Eclipse 500 air-taxi operator Linear Air and High Performance Aircraft Training (HPAT) yesterday announced that they have partnered to provide Eclipse 500 pilot training under Linear Air’s FAA-approved Eclipse training program. Linear Air will continue to offer pilot training at its facility at Hanscom Airport in Bedford, Mass., either in an owner/operator’s airplane or in one of Linear Air’s.
The prognosticators may claim that the very light jet era is over, but the investors who paid $40 million (half in cash up front) for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation think otherwise.
Eclipse Aerospace has grown to more than 60 employees since purchasing the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation on September 4, and the new company is meeting its plan to supply parts and provide upgrades to Eclipse 500 VLJ owners.
The comment period on the FAA’s proposed changes to Part 23 certification regulations governing very light jets (VLJs) has closed, and commenters on the proposal submitted approximately 30 opinions about the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
For Europe, the so-called very light jet (VLJ) revolution has turned out to be more a case of evolution in which only the most financially fit seem destined to survive.
Although Eclipse Aviation no longer exists, having been liquidated following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing earlier this year, legal actions surrounding the company continue to multiply.
Former deposit-holders for Eclipse 500 very light jets recently filed four lawsuits in New Mexico district courts alleging various wrongdoings by Eclipse Aviation executives before the company filed for bankruptcy one year ago. Named in the suits are former Eclipse Aviation leaders, including Vern Raburn, Roel Pieper, Peg Billson, Michael McConnell and Mark Borseth, as well as sales and support personnel.
Eclipse Aerospace held a supplier summit on October 27 for manufacturers and vendors of Eclipse EA500 very light jet components. Eclipse Aerospace purchased the assets of bankrupt manufacturer Eclipse Aviation on September 1 and is focusing on supporting the existing fleet of EA500 VLJs.
Harco general manager Michael Milardo said his company would support the Eclipse EA500–for now. Harco makes the airspeed probes for the compact very light jet. Milardo said his company is planning to participate in the Eclipse Aerospace suppliers conference scheduled for October 27 in Albuquerque, N.M., and will work with Eclipse’s new owners and current aircraft operators.
As the industry nervously anticipates a tepid buying climate at this year’s NBAA Convention, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell sees a serious near-term dip in business jet deliveries but a gradual climb back to the heights reached during last year’s production peak, based on the results of its 18th annual 10-year market forecast.