United Airlines Drops Eclipse Training Program

 - March 6, 2007, 7:58 AM

Eclipse Aviation and United Airlines have “mutually agreed to terminate their pilot training program,” according to Michelle Burns, manager of training development for United’s flight training division. In 2004 Eclipse and United announced that the airline’s training division would provide screening for Eclipse pilots and type rating training. According to Burns, “United has agreed to provide certain services while Eclipse transitions to a new provider.” Burns declined to elaborate on the nature of those “certain services” or why the two companies parted ways. Eclipse has not released information on a new training provider, but confirmed to AIN that Opinicus of Lutz, Fla., is still building the Eclipse 500 simulator and that it will be available in the coming months. Alteon Training, which was to provide instructors to United for the Eclipse program, told AIN last week that it still had an agreement to provide instructors to United, but was unavailable to comment on those plans at press time. A FlightSafety International official told AIN recently that the company has no interest in providing training for very light jets such as the Eclipse 500. The New York-based company is the authorized training provider for the Citation Mustang, which Cessna refers to as its entry-level jet.