About POPA

Pilatus Owners & Pilots Association (POPA)

The Pilatus Owners & Pilots Association (POPA, pronounced PO’PA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the interests of owners and pilots worldwide who fly Pilatus Aircraft. POPA was founded by a group of original owners in 1996, the first year following initial commercial delivery of the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Membership is available to any registered owner and/or operator of Pilatus aircraft or any qualifying individual or organization involved with or providing a service for the Pilatus line of aircraft.

This website was created as a means of communication between owners/pilots and operators of the PC-12, the parent company and various vendors. Staying in touch, by means of a quarterly newsletter with articles written by members and a yearly convention, keeps us up-to-date on various operating concerns, new products available, and modifications made by others to their aircraft. During our yearly convention, we mix business with pleasure taking time for lectures, question and answer sessions, demonstrations, great meals and other activities.

POPA is proud to say that we currently have over 500 members, who represent over 400 aircraft in the worldwide Pilatus fleet.

The camaraderie since the inception of POPA has been outstanding. Our membership spans the world boasting participants from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Australia. Performance, safety, versatility and price are the reasons you acquired your aircraft. These are the same reasons you should join POPA.

Laura Mason (Executive Director) will be glad to answer any questions you have. Feel free to contact Laura at:
Laura@pilatusowners.org
Phone – (520) 299-7485
Fax – (520) 844-6161


Officers, Board Members and Advisors

Joe Howley, President[+]

Joe Howley

I began flying in 1995 in a 172, and worked my way up the Cessna line (182, 210, 208) until purchasing S/N #755 in 2006. Along with my wife of 23 years, Christine and our 3 teenage children, we are in the process of flying all over the continent in search of a perfect landing.

A Commodities Trader by profession since graduating from The Wharton School in 1981 and a PALS (Patient Airlift Services) Pilot. I now live in Connecticut after 45 years in the great state of New Jersey.

Brian Cleary, Vice President[+]

Brian Cleary

Brian flies S/N 733, tail N326V. After flying a TBM 700 for a while, Brian purchased his PC-12/47 in September 2006 to gain greater range and cabin comfort for his colleagues and clients. The aircraft is used almost exclusively for business and flies about 300 hours/year mostly up and down the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Miami. The versatility of the Pilatus is perfectly suited for Brian’s missions with 40% of the trips in the 300-500nm distance, 40% in the 500-1,500nm trips and 20% greater than 1,500nm. Brian owns several businesses that keep him regulary on the move. But when he has a chance to cool his heels, he can generally be found at his home on Longboat Key, Florida or at one of his business locations in Connecticut or Maine. Brian has been a member of POPA since 2006 and is delighted to serve the membership on the Board of Directors.

Jack Long, Secretary/Treasurer[+]

Jack Long

An entrepreneur by profession and a pilot by passion, Jack has started two software businesses and one transportation business. In 2003, he became part of the founding faculty of the Acton School of Business where he teaches entrepreneurship. Having soloed in a Piper Cherokee 140 in 1977, Jack has moved-up the aviation food chain as time and budget have allowed including a Mooney 201, a Cirrus SR-22, and culminating in the purchase of N575PC (S/N 575) in 2008. He has flown the PC-12 all over the US, on multiple trips to Haiti after the 2009 earthquake, and on several trips to Central America. Jack lives in Austin, Texas with frequent summer-time visits to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Dan Muller, Board Member[+]

Dan Muller

Dan began flying with his father at the age of eleven, became a private pilot shortly after finishing college, then entered the US Navy where he earned his wings as a Navy Pilot. His first assignment was as a flight instructor, teaching formation flying in T-28s. Later, Dan qualified as aircraft commander in P-3s, where he logged more than 1,600 hours of pilot time on active duty and in the Reserves, mostly flying over the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Dan purchased his PC-12, N489JG, in 2003 after flying a Malibu and converting it to a JetProp. The PC-12′s superior range and hauling capability were key reasons behind the upgrade. As President of JKL International, a sales and marketing company serving the gift industry, Dan and his employees make frequent trips to customers in his PC-12. The aircraft also makes occasional visits to a vacation home in Telluride, CO and to Pensacola, FL, where his son is an Ensign in the Naval Flight Officer Program.

