Professional Pilot Magazine June 2018

Page 1

JUNE 2018

Pinnacle Aviation has been providing their customers with personalized service in aircraft sales, management, maintenance, charter, and insurance for 30 years. In their hangar at company headquarters on the field at SDL (Scottsdale AZ) is Pres and CEO Curt Pavlicek dy Stu y (front) with the people who have helped make it all possible. lar Sa

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June 2018


Advertisers Index

Company/Creative Agency

17 Avfuel | AVTRIP Direct


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57 Avfuel | Calspan Air Svcs IAG 43 Leonardo | TH-119 Direct Direct 20 Banyan Air Service FXE Direct

25 Business Jet Ctr DAL Direct 23 Clay Lacy BFI Direct 49 Clay Lacy VNY Direct 51 Concorde Battery Direct C3 Daher | TBM 930/910 Direct

13 Elliott Aviation Direct 5 Embraer | Service Direct 19 C4






Masthead Management MURRAY SMITH, ATP/CFI, Publisher ( MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Assistant to the Publisher ( ANTHONY HERRERA, General Manager (

Editorial MURRAY SMITH, Editor ( CHARLES SPENCER, ATP/CFII. Managing Editor ( RAFAEL HENRÍQUEZ, Associate Editor (

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29 Pilatus Business Aircraft Direct Grant

33 Piper | M600 Direct 11 Pratt & Whitney Canada Sullivan Higdon & Sink 35 Raisbeck Engineering Direct




47 Rolls-Royce CorporateCare YOU

45 Safran Helicopter Engines Direct 53 Shell Aviation Direct 27 Simcom Aviation Training Direct

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15 TAG Farnborough Airport FAB Direct

Gulfstream Aerospace Direct

C2 & 1 Textron Aviation | Service Copp Media





Contributors in this issue GRANT McLAREN, Editor-at-Large. DON VAN DYKE, ATP/Helo/CFII. Canadian Technical Editor. BRENT BUNDY, Phoenix PD Officer/Pilot. AS350, Cessna 210/182/172. AL HIGDON, Cofounder of the Sullivan Higdon & Sink Ad Agency. KARSTEN SHEIN, Comm-Inst. Climatologist, Natl Climatic Data Center. BOB ROCKWOOD, Managing Partner, Bristol Associates. DAVID BJELLOS, ATP/Helo. Gulfstream IV, Sikorsky S76, Bell 407. ANTHONY KIOUSSIS, President, Asset Insight. Professional Pilot ISSN 0191-6238 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312 Fax: 703-370-7082 Tel: 703-370-0606 E-MAIL:

41 Rolls-Royce | M250/RR300 7 Dassault | Falcon Response YOU PEMA2M 6 Duncan Aviation Direct


Research 21 Manny Aviation Services Direct

37 Blackhawk | XP67A upgrade 31 Piaggio Aerospace Direct Direct 3 Bombardier Aircraft Direct


Vol 52 No 6


Publication mail agreement #40030961 E-mail: Member NBAA. Aircraft: Beech Baron N241MS Piper Saratoga N4301M and Beech Sundowner N67135 Qualified subscriptions‚ Those pilots and aviation dept mgrs operating business/ executive aircraft for a living under FAR Part 91 and 135 may qualify for a limited number of free subscriptions. For a complete description of who qualifies and instructions on receiving a qualification form go to our website at PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS‚ Rates for 12 issues are set out below: US $50 Canada/Mexico $60 Other countries $80 Back issues $10 per issue Salary Study $20 per issue Only checks in US dollars are accepted. Virginia residents add 5.0% sales tax. Credit cards are not accepted. Make checks payable to Queensmith Communications Corp. Mail payment to 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing. ADDRESS CHANGES‚ Please mail or fax the white carrier sheet containing your current address label along with any corrections to Professional Pilot magazine, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Fax to 703-370-7082. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing. POSTMASTER‚ Send address changes to Professional Pilot, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Professional Pilot is published by Queensmith Communications Corp, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. TITLE AND TRADEMARKS‚ The title Professional Pilot has been trademarked as a magazine title by Queensmith Communications Corp and is duly registered at the US Patent Office. PERMISSIONS‚ Nothing may be reprinted in whole or part without a written permission from Queensmith Communications Corp. All rights in letters sent to Professional Pilot will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and as subject to unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially. Published monthly. All rights reserved. MAILING AND POSTAGE‚ Periodical postage paid at Alexandria VA and additional mailing offices.

© Queensmith Communications Corp June 2018 • Vol 52 No 6


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June 2018 Vol 52 No 6



10 POSITION & HOLD Cost increase comparisons by Bob Rockwood Expect prices for both new and used corporate aircraft to go up.


28 TURBOPROPS COMPENDIUM TPs provide dependable service in rugged settings by Don Van Dyke Compilation includes aircraft selected for their proven or promised performance by Beech, Cessna, Daher, Piaggio, Pilatus and Piper. 38 FUTURE VERTICAL LIFT Next generation technology, designs and tactics by Don Van Dyke FVL initiative began in 2008 as an ambitious plan to replace the entire US military helicopter fleet in the 2030s, focusing on developing capabilities critical for multi-mission success.


46 OPERATOR PROFILE Pinnacle Aviation by Brent Bundy Growth in both Part 135 and 91 flight ops has been achieved by building a reputation of high customer satisfaction. 54 WEATHER BRIEF Light and optics by Karsten Shein Sunlight can provide dazzling displays or play tricks on pilots.


58 OUTER MARKER INBOUND Glenn Curtiss and his accomplishments. by David Bjellos 60 SALARY STUDY Compensation averages by aircraft type. by Pro Pilot staff


70 INTERNATIONAL OPS Tech stops in Nordic and Baltic countries by Grant McLaren This region is well positioned for many great circle routings and has capable FBOs and other efficient handlers and ground services available.


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June 2018

Vol 52 No 6

Departments 14 VIEWPOINT Asset Insight President Anthony Kioussis analyzes aircraft residual value.


2,150 Experts

18 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into RNO (Reno NV). Answers on page 20. 22 SID & STAR Oscar Lugnut makes it to 2 appointments the same day thanks to the flexibility of business aviation and the Howler. 24 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers explain the advantages their turboprops have over jet aircraft.

