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Flight Design insolvency

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Would be interesting to see if you keep your cool if this would happen to you. And again, I am not "generating negative publicity" (FD Germany took care of that) nor "organizing lynch mobs".

 

The only way you are going to get your airplane, or $$$, is to let the process go forward.  It's a long-shot, but otherwise you have nothing.  I'm sure the courts' first order of business is to take care of bills and undelivered product.  The receiver states "...complete the remaining work and to hand over the remaining aircraft to the waiting customers".  At this point, generating a bunch of negative publicity and organizing a lynch mob is not going to help you at all.  Individual lawsuits concerning orders will be factored into the reorganization or proceed on their own merit.

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It will be interesting to see those new CTLS units arrive from AeroJones. Both the timing and quality level. That's not a complaint. If they come through on time and with good quality, that will be a major achievement for FD USA.

You've posted here previously that you were looking at LSAs and that whilst you liked the FD airplanes that you and your wife also really liked the Bristell. In light of the latest developments regarding FD does this put you off considering buying an FD airplane? If FD was/is at the top of your list how do currently feel as a potential customer?

 

Just curious to hear your perspective

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Hey Top Cat,

 

Thanks for asking.  Here's where things stand today.  I am starting real flight training end of March.  Full week in Florida, LSA.  Decided to wait to start training before buying.  I don't mind spending $180k on a plane, and really, really like the Bristell, but not sure I want my first plane to cost that much.  And used Bristells with the 912is are impossible to find.  So now I'm wandering back to the CTLSi, where you can find a used one for far less. 

 

Wife says she likes the Bristell, but she's ok if I buy something different to start.  She just wants me to get hours and lots of training before she's comfortable getting in the plane.

 

As far as FD, I'm not too worried, but if I were buying today I would hold off until I knew there was a reliable manufacturing source for parts. I think it will hurt resale values, but if Aerojones is getting it done, that's a win for CTLS owners and buyers.

 

-Edited to add last part about FD-

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So as you guys may know...  I have a brand new CTLSi "America's Edition" coming.  My new plane arrived in the port of Los Angeles a few weeks ago.  Arriving to the port of LA makes me think it wasn't shipped from Germany?  (Houston is the typical port for European deliveries and then truck to Vegas) FD West (Lone Mountain in Vegas) now has it and is doing final assembly.  Arriving to LA means either it went through the Panama Canal (expensive) or maybe it came from the Asian assembly line?  I have a deposit down, and am told to expect delivery in a few weeks.  Reading this thread makes me wonder about whether its smart to complete the purchase? 

 

Tom and Kenny are stand up guys, This is my third CT.  Tom seemed to get one in for me while many around the globe are telling horror stories about paying full price up front and not being able to get one. 

 

Hmm, what to do?

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If you have a plane in hand, and you don't see anything wrong, then there's no reason not to take it. Tom and AeroJones have a vested interest in the brand, and there's several posts here about Tom being one hell of a stand up guy.

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Tim, before you posted (post 70), did you not read the previous post?

 

Your comment is astonishingly insensitive and inconsiderate to the plight of the previous poster.

 
"HOORAY, NO DOOM AND GLOOM - WE'VE GOT A NEW CTLSi COMING FOR 2020!!"

 

I invite you to just read his post again, put yourself in his shoes, and then read your comment.

 

I get the feeling that you guys would keep on talking things up even if FD started WW3!

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Al,

I disagree with item 12. All income from licensing agreements belongs to the corporation, which is now apparently controlled by a court acting on behave of creditors. The former owners walk away with nothing.

Mike Koerner

Hi Mike.

I don't think this was an unforeseen liquidation. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, and the validity of your comment above depends on the actions that have been taken regarding the licensing agreement months or years ago.   

If you look at items 1 & 2 on my list, these two assets are no longer owned by the company, and I would expect people who would lie to their customers and steal their money to also seek to strip out the valuable assets before the ship sinks.  I'd be surprised if they didn't make arrangements some time ago to protect the two valuable assets by moving them elsewhere.

 

On pondering the quite astonishing statement where FD has blamed a customer for the demise of the company, it could be that this is just a smoke screen that implies they hung on to the bitter end, whereas in reality, they saw the liquidation coming all the time, and the statement is nothing more than a red herring.

