At least once a year, our Captains will train at Plum Island in Newburyport, MA. It’s a small airfield with both turf and paved runways ranging from 1805 ft to 2300 ft. Located close to PSM, the airport is convenient for refreshing our pilots’ training for conditions and challenges, such as nearby obstructions, which they may encounter at the more difficult airports we sometimes utilize. It is also a great airport for reinforcing their knowledge and experience with operating the PC-12 to the best of its capabilities, specifically when fully utilizing airspeed control and non-standard landing areas.
The nature of the airfield and changing conditions in the area also facilitate a good environment for reprising the topic of “not going” when circumstances such as unknown field conditions or low weather prohibit safe operations. Sometimes these decisions need to be made on the ground prior to takeoff, or after a flyover. A nice side benefit of operating at Plum Island is that we help promote and support one of the oldest airports in the United States.