TBM annual gathering breaks records

The ninth convention of the the TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) surpassed all previous records with the presence of 95 TBM 700s and TBM 850s for its annual gathering, which was held this year at Amelia Island, Florida.

The TBMs landed at Fernandina Beach Airport, and some 275 total attendees participated in the Oct. 24-27 meeting at the Amelia Island Ritz Carlton resort.

During its 2012 convention, the TBMOPA offered three days of academic sessions customized for TBM owners and operators, featuring presentations by industry leaders as well as TBM system vendors. Seminars this year included presentations by DAHER-SOCATA and Pratt & Whitney, along with the participation of aviation journalist and keynote speaker Rod Machado; Dr. Paul Buza, who discussed high-altitude physiology; NTSB Member Dr. Mark Rosekind on fatigue and flying; and Dr. David Strahle on radar and thunderstorms. In addition to assorted technical seminars, TBM owner Ian Runge was a featured speaker, discussing his recent around-the-world trip in his TBM 700.

Additional safety awareness and operational knowledge was provided during the technical seminars. As with the association’s other annual conventions, participation in the technical sessions qualified members for savings on insurance premiums that are exclusive to the TBMOPA, organizers noted.

Pilot companions also had an active role at the event, taking a tour of nearby St. Mary’s Island and benefitting from in-flight “pinch hitter” training.

“To say this year’s Annual TBMOPA Convention was a success is an understatement,” stated Larry Glazer, the TBMOPA’s incoming president. “All participants agreed that it was our best event ever, and we anticipate attracting an even wider audience in the coming years. I would particularly like to thank the Fernandina Beach Airport FBO team of McGill Aviation and DAHER-SOCATA for their support.”

The next TBMOPA Owners Convention will take place Sept. 25-28, 2013, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

For more information: TBMOwners.org

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