Since the first PC-12 delivery in 1994, Pilatus has gone on to deliver over 1,000 of them. Virtually all are still in service which is perhaps the best indication of the aircraft’s build quality, operating reliability, economy and ease of handling characteristics. Along with being a direct outcome of Pilatus’ enduring commitment to precision in design and manufacturing over its 70-year history as a world leader in turboprop aircraft, the PC-12 also reflects the highest standards which George Antoniadis sought when creating the PlaneSense® program.
As the largest fleet of PC-12s in the world, we have more operational experience with the PC-12 than any other aircraft manager or operator. The result is an extremely focused and effective maintenance operation through Atlas Aircraft Center co-located with the PlaneSense program in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Dedicated Flight Operations Center
Our dedicated Flight Operations Center is comprised of Owner Services, Crew Services and Scheduling. They are constantly on top of the latest data weather, air traffic and airport data and watch out for potential itinerary adjustments that will maximize safety and flight comfort.
Our long-standing familiarity with the PC-12 has also afforded us tremendous insight for crew training specific to this aircraft. The outcome is a customized, highly-detailed in-house pilot training syllabus which has been reviewed and approved by the FAA and the insurance industry for use with the PlaneSense program.
Training Highlights for Pilots Servicing the PlaneSense Program
Our stringent hiring and training standards are driven by our constant focus on safety and service. That focus is also the foundation of our pilot training program, which instills a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of aircraft systems and management, instrument flight rules, instrument approach procedures and profiles, and mastery of the aircraft's controls in all types of weather.
Our FAA-approved training program has been developed fully in-house, utilizing knowledge gained from years of experience with the PC-12. Our training meets, and in many cases exceeds, the requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91, subpart K and part 135.
Aside from the pilots who fly our fleet of PC-12s day in day out, we offer our training program to owner/operator pilots of PC-12s so they, too, can benefit from the institutional knowledge and experience of our training department.
Here are some highlights of our pilot training programs:
Initial Second-In-Command (SIC) Ground School – This comprehensive eight-day ground school covers the following topics: aircraft systems, avionics, FAA rules and regulations, flight planning, weather and winter operations, company general operating procedures, aircraft performance, safety, and cockpit resource management.
Initial SIC Flight Training – Prospective pilots must also successfully complete a rigorous initial flight training program, both in the aircraft and in a PC-12 flight training device. All flight training is done by company instructor pilots. A flight test, or check-ride, must be passed successfully before a SIC is released to line flying.
Upgrade Training – Every pilot is hired as an SIC with the expectation that, after some experience in the aircraft, they will qualify to become a Captain, which allows them to act as Pilot-in-Command (PIC). Prospective Captains begin their upgrade training with a company ground school that covers aircraft systems, regulations, advanced and emergency procedures and more. Crew resource management is heavily emphasized. Following ground school, upgrade candidates are trained in the aircraft with a company instructor pilot to prepare them for the responsibilities of being a PIC. The program continues with training in the PC-12 flight training device, allowing them to practice emergency and abnormal maneuvers not easily practiced in the aircraft. An in-house check-ride is completed before the pilot is released as a line PIC.
Annual and Six Month Checkrides – Each PIC is required to complete two proficiency checks each year. These checkrides are a comprehensive test of normal IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) maneuvers and emergency procedures. SICs are required to complete an annual proficiency check and a comprehensive line check on the six month interval.
Annual Recurrent Ground School – Every pilot attends an annual recurrent ground school. This is a three-day course that covers many of the topics from initial ground school but in a more advanced form. Emergency procedures, safety, and crew resource management are heavily emphasized.
Initial and Annual Recurrent Emergency Training – Initial emergency training is taught by Survival Systems, Inc., an outside company with a long history of training military and corporate pilots. Their initial two-day General Emergency Duties course includes training in emergency water landings, basic first aid and CPR, water survival, fire and smoke control procedures, and high altitude operations and cabin decompression. Recurrent emergency training is conducted in-house, utilizing PC-12 specific equipment for emergency drills.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Training – All pilots are RVSM certified by our in-house training department and are recertified annually.