Going single

An international flight showcases a TBM 850

January 1, 2012


Funny how things change. There was a time not long ago when the notion of flying a single-engine anything in serious instrument weather—and especially for commercial operations—was unthinkable, or at least unlikely. But the reliability of the single-engine turboprop has changed all of that over the past 20 years. The Cessna Caravan, TBM 700, and Pilatus PC–12 all entered the market within a few years of one another. Their market acceptance and safety record helped reshape aviation forever, ultimately allowing for single-engine IFR commercial operations a few years later.

January 2012
Turbine Pilot Contents

  • Going Single: An international flight showcases a TBM 850
  • Top-of-the-Line T-Prop: Flying the six-hundredth TBM proves why the brand has staying power
  • Transition Troubles: Varying transition altitudes and transition levels present traps for international pilots.
  • Flair in the Flare: Tips on how to roll a jet onto the runway in style.

In “Top-of-the-Line T-Prop,” Editor at Large Tom Horne explores the versatility of one of those pioneers—now called the TBM 850. In our report, he stretches the legs of a brand-new 850 as he brings it across the North Atlantic—all in comfort and with the assurance of a reliable engine.

When it comes to such flights, pilots used to flying only in North America must understand the nuances of international airspace, a subject writer Neil Singer explores in “Transition Troubles.”

Nuance plays a role in your day-to-day flying in another way—the flare. Professional pilot Mark Evans shares in “Flair in the Flare,” a few tricks for perfecting the flare that leads to a smooth touchdown. Two degrees—just a little makes a big difference.

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

Only a small subset of the AOPA membership gets this special Turbine Edition—those whom 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 editions, plus these extra pages. If you would rather not receive this edition, just let us know at: [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. —Tom Haines, Editor in Chief

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.