Swiss Pilot Takes the Next TBM 960

Serial owners find efficiency paired with speed in making the upgrade to the latest Daher model.

New owner Paolo Buzzi prepares to taxi away in the 12th TBM to go onto Switzerland’s registry. [Courtesy: Daher]

While 2022 has been marked by still more new buyers entering the market, manufacturers that FLYING has interviewed will share that some of the most rewarding transactions go to those pilots who have found utility in owning several models within a company’s lineup—and those who have moved from a used aircraft to a new one.

Case in point? A recent December delivery at Daher Aircraft in Tarbes, France, for TBM owner Paolo Buzzi, who took possession of a TBM 960 that upgrades him from the pre-owned TBM 930 he flew around the world in 2018. The 960 represents new territory for Buzzi, who noted the five-year warranty granted with a new model, as well as the HomeSafe Autoland capability of interest to his spouse.

Fast—and Efficient

Facilitated by sales agent SwissFly Aero, based in Zurich, the transaction brings the number of TBMs in Switzerland to an even dozen. Daher markets the single-engine turboprop—with its flat-rated 850 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6E-66XT powerplant—as a fast yet efficient way to go direct between airports in the European Union.

“We thank Paolo Buzzi for his loyalty to the TBM, and we wish him all the best for the long-duration trips that he is planning with his brand new TBM 960,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “His choice underscores how the TBM is perfectly tailored to the general aviation market in Switzerland, offering fast and direct transportation to most European capitals, and enabling operations from smaller airports.” 

Buzzi flew his TBM 930 around the world with Air Journey, covering 25,824 nm over the course of 108 flight hours. He plans to take the 960 on another trip to the other side of the planet—to New Zealand. 

Buzzi takes delivery of the TBM 960 with his friend and instructor Pierre Alain Chevallaz from Air Espace in Lausanne, Switzerland. [Courtesy: Daher]

The addition to the Daher lineup of turboprops came earlier this year, with EASA certification on the 960 in March, and FAA certification on June 24. Daher also arrived at EAA AirVenture with the FAA TC on the Kodiak 900 in hand.

The Year-End Market

As we tick down the last two weeks of 2022, OEMs across the general aviation space race to complete final deliveries amidst an aircraft market landscape that at times appears dichotomous—is this a recession or not? It appears that the Feds bumping up the interest rate by a moderate amount last week hasn’t yet registered in terms of cooled-down demand for turboprops and jets, as far as those brokers and agents that FLYING has spoken with as the year closes. 

If anything, those pilot-owners—both current and new to GA—seek to leverage the asset more fully, with tools from shared ownership to empty-leg fulfillment.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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