Eclipse 500 Filght-Test Aircraft Damaged In Gear-Up Landing

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Eclipse Aviation said on Tuesday its fourth FAA-conforming flight-test aircraft, N505EA, landed gear-up on Runway 3 at the Albuquerque International Sunport last Saturday. The two pilots on board the six-seater jet were not hurt. The aircraft was towed back to the hangar, and after a thorough investigation, Eclipse said no mechanical or electrical problems were found, and attributed the cause to pilot error. "We are evaluating the damage to the aircraft, but are confident that we will demonstrate how easily a friction-stir-welded structure can be fixed," said CEO Vern Raburn. "We are very thankful that no one was hurt and pleased that the aircraft will fly again. Due to a sturdy and well-built design, the Eclipse 500 can withstand events like this without injuries or catastrophic damage." The company currently has four other flying aircraft in flight testing.