Record turnout at this year’s TBM Owners and Pilots Association annual convention in Texas

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The 2017 TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) convention brought together an all-time high of 117 TBMs for this year’s event, underscoring the annual gathering’s importance, as well as the growing number of Daher-built very fast turboprop aircraft in operation worldwide.

Converging at San Antonio’s International airport were aircraft representing all TBM versions produced by Daher to date: the TBM 700, TBM 850 and TBM 900-series.

In total, 325 participants attended the convention, held October 18-22 at the San Antonio Hill Country Resort, with the TBMOPA’s worldwide membership participating in three days of dynamic learning sessions customized for TBM owners and operators. The main focus was on airmanship and safety, with an emphasis this year on maintaining flight control at low level, along with pilot situational awareness.

As the TBM’s manufacturer, Daher introduced new retrofit options for earlier TBM versions, such as the G1000 NXi avionics update, the integration of an angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator, installation of a gaseous oxygen system and the addition of landing gear doors.

“The 2017 TBMOPA convention reflects the TBM fleet’s continued expansion, with overall deliveries of our very fast turboprop aircraft now surpassing the 860-unit milestone and a new aircraft delivered almost every week,” commented Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of the Daher Airplane Business Unit. “In San Antonio, we were able to meet many new members of the TBM family who represent different backgrounds and profiles.”

Chabbert noted that the TBMOPA convention coincided with Daher’s handover of the 200th aircraft in the TBM 900-series: a TBM 910 version received by Cutter Aviation, the Texas-based TBM Authorized Distributor. He also confirmed Daher’s ongoing support for the TBMOPA’s activities, with the member organization acknowledged as the aviation industry’s closest working relationship between an aircraft manufacturer and its owners/pilots association.

This year’s TBMOPA convention included three days of dynamic academic sessions customized for the TBM, featuring presentations by Daher as the aircraft manufacturer, along with TBM system vendors such as Pratt & Whitney Canada (producer of the TBM’s PT6 turboprop engine) and Hartzell (the TBM propeller supplier).

Among the 2017 convention’s key speakers were Captain John M. Cox, the CEO of Safety Operating Systems; Tony James, a former FAA Senior Air Safety Investigator who discussed recurring themes in high-profile accidents; and Erik Elliel, who provided details on the TBM weather radar’s optimal use.

Continued at this year’s event were the highly-appreciated activities for companions of TBM owners and operators, including the “pinch hitter” flight training program for non-pilots and a tour of the famous Alamo historical site.

“The 2017 TBMOPA convention marked another step in meeting our association’s goal of promoting safety and providing opportunities to maximize both the pleasure and utility of the TBM ownership experience,” TBMOPA Chairman Howard Janzen explained. “We very much appreciate Daher’s efforts in supporting safety-based enhancements to existing aircraft as well as for their new production aircraft. It is a sign of the TBM manufacturer’s long-term commitment to the product line.”

He added that participation of TBMOPA members in the convention’s academic portion qualifies attendees for savings on insurance premiums.

“Participating underwriters recognize the value of the TBMOPA safety enhancement program and offer owners a credit for as much as 10 percent of the hull premium after a claim-free year,” Janzen said. “These insurance savings, plus the added safety awareness and operational knowledge gained from the technical seminars, are compelling reasons to attend the TBMOPA annual convention!”

The next TBMOPA annual convention will be held September 12-15, 2018 in the U.S. at Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia.

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 26th October 2017 | Issue #436