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Cardinal Flyers

CFO stands for Cardinal Flyers Online. We are an affinity group, an organization of individuals who own, operate or are interested in the Cessna 177 Cardinal, a single engine aircraft made by Cessna from 1968 through 1978.

We are a virtual community of over 3000 people who exchange knowledge, experiences, information and wisdom through our online presense and at in-person events around the country and the world. For more information on CFO programs, events and benefits please click to the benefits page.

The principles of CFO have been involved with Cardinal groups since the early 1980's. CFO itself started in 1997 and became an official organization on Jan 1, 2000.

The History of CFO

The Cardinal Flyers Online started with an email digest created by Paul Millner to meet an interest in the Cardinal community that was not being filled. The initial mailing, in January of 1997, went to only a few Cardinal owners. By the end of 1999 the list had grown to over 800 subscribers and membership has continued to grow since.

Paul's digest was joined in mid-1997 by a web site created by Keith Peterson. The initial goal was simply to contain archives of and capture wisdom from the email digest, in hopes we could avoid repeating the same conversation over and over. Pages were created for special subjects, pictures were added and in time a wide range of subjects were documented and organized within the web site.

Both Paul and Keith have been leading technical discussions in the Cardinal community since the late 1980's, and the interactive forum of the internet provided the perfect vehicle for sharing and adding to our collective experiences as pilots and Cardinal owners.

The name 'Cardinal Flyers Online' was coined in mid 1998, and the group known as CFO has continued to grow over time. CFO has always been an independent entity, created and maintained by Keith, Paul and Debbie (Keith's wife) without external contribution and for the benefit of Cardinal owners.

1999 was a pivotal year for CFO, as a number of individuals held regional flyins of Cardinal owners which were organized, announced and communicated through the CFO digest and web page. Over a dozen flyins were held, with total attendance of over 200 Cardinals. A flyin in Paris attracted over 20 airplanes.

In late 1999 Keith and Paul were approached by several Cardinal owners who proposed that CFO take the next step as an organization. They had several ideas for doing more things and having even more fun, and these ideas would take money and time committment than an unfunded, purely volunteer organization could muster. After some soul searching and planning, Paul and Keith decided to take the plunge and added Keith's wife Debbie as the business manager.

On 1/1/2000 CFO became an official organization. This opened the door for a range of new possibilities. The future of CFO is still being written. You can read more about the services and benefit in the Benefits page.

About the People

Paul Millner has been flying since 1979, when he realized that it was taking far too long to drive between all the places his life took him. His first airplane was a Cardinal FG. Over the 16 years he owned this airplane he learned about all aspects of maintenance, including a paint job and the unique project of turbo-normalizing the engine his FG.

A resident of the Berkley Oakland Hills in Northern California, Paul suffered a setback in these projects when his home burned in the Oakland fires of 1991. He rebuilt both his home and the airplane parts lost in the fire, finally completing a very nicely decked out FG.

The possibility of speed and range offered by the Cardinal RG worked on him for some years. He finally took the plunge in October 1998 with the purchase of a Turbonormalized 1976 RG. After an appropriate transition period, the FG found a new home and Paul started over building the perfect aircraft out of this new airframe.

Paul is a Professional Engineer, an instrument rated private pilot, and has a wide-ranging knowledge from chemistry to esoteria. He has retired from a position at Chevron in senior technical management and lives with his partner Harry on the hills overlooking San Francisco.

Keith and Debbie Peterson started flying in 1984 with the goal of having a hobby that they could share. They took their first flying lesson together and purchased a 1978 152 in early 1985, both becoming pilots in the process. After 2 years and 750 hours of cozy flying (have you been in a 152 lately?) they traded up to a '76 Cardinal RG.

Keith's mechanical engineering background gives him an interest in how things work and his experience with photography and years of hands-on maintenance serve him well in understanding, documenting and explaining the workings of our Cardinals. His career in the software industry at Commodore, Motorola and Cisco Systems developed the ability to build the extensive software behind the CFO site and digest.

Keith has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA and is an instrument rated private pilot with over 4000 hours. His background is in engineering, software and computer technology. He is currently semi-retired and performs owner and pre-purchase inspections of Cardinals.

Debbie Peterson is an accountant by training and has had a career in business management, having held positions in a venture capital firm, a law firm and as a corporate accounting and tax expert for businesses and accounting firms.

Debbie is is a private pilot with about 200 hours, but has not flown a great deal since the kids arrived. Keith and Debbie have two children, Michael and Cari.

The Petersons live at a residential airport in northern Illinois. The community is called Casa de Aero, and consists of 45 homes around three 3000 foot runways.

Debbie, Keith and Paul operate as Cardinal Flyers Online LLC, an Illinois limited liability corporation. Cardinal Flyers, Cardinal Flyers Online and the CFO logo are trademarks owned by Cardinal Flyers Online LLC.

For contact information. please go to this page.

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