Symphony Aircraft Faces The Music

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Symphony Aircraft files for bankruptcy, customers will lose their deposits.

The eleventh-hour balk of a Symphony Aircraft Industries investor has forced the company, which shipped five aircraft in 2006 (all in the first two quarters), to lay off all employees and declare bankruptcy, according to a letter sent Tuesday to dealers by now former President Paul Costanzo. "It was a big shock for the dealers," said Florida dealer Jeff Ermish, who also sells Storm LSAs. Other knowledgeable sources on Thursday told AVweb that the company had told dealers in a Jan. 5 conference call that a plan to secure funding for continued operations and production of the Symphony 160 a two-seat, fixed-gear, high-wing airplane that sold for roughly $160,000 -- was approved and moving forward. The turn of events is rumored to have been ignited by a late change in the funding plan that would have required a larger investment from a lead investor who on Jan. 19 reviewed that change and pulled out of the deal. Still, some Symphony insiders we spoke with on Thursday remain optimistic about the aircraft's future.