Guest Editor column to Special Safety Issue of COPA Pilot magazine June 2017 - Pull early, pull often! - Safety and Training Programs - Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

Guest Editor column to Special Safety Issue of COPA Pilot magazine June 2017

Guest Editor column to Special Safety Issue of COPA Pilot magazine June 2017

A Note from the Guest Editor

This June 2017 issue of COPA Pilot magazine represents an opportunity to expand from a bi-monthly publication by adding two special issues, this one on safety.

The tradition of a special issue on safety began about 10 years ago. Those early issues brought  forward the  need to reduce accidents and discussed ways to keep pilots safe. Now, we have a great story to tell about fewer fatal accidents, more parachute survivors, and an expanded portfolio of training resources.

Success has Many Fathers, Failure is an Orphan

This sobriquet applies to the many contributors who worked reduce Cirrus accidents. No single person did this. It took a collaborative effort of several hundred people to align on a vision of fewer accidents.

It began with innovators at Cirrus Aircraft who brought safety features to the market. The reality surprised many because these innovations were by themselves not immediately effective, but they proved to establish the foundation for long-term improvement.

It took many more minds to change things for the better.

Innovators within COPA championed safety programs like the COPA Pilot Proficiency Program (CPPP), Critical Decision Making seminar (CDM), and now COPA University.

Insurance brokers and underwriters who valued those efforts reinforced the commitment to safety.

NTSB investigation teams dug into the details of accidents so we could learn what happened and develop training interventions.

COPA members who generously shared their talent and insights when discussing accidents created powerful teachable moments.

CPPP instructors who championed standardizing of procedures, promoted the training network, and became the core of outstanding professional educators in the Cirrus community.

The resources available now represent a unique and outstanding portfolio to keep you safe. See the list on the next page.

We Are Not Done Yet

Accidents keep happening, so we need to remain vigilant and undeterred.

Fortunately, people who participate in COPA and who attend our training programs do not often show up in fatal accidents. No CPPP participant has died in a Cirrus fatal accident in almost four years, yet we see too many fatal accidents among the pilots who buy a Cirrus and do not participate in COPA or the Cirrus training network.

Our commitment within COPA to improving flight safety and sustaining general aviation requires us to keep the focus on doing more. We created COPA University to expand our training programs. We established the COPA Safety and Education Foundation to fund development of new materials.

We are not done yet.

You Can Help

COPA depends upon the passion and talent of volunteers like you.

If you had a great experience, write it up and post a testimonial.

If you have ideas to spread the word, post some marketing concepts.

If you wish to instruct or present at our programs, let us know and get involved.

All of us who have fathered these safety improvements did so because we wanted to, because of our passions and energy.

We welcome yours.

You can contribute

Charitable contributions to the COPA Safety and Education Foundation fund the development of new materials and programs. Those funds serve as the capital investment for COPA University.

Many generous donors helped us to get this far. We need more to push forward.

To contribute, please review the website or talk with someone involved with our programs.

Rick Beach
COPA Safety Chair

Training Resources for COPA Pilots

The COPA culture of safety emerges from the collective actions of COPA Pilots who aspire to be safer pilots. COPA and Cirrus Approach™ provide resources that help answer questions, maintain proficiency and gain knowledge. Please use these resources to improve your flying and enhance our culture of safety.

COPA Code of Conduct

This booklet outlines commitments that COPA members can make to improve safety. The Code of Conduct presents a vision of excellence in general aviation to improve flight safety and to sustain the community.

Paper copies are handed out at COPA events. A PDF version is found on the COPA website under the Safety menu tab, under Safety Resources.

Critical Decision Making Seminar (CDM)

Attend a half-day fly-in safety discussion. The facilitated dialog encourages group knowledge to emerge that changes safety behaviors. Pilots report great value from hearing how other pilots handle challenging situations, always with new insights and knowledge.

CDM events appear on the COPA website under the Safety & Training Events calendar.

COPA Pilot Proficiency Program (CPPP)

COPA University holds weekend recurrent training events around the world. The colleges in COPA University present courses on safety, flight operations, avionics, and aircraft technology. Simulator sessions

provide practical scenarios to use the knowledge gained. Flight instruction sessions reinforce the skills needed for flying proficiently. The Partner in Command course for right-seat flyers ensures that they know what to expect and how to handle pilot incapacitation in a Cirrus.

Social interactions among COPA Pilots and their partners with some of the most knowledgeable Cirrus instructors helps build connections and reinforce safety.

CPPP events also appear on the COPA website under the Safety & Training Events calendar.

COPA University Channel on YouTube

Expanding our portfolio of training resources includes the new COPA University channel on YouTube. These videos educate, entertain, and entice. They link to the COPA discussion forums and COPA University training events.


The interactive Flight Operations Manual emphasizes procedural standardization when flying a Cirrus. The content describes checklist procedures, animates flight profiles, and demonstrates procedures through videos and interactive diagrams.

The iFOM can be acquired via the iBooks store and works well on tablets and laptops.

Cirrus Learning Portal

A wealth of Cirrus training resources lives on the Cirrus Learning Portal. Free material emphasizes the use of CAPS, the Landing Standardization course, and recurrent training syllabi. Fee-based material provides ground knowledge for transition training and differences for step-up models.

Get into the Learning Portal with the help of an instructor who is part of the global Cirrus training partner network.

Training Network of CSIPs and CTC

Cirrus Approach™, the training department of Cirrus Aircraft, promotes a global network of training providers. Deliveries of new aircraft include factory training. Recurrent and transition training for used Cirrus aircraft can be provided by independent Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilots (CSIP) or instructors at Cirrus Training Centers (CTC). All of these training partners commit to using and following the standardized procedures that keep COPA Pilots safe.

Cirrus Locator

Use the Cirrus locator to find instructors near you:

Follow the link, then use the Filter Results button to find Cirrus Training Centers and CSIPs.

Pilots New to Cirrus

COPA is working to share information useful to pilots new to flying a Cirrus. Our organization encourages you to choose your instructor carefully, looking for a training professional that knows and understands how to keep you safe in a Cirrus.

On the COPA forum under the Safety menu, look for information under Training Programs.  

  • Hi Rick,

    Will the Cirrus Operations manual have information of Avidyne R-( in it?

    Hi Rick,

    Will the Cirrus Operations Manual have relevant information for the Avidyne R-9 in it?

    Thanks for all you do to keep us safe!!!


  • Myron, the iFOM (interactive Flight Operations Manual) comes in two variants: Avidyne Entegra and Cirrus Perspective. For pilots operating Cirrus aircraft with other variations of avionics (Avidyne R9, IFD 540/IFD440, GTN750/GTN650, Aspen, G500, etc.), we recommend the iFOM version with Avidyne Entegra avionics.

    The iFOM is more procedural than avionics specific. And the Avidyne variant of the iFOM is more comprehensive. Cirrus expects to publish an update to the Perspective iFOM when they get a chance to incorporate those enhancements.

    COPA plans to produce a series of online modules for all of those other variants of avionics, especially providing guidance for the Six Sacred Skills.



  • I'm really, really sorely disappointed that Cirrus has failed to release the iFOM in a non-Apple format.  There are many folks, like myself and most of the rest of the world (outside the US), who have Android products or use PCs and don't have an iPad.  I should be able to have access to this too.  I have asked Cirrus for help on this, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

  • Dustin, unfortunately the economics of scarce resources applied to developing training materials seem to have to have focused on the Apple iBooks ecosystem. Beyond that comment, I do not know their plans nor ability to broaden the platforms in play. Try contacting Cirrus Approach folks via [email protected]