Eclipse owners asked to report problems to FAA
The FAA has issued a special airworthiness information bulletin asking Eclipse EA500 owners and operators to report current and future problems with their very light jets directly to the agency.
Eclipse faces Chapter 7 liquidation at a March 4 bankruptcy court hearing, and Eclipse production, spare parts manufacturing, and warranty service have ceased. The company based in Albuquerque, N.M., produced 259 of the pioneering, six-seat aircraft before closing its doors in February.
The airplanes can continue to fly as long as they are maintained in an airworthy condition.
“Contrary to media reports,” the FAA said in its bulletin, “the FAA has no plan to ground the EA500 airplanes.”
Eclipse owners can buy some parts directly from vendors. Owners also can make modifications through the FAA supplemental type certificate or field approval process.
Pilots seeking EA500 type ratings can get training under Part 61 at Air Sabena in Mesa, Ariz., or other programs of “similar scope and complexity” that the FAA approves.
For more information, see the FAA’s “Questions and Answers – EA500” handout.
March 2, 2009