Five Fast Facts on Flying the Flexible Pilatus PC-12

While jets will generally get you to your destination faster, sometimes a turboprop aircraft is the ideal fit for your journey. The Pilatus PC-12 aircraft family, and the latest PC-12 NGX model, have earned pride of place as versatile aircraft in this category. With more than 1,700 PC-12s in the field, this aircraft leads the industry in sales.

Here are five great reasons to fly the Swiss Army knife of private aviation:

  1. With its first entry to service in 1994 and over seven million hours flown, this aircraft has a proven safety record. PC-12s are trusted worldwide by owner-operator pilots, corporations, charter operators, air ambulances, cargo services providers and law enforcement agencies.

  2. The PC-12 can take off or land at international, smaller regional airports or make-shift dirt, gravel or grass airstrips. The latest PC-12 NGX is rated to fly at 21,300 airports worldwide and can use runways as short as 2,485 feet (758 metres). With this operational flexibility, the PC-12 can get you closer to your destination and save travel time. With a range of 1,803 nm (3,339 km), you can fly non-stop from Geneva to virtually any European destination, including Iceland. It can also reach North Africa.

  3. Ready to carry whatever you need for your journey, the PC-12’s unique cargo door makes loading and unloading the cargo compartment a cinch. The rule of thumb for this aircraft is “if it fits, it flies.” There’s room for luggage, sporting gear, and even a motorcycle. The cargo compartment is also accessible from within the cabin in-flight.

  4. There’s also plenty of room for passengers. The spacious cabin can accommodate up to twelve passengers in a pinch and fits 6 to 8 passengers comfortably in the standard configuration.

  5. The PC-12 can be a cost-effective choice thanks to its lower fuel consumption and single-pilot certification.

Interior of Pilatus PC-12
Interior of Pilatus PC-12

The latest PC-12 NGX has been redesigned around ultimate comfort for passengers, featuring a luxurious BMW Designworks cabin with fully-reclining executive seats, a fully-enclosed flushing lavatory in the forward portion of the cabin, and ten per cent larger windows. This aircraft’s activated slow propeller mode can significantly reduce cabin noise, one disadvantage of flying on a turboprop aircraft. The headliner and cabin air distribution offer more seated headroom, better cabin cooling and lower noise. The cabin interior offers 1.47 metres of headroom and is 1.52 metres wide. The cargo compartment is 1.35 metres by 1.32 metres.

Fittingly, for a Swiss-made aircraft, the Pilatus is an excellent aircraft choice for Alpine journeys. It can operate from the Saanen airfield (LSGK), only minutes from Gstaad. It can also take visitors closer to the Buochs Airfield (BXO), nearer to the World Economic Forum. Or passengers can fly the PC-12 to Lausanne-Blécherette Airport (QLS), only one kilometre from Lausanne city centre on Lake Geneva.

Other popular destinations ideally suited to this aircraft include Arcachon - La Teste-de-Buch Airport (XAC) in The Côte Basque; Marina di Campo Airport (EBA) on the Italian Mediterranean island of Elba; Aéroport Rémy de Haenen (SBH) by the beach on the French Caribbean island St Barthelemy. The PC-12 is also a popular choice for direct flights to Safari Lodges in South Africa.

Whatever your plans, the PC-12 is the king of versatility. Contact a LunaJets advisor to find the right aircraft for a comfortable, safe and memorable journey.

The Pilatus PC-12 at the airport of Gstaad
The Pilatus PC-12 at the airport of Gstaad