One of the companies experiencing boom times is Columbia Aircraft, which surpassed its 2005 deliveries in the third quarter of this year. The Bend, Ore.-based company, which manufactures the Columbia 350 and 400, delivered 130 airplanes in the first nine months of the year, 16 more than the company delivered in all of 2005.
“We’ve made tremendous strides in production this year, despite some unexpected challenges that have kept us from realizing our ultimate delivery goals,” said Columbia President Bing Lantis. “Delays certifying the Garmin G1000 panel in the first quarter and the hail storm in the second quarter that forced refinishing of 66 aircraft awaiting delivery reduced our total year to date numbers,” he said, “however we’re still well ahead of last year’s pace by a wide margin.”
The company hit another milestone earlier this month when it handed over the keys to its 500th airplane during AOPA Expo to new owner Sherry Gettinger.