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Flight Design insolvency

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It seems to me FD USA is already taking care of their market by changing suppliers to AeroJones for CTLS.  The press release says a 'secondary supplier' but I suspect it will be up to FD USA to whom they source their orders.  A quote from the release: “Our focus has been on airworthiness, sales, and support and this goal matches perfectly with AeroJones’ approved production ability,” said Peghiny. Seems like FD USA will be looking AeroJones for support as well.  Don't know what this means for the CTSW.

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Too bad that none of the major players - Cirrus, Piper, Cessna, etc. seem to have any interest."

 

 

Given the experiences of the Skycatcher and the PiperSport, I think that might be a blessing in disguise.  

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Restructuring finances has been a part of business forever, and has been taken advantage of countless times in aviation, aerospace, automobiles, banks... you-name-it.  It shows a desire to remain in the game.  It would be far easier to pull the plug and leave everyone hanging.  Admitting the situation is the first step in fixing the situation.  If Fight Design can weather a Bernath attack, it can handle anything.  (BTW you can probably thank DB for at least some of the hardships FD has had to deal with in the last couple of years)

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I don't think FD USA will suffer from this whole episode.  

It seems that production of the CTLS is well developed in the Far East, and FD USA will begin receiving a regular supply of units in March this year.  FD USA will simply change its source of supply.

 

It's what's going on in Europe that really annoys me as it looks increasingly likely that the longsuffering customers here won't see a penny.

 

 

 

 

FD USA is a distributor. Independent of FD Germany.

Tom has some pull, but I doubt he is an insider..

 
 FD USA is quite certainly a separate trading entity to FD Germany and is the appointed US distributor, but they are also far more than that. 

If I remember correctly, Tom P travelled to Taiwan with the Germans to tie up the new manufacturing deal, and that's way outside the remit of a mere franchisee or a distributor.     

A recent news article dated 4th Jan 2016 says:

Peghiny has from the start been deeply involved with all aspects of Flight Design production and oversaw the company’s 2015 flight test program for its coming four-seat C4 design.

 

My point is that I just can't see that FD USA is not involved in the shenanigans because they are at the heart of everything.  The idea that the Germans have done all this on their own (lied to customers for years, reduced and eventually ceased production in Europe while telling the world that everything's great) and that FD USA didn't notice it or do anything about it is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

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I don't think FD USA will suffer from this whole episode.  

It seems that production of the CTLS is well developed in the Far East, and FD USA will begin receiving a regular supply of units in March this year.  FD USA will simply change its source of supply.

 

It's what's going on in Europe that really annoys me as it looks increasingly likely that the longsuffering customers here won't see a penny.

 

 

 

 

 
 FD USA is quite certainly a separate trading entity to FD Germany and is the appointed US distributor, but they are also far more than that. 

If I remember correctly, Tom P travelled to Taiwan with the Germans to tie up the new manufacturing deal, and that's way outside the remit of a mere franchisee or a distributor.     

A recent news article dated 4th Jan 2016 says:

Peghiny has from the start been deeply involved with all aspects of Flight Design production and oversaw the company’s 2015 flight test program for its coming four-seat C4 design.

 

My point is that I just can't see that FD USA is not involved in the shenanigans because they are at the heart of everything.  The idea that the Germans have done all this on their own (lied to customers for years, reduced and eventually ceased production in Europe while telling the world that everything's great) and that FD USA didn't notice it or do anything about it is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

 

Tom is a MAJOR trading partner. That doesn't make him privy to the company financial records. Now, he COULD know more than he lets on, or at least suspected. But, that's a stiff accusation to make, so I chose not to make it without evidence. For all we know, they could have been stringing him along too.

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                                                            AEROJONES AVIATION TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD

With the recent news of Flight Design’s struggles, we would like to introduce you to our company, AeroJones Aviation Technology Co. LTD.  Started in 2012, AeroJones Aviation is headquartered in Taichung, Taiwan centrally located in the Republic of China.  Taichung is the “Silicon Valley” of Taiwan where many high tech companies are located.  AeroJones Aviation is a well-funded company, privately owned and independent.  Taiwan is a western oriented country with strong ties to the United States and Europe with whom it shares key values and a familiar way of life.         

