The French producer of the TBM product line, Daher, has launched a new concept to support a growing number of charter operators transporting customers in TBM airplanes. Named the TBM Charter Pack, the program extends Daher’s TBM Care Program (TCP) to cover the increase in flight time that comes with commercial operations.
While there are a handful of TBM charter operators around the world, the focus remains on the United States, where the majority of Daher’s airplanes are being delivered, said Nicholas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s airplane business unit, and president and CEO of Daher’s subsidiary Socata North America.
The parts supply facility in Pompano Beach, Florida houses $5 million in parts stock to help support customers with maintenance needs as quickly as possible. Charter operators now have their own dedicated TBM maintenance hotline and they can participate in the TBM airworthiness monitoring system, CAMP.
Additionally, Daher will support its charter operators with a dedicated training program for Part 135 pilots. SimCom is working on a TBM simulator to help with this process.
Eric Walden who recently started Little Hawk Logistics, a charter company operating under Meridian Air Group’s Part 135 certificate, said the TBM is ideal for his charter business, which mostly takes its passengers on flights near its base at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport in Charlottesville, Virginia.
While Meridian Air Group needs to operate its airplanes more than 700 hours per year to make a profit Little Hawk Logistics’ TBM 850 is profitable flying only 400 hours a year, Walden said. The airplane’s sweet spot lies in flight around one hour, he said. Walden said the TBM’s low operating cost allows him to keep the cost low for his customers.