TBM Experience Andre
TBM 900 SN 10198
An active private pilot and a family man, Andre Castellini is known within the TBM community for his long trips across North and South America. He shares them through his many videos to places such as Oshkosh for AirVenture, the Monument valley or the Atacama desert and in Chile and Patagonia.
He was one of the ‘test-pilots’ for the Me & My TBM application. On the business side, he’s a partner of Bain & Company, one of the world’s leading consulting firm, co-founder of the São Paulo office, and leading activities in South America. Graduate in Business Management from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Brazil), he holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania (USA).
What is your aviation background?
My involvement with general aviation began as a child, flying with my uncle around Brazil in his various Cessnas.
My first experience as a pilot however was flying a hang glider. It became my sport and my passion. I flew for many years, while in college and later when I was living in Italy. The fun was flying cross-country, using thermals and ridge drafts, like sailplanes.
Flying in Northern Italy and Switzerland provided amazing vistas. My most memorable flight was a 5 hour cross country flight across Switzerland m going from the Ober Wallis to Liechtenstein, an almost 200km straight line flight
My business career in management consulting distanced me from hang gliding and from time intensive hobbies in general. On the other hand, it lead me become very involved with the airline industry and with the aerospace industry.
I got my private pilot’s license in 2004, when I was already in my 40s and eager to “recuperate the lost time”. I bought first a C172, followed by a Cirrus, a Jetprop and in 2015 a TBM 900 and flew around 120 hours per year since
What are things you would like to achieve in aviation?
My priority is flying safely until I am over 70. This requires continuous training and taking care of my health.
I have two young daughters and want to continue travelling with them and my wife across the Americas. I also like to fly out with friends, who also own planes and enjoy the flying and company.
I would like to continue to fly once a year to Patagonia and to the US, while I am also planning to go Greenland, Iceland and Europe and who knows maybe further East!
I am also developing an interest in “low and slow flying”, so I might buy a Piper Cub or something similar with a reliable engine in the future.
When was your first contact with the TBM and why did you chose it?
My first “close contact” with the TBM was through a good friend who had moved up to if after a Cirrus, a Piper Meridian and a King Air.
He was a strong promoter, as was another friend who was also moving up from a Cirrus and was considering a TBM and a Phenom. Their advocacy for the TBM got my attention and lead me to analyze the TBM’s numbers closely.
I was then flying a Piper Jetprop and had an early position for the Cirrus Vision, but the delivery was still some years in the future.
A good market opportunity lead my wife and I to a test flight a 450 hour TBM 900. The TBM’s sturdiness convinced my wife and the performance numbers convinced me to buy it.
I believe it is the best plane for an owner pilot that likes to journey to distant places or has missions above 400 NM. This is particularly true in Brazil, where TBM’s added flexibility and lower costs augment its advantages relative to very light jets and twin turboprops.
What do you particularly like with the TBM?
Range, speed, finish, ease of single pilot flying, short runway performance
The fact that it does not require a type rating is also important, as the bureaucracy and costs involved with annually renewing the license are significant here in Brazil
What are your favorite airport/destinations to fly?
I especially like “journeys”: multi day trips to distant places, trips that have the “flavor” of an adventure. I love, for example, to fly to Patagonia and to the Atacama region in South America and to the US. I would like to fly to Oshkosh almost every year.
What I like about flying in the US is the infrastructure, the lack of paperwork, the ease of filing an IFR flight plan, not having to waste time in airports paying different fees. The US is really “GA’s paradise” and it is always a great pleasure to enter the US airspace.
The Caribbean is a mandatory passage to North America from Brazil; a passage that I also enjoy going through, possibly with a stop in an island where big ships and big planes don’t stop
What is your typical flight with the TBM ?
My most recurrent flight currently is from São Paulo, where I live, to Porto Seguro, Bahia, were we have a beach house. It’s a 610 NM flight, ideal for the TBM
How would describe your relationship with the Daher TBM team?
Very close while also very professional
This team is also very customer focused, professional and friendly. The customer support team (e.g. Paulo, Charlie, Raphael) is also great: rapid and friendly. I was glad to be part of the testing team for Me&myTBM, an app that simplified a lot the monitoring of my flights; I believe it has a lot of potential as new releases will be developed.
I was also surprised to experience how friendly the Daher’s professionals among themselves. They are really a team. My first realization of this was during a lunch in the Tarbe’s plant cafeteria and again in Pompano and Oshkosh.