Mini-Jet Obstacles Overcome

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Eclipse Announces Training, Insurance Plans...

Eclipse Aviation appears to have answered the chicken-and-egg dilemma revolving around what were likely the biggest obstacles to very-light-jet ownership: training and insurance. In simultaneous announcements Friday, the company that hopes to bring the masses a million-dollar jet (well, pretty close, anyway) has thrown away the notion of in-house training for neophyte jet jockeys and (timing is everything) found a company that will insure them. New Eclipse owners will train on the same gear, and at the same facility, as United Airlines pilots. That was fundamental to AIG Aviation Inc.'s agreement to insure the Eclipse 500 and for insurance broker Willis Global Aviation to announce tentative insurance pricing for the mini-jets. Eclipse announced Friday that rather than try to train its customers in-house, it's contracting with United Airlines to provide initial flight-skills assessment and type-rating transition training at the airline's training center in Denver. The partnership will provide "the most comprehensive flight training available in general aviation," according to an Eclipse release. "The training program will provide the level of professional pilot training normally available only to commercial airline pilots," the release said.