Adam A500 Owners Organize To Lobby For Support

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When a new company took over the assets of Adam Aircraft earlier this summer, it was made clear that development of the A700 jet would proceed, but the A500 in-line twin was of no interest. Unfortunately for the five owners who have already taken delivery of an A500, this left them in a bind. Mike Hackett, a retired airline pilot who lives in Napa, Calif., paid $1.25 million for his A500 twin. "It's grounded," he told The Denver Post last week. "I can't fly it." The aircraft requires maintenance and parts that only the manufacturer can provide, he said. Hackett and three other owners have banded together in a new group called the A500 Owners Association, hoping to convince the new company, AAI Acquisition, to provide support for the fleet. However, "There's no economic model that justifies setting up a support team to support just five planes in the field," AAI's head of customer support, Jan D'Angelo, told The Post. "There's no critical mass to make it economically viable."

The last A500 to be delivered went to the New Mexico state police. Since it is operated under public-use rules, it may be possible for the state to keep it flying more easily than private owners can, according to KOAT.com. AAI has said the company plans to certify the A700 jet by 2010.