Turbine Pilot: Making the turbine transition

What's so different about these pages?

April 1, 2011

Tom Haines

Last year at the NBAA convention in Atlanta and AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, I moderated panels on moving up to turbine airplanes. The seminar was part of the Light Business Aircraft series of forums co-hosted by the two associations at their respective conventions. Although I’ve flown many turbine airplanes over the years, I knew that the best resource for those attending such a seminar would be persons who have actually made the transition from piston airplanes to turbines and fly them routinely for personal and business reasons. I recruited several candidates, including Ed Turley, Ian Fries, and Cyrus Sigari from JetAviva. Turley owns a Cessna CJ2 jet; Fries owns a TBM 850 turboprop; and Sigari sells and manages numerous light jets, such as the Cessna Mustang, Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300, and Eclipse 500.

April 2011 AOPA Pilot Turbine Edition

I learned a lot—as did the audience, I hope—about what it’s like to make the transition. The panelists agreed that they should have made the move earlier and it was easier than they anticipated. The demanding training required to get reasonable insurance rates in a turbine was not all that daunting, although it requires a time commitment. Maintenance was actually less than that for the complex piston airplanes most of them flew. And even the fuel costs were not necessarily a lot higher, given the faster speeds of the turbines compared to those of the pistons.

If you’re someone who has recently made that transition or likes to think such a transition might be in your future, read on. These special edition pages are for you.

Only a certain subset of the AOPA membership gets this special Turbine Edition—those who own turbine aircraft or those who we believe have an interest in reading about higher-end aircraft. In this monthly special edition you get all of the content in the standard edition, plus these extra pages. If you would rather not receive this edition, just let us know at memberservices@aopa.org. We’re happy to switch you back to the standard edition. I hope you learn some new advanced flying techniques and a little about turbine operations in these pages. Let us know what you think at pilot@aopa.org.

—Tom Haines, Editor in Chief