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Sun, Apr 08, 2007

New Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing President Speaks Out

Open Letter To Columbia Owners

In a candid letter this week to owners of Lancair and Columbia aircraft, incoming Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing president and CEO Wan Abd Majid laid out his vision for the company.

His appointment came amid some turbulence for the company, in connection with the March 22 announcement of significant management and workforce restructuring changes.

In his "open letter" to Columbia owners -- posted on the Club Columbia owners group discussion page -- Majid noted that he is celebrating his tenth year with the company... dating back to the days of The Lancair Company, as an engineer.

Majid acknowledged that he, Columbia owners and employees "have much invested in the success and bright future of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing and it has become my mission to lead the organization to a position of prominence amongst the growing class of piston-single certified aircraft."

"Columbia owners are a passionate and loyal group who expect and deserve the best," he added. "We ask your indulgence as we take action in the coming months to improve our business and your ownership experience."

Majid acknowledged that change may be slow at times. However he asked owners to recognize each step as a necessary strategic action to achieve the company's long-term goals.

"Everyone at Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing truly believes that we manufacture an aircraft that represents the pinnacle of design, performance and quality in a personal aircraft," he said. "We, as owners and employees should proud to be a part of something so special."

Recognizing that achievement is not without challenges, Majid noted, "No one is any more cognizant of our achievements and shortcomings than our management team and the dedicated aerospace workers who build and support your Columbia. Consequently, the recent highly-publicized internal changes are necessary steps that we must take in order to refine the way we conduct business as it pertains to manufacturing and support."

The challenges ahead and the steps to be taken, he added, are not uncommon in the manufacturing world.

The many milestones and technological advances achieved over the past 10 years have been accompanied by significant business and even meteorological challenges "that conspired to alter the course of our business," Majid noted.

"In every instance, Columbia has always risen to the occasion and worked diligently to overcome obstacles in our path. Frankly, at times Columbia faltered in our ability to communicate clearly and in a timely manner with the loyal customer base that built this company and left many of you to question our collective future."

"You have our assurance that Columbia will again rise to the occasion."

FMI: www.flycolumbia.com, www.lancairpilots.org

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