EBAN readers with Pilatus PC-12 aircraft can be found in 18 countries around Europe. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a large population in Switzerland but the aircraft is also popular and numerous in the UK. Competing for the honour of being the largest single owner of the PC-12 are Jetfly Aviation SA, the Swiss fractional operation, and Dexter Air Taxi in Russia.
Dexter reports that it now has eight PC-12s on fleet, and that the aircraft has proven itself highly capable in extremely low temperatures. It is now planning a second operational base in Siberia. The aircraft are offered out on a simple mileage basis at 160 rbl per kilometre.
Operators from Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg responded to our survey, and all were either satisfied or very satisfied with maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capabilities and value-for-money.
Georg Langhans of Langhans & Soehne GmbH is impressed with the performance and reliability, but disappointed with the acquisition cost, while Hubert Jacobus of T-Bird thinks that his PC-12's best features are the amount of space and the cargo door, and worst thing the cruise speed. For this reason he would like to see the aircraft feature a more powerful shp engine.
"The PC-12 should be IFR-commercial certified for single engine and single pilot commercial operations," he says.
Joel Hencks of Skytation, Luxembourg, praises the PC-12's payload, flexible use and endurance, while finding fault with electrical power failures. He would most like to have an avionics update, such as is featured in the latest model PC-12 NG.
"From global economic corrections to record oil prices, there is little doubt that change can occur very quickly indeed. However, the old saying that every cloud has a silver lining could well be true in the case of the PC-12 NG.
"Dealers report significantly increased interest from the tier of jet customers immediately above the turboprop. With a cabin size comparable to jet aircraft costing more than twice as much and a fuel burn saving of up to 50 per cent, the case for the PC-12 NG has never been stronger," the manufacturer says.