Facing a judge's deadline to either come to terms or see the remains of Epic Aircraft go to a third party, a Chinese aviation company and a group of Epic LT builders have sealed a deal. China Aviation and the LT Builders Group together will pay $4.3 million for Epic's assets. The builders will retain the rights to sell the LT single-engine turboprops in the North American market, while the Chinese have rights to the rest of the world. Douglas King, a member of the LT Builders Group, said they plan to reopen the Epic facility in Bend, Ore., and continue with kit production and builder assistance. "We intend to run it honest and straight, according to the law, be good neighbors here in Bend," King told Kitplanes editor Marc Cook. "We're going to do what we say and not over-promise. We are going to work really hard at producing high-quality airplanes."
The bankruptcy court still must give final approval to the deal. Then the builders must start negotiations with the lease-holder of the hangar where all of their unfinished aircraft remain under lock and key, to resolve issues of unpaid rent and get the operation going again. But the builders group was excited about the deal. "We did it!" Daryl Ingalsbe, another member of the builders group, told The Oregonian. "We kept control of this wonderful company in the United States." According to KTVZ.com, the group hopes to eventually attain FAA certification for the LT.