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2019 February Newsletter

CJAA Newsletter Feb 2019

 

CJAA President Zach “Z” McNeill reports, “At the beginning of 2019, we are financially sound. We are starting out the year with reserves to sustain our organization for 12 months. Nevertheless, we are facing a challenge common in the warbird community…our annual membership is on a gradual decline. We’re down from around 300 members ten years ago to approximately 220-250 today, while also reducing annual membership dues. We are looking to increase our funding through creative marketing and sponsorship agreements.”

 

Z notes that there are some 400 airplanes registered in the US that could fall under the purview of the CJAA. “We represent only about half of them, so we’d love to reach out and add them to our membership. We have a lot to offer jet warbird owners far beyond our sponsored barbecues at Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture at `Oshkosh.” He mentions several goals for 2019, including increasing the number of CJAA fly-in events, representing membership in a myriad of regulatory issues, and being a two-way conduit of information with the FAA, NTSB, and FAST.

 

He points out that fly-ins are much more important than simply boys playing with their toys.” Most warbird pilots are interested in aerobatics and/or formation flying. CJAA is dedicated to training our pilots to develop and improve their skills in these disciplines in order to STAY ALIVE! We generally do this through formation flying clinics such as the upcoming 2019 Presidential Fly in and Convention, to be held in Fairhope AL from 27 February until 3 March.” Z says he’s expecting a record 26 participating jet aircraft, along with some interesting visitors. “These clinics focus on heavy interaction between pilots and instructors/check pilots in order to hone their skills. They also give us a chance to fly, talk shop, and socialize with other pilots sharing similar interests. We can exchange helpful tips for everything from holding position in an echelon turn, to finding better ways to upgrade an avionics suite. We also have discussions about safety, which includes information that comes to us from FAST and its other signatories. We all learn from each other, since many of the skillsets overlap each other, despite our unique demands on airspace and speed.”

 

In the regulatory world, CJAA represents the jet warbird community on many different levels. Z continues, “We are working closely with the government as it begins implementation of FAA Order 8900.1 Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS). Some of these changes in the rewrite affect the licensing of people and experimental aircraft in our membership. In addition, the safety record in every corner of the warbird community comes under scrutiny by the FAA and NTSB, as well as other components of the government that don’t necessarily understand the fine points of aviation as well. So, EVERYTHING in the warbird can influence us. Through FAST, we continue to strengthen our ties with other FAST signatories and exchange information

 

At the 2019 Presidential Fly in and Convention in Fairhope, the CJAA will hold its annual membership meeting. This will be YOUR opportunity to have your voice heard on a variety of issues that will affect our organization. Most participants will be arriving on Wednesday, 27 February. Thursday and Friday will be spend flying, flying and flying. This is the real heart of the fly in, where pilots can earn their FAST Wingman or Lead certifications. On Saturday, the group will be treated to a tour of the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, followed by the annual CJAA Convention Meeting. This promises to be the largest gathering of CJAA members ever at Fairhope so if you have not yet registered, please do so ASAP.

 

Watch this space for a recap of the Fairhope gathering, as well as a preview of future CJAA events.

 

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