Atremendous turnout supported the 2015 gather-ing of the Citation Jet Pilots Association, held September 9-13 at the historic Broadmoor resort and spa in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Approximately 100 Citations crowded the huge ramp at Colorado Jet Center and the accompanying crowd brought by that fleet filled the plenary and seminar sessions in the International Center hall at the Broadmoor.
Pikes Peak’s famous bald visage overlooks the Broadmoor Resort, only 10 miles away, but there was too much to do at the convention to leave time for mountain climbing. The exposition hall held a sell-out vendor crowd of CJP supporters. The ever-popular silent auction of donated items and services raised funds and the companion programs kept interest high for the non-pilot attendees.
On Thursday evening, after the first full day of the convention, Platinum-Plus sponsor Textron Aviation hosted a gala dinner party at the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge in the hills above Colorado Springs, where the crisp mountain air whetted appetites and relaxed visiting took place on the patio, viewing the city and plains below that were twinkling in the twilight.
Delivering the Keynote Address on Friday was special guest Dr. Anousheh Ansari, Iranian-born engineer who has been very supportive of space flight since her youth in pre-revolution Iran. Most famously, Dr. Ansari underwent a year of training with the Russian space program to prepare for an 11-day visit to the International Space Station in September, 2006, which she described in detail for the group. Previously, in 2004, the Ansari family had donated substantially to the $10 million X-Prize competition, awarded to the first privately-developed spacecraft capable of carrying passengers to make repeated sub-orbital flights to a height of 100 kilometers, defined as the beginning of outer space. The X-prize was won in October, 2004 by Paul Allen’s team, flying the Scaled Composites Spaceship One vehicle, which further inspired Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism venture.
Another major figure appearing before the CJP convention’s assemblage was NTSB chairman Christopher Hart, who is himself a Citation-rated pilot. During his Saturday presentation, Chairman Hart stressed professionalism, analyzing several historic aviation incidents that exhibited both professional and non-professional pilot ability. He decried the current U.S. aviation system of allowing applicants to make unlimited attempts to pass certification checkrides, which he feels has allowed sub-standard pilots into the industry, unlike the tests for railroad engineers, who are only allowed two chances to pass signal exams when seeking their certification.
The CJP’s highly-educational seminars, spaced throughout the convention, were well attended, including product updates by avionics and engine suppliers, as well as the popular Citation Market update by Cyrus Sigari. Citation jet flying tips were presented by Neil Singer, who also held the popular Companions Ground School session.
All in all, the 2015 gathering was a great CJP Convention, the culmination of many months of work by Executive Director Jon Huggins, president David Miller and Executive Administrator Cheryl Hardy. The 2016 convention will be held October 19-23 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans; start planning immediately for CJP’s meeting in the Crescent City!
For additional information, visit www.citationjetpilots.com