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COPA seminars

CPPP weekends feature flight instruction, ground instruction and an alternative course for partners.

Flight Recurrent Training

A CPPP weekend includes training flights individually tailored to the participant’s recurrent training requirements – and flight participants are encouraged to arrive with a list of topics they would like to emphasize during flight training.  CPPP flight instructors conduct extensive preflight and post-flight briefings that substantially contribute to the value of the recurrent training. While the CPPP does not provide a specific syllabus, all CPPP instructors follow the procedures contained in the Flight Operations Manual (FOM) published by Cirrus Aircraft. 

CPPP participants may satisfy the flight review requirements of FAR 61.56(e) at a CPPP through the FAA Wings program, essentially waiving the need for a flight review.  (FAA Wings flight credit available)

Conducting instrument proficiency checks (IPCs) at CPPP events is discouraged.  The CPPP flight syllabus is designed to review and improve a pilots proficiency through instruction.  During an IPC, a flight instructor is not allowed to teach, only observe.  An IPC consumes a significant amount of time that would otherwise be used to improve your Cirrus-specific piloting skills.

If, for insurance purposes, a pilot strongly desires to conduct an IPC at CPPP, the pilot must arrive prepared to demonstrate proficiency to Instrument PTS standards and must discuss this request with the CPPP flight instructor prior to any flight activity.  Whether or not an IPC will be offered is solely at the discretion of the CPPP instructor. 

Ground Courses

Please note that not all elective segments will be available at all CPPPs.  


  • Automation Management – Techniques for selecting the best level of automation for the task at hand.  Workflows to efficiently take command of the Flight Management System (FMS) and Autopilot (A/P); making sense of OBS. (Plenary Session)
  • Advanced Topics - Perspective – Airway transitions, flying radials and programing TEC routes.  Reviewing SIDs and STARs.  Using VNAV and linking approaches.
  • Advanced Topics - Avidyne - Airway transitions, flying radials and programing TEC routes.  Reviewing SIDs and STARs.  Using VNAV and linking approaches.
  • IFR Takeoff and Departure – Perspective – Pre-takeoff workflows and instrument departure procedures.
  • IFR Enroute and Holding - Perspective – Enroute workflows including re-routes.  Manual and automated holding.
  • IFR Approaches - Perspective – Loading and activating approaches; vectors-to-final; WAAS; conventional approaches; and missed approaches.
  • Garmin 430 Avidyne Unique uses of the 430 in the VFR environment.  Descent planning, map setup, extended runway centerlines, and many other techniques are covered.
  • IFR Departure and Enroute - Avidyne – Entering clearances, amending clearances, flying departure procedures descent planning and situational awareness tools.
  • IFR Arrival and Approach – Avidyne – Departure procedures and approach procedures.  Holding and correct approach transition selection (vectors to final or IAF).  The ideal ILS is covered in detail with explanations of each segment.


  • Cirrus Electrical Systems – An overview of the electrical system components, operating procedures, normal, abnormal, and emergency indications.  This course is aimed at taking the mystery out of safe operation of aircraft with sophisticated electrical components.
  • Cirrus Fuel Systems – This course is a review of the Continental Continuous Flow fuel injection system on all Cirrus aircraft.  We follow a molecule of fuel from uplift into the wing tank, through every component until reaching the cylinder.  Discussion includes standard operating procedures, abnormal, and emergency procedures, hot starting, and failure diagnosis.
  • Cirrus Ownership – Airframe/Oil Analysis/Powerplant – Owning and managing an aircraft is a complex process.  Remove some mystery from the maintenance process by learning how to access the technical publications.  You will learn about common maintenance events and intervals, and examine areas of frequent repair.
  • Engine Management Basics – Covers the basics of the combustion process, demonstrates the operational use of the engine monitor in take off, climb, cruise (Best Power and Best Economy), descent, landing, and ground operations.
  • Advanced Engine Management – Many members operate their aircraft reliably over significant airframe hours following principles of operation garnered from the Advanced Pilot Seminars.  This technical and engaging seminar presents challenging material in a shortened format.  Study material is available from www.advancedpilot.com/downloads


