feel for everyone that lost money, which turned out to be just about everyone.

I do enjoy flying mine.
I still feel safe in it after almost 300 hours.
I think Oliver did a decent job with the design. Pratt produced a nice little engine out of their, 'hair blower division', as recently quipped by one of my fellow pilots.

In the end, it looks like at least there will be one good outcome to this saga.
All of us Eclipse pilots appear likely to out-live the blog, flying our Toy-Jets into the Sunset.

Wish us well.
Happy Landings

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

“. . . One”

Let’s take it to a higher level than that! May you out-live your “Toy-Jets”! . . . and many more “Sunsets”, and many sunrises.

The purpose of the blog was to shine some light on a very dark corner of an attempt to be a part of general aviation . . . and for the most part, “mission accomplished”.

And may you, and your passengers, walk away from every landing.

gadfly

Deep Blue said...

B95:

Yikes. I think you're mixing in a whole lot of issues, including normative/ethical ones that really have nothing to do, per se, with the failure of EAC as a business.

They built too may non-spec aircraft. Period. Outside that, the only other relevant business question is: "is there a market for a VLJ; if so, what is it?" It appears to be much, much smaller, even in a bull economy, than even the most enthusiastic of us thought. Moreover, the entire VLJ concept may just be a failed one; a wrong one for the market, even if technically perfect.

You're commenting above on much larger macro issues like labor mobility; opportunity costs; investment performance; venture risks; venture philosophy; American business opinion, even public policy. I don't think there's one person who regularly comments here that wouldn't have been thrilled to see EAC (and Dayjet) succeed, so this isn't a witch hunt, at least in my opinion. It's just business.

I agree with you that this whole pity party for employees (or really, anyone else in this saga) is misplaced. Even the most naive of entry level employees at EAC got the experience of a lifetime (a good one) and got to participate in a new venture.

It may be another generation before a bunch of young guns and mechanics get to work down on the shop floor and ply their trade with so much decision latitude.

And as for layoffs and "bum deals" take a look, everyone, at the bodies flying out the door at Cessna: thousands.

Did I mention thousands? And Cessna supposedly did it all right.

Wichita is swimming in blood like an Atlantic Ocean compared to the little pond in ABQ.

baron95 said...

Gadfly said...And if it had failed, it would have hurt no-one, except myself. Period!
--------------------------

Meaning you never ever created any jobs, employed anyone, used any supplier, right?

Because you deeply believe that Eclipse firing someone they hired in the first place, hurt them.

baron95 said...

DB said.... this isn't a witch hunt

--------------------------

Yes it is. It is a witch hunt after the fact, or, shall we say a dead witch's hunt.

People are trying to, in hindsight, assign fraudulent intent to Vern and Eclipse.

Williams engine didn't work. The avionics job turned out more difficult than anticipated. Supplier quality was all over the place.

In hindsight, you can say that any experienced team SHOULD have known or planed for that. And it is true.

But entrepreneurial enthusiasm, naivete and arrogance are not crimes. They are not deception. They are just that - the shoot for the stars, I know better than thou attitude that IS HEALTHY. It is healthy in our teenage kids when they think they know better than we do, and it is healthy in our entrepreneurs. It is a part of life. Yes, it is messy. Our kids crash our cars because they think they are invincible. Entrepreneurs have epic failures. But kids are not born with an adult brain and business are not born mature and with proper management. Creation and progress IS MESSY.

I'm sorry to be a bore and a pain in the ass, but it is hard to sit idle when people say:

- Vern should just have told investors that the market was 75 planes/year.

- Vern should have waited till the plane was totally finished before shipping any.

- Vern should not have hired anyone if there was a risk they'd be fired.

If he did that, nothing would have happened. No funding, no development program, no factory, no planes.

Now, some here think that, in hindsight, would have been better, and they may be right. But in 1999 and 2000 when these plans were being put in place, it was NOT so.

Anyway. Enough of that. What the heck - go on a vilify Eclipse and Vern. They failed. They deserve to roast in hell, right?

bill e. goat said...

"do you believe, even just a litle tiny bit, that you fanned the flames and contributed to the demise of Eclipse Aviation?"

No more than shouting "man the lifeboats" made the Titanic sink faster.

baron95 said...

ATM said.... would you agree that business success is not dependent on 9 out of 10 failing

-------------------------------

Yes.

And No. ;)

It is probably true that one can wait for the right idea, the right set of conditions to launch a business and do so in a careful methodical way to minimize the chances of failure.

But then, there is a cost. The cost is all the missed opportunities to launch a business under less than ideal conditions. More will fail if you try, but more will also succeed.

So what is better a methodical, planned, careful approach a la GM, Walmart, Southwest, IBM, Chinese planned state companies? Or a more chaotic Silicon Valley-style balls to the wall approach a la Eclipse, Oracle, Cisco, JetBlue, Ryanair, Hughes (early days)?

Who knows, but I can tell you that most Silicon-Valley style start-up seeks out mature management and controls along the way, and most stayed old school companies try to be more entrepreneurial and create innovation centers to be more like their start-up competitors.

My personal belief? The win-win is when startup companies get acquired by solid industry leaders right on the cusp of viability.

That frequently happens in aviation, hi-tech, finance, automotive, pharma and a bunch of other innovative fields.

When Mercedes buys a stake in Tesla or Cessna buys Columbia you have innovation and maturity - if done right it is a win win. If done poorly it is destructive.

Deep Blue said...

B95 said:

"But entrepreneurial enthusiasm, naivete and arrogance are not crimes. They are not deception. They are just that - the shoot for the stars, I know better than thou attitude that IS HEALTHY. It is healthy in our teenage kids when they think they know better than we do, and it is healthy in our entrepreneurs. It is a part of life. Yes, it is messy. Our kids crash our cars because they think they are invincible. Entrepreneurs have epic failures. But kids are not born with an adult brain and business are not born mature and with proper management. Creation and progress IS MESSY."

Well Baron, this is downright poetic. I mean that. You should write up an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (serious). Our current government could use a healthy dose of this splendid reminder. Congrats.

I do think whatever 'witch hunt' is out there is mostly, I think, from the perspective that EAC's failure is felt to be a damn, crying shame; for many entrepreneurs, it's like re-living a failure. I know as I write here, I often think to myself of telling VR: "why the hell did you have to repeat my mistakes!"

And again, if anyone here wants to see real carnage in GA, just look at Cessna in Wichita. But that's just business too; the way it goes.

bill e. goat said...

But...seriously (!?! :)

I can appreciate our fellow blogger's question- I suspect many here have considered that.

Many wanted Eclipse to succeed (and due to shady treatment, some wanted it to fail).

So, I can appreciate the question being spoken, and that it was offered in a neutral tone.

Having considered that myself,

the answer is- YES !!

But the question is not the one posed ("do you believe, even just a litle tiny bit, that you fanned the flames and contributed to the demise of Eclipse Aviation?").

Wedge is the one who lit the fires of the cash incinerators, and was the main shovel salesman. There simply CAN NOT be any question of whether Eclipse would suffer demise.

But I would say, the blog did have some small contribution to the acceleration of Eclipse's demise.

Do I feel regret over this? A little bit- for the many who lost their jobs, and suppliers that were harmed, and customers that did not get their airplanes.

But- what was the alternative to silence on the issue? Eclipse was already doomed, and it was taking as many people down with it as it could.

Employees were being pimped to buy stock options, WAY past any reasonable point of return.

Suppliers were being shafted- for months.

Customers were being swindled out of TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars.

The taxpayers of NM and ABQ were effectively having their tax dollars shoveled into the incinerator every month. (Same with municpalities in FL and NY).

So, the question isn't whether the blog contributed to EAC's demise- the question is did the blog serve society well by:

warning potential employees that it was risky to move to Eclipse?

warning current employees that their company was about to implode?

warning suppliers that they were going to get burned?

warning customers that they company appeared unviable?

warn taxpayers that their dollars were being squandered?

There is no perfect outcome- only the best possible outcome. In this case, rather than "fanning the flames", the blog served to extinguish the flames of the cash inceration units.

Shiny new airplanes, and truckloads of $ Franklins are not the product of incinerators- only ashes. And I would say the blog did help quench the flames of destruction.
--------------------------------

I'm sorry people got hurt by the experience- but the longer it went on, the worse the hurt was going to be. (The unemployed work force are the ones most apt to consider that with reservation: so I would ask that they consider it this way- how much were they tempted to spend on stock options? That would ALL have been lost- there was NO WAY it EVER would have worked- losing one's job IS less bad than losing one's job AND one's savings on worthless stock options- and Eclipse's scuples were such that they WOULD have pimped you for that).
--------------------------------

So, I can only say, skills were learned, money was earned, and frienships were established. But it COULD NOT have lasted, with or without the blog. I was hoping the Russian financing WOULD have come through- and jobs would have been maintained. I wuold say the blog had NO impact on that- it was SOLEY a matter of world oil prices collapsing, reducing available Russian capital.

(Even then, it would NOT have been sustainable in the long term- the Russians would have been forced to transfer the work to Siberia, boosting their aerospace technology, and in the long term damaged aviation employment opportunities in the USA).

baron95 said...

Well, I've always been one that criticized "the blog" to think too much of itself and its impact.

However, in the matter of its impact on Eclipse's demise, I think "the blog" is being too modest.

If you believe, like I do, that somewhere around circa 2007, Eclipse became some sort of pyramid scheme, dependent on having more deposits, and "moved up specials", and "we are almost there" in order to deliver one more plane, then....

then.... it follows that the whole enterprise was dependent on "believing" or as Eclipse and supporters liked to say "faith" and being "faithful".

Well, around that same time, all the main press stories were positive on Eclipse, with "the blog" being almost the only dissenting or alarmist opinion that "all was not well".

It is quite possible, likely even, that "the blog" played a disproportional and even dominant role in "sowing the seeds of doubt" and the "critical sound of caution". THAT is usually the undoing of a pyramid scheme. Once there is enough doubt and the "new entrants" dwindle in numbers, it is only a matter of time before the pyramid crumbles.

Without "the blog" and with only the positive spin by Eclipse and the so called "press" (a.k.a press release regurgitators), it is quite possible, that more depositors would step up, more investors would line up, more suppliers would continue to ship, for a lot longer. Perhaps long enough for them to turn the corner.

So, I think "the blog" did in fact accelerate and/or contributed significantly to the demise of Eclipse.

I think Vern CORRECTLY identified that as a serious threat, and decided INCORRECTLY to stop it.

So good or bad, "the blog" did as in quantum physics. By observing and reporting it changed the results.

fred said...

baron ...

no , i don't want to scare anyone ...!

you see , once again , we have diametrically opposite opinion ...

you give the example of the mother giving birth , creating a new life .

i feel it is a bit more complicated than 1+1=3 ...

i was mostly pointing out the fact nothing and no one can be , have been and will be at the same time !

still referring to the mother's case : do you think the newly born baby have a chance to meet his ancestors in any other way than word of mouth or more recently photos ?

you see , mother giving life is ONLY an extension of her own life , nothing really new into this (as from scrape !) it still need a father copulating with the mother to "produce" a baby ...


the economic fact i was talking about is very much like life : one system , country leadership ,or economic dominance is born at some point ( or you in USA would still be under British governance)
it live its life (exactly like a kid = it can become a convict ,a brilliant surgeon or simply Mr Nobody ) get old and finally die ...

the difference : instead of being buried , it is only its dominance and leadership which are gone ...

so , in order to have a country's leadership to raise (birth) some other country have to loose its one's first ...

when did USA started to raise ?
= when europeans were foolish enough to fight each others for the XX times and left some void to be filled ...
(curiously enough : it is the same than with nature , it hates the void , so it has to be filled with something ...)

the natural question now : is the wheel turning ? A: i would say yes !

is it possible that all the countries "pushing at the door" take occupy their natural space and leave the previous ones in the state they have enjoyed for the last 50/60 years ?

A: No ! i would even go further = the last years situation was a direct result of this process ...

