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.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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