TBM Debuts the 960 at Sun N Fun


This is a Press Release from Daher’s website, the maker of the TBM 960.

Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, Lakeland, Florida, April 5, 2022 – Daher today unveiled the latest high-end version of its TBM pressurized single turboprop aircraft family – the TBM 960 – which incorporates Pratt & Whitney Canada’s advanced PT6E-66XT engine and a fully digital e-throttle, along with a digitally-controlled cabin that incorporates an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience lighting and electrically-dimmable windows.

The TBM 960 was introduced at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, where Daher is exhibiting the first production airplane (exhibit stand #MD-22B).

“The TBM 960 is the quintessential TBM, representing the fifth evolution of our very fast turboprop aircraft family since the TBM 900-series’ introduction in 2014,” commented Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “It takes the maximum advantage of today’s turboprop technology to provide digital control of the engine and the propeller.”

The TBM 960 retains the rapid speed of Daher’s TBM family while enabling lower fuel consumption. At Daher’s recommended cruise setting of 308 kts., the fuel consumption is only 57 U.S. gallons per hour, which is a 10% fuel economy compared to maximum cruise setting for more sustainability.

At the heart of this latest TBM version is the intelligent PT6E-66XT powerplant and Hartzell Propeller’s five-blade RaptorTM composite propeller, both of which are linked to the dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS).

With the EPECS, the PT6E-66XT’s startup is fully automated after a single-switch activation. The cockpit’s power lever is an e-throttle, using a single forward position from takeoff to landing – with the EPECS optimizing powerplant performance throughout the flight envelope while

Daher unveils the TBM 960 at Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo

reducing pilot workload by integrating all functions and protecting the engine’s life. Analysis of engine parameters is driven by 100-plus smart data inputs.

The RaptorTM propeller is fully integrated into the propulsion system. It is specifically designed to reduce overall weight and improve the TBM 960’s takeoff distance, climb and cruise speed. Turning at 1,925 rpm during maximum power output, the Raptor contributes to limiting noise and vibration. Its sound level during takeoff is just 76.4 decibels, meeting the most stringent international noise standards.

With its G3000® integrated flight deck, the TBM 960 retains Daher’s e-copilot® concentration of technological innovation and safety systems in the TBM, which can be compared to an “electronic copilot.” This includes an icing protection system, flight envelope monitoring through the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and the Under-speed Protection (USP) systems, the Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function, as well as the game-changing HomeSafeTM emergency autoland system.

New to the TBM 960 is the Garmin GWXTM 8000 doppler weather radar with advanced surveillance features such as lightning and hail prediction, turbulence detection, zero blind range for close-in returns, and ground clutter suppression. The TBM 960 also is the first application of Garmin’s GDL® 60 next-generation data transmitter for automatic database upload and interconnection with mobile devices.

The TBM 960’s Prestige cabin extends Daher’s use of digital power inside the aircraft, featuring an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience strip lighting integrated into both sides of the overhead ceiling panel, and electronically-dimmable windows – all controlled by a PassengerComfortDisplay(PCD). Enhancementsinthecabin’sstyleandcomfortalsoinclude new ergonomically enhanced seats, USB-A and USB-C power plugs, individual cupholders and headset hangers for each occupant.

For the TBM 960, a fifth TBM paint scheme – called Sirocco, based on the creativity of French designer Alexandre Echasseriau – has been added to the aircraft’s style customization possibilities.

The TBM 960 has been certified by EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency); with certification by the U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) currently underway. Deliveries will begin in the first half of 2022.

With the new aircraft’s launch, Daher’s TBM family is now offered in two versions: the TBM 960 and TBM 910.

About Daher –

2022 MMOPA Convention


MMOPA announced the location for the 2022 MMOPA Convention. The 2022 Convention will be in Tucson, Arizona and will take place September 29th-October 2nd, 2022. The JW Marriott Starr Pass will be the host resort.

Thursday, September 29th will kick off the convention with a safety event for pilots and companions, lunch with exhibitors, and the return of the charity golf tournament.

Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st will be when all the classes and seminars that make the MMOPA convention great are held. The Friday dinner will be at an aviation themed spot in Tucson while the annual auction and black tie affair will be Saturday night.

Stay tuned to the event details page on the MMOPA website to see when registration is opened.

FICON Reports


Field Condition, or FICON, reports show up in NOTAMs both during the summer time and the winter time. In the southern states, FICON reports are seen more in the summertime during and after hard rains and thunderstorms (with the exception of winter 2021 & 2022, where Texans quickly got familiar with FICON reports after some very unusual winter weather). In cold winter climates, FICON reports are a staple during the winter season, showing up during and after snow & ice storms.

The question is, what do those codes mean in the FICON report? You could see 5/5/5, 3/3/3, 3/4/4 and any combination thereof. And why are there three numbers?

Let’s start with the second question first. The three different numbers in the FICON report indicate the 3 different sections of the runway: the touchdown third, midpoint third, and rollout third of the runway.

Now, what are those numbers describing? The three numbers are the indication of how slippery that portion of the runway is. This is referred to as a Runway Condition Code (or RCC). The lower the number, the more slippery the runway is. The higher the number, the dryer the runway. The scale is 0-6, with 6 being completely dry and zero being no traction at all.

Here is the FAA table for the RCCs.

Now, in order for those RCC codes to generate, at least 25% of the surface must be wet. If there are just spots of standing water, slush or snow, a FICON report will be issued to report the contaminants, but no codes will be generated.

The Runway Condition Codes are only part of a FICON report. In addition to the codes, a descriptor in the NOTAM will be published describing what percentage of the portion of the runway is affected and by what.


Deciphered, that is saying that all sections of Runway 28 have braking deceleration that is noticeably reduced or direction control is noticeably reduced and 100% of each section has 2 inches of dry snow over compacted snow. Sounds like a runway to avoid!

Braking action reports are separate from FICON reports, but also issued via NOTAM. Braking action reports are issued by the airport manager whereas the FICON reports are computer generated.

US Aircraft Expo Returns to Addison


The 2022 Fly In Season kicks off March 4th-5th with the US Aircraft Expo at the Addison, TX Airport (KADS). Cutter Aviation at KADS will be the host for the event. All the major and minor aviation manufacturers will have static aircraft displays. Come see all the new Cirrus innovations, the Piper M600, and the Diamond DA62. All the latest and greatest technology will be available for your viewing enjoyment.

If you are planning on flying in, the FBOs at ADS are Million Air and Atlantic.

The event will run from 10am-3pm on both days, March 4th and March 5th.

For more info, check out the US Aircraft Expo website.

Don’t forget to check out other big fly in events in 2022: Sun N Fun, the Texas Top Aviation Fly In at Santa Fe, and Osh Kosh!

Garmin GFC 600 Autopilot Certified for the Piper Meridian


In the fall of 2021, Garmin announced the long awaited confirmation that the Garmin GFC 600 autopilot is now certified for the Piper Meridian. The Garmin GFC 600 autopilot has been certified for all other types of the Piper PA46 line of aircraft, but the Meridian was last in line. The airplane has to have been manufactured prior to 2009 and have Avidyne avionics, Meggitt, or have been retrofitted with a Garmin G500 (no G1000 aircraft since those already have the GFC 700 autopilot).

The Garmin GFC 600 autopilot is the ultimate digital autopilot. The integration with the Garmin G500, GTN 750 and GTN 650 units is a beautiful thing. The autopilot communicates with all the heading and altitude bugs, flies approaches smoothly, and even has a level button.

In the latest technological marvel from Garmin, Garmin Safe Glide, the GFC 600 autopilot is critical in reducing pilot workload in an engine failure situation. It flies the airplane for you and takes you to the nearest airport, reducing the stress and allowing the pilot to troubleshoot the situation.

Texas Top Aviation recommends Abilene Aero in Abilene, Texas for any and all avionics installs. They have worked with several of our customers in the last year, are extremely knowledgable and do excellent work. Call them for a quote on a new Garmin GFC 600 autopilot in your Piper Meridian.