China has been producing and selling stuff to the rest of world for the last few years ...

we committed the mistake of buying it , sealing in this our own fate !

why did we do it ? A: easiness ! the biggest problem of all ...

this is what i was pointing out in the DAY 1.2.3.4 ...

day 1 = no one ask for luxuries , work as hard as possible to get somewhere ...

day 2 = those ones get a better life ...

day3 = they have kids who do not know (or are taught) the previous hardship , for them good life is a due ...

day 4 = as soon as those kids have kids themselves ,doomsday is announced (it is only a very natural process , we all wants for our kids a better life than we had ...)

nothing really scary into this , if you have a garden , go to see your wife's roses =

beautiful flowers have to die in order to make seeds ...

seeds that may grow further away from their original soil !

fred said...

About Start-up :

i think you have a perverted look on the process !

9 start-up fail before 1 can succeed ?

ok , if you want !

but this doesn't answer the ultimate question : Who Put Money Into All Those Failed Attempt ?

if it is the same one(s) who put money in all the process = THEN it is OK !

where is the flake ?

A: all the ones who financed the previous attempt are left "cash-dried" roting in the sun for the one which will repay ...

it is not a question of cleverness , mostly a question of opportunity and discriminating the bad attempts ...

so what you propose is more like real life =

think with your heart
(how many of us are choosing all aspects of their life with the same coldness and order than a computer would do ? how many of us wouldn't be married now , if they had to check all the + and - of our potential brides before getting married ? how car dealers would be bankrupt by now if we would buy our cars ONLY using rational thinking ?)

so "start-up" may make us feel more lively ...

BUT there is one aspect we have to forget about first for this to be true = to possess is in no way a path to happiness !

you would be amazed : after several turn around the world = the most happy ones i had the pleasure to meet and live with, were ALWAYS the ones to have nearly nothing (in occidental way of mind )

fred said...

and finally about "they had all the time and money ..."

yes !

they had ...

do you know how to identify a "responsible" firm developing a product that MAY be a success ?

i would say it starts when you hear from this firm CEO ,this kind of talk :

Question : when your product will be ready ?

Answer : it will be ready WHEN ready , and cost what it will cost !


off-course it is NOT 100% proof ...

but it is already something that i like to hear , at least it shows that CEO has still his feet on the ground among us , poor humans ...! ;-)

this is probably what made me laugh the most when i started to look at EAC ...

what Vern was saying could be resumed by :

we started to develop something that will "revolutionize " the world ...

we don't know what will be the outcome , we don't even know if it possible ...

BUT we already know it will cost THAT much !

you see the point ?

julius said...

baron95,

it's all about responsibility!


You know, when Stan started the blog, EAC was already in financial
disorder (apart from the technical problems).
The production only increased the financal chaos: Now EAC also started to shaft suppliers and not only their customers or investors...

You know EAC was never ready for IPO!

You believe the blog only made the suppliers aware that EAC didn't pay their bills?
You believe the blog only informed the potential customers that EAC did not produce any a/c according to specs and not in time?

Baron95 perhaps you can tell us why nobody wanted to buy EAC for approx. $50M cash plus "notes" in January/February 2009!
No money available, because of the blog(s), because of the housing bubble,...

Whose responsibility?
What about some members of exec teams and the members of the BoDs?

Julius

P.S.: Perhaps you remember: "a little bit pregnant", "a little bit responsibility" - is that the Anerican Way of life your are fond of?

fred said...

YES , Julius , GENAU !

the biggest claim that can be made against Monsieur Stan & Monsieur Shane blogs :

to make public details that would have been better for EAC to keep secret ...!

Even if they would have known how to keep everything under the blanket , still customers by now , wouldn't be in a better position :

at the worst , they would be in same state than now ...

at the best (for EAC) they would be kept dreaming about inept conceptual ideas ...!

(with brilliant idea like using fpj to transport goats in Somalia ? but no more than 3 goat at any time per plane ...! ;-) )


so nothing really of importance afterwards ...

if we think a bit about :

would you believe that Germans would have elected Hitler as chancellor , if they could have the chance to learn how mad he was ?

do you think Soldiers of Napoleon's army would have gone to Russian Campaign , if they could have listened to the only one who predicted a catastrophic outcome before , funnily enough he was the only one to have spent times in Russia in past ...

Do you think American public opinion would have agreed with "bringing democracy in Iraq" if they would have known there were no chance the US soldiers would be welcomed as liberators ... or not the smallest shadow of WMD ...

so the blog did the same , did it prevent some to buy in ?

NO !

did it prevent some smart-ass to stop touting the praise of EAC ?

NO ! (I remain amused ...)

did it change the outcome ?

NO , the plot couldn't work from Day 1 !!

too many incoherence ! which is still the best way to find out about any project , both on its maturity and feasibility ...

all successful projects of world have in common this : being coherent or getting mature to be coherent !

since EAC found its money into the incoherency of the plot , how could it mature without cutting off the money supply ?

which in long term killed them : too many expectations missing any sustainable results !


Ps : if you have a desire to go to Morocco , i would be very glad to invite you into my modest home there ...

i will be there for end of year celebrations ... so having no more schedule or obligations of any sort , i could stay longer ...

uglytruth said...

3 Billlllllllliiiiioooooonnnnnnn dollars…..gone. What good could it have done in the world? What businesses were never funded because the money went to FPJ? How many suppliers have gone out of business or laid off more than it wanted to because it had to make up for the losses from FPJ? Not just in Albuquerque but all over the world? How much overtime money did workers donate to this cause? I know lots worked 70+ hr weeks for years…..care to guess what it cost them? Bet it was more money than a lot of the depositors, or a paid for house, or a education for their children, or, or, or? How many deposits were wasted when they could have bought a real AC from someone else helping that reputable company stay in business?

Anyone with a conscious would have stopped long before it ever got to this. Lots of leaders on this blog. Only the arrogant don’t realize THEIR DECISIONS affects the security of not just themselves but of their employees and their families and lives? FPJ was throwing people, suppliers and depositors under the bus as fast as they could so they could get another day ahead……….like a crack addict. Wedge has his millions and is not worried about where his next happy meal is coming from. The same can’t be said for the employees, suppliers and depositors.

I never saw ANYONE that was in charge, took control, got involved, solved problems and made decisions. They kept making bad AC day after day and it became the norm. Their solution was meetings and scheduling to produce more junk out the door faster. I said in my first post they should have been working on AC # 5 and still working out the bugs. They NEVER got to the point of going into production.

Shane Price said...

Fred, Julius, Uglytruth,

This 'responsibility' discussion draws forth a few memories.

When the depositors started to issue writs, it came to my attention that one (from Australia if memory serves) had sent their first cheque in April 2008. So I started digging, and discovered that many of the orders, especially those from outside the US, were placed during the period that Stan was active.

We know that one of those who took part in early blog discussions went on to place a deposit on the ConJet.

It seems that there is a element, which want's to believe. Vern and his crew were mining that seam of gullible people, and did so successfully for almost 10 years.

As Lincon said:-

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time

Eventually, EAC ran out of 'fools'.

Shane

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

yeap ...!

an other way to say this Lincoln's statement :

" Promises engage ONLY the believers"

good old common sens should have been at work more often ; victims might have understood , at the time, an other one :

"if YOU HAVE A DOUBT , then there is no doubt !"

obviously , they preferred believe in Santa-Claus ...

we are in final phase of the plot ...
the most funny one ,when all and everyone is now going to look for who farted the first ...! ;-)

Ps : do i need to remind you that you , Monsieur Shane are as well invited to Morocco ?
at the time suiting you the best , off course , with your wife if she too close to her frying-pan for you to escape "safely" ... ! ;-)

Deep Blue said...

uglytruth said:

"I never saw ANYONE that was in charge, took control, got involved, solved problems and made decisions. They kept making bad AC day after day and it became the norm. Their solution was meetings and scheduling to produce more junk out the door faster. I said in my first post they should have been working on AC # 5 and still working out the bugs."

This goes to the heart of the problem but also underscores what kind of venture EAC was: it may have been more about the volume/cost hopes than it was about the product, per se. I think many if not all the investors, along with the board, were cheering for volume. It would have taken a brave soul, evidently, to stop the train, pull over and focus on product completion first.

But when you line up all the players: founders, board, investors, suppliers, the press, the FAA, customers, state of NM, etc, there doesn't appear to be ONE dissenting voice; so it wasn't all internal to EAC. Indeed, PWC was an almost bigger champion of the volume and air taxi themes than EAC.

Fred said:

"(how many of us are choosing all aspects of their life with the same coldness and order than a computer would do ? how many of us wouldn't be married now , if they had to check all the + and - of our potential brides before getting married ? how car dealers would be bankrupt by now if we would buy our cars ONLY using rational thinking ?)so "start-up" may make us feel more lively ..."

Good insight; many involved at EAC were having the time of their lives; the excitement of building something from scratch; building the factory; setting up the FSW areas; a new paint shop; hiring; training; design and engineering; PR; FAA cert work and on and on: start ups are indeed highly emotional and very exciting: people are getting a chance to do something independently; they are alive in the best sense. In some ways, this great sense of mission and achievement outweighs other economic considerations.

Julius said:

"The production only increased the financial chaos"

That's a good point; like most start-ups, they never were in a state of financial equilibrium, from the very beginning. In that regard, just about all start-ups are a "Ponzi scheme" to the extent that the entire venture is a outsized risk and bet.

Look at Cessna's Columbus program: shuttered; closed; dead. it may never come back on line (I appreciate the depositors probably all got their money back; however, it cost Cessna a lot and the firm, investors, suppliers and employees are paying for it).

Except for the sponsorship, how is Columbus really any different from the E500? For that matter, the B787; the F-22; the Horizon and on and on. All speculative; all off production path; all cost overruns; all over-hyped, over-promised with many uncertainties still remaining; real performance and operating costs still unknown; more than one a downright failure with many more than a mere $3B burned up; more like north of $100B and counting.

Lastly, if you want to find one big junk pile of half-finished, last generation or patchwork quilt engineering GA products, just take a look at Hawker Beech. The "street" consensus is they may fail outright. Billions of losses here, potentially.

airtaximan said...

DB,

funny comments regarding the whole industry littered with expensive false startes and/or failures.

the design tools are so advanced that there is no reason any more for the mystery associated with designing and delivering to spec (very close) a jet airplane. No reason for this, except perhaps someone seeking a competitive advantage based on an "unconventional design" or new unproven technology. These may create risk beyond what is already known.

So, companies like EAC that way over promise and under estimate costs, over estimate volume, and mis the performance marks are suspect. Dumb or thief - you take your pick.

There was no reason for the little twin jet to have so many problems... the avionics, the engine, the configuration could have all been very conventional and priced and spec'ed aggresively but not rediculously.

The reason for the failure was that the plane is not designed for any large market - it needed to be very cheap to attract a market, becasue utility is prety low for a jet, and compared with a prop, there's no great advantage, except when similarly priced.

So, withut a highly desirable jet at a high rate price, there's no EAC = blog or no blog.

WhyTech said...

"They NEVER got to the point of going into production."

Desperate people commit desperate acts.

Deep Blue said...

ATM said:

"the design tools are so advanced that there is no reason any more for the mystery associated with designing and delivering to spec (very close) a jet airplane."

True, but....that seems to apply for companies stretching the product line with proven design/tech, like Cessna: no real glitches there. Perhaps Gulfstream too.

But the 787 sure isn't complying with the design software nor are many military projects (tiltrotor, F-22).

It seems when even small innovations are introduced into the design phase, the risk of complexity and failure goes way up (let alone a composite airframe; new avionics design; all electric etc). The engineers out there can probably say this more eloquently.

But I'm not sure EAC sufficiently understood (or explained) that they were, among other things, undertaking a design project (rather than using off the shelf etc, although the thing wound up looking awefully 20th century; i.e. tip tanks).

Shane Price said...

Oooops....

