2018 CJP Convention Breaks Records

There was much to celebrate throughout the recent CJP Annual Convention, held October 24-28 in San Antonio, Texas. In conjunction with its 10th anniversary (and despite inclement weather on arrival day), CJP achieved record attendance (474) and record exhibitors (65).

CJP Chairman Marc Dulude later commented, “Ten years ago, we were just a handful of jet owners sharing stories in an effort to become better and safer pilots. Now, with over 1,000 members, we continue to fulfill that mission but with an industry-wide influence and voice. We are extremely proud of how this event and community grows every year.”

IMG_4842To start things off, attendees packed the welcome reception on Wednesday evening. The excitement for the event was evident as CJP members, companions and exhibitors reunited and caught up over dinner and cocktails. The event was held at the convention’s host hotel, the beautiful (and truly Texan) Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort.

Highlights over the next few days included partner company updates, the Safety Standdown, talks by aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker and former astronaut Charlie Precourt, type-specific breakout sessions, and private concerts provided by Textron Aviation.

IMG_4990CJP companions also had numerous activities at their disposal such as companion flight training courses led by jetAVIVA and Textron Aviation-hosted events including a “songwriting and storytelling” concert with singer Maren Morris, a unique wine blending competition and the Companions Lounge which offered yoga (sponsored by Gogo), massages and painting.

For those unable to attend, here is a closer look at the event’s happenings.

Day One

To kick off the first day, Andrew Broom, CEO of CJP, welcomed the crowd with opening remarks regarding CJP’s overall record-breaking year. In 2018, the number of CJP partners, members and member benefits achieved all-time highs. This momentum was also seen across the year’s forum activity and events. The icing on the cake, of course, was the record attendance at the convention.

Following Andrew’s remarks was an in-depth presentation by platinum plus partner Textron Aviation. Members from the leadership team provided thorough updates on the company’s latest programs and products including the Denali and Longitude. Most notably, Kriya Shortt, senior vice president of customer service, announced a new customer rewards program. Eligible CJP members can earn a point for every dollar spent on purchases from Textron Aviation including parts, maintenance and technical publications. Points can then be redeemed for a reward on particular dates. More information can be found within the Textron Aviation Customer Portal.

CJP members were also able to hear from recently appointed CEO, Ron Draper. Draper is a former military pilot and has served in various roles under Textron for over 20 years. He shared a detailed introduction and spoke to his excitement and confidence in the company and market going forward.

In the afternoon, attendees gathered for the much-anticipated Safety Standdown. Peter Basille, an accident investigator with Textron Aviation, presented an in-depth review of recent accidents/incidents ranging from Citations to single-engine aircraft. This was joined with an open discussion regarding what went wrong and how to prevent similar occurrences.

IMG_5109Next was the inaugural ceremony of the CJP Gold Standard Safety Award – introduced at the 2017 convention. In its first year, it far exceeded expectations with an impressive 43 pilots recognized for going above and beyond minimum Citation currency requirements to complete additional enrichment training. Training events this year included a Citation-specific upset recovery course hosted by Flight Research and new simulator courses by FlightSafety International and TRU Simulation + Training. CJP also organized courses with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Rockwell Collins, and Garmin. The committee is already evaluating additional events for 2019.

“We are extremely proud of the tremendous efforts members and partners have made this year,” said David Miller, chairman of the CJP Safety and Education Foundation.

The CJP Safety Committee also put on a fun, Jeopardy-style discussion to introduce the newly developed Citation-specific Standard Operating Practices (SOPs). These SOPs are provided to all Citation pilots as a tool to guide and supplement the safety of flight actions of the owner and pilot in command of Citation aircraft. Miller noted, “It’s not our safety committee’s job to tell you how to fly your airplane. It’s our job to give you some things to think about when you do.” Members can now download a copy of their appropriate SOPs documents online.

The day concluded off-site with a festive western-themed party hosted by Textron Aviation. CJP members indulged in a diverse selection of food and drink, live entertainment and casino table games.