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So as you guys may know...  I have a brand new CTLSi "America's Edition" coming.  My new plane arrived in the port of Los Angeles a few weeks ago.  Arriving to the port of LA makes me think it wasn't shipped from Germany?  (Houston is the typical port for European deliveries and then truck to Vegas) FD West (Lone Mountain in Vegas) now has it and is doing final assembly.  Arriving to LA means either it went through the Panama Canal (expensive) or maybe it came from the Asian assembly line?  I have a deposit down, and am told to expect delivery in a few weeks.  Reading this thread makes me wonder about whether its smart to complete the purchase? 

 

Tom and Kenny are stand up guys, This is my third CT.  Tom seemed to get one in for me while many around the globe are telling horror stories about paying full price up front and not being able to get one. 

 

Hmm, what to do?

 

I  would think if you don't take it you jeopardize your deposit.  I would take it, but perhaps get a thorough pre buy inspection to make sure it's the quality promised.

 

My 2¢. :)

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Further to my post above, I also have not felt comfortable with the reasons given for the demise of the company.

 

Consider the following.

 

I find it hard to see how a company with approx. 20 years of trading making such a sudden and complete mess of their financial planning after experiencing twenty years of growth.

 

Apparently, they couldn't build aeroplanes because they couldn't get engines because they had no money.  I don't accept that - they could have found a way to buy engines, and with the bright history of the product and the promise of the C4, investors would have been queueing up to help out.

 

Then they blamed the Ukranian conflict, which I found hard to accept as the conflict took place only in the Russian-dominated East.  For those who have not lived in a conflict-torn country, it is astonishing how normal life can be compared with the impression given on the news.  And there was no conflict in the west - it was limited to the extreme eastern side of the country.

 

I can see how the C4 project might stretch the company, but I refer you to the first point on financial planning and twenty years of success - they are not that incompetent.  

 

And then, they blamed a customer for the failure of the company.

 

All this strengthens the notion that this was not an unforeseen insolvency.

 

Again, I reiterate that this is conjecture based on what's known, and I hope it is of some help to someone, some where in getting to the bottom of this, and bringing to justice any criminal actions.

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I found out my plane did in fact come from Germany and that the production flight test was completed prior to shipping.  It was shipped short the BRS, avionics and seat covers.  The BRS and avionics are USA sourced content so that part is not as big a problem for FD USA / FD West to have done here.  (the avionics racks and wiring harnesses were completed in Germany) The upholstery is being done in the USA as well by a custom aircraft interior shop.  I'm told the interior quality will be an upgrade from how Germany usually outfits the plane.  With Tom having the alternate sourcing from Aero Jones for airframes, and with so much content being non FD GMBH sourced parts (engine, avionics, brakes, wheels so on and so forth) I'm guessing FD USA would be able to carry on regardless of what the final FD GMBH disposition is.   I guess it shouldn't be a shock, there have been many aircraft companies that have been in and out of bk re-orgs over the years.  Its a tough business. 

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The dichotomy of views on this thread is quite surprising, understandably the rest of the world is angry and upset, but the Americans on the whole have very little sympathy for those of us still waiting after two or three years for their aircraft and still nothing in sight. Some of you are callings us idiots for putting our all money up front. Without full payment Flight Design would not even start to build, have you even thought that your agent has put the money up for you ?  Why is it an American can receive his Jubilee in February 2014 and I am still waiting 2 years later when the order numbers were two apart ordered in the same month? Tom Peghiny is probably a very nice person and has done very well for his clients in America and put a lot of his own money on the line. But ask yourself how has he managed to achieve almost uninterrupted supply of aircraft with very little delay in delivery’s. It is unethical and immoral of Flight Design to supply aircraft as a priority to America just because they are a bigger market than us, Ask yourself how this was achieved? It could only have been achieved by financial bullying, I call that unconscionable conduct. I do not really blame Flight Design for caving in to this pressure, but I do blame the Americans for using such tactics to ensure supply at the cost of the rest of the world. I can only hope that the receivers of Flight Design in Germany can sort the company out and resume production in a “fair and equitable fashion” so I may eventually get my aircraft.