Dan has been an active supporter of POPA and has never missed a convention. We welcome his participation on the POPA Board and welcome his contributions to the membership.

John Zimmerman, Board Member[+]

John Zimmerman

John learned to fly as a teenager and has been hooked on aviation ever since. After a few years flying a Cessna 210 and Piper Cheyenne, John moved up to the PC-12 in 2005. Since then he has flown N327JZ (S/N 327) all over the US, Canada and the Caribbean. For low and slow flying, John owns and flies a Robinson R44 helicopter. When not flying, John is a Vice President at Sporty’s Pilot Shop, overseeing new product development and marketing. He is also the Editor at Air Facts Journal, an online magazine founded by Richard Collins.

John has been a member of POPA since 2006, and joined the POPA Board in June, 2013.

Krisitian Eide, Board Member[+]

Krisitian Eide

Kristian flies a 2012 PC-12NG. He is based out of the Eagle, Colorado airport and routinely flies to locations up and down the West Coast with occasional trips to the Midwest. Kristian uses the plane for business and chose the PC-12 for its safety, reliability, versatility and efficiency. Kristian is involved in several areas of business including energy efficiency (specifically lighting and solar), intellectual property, distribution, and commercial real estate development.

When not flying for business, Kristian has a Husky A1-B and is often flying around on the weekends taking pictures and looking for places to go hiking, fishing or skiing.

Kristian believes that the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association is a tremendous resource to Pilatus owners and operators. He is honored to serve on the board with such an experienced and safety conscious group. He looks forward to seeing all of the members at the 2015 Owners and Operators Conference.

Todd Hotes, Pro Pilot Advisor[+]

Todd Hotes

Todd Hotes serves as the professional pilot advisor to the POPA. Having fallen in love with aviation at a very young age and soloed as a teenager, Todd attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating in 2005. He earned his instructor certificates and instructed throughout Florida and Connecticut. After a time flying cargo, aerial photography, and part 135 charters, Todd joined US Airways Express where he rose to Check Airman and a member of the hiring board. He left the airlines in pursuit of his career in business aviation where he currently holds the position of Flight Operations Manager and Chief Pilot for Polymer Resources, LTD, flying s/n 1103 (N47NG). Todd’s passions include anything with wings, music, and all outdoor activities.

Laura Mason, Executive Director[+]

Laura Mason

Laura grew up in Nebraska in a little town of 300 people, and moved to California when she was a teenager. There she met and married her husband in 1981, headed to Arizona in 1989 after the birth of a son. Laura and her husband purchased land and built a home in the Foothills of Tucson. Together they raised a son and daughter; both graduates of the University of Arizona. Go CATS! Tucson is an amazing, beautiful place to live.

Laura has worked for POPA since 1999. Since then, POPA has grown from 15 aircraft to over 400 PC-12s! POPA has  developed into a superb organization, devoted to the safety and operation of the PC-12. Laura truly enjoys working for you, the members of POPA, and reporting to a superb Board of Directors. If you have any concerns, questions or comments on anything to do with POPA, please feel free to contact Laura direct at Laura@Pilatusowners.org or 520-299-7485.

Rebecca “Becky” Lorber, Marketing Director [+]

Rebecca “Becky” Lorber

Becky has worked for POPA as the Director of Marketing since  December 2011. Prior to that, Becky worked at two PC-12 Sales and Service  Centers. From 2005 to 2011, she worked as the Director of Marketing for Aviation  Sales, Inc., in Denver, CO. In her role with ASI, she was responsible for  leading and managing all of their marketing activities. From 1996 to  2005, Becky worked at Epps Aviation / Pilatus Center South in Atlanta, GA,  in various positions. During her last four years at Epps, she was the  Director of Business Development responsible for marketing and growing the PC-12  sales, charter, and aircraft management businesses, as well as managing  personnel responsible for marketing the FBO, maintenance, and avionics  divisions. Becky began her career as an Engineering Planner at McDonnell  Douglas Aerospace in 1994.

Becky holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from  Auburn University and a Master of Science in Management from Georgia  Tech.

