Randy Thurman is the proud new owner of a TBM 700B, SN 221. He took delivery of N700CV on November 29, 2011 in Medford, Oregon. Not more than 20 days later, fully trained and checked out (by Walt Adair of Turbine Solutions, Inc.), he flew solo over the Caribbean to the United States Virgin Islands!
On December 19, Randy Thurman and N700CV departed KFXE, Fort Lauderdale and landed at TIST, St. Thomas (USVI). The trip back was TIST to BQN- Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and then to KSUA- Stuart, Florida. He found clearing customs in Puerto Rico straightforward and uncomplicated. The trip there and the return trip were 1,000 NM each. On the way home there was an average of 40 knot headwinds, but he still landed at KSUA with 60 gallons of fuel remaining in VFR weather.
Randy utilized a number of resources and learned a lot about international flying along the way. AVEX set him up with a FAA flywire (serving as proof of registration on a newly transferred aircraft) and Randy gathered all the necessary survival equipment including: life jackets, life raft and a handheld epirb. He praised Air Journey for their assistance and advice in regards to eAPIS, charts, and flight planning.
Randy said, “The trip gave me a lot of time alone with my new TBM and was a great experience,” he further commented, “The new dual Garmin GTN 750s that AVEX installed do everything but make coffee!” Randy and his wife, Karen, own a home in the Virgin Islands and the TBM 700B will see this trip many times. Randy has offered to speak with any TBM owner interested in planning a similar adventure.