May 20, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Diamond Aircraft isn’t buying the positive spin, put out recently by the court-appointed bankruptcy administrator for Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE).
Diamond officials said there is no progress expected until the end of the preliminary insolvency process in July.
“Overall, we have the impression that the insolvency administrator is not able to, nor interested in, providing a path forward, which makes current TAE engine operators and owners a priority,” Diamond officials said in an update to customers. There are hundreds of Diamond aircraft in the customer fleet using Thielert engines.
Diamond customers have several aircraft awaiting parts. Diamond offered up several proposals to Thielert: Buy a sizable inventory of parts, purchase enough engines to get its customers flying again, or pay for materials required to overhaul existing parts. All proposals failed, Diamond officials said.
Instead, insolvency officials have released a parts list with what Diamond officials say are excessive prices. There are very few replacement parts available, Diamond said it has learned. Thielert no longer guarantees parts availability or delivery dates and requires orders to be paid in advance.
A small number of engines were offered to Diamond without warranty or assurance of further support, but when Diamond demanded spare parts and support for the engines, the deal fell through.
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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