AeroJones Aviation has to date been producing the CTLS series primarily for the Southeast Asian market and worked with Flight Design of Germany for more than two years in an exclusive agreement to license their products and the associated aerospace composite technology. The program included our own complete tooling, production worker training, quality management training and the gradual build up to finished airplanes which first occurred in 2014.                                                                                                                   

 The process has been managed and audited by engineering staff from Europe where Flight Design has the original production line for the their aircraft.  So far the production facility has passed numerous audits including the awarding of a Production Certificate by the Chinese CAAC at the end of last year.

 

As roughly 35% of a CTLS comes from the USA (Wheels, tires, Brakes, Radios, antennas, GPS, autopilot, EFIS and EMS systems, intercom, Whelen lights BRS parachute, ELT, headsets, miscellaneous parts like the gascolator.  Meanwhile, the Austrian-made Rotax engine, propeller, composite materials, windshield and windows, paint, seats and numerous miscellaneous parts come from Europe.  The planes made by AeroJones Aviation should correctly be called “world aircraft” (just like Boeing and Airbus) as only about 25% will be of non-western origin. 

 

The production facility located in Xiamen includes almost all of the production processes under one roof.  In-house production equipment includes a CNC, TIG welding and of course, the composite layup and post cure ovens.   A modern paint booth is on site as is assembly and test equipment for the electrical harnesses.  Our belief is that the overall quality, fit and finish will be as good as anything you will see anywhere the Light Aircraft market, worldwide.        

 

 

Chi-Tai Hsieh

Executive Vice President of AeroJones

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Chi-Tai,

 

Thanks for your perspective, and welcome to the CTFlier forum!  We're honored to have you here, and look forward to ongoing participation.

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Chi-Tai,

 

Thanks for your perspective, and welcome to the CTFlier forum!  We're honored to have you here, and look forward to ongoing participation.

Dear CT4ME, 

I am honored to be here to share my opinions with you. AeroJones, right now have full capability of producing CTLS aircraft, and we want to keep the CT fleet healthy in life cycle. 

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Chi-Tai,

 

Will Flight Design's recent actions affect your production?

 

Thanks!

AeroJones is a financial independent company and still undergoing production..  

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So will the planes henceforth be AeroJones CT's?

Thanks for your suggestion, but I would prefer calling Flight Design CT's by AeroJones.

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Since you are being so kind to answer questions, I will ask another.

 

Who will develop the C4 from this point forward?  Flight Design in Germany after it's reorganized? Your company?  No one?  

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Since you are being so kind to answer questions, I will ask another.

 

Who will develop the C4 from this point forward?  Flight Design in Germany after it's reorganized? Your company?  No one?  

AeroJones also invested money to develop C4 program, and we do hope the C4 program can continue. However at this right moment, AeroJones is trying to help Flight Design to keep his core capability in order to push C4 forwards. What in my mind is how to keep the CT fleet with AeroJones Logistics support, and producing CTLS which I thinks is the best LSA performer

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Clearly FD globally has been concentrating on keeping the US market satisfied, perhaps inevitably if they were running out of cash they saw the US as the only short term solution for keeping some positive cash flow into the parent company. While that might have been a pragmatic decision it does seem like a pretty poor way to treat those paying customers not in the US!

 

Moving forward it would appear that this latest development with AeroJones gives some relief to the US but just raises more questions in Europe (and I suspect Australasia and the far east though that is just speculation).

 

The supply chain in Europe has been a mixture of customers buying either from territory based dealers or direct from FD Germany. I don't think the dealer network has ever been particularly successful, probably due to the limited market size and the challenges of delivering and maintaining a small number of products across a number (28 in the EU alone) of Civil Aviation Authorities and languages etc. The EU has recognised this difficulty and has created yet another bureaucracy - EASA - to attempt to deliver standardisation (I know you Americans give your FAA a hard time but they are only dealing with one country - just think for a moment of the issues over here in Europe).

