The TBM Owners and Pilots Association has wrapped up its highly successful 2021 Annual Convention, bringing together operators of Daher’s TBM very fast aircraft and the supplier community for four days of informative sessions, safety-related briefings and networking. With more than 280 attendees present at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Hotel for the September 22- 25 event – and 101 TBMs flown into nearby Greenbrier Valley Airport – this year’s Convention underscored the annual TBMOPA gathering’s importance as one of the largest such meetings for a turbine-powered general aviation aircraft type.
Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division, said the 2021 event further reinforced the TBMOPA’s position among the most active aircraft owner/operator organizations, and acknowledged the gathering’s highly effective return after going to a virtual format during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“TBM aviators came out in full force for this year’s Convention, once again underscoring their enthusiasm for aviation and their commitment to safe flying,” Chabbert said. “For Daher, it was an excellent opportunity to highlight our TBM 940’s game-changing HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system. We also were able to explain how the growing use of data supports safety, including the increasing utilization of the Me & My TBM application by pilots, and we provided an in-depth presentation of our new ‘Safe Horizons’ program – which aims at standardizing all training activities, beginning with the flight instructors.”
Chabbert also noted the company’s focus on retrofit programs, which supports the existing TBM fleet by keeping it up to date and maintaining the aircraft value for owners. Overall, he confirmed Daher’s ongoing support for the TBMOPA’s activities, especially in the association’s key role in enhancing and maintaining TBM pilots’ proficiency through such activities as educational sessions and safety seminars.
Among the suppliers and vendors making presentations were Garmin (avionics), Pratt & Whitney Canada (producer of the TBM’s PT6 turboprop engine), and ForeFlight (the developer of flight planning software).
Featured keynote speakers were Dr. David Strahle, “father” of the NEXRAD weather radar network in the U.S.; Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA); Dr. Ian Fries, a TBM owner and recognized medical expert; and Brian Shul, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot whose experience included flying the Mach 3+ SR-71 Blackbird.
Activities at the TBMOPA Convention included a ground school program organized by Goldberg Aviation for companions of TBM owners and operators, providing insights on how they can contribute to safe flight operations by serving as an informed set of “eyes and ears” for the pilot.
The Convention’s live auction raised a record amount of $207,000 for the TBMOPA Foundation – a 501(c)(3) charity organized to keep TBM pilots safe and to safeguard the future of aviation through selected scholarships for tomorrow’s pilots, including disabled individuals and veterans. The Foundation also runs a program of TBM Safety Seminars, and developed the TIPS advanced training program for TBM pilots when undertaking recurrent training.
“This year’s 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 David Scobey explained. “We very much appreciate Daher’s efforts in supporting safety-based enhancements for TBMs currently in service, as well as for the company’s development of new-production aircraft. This is a sign of the TBM manufacturer’s long-term commitment to its product line.”
The next TBMOPA annual convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee from September 21 to 25. More information is available at www.tbmowners.org.
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