Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA.) will be honoring Dale Klapmeier with a lifetime achievement award Friday Oct.18, during the annual COPA Migration in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Starting in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in the early 1980s, Dale and his brother Alan founded what would become Cirrus Aircraft. Dale is the only person at Cirrus Aircraft who has seen every step of an amazing journey from the basement of his parent’s barn to the No. 1 general aviation brand in the world. Every pilot of the more than 7,000 Cirrus aircraft built, each flight instructor who has taught in a Cirrus, all mechanics who have serviced a Cirrus and all of the employees and suppliers who work for and with Cirrus are indebted to Dale for his determination to create a world-class airplane. What was a risky proposition in the 1980s became a reality on the cusp of the new century. The dawning of a new millennium saw the scrappy company, now based in Duluth, Minnesota, become a juggernaut. Through booming times and the worst economic collapse in nearly 100 years, Dale’s steady hand guided Cirrus to greatness.
It is fitting that COPA honor Dale as he announces he is stepping down from the post of Cirrus Aircraft’s chief ecective officer (CEO). During his tenure as CEO, Cirrus certified the SF50 Vision Jet while producing the best-selling GA airplane in the world. Without Dale there would be no COPA. With 5,800 members and growing, COPA chooses this time to honor Dale with a lifetime achievement award at a ceremony which will bring together the largest gathering of Cirrus owners ever assembled. Big plans are underway to create a memorable night for Dale as we present the award. We will be inviting many industry professionals, colleagues, family and employees to share in our celebration of Dale’s lifetime of service to aviation.
Make your plans to join us in New Orleans in October to share in the celebration of Dale’s achievement.