CJP Achieves Record Convention
CJP members, partners and vendors recently gathered at the annual convention, September 4-7, in Colorado Springs. The 2019 convention earned the title of the most well-attended event in CJP’s history, with 520 attendees and more than 130 Citations. A timely milestone as this year marks 50 years of Citations flying.
“It is amazing to see this tight-knit community continue to grow each year, both in size and influence,” said Tom Abood, chairman of CJP. “Our advocacy efforts and safety initiatives have quickly become industry-recognized thanks to the tremendous efforts of our board and safety committee.”
During arrivals, Cutter Aviation expertly managed the influx of the hundred-plus Citations at COS. Guests were then shuttled to one of CJP’s top-rated locations: the legendary Broadmoor Hotel and Resort. While some headed straight to the golf course or to explore the Broadmoor campus, others attended CJP’s first-ever radar course presented by Erik Eliel from Radar Training International. This was a four-hour, comprehensive radar course designed specifically for CJP members.
CJP Board Member Marc Dulude later commented, “The Erik Eliel radar course was outstanding ,and we ended up with 82 people attending. We all left with booklets of information and, armed with that information, I continued my experiences with radar on the way home.”
Later that evening, everyone gathered for the welcome reception alongside the Broadmoor’s beautiful lakeside pool, accompanied by mountain views. CJP packed the space as members and partners reunited over delicious cocktails and cuisine.
For those unable to attend the convention, keep reading for a closer look at the event’s happenings including news, activities and highlights. Presentations from the sessions can also be found on the CJP website under the “Library” tab.
Thursday morning, attendees had their first opportunity to browse the numerous vendors (74 this year) as well as hear the latest updates from CJP partners Textron Aviation, FlightSafety Textron Aviation Training, Tamarack Aerospace, Garmin and Collins Aerospace.
Textron Aviation broke away from the traditional presentation as CEO Ron Draper bravely accepted the opportunity to be interviewed by CJP’s David Miller on stage. The audience learned more about Draper’s background, leadership practices, market insights and opinions on industry issues, including lengthy certifications and rising insurance premiums. He reiterated the importance of the Textron Aviation/CJP relationship, affirming the company’s close tie with CJP in its safety efforts.
“CJP is fantastic. What I love about CJP is you have a passion for airplanes and this industry. You’re pushing us to do better, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Draper.
Following Ron’s interview, Textron Aviation’s Kriya Shortt and Brad Thress kept with the interactive theme as they polled the audience on various matters related to customer support. A live feed displayed poll data as attendees texted responses to questions such as the age of their Citation and the service challenges they face. The two also spoke to parts price and availability, upcoming improvements to the customer portal, as well as the recent launch of the aircraft maintenance hub.
Other interesting updates from the morning’s presentations included:
- An update from the recently branded FlightSafety Textron Aviation Training – a joint venture between FlightSafety and TRU. The company covers 48 Beech, Cessna and Hawker products in 17 total locations. The company is working toward a single point of contact for customer service.
- Garmin is celebrating 30 years and growing. They constructed a new $200 million production facility which will allow further growth in areas of aviation, automation and innovation. “Phase Two” of construction will incorporate a dedicated aviation business center, which will expand in-house training opportunities and facilities for customers.
- Collins Aerospace launched a CJ1+/CJ2+ Fusion program, with the STC expected in the third quarter of 2020. They are also looking at a CJ1/CJ2 modernization package due to complex airspace demanding more from the single-pilot operations.
- Tamarack Aerospace conducted a thorough review of their recent ADs, which are now resolved. EASA and FAA lifted restrictions in July and winglet installations have resumed.
Following lunch, attendees gathered for the popular Safety Standdown hosted by the CJP Safety and Education Foundation. The session kicked off with an in-depth review of Citation accidents and incidents led by Peter Basille, senior safety investigator with Textron Aviation. Basille assists the NTSB in investigations related to Textron Aviation products, often reporting to the accident site to assess the situation and conduct interviews. In 2018, Textron Aviation received 1,277 total notifications of incidents, of which 55 were Citations. Of those 55 reports, runway excursions topped the list at 11.
The CJP Safety Committee, led by Charlie Precourt, then presented its latest safety content aligned with the updated Citation-specific Standard Operating Practices (SOPs) and a new series of scenario-based videos titled “What Good Looks Like.” Additionally, 62 pilots (up from last year’s 43) were recognized for going above and beyond minimum Citation currency requirements to earn CJP’s Gold Standard Safety Award.
“The continued growth in our membership and in particular the attendance at our Safety Standdown shows the information provided has high relevance to our member’s operations,” said Precourt following the convention. “In light of the increasing pressure on insurance rates, our group also recognizes a need to distinguish ourselves as a lower risk pool of operators. So, commitment to training at our Gold Standard safety initiative continues to gain very positive traction.”