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The post from Adam has really got my goat, according to a previous post of his his order number is 15-08-51 that is August 2015 if I read it correctly that is only 7 months ago and it is about to arrive in the USA. My order number was for February 2013 that is 3 years ago. The shell has been in Germany for nearly 2 years and just pushed to the back of the hanger with no engine or instruments.

Meanwhile America seems to have no trouble making deliveries. Can anyone tell me that is fair ?? America should be embarrassed by the situation but by the tone of the posts on this thread there is none !!

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There's more to it. Again the situation is crazy whacky. But, I was asked to let official channels speak. Probably because I still don't know the whole story and I could easily mis-convey some of the events, for one.

 

And yes, I am very much upset how the rest of you guys have been treated. But anger is self reinforcing and toxic, which is eapecially bad for me.

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The dichotomy of views on this thread is quite surprising, understandably the rest of the world is angry and upset, but the Americans on the whole have very little sympathy for those of us still waiting after two or three years for their aircraft and still nothing in sight. Some of you are callings us idiots for putting our all money up front.

I'm American and have enormous sympathy for those in overseas markets who have been treated badly. Regardless of how well he American market was served, the parent company must bear some responsibility for the way it set up worldwide distribution and how it chose and monitored its dealers.

 

As far as requiring payment in full, with a contract in hand and a promised delivery window, that should not be a problem with a financially sound company. Not generally how it's done in the U.S., but hardly an "idiotic" way to buy a plane.

 

Again, very sorry about your situation. To me, it paints Flight Design in a very poor light.

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It is unethical and immoral of Flight Design to supply aircraft as a priority to America just because they are a bigger market than us, Ask yourself how this was achieved? It could only have been achieved by financial bullying

 

There's another way it could be achieved, and that, it seems, is where myself and much of this community disagree.

 

Members of this forum assert over and over again that Tom P is 'just another distributor', (see post 292, Delivery & Delay Problems) and post 294: 'they are just like the rest of you who placed orders...'

 

This is far from the truth.  Tom P is at the heart of FD and is far more than 'just another distributor'.   How many distributors are involved in the development of a supplier's new aircraft?  How many of FD's distributors have visited AeroJones? 

 

I suspect the main reason the USA has had preferential treatment is because FD USA is far more than a distributor.

 

And it is precisely for this reason that I cannot get past the conclusion that T.P. is not whiter than white in all this.

 

His continued silence is getting a bit deafening.

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The post from Adam has really got my goat, according to a previous post of his his order number is 15-08-51 that is August 2015 if I read it correctly that is only 7 months ago and it is about to arrive in the USA. My order number was for February 2013 that is 3 years ago. The shell has been in Germany for nearly 2 years and just pushed to the back of the hanger with no engine or instruments.

Meanwhile America seems to have no trouble making deliveries. Can anyone tell me that is fair ?? America should be embarrassed by the situation but by the tone of the posts on this thread there is none !!

Gryphon, I am not trying to get "anyone's goat".  I am merely trying to share information in the spirit of advancing the forum by supplying some timely and relevant data.  No one in the USA is without empathy for those around the globe who have paid in full for aircraft and not received delivery.  To blame the USA or its people for the financial failure of a German company to deliver on its promises in Australia seems a bit harsh.  As the CEO of a billion dollar company I can assure you the reason Tom is getting airframes is because he continues to be a source of cash.  Flight Design GMBH doesn't get any additional cash from fulfilling a paid in full order, but it does get cash when it ships one to the USA since our payment practices were different.  Typical order here required roughly a $30k deposit followed by $50k upon shipping and a balance due payment upon receipt.  The shrewd management of cash flow (and the decision to ship an airframe here rather than complete an order there) would be how a CFO at FDGMBH is trying to make payroll and keep the lights on.  I think the relevant question here is how will the company handle orders as it reorganizes.  I cannot imagine that German courts will allow them to dump the existing "paid in full" consumer order stream and re-emerge without some plan to fulfill orders.  Consumers are different than suppliers.   If there is no reorg and it becomes a liquidation the story would be different.  At this early stage, it would appear hope is not lost for those with pending paid in full orders until a final disposition is known.  In my professional business opinion, FDUSA is without any blame. To blame Tom would be like blaming a locally owned Ford dealer for the actions of Ford Motor Company.

