Im not so sure that I trust a single engine PC
-12 or Cessna Caravan as an airliner for long distances....
I know that Air Choice One uses them into and out of OHare flying to/from Burlington, Iowa and Decatur, Il. as well as Decatur and Burlington to/from St. Louis but I just have a problem with the ONE engine.
Also, the travelling public seems to have an irrational fear of prop planes to begin with. I just dont see that ONE engine is what instills confidence in passengers. Maybe Its just me....
When I worked for Propheter Aviation, based in Rock Falls, Illinois we flew the Cessna 402s into and out of OHare and we were even required the use TWO pilots. We could have done what Cape Air is doing now with the single pilot Ops, but part of our EAS contract required two pilots.
I do however agree, that but to a different degree. As I stated above, I think that Part 135 should include aircraft seating up to 19 passengers, which in turn would re-open whole bunch of other opportunities for rural American towns to once again have air connections. How can rural America hope to grow and flourish if its isolated from industry and transportation?
Did you know that there is an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) out there to operate the 13-15 passenger Beech 99 as a 9 passenger aircraft so that it might fall under Part 135 rules?
The problem is that the majority of Beech 99s out there carrying cargo or are nearing 35-40 years old....Raytheon/Beechcraft foolishly dismantled the production jigs for the 99 so there will never be a revival of that very versatile aircraft.
Of course, Viking Aircraft that has begun reproduction of the Twin Otter, I think is a smart thing. Now if we could get the FAA to back up and revise Part 135 to include 19 or less passengers for Scheduled Ops wed be in a good shape....
Also, unfortunately, there are many Jetstream 31s that are now sitting and rotting away or being broken up because carrying 19 passengers isnt in that type of aircraft isnt worth the Part 121 requirement costs....I have flown many times on the J-31 and I find it to be a very nice aircraft. Its doesnt make you feel all cooped up. I think its the 1x2 seating.
The Metros and the C model Beech 1900s can be a bit tight but they get the job done....
We definately need to develop or re-launch some of these proven designs to fill the gap.
All I know is something needs to be done.