Day Two

The second morning began with what some called “the best presentation they have ever heard.” For an hour-and-a-half, aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker completely captivated the audience as he described tales from his career, including a couple of harrowing incidents. Tucker went on to share wisdom from the experiences, emphasizing he is always prepared and “never put himself at risk, not once.”

IMG_3872 3Next, platinum partner jetAVIVA announced the appointment of Tim White as the new CEO. White shared a few words about the company’s success and vision then welcomed Sales Director Robin Eissler on the stage to encourage pilots to donate their airplane and time to an impactful organization called Patient Airlift Services (PALS). PALS arranges free air transportation for a variety of situations such as transporting individuals for medical care, flying military personnel, or supplying aircraft for humanitarian purposes (www.palservices.org/). jetAVIVA’s Cyrus Sigari then led a unique presentation surrounding futuristic aviation products. He also provided a brief Citation market update – highlighting the visible strength in the latest aircraft value numbers.

Safety is a strong underlying theme of the CJP Annual Convention, and the humorous David Miller provided the crowd with his own “Lessons Learned.” David reviewed a few real-world incidents and discussed best practices and training methods to prevent repeat occurrences. He also debuted examples of the new training videos produced by the CJP Safety and Education Foundation called “What Good Looks Like.” The videos walk through a variety of scenarios illustrating steps that are commonly overlooked. A couple of the notable sayings he touched on include: “Don’t just look at it, touch it” (particularly during a preflight) and, “When in doubt, ask.”

After lunch, attendees broke up into type-specific breakout sessions. These open discussions were led by the manufacturers and included topics like avionics upgrades, engine updates and operations. Companies leading discussions included Textron Aviation, Garmin, Rockwell Collins, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Williams International. All presentations can now be found on the CJP website under the “Library” tab.

IMG_3735CJP’s annual dinner/auction was nothing less than memorable. Following a delectable meal, numerous attendees opened their wallets to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences like all-inclusive VIP travel to a NASCAR race, flying aerobatics with Sean D. Tucker, one-on-one time with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, a unique Husky flying package, and a VIP experience at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Members also bid on aircraft-related packages such as ADS-B, Tamarack winglets and a new interior.

Following the auction, country music superstar Dierks Bentley appeared courtesy of Textron Aviation to play an exclusive concert for attendees. Dozens abandoned their seats to hit the dance floor shortly after Dierks took the stage. Much to the crowd’s enjoyment, CJP’s own Russell Boyd performed alongside Dierks for a couple of songs.

Day Three

The final morning of the convention began with a “trainer discussion.” Representatives from both FlightSafety and TRU addressed the hot topic of their recently announced joint venture (JV). Though not many details are available, the duo explained that the JV would affect Textron Aviation products only and is meant to combine the two organization’s strengths. The training providers also responded to audience questions and offered positive feedback regarding CJP’s ongoing training initiatives, specifically the scenario-based courses. One piece of wisdom discussed and agreed upon was Neil Singer’s recommendation for all pilots to “advocate for yourself” when it comes to the training environment.

The CJP Safety Committee then dove more in-depth into more of its “What Good Looks Like” training videos. Charlie Precourt and Neil Singer led an open discussion to examine best practices in a variety of situations. The importance of the “scoreboard” was especially emphasized as an item often overlooked.

IMG_3915 3This session was immediately followed by CJP’s annual meeting. Board members gathered in front of the room as Marc Dulude walked through CJP’s success in meeting its mission. He spoke to the apparent progress coming from the Safety and Education Foundation as well as the record convention. Next, CJP CEO Andrew Broom touched on events and initiatives planned for next year. The 2019 CJP Annual Convention will occur earlier than normal next year, taking place September 4-8 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.

“This has been a milestone year for CJP. Partners, members, and member benefits are at an all-time high thanks to the incredible efforts of our Board, Safety Committee and valued partners,” said Andrew Broom, CEO of CJP. “We look forward to continued growth next year.”