Migration 15-Thanks Cirrus for the Generous Gifts

Thanks to Cirrus Aircraft and Todd Simmons for the detailed update and generous gift giveaway at today’s Migration lunch! Six lucky winners walked away with a Bose Headset, two Garmin D2 watches, a Breitling Limited Edition Watch, a Best Tug Alpha Tug and a Chute Repack. Thanks Cirrus!

Wow! Amazing gifts. Thank you Cirrus.

I agree. Generous gifts and an informative update. Thanks Cirrus!

Is it just me or is it not right to have the Pilatus and Daher logo on the banner behind where Cirrus is handing out 50k+ of prizes

Cirrus chose not to be a sponsor of Migration this year like they usually do, while Pilatus and Daher did step up. And it wasn’t close to $50k worth of stuff, although I think it was very generous nonetheless and much-appreciated.


If life were only that easy. In reality life is varying shades of gray, never just black or white. Those two companies were gracious financial sponsors of Migration. As such they were on our M15 logo because they paid their advertising dollars for that right. That kind of sponsorship is something we have done for many years to make our events better, and more cost effective, for our members.

Cirrus was offered the opportunity to sponsor Migration. For whatever reasons they chose not too, for the first time in many years. That is their right and I do not question their decision.

But everyone has to accept the consequences of their decisions. Both COPA and Cirrus alike. Cirrus isn’t COPA and vice versa. We are mutually indendent organizations and have a fiduciary responsibility to represent our members interests. And they have the same obligation to guard their interests.

I am grateful they did choose to donate what they did. I was glad to give them a podium to do that from.

That’s crazy they didn’t want to be the main sponser. Cessna would probably kill CJP if they thought of going anywhere else! I can’t believe how much money Cessna spends at the convention. Well into 6 figures.

While I can understand Cirrus not spending as much as Cessna does for CJP, it was very, very odd to me that Cirrus was not a lead sponsor at least in the lower five figure area.

Just had me scratching my head.

Cirrus declined to sponsor Migration once before, but it was during tougher times.

Yep, these are not tough times which adds to my confusion.

This is the premier event for Cirrus owners. Why would the OEM not see tremendous value in being a leading supporter?

I wonder if the rationale is something like this:

“well, those COPA bunch are our market already… Whats the incremental return on investing on them? Let’s rather spend money on Forbes magazine, or on the Beechcraft owners group, etc”

Giuseppe - as the guy in many of these conversations, I can assure everyone it is not “that.” While Cirrus certainly has been aggressive getting the brand out there to attract new customers, in every interaction I’ve had, they greatly value their SR/COPA customer base. After all, a big percentage of aircraft sales is current owners getting new planes.

I’ll respond by adding to the confusion.

Why would COPA, whose mission is focused around the ownership and operation of Cirrus aircraft, essentially encourage members to leave the brand (and potentially COPA) by inviting competitive OEMs to our events? While Jack, Giuseppe and Gordon are examples of former SR pilots who stuck around COPA after selling their Cirrus, many and perhaps most do not.

There is a lot of history here. But there is a fundamental question about COPAs mission and our courting of competitive OEMs.

Do you see other OEMs at Bonanza, Pilatus, Malibu/Mirage, Eclipse, CJP or TBM conventions?

I’ll take a stab at that…

Because the COPA mission is evolving and widening. COPA is becoming broader, moving in the direction of “Aircraft Owners” and slowly away from “Cirrus Owners.”

If I’m right, is it a good thing or a bad thing that 20 years from now COPA could find that it has morphed into an aviation-specific version of Facebook?

Talk amongst yourselves…


No other OEMs at the Pilatus convention (Embraer, Cessna Citation, Honda, etc.). I am guessing this may be a reason Pilatus remains a large sponsor…gives them some leverage.

