The TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) report that the 2014 annual TBMOPA convention broke another attendance record with the presence of more than 100 TBM 700s and TBM 850s, along with several brand-new TBM 900s.
Attracting almost a quarter of the entire TBM fleet in North America, this year’s convention, held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, registered an increase in attendance of 3% from last year, officials note.
The meeting included three days of academic sessions customized for the TBM aircraft family, featuring presentations by industry leaders and DAHER-SOCATA, as well as TBM system vendors such as Pratt and Whitney, Canada.
Among the speakers were Jerry Cockrell, whose discussion was titled: “How to Exercise Poor Judgment and Survive;” Earl F. Weener, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), speaking on general aviation safety; and Bill Panarello, addressing characteristics of the TBM radar system. The guest speaker was U.S. Air Force Capt. Brian Udell, who recounted how he bailed out of his F15 fighter aircraft at over 800 mph.
Participation in the technical sessions qualified members for savings on insurance premiums, TBMOPA officials said.
“The 2014 TBMOPA convention marked our best turnout to date, and enabled the TBMOPA ‘family’ to take part in much appreciated safety seminars and sessions relating to operational techniques,” explained Frank McKee, the Chairman and Director of TBMOPA. “Once again, our annual event offered an excellent way for owners to learn and socialize with each other, to meet with vendors, and talk with personnel from DAHER-SOCATA. The social events encouraged further discussions about flying and offered the means to develop friendships.”
McKee expressed his appreciation to vendors who provided support and financial contributions for the TBMOPA’s charitable foundation. In 2014, more than $100,000 was raised to provide, among other things, scholarships for disabled veterans to learn to fly through the non-profit Able Flight association.
The 2015 TBMOPA Owners Convention is scheduled for Oct. 7-11 in Charleston, S.C.