FAA defends certification of Eclipse VLJ

09/17/2008 | Google · NYTimes.com · USA Today

Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel is expected to tell a congressional panel on Wednesday that the FAA rushed to certify the Eclipse 500 very light jet despite "unresolved design problems" and the objections of some inspectors. Congressional investigators also noted a "disturbing suggestion that there was a 'cozy relationship' and reduced level of vigilance" during the certification process. The FAA continues to maintain that the aircraft -- with about 250 planes in operation -- is safe. "While we made the right call in certifying this aircraft, the process we used could and should have been better coordinated," said Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell.

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