  • CAPS Decision Making – Every Cirrus built contains a ballistic parachute recovery system called CAPS (Cirrus Airframe Parachute System).  Every COPA Pilot needs to plan for when they will use CAPS.  This course reviews the history of integrating CAPS into the Cirrus airframe, the history of over 50 survivable CAPS deployments, and then explores why pilots do not use it when other pilots have and survived.  Finally, the course suggests modifications to the emergency checklists to incorporate the first item, 0.CAPS…CONSIDER, and ways to build muscle memory for the use of CAPS under stress in an emergency.
  • Partner in Command – Intended to make the non-pilot right-seater more comfortable in the airplane, this course teaches them to be an active participant in the flight as a resource to the pilot.  The use of safety equipment in an emergency is explained, with special focus on the use of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
  • Psychology of Emergencies – Covering risk assessment and decision making, this seminar focuses on Single Pilot Resource Management.  Special attention is devoted to the psychological and physiological factors affecting pilot performance during emergencies.  The class will discuss a series of realistic scenarios in which the pilot will need to perceive changes in the flight environment, assess implications and develop alternative actions that will allow safe completion of the flight.
  • Top Ten Insights on Cirrus Safety – This course updates statistics about Cirrus accident investigations and motivates the focus on recurrent training by COPA University. (Plenary Session)
  • Command and Control – COPA Pilots operate airplanes with advanced avionics and sophisticated Automatic Flight Control Systems.  Command and Control attempts to provide the COPA Pilot with the tools to remain in command by examining a set of best practices in aircraft configuration and use of automation. (Plenary Session)


  • Aerodynamics for Pilots - What actually makes an airplane fly and why it is important that we understand the principals behind the laws of physics that allow us to fly? This course is designed to review the subject from a pilot oriented approach and explain how and what we can control in the air to allow us to make safe flights from takeoff to touchdown.
  • Chart Clinic – A deep dive into IFR and VFR charts, and Instrument Procedure documents.  This course covers distinctions between Jeppesen and NOAA charting.
  • Normal and Emergency Procedures – Emphasizes the safety advantages of operating the aircraft in a controlled, repeatable manner in each phase of flight.  Covers standard POH operating procedures as well as preflight and in flight actions to avoid emergencies developing.  Emphasizes the appropriate use of CAPS and the importance of having a strategy for its use in emergency situations.
  • Weather Forecast – Icing/Convective/Basics – Icing covers the formation of airframe ice, types of airframe ice and the effect of ice on an aircraft.  Forecast tools discussed will include prog charts, soundings, freezing level charts, METARS, AIRMETS, CIP charts, and PIREPS.  Convective covers the formation of thunderstorms and how to predict their formation.  Products discussed will include the lifted index, K index, sounding (LI/SI/CAPE), prog charts, radar, and convective outlook.
  • Weather – Introduction to Soundings – Soundings (SKEW-T LogP) are very powerful preflight planning tools for any pilot.  This course will help unravel the mystery and power of these tools and unlock their potential as you plan your next flight.
  • Weather – Getting from A to B Without Breaking Either the Rules or the Airplane – Reviews the minimum weather requirements for each airspace and describes the use of all officially sanctioned weather products needed to plan a flight with considerations given to routings, terrain, and the use of updated weather information while in flight.  Topics include METARs and TAFs.
  • Weather – IFR Preflight Briefing – Focuses on getting the big picture and complete IFR briefing.  Topics include Area Forecasts and Area Forecast Discussions, Winds, alternate planning, NOTAMs, Departure Procedures, cloud tops, icing, convection, and turbulence.
  • Weather In-Flight – Summer / Winter – Recognizing summer and winter weather patterns from the cockpit results in enhanced Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM).  Use of eyes, forecasts, and on-board systems allows the pilot to make smart in-flight choices. 


  • Procedure Trainer Workshop / Simulator – This new COPA University laboratory workshop will employ a customized version of the FlyThisSim TouchTrainer desktop simulator.  One of the customizations of this equipment is a fully functional intercom between the participant, instructor and Pilot Edge virtual real-time Air Traffic Control system. Each participant will fly the same short flight scenario in contact with air traffic control.  The simulated aircraft configuration can be set up to include the Avidyne Entegra or the Garmin Perspective system.  The Garmin GFC700, STEC55x and Avidyne DFC90 autopilots can be configured with your choice of avionics.  (Currently, we do not offer simulations of Garmin GTN 650/750, Avidyne R9, Avidyne IFD 440/540, ARNAV MFD, Sandel HSI, or Aspen displays.  We plan to add support for these platforms at a later date.)



CPPP Overview | Typical Weekend | Syllabus | CPPP Instructors | Required Insurance | Training Record | Register