Cover Duncan Aviation was founded in 1956 as an aircraft sales organization and is a founding member of NARA. Since 1956, we have conducted more than 3,500 transactions. Backed by 2,150 aviation experts worldwide, each with an average of 12 years with the company. The aircraft sales team partners with these experts to provide technical support before, during and after the aircraft transaction.

Pinnacle Aviation has been providing their customers with personalized service in aircraft sales, management, maintenance, charter and insurance for 30 years. In their hangar at company headquarters on the field at SDL (Scottsdale AZ) is Pres and CEO Curt Pavlicek (front) with the people who have helped make it all possible. Photo by Cole Pavlicek.

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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion

Cost increase comparisons Expect prices for both new and used corporate aircraft to go up. By Bob Rockwood Managing Partner, Bristol Associates

Chart 1


12% Annual % increase

ecently, while outlining an article to discuss the “Virtual Trading Post” economy (what most refer to as the “Shared” or “Collaborative” economy), I had to do some research on how much costs have gone up within the field of corporate and private aviation. It got me wondering: how do we compare to other businesses? In this article I present some of the data I came up with. I’ve made no attempt to scrub it, so it’s presented as seen from the sources referenced. Also note that, although I believe this information gives a reasonable representation of cost changes over time in each category, it’s very difficult to maintain apples-to-apples comparisons when looking back 15 or more years. As one example, the Department of Transportation moved the cost of oil from the fuel to the maintenance categories (in their automobile maintenance statistics report). I don’t know why, and I doubt it changed much overall. However, it highlights my point about the difficulty in determining absolute comparisons. One further note. I have not included the cost of fuel when looking at aircraft or automobile operating costs. It is too volatile and skews the data such that it is no longer meaningful. Yet another note. I derived airplane cost data from my good friends at Conklin & de Decker. Since, for this report, I am only interested in the out-of-pocket costs of operation from year-to-year, I do not attempt to attribute the reason for any cost increase. For example, Conklin reports the average MRO hours per flight hour on a Gulfstream IV in 1999 to be 1.62, and 2.01 in 2017. This plays a role in the MRO percentage cost increase over that same period, but is not factored. Again, I’m only interested in Chart 2

Annual % cost increase, 1999–2017

10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0%

Maintenance parts

Engine restore

Major variable costs

Compared to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the variable costs of operating a corporate aircraft have gone up significantly. A small part of this is due the aging of the fleet, some is undoubtedly a function of more regulation, and some due to the consolidation with the MRO field.

what something costs out-of-pocket now versus then. Oh, here’s another note for you. I looked at each variable cost category across 3 aircraft: a Gulfstream IV, a Falcon 2000 and a Learjet 31. The variable cost numbers presented are a blending of all 3.

Understanding the graphics I first wanted to look at the major variable costs. Chart 1 breaks them out by line item. The overall average is an annual increase of 8.59%. Again, that’s across 3 very different aircraft that represent a reasonable cross section of all aircraft. Chart 3

Annual % cost increase, 1999–2017

Annual % cost increase, New aircraft


20% Annual % increase


15% 10% 5%

W ea









Re f

M xt

ar I Re nsu cu ran rre ce nt tra in M in od g er ni za tio n Ch ar ts

s fit



Major fixed costs


t ilo


t lo

Co p







Annual % increase

Maintenance labor

Series 1




Major fixed costs

Fixed cost increases, whether compared to the CPI or to variable costs, have been contained. The reason the overall % is less than the sum of the individual line items divided by 19 is the difference in total outlays between the line items.

4% 3% 2% 1% 0%


Series 1

‘99 GIV vs ‘16 G450

‘99 F2000 vs ‘99 Lear 31 vs ‘16 F2000LXS ‘12 Lear 40

Aircraft year and type

This is a reasonable, but by definition not 100% accurate, representation of the increase in purchase prices of new aircraft. I suspect the overall increase is substantially less than 4% due to manufacturer’s discounts.

10  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Chart 4

Annual % cost increase, various items

Chart 5 10%

5% Annual % increase

Annual % increase


4% 3% 2% 1% 0%

Annual % cost increase, compare categories


Series 1

Auto operating cost/mile

Average new car price

Average domestic airline ticket

Average FedEx shipping cost

Various goods & services

8% 6% 4% 2% 0%


Series 1

Aircraft variable

Aircraft fixed

Aircraft purchase

Various items

Various categories

Auto Operating cost source: Dept of Transportation. New car price source: Axlegeeks. Airline ticket price source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics. FedEx cost source: Lojistic.

This chart represents a summary of the previous charts and compares the categories discussed to one and other.

Turning to fixed costs, the picture is very different. Chart 2 breaks out the percentage increases from 1999–2017 by line item. I’ve also shown the collective, or overall, increase. At a collective annual rate of 1.28%, fixed costs have held at a much lower level than variable. In large part this is because of the outright cost reduction in hangar, insurance and modernization costs. In Chart 3, I wanted to look at cost increases for the aircraft themselves. Again, I’ve picked the Gulfstream, Falcon and Learjet. It’s impossible to make absolute comparisons over a long period of time. Models change as does standard equipment. And, especially since 2008, discounts from manufacturers have come in to play. For purposes of this article, I’m using new prices as presented by Chart 4 reviews annual cost increases for a few other products and services. Recall that earlier, we presented the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as having increased about 2% per year. And finally, let’s compare overall annual percentage cost increases for the various categories in Chart 5.

these numbers), benefits (under aircraft fixed costs), and FedEx shipping costs (also true for UPS). Why? MRO facilities have been and continue to be going through a period of consolidation. Less competition allows for price increases. In addition, they are having to service an aging fleet because new aircraft sales have been down. And, since we are flying less hours per aircraft, maintenance required on a calendar basis drives increases in costs on an annual basis. The main component of benefits is health care. You can’t be of this world and not be aware that health care costs continue to escalate at a runaway pace. As a function of a flight department’s overall budget, they are somewhat inconsequential. But an increase is an increase, and each additional straw will contribute to the breaking of the camel’s back. And shipping costs? I can give you the reason these costs are going up at a higher than average rate in just one word: Amazon. Ok, ok... I’ve never been able to stop at one word. Sue me. But online shopping has created a demand for shipping packages that, if package transport facilities aren’t overwhelmed, they’re severely stretched to the limit. Demand in excess of supply equals upward price pressure. Told you I played an economist.

