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NBAA Continues Support for Annual Citation Jet Pilots Gathering

August 23, 2011

The Citation Jet Pilots Owner Pilot Association will host its third annual national convention October 26–29, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island on Florida's Atlantic coast. The event offers owners and operators of the popular line of Cessna business jets an opportunity to network and learn more about their aircraft and the issues affecting their use.

Ralph Lloyd, executive director and chief operating officer for the owners group, expects as many as 100 Citations to fly in for the event. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) will be among the approximately 50 exhibitors featured. NBAA also is an event sponsor, along with Cessna Aircraft, Rockwell Collins, CAE Simuflite and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

The event will feature a number of instructional forums focusing on three primary topics: flight safety, aircraft operating knowledge, and understanding industry trends and the political climate affecting operators.

"While many of our members are owner-operators and not necessarily professional pilots, we still want to expose them to professional topics and training opportunities," Lloyd said, adding that the convention's overarching theme echoes the group's mission. "We aim to enhance the Citation ownership experience, to provide safety and education, and to do it all with a spirit of fun and adventure."

This year's gathering will feature the second Cessna Companion Pilots training program, intended to give non-pilots a better feel for aircraft operations and demonstrate how they can assist from the right seat.

"The inaugural ground school and flying courses were extremely popular last year," Lloyd said. "We expect several companions to sign up again this year for the two-hour ground school, and they will also have the chance to practice those lessons in actual flying sessions if they chose. Some will even have the chance to make a landing for themselves!"

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen will be among the featured speakers at the four-day event. Other speakers are to include radiologist and NEXRAD developer Dr. David Strahle; Dr. Mark Rosekind, a new member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Erik Eliel, airline pilot and president of Radar Training International. Scott Ernest, who was named Cessna Aircraft president and CEO in May, will be the event's keynote speaker.

NBAA's Bolen also will join Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President and CEO Craig Fuller, as well as former Experimental Aircraft Association President Tom Poberezny, in an informal panel discussion Friday, October 28. The three will offer their views on the current state of general aviation, and discuss the issues affecting the industry.

Events like the Citation Jet Pilots convention allow NBAA to reach out to pilot groups on a more personal and informal basis.

"As an exhibitor, this gives NBAA the opportunity for us to speak with owners about the products and services we offer, as well as share news about our advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels," said Mike Nichols, VP Operations, Education and Economics. "Pilots like the opportunity to share with us what they see as positives, and what perhaps are ways we can serve them better. It's a great chance to interact with the owners."

More information about the event, including registration information, is available at www.citationjetpilots.com.