Lancair's Financial Problems

Many members may already know this, but Lancair Certified has stopped production. Their last arrangement for new financing fell through. The company is still looking for funding, but in the meantime, their trained employees are furloughed and probably looking for new jobs. I think they have set a deadline of the end of the year to resume production.

I don’t know if Lancair’s problems are self-induced, caused by management or just a result of bad luck or bad timing having to look for money in 2002. When a innovative company with an excellent product fails, it hurts the industry. When one of the old line companies fail (Mooney or Bellanca, for instance), it is a lot easier to chalk it up to economic Darwinism. Lancair’s potential failure is bad new for Cirrus and GA as a whole.

On one hand Lancair is a competitor to Cirrus, but on another hand, they are a partner. Both planes are representative of the ‘new’ in GA. Both planes are quantum leaps forward from the ‘spam’ cans that most of us learned to fly in and owned. Both planes share many similar components and the skills necessary to repair body work on one are the same ones as needed to repair the other. Both planes also face similar prejudices and rates from insurance companies. Lastly, both companies have some of the largest backlogs in GA, and every person on the waiting list is a fellow pilot dreaming of a new plane.

Many of us recall the angst we as depositors felt when Cirrus was looking for money. Always wondering if a slowdown, delays or layoffs was a sign of impending doom. For us it is easy to have empathy for our Lancair bretherin.

Good luck Lancair and Lancair depositors.


You are very kind. Perhaps when a company with a good product has a hard time it is bad luck or bad timing.

Perhaps it is due to bad business decisions, bad management, bad advice, or a faulty business plan.

I don’t pretend to know.

Cirrus chose to get out of the kit plane business and focus their efforts entirely on certified aircraft. Lancair did not.

Cirrus chose to take the high road and talk about the merits of their airpane rather than bash the competition. Lancair did not.

Cirrus chose to include a parachute (that may or may not work). Lancair did not.

Cirrus chose to get one airplane somewhat solidly into production before introducing the big brother. Lancair did not.

Cirrus chose not to spend money on much print advertising when they had a two year waiting list and 2 a week production. Lancair did not.

Coincidences? Probably not.

What is the website of the Lancair pilot message boards? I used to have it bookmarked but my computer decided to crash.

In reply to:

What is the website of the Lancair pilot message boards?

Michael: I tend to agree with you on a lot of your casual observations. My point was not to bash Lancair’s management, which I really don’t know enough about to judge fairly, but to bring to light the issues they’ve faced and that those same issues were faced by Cirrus Design (luckily with different results).

I am a big fan of CDC, but also acknowledge that their management has made some mistakes of their own. Perhaps the reasons you mention are the casue of Lanciar’s problems; perhaps luck and timing are the key; perhaps both have contributed.

The Lancair site is