The current leadership of COPA is made up of the following volunteers.
COPA member since 2006
Scott Williams began flying lessons in 1987 while attending United States Air Force ROTC at UCLA. He earned his PPL in 90 days and his instrument rating 90 days later. While on active duty, he completed his Commercial and MEL.
Scott served as a Missile Combat Crew Commander at Grand Forks, AFB North Dakota. He resigned his commission years later as a Captain in the reserves.
In 2006, Scott bought his first airplane: an SR20 G2. After almost 2,000 hours of PIC and over a dozen coast-to-coast trips, he’s still striving for better proficiency.
Professionally, Scott is an attorney practicing aviation and business law. He assists owners with aircraft purchase, sale, and co-ownership matters. Scott also represents pilots being investigated by the FAA and appears in NTSB hearings nationwide.
Scott serves on our COPA Board of Directors and is our current President.
N259SR – SR20 G2
COPA member since 2013
Erik Gundersen has always had a passion for aviation since he was a small child. With his grandparents living in Norway, Erik would travel there many summers via the Airlines with his face against the airport and airplane window watching the airplanes takeoff and land. He knew he would be a pilot once he was older. Erik attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University(ERAU) in Prescott, AZ for his Bachelors degree and complete flight training. He obtained all his ratings at ERAU from Solo to his Multi-Engine Commercial Instrument. Graduating in 2004, Erik then went to work for Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Delta Connection. After only a year Erik Left the airlines due to Low pay and better opportunities. After a break from flying while obtaining his MBA, growing the Family Business and starting a family, Erik started flying regularly again in 2013. After joining COPA and Renting a SR22 for 6 months, Erik Purchased his first and current Airplane, a 2003 SR22 G1 N609AE in June of 2016. In the 2 years of ownership Erik has accumulated over 350 hours on his Cirrus for both Business and pleasure. Erik is focused on spreading his passion for aviation and aviation safety.
Joining COPA is 2013, Erik has been active on the forums, especially with regards to G1 - G3 air-frame issues, upgrades and avionics. His current positions on your Board of Directors include Vice President, and Migration Chair.
In “Real Life” Erik is a father of 2 Girls, Married to his best friend Danielle since 2009, co-owns and operates the family manufacturing business Ivar's Display in Ontario, California and Shelby, North Carolina. With his Family, Erik lives outside of Los Angeles in Chino Hills, CA and bases his plane at Chino Airport (KCNO).
Erik is currently working on obtaining his CFI so he can continue to spread his passion for aviation to the next generation of pilots.
Chino Hills, CA
N609AE – 2003 - SR22 - G1
COPA member since 2012
Tony Sobczak has been an aviation enthusiast since he was a small child. He wanted to learn to fly but life got in the way. It wasn’t until 2001 when the stars and planets finally aligned, and he started taking lessons. His solo cross country was scheduled for September 11, 2001 at 11:00 am. Again, flying was put on hold and it was not until May of 2002 before he got his license. Since then he has owned three airplanes, accumulated over 1000 hours (over 500 in his current Cirrus SR22) and has an instrument rating. Tony is passionate about aviation safety.
Joining COPA is 2012, Tony has held positions as North Central Regional Governor (Twice), North Central Regional Lieutenant Governor and National CDM (Critical Decision Making) Coordinator. His current positions on your Board of Directors include Director, Secretary and Regional Governor Liaison.
Tony (AKA - Nino – pronounced Knee-No) is active in Lion’s International. Past positions include Club Director and Club President. He is currently the Treasure of his Lions Club as well as the Zone Chairperson for his Lions District.
In “Real Life” Tony is an Army veteran, owns and operates the Mousehouse Cheesehaus, and lives is a small village near Madison, Wisconsin with his wife of 31 years, Vicki. Their son, Gus, is a controller at Kansas City Center and their daughter, Nicki, manages the gift shop at the Mousehouse.
N861TS - 2004 SR22 G2
COPA member since 2014
Arthur Gunn, is a second generation pilot. His dad was in the RCAF, and later flew an Apache in which Arthur developed the flying bug. For his 15th birthday, his parents bought him 5 hours at a local flying club’s “co-pilot” course. He soloed a couple of weeks after his 16th birthday, and received his Transport Canada license the day before his 17th birthday. He flew minimally for 4 years (on his dime) until he moved to the United States, and didn’t fly for 32 years. He got back into flying in 2013, and formed an LLC that purchased a 2006 SR22 NA in the summer of 2015 on the very weekend he attended his first CPPP in Duluth. He believes he is blessed with great partners in the aircraft. Subsequent to purchasing the Cirrus, Arthur obtained his Instrument Rating in 2016 under the tutelage and guidance of Trip Taylor, and is currently considering additional certificates and ratings. Arthur has attended a CPPP every year since purchasing the Cirrus, is a former Lt. Governor of the NC Region, and is a strong believer in COPA’s educational and safety mission.
Arthur is a CPA licensed in the State of Illinois, and earned a BA in Economics, a MBA in Finance, as well as a MSc in Taxation. He also is a Certified Fraud Examiner. In his professional life, after working at the Federal Reserve Bank and Deloitte, he was a partner in a small CPA firm before starting his firm in 2003. His firm’s niche is working with not-for profits. He serves as a Peer Reviewer in the State of Illinois, serves on the Professional Standards Department Executive Committee of the CPA Alliance, the Audit and Assurance Committee of the IL CPA Society, and is a former chair of the Illinois CPA Society Not for Profit Conference. He also is the former international Treasurer of his collegiate fraternity, and serves as President of his local pilots’ association and is a FAAST rep.
