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Thu, Sep 29, 2005

Cirrus Lands Massive University Fleet Order

Major Collegiate Aviation Program Selects Technically Advanced Cirrus

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 beginning mid-October.

"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 added.

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.

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com, www.wmichwmich.edu/aviation/

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