Eclipse Owners, Depositors Form Customer Committee

 - December 18, 2008, 11:15 AM

A group of Eclipse 500 owners and position holders for the Eclipse 400 and 500 this week formed an ad hoc customer committee to represent their interests during the Eclipse Aviation Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. David Green, also the president of the Eclipse 500 Owners Club, was selected to be the group’s chairman. Green said the group’s goal is to find “a mutually beneficial outcome with the purchaser…but all options are under consideration as we fulfill our mandate of protecting the interests of the customer group.” One claimant has a particularly painful story. Phil McCabe paid in full for Eclipse 500 S/N 260 on the November 25 morning that Eclipse Aviation filed for bankruptcy, completing the transfer of funds before the time of the bankruptcy filing. Instead of handing him the keys, according to a lawsuit filed on December 8 by McCabe’s company, Gulf Coast Commercial, an Eclipse noteholder instructed Eclipse not to hand over the airplane. At press time, nothing had happened except that a judge ordered Eclipse to maintain and insure the airplane. Meanwhile, owners of the 259 Eclipse 500s delivered thus far may end up having to spend their own money to upgrade their jets to the final configuration. One Eclipse expert estimated the costs, if parts were available, at roughly $325,000 per airplane for flight-into-known-icing and the full Avio NG 1.5 package (IS&S panel and dual Garmin 400W navigators).