I plan to use this space to document the standout trips that I have flown in the TBM thus far. I have been very fortunate to have been chartered to fly clients to some very exciting and beautiful locations so far this year, and am looking forward to many more!
I'll start with my most memorable. In July I was chartered by a family from Argentina. The father and eldest son are pilots, and have done some amazing trips in light aircraft together. They chose me to take them to Oshkosh for the EAA Airventure air show because they knew the TBM, and wanted to arrive at KOSH in this plane. As it turns out, I'm the sole operator of a TBM-850 in the United States under charter, so I was their man!
I flew to Fort Lauderdale Executive to pick them up after their overnight flight into Miami. From there we flew to Searcy, Arkansas for a night before proceeding to Oshkosh the following afternoon.
For any aviator, just attending Airventure is a great time, and something that we can do over and over again. However, flying INTO the show is something extra special, and something I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do. Let alone in my own TBM under hire!
The visual arrival into the airport - that week it is the busiest airport in the world! - is just awesome. Dozens of aircraft in close proximity, all orchestrated by two control towers set up on the field just for the show. Being a fast aircraft, we followed what is known as the 'Warbird' arrival, to set up to land on Runway 27. I requested and received clearance to perform an overhead break approach to the runway. This approach minimizes time by replacing a long slow final fully configured with a very fast pass down the landing runway and then the execution of a tight descending turn back around to the threshold all the while slowing and getting configured to land. What a rush!
The Arrival on Youtube - skip to the 8:00 mark for the actual break and landing, but the full video is pretty cool too.
What followed was three days of aviation saturation! So many beautiful planes, great people - including Bob Hoover! - and so many stories of pilots and other aviators making history with their machines.
I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the representatives of Daher - the manufacturer of my plane - at their booth. Many good conversations about my future with them in their aircraft arose, and the seeds set on that week will soon start to bear fruit over the next few months. I'd also like to thank my friend and fellow aviator Eric Auxier for his support and enthusiasm, it was great to see you there sir!
I also had the amazing experience of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress operated by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Aluminum Overcast was built at the end of the war and spent most of her life flying cargo. Found in poor repair and the revived by the many dedicated volunteers at the EAA, she's now flown all over the country giving us the chance to experience just a bit of what it was like to operate one of these magnificent machines. The pilots and ground crew were just amazing, and the entire experience was spectacular and is something that I will always remember.
This is the album of pictures I accumulated over those three days. Google Album