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Do you have a turboprop in your fleet? What advantages does it have over jets of comparable size?


Our organization uses 4 Beech King Airs for mapping survey – a pair of 200T models powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41 engines, and 2 B200Ts with PT6A-42s. In addition to these reliable engines, they are fitted with 2 cameras and tip tanks. These TPs are capable of flying from 1000 ft AGL at 140 kts up to FL310. Advantages are speed range of 140–260 kts and low maintenance costs. They also have endurance for long survey flights and overseas ferry flights, and are great for single-pilot operations.

Jean Luc Pilotto ATP.
Airbus A320, Falcon 200, King Air 200T/B200T
Captain
IGN CNRS SAFIRE ENAC
Béthisy Saint-Martin, France

 

Having operated King Airs and reciprocals in the past, I can say turboprop aircraft are more flexible and versatile than jets because they’re able to operate out of shorter and limited airport runways. The purchase price of a turboprop is less, as is operational cost. We also favor multi-engine over single due to added safety over water or rugged terrain at night.

Victor Schneider
ATP. King Air 100 & Cessna 414
Chief Pilot
AquaStar Pool Products
Oceanside CA

 

We have a King Air 200 in our operation. On domestic flights and short runway operations, it is a great asset to our fleet of several aircraft. When our jets are unavailable, it can also be used on longer flights at a lower cost.

Hans Flesvig
ATP. Falcon 900 & King Air 200
Captain
Sundt Air Management
Feiring, Norway

 

Lower acquisition, maintenance, and operating costs are some of the advantages of having a turboprop. You also can use shorter runways, and turboprops have better control on ice- or snow-contaminated runways. They generally have more range, and you can fly at lower altitudes, if required, to avoid weather or for short flights. They often have more interior space and larger windows. However, we must also consider lower initial and recurrent training costs. In summary, there is greater operational flexibility with lower costs and little sacrifice in estimated time enroute for most flights.

Jeff Brausch
Pvt-Inst. Piper Cheyenne IIXL
Owner & President
J Jeffrey Brausch & Co
Medina OH

 

I fly a Swearingen Merlin III, and it has great fuel economy while flying up to 10 occupants. Inspections and maintenance are much cheaper than a jet. Most of our flights are shorter than 600 nm, so, with a TAS of 285–300 kts, our TP takes only about 30 minutes longer to get there than a jet.

Greg Kimbrough
ATP/CFII. Swearingen SA227
Captain
Double R
Bossier City LA

 

For a while, we had a single-pilot-operated King Air 200. It was great because it didn’t require annual recurrent training. Zipping around in it was nice.

Samir Kanuga
ATP/CFI. Citation V
Chief Pilot
Royal Paper
Paradise Valley AZ

 

I should start by saying that we have had both jets and turboprops in our company, and each is preferred for different missions. That said, our mainstay is our MU-2 Marquise. It performs its missions flawlessly. Statistically, it is now the safest turboprop currently flying.  In comparison to our recent jet, it has better carrying capabilities, flexibility in terms of runway type, and lower operating costs. Turboprops are better suited for 85% of our current mission structure. Also, we save money on maintenance costs over the jet every year. Jets are wonderful depending on the mission. However, our turboprop is the most versatile backbone of our transport needs.

Patrick Cannon
ATP/CFI. Challenger 350, Beechjet 400, & Mitsubishi MU2
President
Mission Air Services
Lewisville TX

 

Our Cessna 441 Conquest II will perform 300 kts at FL330 in low temperatures, burning 57 gallons per hour. Depending on stage length, it is more efficient than piston twins, such as Cessna 421. Our Conquest is nearly as fast as the Citation, but far less thirsty.

Fred Volz
ATP. Citation V & Conquest II & I
Contract Pilot
Lewisville TX

 

At the moment, we don’t have turboprops in our fleet. However, from experience, they are more efficient for shorter trips. Turboprops are ideal to operate when there are shorter runways.

Allan Englehardt
ATP. Falcon 50
Captain
MMB Aircraft Leasing
Harriman NY

 

My employer has King Airs in its air medical division. The cost of operation is low, and they are very reliable. Their ability to land on short runways is one major advantage they have over jets of comparable size.

