In the most recent TBM newsletter, there was an interesting story of a traditional Buddhist blessing for a new TBM 930 delivered to Anutin Charnvirakul, who previously owned a TBM 850 (SN 624).
On the occasion of this new delivery, the aircraft received a traditional Buddhist blessing by Phramaha Kreang krai Boonpacom, Abbot of Wat Thammapathip (the main Thai pagoda in France), assisted by the monk and Secretary Phra Kantaphong Chaksumat.
Blessing vehicles – including aircraft – is a popular Buddhist tradition in Thailand. It is believed to bring luck and avoid misfortune.
The karma was obviously good, as Charnvirakul took off on Dec. 26 in his new TBM 930 from Tarbes and arrived in Bangkok without any incident on Dec. 31. It took just four stopovers to fly the 5,914 nm distance, with landings in Corfu (Greece), Aqaba (Jordan) Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), and Nagpur (India). The average cruise speed was 277.5 kts. and average fuel consumption 41.6 gallons per hour.
Charnvirakul, an active pilot, is a well-known personality in Thailand, having been a former Deputy Minister of Public Health and Commerce, and currently is leader of the Bhumjaithai Party. He also is an entrepreneur as the Chairman of Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction PLC, and the developer of Rancho Charnvee, the first golf course in Thailand’s Khao Yai mountain region, which opened in 2010 (with a landing strip).
As a pilot that gives back to the community, he has offered charitable flights in his TBM to transport donor organs and other time-critical medically-related items.