Piper Aircraft CEO Caldecott to Retire in April

Simon Caldecott has led the GA manufacturer for nearly a decade.

The latest update to the M600—the Halo SLS—features Garmin’s innovative autoland capability, for which Caldecott was a tireless advocate.Piper Aircraft

A leader’s legacy is commonly measured in the strength of the organization they leave when they move on. After the nearly ten years that Simon Caldecott has sat in the left seat at Piper Aircraft, it’s clear that the company remains true to its mission in the world of general aviation, as a strong safety leader particularly at key entry points in a pilot’s aviation journey.

For the new or prospective pilot learning to fly—or purchasing a first aircraft—the continued investment in the PA-28 model series under Caldecott’s tenure speaks to the importance of that first entry point to the company. As one of the few manufacturers to remain in the light multiengine market, developments to the PA-44 Seminole and PA-34 Seneca feature ease of operation and straightforward systems to shepherd fledgling commercial pilots in their quest to fly aircraft with increasingly higher performance. And the evolution of the PA-46 series into the M500 and M600 form a great first business or personal transportation platform for new owners.

Of all the points of which Caldecott can reflect upon proudly, the commitment to incorporating Garmin’s Autonomí-based autoland system into the M600 SLS Halo—culminating in 2020 certification—marks the pinnacle, in our estimation. Caldecott has announced his retirement as of April 2, 2021, and he will depart with this achievement successfully accomplished. Flying recognized Piper’s role in its announcement of Garmin’s autoland as a winner of one of the magazine’s Editors’ Choice Awards earlier in 2021.

In a press release on March 22, Caldecott spoke to this. “It has been an honor and privilege leading Piper Aircraft through a transformative journey, from a legacy aircraft manufacturer to the first general aviation manufacturer to certify an autoland-equipped general aviation aircraft,” Caldecott said. “We strengthened the leadership team with new talent, made major facility improvements to make a safer workplace, and strengthened relations with the community as well as with major suppliers. I am enormously proud of the dedicated team at Piper and our global independent dealership network. With everything in place, the company’s future prospects are extremely encouraging, and I look forward to a smooth transition.”

Capping a 47-year career in aviation, Caldecott has not revealed any plans following his departure from Piper, nor has the company yet indicated a successor as of press time.