Columbia Lays Off 300, Cites Garmin G1000 Issue

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At Columbia Aircraft in Bend, Ore., the company announced on Monday that it would halt its production line and lay off about 300 workers until problems with Garmin G1000s could be resolved. Although Garmin says the AHRS problem does not require limitations on use of the aircraft, Columbia spokesman Randy Bolinger told AVweb that, nonetheless, "the FAA will not allow us to complete Certificates of Airworthiness with a known defect. The FAA will allow us to certify the aircraft already on the assembly line for VFR only." Columbia said in its statement that the production line will "grind to a halt" until a fix is found and parts shipments are restored. "This latest supplier-driven interruption is very frustrating," said Columbia President Wan Majid. "We simply cannot continue to complete and deliver new aircraft without the functionality and reliability that customers demand. Unfortunately, this means that we have no alternative but to furlough portions of our workforce until the issue is resolved."