Sun, Apr 01, 2012
Withdraws Bid After Admitting To Typo In The RFP
ANN April 1st Special Edition
Officials at Cessna withdrew the company's bid recommending the Skycatcher for the U.S. Air Force LAS program on April 1st, admitting it thought the RFP contained a typo.
The bid came to light through Wikileaks. Cessna had placed the bid thinking that the Air Force was looking for a new Primary Trainer for the Academy. "We thought the Air Force was going to give us a chance to place some airplanes at the Pueblo Gateway with all those Diamond DA20s," said a high-ranking official at Cessna who requested anonymity. "It's certainly plausible that someone at the Pentagon was a wee bit dyslexic, and just transposed the "SA" in the RFP."
The company promptly withdrew its bid after carefully reading the RFP. "We thought it was a little odd that they were asking for all those hard points and a turbine engine ... but just figured that those students needed to learn to shoot sometime," our source said.
"Why not at the very beginning of the process. Really, it's a mistake anybody could have made."
Still, with the bidding re-opened by the Air Force, Cessna says it may still try to get in on the action. "OK, so maybe not the Skycatcher," the source told ANN. "But a nice Centurion retorfitted with a turboprop could very easily fill the bill, and a commercial "off-the-shelf" airframe could make the program MUCH more affordable."
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