August 7, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Fractional ownership program operator PlaneSense has taken delivery of its forty-ninth Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop, calling the aircraft paramount to the success of the business.
The aircraft was delivered to the company’s newly constructed headquarters at Pease International Airport in Portsmouth, N.H., on Aug. 7, where a joint reception with Pilatus officials and other aviation industry representatives observed the occasion.
The delivery also marked a major milestone for Stans, Switzerland-based Pilatus. The PC-12’s manufacturer has now produced and delivered 1,200 PC-12s.
In attendance representing AOPA at the milestone event were Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines, Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne, and AOPA Live Executive Producer Warren Morningstar.
PlaneSense, which has operated share-owner flights for 17 years, credits the PC-12 for being “paramount to the growth and success” of its business, said company President George Antoniadis.
Speaking in an interview with AOPA, Antoniadis said initial customer concerns over buying shares in a single-engine airplane were quickly dispelled, and emphasized that PlaneSense has not had a single accident in its 200,000-mission history.
“The PlaneSense program employs the largest civilian fleet of PC-12 aircraft in the world, which speaks volumes about our satisfaction with the performance of the aircraft and our long lasting relationship with Pilatus,” he said, in a press release.
Pilatus President Thomas Bosshard added in a news release that his company and PlaneSense “have enjoyed an outstanding partnership for nearly 20 years. We have grown together, learned from each other, and mutually prospered because of this relationship.”
The 1,200-shaft horsepower PC-12 is a 280-knot aircraft known for its short-field capabilities, and certified for single-pilot operations and flight into known icing conditions. The pressurized cabin can seat up to nine passengers. The PC-12’s features, Pilatus said, make it “one of the most popular turbine-powered business aircraft on the market today.”
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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