TBO Extension

Connecting Worlds: TBO Extension's Q&A Series with Aviation Enthusiasts - Featuring Brent Nedbalek

TBO Extension recently had the privilege of installing our kit on a Citation II aircraft, piloted and managed by Brent Nedbalek. Brent’s journey from an aircraft mechanic to becoming the pilot and aircraft manager for American race car legend AJ Foyt inspired this series “Connecting the Worlds.” Through this series, we aim to share a variety of inspiring stories, people’s stories, advice and conversation to foster a sense of connection within our community of aviation enthusiasts. 

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    The Fast-Paced World of Racing

    Brent Nedbalek

    In the racing industry, the pace varies as much as the levels of competition. Top professional drivers in Indy Car F1, DTM, NASCAR, and similar circuits lead lives filled with travel, sponsor engagements, media appearances, and intense physical and mental preparation. They’re constantly working with their teams, strategizing, and honing their skills.

    Lower-level professional drivers, like those in Touring Cars or Le Mans Prototypes, balance their racing with sponsor searches, networking, and often instructing at racetracks. Their lives are a blend of ambition and hard work, both on and off the track.

    Amateur and club champions face their unique challenges, balancing day jobs with their passion for racing, often struggling to fund their expensive, adrenaline-fueled weekends.

    Behind every successful race event, there’s an invisible network of support, often powered by business aviation. Teams, mechanics, and support staff, who are just as essential to the success of the race, also benefit from the efficiency and flexibility provided by private flights. In an industry where timing is everything, the ability to quickly move personnel and equipment can make the difference between winning and merely participating.

    Q&A with Brent Nedbalek

    Brent Nedbalek & AJ Foyt
    Brent Nedbalek & AJ Foyt

    AJ Foyt, a legendary figure in motorsports, first encountered Brent when he needed maintenance for his Hawker. Brent’s skills in fixing a few squawks not only solved the immediate issues but also led to a job offer. 

    This marked the beginning of a significant chapter in Brent’s career, including managing and flying various aircraft like the Hawker 800, King Air 200, Premier Jet RA390, and a Citation. 

    Behind every successful race event, there’s an invisible network of support, often powered by business aviation.

    Teams, mechanics, and support staff, who are just as essential to the success of the race, also benefit from the efficiency and flexibility provided by private flights. In an industry where timing is everything, the ability to quickly move personnel and equipment can make the difference between winning and merely participating.

    Q: Can you share a bit about your background in aviation?

    Brent: My aviation journey started as a mechanic working on Barons, King Airs, and Citations. In 2008, I took the leap and opened my own business in maintenance and management. I hold a ATP and A&P certificate and started a charter company five years ago Triton Air Flytritonair.com, chartering Citations across the US, CA, and the Bahamas. We also provide some Self-Serve fueling options for airports.

    Q: What inspired you to start your own aviation maintenance and repair operation?

    Brent: The inspiration for starting my own aviation maintenance and repair operation stemmed from a desire to provide top-notch services to aircraft owners. I saw an opportunity to offer specialized, high-quality maintenance and management services that would ensure the safety and reliability of aircraft. 

    Q: What parallels do you see between aviation and motorsports?

    Brent: In both fields, speed and efficiency are paramount. Whether it’s getting to a race track or a family event, saving time is crucial. Both industries are tightly knit and family-oriented, with a strong emphasis on looking after each other. 

    Q: Can you talk about the TBO Extension install on Mr. Foyt's aircraft?

    Brent: The decision for the TBO Extension was driven by the delays and high costs associated with engine overhauls. It’s a straightforward, streamlined process that significantly extends the time between overhauls, which is crucial for our fleet. 

    Q: What advice would you give to aspiring aviation professionals?

    Brent: Now is the perfect time to enter the industry. The demand and pay are at an all-time high. However, it’s essential to have a passion for this field, to ensure safety and excellence in your work. 

    Q: Any exciting aviation developments you're watching?

    Brent: The integration of AI in cockpits and the development of artificial air taxis are particularly intriguing. There’s a growing need for skilled A&P mechanics as well, given the aging workforce and the younger generation’s hesitancy towards hands-on work. 

    Connecting Through Stories

    Our series aims to bridge the gap between those passionate about aviation and those who manage and operate legacy aircraft. By sharing stories like Brent’s, we hope to build a community where experiences, interests, and passions converge, creating a space for learning and appreciation among aviation enthusiasts.  

     Stay tuned for more stories from the skies, as we continue to explore the rich tapestry of experiences that define the world of aviation. 

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