The doors are closed at Epic Air, in Bend, Ore., and a notice on the door states that the building's landlord has "taken possession of the premises" because Epic is 20 days overdue on a lease payment, the Bend Bulletin has reported. About a month ago, Epic had scaled back to about 15 employees, but a company spokesman told AVweb at the time that the doors were still open and work on airplanes was continuing. The company sells several kit aircraft, including the Epic LT turboprop, which are assembled by customers with expert help at the company's build center in Bend. One customer, Rich Lucibella, of Florida, told the Bulletin that he and a group of other LT owners may try to take over control of the company. "Our first efforts are going to be to conserve the assets of this company because we believe the [Epic LT] is still a wonderful design, anyone in the general aviation community knows that, and after that, a way we can simultaneously keep this company going in Central Oregon and finish the planes," Lucibella said.
According to the Bulletin, Lucibella is the owner of Blue Sky Avgroup, which in June filed suit against Epic, alleging that Blue Sky had paid Epic for a PT6 engine that had not been delivered. Calls to the Epic company phone on Tuesday went unanswered, and messages could not be left because the mailbox was full. Messages left for Epic CEO Rick Schrameck were not returned by our deadline. At Sun 'n Fun in April, the company held two news conferences to unveil new designs, but at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July, the company did not make a showing.