Conclusions from the data Now I’m no economist, but I did play one once in a high school production of Wall Street, The Early Days. Therefore, I feel fully qualified to draw conclusions from the data. First, going strictly on anecdotal evidence as a broker involved in the corporate aircraft market, I would estimate that the Aircraft Purchase price increase of 4% per year in Chart 5 is, in reality, closer to 2% – 2.5%. In the extreme I can point to nearly flat prices between 2000 and 2017. In many others, annual increases of 1.5% – 2% have been witnessed. For the sake of argument, let’s say an annual rate of 2.3% across the board is a more reasonable number than the 4% depicted. So, if we look at all the data in Chart 5, CPI, a combination of the Various Items, and both Aircraft Fixed and Purchase, costs come close to 2% per year. If we look to the individual items that come in substantially higher than this, they are Aircraft Variable costs and all the items that make this up (except fuel which is not included in

Aircraft prices will go up Allow me one last observation. We are coming out of our 10 year corporate aircraft recession, and this will push prices up, especially for new equipment. We’re already well above the norm for increased prices on the MRO side of our business. Beware the opportunities for creating alternative means of transportation that will be created in a more pricey environment. Elon Musk and his Hyperloop are lurking. Bob Rockwood has been in the aircraft brokerage business since 1978. During his tenure at Omni Intl Jet Trading Floor he began writing The Rockwood Report, which discusses the corporate aircraft market. In 1986 he joined Bristol Associates as a managing partner.

12  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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VIEWPOINT an editorial opinion

Analyzing Residual Value What is the aircraft you’re considering buying or selling actually worth? By Anthony Kioussis President, Asset Insight

Traditional RV parameters


y any standard, an aircraft acquisition represents a major investment. But it is also a depreciating asset and, as such, its Residual Value (RV) is an important factor for anyone with a financial interest in the aircraft, such as the buyer, lessor, or the company financing the aircraft. Lessors sometimes rely on Residual Value Insurance (RVI) to guaranty their downside RV risk, and their lessee is expected to return the aircraft under a predetermined set of “lease return provision.” On the other hand, loan financing entities rely on the borrower’s credit, and often on personal guarantees, to secure their risk should the borrower default. Owners have the option to acquire RVI, but usually just make an assumption of what their aircraft will be worth at some future point and “hope” – never a good strategy – they achieve the figure.

Current technology-leveraged valuation parameters

Days on market

Days on market

Percent of fleet “For sale”

Percent of fleet “For sale”

Direct comparables & their nuances • Modifications • Damage history • Major maintenance events

Changing comparables & their nuances • Modifications • Damage history • All maintenance events • Value of HCMP enrollment Market trends: • Movement of the entire bizav market • Market saturation/elasticity • Market spreads (ask/offer) • Movement of cohort aircraft Brand-specific desirability/movement Market pressures

Residual Value forecasting Residual Value forecasting has been viewed as a black art by some, a best guess by others, and even as a figure that has only “dartboard” precision. Historically speaking, there may have been merit to some of those views. To begin with, the number of data points reviewed by appraisers in the past was limited to the facts they had available. Additionally, the difficulty of manually analyzing the complex relationships between multiple data sets covering a lengthy time period was so daunting that the RV’s precision was usually reduced to an average annual depreciation figure based on the make/ model’s historical trend. Another problem has been that RVs have historically fo-

Table A.

Cost of money and interest rate changes

Changing parameters in RV calculations.

Local/global economic factors Future “For sale” market conditions

cused on a single, defined set of Comparable Aircraft (Comparables) that are subsequently adjusted to mimic the Subject Aircraft. In reality, the “for sale” market is continually changing and each Comparable moves through its life independent of the Subject. That needs to be taken into account by swapping Comparables throughout the RV term with aircraft that are truly “comparable” to the Subject. This is not possible in a timely manner absent digital support.


US dollars


Table B. Advanced modeling techniques

have improved accuracy of the traditional Residual Value Trend (blue line) and the Actual Residual Value forecast (red line) that accounts for scheduled maintenance events (displayed above both lines).




6M Jul 2018 14

Jan 2019

Jul 2019

Jan 2020

Jul 2020 Jan 2021 Month

Jul 2021

Jan 2022

Jul 2022

Jan 2023


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We would like to thank Pro-Pilot readers for their continued support.

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May 2020

US dollars


Residual trend: $10,593,672 Residual value: $10,444,980 Comparable range: $9,714,790 – $10,892,247


Maintenance events


Table C. Computing speed and advanced 8M

modeling technology allow each Comparable Aircraft’s maintenance condition to be derived placing the Subject Aircraft within its Comparable Range and providing additional confidence data points.

6 month inspection 12 month inspection 24 month inspection 48 month inspection 96 month inspection Interior replacement MLG - Main landing gear – Detailed inspection / Overhaul MLG - Main landing gear – Detailed inspection / Overhaul NLG - Nose gear assembly – Detailed inspection / Overhaul

6M Jul 2018

Jan 2019

Jul 2019

Jan 2020

Jul 2020

Jan 2021

Jul 2021

Jan 2022

Jul 2022

Jan 2023


Computers aid in Residual Value analysis Today, computing speed allows for scientific analysis of the entire market when valuing a single aircraft, assuming the appraiser possesses the modeling skills and the necessary data. RV forecasting is now able to take into account data points for the specific aircraft under review, every serial number for the make/model under review, other synergistic models, and the overall market. See Table A. Perhaps the greatest difference between the changing parameters in RV calculations is that “Traditional Residual Valuation Parameters” simply “age” the Subject and Comparables based on an understanding of where the market is today. “Current Technology-Leveraged Valuation Parameters” actually allow for the analysis of an ever-changing subset within the overall market. RV precision has also been improved through maintenance analytics able to objectively grade the maintenance condition of a specific asset as well as all comparable aircraft. In addition, these analytics can derive a value for any Hourly Cost Maintenance Program enrollment, and every aircraft’s current and projected Maintenance Equity (the embedded value of maintenance an aircraft has available). For a detailed explanation of Maintenance Equity, see “Understanding how Asset Quality affects value of an aircraft offered for sale” (Pro Pilot, Jan 2018, page 12).