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Sorry Al but I have to disagree with most of what you're posting.

We mere forumites cannot know the full story and truth or otherwise of what has gone on. It would appear that a number of non-US customers have been badly treated but to blame that upon the US distributor is a step for which I cannot see that you have any evidence. Just saying that "Tom P is far from being just another distributor" doesn't make it so! What actual knowledge or evidence do you have? The fact that he may have visited Taiwan and given some design input doesn't make him complicit with any dubious practices of FD Germany. For many years I was a distributor in the UK for an American software company, as part of that business relationship I visited them regularly in Atlanta and spent time with their developers giving a European perspective to assist with their product development.

 

I really think you need to wind your neck in a bit before continuing with these intemperate and imo unfounded posts.

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Adam is providing you great insight from a business owner's perspective of what most likely happened.

 

Venting on an internet forum might be therapeutic for you, but it won't get you your plane.  

 

Trying to pressure the US distributor by shaming him and suggesting criminal activity won't get you your plane.

 

Let the courts do their job. That's your best chance of getting your plane.

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Ian, I have no problem with you disagreeing with me.

And I do agree that we don't have the full story.

 

But we do know for certain that underhand activity has taken place, and individuals all over the world have been lied to and cheated out of substantial sums of money.

 

To me, that's serious, and the purpose of a forum is to express views and exchange opinions.

 

At no point did I ever say Tom P was complicit in what FD Germany has done.  On the contrary, I said FD USA shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.

 

What I did say was that Tom P is very closely involved with FD Germany  - he's their biggest customer by far, he has many years of working together with them, and he is actively involved in the C4 development.   We've been told on this forum that he is a 'major player'.  

When you couple that with the fact that he had a supply of aircraft when everyone else was left with nothing, then questions have to be asked.

 

He has chosen to remain silent on the issue.

 

It is absolutely valid to ask the questions that need to be asked particularly in the face of resolute silence.

 

FD Germany was practically silent on all the questions raised on this forum over the past two years regarding their behaviour, with the current results.

 

Let's not make the same mistake twice.  There are real, valid questions that need to be answered here. 

 

I assert again that my reasoning is both sound and ethical in this.

 

I am not venting, and I have no axe to grind.  

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Venting on an internet forum might be therapeutic for you, but it won't get you your plane.  

 

Maybe not, but it may serve to warn others, and in doing so protect them from a similar fate.

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Hey Eddie,

 

I agree wholeheartedly with the open information exchange.  I'm glad they let us know about their experiences.

 

But at some point I get worn out on the attacks on those not responsible.  It's like getting angry at your current girlfriend because your last one cheated on you. :)

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IrishAl,

 

I have no doubt Tom Peghiny has read the posts here and has exercised restraint from diving in for good reason. We just have to be patient for the forthcoming explanations. In my book, Tom Peghiny has more credibility than any other players in this saga, and I support his decision to at this time hold his cards close to the vest. Tom is a few years younger than me, but we both come from the hang gliding community and while I was just a participant and recreational flyer, Tom was a top level competitor and innovator. In the early 80's I was still flying a Rogallo inspired glider, the Seagull, and Tom designed the first double surface wing which forever changed the performance of all future hang gliders. I have respected Tom Peghiny for decades, and will continue through these troubled times. 

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To all who are waiting for you CT's.  Reading the posts, it appears that fellow pilots who have ordered and paid for their airplane in Europe and Australia appear to be getting incomprehensibly poor treatment by FD Germany.  Based on some information I've gotten the last few weeks, I believe the U.S. customers would be waiting for delivery, the same as our European and Australian flying brothers, save for one thing, someone here in the U.S. has stepped up to the plate and is buying the equipment required to build CT "hulks".  This may be engines and/or avionics and/or trim to allow these aircraft to be fully fitted and delivered. Based on the little I know, I don't believe the disparity in deliveries between countries is due to any underhanded pressure being applied to FD Germany, it is due to one person being committed to supporting the customer and following thru by "doing what's right".  This is not official and is only my personal opinion.

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