Michael O’Brien
ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139
Captain
PHI
Cantonment FL

 

No turboprops in our current fleet. However, from experience, I know that, if your average flight is less than 500 miles, there isn’t a significant difference in flight time. Therefore, a turboprop would be the better choice.

James Moe
ATP/A&P. Falcon 50
Chief Pilot
SCF Partners
Friendswood TX

 

Operating several turboprops in various parts of the world, in places where very few turboprops and no jets can do the job, our only viable option is a turboprop.

John Kendrick
ATP/Helo/CFI. Fairchild Swearingen SA227 & Airbus UH-72A Lakota
Captain & Safety Officer
Berry Aviation
Bakersfield CA

 

Having a beautiful 1981 Swearingen Merlin IIIC equipped with composite 5-bladed MT propellers makes it smooth and quiet inside. It burns 550 lb/hr while giving us 287 kts. It’s perfect for short hops or for supplementing our Citation Excel when we have more than 8 or 9 passengers. It also burns less fuel than our jet. On our 800–1000-mile trips, we give ourselves an hour’s head start and land together with the Excel.

Jon Hillier
ATP. Citation Sovereign/Excel & Fairchild Swearingen SA227
Flight Dept Mgr & DOM
Devcon Construction
Portola Valley CA

 

Enjoying lower operating costs is something that comes with owning a Pilatus PC-12NG. Another great advantage is that we can land closer to our destination than with jets of comparable size.

Juan Zambelli
Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12NG
Flight Dept Mgr
Quilque
Béccar, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Who’s your inflight connectivity and entertainment provider? What do your passengers say about it?

 

Gogo is who we use for airborne Wi-Fi connectivity. Our plan is pay-as-you-go, so we don’t have a bill unless the router is turned on, but our passengers never use the service because they think it is too expensive.

David Mauer
ATP/CFI. Falcon 2000EX EASy II
International Captain
Neurosurgery & Endovascular Association
West Bend WI

 

Onboard, Gogo Wi-Fi works well with 3 or 4 devices. However, we experience some difficulty when iPads are also in use in the cockpit. We could probably use more bandwidth.

Robert Oehl
ATP/CFII. Learjet 60
President
Express Air
Jacksonville Beach FL

 

For our domestic operations, Gogo Direct has worked just fine for us. Overland connectivity has been perfect.

Steve Cirino
ATP. Pilatus PC-24/PC-12 & Eclipse 500
Supervisory Pilot
U-Haul International
Phoenix AZ

 

Sirius XM is our entertainment provider, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Pilots and passengers alike seem to enjoy this service.

Charles Hackett
Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B200
Chief Pilot
Blue Sevens
Denton TX

 

No complaints whatsoever with our Gogo Avance L5. With this platform, we have unlimited data, but no visual or voice over IP. We’re fully satisfied with this service.

Andrew Bledsoe
ATP. Challenger 300
Chief Pilot
Noble Plane
Indianapolis IN

 

We use Gogo Biz for internet connection, and Satcom for phone service. Lately, the Internet has slowed down, but we’re not sure why that is. However, our representative has given us an update which hopefully will improve connectivity. Other than speed, we haven’t had any other comments from the passengers.

Paul McVay
ATP/CFII. Hawker 800XP
Lead Captain
Clay Lacy Aviation
Watertown CT

 

It’s nice to make a call from anywhere. Satcom Direct helps us provide inflight phone service and we are quite pleased with them.

Gary Nickell
ATP/CFII. Sabreliner 1
Chief Pilot
Fitness Management
Grand Rapids MI

 

Use of inflight connectivity is essential. That is why our Citation CJ3+ is equipped with Gogo’s ATG 2000 system. Passengers and crew can stay connected for most desired tasks such as email and some internet surfing. The on/off switch, combined with hourly billing, makes this service very affordable. Also, the Gogo Text & Talk app works quite well, but so do Wi-Fi-based calls and texts to certain phones. We’re well satisfied with this service.

Marc Dulude
ATP. Citation CJ3+
Chief Pilot
Mild Air
Bluffton SC

 

To ensure reliable connectivity for movies, before the flight and while on the ground, we use iTunes to download movies. We also have Gogo Avance, but have received consistent complaints over connectivity in congested areas such as the northeast region of the US. The owner has questioned whether the Gogo upgrade was even worth it.

Joanna Meek
ATP. Legacy 600
Dir of Aviation
W3
Frisco TX

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