From CJP President Mark Aloe, Lifetime Member
Flying home from a check ride in San Diego the other night I was reflecting on the mission of CJP, past, present and most importantly, the future. It seems remarkable at times that in only five years our organization has already reached so many goals, like our website that has been used extensively by members, media and the curious. It’s one of the best tools an owner or operator can access.
We also enjoy tremendous turnouts at our annual meetings along with excellent venues and activities at the regional events. Everyone who comes to the gatherings goes home enriched, especially from the safety seminars and the informal exchange of information between owners/operators. We’ve gathered an impressive list of sponsors and partners, companies that offer rebates and reductions in service charges that more than offset the cost of dues. CJP has effectively represented its members in negotiating favorable insurance rates and in seeking lower costs for recurrency training.
The Citation fleet continues to grow and with that expansion comes new owners/operators. So, look back for a minute, to the time when you first entered the Citation community. We all logged two to three weeks in training for the type rating. For most, especially those new to the power curves associated with flying jets, training was a grueling experience. There was a formidable dose of new knowledge, more alphabet soup, and what seemed like endless approaches in a simulator.
A lot of the honest graduates of “Citation 101″ will also admit that the rush of excitement when learning how to handle our new aircraft was offset by moments of humiliation, confusion and times when we just felt downright stupid. Many pilots emerge from training wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into. They’re an owner, an operator, a qualified pilot with an expensive aircraft that has incredible performance and they have very little knowledge about how to maintain it.
That is not a part of flight training. When they’re signed off after the check ride, the real work begins and the confusion settles in like a fog. Their sense of priorities can feel more scrambled than the eggs I had for breakfast.
The realities of Citation operations are like a black art. Questions soon arise about insurance, safety, maintenance scheduling, fuel, avionics repairs or upgrades, or simply how to clean the windshield. Coming up with answers can be a daunting task. Enter CJP. Our Association is a resource, a sounding board, an answer to a myriad of technical questions, and a friendly smile. It’s a community of committed people who are passionate about their choice of aircraft and the other choices they make to maintain it.
That’s why the initial organizers put it together in the first place and why we’ve all worked to keep it going and growing. We have our moments of levity, but there is tremendous comfort in knowing that an organization with the highest level of professional standards is standing by with answers to questions about operations. CJP works. It’s focused and it responds to a clear need. When I encounter owner/operators who don’t belong, I always ask “How could you not be among us?” Perhaps other members could start asking the same question.
In the next two years my goal is to see our membership double. Think of what CJP could negotiate on behalf of a thousand members! Let’s make that our mission over the next couple of years. We really can be a strong voice on the landscape. And then in the two years after that, it will be time to add to the innovative ideas for enhancing membership services. That is a good goal and it is doable.
CJP is poised for expansion. The future will belong to those who see the need for aircraft organizations like ours that are based on a specific design with its own special issues. We will be a respected part of that movement.