Arriving at actual Residual Value Today, the traditional RV trend line (blue line on Table B) is still sought by many due to its simplicity and, to be fair, its accuracy has improved. However, more and more entities holding a financial interest in an aircraft are interested in the actual RV line (red line on Table B). In addition to more accurately reflecting the anticipated RV at any point in time, technology allows for the projected RV line to be modified and tracked based on the aircraft’s changing maintenance status. Additionally, computing speed and advanced modeling techniques allow for the ongoing, simultaneous analysis of all comparable assets, thereby placing any aircraft’s forecasted RV in context relative to the anticipated performance of comparable assets.


Table C details how much more information is now available through online, automated RV calculation and tracking systems. By computing each Comparable Aircraft’s maintenance condition on a monthly basis, it is now possible to place the Subject Aircraft in perspective, meaning within its Comparable Range, thereby providing additional confidence data point.

Improved accuracy in evaluating RV Scientific analytics, leveraged by automation, have greatly improved RV precision. Accuracy will further improve in cases where software programs reside on true Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms. There are many systems today capable of running complex modeling. However, the accuracy level achieved by AI platforms such as the one employed by Asset Insight, will continue to improve by virtue of embedded algorithms. Algorithms are programs that learn from themselves and thereby become smarter as they process data. As computing power increases, that learning capability moves exponentially with the growth of computing speed. One additional value to software programs is their ability to continually and exactly replicate analytical processes. This is important, as it eliminates subjectivity and the opportunity for human error, while ensuring the integrity of the analytical process is maintained. The one item RV figures do not presently take into account is changes to the economy. This should not be surprising considering the challenges economists have in making such predictions. However, by utilizing science-driven, economy-neutral RV figures, anyone with a financial interest in the aircraft has a good starting point from which to make additional projections.

Anthony Kioussis is President of Asset Insight, which offers aircraft valuation and aviation consulting services. His 40+ years of experience in aviation includes GE Capital Corporate Aircraft Finance, Jet Aviation, and JSSI.


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Terminal Checklist 6/18 Answers on page 20

following questions:

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6. The aircraft must have DME to fly the localizer approach. a True b False


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        




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       





5. Which of the following applies to flying the approach from VIKES? a Intercepting the localizer inbound at WAGGE. b Intercepting the localizer outbound at WAGGE. c Performing a teardrop or parallel entry to reverse course and intercepting the localizer inbound at APIME. d A minimum altitude of 11,000 ft MSL from VIKES to APIME.


  




4. Select all that apply. The course reversal is required when flying the procedure from ______ a FMG. b SWR. c VIKES. d SPOON. e All of the above.



 


3. Select the true statement(s) about the cold temperature altitude corrections as indicated by procedural note 4 in the Briefing Strip. a Cold temperature corrections must be applied to ATC assigned altitudes. b Cold temperature altitude corrections can be found in a table on a separate chart for this airport. c On initial contact with ATC, pilots must report cold tem perature corrected altitudes for all approach segments. d If the aircraft does not have temperature compensating equipment, the approach may be flow if the pilot makes a manual cold temperature altitude corrections.

  


 

2. What items are required to fly the ILS approach? a DME. b Radar. c The local altimeter setting. d Cold temperature altitude correction if the temperature is at or below –15° C.



1. The chart date in the heading section always indicates that a change to the procedure has been made since the publica tion of the previous chart. a True b False

  

 


    


    

  


Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson. Reduced for illustrative purposes.



Refer to the 11-5 ILS or LOC DME Rwy 34L for KRNO/RNO (Reno/Tahoe Intl, Reno NV) when necessary to answer the

Not to be used for navigational purposes

7. Select all that apply. When flying the localizer approach, a 9. The fix, D3.8 IAGY is where the PAPI angle intersects the final continuous descent final approach (CDFA)_____ approach course at the MDA. a Requires an ATC clearance. a True b False b Uses a vertical descent angle of 3.00°. c Uses a vertical descent angle of 3.54°. 10. Select all that apply. To fly the missed approach procedure d Requires the use of a flight director or autopilot. holding pattern______ a 11 nm legs are required. 8. Select the true statement(s) regarding the final approach segment. b 1 minute legs are required. a The glideslope angle is 3.0°. c a parallel entry is appropriate. b ESPOSE is 10.0 nm from the runway threshold. d the aircraft must be at a minimum altitude of 11,000 ft MSL c Circling approaches are not authorized at night. prior to entry. d The PAPI and glideslope angles and TCH values are the same.

18  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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6/4/18 11:17 AM

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FLIGHTSAFETY VALUE AD - PROPILOT - Trim: 8.375” w x 10.875” d

Bleed: 8.625” w x 11.125” d

6/4/18 11:17 AM

Answers to TC 6/18 questions b The chart date in the heading section only indicates that the chart was issued on that date for some reason. A change to the chart date is not an indication that the procedure has changed in any way. If a change to the procedure has occurred since the last publication, a procedural amendment reference number and date is shown on the note on the left border of the chart (ie, TERPS AMEND 1C 7 DEC 2017). The “CHANGES” note at the bottom left corner of the chart indicates what changes were made.

6. b Although the procedure title indicates the requirement for DME, AC 90-108, Use of Suitable Area Navigation (RNAV) Systems on Conventional Routes and Procedures, provides for the use of a suitable RNAV system as a substitute means of navigation when a VOR, DME, TACAN, VORTAC, VOR/DME, NDB, or compass locator facility including locator outer marker and locator middle marker is out-of-service; the aircraft is not equipped with an ADF or DME; or the installed ADF or DME on an aircraft is not operational.

2. c, d FAR 91.175, Takeoff and Landing Under IFR, states that a suitable RNAV system in conjunction with a fix identified in the standard instrument approach proce dure can be substituted for the outer marker so neither DME nor radar is required for the ILS approach. Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip says that the proce dure is not authorized without the local altimeter setting and note 4 states that cold temperature altitude correction is required at or below –15° C.

