I’ve been putting this off for a little while to get some photos going. I finally have enough to make it somewhat interesting I suppose. I thought I would write a little bit about being a corporate pilot from my point of view. These pictures were taken over a couple months and should accurately show most of what I do. I’ll give you a little backround first off. I’m 22 years old and currently fly a PC
-12. Occasionally do trips in a TBM700 but primarily in the Pilatus. The PC
-12 is a 10,000lb 260kt single engine Turbo Prop. With altitudes in the high 20’s this plane can fly for 7 hours with an average fuel burn of 315-330lbs per hour. Our plane is configured to seat 6 people in executive style but can be set up to seat up to 9 airline style.
I didn’t do the normal route of flight instructing or the military but instead hit a lucky break and had a job offered to me while working at the airport. I cannot emphasize how important it is to make a good name for yourself if you are working at an airport. It can do nothing but help you in the future.
This is a picture of our plane at Toronto City Island Airport (CYTZ) One of the coolest approaches which compares to Meigs in Chicago.
Most of our flights start in the morning around 7:00am which is when our airport opens without being charged to takeoff. My day starts off usually the night before though. If flying in the US I normally do my flight planning on Fltplan.com. Sometimes though its easier to do it myself or just as quick. It is a good aid though if you haven’t been to a certain place. After getting all this done I double check with our FBO to make sure that our plane is going to be online in time, that our catering is ordered and if we need any fuel that it is or will be on there when I get there. I’m a very easy going pilot and usually do most things myself but one thing I would like not to do is fuel my airplane when I’m dressed up. The next morning I awake around 5:00am and make my way to our local bagel store. My boss likes a certain type of bagel so I make sure to have plenty of those. After hitting the usual Boston traffic I show up about 1 hour before my Boss does. Walking out to the plane I take a general look at it and make sure nothing looks wrong. (Don’t worry I also do a normal preflight) Inside the plane I make sure our GPU is hooked up and that we are showing enough power coming in before I turn my batteries on. Once on, I turn on all the lights inside making sure that those work. Usually one of the line guys will come over and ask if I need anything. I typically take a bag of ice, newspapers, and coffee. http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j183/homersosa/9e495497.jpg
Once all that is set up I wiggle my way up into the cockpit and get my work done. Test all my warnings, load my flight plan, get my clearance and make sure I have all the appropriate approach plates, sectionals, and IFR en-route charts. I also plug in the approach for the runway we are to depart on. This is a habit I have no matter what the weather is, just in case. After that is all done I go back outside and do a preflight. http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j183/homersosa/4b92eb88.jpg
Once this is done I make my way back to the FBO to check the weather and pay the bill. If everything is set I sit and wait for the Boss to drive up. Once loaded in the plane we sit down and go through the checklist. We hit our started and at 14% Ng we add our fuel by bringing the condition lever to ground idle. Watching our Ng and ITT we make sure everything is within it’s limits. When that checks out ok we turn everything else on. (Generators, avionics, probe heat, windshield heat, flaps 15, ECS etc…) After a few minutes of doing our normal checks we are ready to taxi and do so by calling ground with our Atis letter. On our taxi out we do our typical taxi checks of the brakes and flight instruments. Usually we are ready before we reach the end so we do our pre-take off checklist and get our clearance for takeoff. The condition lever is moved up to flight idle, the lights are on, the yaw damper is off, flaps at 15 and I gently add the power. At 42.1%Ng our power is set and my boss calls out the airspeed starting at 50kts. At 80kts I gently (most of the time) pull back on the yoke and raise the nose off the runway. The mains leave a split second after and we are airborne. Establishing a positive rate of clime I call for gear up and then the lights off. At around 500ft I call for flaps 0 and the yaw damper on. Passing 1,500ft I ask for the inertial seperator in. I set the climb power to 36.9 for tourqe and keep an eye on that along with the ITT making sure not to pass 720. Keeping 36.9 works up until 13,000ft or so and then the temp starts to climb so you start judging your power based on ITT. After a few handoffs we are handed to the center controller where it quickly becomes a bit quieter on the radios. http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...homersosa/flyingtoharlingen018.jpg
Our climb is quite slow after 18,000ft and it takes an average of 26 minutes to climb from SL
to our cruise altitude of 29,000ft. Once at that altitude we whip out our power settings chart, which gives us the best cruise based on temp and altitude. With that done we take out our checklist and go over the last items on the cruise portion. This includes our glide distance and time chart, just in case its good to know these numbers. Once out of the busier airspace we sit back and monitor our instruments along with some plane watching. I usually bring my camera but haven’t really taken any good photos of planes passing us. YET
, since I just bought a new Nikon D50 with a 70-300mm lense which should help. http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j183/homersosa/ORD5242006026.jpg
rockies enroute to Montana.
Depending on how long our trip is I usually go back and get my boss some breakfast. If we have any Pax I will go and get them what they want if they haven’t already helped themselves. Our flights have ranged from 20mins to 7 hours and everything in between so time management is a big thing and if we have 5 hours to kill in the air I make sure to spread out things such as engine trend monitoring and cleaning the cockpit and what not. Making desents into non towered airports is usually non eventful but dealing with the average GA
student can pose its problems which we can usually avoide. At other times we go to bigger airports including O’hare and Montreal and those can be a nightmare to say the least. Final approach at 120 can either tick off controllers or thrill them because we can easily slow down for traffic….if needed we can speed up and follow traffic or what not. Touching down smoothly and a slight touch of brakes usually does the job, using reverse works great but also puts some wear on the engine so if given the option just letting aerodynamics and braking do its work, works best. Once parked at the ramp my boss usually gets right off and leaves me to clean up and shut up the plane. Making sure we still have a fair amount of oil and the button up the plane by putting the covers on. I also clean up the cabin and cockpit and then lock the doors and head in. If staying overnight I leave the fuel order so the line guys don’t need to rush to it when I arrive. Renting a car works well in remote places but if in a big city public transportation is more than adequate.
I’m hoping to do a full trip report on a multi leg trip but end up remembering to take photos half way through the trip. Soon enough though. I hope this is somewhat interesting to all of you and perhaps I’ll see you guys on the road. Thanks for reading.
Letting my friend rob fly in the left seat!