TBM Pilot Profile

Jim and Laura Penn, TBM 910 SN1213

Jim and Laura Penn are husband and wife certified public accountants from Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Jim is a founding partner of Whitley Penn – one of the region’s most distinguished accounting firms, providing services far beyond traditional accounting.


While operating a successful accounting firm and helping steer it through the growth of just a handful of employees who were striking out on their own to more than 400 employees, Jim’s time was consumed with the business. Some 15 years ago it became obvious…Jim needed a hobby! 


It started out with a weekend trip to the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas for Jim and Laura to enjoy the premier golf courses together. They loved the natural beauty of Texas’ hill country and the bent grass greens at Horseshoe Bay, but there was one problem: Horseshoe Bay was at least a four-hour drive down a heavily congested highway that was not a joy to drive on a Friday afternoon to get away for a weekend. To be able to enjoy their desired weekend destination, despite extremely busy schedules, Laura suggested Jim learn to fly. Jim was hooked once he started taking flying lessons.

Jim shares his family’s passion for flying. His father was in the Army Air Corps in World War II (he is a pilot; although at age 92, the senior Penn no longer is actively flying). Jim’s son currently serves in the U.S. Navy, working as an aviation electrician, supporting this military service’s Boeing P-8 Poseidon multi-role aircraft. 




When he is not flying, Jim likes keeping up with issues discussed on the TBM Owners and Pilots Association website forum


Having not served in the military like his father and son, but wanting to do something for his country, Jim is a volunteer for the Veterans Airlift Command, flying the combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. When he is not flying, Jim likes keeping up with issues discussed on the TBM Owners and Pilots Association website forum.


After owning several non-pressurized single engine piston aircraft, Jim and Laura bought their first TBM in 2013: a slightly used TBM 850 built in 2012. This aircraft, Serial Number 636, opened new horizons to Jim as well as Laura – a nature and gardening lover. It enabled them to go to such destinations as Alaska and the Galapagos Islands, sometimes on their own, or through trips organized by the Air Journey company.


Jim knew he wanted to upgrade to the G1000 NXI avionics suite and loved some of the features that have been added to TBM 900-series airplanes. Jim currently is 61 years old and wanted an aircraft that could take him through the end of his flying career. It was a natural move to select the TBM 910 as “their one and final airplane” according to Laura. They were able to customize both the exterior and the interior of TBM 910 Serial Number 1213 – one of the final TBMs completed in 2017. 


In early December, they came to Daher’s French industrial site at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport for a special TBM factory tour, followed by the ultimate TBM experience: the ferry flight across the Atlantic Ocean, with ferry flight master Margrit Waltz. It was a Merry Christmas!









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