Sorry, I 'closed' the blog about an hour ago, by mistake.

I was talking through some of the options the administrator has, and hit the wrong button.

But then a wise man once said:-

"To err is human.

To really screw up, you need a computer"

It was also nice to see how many of you noticed. Thanks for the flood of emails!

Shane

uglytruth said...

This guy needed a great lawyer like we had.

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6509677.ece

gadfly said...

Shane

When things go wrong, you find out how much you’re still needed: . . . the door to the blog was “locked” for a time. In the mean time, it was an opportunity to “de-frag” a couple terabytes of hard-drive . . . and take a breather from some serious design work.

Yesterday, I was accused of not having done well with a few decades of employees, and harming suppliers, etc. How does one answer that sort of thing? There is no answer . . . the “past employees” had 100% of their health insurance paid, including their families . . . various special schools, all expenses paid . . . and today, some have salaries in far better positions, as we helped them move up the ladder, to places that would not have been possible, had they not worked here.

A hint here: Help your employees be so good that you’ll have to increase their wages on a regular basis (without them having to ask), with the knowledge that they can get a better position with someone else whenever they choose. (Well, at least before the present administration came on board.)

Last night, we saw one of a certain “IV” units in a hospital shot in the new series of “Closer”, and I thought, “Hey, we’ve got a switch in that thing . . . and I wonder if we can see one of my safety valves on the IV set?”

Sometimes, it’s helpful to receive encouragement, and know that the little things we do, sometimes have great impact on the lives of many . . . hopefully, giving life and help to others.

If a company, an employer, treats their people like disposables, they will reap disposable results. It is no small thing to carefully work to build a business, and excellent relationships with employees, ever helping them move up in their abilities, their sense of self-worth, etc., and honoring the value of their work promptly with wages that are fair, etc., etc.

If I had to give an answer as to “why” Eclipse failed, I would quickly answer, “Dishonesty”, at all levels . . . beginning with themselves . . . thinking that they were the final answer to all . . . and believing their own “hype”.

gadfly

Deep Blue said...

Gad said:

"Yesterday, I was accused of not having done well with a few decades of employees, and harming suppliers, etc. How does one answer that sort of thing? There is no answer . . . the “past employees” had 100% of their health insurance paid, including their families . . . various special schools, all expenses paid . . . and today, some have salaries in far better positions, as we helped them move up the ladder, to places that would not have been possible, had they not worked here."

Gad:

With all do respect, it looks like (perhaps) you're being played the fool. Get over it. Grow up.

Employees can be (and are) some of the most disloyal, dishonest, incompetent ass-h.. of all time.

All the while, guys like you and me, many of the bloggers here, pay the bills with blood sweat and some tears.

Please read "A Message from Garcia" to get a better sense of employee laziness, idiocy, incompetence, disregard, disrespect and uselessness.

WhyTech, help me out here.

gadfly said...

Deep Blue

You missed the point. I have an excellent relationship with my past employees . . . and they would come back to work here in an instant, should our work pick up.

The accusation was made by a "blogger", who hasn't the slightest knowledge of the history of our company. And, quite frankly, what he or others think matters little. But it was an opportunity to present some thoughts . . . something a person learns in college, in "English Rhetoric", taking advantage of an opportunity.

Get over it? . . . Get over what? Hopefully, you got the "meat" of the matter, and not lost in the "horses douvries".

gadfly

(Ain't this fun?)

baron95 said...

Gad,

No one accused you of anything. You said that if your business had failed it would have hurt NO ONE. By your definition of hurt (which includes laying off employees, canceling vendor contracts, etc), if follows that it can ONLY be true if you never hired anyone or used any supplier.

Anyway - not here nor there.

The thing that I find MOST OFFENSIVE is your paternalistic and condescending view of employees. You constantly describe them as helpless victims, ignorant of risks, incapable of making an informed decision to suck Eclipse money for as long as it lasts and then move on.

That is DISTASTEFUL. Employees want the same things that employers want. To make money doing something they are good at. They are not children. They are not looking for a mother or a father. They are looking for money, benefits, career opportunities. Their duty is to act in their own best interest, period. And employers MUST act the same.

Vern and his investors generated about 10,000 person-years worth of jobs, wages, taxes and benefits. Those 10,000 person-years sucked it in and benefited from it. Party ended, that is that, NEXT.

No one harmed anyone. There is absolutely no difference between a trained employee leaving a job voluntarily or the job ceasing to exist. Neither party owes the other a perpetual relationship.

Please stop infantalizing American workers.

airtaximan said...

"Employees want the same things that employers want."

not true - I have been both, and I tell you, employees sleep very differently than employers.

May sound hard to take, but the menatality is completely different, and perhaps a lot more analogous to children and parents than we would like to think.

This is not meant to demean what employees do, compared to employers. Maybe the fat cat emploers are a different breed altogether... I'm talking ass-on-the-line employers building and working all day every day... no way an employee has this grind mentality - and often employers do it for the long run returns... "where's my paycheck" is not even an option.

Big difference.

baron95 said...

Agree with everything you said....but....

They still want the basically the same thing - money/compensation/personal_satisfaction for their work.

Point being that it is a at will commercial transaction between two adult parties and each should be ethically looking for their individual best interest in the transaction. Nothing more, nothing less.

WhyTech said...

"They are not children. They are not looking for a mother or a father. They are looking for money, benefits, career opportunities. Their duty is to act in their own best interest, period. And employers MUST act the same."

Generalizations are never always right or always wrong, but I have to go with ATM on this one. I would agree that it is the duty of an employee to act in his own best interest - actually to strike an appropriate balance between the interests of the employee and employer (heavily weighted to the interests of the employee). But, relatively few do this, especially rank and file folks. They tend to have no concept of what makes a business work, and to have unrealistic expectations about what an employer should do for them. This from 40+ years of working in organizations large and small, as an employee and employer.

"Neither party owes the other a perpetual relationship."

Absolute truth, understood by too few.

baron95 said...

Incidentally, the kind of language that Gadfly uses "having to protect employees", "protect the innocent victims", having to "care for their well being", etc,... was the same language used by slave owners in the US to justify indenture. It is, but a variation of "the Negroes cannot take care of themselves, by themselves". DISTASTEFUL TO THE EXTREME.

WhyTech said...

"WhyTech, help me out here."

Cant disagree with anything in your post, but would also be of the opinion that employers can be (and are) some of the most disloyal, dishonest, incompetent ass-h.. of all time.

JustinTime said...

I have really enjoyed reading the last few comments in regards to employers and employees but I have to make a comment.

"At will employment" is Bull Sh^#! It gives the employer all the capacity to maniplate, coerce, lie, deceive, and extort the employee. The employee has little or no authority to do anything except be subservient.

Why do you think top level executives have contracts? Why don't they work under the same "at will agreement"? If all employees were given limited guarantees the employers would be less likely to act unjustly. An employee ought to have a vehicle available to them to seek recourse when an employer acts unequitably.

If an employee quits with out reason and no notice. The employer will not give a favorable or nuetral reference. Does the employee have the same remedy available to him or her? NO! All employees should be granted a LIMITED bill of rights.

"At will employment" is BULLSH^#!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Anyone have any data on the EA 500 fleet utilisation now?

Is it slowly reducing as spares availablity dries up?

Did it plummet to a few "Die hards" (TM wedge) after the complany filed and has since been constant?

Has it started increasing as more 145's independantly take on EA500 support?

We haven't heard of any significant incident lately ( they got through the winter). The 2009 SDR DB doesnt list any new operation issues (but records the production issues we already knew about).

Ken Meyer said...

Freedom asks, "Anyone have any data on the EA 500 fleet utilisation now?"

Utilization? Don't think the data exists. But the E5C's ongoing Fleet Status survey shows that, as of today, owners who indicated their aircraft's status reported:

85.7%: "Flying"
10.2%: "Maintenance, 14 days or less"
4.1%: "Owner Grounded"
0%: "Service Grounded--Part or Service Unavailable."

Ken

julius said...

Justin Time,

"At will employment"...

some employers will explain why they need it - other employers will explain why they are better off without it!
It's just part of the employer's job offer and the company culture.

I do not have any experience with with this way of life - where is the difference to a freelancer!
Perhaps the employee has to think and act in such terms! No boni but immediate cash!

Julius

julius said...

Ken,

thank you for the data!

You just missed to note the sample size:
owners who indicated their aircraft's status reported:

.....

Julius
P.S.: I think you expect this question...

fred said...

wow , Kenny ...

your statement sounds very much an advertisement for Lottery , here ...

it simply says :

"100% of the winners had played ...!"

;-)

julius said...

fred,

bonjour!

Some people say "statistics are only lies" - I think the way statistics (resp. data) are used say a lot about the person who presents the data...

Using a decimal point: Ken will present us a sample size north of 60!

Julius

flyger said...

But the E5C's ongoing Fleet Status survey shows that, as of today, owners who indicated their aircraft's status reported:

You survey results are skewed by the people submitting the data. A dump of FlightAware today of the 260 delivered Eclipse airplanes that:

7 have never appeared on FA.

25 have their N numbers blocked.

Of the 228 that are left, they haven't flown IFR:

52.6% in the last month
44.3% in the last 2 months
41.2% in the last 3 months

To say it again, 94 of the 228 airplanes that show up on FA haven't flown IFR in 3 months and that doesn't include the 7 that have never appeared on FA. That is, less than 60% of the fleet is "active".

Even if we include *all* of the 25 blocked airplanes, that's less than 10% of the fleet.

4.1%: "Owner Grounded"
0%: "Service Grounded--Part or Service Unavailable."


Believe whatever you want...

100% of the people surveyed reported that they participate in surveys.

baron95 said...

Nice data points, Ken and Flyger. Interesting. Yes, Ken, it would be nice to see the number of respondents as well if you can provide.

baron95 said...

JustinTime said...If all employees were given limited guarantees the employers would be less likely to act unjustly.
------------------------------

And less likely to hire them as well. Why do you think that Europe has had consistently higher unemployment rates than the US? It was (in part) because it is so much harder to fire someone, so employers are more reluctant to hire. As of late, Europe has been progressively making it easier to fire, and you can see that reflected in the lower unemployment rates (ignoring the current crisis distortion).

The employer/employee relationship should be simply subjected to the laws of supply and demand. If you are a valued, productive employee with skills in heavy demand, be it an electrician, SW programmer, or what have you, your employer will be working very hard to retain you.

If, on the other hand, you are an unskilled auto assembly line worker, in the midwest, and you currently being paid $70+/hr with benefits, and you are NOT NEEDED by your employer. Then, either your employer fires you at will, or your employer goes out of business and you lose your job or Obama bails you out.

JustinTime said...

You have presented an interesting point Baron.

Some employers have no consideration for the lifes that they manipulate when they give direction. I contend that with being employer comes responsibilities and these responsibilities should have a predetermined amount of obligation. If an employer can not meet the minimum obligations... well then they need to be a self propietor with zero employees. The obligations should be considered a cost of operation and budgeted into the business plan.

If you are going to dance to the music then you have to pay the fiddler!

flyger said...

Yes, Ken, it would be nice to see the number of respondents as well if you can provide.

Based on the percentages stated, it is one of: 49, 98, 147, 196.

I'm thinking 98 is the most likely number.

Niner Zulu said...

Shane,

Thanks again for all your hard work keeping the blog going. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the "spirited" debates.

In retrospect, there really weren't any surprises to the Eclipse saga - except perhaps for how long it was able to keep going until it finally imploded.

It's been fun getting to know you guys and I hope I'll see you around the airport and/or future blogs.

Fly safe!

9Z

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

49 is closer...

Shane Price said...

9Z,

You're most welcome. If you every get the chance to visit this 'green and pleasant land', I'd be happy to host a pint or three.

Ken,

I presume you're figures exclude the 28 DayJet birds.

Unless, of course, they're flying around inside their hangers.

Or the 20+ E500's that 'escaped' from North America?

Just curious....

Shane

fred said...

