On September 28, 2006, Vern Raburn appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation. The full transcript of his message is online:
His statements detail a very thorough training program for his Eclipse buyers.
What I don't understand is how the company can exert so much control over a purchaser. A buyer who wants to duck all the screening measures Vern described, can send a qualified professional pilot in to pass the tests, take delivery of the airplane, then fly home and operate as the owner pleases.
And assuming Eclipse can exert almost absolute control over the initial buyer, does this long arm of control extend to the resale market?
The hearing was not about training but rather the potential impact of a swarm of low performance VLJ's on the Nation's air traffic control system. In front of the Committee he claimed most flights would take place between 20,000 and 30,000 ft. Further he stated, "the Eclipse is more than capable of getting out of the way of faster airplanes."
One would think that an important event like Vern appearing before a Senate Subcommittee would be reported on the Eclipse web site. Now it seems they are only reporting upside stories and this may become a downside issue. Potentially, minimum speeds and minimum rates of climb could be imposed in the upper airspace which could adversely affect Eclipse flight operations..
Vern did testify that owners who failed his screening tests would have their purchase agreements terminated and their deposits returned. Elsewhere, we have heard that even with future performance shortfalls the buyers are locked in their contracts and obligated to take delivery of the airplane or forfeit their deposit.
Now if I am a buyer and want to cancel my position, all I have to do is show up for training, flunk the tests and walk away with my deposit refunded. "Don't throw me into the briar patch Brer Bear!"
Now for your believe it or not moment and those die hard Eclipse followers who want to track every twist and turn of the program, check out this report from a Russian news organization: