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Mon, Apr 20, 2009

Cirrus Notifying SRS Deposit Holders Of Temporary Program Suspension

Stand in Line... SRS Program Becomes Another Victim of Economy

ANN has learned that Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters is notifying SRS LSA deposit holders of an announcement that will be made at a Press Conference on Tuesday in which the SRS LSA program will be suspended temporarily. While there is a fair amount of good news forthcoming at Tuesday's conference, a personal letter from Wouters has been circulated to deposit holders so that the SRS news does not come as a surprise.

While ANN will have more to report tomorrow, the unedited letter from Wouters appears below:

I hope that you are enjoying the arrival of Spring and a new flying season. Over the last several months in Duluth, we have been actively evaluating our light sport aircraft program - the SRS - and the right way to take it forward given several marketplace challenges that have only recently emerged. The result of our analysis is that we have elected to temporarily suspend the SRS program and additional SRS aircraft development for an undetermined period of time. Know that our decision was not made lightly but only after very careful consideration.

Please allow me to explain the three most significant factors that taken together are the basis for the decision. One, few of us can recall a time when external and aviation economic conditions were as challenging as they are today. While over the past several months Cirrus Aircraft has made the difficult and sometimes painful decisions to ensure longevity and proper funding of so many core production and development programs, our total enterprise "bandwidth" to keep every new program on schedule is still limited. Two, and similar to the first point, the SRS as a primary training platform is but one piece of a broader Cirrus flight training strategy that requires significant resources beyond just the aircraft itself. Appropriate resources for those other training program components must be also be allocated to meet the goal of a comprehensive and market ready training solution in a light-sport certified airplane. Third and finally, some further adjustments of the light-sport aircraft certification rules and standards might better accommodate an aircraft that allows for a broader mission profile for the Cirrus light sport entry.

More important today, we want to personally recognize your commitment to Cirrus Aircraft and your loyalty to the SRS program. While today's announcement likely comes as a disappointment, please allow me to offer you several exclusive opportunities to make the most of your existing SRS deposit. We are happy to honor the terms of your deposit agreement by fully refunding your deposit. However, I would offer three additional options we hope you will find compelling:

1. Maintain your position: Of course you can maintain your SRS deposit and position pending future light sport aircraft program updates from Cirrus. If you elect to do so, Cirrus will "2X" the value of your deposit on hand.

2. Purchase a New or Certified Cirrus: We will apply your existing SRS deposit toward a new or Cirrus Certified SR20, SR22 or TURBO and when we do, we will multiply your existing SRS deposit amount "5X" as a credit toward your purchase.

3. Convert your deposit into a referral bonus: As an SRS deposit holder, if a friend or colleague you refer to Cirrus makes a purchase of a new or Cirrus Certified SR20, SR22, or TURBO, we will reward your referral and compensate you at "2X" your existing SRS deposit amount*.

Again, we appreciate both your patience and your partnership with Cirrus Aircraft and the specific pledge you made to the SRS program. We look forward to maintaining a personal and mutually beneficial relationship going forward.

All the best,
Brent Wouters

FMI: www.cirrusaircraft.com

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