A proposed AD calls for inspections of the front and aft surfaces of the pressure dome on Pilatus PC-12s for cracking and other damage that would have to be repaired. The proposal is based on 19 reports of nicks and scratches on pressure domes on the turboprop single caused by drill or rivet tools. The FAA said the damage could lead to rapid decompression. The AD would apply to 280 U.S.-registered PC-12s.
After wrapping up more than 200 hours of flight testing with Pilatus in the Next Generation PC-12, Honeywell anticipates receiving TSO approval for its Primus Apex avionics system this month.
In the past, turboprop singles used for business flying typically did not offer the speed, load capability or systems redundancy of turboprop twins, though singles have amassed a comparable safety record. But the differences between them are disappearing with the advent of new breed of turboprop singles destined to enter the market in the next two or three years.
Pilatus Aircraft in Broomfield, Colo., reports that the FAA has certified an avionics package that enables the PC-12 turboprop single to meet the RVSM requirements that will expand to North America and South America on January 20. Included in the package are two Honeywell AM-250 altimeters coupled to the altitude pre-selector and a dual pitot-static system. An RVSM system upgrade is also available for existing PC-12s.
Pilatus Aircraft marked a major milestone on January 14 by delivering the 500th PC-12 after some 10 years of production of the big turboprop single in Stans, Switzerland. This particular airplane was delivered by Pilatus Business Aircraft in Broomfield, Colo., to Scott Archer, managing director of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Barclay Group, a commercial real estate company that has carved out a niche among Arizona’s retail developers.
Parker Hannifin announced a guaranteed cost-per-brake-landing (CPBL) program for Pilatus PC-12s equipped with new Cleveland brakes. The program, provided through Pilatus Business Aircraft of Broomfield, Colo., guarantees a brake cost of $2.85 per landing for 1,000 landings over three years.
International approval of commercial operations by single-engine turbine airplanes at night, in bad weather and over inhospitable terrain, which is now prohibited
in many countries, received a considerable boost with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) operations panel recommendation that such operations
At least one manufacturer of turbine singles believes it has waited long enough for Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) to adopt proposed rules (NPA-29) setting out the requirements for JAA-member states to approve commercial operations in singles in IFR conditions (SEIFR). In fact, Switzerland-based Pilatus Aircraft decided to take the matter into its own hands.
In the aftermath of July’s well publicized engine-out ditching of a Pilatus PC-12 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, industry observers are asking how this and other recent accidents have affected the statistical reliability of single-engine turboprops and if sales of these aircraft are suffering.
When Charles Lindbergh began planning one of the first truly long cross-country solo flights in 1927 everyone understood the risks inherent in a 3,000-mile journey in an airplane powered by a single 223-hp Wright J5 engine. Failure meant he’d probably end up as a shark snack. Luckily, he didn’t have the boss on board.