DOT: Eclipse Certification Probe ‘Just Beginning’

 - September 23, 2008, 12:20 PM

Last Wednesday’s congressional hearing on FAA certification and “alleged regulatory lapses in the certification and manufacture of the Eclipse EA-500” is just the beginning of the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector general’s investigation into Eclipse Aviation. According to the OIG, the investigation is not over, and it “will attempt to determine if problems identified during the certification and manufacturing process have been corrected,” as well as “evaluate the current manufacturing process to determine the effectiveness of the Eclipse quality assurance system, the adequacy of training for production personnel and the competence of the FAA designees.” For its part, Eclipse issued a statement after the hearing, asserting, “The Congressional hearing is about the FAA and its procedures by which it certifies all aircraft. Eclipse Aviation was chosen as a test case and speaks of the many political discussions in front of the upcoming elections. The congressional hearing is about the past procedures and possible errors within the FAA itself.”