Gutten Abend , Herr Julius ...

working sometimes with stats , i can tell you :

evil is in the detail !! ;-)
(ok , in the way it is extrapolated and presented as well ...)

you see , i am 100% sure that numbers provided by Kenny are true ...

the problem :

they are collected among "the Club" which is probably the last place on earth where one can find "Die Hards" ...

which are very interested in keeping their useless junk ...

so , in order to have someone from outside this brotherhood betting a lot of money on it (in buying thru auction ) they have only to show that lots and lots of peoples are STILL interested into it ...
(have you ever tried to go to a car dealer and ask him to show you what he consider as the worst cars ever produced ... i would bet a lot on the fact that NONE of the stated cars are actually sold by this dealer ... ;-) )

i would like to know if one of the guys in "the club" declaring that he doesn't want to fly (risk) his fpj is punished by what kind of a sentence ???

expelled and excommunicated from the church of Flyantology ...
(btw Scientology is on the verge to be kicked out from France for scamming all adepts ... at last , high time !)

forced to sit his naked butt on a fire-ant nest ?

;-)

fred said...

baron :

As of late, Europe has been progressively making it easier to fire ...

where did you get that ridiculous idea ?

not at all , what as been mostly worked out is a kind of safety net where peoples loosing their jobs are not thrown in the streets with nothing ...

talking about statistics in previous post , thanks for giving me this wonderful example ...

Worker's stats in the states are totally bullied (i want to remain a little bit polite , so i won't use the term i have in mind ...)

the numbers of ones out of work in USA is a lot more for the simple reason that having nearly nothing less or nothing more in getting into unemployment system , so they prefer to stay out ...

what you said in your comment is real bad ...

don't you know that the time when the mighty could squeeze as much as possible the weak /poor is over ?

if not = you are preparing for yourself very nice times ... when all the ones you described will have understand that the game is rigged , do you think they will repay their credits ? go out looking for a job ? sit down in the streets and cry ?

Employers AND Employees are in the same boat , one is nothing without the other one ...

julius said...

fred,

Ken will have learnt something about statistics (and there are still other nice questions): No statistics anymore!


You are right about the official statistics. If you don't know the details, don't compare!
In real life the German rules for firing someone did change very much! The main problem for foreign companies are fonds which are backed by all companies. In case of a bk all other companies have to pay into a pool.

I offered Baron free lancers - they think like employers - but they are too expensive and do not sit in the boat (your fine picture!)? They are like birds which roost on the boat for a while and may fly away for whatever reasons!

The "at will" employees are just boxes in a shelf in the supermarket. One takes a box and if it falls down or isn't nice anymore the staff of the supermarket (the tax payer) will care for the box. The box may be damaged or can immediately be put into the shelf...


Julius

Fly-an-Eclipse said...

Flyger... You survey results are skewed by the people submitting the data. A dump of FlightAware today of the 260 delivered Eclipse airplanes that:

7 have never appeared on FA.

25 have their N numbers blocked.


Your numbers are incorrect as well. Aircraft that have left the country do not show up on FlightAware. Aircraft that fly under flight numbers do not show up as an N-number on FlightAware. The 28 Dayjet aircraft do not show up on FlightAware. Aircraft that are mis-entered by ATC do not show up on FlightAware as EA50's. Some AE50 aircraft have been seen as E50P (Phenom 100), and others.

flyger said...

Your numbers are incorrect as well.

No, they are correct for what I claimed they are. You might claim they are misleading, but you can't claim they are incorrect numbers.

Aircraft that have left the country do not show up on FlightAware.

Typically they do for the flight that leaves the country. That shows up as the last IFR flight of the plane. Maybe they are being flown abroad, maybe not. I suspect that some of the 7 who have never appeared on FA are foreign, and they weren't part of my percentages.

Aircraft that fly under flight numbers do not show up as an N-number on FlightAware.

That's true. Are you claiming that those flight are significant in number? I doubt it. Since DJ failed, there are only a handful of charter/taxi EA500s. They do get flown under their N number occasionally so not totally hidden from view.

The 28 Dayjet aircraft do not show up on FlightAware.

For the most part, that is not true, only 4 of the DJ 28 planes have never appeared on FA (making most of the 7 that have never appeared). They fly on their N number some times. In any case, they certainly aren't "active" right now anyway.

Aircraft that are mis-entered by ATC do not show up on FlightAware as EA50's. Some AE50 aircraft have been seen as E50P (Phenom 100), and others.

Irrelevant since I used the N number derived from the FAA registry as the index, not the filed type as the sorting criteria. So even if ATC screws up a type designation, the data I got is good.

The point is that Ken's numbers say that less than 5% of the EA500s are idle. The FlightAware data, even with all of its imperfections, clearly shows that many more than that are idle.

As it stands now, the FA data is the most objective data we have. A survey taken of an unspecified number of owners has self selected bias to the extreme.

Ken Meyer said...

Flyger Mike--You went through 260 N numbers on Flightaware to see how many Eclipse 500's showed up?

Talk about not having a life, my goodness gracious. The rest of us are out flying. What in hell are you doing sifting through all that Eclipse data when, by all rights, Eclipse should be a footnote in your life and not your central focus?

And for what? The data you cited do not support any conclusion because they are hopelessly flawed. Fly-An-Eclipse was right in his assessment: you're missing every plane that flies under a flight number or alias (check out SFH875 for instance and tell me its tail number). You're missing every blocked plane (and of course they're flying; that's why their owners had them blocked). You're missing all the foreign planes. Who knows what other ones you're missing?

The owners' group data certainly do suffer from selection bias, but in this case the selection bias actually provides us with more applicable information--I don't care what percent of the DayJet fleet is not flying (it's probably 100%). I care what percent of the owner-operated fleet is not flying, and I have a pretty good idea now that's it's low.

Ken

airtaximan said...

I love this guy...

"Talk about not having a life, my goodness gracious. The rest of us are out flying. What in hell are you doing sifting through all that Eclipse data when, by all rights, Eclipse should be a footnote in your life and not your central focus?"

Anyone else reading what I'm reading?

Same pattern of behavior we've seen for years here - I guess some folks never learn.

"the rest of us are out flying..."

Funny, in a sad sorta way, I guess.

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

Hi Ken,
Thanks for the (available) stats on the fleet activity- do you know how many hours the "high time" airplane has?

(I would suppose the flight test aircraft would have the most time- if there are any left, or did they all get sold?)
--------------------------------

Hi Flyger,
Thanks for the good research on flight activity. (You'll never catch me dismissing hard work, kindly shared).
--------------------------------

Hi Fred,

I am alarmed by your cavalier attitude towards goats. And Somolians. In that order.

"With a brilliant idea like using FPJ to transport goats in Somalia ? but no more than 3 goat at any time per plane..."

I'm not sure how such a proposition would be greeted by the Somalians, but it has a rather stunning effect on goats.

(I think having to deal with THREE goats a time would exhaust the patience of most here... :)

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
I greatly respect your aviation knowledge- whether you fly a desk or an Eclipse or an ERcoupe.

(Say- just how much did you spend on the "desk complete" service plan? Probably a bit less than the plane Eclipse was offering...
.)
--------------------------------

Hi Gadfly,
"An interesting and perplexing mystery!"

Well, THAT certainly sums up Eclipse too !!

"Let’s leave it there. You dug this hole, you dig yourself out. And no, I’ll not loan you a shovel."

I think Wedge has some shovels (pretty well worn out) that are available, now that the cash incinerators have gone cold...
.)
--------------------------------

Julius,
"Using a decimal point..."

Despite his pointy head, I don't think Wedge was very good with decimal points either...
--------------------------------

Justin_Time,
"Why do you think top level executives have contracts? Why don't they work under the same "at will agreement"? If all employees were given limited guarantees the employers would be less likely to act unjustly. An employee ought to have a vehicle available to them to seek recourse when an employer acts unequitably."

That is a pretty good point- Eclipse could not get rid of Wedge- even as he single handedly ran it into the ground.

"If an employee quits with out reason and no notice. The employer will not give a favorable or nuetral reference. Does the employee have the same remedy available to him or her? NO! All employees should be granted a LIMITED bill of rights."

BRAVO!
--------------------------------

Deep Blue,
"Employees can be (and are) some of the most disloyal, dishonest, incompetent ass-h.. of all time. All the while, guys like you and me, many of the bloggers here, pay the bills with blood sweat and some tears. Please read "A Message from Garcia" to get a better sense of employee laziness, idiocy, incompetence, disregard, disrespect and uselessness."

You know, I think it's time for that little drive to the pharmacy...
---------------------------------

Baron,
I think you're right about workers- they deserve a golden parachute just like CEO's.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Seriously 49 is really warm....

flyger said...

Hi Flyger,
Thanks for the good research on flight activity. (You'll never catch me dismissing hard work, kindly shared).


It isn't hard work, it is a script. Takes 5 minutes to run on any given day.

I love how the devoted defend the dream with biased numbers and attack anyone with actual numbers. They live in a delusion. It is a religion, must attack critics and protect the "faith".

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

I care what percent of the owner-operated fleet is not flying, and I have a pretty good idea now that's it's low.

You speak of "missing" airplanes. Okay, put up or shut up. Tell us the sample size of your "survey".

I predict you won't for obvious reasons.

Thus someone here is "missing" more planes than I am.

Ken Meyer said...

Ah, come on Mike. You're just feeling badly now that everybody found out you're such a rabid Eclipse hater that you actually made time to research the flying habits of 260 airplanes in order to try to score a point. All kidding aside now, you have my sympathies.

Ken

flyger said...

Ken, you are so predictable at avoiding facts. All that blustery about other people's numbers and you can't even show us the one you got. Shameful.

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

Billy :
have you ever been to Somalia ?

i have spent some times (too long IMO) between Djibouti , Ethiopia and Somalia ...

i still do not understand how on earth some may fight each other for those lands !!! ;-)

I used this Country as an example , since all and everybody is so skinny , there ...

3 animals of the size of "somalian goats" could make it ...

otherwise , from "greener" lands , you would put only 2 ! i fear you would need a can opener to disembark them , once arrived ...

that sounds like a wonderful idea , cattle transportation (ok , forget about anything bigger than a skinny goat) ... with Fpj being cut-open like a beer can on arrival ...
this might be the way to "consume" the 3 (was it 5 ?) a day produced as planned ??

but i think you are wrong on the 3 "B. Goats" ... you just have to add a little bit of me into the mixture ...

then it becomes really unbearable ! ;-)

fred said...

Julius :

you are right ...

that something which always amazed on the difference of "mentality" between the "old" Europe and Anglo-saxon mind ...

we work for a living ...
they seems to live for working ! ;-)

Ps: have you seen British Airways asking its staff to work "FREE" one month in the year for "saving" the company ??

i just wonder how fat the top-fat-cats are being paid there , and how much salary reduction hit them ???

unless off-course our Baron is on the Bod ... ;-)

julius said...

fred,

BA...

I think is's just because of the analysts who want to see some activities (naturally long term ...). Then there is some music in the shares etc.

A captain (>10000 hours) may lose 9% of his salary without problems but the first officer (<1000 hours) will feel if he loses 9%!
And Jack W. wouldn't care about it!

Had you seen the French, British, ... embassies in Addis - real parks! It's just a sad area!
Too many weapons - lots of people have AK47 etc.

"At will", 2nd Amendment... old inflexible U.S. ...

Julius

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

"I think you're right about workers- they deserve a golden parachute just like CEO's."

Here is some radical thinking for you: neither deserves a golden parachute. Life is about making choices. Make the right ones and you wont need a (financial) parachute.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Buggar, I delete my last post to correct a typing mistake, but the copy to clipboard wouldn't paste.

What I wanted to say was...

Lets not drive Ken away again (I might have been one who has pissed you off in the past Ken).

It is really boring to keep reading endless Gadfly/Baron threads about the role of employees.

The Ecorpse as company is a coma patient who refused to die after they pulled life support.

