Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Lancair has resolved a dispute with its Malaysian partners in the Columbia 300 light aircraft joint venture. The settlement has released funding to ramp up production.

The dispute involved the two partners in the Pacific Aviation Composites USA joint venture that produces the Columbia: LIMA, a company headed by Lancair Group chief executive Lance Neibauer; and CTRM, a state-owned composites manufacturer in Malaysia.

CTRM provided funding for the first two major phases of the Columbia 300 programme - type certification and production certification. Lancair says the dispute arose when the joint venture company sought funding promised for the production ramp-up. Sources say the Malaysians saw this as an opportunity to try to gain control of the company. Lancair says Neibauer filed claims against CTRM, "which included breach of contract, particularly over funding and ownership/control issues".

The dispute, described by a source as a "power play" by the Malaysians, was resolved quickly, "with corporate control not going overseas and investment ramp-up capital initiated". Bend, Oregon-based Lancair plans to produce one aircraft a day. CTRM is not involved in production of the all-composite Columbia 300.

Source: Flight International