25 Interesting Destinations in 25 Years of PlaneSense History
Share owners in the PlaneSense® fractional program have traveled to many unique places over the course of the company’s 25-year history. The short field landing capabilities of the PC-12 and PC-24 aircraft mean small airports and remote locations are more accessible, leading to incredible journeys through more than 2,500 airports for PlaneSense® pilots. Here are their picks for 25 of the most interesting destinations and flights since the company’s launch in 1995:
1. Basin Harbor Airport in Vergennes, VT
The company took delivery of its first aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12 on September 9, 1995. The next day, it made its first flight and first grass landing at the site of an Aero Club of New England (ACONE) event in Basin Harbor Airport in Vermont. The 3,000′ privately owned runway is located in Vermont’s smallest city between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains.
2. Elk River Airport
Tucked in a valley in the western North Carolina mountains, Elk River Airport is a private airfield for members and guests of the Elk River Club. The short runway offers beautiful mountain views and is accessible by both the PC-12 and PC-24.
3. Block Island, RI
While only 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, you’ll feel like you’re a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of the real world when sitting on one of Block Island’s pristine beaches. You won’t find a single traffic light among the rolling hills and beautiful inns. The PlaneSense® program is the only fractional program that can access the short runway of Block Island State Airport.
4. Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto, Canada
A PC-12 flight to Canada’s ninth busiest airport offers amazing views of the Toronto skyline. Located on Toronto Island, a stone’s throw away from downtown, Billy Bishop Airport has been named one of the Most Scenic Airport Approaches in the world.
5. Staniel Cay, Bahamas
There’s no shortage of picturesque private islands in the Bahamas, and Staniel Cay is one of the favorites of PlaneSense® pilots. While the PC-12 fleet has visited Staniel Cay many times over the years, the PC-24 jet made its first trip to the tiny island in March 2018. Peaceful white-sand beaches and the popular Staniel Cay Yacht Club make this destination worth a trip.
6. Woolsey Memorial Airport, Northport, MI
Located near the northern tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, this quaint airport was founded in memory of pioneer aviator Clinton Woolsey, a local pilot who died near Buenos Aires in 1927 during the first Pan-American Goodwill Flight across Central and South America. The airport is built on part of the family farm Woolsey grew up on and features two grass runways, 3,663′ and 2,670’. A small fieldstone observation deck adds to the uniqueness of this little airstrip.
The smaller island in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis offers outstanding tropical and lush mountain views on the approach to the airport. With its rainforests and sea turtle conservation, ecology remains extremely important to the people of Nevis.
8. Telluride, CO
High up on a mesa, Telluride Regional Airport features one of the most unusual and scenic approaches in the Rocky Mountains. With limited commercial service available, the PlaneSense® fleet is ideal for accessing the high-altitude airport’s short runway any time of the year. You’ll be on the slopes just minutes after disembarking.
9. Sedona, AZ
The Sedona Airport is known as “America’s Most Scenic Airport.” It is located on top of a high mesa overlooking the city and the iconic red rock formations that Sedona is known for. While the PC-12 has made the trip on occasion, the world’s first PC-24 jet made its inaugural trip to Sedona in March 2018 when it joined the PlaneSense® fleet. The spectacular views make a flight here memorable. See for yourself in this video.
10. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA
This luxurious resort features its own airstrip, which is easily accessible by the PC-12. There’s plenty for everyone to enjoy whether you prefer fine dining, golf, a spa day, or more adventurous activities like zip lines and animal safaris.
11. Spanish Cay, Bahamas
This beautiful tropical paradise features coral reefs, sandy beaches, palm groves, and a bounty of wildlife. The private island has its own 5,000′ airstrip, ideal for the PC-12 and PC-24.
12. Cayman Islands
The view of turquoise waters as the PC-24 jet approaches the Cayman Islands is breathtaking. Rich in heritage and maritime customs, the islands are also known for the sea turtles and other marine life that call these tropical waters home.
13. Ocean Reef
A popular Florida retreat among PlaneSense® share owners, it’s not uncommon to see a Pilatus PC-12 or PC-24 jet at the community’s private airport. The short runway runs alongside one of the resort’s golf courses and provides easy access to all the amenities offered at this premier location.
14. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
As one of the more popular Mexican destinations for PlaneSense® clients, Cabo San Lucas offers an abundance of water activities, sport fishing, luxury, and nightlife.
15. Manitoulin Island
Located within Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world. It’s so large that it even has 100 inland lakes, some of which have their own islands. Among these “islands within islands” is Lake Manitou, the largest lake in a freshwater island in the world. Manitoulin Island also features four major rivers. This unique destination is steeped in history and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s easily accessible by flying into Manitowaning/Manitoulin East Municipal Airport.
16. Fishers Island
This quiet island off the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound is a popular summer vacation destination but remains relatively untouched by large scale tourism amenities. The formidable-looking Race Rock Lighthouse sits off the airport, stirring up ghost stories of ships lost to the rocky coast it now protects. While accessible by passenger and auto ferry service from Connecticut, PlaneSense® is the only fractional program able to access the short runways of Elizabeth Field.
The addition of the Pilatus PC-24 jet to the PlaneSense® fleet made it possible for clients to reach Aruba, a popular island located just 19 miles off the Venezuelan coast. Known as One Happy Island, it’s popular for its long stretches of sandy beaches and desert-like terrain.
18. JFK, New York
While the PC-12 and PC-24 are popular for being able to access remote airfields, they are equally capable at some of the country’s largest commercial hubs. JFK in New York features the longest runway the fleet has landed on over the last two and half decades. PlaneSense® pilots have often said that they enjoy the challenges of flying to a metro airport like JFK as much as the smaller, quieter airfields.
Access to idyllic pink much as the smaller, quieter airfields. sand beaches, eclectic cuisine, and Bermuda’s international business hub became a reality with the launch of the PlaneSense® jet program in 2015. The program’s Nextant 400 XTi jet paved the way for the Pilatus PC-24 jets that would join the fleet in 2018, making flights to this beautiful island easy and efficient.
20. Steamboat Springs, CO
Boasting Western hospitality, Steamboat Springs offers eclectic outdoor adventures from skiing to geothermal hot springs. The runway, altitude, and steep approaches might make Steamboat a challenging airport for some, but it’s just the kind of airport the PC-12 and PC-24 were made for, making it easier than ever to access this Colorado destination.
21. Cat Cay, Bahamas
Legend has it that Cat Cay was given its name by pirates because of the shape of the island. Today, this private island is owned by members of the Cat Cay Yacht Club. Its 1,995-foot runway is the shortest accessed by the PlaneSense® PC-12 fleet. With its beautiful beaches and serene turquoise water, it’s easy to see why Cat Cay is a popular island destination for many PlaneSense® share owners.
22. Solar Eclipse
It wasn’t one particular destination that share owners were trying to get to in August 2017, but a spectacular celestial event they wanted to experience. A rare total solar eclipse inspired some clients to fly to locations throughout the U.S. to witness the event. One such location was Lexington County Airport just south of Columbia, SC. Their PlaneSense® PC-12 was just one of many aircraft that flew in specifically to watch the eclipse.
23. Havana, Cuba
PlaneSense, Inc. first flew to the island nation with a PC-12 in December 2016 when travel to Cuba was opened up. Steeped in historical charm, the country offers delicious cuisine, beach resorts, and friendly locals, making it a unique destination for several fractional share owners when travel is allowed.
Located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea is another island now accessible to PlaneSense® share owners with the addition of the PC-24 jet. It is one of the furthest Caribbean island destinations accessed by the program. The island is popular for its history, colorful homes, nutmeg plantations, diving, and abundant sandy beaches.
25. Ferry flight of the world’s first PC-24 jet
Captains Anthony Schipano and Forrest Vultee got the experience of a lifetime in early 2018 when they flew the world’s first Pilatus PC-24 jet on its ferry flight from the manufacturing facility in Stans, Switzerland to Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and then the Pilatus facility in Denver, CO. The last leg of the trip took them home to the PlaneSense, Inc. headquarters in Portsmouth, NH where they were met by a hangar full of excited staff on a snowy February night.