Leaves only the plane as a basis for interesting discussion:)

Ken, thanks for providing the stats which you have.

Flyger, thanks for providing the stats you had.

Ken, Is there still anyone at Ecorpse providing FAR 21.3 support? Sort of an engineering caretaker? After the 363 failed there were still something like 9 people at Ecorpse. Are they still there?

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

*cough* 53 *cough*

Fly-an-Eclipse said...

flyger said... I love how the devoted defend the dream with biased numbers and attack anyone with actual numbers. They live in a delusion. It is a religion, must attack critics and protect the "faith".

Actual numbers? Well, yes actual numbers, but not actual statistics since it's not all of the data. Therefore flawed results. My Eclipse is flying, and has never been down except for scheduled maintenance.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Thanks for that data point. Fly an Eclipse.

You have never had an AOG?

How many Hours/cycles do you have and what is the utilisation?

Do scheduled checks tend to drag while the MRO sourves routine spares?

bill e. goat said...

WT,
Regarding golden parachutes-
I was trying to get Baron's goat(s)- or at least the one's Fred hasn't flown to Somalia.

The point is- lower pay?
Okay, do if for CEO's as well as workers.
Golden parachutes?
Okay, do if for CEO's as well as workers.

Or not- for either.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander (or goat!)

flyger said...

Fly-an-Eclipse said...

Actual numbers? Well, yes actual numbers, but not actual statistics since it's not all of the data. Therefore flawed results.

I agree. Ken's stats take into account only a fraction of the fleet (a fraction so small he is embarrassed to even tell us what it is), so very flawed.

JustinTime said...

WhyTech, Radical Thinking? Are you suggesting that all 2000 or so employees that worked for Eclipse aviation are guilty of making poor choices? If so... I'm betting you applied and were not selected and hold a litle grudge. I can tell you that the whole recruiting and selection process with them was a big deal! You couldn't se the smoke and mirrors because of the smoke and mirrors!

I performed research for days, trying to find all the negative material I could about Eclipse Aviation back at the end of 2007. THE ONLY CRITICAL REVIEW THAT COULD BE FOUND WAS THIS BLOG! Every other piece of data that was public was favorable.

So... I ask again... do you imply that all the employees of Eclipse aviation of exercising poor judgement?

fred said...

Billy :

or at least the one's Fred hasn't flown to Somalia ...

i am sorry to inform you that IF i had to do it , i wouldn't have used (i use past , since the beast is dead ) Fpj ...

at your convenience it could have been :

because i can afford to do with own cash ... and i would consider the pointlessness of such BEFORE doing it ...
(making me a very bad customer for EAC for those reasons ...)

or just for the lack of a good can-opener ...!

fred said...

Julius :

yes , i remarked before that the ones bragging about staff being too much paid are often the ones who could loose half income without noticing it too much ...

lack of memory , greed ? i never understood , i remember too well my tough years to agree with "staff is too much paid !"

baron95 said...

B.E.G. - No one "DESERVES" a golden parachute or anything else for that matter. You earn it.

The UAW was able to bully employers into providing an unaffordable set of work rules, retirement and life time health care for employees, retirees and employees. They made employers keep unneeded factories open and unneeded workers on the payroll. The party lasted for a loooonnnnnggggg time and the music is still playing with the help of $70B from the gmnt the UAW elected.

Not bad, right?

Well, except for the US auto manufacturers, their investors, their customers, the reputation of american auto industry, etc. All suffered, but the UAW/CAW workers got their stuff.

Luckly - there is competition and right to work states in the south to put that crap out of business sooner or later.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Justin_
I think WT wasn't saying the employees were responsible for the demise of EAC-

But rather, saying it would have prudent for them to be responsible for arranging their own "safety cushion" of reserve funds in the events things unraveled.

(Instead of relying on EAC or the government. I agree to some degree- I think unemployment insurance is a great government service, and I would argue that health care would be too- I hate to see employers burdened with this large expense- and would hope that by volume, the cost could be driven down by a national health care system. I think that would "liberate" many workers to become entrepreneurs as well- mitigating the burden of both taking care of their own families, and not being burdened with health care expenses for the families of their employees).

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
The union got what they could negotiate, and so did CEO's.
I don't see you gripping about CEO salaries, when THEY are the ones who ran the companies into the ground with crummy products and short-term profit mentality.
Going "south" whether it is to the national trailer park belt, or Mexico, is not a long-term viable solution- it's aimed at short term exploitation too.

WhyTech said...

"So... I ask again... do you imply that all the employees of Eclipse aviation of exercising poor judgement?"

It depends. Every choice involves tradeoffs. Going to work for Eclipse, a very capital intensive startup in an industry where almost every startup in the last 4 decades has failed (a well known or easily discoverable fact)involved more trafeoffs than most. If those who made the choice to work for Eclipse understood this tradeoff, and were OK with the possible downside, then no problem. If they didnt bother to do the homework and understand the tradeoff they were making, and now feel they were screwed and/or are somehow entitled to a bailout (we live in an age where almost everyone wants a bailout) then, yes, poor judgment. As I stated earlier, life is about making choices. If you cant tolerate the downside of a choice, make a different choice.

"But rather, saying it would have prudent for them to be responsible for arranging their own "safety cushion" of reserve funds in the events things unraveled."

Bingo!

baron95 said...

B.E.G. - No one "DESERVES" a golden parachute or anything else for that matter. You earn it.

The UAW was able to bully employers into providing an unaffordable set of work rules, retirement and life time health care for employees, retirees and employees. They made employers keep unneeded factories open and unneeded workers on the payroll. The party lasted for a loooonnnnnggggg time and the music is still playing with the help of $70B from the gmnt the UAW elected.

Not bad, right?

Well, except for the US auto manufacturers, their investors, their customers, the reputation of american auto industry, etc. All suffered, but the UAW/CAW workers got their stuff.

Luckly - there is competition and right to work states in the south to put that crap out of business sooner or later.

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
The union got what they could negotiate, and so did CEO's.
I don't see you gripping about CEO salaries, when THEY are the ones who ran the companies into the ground with crummy products and short-term profit mentality.
Going "south" whether it is to the national trailer park belt, or Mexico, is not a long-term viable solution- it's aimed at short term exploitation too.

.)

bill e. goat said...

This gets easier every day!

(I've adopted a like tactic here- repeating oneself until it's believed, or the other party gives up).

...I think Wedge tried the same thing on Al Mann.

bill e. goat said...

Sad,
Bargain Vacation Spots- 2009

(a small compensation, I suppose things are better in the Detroit 'burbs...)

airtaximan said...

There is never perfect transparency all the way up and down the higherarchy, but... in the case of EAC, there was deliberate miscommunication regarding a lot of salient business aspects, that could have altered one's decisions.

Just the order book size issue alone, making it appear as if there were many more non-dayjet orders that there really were... created an atmosphere of enthusiasm for the product that really was never there.

This sort of thing, I believe is the kind of BS that fosters mistaken decisions.

COuld someone have been more skeptical? Was there indications this was BS... sure. But the company position was always misleading.

In the end, they did not have a desireable product for enough customers to make a go of it.

I believe most employees hired on under the fasle expectatin that the company had in excess of 2500 orders, and that by far most of them (all but 300 or so) were not from Dayjet.

So management lied to the employees and the public about the demand for the product - by far exaggerating its popularity. This created an environment for investors, employees, politicians and the like to err in judgement.

It's always nice to remind everyone about personal responsibility - I could not agree more. The BIGGEST problems with EAC were errors in judgement and lack of personal responsibility regarding the misinformation that was crafted to hide the truth.

Yes this startup was very risky... the risk was mitigated by an unprecedented order volume... which was simply falsified.

Everyone knows why...

baron95 said...

bill e. goat said...
Baron,
I don't see you gripping about CEO salaries,
------------------------------
Of course not. They can be fired on the spot, like GM's CEO was. Try that with the UAW ;)
------------------------

And I don't have any gripes with the UAW either. They are totally within their rights to price themselves out of a job. My gripe is with people (like some posters here) that claim that employees are powerless.

The workers (unions) owns GM and Chrysler now (or soon) just like they did own UA. Lets see how that works out ;)

baron95 said...

bill e. goat said...
Sad,
Bargain Vacation Spots- 2009
(a small compensation, I suppose things are better in the Detroit 'burbs...)
------------------------------
That is just an advanced glimpse of the severe punishment the free markets will exact on the decaying, heavily unionized and/or high taxing locations that squandered their natural advantages (great lakes, great harbors, coal proximity, etc).

Michigan has no chance long term vs southern states unless they become more tax/employer friendly. None.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
I'm feeling the love!

"Michigan has no chance long term vs southern states unless they become more tax/employer friendly. None."

I assume you are giddy about Mexico's "chances"??

baron95 said...

Nope. Neither Mexico, nor Brazil, nor China, have ANY intrinsic long term advantage vs a "free market" American workforce in the Southern right to work American states.

None. We have better productivity, lower energy costs, lower taxes/bureaucracy, better educated workforce (despite all the BS you hear), lower financing/capital costs and are closer to THE major consumer market in the world.

If the UAW had accepted rightsizing of the workeforce, rightsizing of wages and benefits, probably not a single job would have left for Mexico or China.

There are plenty of motivated young kids in Detroit that would much rather be assembling cars for $8/hr vs assembling burgers for $6/hr. It is a shame that the fat, old UAW bosses won't give them that chance and force GM, Chrysler et all to ship jobs overseas. A real shame. Oh, and the Michigan politicians made sure IN STATE LAW that NO ONE can assemble cars in Michigan UNLESS THEY JOIN AND PAY THE UAW FEES AND ABIDE BY THE UAW NIGHTMARE CONTRACTS.

What a shame.

EACritic said...

You can't make this stuff up: so the depositors get together to sue the directors, right, cause they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the Ponzi scheme? So after a lot of work finding a good law firm the firm most depositors select is buddy-buddy with, guess who, the authors of the new incompentent scam called Eclipse Aerospace. And after months of getting over 100 depositors signed up all of a sudden the law firm drops the case and leaves the depositors hanging. And these Eclipse Aerospace guys expect the owners to trust them? Well I guess we know that most Eclipse owners and depositors are gullible fools, right Ken?

bill e. goat said...

"There are plenty of motivated young kids in Detroit that would much rather be assembling cars for $8/hr vs assembling burgers for $6/hr".

Woohoo- get a grip. A successful modern society maintained on $8 per hour wages?

Baron- give it up- cheap labor is a religion to you- and I'm tired of arguing about your religion. If you want to believe it- fine- if you want everyone else to believe- you've tried- it's not working. No matter how many times you say it- it's still a short-term consequence-free fantasy.
---------------------------------

If you want to belive that $8 per hour jobs are the way to maintain first-world nation status- go ahead and put a little umbrella in your glass of Reagan Koolaid.

Personally, I DO want the United States to stay a first-world nation.

BAD management is what ruined Detroit.

They simpley FAILED to manage- they were failures in getting their labor problems under control, as much as they were also failures in long term product planning. All they did was milk the fat-profit SUV market for short term profit, then imploded when it collapsed- they FAILED as managers. It WAS NOT the workers, and it wasn't labor costs anymore than it was CEO compensation- it was just plain PATHETIC management.

And stockholders kept them in place, because -for a while- they were delivering short term profits.

Ken Meyer said...

EACritic wrote, "I guess we know that most Eclipse owners and depositors are gullible fools, right Ken?"

Sure, provided you think a guy can have a couple of million bucks in disposable cash for an airplane and be a fool.

Personally, I think the bigger fools are guys like Flyger and some of the others here who apparently have nothing better to do with their lives than spend hours bitching about how somebody else spent more money than they'll ever have. It's a sickness, you know?

As for Susman bailing out, it is a bit of a puzzlement how they got so far into the case without discovering this supposed "conflict" until now. If you can shed light on it (not more BS; we've had enough of that), I'm all ears.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

---------------------------------

And please get over the attempt at outrage,
"Oh, and the Michigan politicians made sure IN STATE LAW that NO ONE can assemble cars in Michigan UNLESS THEY JOIN AND PAY THE UAW FEES AND ABIDE BY THE UAW NIGHTMARE CONTRACTS."

