FAA Not Planning To Ground Eclipse Fleet

 - March 4, 2009, 10:26 AM

Addressing the question of what happens when a manufacturer goes bankrupt, the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (CE-09-14) that examines support issues for the 259 Eclipse 500 very light jets in the field. A hearing today will decide on the petition filed last week to move the bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 liquidation. “All Eclipse operations (including certification, production, service centers, training centers and dealers) are closed,” the FAA noted. The agency is asking owners and operators to report all unsafe conditions on their Eclipse 500s to the FAA’s Fort Worth, Texas certification office. In a list of questions and answers, the FAA affirmed that it “has no plans to ground the EA500 airplanes” and that the jet remains flyable as long as it is airworthy. Parts might be difficult to obtain, however, as Eclipse is not shipping anything. While there are Eclipse vendors that might stock some parts, these cannot be shipped to owners/operators unless the vendor holds a PMA or TSO for that part.