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Pilatus PC-24 fleet expands worldwide
The global fleet of in-service PC-24s has accumulated 1,200 flight hours, with the fleet leader already clocking up over 620 flight hours. Much loved by pilots, it should soon be certified for dirt, grass and gravel TOL too.
Pilatus is conducting post-certification testing to expand the PC-24's operational capabilities on unpaved runways, and expects to receive certification before the end of this year.

Since receiving type certification for its all-new PC-24 last December Pilatus has delivered 12 aircraft to the US, Switzerland, Luxembourg and southern Africa. By the end of this year, the company expects 23 PC-24s will be in customer operation.

The fleet leader in terms of flight hours, the first serialised production PC-24 is owned and operated by US fractional ownership company PlaneSense. President and CEO George Antoniadis comments: “Our clients absolutely love the PC-24 and it is a wonderful complement to our sizeable fleet of PC-12s. The jet has allowed us to expand our offering with a larger cabin and higher speeds. Its ability to access very short runways allows us to safely reach destinations that other business jets cannot. With that larger choice of runways and higher cruise speed, we can significantly reduce point-to-point travel time, which is a true game changer. We can't wait to add more PC-24s to meet our clients' demands.”

US-headquartered authorised Pilatus centre Western Aircraft is the operator of PC-24 serial number 102. Chief pilot Scott Marshall provides a pilot's perspective: “Flying the PC-24 is an absolute thrill. With more than 6,000 flying hours gained over the last 13 years in Pilatus Aircraft, first the PC-6, the PC-12 and now PC-24, I can say it is truly a pilot's airplane. The ergonomic cockpit layout paired with the ACE integrated avionics suite shows that Pilatus, as always, developed this aircraft with the pilot in mind. Whether hand flying in cruise or on approach, the aircraft is one of the most stable and forgiving that I have ever flown. With its long-standing tradition of innovation, craftsmanship and reliability Pilatus has definitely exceeded my own lofty expectations.”

Pilatus continues to conduct post-certification testing to expand the PC-24's operational capabilities in steep approaches, air ambulance missions and on unpaved runways. To date more than 150 take-offs and landings have been conducted on dirt, grass and gravel surfaces in Switzerland, Canada, Italy and the UK. Pilatus expects to receive certification for operation from these surfaces before the end of this year.

Most PC-24 customers are also subscribing to CrystalCare, Pilatus' nose-to-tail maintenance support programme. For a fixed hourly and monthly fee, customers are covered for all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events, parts, avionics, engines, inspection, troubleshooting and repair work, shipping, AOG recovery and even consumables.

VP general aviation Ignaz Gretener says: “Being ranked number one in customer service by PC-12 operators for 17 consecutive years has set the service expectations high for Pilatus when entering the business jet market. Our goal is to continue expanding our services by raising the bar even higher in terms of customer support. Our first step on that journey with the PC-24 is the introduction of CrystalCare, the most comprehensive guaranteed maintenance programme in the industry.”

CEO Markus Bucher continues: “We are very pleased with how well the PC-24's entry-into-service programme has progressed over the past nine months. Customer feedback has been great, in both the things they like and those things they would like us to improve. Overall, though, our strategy to bring a modern, unique and capable new aircraft into this market segment has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from current customers and those operating other brands of business jets.”

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