 

Who knows how this will pan out? I have three questions:

 

1 Will AeroJones be taking over all production and parts for Europe as well as the US?

 

2 Will Europe be served by a dealer network or by the manufacturer/licencee directly?

 

3 Can any progress in resolving the issues in Europe be made while this law suit is hanging over FD in Germany?

 

(Actually 4 questions - as my surname is Jones can I please get priority treatment from AeroJones?)

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Tom is a MAJOR trading partner. That doesn't make him privy to the company financial records. Now, he COULD know more than he lets on, or at least suspected. But, that's a stiff accusation to make, so I chose not to make it without evidence. For all we know, they could have been stringing him along too.

It's not an accusation, Corey, it's an almost unavoidable conclusion.

 

Actually, the only accusation made was made by yourself:

 

that's a stiff accusation to make,

 

That in itself is an accusation.

 

Perhaps your unwillingness to call out FD Germany's fraud as fraud, and to require FD USA to make an immediate statement has something to do with this:

Burying the company's reputation any further will only make things worse for everyone (seriously, it will harm every single FD aircraft owner).

I have skin in the game too, but I don't see any gain in slamming them more.

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It's not an accusation, Corey, it's an almost unavoidable conclusion.

 

Actually, the only accusation made was made by yourself:

 

that's a stiff accusation to make,

 

That in itself is an accusation.

 

Perhaps your unwillingness to call out FD Germany's fraud as fraud, and to require FD USA to make an immediate statement has something to do with this:

 

 

Seriously, why does this have to be so polar? My position between the two extremes is in the middle. I have no proof that Tom knew or didn't know, but I'm not going to ignore that it's possible that he did.

 

Anyways, I did not defend FD Germany for their actions. I've also voiced suspicion of troubles at FD Germany, but careful to only mention it in small context. The troubles I've had is difficulty getting parts. I've mentioned that.

 

I'm not going to go around casting people into the fire just because they got a little too close to the heat. I will not drag a man's name through the mud based on circumstantial evidence! People are too quick to condemn a person to hell without getting more of the story. It's appalling.

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Corey, note how your own position has been forced to change with a few hours:

Tom has some pull, but I doubt he is an insider.

 

Tom is a MAJOR trading partner. 

 

Guys, fraud is fraud and we must call it as such, and fearlessly so.  

Just imagine how different every one's response and tone would be on this forum if it was an American who was ripped off for 150k - you'd all be demanding an answer. 

Sure, FD USA is a separate entity and can't be tarred with the same brush, but this practice has been going on for a number of years, and, if as you say, Corey, Tom is a MAJOR trading partner, you guys need to call him to account for himself in this whole episode.

 

That's a simple, just and objective assessment, and it's both sound and reasonable.

 

What's neither sound nor reasonable is that many of you are turning a blind eye to outright fraud for the sake of your own 'skin in the game'.

 
Anticept, on 17 Feb 2016 - 7:08 PM, said:

 Burying the company's reputation any further will only make things worse for everyone (seriously, it will harm every single FD aircraft owner). I have skin in the game too,

 

 

I know that won't go down well with the majority of participants on this forum but I'm not speaking in support of my own popularity: i'm speaking in support of right and wrong.

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Corey, note how your own position has been forced to change with a few hours:

 

Guys, fraud is fraud and we must call it as such, and fearlessly so.  

Just imagine how different every one's response and tone would be on this forum if it was an American who was ripped off for 150k - you'd all be demanding an answer. 

Sure, FD USA is a separate entity and can't be tarred with the same brush, but this practice has been going on for a number of years, and, if as you say, Corey, Tom is a MAJOR trading partner, you guys need to call him to account for himself in this whole episode.

 

That's a simple, just and objective assessment, and it's both sound and reasonable.

 

What's neither sound nor reasonable is that many of you are turning a blind eye to outright fraud for the sake of your own 'skin in the game'.

 

I know that won't go down well with the majority of participants on this forum but I'm not speaking in support of my own popularity: i'm speaking in support of right and wrong.

 

Now you're making accusations against me. Where are you getting that we are turning a blind eye? You still don't get the whole picture. Just because I don't share your approach of venting all over a public forum, it doesn't mean I'm not upset, or want to see responsible parties hang.

