CP Aviation Named Santa Paula Business of the Year

by Rich Stowell (Lifetime Member) on January 29, 2012

Flight School also Celebrates 25 Years in Business

NEWS—The Chamber of Commerce for the City of Santa Paula, CA recently named CP Aviation, Inc. its 2011 Business of the Year. Presented annually since 1983, CP Aviation is only the second airport business in Santa Paula to receive such recognition. The flight school will be honored at an awards luncheon on February 7, 2012.

Started by Clay Phelps in 1987, this year also marks CP Aviation’s 25th anniversary on the Santa Paula Airport. The business has thrived through five U.S. Presidencies, two significant economic downturns, the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and a flood that washed away one-third of the airport’s only runway. Perhaps best known for its world-renowned Emergency Maneuver Training and tailwheel transition programs, CP Aviation is a full-service, Part 61 FBO and Cessna Pilot Center.

Nowadays, Phelps manages the maintenance side of the business, while wife Judy Phelps manages the flight school side. The operation currently has 25 employees and 19 aircraft. Rental aircraft range from the Cessna 162 Skycatcher to the Cessna 182RG, and from the 7ECA Citabria to the Pitts S-2B. The fleet logs 6,000 hours annually. CP Aviation has a Designated Pilot Examiner on staff, and is home to two National Flight Instructors of the Year: Judy Phelps (2011) and Rich Stowell (2006), both of whom are Master Aerobatic Instructors and Charter Members of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).

According to Clay Phelps, “Our business is really about building relationships. We have been privileged to operate from an historic general aviation airport located in a scenic valley, work with a very supportive local community, attract wonderful employees, and enjoy the best customers a business could ask for.” CP Aviation is planning a 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 2nd.

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