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“The Pilatus PC-12 is a great airplane,” says Editor at Large Tom Horne. “I’ve been to several PC-12 pilot initial and recurrent courses at SimCom’s training centers in Orlando and Scottsdale, and logged some 70 hours in the airplane.

“The Pilatus PC-12 is a great airplane,” says Editor at Large Tom Horne. “I’ve been to several PC-12 pilot initial and recurrent courses at SimCom’s training centers in Orlando and Scottsdale, and logged some 70 hours in the airplane. And while there’s always a lot of marketing focus on its huge cabin, for me the attractions are
in the front office.” Horne takes a look at the Pilatus PC-12NG’s newest attraction—a major panel upgrade with the Honeywell Apex avionics suite ( “Pilatus’ Apex,” page 62). “It’s wall-to-wall glass,” he says, “and loaded with capability.” Based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics platform—the one that serves aboard newer Gulfstreams and Falcons—the Apex uses much of the same architecture. “I’m guessing enhanced and synthetic vision will be offered in the NG models—and sooner rather than later,” Horne says.

“One of the most exceptional things about Logan Flood is that he doesn’t regard himself as exceptional,” says Senior Editor Dave Hirschman ( No Airline Would Ever Hire Me,” page 73). “Flood has overcome unimaginable obstacles on the way to fulfilling his life goals. And his quiet courage, resourcefulness, and resilience are rare and inspiring.” Flood nearly died in an aircraft accident seven years ago. But he survived, returned to the cockpit, became a professional pilot, and started a family despite injuries that will never fully heal. “Flood’s physical scars are obvious,” says Hirschman. “But his family, fellow crewmembers, friends, and passengers also recognize a harder-to-define quality that trumps everything else—and you will, too. It’s called heart.”

Screening facilities have gone from rags to riches for United States Air Force pilot candidates ( “Solo!” page 86). When Senior Editor Al Marsh covered the pilot screening program a few years ago the candidates attended a program at Hondo, Texas. There was nowhere for them to stay in Hondo so they were brought in by bus each day from a nearby Air Force base. For most, that meant getting up in the middle of the night to make the first briefing of the day. The new school in Pueblo, Colorado, is housed in a newly renovated building with housing, cafeteria, classrooms, and the training airplanes in a space of a few hundred feet. The briefings still start at 4:30 a.m., and the name of the game is to solo or fail, but at least the facilities no longer play a role in a candidate’s failure. Marsh, a flight instructor and ATP with more than 2,800 hours, was never a military pilot, but he did start flying lessons while stationed at the Army’s Fort Wainwright in Alaska in 1967.

“The world of search and rescue is incredibly complex, and begins with a series of high-tech satellites that orbit the globe searching for ELT signals,” says Associate Editor Ian J. Twombly. “Walking into the satellite monitoring facility feels like stepping into a spy novel full of sophisticated gadgets. There’s even a mission control area for launches.” Twombly visited the NOAA building in suburban Maryland while conducting research for his story “Blind to the Satellites,” which begins on page 101. “Although some members may have heard that these satellites will cease monitoring 121.5 ELT signals on February 1, there’s not much information out there about what effect it will have on ELTs. Equipping your airplane with a 406 MHz ELT is an option. But make sure you know what you’re getting first,” says Twombly, a commercial-rated pilot and CFI.

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