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Thu, Sep 19, 2002

Piper, Lycoming Win in Court

Montgomery, et. al., v New Piper Aircraft Dismissed; Appeal May Follow

William Montgomery, a very unhappy Mailbu Mirage owner, may appeal; but for now, his suit (and the related class action suit by owners of the Malibu Mirage) is out of court. Montgomery's Dallas lawyer, Charles Ames, said, "We were certainly disappointed with the ruling and we disagree with the court on the application of the law." That sounds like an appeal is in the works.

Nevertheless, New Piper and Lycoming are pleased.

The lawsuit stemmed from Montgomery's objection to what seemed like inordinately low TBOs on the engine, which he says was represented to have a 2000 hour interval.

In court, though, he was unable to produce advertising or other written claims that defined the TBO at 2000 hours. What surfaced was language to the effect that, "your mileage may vary." Lycoming's literature says that TBO can be affected by a number of conditions. [What if, for instance, you ran the engine just an hour a year. Would you expect to go 2000 years until the next overhaul, or would you have a checkup after ten or fifteen years? --ed.]

The suit, on the class-action side, accused New Piper and Lycoming of knowing about "the problem" for many years, and making only "half-hearted" attempts to fix it. [For its part, New Piper has sued KS Bearings, provider to Lycoming of the subject parts --ed.]

Attorney/Director of Corporate Communications at New Piper, Mark Miller, said, "We are pleased and encouraged by the court's ruling... From the beginning we thought this lawsuit was without merit and was brought in order to force a settlement against the threat of bad publicity."

If there is a 'round two,' we'll let you know.

FMI: www.newpiper.com/fleet/mirage/index.asp

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