Engine Owners' Group Puts Thielert Investors On Notice

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The recently formed Thielert Engine Owners Group (THENOG) said on Tuesday that it will "exhaust every available legal, political and economic avenue" to ensure that any new owner of the bankrupt company will not leave owners high and dry. The group was responding to last week's announcement from Thielert that several purchase offers have been received from "well-known investors." Dr. Todd House, founder of THENOG, said, "We're pleased with the positive investor response in Thielert and we have every confidence that the bidders will want to honor the company's commitments to its customers." Hundreds of aircraft powered by Thielert engines have been sold, but in the course of its insolvency proceedings, the company has said it won't honor warranties or inspect and replace certain life-limited parts as owners expected, THENOG said. The changes have left Thielert owners grounded or trying to operate aircraft that are no longer economically feasible.

"Any investor that ignores Thielert's customer commitments will be facing a very unhospitable business environment," said Vilis Ositis, THENOG co-founder. "The first step for any new Thielert owner will be to honor the company's commitments to aircraft operators who bought into Thielert's vision of a dependable, efficient, aircraft turbo-diesel engine. Not only is that the right thing to do, but it would diminish the threat of potential lawsuits, political action and consumer boycotts the company could face from existing Thielert engine owners."

A representative of the owners' group will meet with Thielert insolvency administrator Bruno Kubler in Germany next week. The group is also working with the FAA and EASA to cope with various maintenance issues, and it is working with aircraft manufacturers and Thielert to improve the options available for support and upgrades for Thielert-powered aircraft.