Die-Hards? Perhaps Not!
Comments Posted Today on the Eclipse Owners Forum
"I could understand their continual delays with the FAA, but I am amazed to read that they can't even get their act together to train pilots.If it is true that they can't train us to fly the plane when it is delivered, or at least provide enough trained mentor pilots, then we will be buying $1,500,000 of metal that can't be used, but have to carry. I say we should band together and at certain point we can't be forced to give them the 60% if there is no way they can deliver us a plane that can actually be flown..."
"Please tell me this is not true and what the current (as of right now) training resources and plans are.
A no reply will be taken as a confirmation of the posting, and if true I can pretty much assure Eclipse of a customer revolt, likely followed by same from the investors.
Hopefully, this is an error or some misunderstanding.I look forward to your prompt reply."
THERE HAS BEEN NO REPLY!
"I made my second factory tour last week, my first was in February. In the two and a half months, very little has changed. At most only 5 or 6 serial numbers have been added in primary assembly and there were 2 or 3 empty stations there. There were 4 empty stations in final assembly and not a lot of workers around. In the test hangar there were 2-3 aircraft there all day (the same ones) and I was told the rest were out flying, but none ever returned during the entire day.
The touted “maintenance facility” is a joke. It is a small, community hangar with 5 or 6 aircraft in it (2 were DayJet) with almost no technicians and no tool chests or test equipment or other normally appearing equipment seen in “operational” maintenance facilities. The only work going on was a couple of guys on a ladder trying to remove a drill bit left in the tail section of one of the planes."
Another owner writes:
"Just confirmed it, if you were taking delivery in 2 weeks (#20 or so) you can't get a slot in training for about 60 days after delivery, and even that assumes everything goes smoothly between now and then (no fleet groundings, pilot's own planes are 100% reliable for training and check rides, etc.)
Quoting Eclipse, "the focus was on getting manufacturing ramped up and getting the PC, so not enough attention was paid to ramping up pilot training so the planes could actually be flown, until after the PC was received. We are trying to ramp up as fast as possible but it is going slow. The next customer training is in early June. Then only 2 pilots will be trained every 2 weeks until we can expand capacity (date TBD)."
"It seems to me that the backlog will grow, not shrink, (as I hope they are delivering more than 2 planes per month.) I guess Eclipses are piling up in the hangers.
Wonder when they will turn their attention towards service and support for the fleet, such as staff and parts at field service facilities, so you aren't stuck flying to ABQ at your own expense anytime anything needs service? If they weren't thinking about training ramp-up, I am guessing there are other aspects of their program in similar shape. What about aero mod retrofitting, avionics retrofitting, etc., etc., etc?"
"I'm beginning to think they will be lucky to ship 100 planes this year, especially if ship means with trained pilots so they can be flown, not just delivered. I would concur with pete’s ending comments. I, too, wonder where Eclipse and all of us are heading.
By the way; Where is the follow up regarding the pitot/AOA problem promised by 10 days after 4.23.07?"
Thanks to Niner Zulu for sharing this information.