Is that your Rush Limbaugh impression?

Guess what- you're referring to a 55-year old issue, the Right to Work laws, and ah, guess what else- besides Michigan, 27 other states have similar laws, so do me a favor, and put the OUTRAGE in the closet.
---------------------------------

By the way, it seems like the Taft Hartley Act was passed (June 23, 1947) right during the heyday of the Red Scare. a fine prelude to the subsequent Limbaugh, er, McCarthist sensationalism, you know, commies, socialism, unions.

(Personally, I like the bit about "There were also more subtle forces encouraging the rise of McCarthyism. It had long been a practice of more conservative politicians to refer to liberal reforms such as child labor laws and women's suffrage as "Communist" or "Red plots.")

President Truman vetoed Taft-Hartley, but it was over ridden by "patriots" who, like their counterparts 50-some years later following 9/11 and voted on the Parrot, er, Patriot act, were sipping the Red Scare Koolaid, circa 1947.
--------------------------------

Poor old big-mouth Joe,

"McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48. The official cause of his death was listed as acute hepatitis: an inflammation of the liver. It was hinted in the press that he died of alcoholism, an estimation that is accepted by contemporary biographers"

Baron, you want to talk about "bullies"?

Please.
---------------------------------

And- I hate to put a June Bug in the Koolaid, but:
"The workers (unions) owns GM and Chrysler now (or soon) just like they did own UA. Lets see how that works out"

Perhaps one should, ah, sort of look at the statistics before decideing it was the union that ruined United, eh?

Sorry to be so inconveniently factual.
--------------------------------

Baron, I suggest you use your fliar for OUTRAGE for more productive purposes, such as

"FIGHT COMMUNISTIC WORLD GOVERNMENT by destroying THE UNHOLY THREE !!! It is later than you think !"

1) Flouridated water,
2) Polio Vacine, and
3) Mental health

We can add Baron's concern about $8+/hour jobs to that list of unholy evils.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
"have you ever been to Somalia ?"

I must say, there are many things in life I'd like to do, and some I'd like NOT to do- Somalia definitely makes the later list!
.)

Time for another round of...

Fun with numbers!

Just how many goats (old, or otherwise), can one get in an Eclipse?

"the short eared somali goat's height is approximately 61 to 65 cm and body weight is 28 to 33 kg".

Well, I reckon you could put about 12 goats in an Eclipse. Just in case anyone wanted to know.
---------------------------------

"The Somali goat breed from Somalia and northeast Kenya is utilized for the production of meat"

Savages !!
.)
--------------------------------

"Goats are extremely curious and intelligent ...Being very intelligent, once a weakness in the fence has been exploited, it will be repeatedly exploited until they determine it can no longer be overcome. Goats are very coordinated and...are also widely known for their ability to climb trees, although the tree generally has to be on somewhat of an angle."

(Well, that answers a long standing question of whether goats can fly or not. Seeing them roost in trees had caused some consernation along those lines...)

Goats
---------------------------------

Fred, just, ah, what pasttimes did you engage in while visiting Somalia?
.)

(While I think our chum Baron might rather delight in some BBQ goat, I would hope you are a fellow of more...particular, tastes! :)

bill e. goat said...

Ken,
"Personally, I think the bigger fools are guys like Flyger and some of the others here who apparently have nothing better to do with their lives than spend hours bitching about how somebody else spent more money than they'll ever have. It's a sickness, you know?"

I agree- they would be much better off thinking about goats.

(Although, in a platonic sense -rather than gastronomic- fashion only, please).

Could you substantial Fred's thesis on boarding/disembarking goats?

Thanks!
.)

fred said...

Baron :

US = Free market ?

how do you call a place where some (very few) do everything and anything for short profits only ...

claiming it : one of the superior aspect of the "free market economy" ...

and as soon as their lack of honesty , forecast , skills or ethics downturn this "free bla bla bla" they call the Tax-payers for rescue ?

enabling them (the tax-payers) to get deeper into debts for 2 or 3 generations (i am being kind here ...)

it is your right to claim anything , but i really believe that on this particular subject B.O. is right :

you cannot claim one thing , pretend it to be the only good way , your right hand on heart while asking for the totally opposite benefits as soon as things turn around ...

in fact your president is much too kind ...

i would have started by :
"you want a cent of public money ? prove me they didn't get rich by those bad practices ...or get rid of them BEFORE asking and after taking back all what they have stolen !!"

sorry on this , i would think Billy is right on the matter ...

would you accept to work for 8$/Hour
(the legal minimum is 12.13$/hour in France ... for this much they don't even ask you to pay any income tax , health care is free , your kids will be automatically granted pocket-money for their studies which are free btw , you get social-housing for almost free , etc... AND now , we have the same unemployment on both sides of Atlantic apart that job-seekers can have a decent life , here ....they can even get coupons to go on vacations to the sea on country or mountain , as they wish ...)

if you would ... you can claim it , if not = you're looking ONLY for short term ...

which is basically all that went wrong in USA ...

fred said...

Billy :

i went to Djibouti & Ethiopia while i was in the Navy ...
(the place was already a shit-hole)

then i went back a few years ago including Somalia on a survey trying to find out WHY there is so many problems there ...

some places on earth seems to be forgotten by all , even forgotten by god himself (if you're a believer...no one is perfect!)

Djibouti command the Suez Canal , more or less , apart this ... just a lost-space ...

even if Queen of Saba (King David's wife) was supposed to be from there ...

julius said...

Baron95,

There are plenty of motivated young kids in Detroit that would much rather be assembling cars for $8/hr vs assembling burgers for $6/hr.


where are you living?

2000 hours p. a: Earning: $16 000
p. a.!!!
Sorry, you mean the "young kids" have second job... then $32000... plus high quality products???

Naturally these "young kids" should buy Fords, GMs, and houses, have health care, their families ... and are perfect examples of the "American Way of Life"!

Or are you talking about vacation jobs - just for 4 weeks a year?




Julius

fred said...

We have better productivity Nope and even if it would be true : compare to what ? lower energy costs Yes , but at the price of a run down Electric network loosing about 42% of its energy to its crappy state , as for Oil product = wait a bit , a nice surprise is brewing ... lower taxes/bureaucracy Taxes : unfortunately all deficits have to be repaid somehow , no need to be extra-clever to find the solution ...money has to be taken from somewhere ! Bureaucracy : Not so sure , anymore ...! better educated workforce (despite all the BS you hear) What do you call "educated" ? i thought your public school system was a nightmare ? can you call a country where 98% of population wouldn't be able to place a few towns at the right place on a map "educated" ? lower financing/capital costs that is probably something of the past with what B.O. wants !! and are closer to THE major consumer market in the world. yes , but those consumers are nearly bankrupt or at least swimming in debts ... so the question remain : consumers = yes , but for how long ?

Shane Price said...

Fred,

Certain of our American cousins don't like it when you tell them they're:-

1. Currently out of cash, and heading rapidly to bankruptcy.

2. Allowing an increasing gap between those who can afford a full education, and the remainder who are destined to a life lived in poverty.

3. Incapable of the structural changes in political and business life required to remain internationally competitive with the Chinese.

So please stop telling them what they're doing wrong. It's hard enough for us Europeans already. Let them find out the hard way the real cost of change.

I'm happy to say that I'm a big supporter of our European Union. I think that cooperation is the way to promote a betting living standard across the entire EU. This has worked for us, but at a cost. We generally pay more tax, per capita, than Americans do. But then we tend to have better services (health, public transport and education) than they do.

And, as both of us have pointed out, 'they' seem to live for work.

'We' tend to work for a lifestyle that suits our needs.

Personally, despite being almost half American by birth, I could never bring myself to live there. Lots of nice people, and spectacular landscapes, but just a bit 'crude' for my taste.

And thank you for your (repeated) offer of a visit to meet with you in Morocco. I am (as you know) a big fan of the Swiss Alps, where I'm happy to say I'll be spending Christmas and New Year. The ski slopes require their annual lesson in who's the REAL boss....

I'm sure we'll get together at some stage, if not at the end of this year.

Shane

WhyTech said...

"provided you think a guy can have a couple of million bucks in disposable cash for an airplane and be a fool. "

Ken, my man, if you think that having a couple of million bucks (for any puropse) prevents one from being a fool, you are smoking something exotic. I know folks with hundreds of millions of dollars who are certified fools. Money can buy many things, but this is not one of them.

WhyTech said...

"'We' tend to work for a lifestyle that suits our needs.
"

If I wanted to start an OT fight, I'd say that this is because your lifestyle is subsidized by the U.S. But I dont want to start a fight, so I wont say that.

airtaximan said...

I would'nt call them fools, but I would say they are inclined to take much bigger risks.

I have notice that certain EAC owners/depositors NEVER acknowledged the risks... even one risk in the program/company/plane over the years.

For me, this is antithetical to a safety culture, and not my kind of pilot.

I think EAC (Vern) preyed on this type of personality.

Also, I do not think that placing your hard earned money on an EA50 for $1.5 Million, plus all the mod costs, etc... ws a smart bet.

Kinda penny-wise, pound not-so-wise kinda move.

For a little more money, you could have looked a lot smarter.

WhyTech said...

" I think that cooperation is the way to promote a betting living standard across the entire EU."

Americans figured this out in the late 1700's. (The UNITED States of America). What took you guys so long?

fred said...

Monsieur Shane

mind you , it is not because i am bad , perverted or whatever that i would like "them" to be conscious of their own fate ....

as you may know , sometime it is better to be shown "where it could better ...."
(even if i understand very well how disturbing it might be to feel being the top of the hill and being shown : it is past !)

than to get a good kick in your "intimacy " from your own deed or therefor lack of ...

you see , my friend , i always found quite comical peoples wanting to compare things which are hardly comparable ...

yes , we enjoy a very decent way of living ...
(mainly due to hard-work from our parents , our European Union which permitted us to get Peace for an unprecedented length of time , and all the "Lessons" of our past mistakes ...)

even if it is far from perfect and pisses me off at the occasion for all the missed opportunities to make it better !

but can we take ourselves as an example ?

this is very highly doubtful !

what i could wish would be (toward them) :

we cannot fix all problems , that's a fact ...

if problems have to occur , they will in any case ...

so the best attitude to have is "probably" to be aware of the situation ...

because it is always better to be surprised in a nice way because the predicted storm was only a light rain ... than to be caught by a thunderstorm while you were setting the family for a pick-nick in the garden ....!

About Morocco ...

you know that you can go there any time ...! i would feel honored if i could host you for a while ...

the same for any person wishing to see this beautiful country ...
which is about a galaxy away from all prejudice ideas one can have about Muslim society ...!

i would make only 3 exceptions :

Messieurs Billy-Goat (i really would like to meet him ...) , GadFly ( Wisdom like that should be spread everywhere ...) and Off course Monsieur Gunner , because WE owe him more than words ...

for those 3 persons i would organize transportation ...

as for the Swiss slopes , yes you re right ... they need to be taught a bit ....

the Only place where you could do it in Morocco would be in the Atlas , around the Toubkal (4167 Meters 13600 feet) but i must say the infrastructure for skiing aren't exactly of european standards ... ;-)

nonetheless , i would be glad to have you there !

airsafetyman said...

"Sure, provided you think a guy can have a couple of million bucks in disposable cash for an airplane and be a fool."

Ken, go look in the mirror! You were made a fool of three times; Vern and Roel and company played you like a piano. Get over it. Eclipse cratered along with a substantial amount of your money that could have done some poor families some good if you had just given it away. Even if you had just burnt it in the fireplace on a cold night you would at least have been warm for a few minutes. What a complete waste of resources.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

Sure, provided you think a guy can have a couple of million bucks in disposable cash for an airplane and be a fool.

