Massachussetts-based operator Cape Air has taken delivery of its first two P2012 Travellers from an order of 100 aircraft placed two years ago following a thorough and intensive development process in conjunction with Tecnam. The company had accepted the aircraft at a ceremony in July at Tecnam's headquarters in Capua, Italy, and after FAA certification in August, the aircraft were flown to the Cape Air base in Hyannis.
The ferry flight marks the entry into service of the Traveller and was performed by Tecnam managing director and grandson of the founding brothers Giovanni Pascale. As pilot in command, he led his crew on a 4,000 nm journey that took only three days to complete. He ferried one of the P2012 Travellers together with co-pilot Elio Rullo, while captain Vito Preti and technician Antonio Covino flew the other.
There were fuel stops in five different countries. The first was at Groningen airport in the Netherlands, followed by Inverness in Scotland and Reykjavic in Iceland. Next came Narsarsuaq in Greenland, one of the world's most demanding airports because landing requires the approach to the runway through a fjord, surrounded by mountains and glaciers. Final refuelling was at Goose Bay airport in Canada, before they headed due south to Barnstable airport in Hyannis, Massachusetts. There they were greeted by Cape Air executives, founder and CEO Dan Wolf, president Linda Markham and senior vice president, fleet planning and acquisitions James Goddard.
The Tecnam crew members were kept constantly busy during the flight. They had to fly around the weather in very tough and sometimes challenging conditions while on the ground there was no time to rest or eat. They were refilling fuel and filing flight plans and then getting back in the air as quickly as possible to take advantage of the weather.
Powered by two 375 HP turbo-charged Lycoming engines, the 11 seat Tecnam P2012 Traveller has a fuel capacity of 750 litres in the wings, but on this ferry flight, the longest ever for Tecnam, they carried an extra 450 litres in a collapsible ferry tank in the rear of the aircraft, significantly extending their range.
The Traveller features a modern design and the latest equipment. Its simple and easily accessed airframe and systems, fixed landing gear, robust interiors and easy-to-replace parts result in high efficiency and low maintenance costs.
Cape Air also operates a fleet of Cessna 402s, Britten-Norman Islanders and two Cessna Caravan seaplanes.