To cap off the day, guests assembled for the Textron Aviation party at the nearby Cheyenne Lodge. There were six stations of food, fire pits, microbrew tastings, live music and up-close encounters with birds of prey.
Day two kicked off with a unique presentation by pilot and professor Dr. Kenneth Dial. His research program focuses on the behavior, biomechanics and evolution of avian flight. Dial walked through commonalities seen between birds and aircraft.
Attendees then heard from FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell. CJP’s Andrew Broom interviewed him on a wide range of topics including aircraft equipage, training, automation, airports and technology on the horizon. One piece of advice Elwell shared from his own piloting background, which includes experience in military, commercial and civilian flying, was, “Focus on where you fly most, what you fly most, what you do most – and like in any profession, be at the top of your game as far as continuous learning and understanding the latest tools and technology out there.”
When asked what CJP can do to make his job easier, Elwell responded, “The work you are now doing and the emphasis you are making on safety as a community – that’s what makes our job easier. At the end of the day, we are a safety agency. The safer you are as an individual Citation pilot, and the more you can be advocates for your place in the ecosystem and speak up for your group, the better and safer the system will be.”
Keeping with the safety theme, Robert Switz, fleet program director for NetJets, took the stage to share about the NetJets safety culture. In 2018, the company conducted 251,607 flights and accumulated 286,597 flight hours. Throughout his presentation, Switz spoke to how important it is to assess and mitigate risk whether you are running a large operation or you are a single-pilot operator. Tactics he recommended and implements with his team are regular risk assessments (looking at the pilot, aircraft, environment, pressures) and checklist discipline.
Following lunch and further visiting with vendors, attendees spent the afternoon broken up into type-specific discussions regarding aircraft operations, avionics upgrades and engine updates. By request, the sessions were made longer this year, and allow open discussions as owners speak aloud of their own experiences and can ask manufacturers questions directly. Representatives were present from Textron Aviation, Collins, Garmin, Williams International and Pratt & Whitney Canada.
Concurrently, companions were treated to a private comedy show by Karen Rontowski – one of the many activities available to companions throughout the three days. Others included a guided hike, floral arranging, companion courses or relaxing in the companion’s lounge.
Taking place in the evening was the annual live auction, dinner and concert. CJP members were able to bid on packages such as an interior refurbishment, recurrent training, an EAA AirVenture experience, flight time with Sean Tucker and a wine tour in Napa. Country singer Brett Young then stole the show as he performed a private concert to a smiling and dancing crowd; even posing for photos with dozens of attendees.
Training was the theme of Saturday morning. David Miller presented more of the latest videos in the safety committee’s “What Good Looks Like” series alongside Charlie Precourt and Neil Singer. The goal of the series is to review uncommon maneuvers, examine best practices and help pilots get up to speed prior to recurrent.
There was also an open discussion held as Charlie and Neil were joined by Jack Tessman with FlightSafety Textron Aviation Training (FSTAT). The panel addressed topics such as scenario-based training, ground school vs. online and pinch hitter courses. FSTAT is said to incorporate the best of both worlds (FlightSafety and TRU).
In the afternoon, the final main session was an accident review by former NTSB investigator Greg Feith. During his tenure with the NTSB, Mr. Feith served in a variety of positions, including Air Safety Investigator (Field) Unit Supervisor, Regional Director and Senior Air Safety Investigator. In his presentation, Feith reviewed accident information among a variety of aircraft including:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. accident (self-induced pressure by crew, unstable approach);
- Challenger in Aspen (unstable approach, bad information, exceeded limitations);
- 560XL in California (runway overrun was removed, checklists);
- CJ in Virginia (alcohol, decision-making and motor skills);
- DC-8 Guantanamo Bay (fatigue, landing using wrong approach);
- CJ4 in Cleveland (no autopilot engaged, spatial disorientation, Mustang to CJ switches different, fatigue);
- CJ1 in Utah (trained at FSI 30 times, loss of control due to spatial disorientation, did not turn back);
- 737 Max (poor training, bad oversight, button pushers, MCAS not the issue, more to the story, training language).
As evidenced by the numbers, CJP continues to grow and build on its success, with safety efforts at the forefront.
When asked about some of the top priorities for the Safety Committee going into next year, Precourt responded, “Continued improvement in the training quality, both in simulator as well as in-aircraft, by making the training more single-pilot oriented and scenario based. Further focus on addressing runway excursions and loss of control in flight issues will be the focus for 2020, as those are recurring issues for light jet operations. Also, addressing these issues and demonstrating our membership is becoming a lower risk pool for underwriters because of these initiatives is our goal to keep insurance rates in check and our flight operations affordable.”
The 2020 CJP Convention will take place in Nashville, Tennessee from October 21-24. Preparation is already underway.
“CJP is committed to enhancing the convention every year. Our 2020 convention will be in a new location, Nashville, at a brand new beautiful JW Marriott,” said CJP CEO Andrew Broom. “You will not want to miss it; we are already planning for a memorable show.”