October 9, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
New Eclipse owners Mason Holland, left, and Mike Press have obtained type certificates and are establishing a parts network. Upgrades and modifications to the existing Eclipse 500 fleet are in progress at a repair facility in Chicago.
Eclipse Aerospace, the company that bought the assets of Eclipse Aviation out of bankruptcy, has received the FAA and EASA (in Europe) type certificates. It is an administrative move that allows shipment of parts.
It doesn’t mean production will restart. In fact, a decision on whether to restart is at least a year off. A service center is now open in Chicago, but the service center at the Eclipse factory in Albuquerque, N.M., is not yet open. The FAA suspended the Eclipse service center when the company went bankrupt. Company officials are working with the FAA to restore it.
A newsletter to owners sent Oct. 1 indicates suppliers of some of the Eclipse parts are not going to continue producing parts, so the company is looking for new sources. Company officials are hosting a one-day Supplier Summit on Oct. 27 in Albuquerque, calling on companies from around the world to participate and engage with Eclipse Aerospace.
Negotiations have been completed for all parts needed for FIKI and AvioNG 1.5 avionics suite upgrades. Very few of the 259 Eclipse jets now in the fleet had all the systems promised by the factory at the time of delivery.
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.
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