That is exactly what we think.

Indeed, the more money you put in the scam, the more energetically you defend the scam. Otherwise you have to admit to yourself that you made a mistake. Clearly some folks don't have the capacity to do that and will go to great lengths to maintain that illusion.

If only you had been serial #261, then maybe you couldn't escape reality so easily.

fred said...

Flyger :

Yes , definitely some don't want to understand when you tell them "Your pants is on fire ..."

if they cannot smell the burned flesh , they don't believe ...

Having money and being clever are too different story ...

i know few guys extremely clever without money ... some complete fool with cash ...

the difference = one goes from down to up , the other goes opposite ! ;-)

ASM :

me thinks you forgot a fourth time !

with all the support , praise and public relation Kenny gave to EAC ...

he should have got his plane for FREE !!!

Shane Price said...

WhyTech,

You know me well enough to understand when I'm 'stirring the pot' for fun!

I had another paragraph in the same comment, which I left out. It was just a little too far over the top.

Even as a 'Fun Friday' remark....

When you see the wonderful post that one of our long standing contributors has written for me, you'll understand why I'm in such a merry mood. He (I'm pretty sure about the gender) has excelled himself.

Onto another topic. Did you notice the UBS inventory report on biz jet's for sale? The market might be on the turn.

What are your thoughts?

Shane

Ken Meyer said...

ASS-Man says "Eclipse cratered along with a substantial amount of your money that could have done some poor families some good if you had just given it away."

See, now that's a funny angle--I should have given the money to a poor family instead of enjoying my jet. Just how much did you give to poor families last year?

I think you missed the memo: the Eclipse 500 is a real nice plane. Every owner knows that. Just a couple of days ago, it proved its worth to me again:

On short notice, we escaped a string of bad weather by flying to Palm Springs. We climbed through the weather, reaching 35,000 feet in 20 minutes and cruised above the weather in the quiet comfort only a jet can provide, at 420 MPH getting >6 MPG.

For what it does, you really can't beat an Eclipse. But you don't see that. When it comes to things Eclipse, you're a blind man.

And, like a blind man with a shotgun, you keep missing the target. EAC gave people reason to hate them, but it is misplaced hate when you attack the plane. It's a great plane; if you don't think so, you don't know what you're talking about.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"Onto another topic. Did you notice the UBS inventory report on biz jet's for sale? The market might be on the turn.

What are your thoughts?"

There is an extensive article in the latest issue of Pro Pilot on the state of the acft market. I dont have it handy and didnt memorize all the numbers, but as I recall sales are off about 47% from the high in 2007, and are at the lowest point in 10 or more years. An example was given that a GV would bring $45mm-$55mm in 2007, and is now selling around $25mm. There was some opinion expressed that a bottom has been reached, and that prices would begin to rise soon, but that volume would take many years to recover.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

Couldn't start the heaters to clear the windshield?

That's why you had to use all that extra fuel at FL350....

Keep the photos Ken. Pretty soon that will be the only way to re-live the 'exciting' chapter in you life that was Eclipse Aviation Corporation and its' now orphaned child, the Eclipse 500.

Shane

gadfly said...

fred

Thank you for your kind words and generous offer.

However, my traveling days are probably over . . . I have enough memories to suffice and plenty to keep me occupied close to home.

gadfly

Shane Price said...

Flyger,

You'd be surprised at how much (exactly) the Meyer's are 'down' so far.

Shari is light a nice round $100k deposit (plus legals) on the ConJet.

Ken is down $150k in a 'second' position, plus the remainder of his Jet 'Incomplete', which we can call another $50k, ish.

The FPJ cost them (from memory) just over $1.6 million, and might make $600k, if they were lucky.

If you take $300k in lost deposits, add the million odd depreciation and then divide their flying hours by that total, you probably get to a number north of $4,000 per hour.

But never mind. Ken's getting 6 miles per gallon at FL350, for as long as his toy stays airworthy.

It's really important to save a few cents of fuel, when your fixed costs are high.

Hey, that was a REAL 'Friday Funny', right there....

Shane

fred said...

you probably get to a number north of $4,000 per hour. ...

Ouuuchhh !

70% of the African population doesn't even make that in a whole year ...
(about 920 Millions Chinese call it a yearly income ...)

if one had wonders why Our kenny left his Suid-Afrika ...

now , you know !

(boring place where you cannot burn your money peacefully ...)

baron95 said...

WhyTech said... I know folks with hundreds of millions of dollars who are certified fools.
------------------------

Are we talking about Al Mann here?

The biggest fool in the whole Eclipse saga?

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...
The market might be on the turn.

What are your thoughts?"
==========================
I think it is just starting to stabilize, but at much lower volumes and prices. Unfortunately, I think that is where we'll be for quite sometime.

It is good for buyers, not so good for sellers. Note that all GM's GV's and GIV's for example are now off lease and looking for a home.

baron95 said...

BEG, giving the Detroit 18 year old that is making $6/hr at Taco Bell with no benefits a job assembling cars at $8/hr plus benefits is a 50-100% wage increase.

Where did you get the impression I'm for low wages? Free/Market wages YES.

Of course, there is always the alternative of saying: "You can only be an assembly line worker in Detroit at $76/hr (all in) and only if you belong to the UAW". We all know how that worked out, right? Didn't the LAST auto assembly plant in the city of Detroit just close? Didn't a bunch of them got built in the US South without the UAW?

You can delay the inevitable - like the UAW has done for 3+ decades, or the EU is doing for their retirement systems with a declining population. But eventually the inevitability of competition and unsustainable policies catches up to you.

Of course, I may be wrong. It may be possible to artificially increase wages for ALL by erecting tall concrete barriers and restricting people's ability to work for market-set wages. It is possible that an assembly line worker really should make $76/hr (all in) vs $40 in the free market south. What do I know.

Deep Blue said...

B95:

you make a very interesting point about unions blocking younger labor. Not only from a job per se, but from an apprenticeship and on-the-job training.

One of the biggest problems with unions is that they ceased being "craft" and training/mentoring organizations (like a guild) and have turned into strictly
bargaining platforms.

How many 18-23 year olds are represented in skilled labor? One would bet a small %.

BTW, what where EAC line techs making per hour or in salary? Were they organized?

bill e. goat said...

Deep_Blue,
Thanks,
"BTW, what where EAC line techs making per hour or in salary? Were they organized?"

lets see,
"open shop" state, check
"organized labor, no", check
"sub-industry wages", check

"We all know how that worked out, right?"
.)

fred said...

ok , baron , you're not for low wages ...

but may i ask you HOW you can set higher rates if they are not imposed by some kind of authorities out of the line ?

considering the wonderful proof some businesses have shown recently in making the worst of the worst for getting a fast-buck ...

what is the definition of market-wages ?

especially in time of crisis , where basically the same scumbags would probably present jobs as "wonderful opportunity to earn some money " (even if very low )

don't you think the State has to jump in to reduce this problem ?

baron95 said...

Fred, you crack me up!!!!

It sounds like you are so desperate and involved in convince yourself that the US and the world is coming to an end!!!! ;)

Get over it pall:

We (the US) can still issue unlimited amounts of debt at 0%-3% per year and Europe, Japan, China, Russia and all the other countries eat them up without chewing.

We (the US) are the ONLY developed country that has a population that is increasing in substantial numbers vs simply aging and declining like Japan and most of the EU. We don't have to pay our women 2,000 euros to try to convince them to have kids. As a matter of fact google for "recession babies", lots of women in America have decided that this economic "pause" is the perfect time to take some time off and have BABIES ;)

People are having a great time and planing to have even better time over here.

This recession has liberated at least part of an industry (autos) from at lest some of the uncompetitive legacy labor costs, has rightsized home prices and consumer debt - as painful as it is in the short term, it is a healthy event in the long term.

Just like WWII was healthy for our economy and 9/11 was healthy for our internal/external security stance.

Setbacks are a part of life that only make you stronger.

If you don't enable your population to fail (e.g. lose a job, lose your business, lose your investment), they will never really reach their potential. You can never have winners without losers.

Would you watch a soccer match if every game was a tie? Would you work hard if no matter what you did everyone always ended up with the same amount of money/things/status?

It is the variability of resoults based on individual choices and hard work that motivates humans. Always has been, always will be.

As much as Obama and Michigan legislators may try to stomp on it, there is just too much back pressure in America that will burst it open.

Just look at the internal migration patterns away from the 27 non-right-to-work states that BEG mentioned into the right to work states. In 2010 more and more congressional seats will shift away from those same states where the population is running away from into the growing southern and western states.

It is awesome to watch the punishment being inflicted by the American people and the American consumer on those that are hanging on by their finger nails to outmoded ideas.

I love it.

Go America!!!

Ken Meyer said...

Shane, for a guy who claims to have the numbers "exactly," you got a lot of it wrong. I guess it shouldn't surprise anybody when your "facts" aren't correct. And I don't think I'd put financial figures about you on a website, but heck maybe your sense of decorum is not real well developed. Don't sweat it, I still love you.

Either way, I'm very satisfied with the product and feel it's worth what I put in it. You haven't flown it; of course you wouldn't know anything about it. All things considered, my main regret is that it's going to take a while longer for Shari to get her own Eclipse 500 :)

Ken

WhyTech said...

"But eventually the inevitability of competition and unsustainable policies catches up to you."

I think you are missing the point. You are taking a strategic view. Union workers take a tactical view. Yes, unsustainable polices will eventually catch up with someone. The objective is to try to make sure that this happens after it doesnt matter to you any longer. Three generations have successfuly delayed the inevitable, much to their benefit.

On a broader note: no one HAS to work for $6/hour, $8/hour with benefits, or $76 per hour. This is a choice that a worker makes. He could just as easily make a choice(s) that positions him to be CEO of GM. But a huge majority wont make this choice or equivalent choices because they will have to work harder than they want to.

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

"Setbacks are a part of life that only make you stronger."

B95, excellent post! You are apparently once again on your medication.

baron95 said...

Fred asked....
what is the definition of market-wages ?
====================================
The wages that are in practice by most of private sector in the US.

The wages that Microsoft, Citibank, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Walmart, Booz Allen, Intel, Mc Donalds, IBM, Mom-hiring a babysitter, corner barber shop, etc, etc, etc, etc pay...

When they need a worker and ONLY when they need a worker they interview applicants, make offers to the best ones and IF and ONLY IF the offer is acceptable to the applicants the offer is accepted, else workers will take other offers. Once the worker is no longer needed or when the worker finds a more attractive offer then relationship ends. What a concept heh?

Exception to the free market? Unionized government workers and the single-digit percentage of legacy organized UAW/Airline-style private-sector workers.

Do you think you get better service at the motor vehicle office than at Wells Fargo?

Do you think the UAW Michigan autoworkers are more productive than the non-union Mercedes/BMW/Hyundai/Toyota auto workers in the South?

Get the point?

WhyTech said...

"All things considered, my main regret is that it's going to take a while longer for Shari to get her own Eclipse 500 :)"

Ken, why not give her yours (I'd guess you'd be more inclined to sell it to her!) and move on to a real airplane?

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...
I think you are missing the point. You are taking a strategic view. Union workers take a tactical view.
--------------------------

Nope. Not missing the point. I fully agree with you.

And, BTW, I'll defend to the end the UAW's decision to try to hand on. It is their right and their choice to self destruct and see their numbers dwindle to hang on to the "old days".

That is the reason I believe this sudden recession is so "healthy". It moved the time table of inevitability up by 10 years or so for the UAW, California's budget, Lehman's trading desk, etc.

Certainly not a fix, but slight move in the right direction.

How many productive businesses do you think will be started by the tens of thousands of GM/Chrysler/Ford ex-UAW workers that got around $100K buyout money each and can bid for machine tools from the liquidating factories?

Fred may have preferred to keep those guys on unemployment dole for years.

