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Sonja Kimmerle - TBM 850 SN428

The TBM Newsletter is expanding its focus on the greater TBM community with a new feature highlighting the companions of TBM owners and operators.


Sonja Kimmerle, wife of TBM 850 owner Andreas Kimmerle, answers seven questions in providing her perspective as a TBM companion. 


The Kimmerles' aircraft is based at Herzogenaurach Airport, Germany (EDQH), and is used in business trips for ErgoPack Deutschland GmbH – the pallet strapping systems company founded by Andreas Kimmerle – as well as for the couple’s personal travel.


Question: What is your aviation experience?

Answer: When I met my husband, he already was a TBM owner after 30 years of flying a Beech Bonanza. When we roll our TBM out of the hangar and I see the other airplanes around us – like a Diamond, Cirrus or even the Piper Meridian – I feel comfortable getting into the TBM and can only imagine what it means flying with the other planes – especially when my husband tells me about his experiences or adventures with the Bonanza.

We fly almost every week to somewhere in Europe, visiting our customers, and sometimes for our personal travel

Question: What is the primary use of your TBM 850?

Answer: We fly approximately 150 hours per year, with 95% for business travel.


Question: What are your functions during a TBM flight?

Answer: As I am not a rated pilot, I don’t have a direct piloting function when in the copilot’s seat – but I can generally understand what´s going on, and what the ATC instructions mean. My activities include adjusting the rudder trim, entering the transponder squawks and handling the ECS settings. I also feel quite comfortable with the Garmin GTN 750 touchscreen for GPS, navigation and communications (our aircraft is G600/GTN retrofitted), and I can enter flight plans and waypoints, operate the weather radar and Connext functionality, as well as setting the radio frequencies.


Question: What do you like about traveling aboard the TBM?

Answer:  I find it amazing how quickly we get to everywhere in Europe, and I never have to think about how much – or what type – of luggage we can carry. Whether it´s golf bags, skis or whatever, we’ve never had a problem in what we want to take.


Question: What are your favorite airports or destinations to fly?

Answer:  I can’t name a specific airport or destination, but in winter we usually fly several times to Courchevel Altiport in the French Alps for skiing. Although we’ve been there many times, this always is an extraordinary experience – with the short runway length and its gradient. From Augsburg, we need only one hour for the flight to Courchevel…and we’re back home for dinner.


Question: What is your most memorable flight on a TBM?

Answer: It undoubtedly was our trip to Oshkosh this summer. We flew onward to Mexico and headed back to Europe via New Orleans, Florida, Montreal and Greenland…and then from Iceland non-stop to Siegerland Airport in Germany.


Question: How would you describe your relationship with the Daher TBM team?

Answer:  We meet the TBM team every year at the TBMOPA get-together, with this year’s gathering at Oshkosh. A real sympathetic troupe!


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