Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

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COPA logo

The Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is a not-for-profit aircraft type club for owners and pilots of certified aircraft manufactured by Cirrus Design.[1]

In October 2008 the association had 2800 members worldwide.[1]

The association is sometimes confused with the larger Canadian Owners and Pilots Association which has used the acronym "COPA" since 1952.[2]


COPA started as a group of Cirrus aircraft enthusiasts who had frequented the earlier SR20 internet forum started by Clyde Stubbs in 1999. Most members of that forum came from the position-holders for the yet-to-manufactured Cirrus SR20.[3]

As more new Cirrus Design aircraft were sold and the SR22 was introduced, a formal, membership-based organization was started. In 2001, COPA became a registered non-profit organization with its own website and magazine, Cirrus Pilot.[1]

COPA was recognized in 2005 as "one of the most valuable safety and educational programs that owners of the Cirrus Design series of aircraft can engage in."[4]

In 2006 members of COPA raised more than $105,000 in a single evening to benefit the Red Tail Project, giving the project a significant boost toward their goal of bringing the story of the famed Tuskegee Airmen to every classroom in America.[5]

Safety Initiatives[edit]

In keeping with its motto of "Volatus et Salus" (Latin for "Flight and Safety") the association has a program to promote safer flying. This is based on the Aviators Model Code of Conduct which serves as a set of recommended practices.[6]

Cirrus Pilots Proficiency Program (CPPP)[edit]

The association states:

As a result of this the association developed its type-specific pilot recurrent training program. The first course was in April, 2002; several sessions are offered each year at various locations around the USA.[7]

Critical Decision Making (CDM)[edit]

Critical Decision Making seminars were introduced by COPA to improve pilot decision-making. Today, these seminars are offered through a partnership between COPA and Cirrus Design. In addition to general aviation safety, presentations focus on analysis of accident trends and on formal individualized safety routines.[7]

COPA Forums[edit]

The COPA web site contains a number of message forums. Some of these are open only to members, while others are publicly accessible. The forums provide a venue to learn about Cirrus aircraft from a user perspective, seek advice, discuss flight safety, and just "hangar fly".[1]

Fly-in Activities[edit]

Association members frequently gather together in various spots around the country. Some activities are purely social, but almost all involve talking about flying safely. Several provide speakers and discussion groups.[1]

COPA Migrations[edit]

Each June or July, Cirrus owners are invited to "migrate" back to the Cirrus Design headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota, for a weekend of learning and socialization. Begun in 2003, these fly-ins, dubbed M1, M2, and so on, have grown to attract hundreds of participants. Information sessions are presented by industry experts on topics such as best practices, human factors and aviation decision-making. COPA members provide briefings on noteworthy journeys and owner experiences, while Cirrus Design staff and OEM representatives provide briefings about products and industry trends. Migrations include a trade show.[8]

Family-focused activities, such as the popular "Partner-in-Command" seminar for flying companions, provide a learning environment for non-pilot attendees.[7]

COPA Migrations have also become noted for fund-raising, with the Tuskegee Airmen Red Tail Project, a major recent beneficiary.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (2008). "COPA - Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  2. ^ Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (n.d.). "COPA History 1952-1957". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  3. ^ Stubbs, Clyde (n.d.). "The Unofficial SR20 Guide". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  4. ^ Aero-News Network (January 2006). "COPA, The Cirrus Owner's and Pilot's Association". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  5. ^ Commemorative Air Force (n.d.). "The Red Tail Project". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  6. ^ Baum, Michael (2006). "COPA Code of Conduct". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  7. ^ a b c d Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (2008). "COPA - Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association - Safety and Training". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  8. ^ Duluth Guide (July 2008). "Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has Landed!". Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  9. ^ Red Tail Project Newsletter (July 2006). "Cirrus Owners open their hearts - and wallets to support Red Tail Project". Retrieved 2008-12-25. 

External links[edit]