A little over a year ago the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) asked George Antoniadis to address its membership and readers about how the fractional industry benefits them. Rather than comment about the industry broadly, George shared how the PlaneSense program specifically supported the continued evolution of the Pilatus PC-12.
On the whole, our high utilization rate over many years relative to more traditional buyers of this aircraft – we safely complete more than 20,000 flights annually on your behalf – gives us more operational experience with the PC-12 than any other aircraft manager or operator. And, since it is part of our culture to share what we have learned through our operational experiences with the broader general aviation community, we have collaborated extensively with Pilatus on the continuous evolution of the PC-12.
Widespread use of the double battery option, which is now standard in the PC-12NG, and the change from carbon brakes to steel were gestated in the operations of the PlaneSense program. The master minimum equipment list (MMEL) for the earlier PC-12s and the PC-12NG is a product of our input. Issues in the earlier versions of Honeywell's Apex avionics system were identified and troubleshot based on PlaneSense program experience. The same can be said of improvements to the powerplant system.
We have also had an impact on crew training for the PC-12. Our team devised a customized, highly detailed in-house training syllabus, which has been reviewed and sanctioned by the FAA and is available to all PC-12 users. We also contribute to PC-12 training offered by the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association (POPA).
When George decided to start the PlaneSense program with the PC-12, it was much more than a decision about which aircraft to sell. It was a commitment to an idea that our team would rally around again and again to make it the best possible private flying solution for our share owners.