Eclipse 500 Owners Rally to Protect Their Interests

A spokesman for a group of Eclipse 500 owners sounds less than thrilled with some plans to resurrect the manufacturer. Randall Sanada of Jet Alliance said the Eclipse Owners Group would, itself, like to buy the assets of Albuquerque-based Eclipse, which is now facing Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings. He called the efforts of others to buy the assets "predatory" since they would require owners of existing aircraft to pay for upgrading to the current state of airworthiness. The most prominently mentioned of those potential buyers is Phil Friedman of New Eclipse. Meanwhile, the FAA has quelled rumors that it would summarily ground all Eclipse 500s after the collapse of the manufacturer. The agency has reported that the twinjets may continue to fly as long as they are legally airworthy. The issue of replacement parts could rear its head to the dismay of operators of the 259 existing Eclipses. Some parts may be acquired directly from the vendors that supplied them to Eclipse, but the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin as a two-way source of information on any unsafe conditions involving Eclipse jets.