Eclipse flies United

Eclipse Aviation has formed a strategic relationship with United Airlines to provide training.

The idea is to provide “a level of professional training normally available only to airline pilots,” according to Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn. Originally, Eclipse had intended to develop its own training program, but concluded that United could “translate airline style training into a program appropriate for Eclipse 500 customers,” Raburn said.

The training will take place at United’s Flight Training Center in Denver, where full motion simulators will be adapted to a curriculum developed by Eclipse and the airline. It is a multi-phase curriculum, starting with an assessment of each pilot’s skills. It includes self-paced, computer-based training material already being issued to Eclipse customers on CDs. Pilots will end up with a type rating.

Cost of the training is included in the price of the jet. There is an additional charge of $995 for an obligatory upset course in an L-39 jet trainer. Recurrent training will cost $2,995.

Meanwhile, American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has agreed to underwrite hull and liability insurance for the Eclipse 500.

Successful completion of the type rating and training program is a prerequisite to getting insurance, according to William Lovett, AIG’s vice president.

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