Update on COPA University December 4 - COPA University blog - Safety and Training Programs - Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

Update on COPA University December 4

The Van Nuys CPPP brought an end to the 2015 CPPP calendar year. Both the instructors and the participants commented that the program had a lot of energy this past season. Much of that energy comes from the work of a very dedicated group of instructors and course designers. I want to thank them for making the job of administering the training programs easy and fun.  

The second beta test of our simulator laboratory was smoother and well attended.  We are still learning, as we present this new feature of COPA training. Though transport of the simulators has been largely the domain of “Beach Air”, challenges remain in the area of transportation, set up, breakdown and a few aircraft configurations. Moving forward, however, we have teams working on each of these objectives.

Now that the CPPP season is over, we are figuratively, “back in the gym”. The “gym” in this case is a two month course development and reset program.  

We have broken the COPA University into five “schools”, each with its own discipline. The five colleges  are; College of Advanced Avionics, College of Flight Operations, College of Aircraft Technology, College of Aviation Safety and College of Practical Flight and Simulation. 

We are pleased that Matt McDaniel has agreed to serve as the Dean of the College of Advanced Avionics. Matt brings extensive knowledge of Cirrus avionics and flight training to our program. Matt was one of the original Cirrus Instructors in Duluth and currently flies for a Major Airline. I have worked with Matt for quite a few years and consider our organization very lucky to have him on our team.  

Speaking of the College of Advanced Avionics, This team will be meeting for a 4 day intensive work session at COPA HQ in Las Vegas.  This will be an intense four day work session that will further advance our Avionics learning programs. 

The College of Flight Operations’ discipline will be the home of Aerodynamics, Weather, and Regulations and along with other subject matter.  Dr. Jerrold Seckler has consented to become the first Dean of the College of Flight Operations.  Jerry is a current CPPP instructor who has designed and taught a large number of our weather courses. 

Also on board to assist Jerry in the College of Flight Operations is Dr. Brian Turrisi.  Brian is a retired physician that is enjoying retirement as a CSIP and CPPP instructor. Brian is one of the course designers of the Command and Control course.  In addition to Brian, Dr. Bill Frank, an active orthopedic surgeon, has also joined as member of this faculty. Bill designed and teaches our “in flight” weather programs, as well as our Approach Chart clinic.  Additionally,  we are happy to have Bryan Heitman, join this “college” as well. Bryan is a technologist and developer of Aerovie Reports. He will focus on creating material utilizing your favorite iPad apps. The inaugural meeting for the College of Flight Operations will be early in January. 

Roger Whittier has accepted the position as Dean of the College of Aircraft Technology. Roger is an A&P mechanic, member of the COPA Board and a CPPP instructor. His domain includes all systems onboard your Cirrus.  His team will show you how to get the most out of your airplane and help you learn how to better manage your aircraft ownership.  New courses in development this year include Propeller and Lubrication, Engine Data Analysis, and updates to his Cirrus ownership class.  Roger has a plethora of ideas and plans for additional presentation material.  

The Dean of the College of Aviation Safety is. of course, COPA Safety Chair, Rick Beach.  Rick is familiar to almost all COPA members and it will be no surprise that he will continue his data driven approach to Cirrus Safety issues.  Rick Beach always can be counted on to give 110% for any COPA effort that promises improvement in safety. I am grateful for his enthusiasm and dedication.  One of Rick’s goals for 2016 will be to find a protégé that can enable him to carry the message to even more of our pilots. 

A designee has agreed to serve as the Dean of Practical Flight and Simulation. His name will be announced in a future blog post. This will be a new name to most COPA members, but he is a gentleman with superb credentials for this position.  

Each of the Colleges will be crafting new courses, updating older courses and training new instructors. It’s an exciting time that involves a lot of work. Current plans are to be able to offer some content online by the end of 2016. We are eager to give you a peek of that work, in Lakeland, FL, during the first weekend in March.  

Happy Holidays and fly safely.

  • BRAVO!!!

    Thanks very much to Trip and everyone mentioned in his blog post. We are so fortunate to have such experienced and dedicated individuals make the dream of COPA University a reality. While there is a tremendous amount of work ahead, the curriculum is very well thought out and it is well on the way to launch.

    I also am a big fan of the simulator laboratory.  While I know it will become even better, it is already a great training tool due to the use of the case study curricula.  

    Thanks again to everyone for all of your hard work!!  

  • Trip,

    Great update and thanks to you and all the others mentioned in the post. You guys are creating an amazing asset for all Cirrus pilots. Looking forward to taking advantage of some of these new courses.

    Thank you to all involved.