Monday, February 15, 2016

PC12NG !

Today I logged my first few hours in the Pilatus, a beautiful NG model. Wow, to say that it's an incredible plane is a serious understatement.  Everything is so incredibly well engineered.  It looks and feels solid, the throttle control moves so smoothly and intuitively, the handling is so light for a big airplane, the power is incredible and yet it's smooth and quiet.  My only complaint is that the pilot seats are pretty hard and my butt was kinda numbing up after a few hours, but I guess I'm spoiled by my Tim Hallock seats in my Baron.


Flying someone else's 4.1 million dollar plane sort of changes the way you think about things a bit.  Fortunately I have a good mentor pilot and he keeps reminding me, "you know what happens if you screw that up? it results in a mandatory inspection and a $25,000 bill".  Yikes!  Here I am doing the preflight.




The main challenge for me is learning the FMS and the Honeywell stuff after years of Garmin.  On the one hand, it's not as intuitive as Garmin.  On the other hand, it's got a certain flow to it that makes sense once you learn it and it's already starting to seem fast and efficient.  Once you start to think like the FMS, you can see what pro pilots really love it.  It's going to take me some time though, especially after being so comfortable in my plane and nearly every other plane I fly has Garmin stuff.


The plane is the real deal.  Here we are at 22,000 ft truing out at 263 kts.  Nearly BlackHawk KingAir speed but with a cabin that's the size of a B200 and burning only 60 gallons an hour.