Page 13 - Nov 19 TNT
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 Textron Aviation is producing (or about to produce) a turbine single. I believe Beechcraft (now Textron Aviation) is about 20 years late developing the single- engine Denali, which is supposed to take flight for the first time late this year. Had Beechcraft pushed its research and development team to produce the Denali 20 years ago, the PC-12 would probably not enjoy the huge presence it enjoys today. Nevertheless, I have no doubt the Denali is going to be a solid airplane that I suspect many King Air aficionados will readily accept because of its deep roots in King Air soil. The Decision So, the question that needs to be asked to determine which airplane is right for you is, “Are you emotionally driven by efficiency or by power?” Those who are driven by efficiency will quickly gravi- tate to the PC-12. Those who are driven by power will gravitate to the King Air 350. Now, this doesn’t mean the PC-12 is not powerful nor the King Air ineffi- cient. It simply means the PC-12 is more efficient than the King Air 350 and the 350 is more powerful than the PC-12. A PC-12 owner will tell you how the PC-12 will show up at a destination on a 600-nm flight only 15 minutes after the King Air 350. They’ll also love to compare fuel bills at that destination. The PC-12 owner will also say phrases like “engine reserve,” “prop reserve” and “cost per nautical mile.” That PC-12 owner will revel in the knowledge that their operational costs are the lowest in the market for an six to 10 passenger cross-country machine. On the other hand, a King Air own- er will love cruising at nearly jet-like speeds, thrill at the rate of climb (even when heavy), and smile when advanc- ing the power levers on the takeoff roll. Power is certainly seductive, and the King Air 350 seduces well. The King Air pilot will say things like, “Fuel is cheap these days,” and, “Yeah, I got the Blackhawk conversion.” Interestingly, I rarely see the own- er of a smaller single-engine turbine (Meridian, TBM, JetPROP) move up to a King Air. Anyone who operates one of these smaller, single-engine tur- bines is absolutely driven by efficiency and could not stomach the thought of burning 100-plus gph when flying anywhere. But, I’ve also never seen a Cessna 421 owner move up to a small, single-engine turbine. Those pilots will almost always move up to a King Air or another multi-engine turbine. The point I’m making is mindset is the criti- cal factor. Personally, I find both airplanes are the tip of the spear in their respective categories, and a well-informed buyer cannot go wrong with either selection. As the pilot, I would happily build my career upon either steed.  Joe Casey is an FAA-DPE and an ATP, CFI, CFII (A/H), MEI, CFIG, CFIH, as well as a U.S. Army UH- 60 standardization instructor/exam- iner. An MMOPA Board member, he has been a PA46 instructor for 16-plus years and has accumulat- ed 12,000-plus hours of flight time, 5,500 of which has been in the PA46. Contact Joe at:, by email at, or by phone at 903.721.9549.    Deavid Clark November 2019 / TWIN & TURBINE • 11 

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