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Mon, Jan 29, 2024

Flyer Beware (Again)? Rotor X Reportedly Trying Again

Interim CEO Claiming To Reorganize, But Infamous Don Shaw Still Part of the Organization

The increasingly sad story of what was once a cool little helicopter kit company continues to gain attention with news of an attempt to right the ship... but, again, the details are worrisome. As ANN readers may recall, the Rotor X company came under close scrutiny after reports of all manner of problems.

Nearly 100 customers have reportedly been affected by a few year's worth of broken promises, undelivered kits, incomplete kits, and what can only be termed as untrue statements by the company as it attempted to prop up its faltering operations -- possibly, it appears, with the support of one or two players in the Builder Community (a situation that has been reported to Federal authorities). Employees report not having been paid for months and withholding having been mishandled. Numerous lawsuits have been filed. The building that housed the company was reported to have been shut down and rent due to the landlord was in arrears. The company attempted to file bankruptcy, but apparently ran afoul of the procedures involved and failed to do that, as well.

With these reports, we must note that ANN did two things that are highly unusual in the aviation journalism world. First, we researched, corroborated, and looked into both sides of the issue to find out what appeared to be the truth of the matter -- not a short or easy process. Second, we actually reported on it -- one of the more unusual aspects of such stories like these today. And third, we've tried to keep up with what's happening so as to better inform the industry of the realities of the situation and present updated explanations, cautions and details where they seem to have been woefully absent heretofore.

NOW... A recent update to the company website indicates that, "Rotor X Aircraft has undergone a management transition and we are happy to announce the following: Chris Anderson has been named interim CEO and is responsible for engaging investors, resuming business operations, and setting the new vision of the company. Rob Charvat has been named Project Initiatives Leader."

The short missive does suggest that those with questions, "...please email:". The website also promises a further update by January 31st. Our emails to the aforementioned Mr. Charvat have thus far been ignored.

To be frank, we regarded this announcement with little excitement, based on the experiences of the past, and the fact that we, like many others, had been misled by those associated with the management of this debacle.

Additional information, worrisome to say the least, was presented on a Rotor X Builder blog, where a person who pretty much had decided that he was about to give up on his project, allegedly received a message from one of the new authorities at Rotor X Aircraft claiming to be the 'Interim CEO of Rotor X Aircraft.' The message, purportedly from 'Chris Anderson, Consultant and Interim CEO,' states that, "I am currently focused on completing the due diligence phase between an investment group and Rotor X. Don is transitioning into the role of Chief Technology Officer and will be solely focused on engineering efforts. He has forwarded me your email, obviously.

We made a small announcement via our website that you may have noticed in mid-December that we hope to be able to announce more by mid-January. We are close to closure and then a broader announcement. I am being very careful in striking a balance between conveying appropriate and accurate information and making commitments that we don’t ultimately control. I do anticipate closure of the acquisition and resumption of normal business operations, I just don’t know exactly when.

When appropriate, I will be personally contacting all past customers of Rotor X Aircraft, giving them a specific update, and working out arrangements for each customer’s situation. I hope to be speaking with and working with you soon."

What concerned us right away was the admission that 'Don' (Apparently referring to former Boss, Don Shaw) was still in the program. The amount of misinformation we have directly experienced or otherwise encountered from Shaw and his acolytes has been massive and we have strong misgivings about ANY organization in which he plays a role.

Unless something significant changes (and, as yet, there is no evidence of that) with the Rotor X situation, ANN and the SportPlane Resource Guide continue to post a "Not Recommended" advisory for the company and its products.

We will keep you informed.




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