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 300 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:
Phone – (520) 299-7485
Fax – (520) 844-6161
Officers, Board Members and Advisors
Pete Welles, President[+]
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 2011.
Joe Howley, Vice President[+]
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, Board Member[+]
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, Board Member[+]
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 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.
Laura Mason, Executive Director[+]
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 300 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.
Tom Aniello, Pilatus Business Aircraft Board Advisor[+]
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.
Ty Carter, 2005-2009 President / Board Advisor[+]
Ty is an Aviation Specialist who is a proven business leader with an exceptional performance and track record. He is a high-energy professional with strong business acumen, resulting in excellent business relationships. Ty has experience in providing his clients with specialty insurance for both corporate and private aircraft.
Ty has also served as president of the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association, and currently serves as a board advisor. He was also recognized by The Red Cross for flight support following 9/11, and served on the board of Angel Flight Central, where he was recognized as Pilot of the Year in 1999.
Ty’s education includes Executive M.B.A; The University of Kansas and Washburn University. Ty current position is with Lockton Companies. Ty can be reached via EMAIL or at 816-960-9000.
Ray Torres, Board Advisor[+]
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.
Bob MacLean, 2009-2011 Past President and Board Advisor[+]
Economist by profession, Retired Executive VP, Human Resources Boston Scientific Corporation. Ski instructor, fly fisherman, lover of travel and the great outdoors. ATP, CFI and the proud owner of S/N #576. I got my private pilot license in 1963. Started with a Beech Sierra, moving up to a C182 RG and Barons, while dabbling in acrobatic work and a partial ownership in a Citabria. The PC-12 became the obvious next step. Prior to the PC-12, I was, and am still an active and enthusiastic participant in the Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program. I earned Wings Level 6 through it and regular Simcom training. I am a member of AOPA, the Northeast Bonanza Association, the NBAA, and CAA. I have served on various non-profit Boards and Corporate Board as an officer for the last 15 years of my professional life. I spend a lot of time river rafting, reconnecting with family members and old friends who have a similar passion for the outdoors.
Phil Winters, Pilatus Service Center - Board Advisor[+]
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[+]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.