Tom Aniello, Pilatus Business Aircraft Board Advisor[+]

Tom Aniello

Tom Aniello is Vice President of Marketing for Pilatus Business Aircraft, Ltd. He recently rejoined the Pilatus leadership team from Cessna, having worked at PilBAL from 2001 until 2006. During his 5-year absence, he was Vice President of Marketing for Cessna. In his current role he is responsible for advertising, trade shows, collateral development, sales support, marketing strategy, and product planning for North and South America.

Ray Torres, Board Advisor[+]

Ray Torres

Ray Torres is our Vice President of Flight Operations. He joined PlaneSense in the summer of 2008 as a line captain, then spent two years as our Director of Safety before his current position. Ray grew up in Massachusetts, soloed at age fourteen at New Bedford Airport, then attended and graduated from the US Air Force Academy. He is a retired full Colonel, having served as an active duty flying wing commander with 30 years of military service. Ray has two masters degrees, one in human resources, a second in strategic studies and has completed a fellowship in national security at Syracuse University. He continues to fly as a line captain in our PC-12 and also has flying time in the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, Gulfstream V and 737-700, Boeing Business Jet. Ray and his wife Karen have two daughters, enjoy kayaking, boating and scuba diving in the summer, down hill and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

Pete Welles, 2010-2013 Past President and Board Advisor[+]

Pete Welles

My father was an avid pilot and introduced his three sons to flying before the ages of ten in an Ercoupe.  I earned my private, commercial and instrument ratings respectively in 1965, 1970 and 1972.  My first PC-12 #267 was purchased in March of 2000 and NG #1085 in February of 2009.  As of November 2012, I have 5,000 total flight hours comprising 2,000 hours in PC-12’s, 1,000 hours in a Malibu, 1,100 hours in a Mooney and 650 hours in tail wheel powered and non-powered aircraft.

After three years in the Marines in the mid 1960’s followed by graduate school, my vocation has been the investment business focusing on small public growth companies primarily in healthcare and electronics.  My wife, Sondra, and I have been married for 47 years and have two daughters and three grandsons.  Our time is spent on family, investments, charitable flights and philanthropy, primarily healthcare and education.  I generally reside in Colorado and Maryland and remain an enthusiastic road and mountain biker and skier.

I have been on the POPA Board since mid 2007 and President since June 2010.

My term as President was over in June, 2013. I currently serve as a POPA Board Advisor.

Phil Winters, Pilatus Service Center - Board Advisor[+]

Phil Winters

Phil has been involved with Pilatus since 1997, serving as a Regional Sales Manager for Western Aircraft for several years, and was named VP of Aircraft Sales in 2004. Phil has been flying the PC-12 for over 15 years and succeeded Mike Fitzgerald as the second representative of the Dealer Network to sit on the POPA Board as an Advisor in 2009.

A graduate of LeTourneau University in Longview Texas with a B.S. in Aviation Technology, he has held posts as a flight instructor, A&P Mechanic, Corporate Pilot and Trade Analyst/Demo Pilot for Raytheon Aircraft Company prior to moving to Boise, ID to join Western Aircraft. He and his wife JJ and two young children reside in Boise, Idaho and enjoy flying, golfing, fly fishing, skiing and traveling.

Piotr “Pete” Wolak, Pilatus Business Aircraft Board Advisor[+]

Piotr “Pete” Wolak

Pete Wolak oversees operations in the Western Hemisphere, accounting for over 70% of the worldwide fleet of about 1,200 Pilatus PC-12s. Pete is proud to lead a team that provides service to Pilatus Customers and Service Centers in the Americas that includes Technical Support Engineering, Parts Sales and Services, Warehouse Operations, Maintenance Training and Warranty. Pete started his 12 year plus tenure at Pilatus Business Aircraft in April 2000 as VP of Customer Programs and took over the responsibilities of VP Customer Service in October, 2002.

Prior to Pilatus, Wolak was employed for 14 years at Continental Airlines, where he worked in Propulsion Engineering and later as a Project Manager, Engineering. He was responsible for the CFM56 engine program and handled new aircraft inductions, including Boeing 737-700/800, 767-200/400, and 777. Wolak holds a degree in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University.

Pete can be reached at his Broomfield, Colorado office at 303-410-2720, on his cell phone at 720-201-3765, or by email at pwolak@pilbal.com.