Creating Options For Cirrus Customers

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Although Cirrus has proven to be the GA success story of the new century, like every other airplane manufacturer, it still works hard to find to more buyers. As we reported in Thursday's AVweb podcast, Cirrus is now offering the option for buyers of its new airplanes to hire a professional pilot and flight instructor for a year -- to live near the buyer -- so the new owner can learn the ropes at his or her own pace and schedule, and if he or she feels like it, train the rest of the family, too. But that's only one of a broad palette of initiatives Cirrus announced at this week's AirVenture show designed to make getting into one of their airplanes safer and more affordable.

Besides the live-in pilot program -- which Cirrus calls Access -- the company is also launching an aggressive program to help groups of local pilots setup partnerships in new airplanes, Cirrus-specific insurance and finance services and a service called Cirrus Certified, which is essentially a finder program for buyers and sellers of used Cirrus aircraft. To go along with these new services, Cirrus is also offering tailored warranties for all buyers, including flight schools and businesses. Other airplane companies -- notably Cessna -- have tried their own financing and factory supported used sales -- but we can't recall any company combining so many ownership pot sweeteners at one time. Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier told us this week that the new ownership programs give substance to the company's determination to make GA flying available to more people. For more details, click here.