Eclipse 500 Completes First Revenue Flight


North American Jet Charter became the first air taxi operator to put the Eclipse 500 very light jet to its much-anticipated use as a point-to-point charter aircraft. According to CharterX, a charter industry Web site, North American Jet CEO Ken Ross flew as pilot in command on the round trip from Chicago to Baltimore with two passengers on board on Friday. As we reported Thursday, North American was also the first to receive Part 135 approval to use the Eclipse in commercial service, a distinction that many in the industry assumed would go to DayJet, a Florida-based air taxi company that is also Eclipse’s biggest customer. Eclipse was uncharacteristically quiet about North American’s achievement, which, after all, was the culmination of eight years of work by the start-up manufacturer and its founder Vern Raburn. Eclipse usually chronicles its achievements with a wide distribution of press releases and photos but, to the best of our knowledge, there was no such effort on this milestone. An e-mail request for comment from Eclipse was not answered by press time.