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Dan Johnson's
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Date: January 19, 2016

TAG and TAGNA: A Match Made in Australia

by Ira McComic

I wrote an article that appeared in the December-January 2016 issue of Powered Sport Flying magazine. Entitled, ďAnother Choice for the Gyroplane-ReadyĒ, itís an assessment of the Titanium Explorer, a gyroplane produced in Australia by Titanium Autogyro (TAG) and recently made available in the US from the manufacturerís distributor, Titanium Autogyro North America (TAGNA). The article in the magazine focuses on the aircraft, yet thereís an interesting backstory about how the partnership was formed between the Australian manufacturer and the US distributor, and that is this story.

Two of the principals of Titanium Explorer Autogyro North America (TAGNA) are Christine Toevs and her husband Jim. Jim is the president and Chris is the secretary. Chris is a native Australian, and although she and Jim now make their home in Kansas, they sometimes visit relatives in Australia.

Jim was a fixed-wing pilot and Chris was an aviaiton novice when they both became interested in gyroplanes a few years ago. That interest led them to building and owning two gyroplanes, one for him and one for her. Jimís gyroplane was a two-place Turbo Golden Butterfly and Chrisí was a single-place Aurora Butterfly.

To the left is Jim with the Turbo Golden Butterfly. Notice the N-number on the gyroplane's vertical stabilizer. The letters "FJ" stand for Jim's nickname: "Farmer Jim". Below is a photo of Chris with her Aurora Butterfly gyroplane named "OZrora".

Jim and Chris found their experience with building and maintaining the Butterfly models increasingly frustrating, and although they had become dealers for the Butterfly line, their relationship with the principal of the manufacturer became rocky. Regardless, their enthusiasm for gyroplanes didnít abate. Chris, the aviation novice, took to gyroplanes with a passion, becoming a licensed gyroplane pilot as well as earning recognition as a competent Rotax powerplant mechanic.

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