Posted by: Tom Chappell | September 7, 2011

TBM Owners Meeting Report

The TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) just concluded its annual (three-day) conference in Colorado Springs.  I have attended every conference since the beginning of the organization.  This was the best one yet.  More than 85 TBMs were lined up on the ramp and more than 100 owners were in attendance.  The conference was energetic, upbeat, and useful to the attendees. 

Several years ago, the TBMOPA refocused its agenda to emphasize safety.  Since then, the meeting has included at least eight safety sessions.  These sessions deal with issues particular to the TBM aircraft.  They include detailed sessions on operating weather radar and satellite datalink systems, traffic avoidance, maintenance gotchas, and decision-making thought processes.  Most of these topics are not addressed in initial schools or annual recurrent training – where the focus is simply on the mechanics of operating the airplane.

The goal of the TBMOPA and its members, sponsors, distributors, as well as Socata  is to protect the brand by adequately training the pilots and operators.   History has proven that frequent losses and insurance claims will destroy the reputation of an aircraft (Mitsubishi MU-2 owners learned this lesson and their owners’ group has been working hard to repair this image – but it’s not easy!).  Along with a deteriorating reputation comes increased insurance costs and decreases in aircraft resale value.  The TBMOPA is committed to the continued safe operation of it members’ aircraft, and TBMs fleet-wide.  We know from experience that safe aircraft operations are a result of attitude; and that attitude is a product of increased training and safety consciousness.   For the TBMOPA, training has become ingrained in the membership.  Intense aircraft-specific training is just the thing to do – and it’s even become prestigious and competitive.  It’s a culture that is good for the long-term viability of the aircraft type – and obviously good for the owners, themselves. 

If you’d like more information on the TBM, the TBMOPA, or the TBM safety and insurance program, contact me, or visit the following links:


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