On Tuesday Eclipse Aviation filed for protection under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as it continues to move towards reorganization and continued operations. After missing a payroll date by a few days the company took the action to allow the company controlled by current Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper to consolidate it's hold on the troubled aircraft manufacturer.
Pieper said in a press release that "In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, it is clear that the sale of the Eclipse business through the Chapter 11 process is the right course of action to maximize the value of the business, secure its future and protect the best interests of Eclipse's stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and creditors." In order to continue operations the company has cut a deal with customers, creditors, suppliers and employees to keep the company alive and position it for continued aggressive expansion and remain the world's leading very light jet manufacturer.
It seems to this observer that despite the rosy outlook for business jets put out by Honeywell that aviation is still in tough shape. When measuring the health of the aviation business by dollars the picture might not look so bad, the reality is that single engine aircraft sales have fallen by half and many of the vlj manufacturers have either given up, postponed or filed for bankruptcy. The housing bubble seems to have burst the vlj bubble as well.
I wonder if some of the now proposed $ 800B stimulus package will fall aviation's way? By the time the dust settles Uncle Sam will be an investor in almost everything else, why not aviation? I note that yesterday the big three auto manufacturers were considering car pooling to Washington to pursue their quest for part of the stimulus pie, I wonder if aviation will take as dramatic a position as Aero Commander did back in the days of Eisenhower when they flew an Aero Commander for Oklahoma to Washington with one of the twin engine aircrafts propellors in the cabin? That certainly got the attention of the Eisenhower administration.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
In response to how he checked the weather, "I just whip out my blue card with a hole in it and read what it says: 'When color of card matches color of sky, FLY!'"
— Gordon Baxter