7. c AC 120-108, Continuous Descent Final Approach, provides guidance for flying the final approach segment of a nonprecision approach as a continuous descent. A CDFA requires the use of a published VDA or barometric vertical guidance (in this case, the glideslope angle of 3.54°). The CDFA increases safety by employ ing the concepts of stabilized approach criteria and procedure standardization. No specific training or aircraft equipment (other than that specified by the title of the approach procedure) is required. However, operators should provide flight crews with appropriate ground training before performing CDFA operations.



b, d The FAA NOTAM Cold Temperature Restricted Airports indicates that pilots without temperature compensating equipment must calculate and make a manual cold temperature altitude correction to the designated segment(s) of the approach using the AIM 7-2-3, ICAO Cold Temperature Error Table. Jeppesen provides a Cold Temperature Correction Table on a separate chart for the airport so altitude corrections can be made easily. On initial contact with the ATC facility issuing the approach clearance, pilots must report cold temperature corrected altitudes that apply to an intermediate segment and/or a published missed approach final altitude. Pilots should not apply cold temperature corrections to ATC assigned altitudes.

4. a, b, c As indicated on the plan view, the course reversal applies to all transitions to APIME IAF. A straight-in approach (indicated by the notation NoPT) applies to flying from SPOON IAF. 5. b, c A course of 242° and a minimum altitude of 11,000 ft MSL applies from VIKES to WAGGE. At WAGGE, the aircraft should intercept the outbound localizer course of 164° to APIME. A minimum altitude of 10,500 ft MSL applies to APIME and in the course reversal. A teardrop or parallel entry is appropriate to reverse course and intercept the localizer course of 344° inbound.

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8. b Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip indicates that the VGSI and ILS glidepath are not coincident. According to FAA Order 8260.19E, coincidental glidepath angles/vertical descent angles are within 0.2º with TCH values within 3 ft. The glideslope angle is 3.54° as shown on the descent timing/conversion table. EPOSE is D11.8 based on the localizer IAGY and 10.0 nm from the runway threshold as indicated by the mileage shown at the bottom of the profile view. 9.

a The visual descent point (VDP) at D3.8 IAGY is where the VGSI (in this case a PAPI) angle intersects the final approach course at the MDA. The VDP is placed on the procedure so pilots know where they can begin to fly the VGSI angle when at the MDA (in this case, 5120 ft MSL) on the localizer approach with the required visual references in sight.


a, c The plan view shows 11 nm legs in the holding pattern. Either a parallel or teardrop entry is appropriate when entering the hold on the 332° radial. According to the missed approach instructions in the Briefing Strip, the aircraft may continue climbing to 11,000 ft MSL in the hold.

6/4/18 11:17 AM

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6/4/18 11:17 AM

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We invite readers to submit story lines that would work for a 6-panel Sid and Star cartoon. Send your thoughts by e-mail to Pro Pilot Publisher Murray Smith at If we use your idea we’ll credit you by name and pay you $100.

22  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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5/25/18 11:38 AM

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Our policy and procedures manual has one sentence - Take care of the customer. Most folks find it pretty darn refreshing. Give us a call if you need anything. Line Service | Aircraft Management & FAA Certified Part 145 Repair Station Complete Jet Services | Aircraft Sales | Global Jet Charter 8285 Perimeter Road South | Seattle WA 98108 206.762.6000 | Gateway USA, LLC dba Clay Lacy Aviation, LLC

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If you fly a turboprop, why do you? What advantages do TPs have over jets?


urboprops are the unsung heroes of corporate and private aviation. They can go practically anywhere with their short field advantage, consume half or less fuel than similar payload jets and are as fast over short or medium distances. In my experience, they’re also more robust in harsh operating conditions. Unfortunately, many owners and passengers associate them with unglamorous propeller planes from another era. As a result, their development mostly stopped in the 1960s, with most TP designs in the air today tracing their origin back half a century - unlike jets. The few and rare modern TP designs, like the Avanti or TBM, can actually outperform many jets. As a mechanical engineer, I recognize the thermodynamic advantage of the unshrouded turbofan - better known as the turboprop. New modern clean sheet designs would be superior to most jets today - certainly for non-oceanic distances - if the undeserved stigma attached to TPs were absent. Alan Eugeni ATP. King Air 350 Senior Partner Primus Aviation Mgmt Montreal QC, Canada


don’t fly a turboprop, but if I did it would be a PC-12. Great TP! Brandon Keener ATP/CFII. Citation CJ2+ Asst Chief Pilot Mountain Air Cargo Kernersville NC

‘m flying several TPs all over Europe. My preferred airplane is the Piper M500, but only because I have not flown the M600 yet. Flying out of Switzerland, I can reach almost everywhere I need to go in Europe non-stop. Most of the faster TPs let you land on less than 3000 ft runways, some even on grass. It’s also easier to get into secondary airports close to the big cities that jets can’t safely fly into. This avoids the busy international airports with their slots and expensive handling fees. The fuel and maintenance savings offered by my single PT6 are considerable. Based on PWC’s safety record, trusting a single engine PT6 equipped aircraft is acceptable to me. However, I wouldn’t trust a single engine jet – and the costs for a twin turbojet just rocket up there. Last but certainly not least, European airspace is sometimes very congested, so flying at typical TP levels (up to FL300) avoids the big guys. Andre Mueller Comm-Multi-Inst. Piper M500 Owner & Pilot Mullair Weggis, Switzerland


enerally speaking, turboprops are cheaper per mile to fly than jets, especially on shorter 100–300 nm runs. Plus they have the reliability of turbines and jet fuel. Some models even operate near jet speeds. David Slivka ATP. Mitsubishi MU2 Chief Pilot Anaconda Aviation Boca Raton FL


ot uncommon for me to see 300+ kts ground speed at just over 400 lbs per hour. And in busy, tight airports when I pull the power out I get a speed brake. There’s a high level of confidence operating in/out of shorter strips knowing there’s a tremendous amount of reverse thrust at my fingertips. And TPs make great platforms to take amazing photos at night in just the right amount of ambient lighting. Pete Buffington ATP. Pilatus PC-12 Captain Wisconsin Dept of Admin Stoughton WI


