If you want to learn to fly and you live in paradise in the US Virgin Islands what do you do?
You call LifeStyle Aviation of course!
During Oshkosh 2016 while manning the Diamond booth we had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Bruce Baebler from St. Thomas. Actually, Bruce is from St. Louis but now enjoys calling St. Thomas home for half the year.
Bruce had bumped into long time LifeStyle client and DA40 owner Jimmy Villa from Wilmington NC in his DA40 at the event. Bruce admired their plane and said he had come to Osh to learn about planes as he wanted to learn to fly. Jimmy shared his enthusiasm for the DA40 and told Bruce he needed to go straight to the Diamond stand and find John Armstrong who would help him get started.
John has been marketing modern aircraft for 10 years and specializes in helping people get started in aviation with customized plans for achieving the “Aviation LifeStyle”.
Bruce shared that he wanted to learn to fly from his base in St. Thomas and wanted to be able to move rapidly in experience with the goal of moving into twin engine aircraft as soon as practical to achieve his travel goals.
John and Bruce explored all the modern options and together they came to the consensus that a DA40 was the right plane to start training with a clear eye toward the step up within a year once he accomplished his instrument rating and gained cross country experience.
John introduced Bruce to the DA42 and DA62 and it was clear these would be the ideal next steps and he was keen to train intensively to enjoy that level as soon as possible.
After Oshkosh, John set out to help Bruce get everything organized and locate the ideal plane. The goal was an economical G1000 first plane with long range tanks. In fairly short order John called to let Bruce know he had the ideal plane for him and it was time to start making plans for the purchase and delivery of the plane to St. Thomas.
The route from NC to St. Thomas is a idyllic path over the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Many folks that come to us ask about flying over water and the distances to the islands and wonder if the DA40 is capable enough. We reported on another client that made the trip to Guadeloupe in his DA40.
As President of Bahamas Habitat, a Christian mission flying organization, for 6 years John helped train dozens of pilots to learn international mission flying to the islands. John has made the trip to Bahamas in the DA40 many times. The DA40 is truly remarkable and in many respects is the ideal single engine plane for the islands due to its efficiency, crosswind capability and world famous panoramic visibility.
John called on Steve Merritt, LifeStyle’s resident island flying expert to accompany Bruce on the flight. Bruce made the commercial flight up on a Friday and they departed on Friday evening to enjoy the trip over the weekend.
Bon Voyage and Happy Landings!
We’ll keep your DA42 or DA62 ready for you Bruce!