Socata’s owner customer survey shows that 63 percent of typical TBM pilots regularly fly more than 500 nm and 15 percent regularly fly more than 1,000 nm. One of the latter is John Hinshaw, a Frankfort, Indiana-based roofing contractor. The first person to order a TBM 850, Hinshaw has flown his own TBM 700 since July 2003, but says he is looking forward to owning a TBM 850. After visiting Tarbes to inspect work on aircraft No. 349, Hinshaw placed an order in January and will join the ferry flight home to Indiana in July.
“I fly mostly for pleasure and since 1986 regularly notch over 200 flying hours a year. I have flown Raytheon King Airs, Piper Cheyennes and other single-engine turboprops, but for me TBMs have always come top,” he told EBACE Convention News. “I regularly fly my TBM 700 from Frankfort, near Indianapolis to Colorado, South Florida, the East Coast and Canada. I wanted a high-altitude, realistic 1,000 nm-range aircraft and decided on the 850 because of its improvements on the 700, especially similar operating costs and the new engine’s speed advantage. I fly my Socata 1,000 nm with a full load of five passengers–that is, four hours nonstop. Very light jets can’t make 1,000 nm because they can’t carry enough fuel. And for TBM 700 pilots, no transition is needed to fly an 850”.