Wheels Up! 2019

Welcome! This is our sixth anniversary of general aviation writing at wikiWings®. During the year, we added articles covering a number of topics.  Here are the highlights:

We reviewed Cirrus Aircraft asking prices and the supply of pre-owed airplanes during the past year. From the G1 to G6 generation series of SR22’s we found these planes are holding their value. We’ve presented these numbers in the past and will continue to do so into the future as a free reference point. In 2019, Aerista and Lone Mountain Aircraft reported that it’s a seller’s market for Cirrus planes. Well, it is the most popular and best selling GA piston airplane.

We summarized a number of General Aviation factoids gleaned from the General Aviation Management Association (GAMA) report this past year.

How many pilots are there in General Aviation? We shared the summary statistics.

Vision jet deliveries continue. In 2019, the entire fleet was grounded for a potential flaw in the Angle of Attack indicator. As of this date, Cirrus has not released an official statement about the resolution to the problem. We asked – but Cirrus Service would not provide us with an update on the status of the fleet.

Many of the SF50 Personal Jets are back in the air. We’re seeing the Vision Jet on more GA ramps. A trend we expect will continue to grow into the future.

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AOPA is Celebrating its 80th Anniversary

It began in 1939, when a small group of businessmen came together with a mission – to give a united voice to what was back then called “miscellaneous aviation.”  A powerful advocate for GA pilots was born The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

To commemorate AOPA’s eightieth anniversary a special edition book has been published: Freedom to Fly: AOPA and the History of General Aviation in America.  

“Packed with photographs of pilots’ most beloved aircraft and inspiring stories of aviation pioneers, Freedom to Fly: AOPA and the History of General Aviation in America tells the story of general aviation through the lens of its biggest advocate. Learn about the triumphs and tragedies that defined generations of pilots from the editors who bring you AOPA Pilot and Flight Training each month.

For 80 years, AOPA has fought to keep pilots flying when war, technological advances, economic booms and busts, and politics threatened our access to the skies. Today, as the largest aviation community in the world, AOPA still works to make flying more affordable, safer, and more fun. Travel back in time through 288 glossy pages, full of the amazing photos you’ve come to expect from AOPA photographers and historic images from our rich archives.”

You should request your copy today while supplies last, (priced at $34.95).

General Aviation pilot and AOPA Member
General Aviation pilot and AOPA Member

The 2019 COPA Pilot Special Safety Issue has been released

Published exclusively for Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association members worldwide, the Annual Safety Issue was released in June. Every issue of COPA Pilot magazine has a safety article but once a year a special edition is dedicated to the topic of safety.

The annual edition provides updates on COPA Safety and Education programs, Cirrus Safety Statistics, and personal testimonies from pilots and passenger after a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System “pull” activation.

If you’re interested in Cirrus Aircraft and you’re not a member of COPA consider joining today. Active COPA members have a better safety record. And, COPA Pilot magazine and online access to extensive forums are included with your membership.

Cirrus Aircraft Announces New Chief Executive Officer

In June, Cirrus Aircraft announced that Zean Nielsen has been selected to succeed Co-founder Dale Klapmeier as its next Chief Executive Officer.  Nielsen has held senior leadership roles at a range of global world-class organizations, including Tesla Motors, James Hardie and Bang & Olufsen.

“Cirrus Aircraft has a remarkably bright future ahead,” noted Dale Klapmeier, Co-founder and National Aviation Hall of Fame member. “We are fortunate to have someone of Zean’s caliber and experience to lead us into the next era of growth. I am looking forward to moving into a Senior Advisory role and continuing to work with our exceptional team on reinventing the future of personal transportation.”  

“I am honored and humbled to join this team of experienced general aviation leaders and a world-class workforce as we continue to bring game-changing products and services to market,” said Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. “Our mission is to deliver an aviation experience that is the pinnacle of innovation, quality and safety to our customers – and that is exactly what we will continue to do for many years to come.”  

Zean most recently served as the Executive Vice President of North American Sales at James Hardie, a leading industrial building materials company. Prior to his role at James Hardie, Nielsen ran all aspects of Tesla Motors worldwide sales operations efforts as the Vice President of Global Sales Operations.  Zean began his career at Bang & Olufsen, the luxury electronics maker, where over a 17 year career he ascended to more senior roles before he ultimately became the President of Bang & Olufsen North and South America, prior to joining Tesla Motors.

Nielsen assumed the CEO role at Cirrus Aircraft on 3 June 2019.