Eclipse 500 Gains European Type Certification

 - November 21, 2008, 6:19 AM

Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation today received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. The approval is for private flights only, the EASA clarified, and Eclipse expects to receive the EU-OPS 1 certification for commercial operations next year. According to the EASA, the certificate is valid for VFR and IFR operations, including RVSM and flight into known icing. The EASA requires Eclipse 500s to be equipped with the Avio NG 1.5 avionics suite and some equipment specific to European operations, such as dual mode-S transponders and a third attitude indicator–a “slight” weight addition, an Eclipse spokeswoman said. Additionally, the agency also mandates, for European-registered Eclipse 500s, several FAA Airworthiness Directives regarding fuel filler adaptors, thrust levers and pitot/angle-of-attack probes. In tandem with today’s EASA announcement, Eclipse also said it received FAA approval for the Eclipse 500’s upgraded Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration avionics system featuring dual Garmin GPS 400Ws. The upgraded avionics suite adds Rnav, coupled GPS/Rnav lateral navigation capability, coupled precision and non-precision approach capability and various other software upgrades. Meanwhile, Eclipse yesterday confirmed that it altered the office hours for customers to speak with customer care, technical services and maintenance scheduling representatives from 24/7 to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The new hours will take effect on Monday. Outside those hours, Eclipse 500 owners and operators will be able to leave a message on the voice-mail system and will receive a call back during normal hours. For customers with more serious and urgent problems, the voice message will provide a separate number. European customer support is not affected by the change.