Major Collegiate Aviation Program Selects Technically Advanced
After an intense and
in-depth selection process, Western Michigan University's (WMU)
College of Aviation, located in Battle Creek, Mich., has chosen to
replace its entire fleet of single-engine aircraft trainers with
the technically advanced aircraft produced by Cirrus Design.
John M. Bingham, Executive Vice-President of Sales &
Marketing for Cirrus said, "This is a proud moment as our
high-performance SR20 and SR22 aircraft were critically evaluated
against the competition, and in the end, WMU selected Cirrus for
its flight training needs."
As part of a ten-year lease agreement, Bingham reports WMU will
eventually take delivery of at least 130 Cirrus aircraft - the
first 30 of which will be introduced during a phase-in process
"WMU will be on a
two-year replacement cycle, positioning its aviation students to
train on the leading edge of the latest technological innovations,
safety features, and performance enhancements," said Bingham.
"This is by far the best airplane for WMU's needs," says Capt.
Rick Maloney, Dean of the College of Aviation.
"With Cirrus aircraft, we'll be able to meet or exceed the
rigorous training standards of the commercial aviation industry,
and we'll be well-equipped to provide the best learning outcomes
for our students. WMU students will fly the most sophisticated
aircraft used by any collegiate program in the nation."
Cirrus President and CEO Alan Klapmeier says, "We're very
excited to capture this major fleet account and to now be an
integral part of one of the most forward-looking aviation schools
in North America. It's very impressive that WMU's College of
Aviation did such exhaustive research to arrive at the conclusion
of selecting Cirrus aircraft, and we're pleased that WMU will now
become a premier Cirrus flight training center."
"WMU is a hugely principled organization and it's our privilege
to work with them to modernize their world-class flight training
program," said Bingham.
"We believe it is only the first of many collegiate aviation
training fleets that will eventually upgrade to Technologically
Advanced Aircraft (TAA)."
"Parents of flight students will appreciate the security of
knowing," says Bingham, "that their children will be flying with
the ultimate safety package: the Cirrus whole airframe parachute
recovery system. In addition, they will now have the advantages of
a technologically advanced modern design that incorporates a number
of key safety features such as airbag seatbelts and terrain and
traffic warning systems."
Maloney confirmed that the transition from the college's current
use of Cessna 172s to Cirrus airplanes will be completed by next
summer, and added that the new fleet will also help the College of
Aviation cut its aircraft maintenance costs by up to 60%.
"The transfer of knowledge with this plane is absolutely
astounding. Pilots trained on the Cirrus will be able to make a
quick and successful transition into commercial aviation," Maloney
WMU's College of Aviation has educated aviation professionals
since 1939 and offers complete academic degree programs leading to
a bachelor's degree in three areas--aviation flight science,
aviation management and maintenance technology. The college enrolls
some 800 students and is home to the Sky Broncos, a precision
flight team has been among the top three in national competition
for 14 consecutive years.