 

As for calling him: I've done this a few times already. My last call was voicing the fact that I've been waiting months for a part for an AOG. I'm close to getting a lawyer too as I am now waiting on another part, and my offer of taking a drawing to a 9001 certified machine shop was turned down by FD Germany. I already have notes in front of me to call again in the next couple days to discuss some things with him. Every time I call to voice an issue about how upset I am, even if Tom is busy, he takes time out of his day to listen. That's not a bridge that I'm willing to burn just yet, as he seems to be one of the few in this whole mess connected to FD that will listen.

 

I see it happen far too often where a suspect in a case is hung before the first court date even arrives. I've seen too many people toss accusations around on social media and be WRONG. What if YOU are wrong? Will you write a thoughtful apology letter if the courts uncover fraud at the highest echelon, but Tom was just a pawn in the game? Thing is, by then, it's too late, damage to his name is already done. You can't take back what you say.

 

That's why I chose not to participate in attacking someone's reputation without proof. I share my experiences here on ctflier, both positive and negative. As for my suspicions, they are mine. I'll let people draw their own conclusions. What I don't like to see is mudslinging.

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Flight Design has not been taking care of the US as someone stated. It has been Tom P and Flight Design USA that has been taking care of the US market, at least to the best he can considering having a hard time getting airplanes from Flight Design. The airplanes that have been delivered lately in the US were not shipped here as completed airplanes, they were delivered as empty hulls and outfitted here in the states by FD USA or one of their dealers. Part of the problem was FD could build the airframes, but did not have the money to buy the equipment to finish them out. He was doing what ever he could to take care of his customers. If truth be told I would bet that he has airplanes that were paid for that he has not gotten yet either. Him striking a deal with AeroJones Aviation goes to show his interest is in taking care of his customers here in the US. Knowing Tom for these past 8 years I know he is just as frustrated if not more than anyone over this situation, and to think he was complicit in the happenings is ludicrous in my opinion..

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I spoke with Tom today. We had a lengthy conversation.

To put it simply, there definitely is much more to this than what everyone here is reading on this forum. Tom is putting together a letter.

I will just say this: The reason the US is getting airplanes, is because Tom is spending his own money to buy engines, equipment, materials, etc to finish his customer's airplanes for Flight Design Germany.

So I will say again: be careful who's name you drag through the mud. One of them might be an unexpected ally.

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I'm with Tom Baker and Corey.  Tom Peghiny is the most stand-up guy I have ever met in the airplane business.  Nobody cares more about his customers' safety, satisfaction, and finances.  We are *very* lucky to have him as the US contact for our airplanes.

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Corey,

 

Thanks for the update.  I believe a few on here are understandably mad that they paid for their plane in full, and since it appears they are not going to get a successful resolution, are deciding the best approach is to lash out and shame individual plane owners on this forum.  

 

To them I say, I'm sorry you lost $150 grand.  That sucks.  But don't waste your time here.  Get it settled where it needs to be, in the European court system.

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Time to step back and take a breath.

We need to back out of the rumor mill. It has no beneficial qualities.

 

I can tell you personally that there has been a lot of misinformation and speculation here. The rumor mill and lack of real facts is a terrible information source. Better let some things play out before people cause irreparable damage and have to eat their words. Things change and things reorganise as in each of our lives. Things are moving forward in a positive way, but nothing happens overnight. Nothing is static. Things change so let them change. That's what life and business does. We adapt, overcome and persevere. FD Germany has caused some of their own issues by lack of communications and transparency which opened the door for the rumors to start, but we don't need to be like a couple young gossipy school girls spreading unsupported rumors. Communication and customer service are two of the key elements to a successful company.  People in power like CEO's are sometimes afraid of giving out info which is actually quite misplaced. It causes the very thing they are afraid of, rumors and dissension.

 

Not a single posting person here or from any country has all the facts.

 

I will volunteer this. Tom P. of the US has gone out of his way in extremes to help the US crowd.  He isn't responsible for the world. FD USA is not FD Germany and they are a separate entity. 

 

Give it time.

 

 

I do feel sorry for the people that have paid and never recieved a plane. I hope CEO Matthias takes this personally and corrects this as the right thing to do.

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