Friday, June 13, 2008

DayJet 's Eclipse 500s Keep Flying

DayJet, the single largest operator of Eclipse 500 very-light jets, continued its air-taxi operations normally today after the F.A.A. ordered all Eclipse 500s nationwide inspected following an incident in Chicago last week.

Anxious DayJet customers worried about their travel plans today when press reports said that the F.A.A. had "grounded" all Eclipse 500s after a throttle problem caused both engines on an Eclipse 500 to become temporarily stuck at full power during a landing. The plane eventually landed safely at Midway Airport last week.

DayJet, which now has 28 Eclipse 500s and more than 200 others on order, flies the small planes on air-taxi routes, selling seats on demand, in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeast.

"We got the directive around 9 o'clock last night, and the F.A.A. required full inspection of the fleet because of the incident in Chicago a week earlier. We were aware of the incident and prepared for the air directive that came down last night, and we fully inspected the fleet and completed that in time to service our customers uninterrupted today," said Vicky Harris, a spokeswoman for DayJet.

There are over 200 Eclipse 500s now flying. The planes are manufactured by Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, which has said it has orders for more than 2,500.

Recently, DayJet said it had curtailed its ambitious expansion plans and laid off about 100 of its 260 employees because of a tight credit market.

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