fter 5 years of successful and highly reliable operations, we just sold our Cheyenne IIIA and are looking for a Cheyenne 400. Before the IIIA we had a Cheyenne II for 10 years. Turboprops have a lot to offer – more flexibility in choosing airports, greater range, no type rating required, lower insurance costs, greater control on contaminated runways, more interior room (keeps everyone in the back happy), retention of value, and just plain fun to fly. For our missions the TP makes much more sense. Bruce Kaiser Private-Inst. Piper Cheyenne IIIA President Lightning Master Clearwater FL


conomy of operating an aircraft such as a Twin Commander 840 with TPE331-10 engines is unmatched. Short field capability versus a jet is obvious. And in my opinion the engine-out performance can’t be beat. Robert Oehl ATP/CFII. Gulfstream G100 Owner Express Air Starke FL


oss has a Challenger 601 and a King Air 350. The jet is for trips across the country and the King Air is for shorter trips. For my employer, the savings in operating costs on the King Air make him value the smaller plane when appropriate. A simple cost comparison shows the economy of the turboprop on a 20 minute flight. Ryan Johnson ATP. Challenger 601 & King Air 350 Captain DC Air Denair CA


light characteristics and ground handling give turboprops the capability to land and takeoff from glaciers and deal with challenging terrain we have in Alaska. Bill Post ATP/CFII. de Havilland DHC2 Beaver/DHC3T Turbo Otter Check Airman Talkeetna Air Taxi Custer WA

24  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Business Jet Center takes pride in consistently being the only award winning FBO in the heart of Dallas. The BJC family strives to make sure every customer has A Better FBO Experience than ever before. BJC is a full service FBO offering an array of premier services from complimentary ice cream and slushies, to three crew lounges and game room. BJC has everything you need and we look forward to seeing you soon! 8611 Lemmon Ave. / Dallas, TX 75209 214.654.1600 / ARINC: 129.80

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se of turboprops dramatically expands the amount of airports available for takeoffs and landings. I get a significantly better useful load with full tanks in my TP compared to what a light jet can offer. Most importantly, the fuel economy is better and my ETE on a 400 nm trip wouldn’t be much better in a jet. I do have to say that jets are usually quieter in the cabin and their ceiling is higher enabling more options on top of weather. Thomas Rivera ATP. King Air C90 President, CEO & Owner ATR Realty San Juan PR


urboprops are just more efficient at low altitude and low speed. This is the quintessential mission of aerial firefighting, which occurs at treetop height and moderate speed. The PWC PT6 powered Air Tractor AT802F is fun to fly and extremely well-suited for firefighting retardant drops. At 16,000 lbs fully loaded there’s no type rating required. Although the aircraft mainly uses the PT6-67F/G, a few have the Honeywell TPE332-14. This gives it roughly 1650 SHP which makes the airplane both powerful and cost efficient. Compared to any jet powered fire tanker, the cost per gallon of retardant dropped is significantly lower for the Air Tractor, at least until a better tanker comes along. Fred Celest ATP/CFII. Air Tractor AT802F Captain Firehex Van Nuys CA


ompany missions dictate the aircraft we fly, so we have a new King Air 250. It has the right combination of speed, cruise altitude and number of seats we want. It gets us in and out of airfields that no jet can touch, especially at max gross weight. And the operating costs are considerably less than any jet could really match. Since most of our trips are under 800 miles it fits what we do quite well. William Phillips ATP. King Air 250 Chief Pilot PFGC Air Henrietta NY







ots of advantages to a turboprop. It’s much more efficient and really not much slower on trips of 400 nm or less. And it’s safer in the winter weather here in the northeast. One December I was flying to a country airport with a single 5000 foot runway. I called to check the airport conditions but no one answered. So right before landing I overflew the runway and it looked clear. But when I touched down, I had zero braking due to a solid half inch of clear ice. With prop reverse I was able to stop 300 feet from the end of the runway. It then took 10 minutes to get turned around to taxi back because the aircraft kept sliding sideways. Try that in a jet. Bill Wyman Comm-Multi-Inst. Cheyenne I President Wyman Consulting Hanover NH

ets just won’t work for our mission. We operate in remote areas and on unimproved airstrips. Dave Kendrick ATP/Helo/CFII/A&P. Metro III & Airbus UH72A Aviation Safety Ofcr & Captain Berry Aviation Bakersfield CA hile flying a turboprop may not be as glamorous as a jet, being able to lolly-gag along at FL350 on 80 gal/hr and 300+ true makes some sense. I’ve flown over 325 different serial numbers of Commander aircraft both US and overseas (Europe and South America) with many crossings under my belt. And I’ve only shut down 1 engine due to a failed oil sending unit on a local test flight in 30 years of wonderful single pilot experience! Dennis Hester ATP. Turbo Commander 900 Pilot Wingspan Aviation Keller TX


ingle engine PWC PT6 is very reliable for our PC-12. The Pilatus gets us in and out of shorter fields. Tim Riley ATP/CFII. Pilatus PC-12 Captain Bay of Dreams Leasing San Diego CA

lying a Rockwell Commander 690B of 1978 vintage for our company. For our operation this is a step up from our old PA31 Colemill Panther. We needed more range, better weather capability and pressurization. Cost was a driving factor too. After 9 years, the aircraft has proven itself time and time again. Of course it isn’t perfect, what plane is? But we can load it to the gills & go. And it handles everything from short fields to major terminals with aplomb & class. Everybody reacts when we taxi by. I think our turboprop gives us the flexibility and effective operational company aviation support that we need to get the job done safely, and well. Chris Cantrell Comm-Multi-Inst. Turbo Commander 690B Chief Pilot MMDEX Newville PA

urboprops are more fuel efficient than jets with better short field capabilities and lower costs of operation overall. Bill Ambrose ATP. Conquest II Chief Pilot Peacock Aviation Waterloo NE perating the Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna 208 in Alaska. Each one of these aircraft offer the ability to handle short gravel strips in the summer, ice strips in the winter and heavy payloads year round. Both are great TPs. Dan Owen ATP. Pilatus PC-12 & Grand Caravan President Alaska Air Transit Anchorage AK


p front purchase price of a TP is lower than a jet. Turboprops excel at airports with less than optimum runway lengths and 2 pilots aren’t required. TPs are slower than jets, but that can actually give the pilot time to think in tight situations. Robert Gerker ATP/CFII/A&P. King Air B200 Captain Contract Pilot League City TX

