Happy Independence Day! 2019

Happy July 4th 1776!

As we celebrate our nation’s two hundred forty-three years of freedom we honor those dedicated to its preservation. With respect and gratitude we thank the men and women of our armed forces, law enforcement, Homeland security, fire and rescue and many others that give us the land of the free because they are brave.

We hope that you have an enjoyable and safe July 4th week. God bless The United States of America.

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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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

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.  

Cirrus Aircraft announced a new facility at McKinney National Airport (KTKI) McKinney, Texas.

In May 2019, Cirrus Aircraft announced a new facility at McKinney National Airport (KTKI) McKinney, Texas.

“Cirrus Services continues to transform the way we deliver factory-direct service and support,” said Todd Simmons, President, Customer Experience at Cirrus Aircraft. “We recognize the importance of developing a world-class, comprehensive owner and operating experience, and our new location in McKinney, Texas is the latest step in providing factory-direct support to our customers in the south-central area of the United States.”

“Our goal is to expand the premium experience our customers expect from our flagship Vision Center Campus in Knoxville, and we have found that opportunity at McKinney National Airport,” said Ravi Dharnidharka, Senior Vice President, Cirrus Services at Cirrus Aircraft.

Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized global leader in personal aviation and the maker of the best-selling piston aircraft series and the new visionary 5-seat SF50 Jet. Cirrus was awarded the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for designing, certifying and placing into service the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet and implementing a whole airframe parachute system for the aircraft.

Founded in 1984, the company has redefined performance, comfort and safety in aviation with innovations like the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®), which is the first FAA-certified whole-airframe parachute safety system included as standard equipment on Cirrus aircraft. To date, worldwide flight time on Cirrus planes has passed 10.5 million hours, and 172 people have returned home safely to their families because CAPS is included as a standard feature on all Cirrus aircraft. 

The company has four locations in the United States, including Duluth, Minnesota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Knoxville, Tennessee and now McKinney, Texas.

Memorial Day – 2019

Memorial Day is one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances.  We extend our utmost gratitude to those who died defending our nation and freedom.  Remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

“We thank God that such men [and women] lived.”  General George S. Patton

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

The Cirrus Vision jet was the most-delivered jet in 2018

In February 2019, The Robb Report published “The Vision Jet was the Most-Delivered Business Jet in 2018.” M.D. Seaton stated, the single-engine Cirrus edged out Bombardier’s Challenger 350 and Cessna Citation Latitude – based on deliveries. The article is a good read but these jets are not in the same customer market.

Seaton shared the General Aviation Management Association’s annual report stats, which reveal business jet deliveries are up over the prior year about 3.8% in 2018.  And, the very light jet (VLJ) category helped to push the increase.  

Seaton noted; Cirrus has announced the replacement of its first version jet with an upgraded second-generation model.  The G2 Vision Jet has a higher flight ceiling of 31,000 feet, more range, payload, and greater speed than the original, and the flight deck is now equipped with auto throttle along with other enhancements.  

The Cirrus Personal Jet is one of the most advanced jets on the market today. For more details see “What Changed on the Generation 2 Vision Jet.” 

2018 SF50 Cirrus Vision Personal Jet Generation One, photo credit wikiWings
Certified 2018 SF50 Cirrus Vision Personal Jet Generation One, Williams Turbo-fan FJ33-5A engine, serial number 0062, photo credit wikiWings

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

We attended Angel Flight South Central silent auction 2019

On Thursday, April 25th, Tidal Aviation of Houston Texas sponsored an event for the benefit of Angel Flight South Central at the Lone Star Flight Museum.  We had a great time of aviator fellowship in a historical setting with live music and fantastic food from Churrascos catering. Reid Nelson, Founder of Tidal Aviation and his team along with Larry Forney, Vice Chairman Board of Directors Angel Flight South Central and his team were excellent hosts.  

Two cancer survivors presented moving testimonies on how Angel Flight blessed them through their difficult periods of cancer treatments. During the evening, a silent auction was held on many items.  All for a very good cause.  

Please make a donation to Angel Flight.  Your support would be greatly appreciated and will go a long way with helping individuals in need. 

Lone Star Flight Museum, Ellington Airport KEFD,
Lone Star Flight Museum, Ellington Airport KEFD, Tidal Aviation 2019 Angel Flight Benefit, photo credit wikiWings

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

How many aviation pilots are there?

The 2018 GAMA report of FAA statistics indicates there are a total of 633,316 certificated pilots. Here’s a General Aviation factoid summary.

2018 Pilot Statistics

Student       167,804 
Recreational              147 
Sport           6,246 
Private       175,771 
Commercial       115,776 
Airline Transport       167,572 
Total       633,316 

In 2018, the number of women pilots was 46,485 or about 7.34% of the total. Up from prior years but still too low. The FAA began reporting Remote Pilot statistics in 2016. Last year, the total registered pilots for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was 106,321.

Copyright 2019 wikiWings LLC, All rights reserved
Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®