I really enjoyed Migration, but it is was very different than the POPA convention in the lack of participation by the OEM. Not only financially, but in the program and informal interactions. Pilatus always gives the best attended presentation (usually 90 minutes) of the whole convention where senior executives give a company update (financials, production rates, senior staff changes, etc.), preview products/upgrades in the works, discuss every SB issued in the last year, and they are very honest about “issues” in the fleet which they are trying to address. Plus, the senior executives (probably 6-8 including at least one or two from Switzerland) make themselves very visible at all the social events so owners can have direct conversations with them about anything on their mind.

This is simultaneously simple and complex. And it is emotional for some. I feel like it is appropriate to keep this high level. It is not in our best interest, if even possible, to negotiate a resolution over the Internet.

The simple stuff first.

There was a time, long ago, that Migrations were sponsored by Cirrus.

Then they had tough times. We do not fault that decision in the least, they were appropriate given the times.

At the same time we wanted to continue to have a successful Migration program and we were losing money on them. So we picked up other sponsors in Cirrus’ place. That turned out to be popular with attendees, turns out pilots like seeing other airframes. And it saved the Migration program. That was appropriate for us given the times.

Cirrus back then, if they minded, didn’t say much. Either way, neither had an acceptable alternative. So joint decisions have us where we are today.

Today they have started to mind. As a result they do not advertise in Cirrus Pilot (have not for two years). Nor will they sponsor Migration.

That seems on the surface to be a decision that hurts them more than helps them. They attempted to reach our members directly rather than as a sponsor. It was semi effective. Not as effective, IMO, as prior years.

Their revenue into those programs was minor as a percentage, so losing their support was not much more than a minor discomfort. To be precise, in more recent times they still did not sponsor Migration in the same ways others do. But they threw a heck of a party on Friday night. And that was expensive and well done enough that they earned the title of sponsor. And they got a cool platform to market from. That seemed like a good trade to me. We were ok with that. They are no longer. That is their decision.

They have never participated in the COPA Safety and Education Foundation. That is all us without any Cirrus support. So we do pretty well without them. Even so we at COPA would rather be one than divided.

The more complicated issues are:

How independent do we want COPA to be from Cirrus? One extreme is they are not participants (as it is today). The other extreme is very involved. For example funding - which sets some level of quid pro quo.

Do we want them on our BOD? Where is it too much? Those are very much discussions with Cirrus and decisions the BOD is wrestling with. Those two minor details are not the entire friction points we have to deal with. They are simply examples.

COPA today is a successful independent organization, as I delineated in our member message Friday. Cirrus does collaborate with us, particularly on safety issues. But beyond that we pretty much run on our own. Despite that, we have both been successful. Is there room to meet in the middle? Maybe. That is about all I want to say about that. We are talking.

I am sort of surprised they do not see the value of being more involved. After all we have a heck of a lot of their customers there. But that is their decision. We have our own set of criteria that we use as a yardstick.

Migration is a COPA party, not a Cirrus party. Perhaps we can meet in the middle somehow, but I will not inappropriately lessen our independence in the process.

I would rather we not speculate more on this or somehow inflame an already sensitive situation.

Why, yes you do, just as you’ll see full-page ads for these OEM’s in our Cirrus Pilot magazine and other type club magazines. It is unusual, but not unprecedented, for the prime sponsor to be an entity other than the type OEM, but the show must go on.

These events are extremely expensive to put on. Without sponsorships, the cost to attend would likely double, if not more, and attendance would plunge. If you’ve got a spare $150K or so to chip in for M16, maybe they could dispense with sponsorships.

Roger-thanks for you explanation; however, Cirrus was noticeably absent from the event as a sponsor but took advantage of setting up a shop to sell their wares. They gave away a headset and a chute repack and spent 5 minutes telling the lunch crowd what a great job they were doing. I don’t think they believe COPA Migration is as viable a source of prospects as it use to be although we are all flying their products. Kind of sad in my opinion when, as I understand it, we had record attendance.