PILATUS PC-12, WESTPHALIA, MO., SEPT. 14, 2002–The turboprop single, N451ES, was destroyed, and the commercial pilot and only passenger killed, when it crashed at approximately 3:55 p.m. CDT. The Part 91 business flight was on an IFR flight plan and had departed from Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport (AIZ) in Lake Ozark, Mo., 15 min earlier en route to South Bend (Ind.) Regional Airport (SBN).
PlaneSense, the Manchester, N.H.-based fractional ownership provider launched in 1996 by parent company Alpha Flying, continues to expand. According to Alpha Flying president George Antoniadis, PlaneSense added two more Pilatus PC-12s to its fleet in the past year and a third is scheduled to arrive this month, bringing the fleet total to 11.
A big mission for a big company usually means a big airplane with a cavernous interior and enough fuel to carry a large load over thousands of miles. But to accomplish that there is always a cost-benefit compromise. When a big mission appears for a small company, the economics often translate into a small airplane, which means even more mission compromises.
The next-generation version of the Pilatus PC-12 is certified and deliveries have begun, so the single-engine turboprop is dropping off the In The Works chart.
The latest version of the Pilatus PC-12, featuring new avionics and a new engine, received FAA and EASA certification on March 28. The PC-12 Next Generation, formally known as the PC-12/47E, was announced at the 2006 NBAA Convention. The added features include some that operators have been seeking for many years and indicate that the PC-12’s popularity hasn’t abated.
In another unexpected change at the top of an airframe company last month, Oscar Schwenk, president and CEO of Pilatus Aircraft of Stans, Switzerland, abruptly replaced Angelo Fiataruolo as CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft, the Broomfield, Colo., subsidiary responsible for the marketing of the PC-12 turboprop single in North and South America.
The honeymoon is over and newlyweds NBAA and EBAA are even happier about their EBACE union than they were after last year’s inaugural European Business and Aviation Convention (now Conference) and Exhibition.
After a nine-month selection process, the company that plans to bring the Twin Otter back into production has chosen Honeywell’s Primus Apex integrated flight deck for new-build airplanes expected to enter service next year. Honeywell describes the equipment as an “intuitive alternative for turboprops and light and midsize business jets.” The avionics have also been chosen for the Pilatus PC-12 and Grob SPn.
Canadian fractional aircraft provider AirSprint last month placed an order for 23 business aircraft worth an estimated $116 million. The order includes three Cessna Citation XLS/XLS+s and three “Next Generation” Pilatus PC-12s to be delivered over the next 24 months, bringing AirSprint’s managed fleet to 27, ten of which will be Citation XL/XLS/XLS+s.
Viking Air told AIN it will use Honeywell Primus Apex avionics in the Twin Otter Series 400, which the company plans to build new at its facility in Victoria, British Columbia. A Honeywell spokesman confirmed that the avionics maker is “in final contract discussions with Viking Air to reach an agreement” on the deal.