Daher recognized Margrit Waltz for her 900th ferry flight, which she achieved this month on a France-U.S. transatlantic trip with one of the company’s TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft.
As one of the world’s most experienced ferry pilots, Waltz departed Daher’s Aircraft Division headquarters and TBM production site in Tarbes, France on May 11, arriving three days later at Delaware County Airport near Muncie, Indiana.
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The milestone journey was completed in a flight time of 15 hours and 38 minutes, involving stopovers at Wick in the UK; Keflavik, Iceland; and Canada’s Goose Bay; followed by initial U.S. landings at Bangor, Maine and Scranton in Pennsylvania.
Upon her arrival at Delaware County Airport to complete the trip, she was welcomed by personnel from Muncie Aviation – one of the oldest authorized TBM distributors, which serves the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Also on hand to mark Waltz’ achievement were members of Daher team, several of whom flew in from the company’s U.S. headquarters at Pompano Beach, Florida.
This 900th ferry flight marks 45 years of activity at the service of general aviation for the German-born ferry pilot, who lives in Pennsylvania’s Lackawanna County.
In 1991, Waltz was one of the first pilots to ferry a TBM-family aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean for Daher. Since then, she has delivered more than 200 TBMs to the North American continent, while also flying others to Africa, Asia and Australia.
“It’s highly symbolic that Margrit flew her milestone trip with a TBM 940, as her ferry flight services on behalf of Daher during the past three decades have contributed to the TBM program’s success,” stated Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “Her career – which began before GPS was reliably available for aviation’s use, and prior to many advances in avionics that we take for granted today – mirrors the values which have made our very fast turboprop aircraft a leader in its category: a focus on safety, supported by a team spirit; along with the passion for speed and performance.”
In recalling her experience with the TBM, Waltz said: “It was love at first sight, as the TBM was a cut above the aircraft I was flying at the time. Today, it still is one of my favorites. I want to thank Daher for its confidence during the past 30 years, along with the incredible support from the factory in Tarbes, as well as from the community of TBM owners and operators.”