I'll be marveling at the 50 year old UAW worker that was on the "job bank"last year, and in 2009 got $100K buy out, used $20K to buy CNC aand other machine tools that Chrysler and GM paid $2M for in liquidation, and in 2011 will be employing 20 ppl making metal casings for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars or aluminum door stampings for Mercedes or BMW southern plants.

Freaking awesome to unshackle these workers, as painful as it will be for many.

WhyTech said...

"Freaking awesome to unshackle these workers, as painful as it will be for many."

While I am in violent agreement overall, I'd point out that these workers have chosen to shackle themselves. No one forced them into a UAW member /GM employee for life job/career path.

baron95 said...

DB, EAC workers were not organized. I think wages (IIRC) were $14/hr and up with benefits and lots of overtime pay.

airtaximan said...

all things considered...

means he has not given enough attaention to the real risks, that's all...

baron95 said...

I still "hope" that someone manages to upgrade the EA50 fleet and continue production.

I agree with Ken, it is a nice airframe, and, if nothing else, will keep jet prices (new and used) in check for pilots looking to buy one.

baron95 said...

Hey B.E.G....

http://www.cnbc.com/id/31446512

"Michigan again reported the highest jobless rate of 14.1 percent, ...Not only did Michigan hold the highest spot in terms of unemployment, a position it has had since October, but the state also experienced the largest monthly increase in its rate"

And that is even with massive exodus of population from that failed state.

But hey, UAW-supported-non-right-work-laws and high taxes, seem to be working for the politicians, and union bosses, heh? Lets keep them in place until say the jobless rate reaches 20% and another 5% of the population leaves, shall we?

baron95 said...

By the way, unemployment rate in New Mexico, where Eclipse chose to locate is less than half Michigan's rate (6.5%).

I wonder why. It couldn't have anything to do with lower taxes, lower regulation and virtually no unions in the private sector, could it?

airtaximan said...

baron,

the data and reasoning you are refernig to are very troublesome - the argument is really polluted.

Employemnt in Michigan was based on the auto industry, and they have had massive problems. So there is huge unemployment now, and with the same unions and taxes in place, all these people WERE previously employed. If the employemnt numbers are higher in an industry rich environemnt WITH unions, would you attribute this high employemnt rate to the unions?

I think not.

The current unemployment issues have little to do with unions, IMO.

Kathy said...

IAM was in the parking lot at EAC for a bit years ago. VR tactfully threatened (at an "all hands meeting") to shut down the works if employees decided to go that route.

Jim Howard said...

"Sure, provided you think a guy can have a couple of million bucks in disposable cash for an airplane and be a fool. "

CFIs, I suggest this quote figure prominently when you discuss the dangers of hazardous attitudes in pilots with your students. It's this kind of thinking that kills so many doctors and lawyers.

And many of the non-foolish doctors and lawyers who haven't been killed in their airplanes are now broke because they non-foolishly invested with Bernie Madoff.

gadfly said...

“I still "hope" that someone manages to upgrade the EA50 fleet and continue production.”

A noble thought: “Some dogs like “Alpo”, and some don’t!” . . . as if “flying fun” has anything to do with safety, reliability . . . and just plain honesty!

But hoping that the fleet will continue production . . . that’s a stretch. So, if such a thing should take place, it’s going to need an overhaul at every level . . . beginning with business ethics, etc., . . . you all know the grocery list of things.

And coming back to the aircraft, itself, it might have been “something” at under a million dollars . . . or maybe slightly above. But it grew in price and weight . . . to the point of about $400 per pound . . . and it still isn’t complete! The “Obese 500"!

Now, the discussion generally goes down the toilet about now . . . some folks thinking that to gain respect is to pull someone else down to their level, and then attempt to stand on the character or reputation of the one that they “think” they have pulled down. But it doesn’t work that way . . . for those that need explanation, they wouldn’t understand.

The subject centered around continued production. And I’ll make the same old prediction, again . . . and again, and again, if necessary: This bird will never be complete, ever!

Moral issues matter! Business ethics matter! The design is important, too, and basic safety and system redundancy matters! The “stir fried” issue will bite someone, eventually, but I applaud the attempt to make it happen . . . which brings up a primary issue, that should be engraved in stone for every engineer who ever claims to be capable of designing a “jet”: . . . “life cycle testing” of each and every system, especially for new “breakthroughs” in design and manufacturing. Think back to the British “Comet” . . . that caught the engineers and all concerned by surprised. And many people paid the final price for a lack of structural testing, and design understanding.

(And to put a “cannibal” on board, in the form “PhosTrex” . . . an aluminum aircraft eating monster sitting in the corner, somewhere . . . waiting to have a complete meal . . . what in the world?!)

For those who think the failures of Eclipse only occurred in the “final days”, let’s back up a bit. Some of us observed the failure of the design (not a part of the present discussion, but obvious to people with aeronautical design skills, none the less) with the first “power plants” (and do not blame Williams), and money was fraudulently taken out of escrow, with a belated announcement that the plane was not “really” successful, but needed a few revisions, etc., etc. Some of us, even before that event, discovered that the so-called wind tunnel testing was conducted in a facility that could not approach the actual velocities of empirical aerodynamic testing. (Of course, the close support of known local politicians of questionable ethics raised many red flags.)

From those early “clues”, the rest of the story was easy to predict . . . the bird would never fly as promised . . . ‘still doesn’t!

Anyone should know that when the “name calling” begins, there is “something rotten in the state of Denmark” (to paraphrase Shakespeare, in Hamlet).

Well, there’s the “gadfly’s” sermon for the week! There are no surprises in the story . . . and although it’s nice to be “liked”, and not so nice to be accused of things “not true” by little people, the history . . . the story of Eclipse, should be burned firmly into the thinking of each and every engineer, or promoter, who would attempt to resurrect the little bird, or any other venture, that affects so many folks, and their families.

gadfly

Bubba said...

Shane, for a guy who claims to have the numbers "exactly," you got a lot of it wrong. I guess it shouldn't surprise anybody when your "facts" aren't correct. And I don't think I'd put financial figures about you on a website, but heck maybe your sense of decorum is not real well developed. Don't sweat it, I still love you.

Either way, I'm very satisfied with the product and feel it's worth what I put in it. You haven't flown it; of course you wouldn't know anything about it. All things considered, my main regret is that it's going to take a while longer for Shari to get her own Eclipse 500 :)

Ken

I've flown one of the damn things. I posted a PIREP on the old critic blog. It was then, and is now, a poorly crafted piece of CRAP. And, THAT'S from someone who has flown one! I went on to purchase something from Cessna. You know them don't you Ken? Cessna, they are the people who make REAL jets!

baron95 said...

ATM said... The current unemployment issues [in Michigan] have little to do with unions, IMO.

----------------------------------

You are kidding, right? Do you know how many tens of thousands of auto assembly line jobs were created in the non-UAW right-to-work states while tens of thousands of UAW jobs in Michigan and vicinity were being eliminated?

-----------------------

More data for you.... United Van lines (moving company) rates Michigan as the number one state for outflown migration in the US.

But hey, it could be just coincidence. It may not have anything to do with high taxes and intransigent unions.

airtaximan said...

high taxes and intransigent unions were created there BECAUSE of the industrial opportunity not in spite of it...

I am not kidding - unions are not antithetical to productivity or competitiveness...

The only problem with Michigan, is they are victim to a bloated demand for cars, created by an artificially high standard of living due to lending practices that are no longer sustainable.

A misperception of risk, resulted in the bloating of a market and then the collapse, just like it did for the auto industry, and ironically, for EAC.

So, the auto industry is now crashing... so has Wall Street, and they are not unionized.

Its just a flawed argument, IMO to blame unions for a over-blown demand and then resulting crash for cars. People who were employed due to an exuberant market are now out of work... the auto industry did not save or plan (except for maybe Ford) for this type of contraction.

Same reason one large MAll developer is failing while another is not... they planned and saved for this... the failing one did not.

bill e. goat said...

Ho hum.
Here we go again.

Right to work states (in green, "open" shop states)

State-by-state unemployment

See any correlation?
There isn't any.
(Think the midwest "matches" Barons thesis? Check the NE versus SE).

Sorry to let the June Bugs out again- use a strainer on the Koolaid.

fred said...

Baron :

you don't get it , that badly i think it's either foolish blindness or you're trying to convince yourself ...

Honestly i don't give a damn about the US (sorry for readers)
WHY should i ?

i tried to explain that economy and economic cycles have a life of their own ...

they are born at some point ...

they live their life ...

and they finally die !

so USA are really much closer to the end of ECONOMIC DOMINANCE , the country will survive without any problems , just the advantage of having the world reserve currency and one of the best producing apparatus is gone !

FOR YOUR INFORMATION : US Debt being bought by foreigners for EVER ?

NO , last month the four biggest buyers have ALL reduced their exposition ...

for some 7+ Billions $ into a single month , they discreetly got rid of those US debts ...

which is totally unprecedented !

at same time , BRIC have agreed to the need and use of a new trading currency ...

don't you see the relation between those events ?

i would say that the biggest risk now for USA isn't here ...

it is in the kind of attitude you are showing us : Trying to hold-on to a past statute ...

just think about it for a short while : trying to be at the level of chinese competitiveness =

most of Chinese employees make between 35 to 50 $ a month ...

just in this aspect , the only ones who can beat them are Vietnamese or some even more exotic places ...

so what is best option ?

A: swallow your pride (as being a dominant) start to make your own peoples living the best they can (quality of life VS possession)

this would be what you could be proud of next ...

fred said...

The only problem with Michigan, is they are victim to a bloated demand for cars, created by an artificially high standard of living due to lending practices that are no longer sustainable. ...

if i wouldn't fear it is going to be wrongly interpreted ...

i would say : i love you !!! ;-)

don't worry , i won't try to kiss you ... just you are fine , you are conscious of the limitations of system ... perfect !

fred said...

By the way :

if EAC workers were getting 14$/hour ...

they were very close to the absolute legal minimum in france ...

benefits would be already included in those wages ...

but they wouldn't be asked to build something so highly sensitive as a plane ...

for this kind of salary they would be asked to wash dishes in a restaurant ...!!!

and Vern would have ended in troubles for preventing his employees to get unionized = it is called freedom of association !!

julius said...

fred,
bonjour!

(or better "gute Nacht!")

Sorry, you didn't get it(I think I know understand Baron95):
- the wedge is the greates one (RiP a little bit, too)
- the wedge only made one big mistake:
his employees did get too, too much money($14 plus overtime no,no!): $6 and after 3 years perhaps §6.5 or $7,
the best $8 per hour (plus at least 2000 hours p. a.) would be appropriate!
Then EAC would be successful!
You call that slavery, communistic views, stupid, ... BS - no that's free world, world class payment...

Julius

P.S.: But perhaps Baron95 will correct me: most EAC employees got lower wages according to US standards. EAC was DOA because of the Wedge...

chickasaw said...

Baron,

Even though I disagree with you on EAC, your analysis of Michigan and the UAW are correct. Michigan is not a business friendly state, and Detroit is full of corrupt politicians.

I have lived in the Detroit area all my life. My Father and maternal Grandfather worked for the Big 3. Everything that I have done since returning from the service in 1969 has been automotive related. Although I have had to branch out a little as evidenced by my stint at EAC.

Your writing is more eloquent than mine so I wish that you would explain to Shane and Fred etal, why capitalism is more effective than socialism. For my part, with all of it's flaws I would not live anywhere else than the US, and yes I have lived elsewhere; Canada, England and Germany.

I have been out of work since last October, but I don't want a bail out. I am more opposed to the socialist movement in this country than ever before.

Shane, thanks for your work on this blog....

Gad, I did love my time in ABQ, good luck...

gadfly said...

chickasaw

This is “off topic”, but since anything goes these days, here’s an article of local interest that is encouraging in these difficult times. The camp is within a half hour drive from ABQ. Some of us find better things to do than purchase incomplete aircraft.

http://www.mountainviewtelegraph.com/index.php/news/1514-camp-gives-children-with-hemophilia-chance-to-let-loose.html

gadfly

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