Posted by: Sean Kerr | September 12, 2011

What do you call a 3-day stay at the Broadmoor resort? A Socata TBM Owner’s Conference

What a fabulous event. To be surrounded by professionals who take life to the fullest by working hard and playing hard. I continue to marvel at these aircraft owner groups, such as the Socata TBM .  Recently, over 85 TBMs flew into Colorado Springs, CO and over 100 TBM owners attended their annual conference.

You saw pilots who take owning their aircraft, not only with pride and jubilation, but with seriousness. Who else would sit, packed amongst more than 100 “family members”, in those typical comfy hotel chairs, in a conference room, for 3-days? Mind you, the scenery was picturesque, nestled amongst the mountainous landscape. I am sure I am like others who saw those mountains as I walked to and from the conference area.

It was interesting to hear some of the conversations circling during the opening cocktail party. Certainly the air traffic controllers were busy that afternoon. Not only do you have more than 85 airplanes impeding your airspace, which adds to the other hundreds of other aircraft you are handling that day; but now, the controllers and these owners are dealing with a large weather system moving across the Rockies. This system arrived late afternoon as several of these owners were arriving. All went well, though there were some who had to perform “go-a-rounds”, a “circle to land”, etc., as the winds were shifting quickly and drastically. I mention this, as it is a subtle reminder to the conscientious attitude of safety this group has. Seriously, who wants to be the one to arrive at a safety/owner’s conference and to be the one to have an accident?

CS&A Aviation has the privilege of working with many of these owners and distributors. One of the owners, whom I had yet to meet, indicated, “I pictured you with red hair”. It is always interesting to hear of people’s perception, prior to meeting each other. Certainly, looking at my picture, you will see I am a fair-skinned, black haired, Scottish lad.

The convention was packed with updates on the Garmin G1000, the aviation industry, Socata, Pratt & Whitney PT6 Engine, were a few of the topics. Topics on the “must know issues for TBM Owners” and several academic and technical issues including safety and accident reviews were highlights. Certainly featured speakers; Craig Fuller, AOPA President, Dr. Strahle and Brian Shul, the infamous “Sled Driver” were beneficial and spectacular.

One item to note from Craig Fuller’s time is his concern on the decreasing pilot population. A statistic mentioned astounded me. I believe it was over 60% of people who begin their work for their pilots license do not complete. I know CS&A is personally working on providing a tool to assist with this. Craig Fuller plans to have this as a priority in day’s going forward.

You missed a phenomenal time with Brian Shul, the “Sled Driver”. Some might say Brian has had the opportunity to fly a national treasure. Wow, what a way to get fired up about flying; let alone, other aspects in life. Brian’s story is packed with inspiration and motivation. Inspiration and motivation to pursue your passions, live life on purpose and to its fullest. Of course, it was amazingly awesome to see the views of “the lady in the long black dress”. Brian, thank you for your testimony of adversity, achievement and pursuit of passion. “Though you don’t see or have the solution, it is the attitude…the attitude that will allow you to pursue”, Brian Shul.

Don’t miss these opportunities to become more aware of safety issues, to learn more about your aircraft and to be with “family”.

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