In his personal life, Arthur and his wife Rhonda, maintain a home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He has two children, a daughter who is a teacher and a son who is an IT professional and a private pilot. Arthur’s other passions are music (his Celtic rock band recorded 3 CDs), guitar collecting and he owns a motorcycle.
Northbrook, IL 60062
N302TD - 2006 SR-22
COPA member since 2016
Mitchel Sellers has had a love of general aviation and finally started to realize his dream of flying in early 2014. In just a few short years he fell in love with flying and continued growing his experience. He bought his first airplane, a 1968 Mooney M20C in 2014 and moved into the Cirrus world in 2016, and upgraded to a G5 Cirrus in 2018. In this time Mitchel has taken his passion for education/training to the skies and become a CFII/CFI focusing on helping students learn with practical instructional concepts to be able to safely leverage their aircraft.
Ever since joining COPA prior to buying his first Cirrus he has been impressed with the organization and excited to use his professional skills to help improve COPA. In his professional life, Mitchel is Software Architect and the CEO of IowaComputerGurus, Inc. In his professional career, Mitchel has focused on delivering high-quality solutions to a worldwide customer base. He also believes strongly in giving back to the community through speaking engagements, blog postings, open-source contributions, and book writing. His work, and activities, have made him the recipient of many public awards and accolades, including being a 10 time Microsoft MVP. When not working with technology you will find Mitchel working with local experienced and aspiring pilots to learn new skills or begin the joys of aircraft ownership.
Mitchel is happily married to his wife Lexi and their two children and two dogs. His family enjoys the flexibility and utility that aviation brings the family and Lexi is planning to get her pilots license in the coming year, hoping for a little of her own Cirrus time!
Ankeny, IA 50023
N984KC - 2015 SR-22 G5
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBER
COPA member since 2008
Graduated A&P school in 2006 and went to work at Cirrus during the late 2000's as an A&P in the Experimental/R&D department. Obtained Private Pilot/Instrument rating through the factory flying club using exclusively factory test pilots as instructors. Started Midwest Aircraft Refinishing in early 2010 with partners George Virnig and Kris Carlson who also worked at Cirrus. Left Cirrus shortly after starting Midwest. Accumulated over 3,000 hrs in all types and vintages of SR's, along with Commercial and recently SES. Currently fly a 2019 SR22T owned by Midwest.
Jason is the President of Mach 1 Aviation in Van Nuys, CA (KVNY) which provides both Instruction and a Rental fleet of Cirrus Aircraft. Jason is a Platinum Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot(CSIP), ATP, and Certified Flight Instructor - Airplane/Instrument/Multiengine. Jason has been involved with COPA since 2008 not only as a member but he is one of the COPA CPPP instructors you may see at a CPPP near you in the future.
Van Nuys, CA
TJ Shembekar is a 3 time Cirrus owner, currently flying an SR22T G6. Like many people, TJ thought of becoming a pilot since childhood. However, something always got in the way, such as finances, time and life in general. Then in 2005 on his birthday, he decided to take the plunge and quickly got his private pilot license in a Cessna 172. With 58 hours in logbook, he bought a brand new SR20 G2.
In the SR20, he went on to acquire an instrument and commercial rating before stepping up to an SR22TN G3, which he flew extensively, including 49 states and 9 countries. After taking a 5 year break from flying due to a work assignment in Singapore, he returned to flying in 2018 with the support and encouragement of several COPA members.
Currently, he is based in Connecticut and has ~ 1700 hours almost entirely in Cirrus and always in pursuit of the next flying adventure. In fact, he chronicles his journeys on Youtube on his “TJ Flying Adventures” Channel.
In his professional life, TJ is an IT executive at IBM where he is responsible for the IT operations of the Global Financing division of IBM.
COPA member since 2001
Timm Preusser is a founding member of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association, where he served 12 years on the Board of Directors, and is one of the founders of the COPA Safety and Education Foundation, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Timm is a mechanical engineer with a PhD who worked in executive positions in multi-national enterprises, and he is a professional pilot, flight instructor and flight examiner, with ATP and type ratings. He is managing partner with FTA Flugtraining Aschaffenburg, an EASA approved flight training organization (ATO) and a Cirrus Training Center (CTC).
Timm has logged 7.000 flight hours in different types of airplanes, including turbine aircraft, with a majority of 5.000 hours in Cirrus airplanes, most of them as an instructor or examiner. He has flown and instructed in Europe, USA, Africa and Australia, including 16 north atlantic crossings in SR20/22 planes. He is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor and an 11 time Master Instructor. As an educator by heart, his main activities center around creating lectures and giving presentations for COPA University, AOPA, flight instructor refresher clinics, in his own flight school and writing articles for COPA Pilot magazine. His main interests are in TAA, avionics and human performance. He is a member in several renowned aviation societies (AOPA, SAFE, NAFI)
Timm and his wife, Gerda (also a mechanical engineer with PhD, private instrument pilot, instrument ground instructor, and certified aviation auditor), conducted and instructed on more than 50 international CPPPs since 2003, in places as fancy as Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Poland, South Africa and United Kingdom. Their great goal is to improve the international general aviation safety through instruction, recurrent training providing insight.
Frankfurt Am Main Area, Germany