26  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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TPs provide dependable air transport in diverse and often challenging settings Turboprops are effective tools which can improve corporate performance by providing the business and personnel with 5 main benefits: safe/secure transportation, access, efficiency, flexibility, and prestige. By Don Van Dyke

ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor


urboprops and light jets are both vital to business aviation and often operate in complementary roles. Evaluating the combination of speed, range, useful load, and fuel burn of each type against mission needs will lead to a selection best matched to operational needs. With typically lower acquisition and operating costs, high-performance TPs operate effectively over distances up to 300 - 500 nm. When flying such short sectors, the time penalty compared with jets is negligible. However, comparative operating cost savings may be considerable. This makes the TP a cost-effective

and attractive solution for round-trip flights under 500 nm; for example, for a flight between Miami and Nassau. Another major TP advantage is their excellent short-field takeoff and landing capabilities, permitting access to some of the hardest-to reach airports. Although TPs are efficient for short distance flights, other mission goals may require extended range for aircraft positioning or the endurance to loiter – requirements met by several TPs. Finally, TP cockpits feature advanced technology avionics and cabins often just as luxurious and as comfortable as most light jets. In selecting an aircraft, a clear understanding of current and expected business transport needs is essential. Next is to identify ways in which an aircraft meets these needs. Finally,

careful evaluation of aircraft that bestmatches these needs will lead to a selection which assures acceptable economic and operating returns. This compendium presents 9 turboprop aircraft selected for their proven or promised performance. While not comprehensive, the data presented provides a useful introduction to representative types and their characteristics. Conklin & de Decker has supplied OEM-suggested retail pricing on the aircraft models presented. They are the Beechcraft King Air 350iER, Cessna 408 SkyCourier, Piaggio Avanti Evo P180, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, Cessna Denali (formerly the Cessna SETP), Daher TBM 930, Pilatus PC-12, Piper Meridian M600, and Quest Kodiak 100.

Beechcraft Beechcraft King King Air Air 350iER 350iER Up to 11 seats, 303 kts, 2340 nm, FL350, $8.39 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max).................................9/11 Volume ...................................................355 ft³ Sea-level cabin ....................................15,293 ft WEIGHTS BOW..................................................10,215 lbs MTOW...............................................16,500 lbs MLW..................................................15,675 lbs Payload w/max fuel...............................1193 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........238/303 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........2338 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...........................................1h05/FL250 600 nm...........................................2h07/FL290 1000 nm.........................................3h35/FL330 AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)...........4057/2728 ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ............................................2 x PT6A-60A Output/flat rating................1050 shp/ISA+10°C AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite...Rockwell Collins/Pro Line Fusion Extended range variant of King Air 350. Cabin. The square-oval fuselage design offers more head and shoulder room. Selected seats are reversible/removable. Pressurization/ECS. A 10,380 ft cabin altitude is maintained at maximum cruising altitude of FL350. Dual-zone cabin climate controlled automatically with little input from pilot. Ice/rain protection. Bleed air used to protect brakes, wing and horizontal stabilizer leading edges, and engine inlets. Cockpit. Pro Line Fusion avionics includes 3 8 x 10-in PFD/MFD/EICAS LCDs to complement complete digital CNS suite.

4.8 ft 14.3 ft

4.5 ft

57.9 ft

46.7 ft

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THE COMPANY WILL THANK YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. You simply won’t find a business aircraft that offers a better ROI than the PC-12 NG. You get a spacious 8-passenger cabin, seating that can be reconfigured in minutes, and a private lavatory. And we guarantee your CFO will love its low acquisition and operating costs. With an airplane this comfortable, versatile and efficient, you’d better get used to the praise. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • Phone +1 303 465 9099 •

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Cessna Cessna 208B 208B Grand Grand Caravan Caravan EX EX Up to 14 seats, 185 kts, 912 nm, FL250, $1.9 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max).................................9/14 Volume ...................................................254 ft³ Sea-level cabin .............................................NA WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................5330 lbs MTOW..................................................8807 lbs MLW.....................................................8500 lbs Payload w/max fuel...............................1266 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........163/185 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate).............912 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...........................................1h40/FL100 600 nm...........................................3h17/FL100 1000 nm.......................................................NA AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)...........2160/1836 ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ..................................................PT6A-140 Output/flat rating.............................867 shp/NA AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite........................Garmin/G1000 Upgraded variant of venerable Grand Caravan offering enhanced performance. Cabin. Cabin accommodates handling of large, bulky items. Additional volume available with optional cargo pod. Pressurization/ECS. Aircraft unpressurized. Cabin climate maintained by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Airplane may be approved for flight into known icing when appropriate equipment is installed, including cargo pod. Cockpit. G1000 features 3 PFD/MFD/EICAS LCDs complementing CNS suite. Also equipped with an IR port to accommodate data entry via handheld Garmin PDAs. 4.3 ft

15.1 ft

52.1 ft

Optional cargo pod

41.6 ft

5.2 ft

Cessna 408 SkyCourier Up to 19 seats, 200 kts, 900 nm, FL250, $5.5 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max)....................................19 Volume ........................................................NA Sea-level cabin .............................................NA WEIGHTS BOW.......................................................NA MTOW.................................................NA MLW....................................................NA Payload w/max fuel...............................6000 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........NA/200 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate).............900 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...................................................NA/NA 600 nm...................................................NA/NA 1000 nm.................................................NA/NA AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW).................3300/NA POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ..........................................2 x PT6A-65SC Output/flat rating...........................1100 shp/NA

The Cessna 408 SkyCourier is a versatile utility aircraft under development for a wide range of transport services. The aircraft project was initiated in late 2017 with FedEx as the launch customer. The first flight is planned for mid-2019 with expected service introduction in 2020. AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite........................Garmin/G1000 Cabin. Spacious cabin permits installation of seats, equipment and systems in widely ranging configurations. Sufficient interior volume is available to accommodate 3 LD3s and 6000 lbs of cargo. Pressurization/ECS. The aircraft is not pressurized. The internal environment is controlled by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Aircraft will be certificated for flight into known icing conditions. All-weather protection is provided by a combination of bleed air, electrical and pneumatic anti-ice systems. Cockpit. The Garmin G1000 avionics suite features 2 10.8-in PFD/MFD LCDs, radios, FMS, AHRS, TCAS, TAWS, and numerous options.

19.9 ft

72 ft

54.1 ft

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When efficiency matters.

Avanti EVO, a legend reborn.

ŠPiaggio Aerospace/Paul Cordwell.

Experience pioneering efficiency without compromise. With a single aerodynamic curve and an innovative three lifting surfaces concept, enjoy 30% lower operating costs than comparable jets. So sit back and relax. You’ll be there sooner than you think.

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Cessna Cessna Denali Denali Up to 11 seats, 285 kts, 1600 nm, FL310, $4.8 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max).................................8/11 Volume ........................................................NA Sea-level cabin .............................................NA WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................NA MTOW..................................................NA MLW.....................................................NA Payload w/max fuel...............................1100 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........NA/285 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1600 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm.........................................................NA 600 nm.........................................................NA 1000 nm.......................................................NA AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)..............2950/NA ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer.............................General Electric Type ................................................1 x Catalyst Output/flat rating...........................1240 shp/NA AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite........................Garmin/G3000 Announced in 2015, Textron’s clean-sheet design of the Cessna Denali (formerly known as the SETP) seeks to offer best in class operating costs and matching performance, cabin size and acquisition costs. To date, relatively few details have been disclosed but current Cessna design goals are closely linked to development of the new GE Catalyst engine, set to compete directly with venerable PT6 family. At its heart is a compressor able to achieve a pressure ratio nearly twice that of comparable engines. It will feature a FADEC governing both the engine and propeller pitch as an integrated system rather than relying on predetermined control schedules.

15.2 ft

54.3 ft

48.9 ft

Daher Daher TBM TBM 930 930 Up to 6 seats, 330 kts, 1594 nm, FL310, $4.19 million

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer....................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ................................................1 x PT6A-66D Output/flat rating......................850 shp/ISA+49°C

Technical Specifications

AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite...........................Garmin /G3000

CABIN Seats (business standard/max)..................1+5/6 Volume ...................................................123 ft³ Sea-level cabin ....................................14,390 ft

Cabin. The large cabin is stylish and comfortably accommodates 6 in an elegantly remodeled Elite interior that rivals those of many light jets.

WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................4829 lbs MTOW..................................................7394 lbs MLW.....................................................7024 lbs Payload w/max fuel.................................584 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........252/330 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1594 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...........................................1h00/FL280 600 nm...........................................1h55/FL280 1000 nm.......................................3h010/FL290 AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)..............2380/NA ft

The TBM 930 is the newest member of Daher’s TBM turboprop business aircraft family.

Pressurization/ECS. Aircraft is pressurized. Cabin climate maintained by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Aircraft certified for flight into known icing conditions. Pneumatic boots on wing and horizontal tail. Other systems electrically heated. Cockpit. The Garmin G3000 features 3 large LCD PFD/MFD/EICAS displays (2 of which are touchscreen) which integrate flight information, aircraft configuration, pressurization, and environmental controls. Technology enhancements also bring Garmin’s electronic stability protection (ESP), underspeed protection (USP), emergency descent mode (EDM), and voice warnings for stalls, landing-gear extension, overspeed and cabin pressure.

4 ft 14.3 ft

4 ft

42.1 ft

35.2 ft

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There are aircraft that feature club seating for six. There are others that have G3000ÂŽ avionics. And some can rival 1,600 nm range and 274 knot max speed. But have you ever seen one that gives you the whole package for $2.92 million, or more than $1 million less than the competition? You have now. The M600 from Piper Aircraft. Learn more with just one call to your full-service dealer today.

M-CLASS: M350 350

M500 500

M600 1.772.299.2403 FREEDOM OF FLIGHT

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Piaggio Piaggio P180 P180 Avanti Avanti II II Up to 9 seats, 402 kts, 1530 nm, FL410, $7.65 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max).................................7/9 Volume ...................................................375 ft³ Sea-level cabin ....................................24,000 ft WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................8375 lbs MTOW...............................................12,150 lbs MLW..................................................11,500 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................973 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........318/402 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1530 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...........................................0h53/FL310 600 nm...........................................1h44/FL350 1000 nm.........................................3h02/FL390 AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)...........3262/1282 ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type .................................................PT6A-66B Output/flat rating..................850 shp/ISA+28°C AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite..Rockwell Collins/Pro Line 21 Versatile, high-performance aircraft used in a wide range of public services. Cabin. Spacious cabin permits installation of seats, equipment and systems in widely ranging configurations. Pressurization/ECS. Cabin altitude permits comfortable long-loiter at high altitudes. Ice/rain protection. Aircraft is certificated for flight into known icing conditions. All-weather protection is provided by a combination of bleed air, electrical and pneumatic anti-ice systems. Cockpit. Avionics suite features 3 10.8-in PFD/ MFD/EICAS LCDs, Pro Line radios, FMS, AHRS, TCAS, TWAS, and numerous options. 5.8 ft

13 ft

6.1 ft

47.3 ft

46 ft

Pilatus Pilatus PC-12 PC-12 NG NG Up to 10 seats, 280 kts, 1582 nm, FL300, $4.96 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max).................................7/10 Volume ...................................................330 ft³ Sea-level cabin ....................................13,100 ft WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................6782 lbs MTOW...............................................10,450 lbs MLW.....................................................9921 lbs Payload w/max fuel...............................1456 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........208/280 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1582 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...........................................1h10/FL260 600 nm...........................................2h16/FL270 1000 nm.........................................3h46/FL280 AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)..............2600/NA ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type .................................................PT6A-67P Output/flat rating................1200 shp/ISA+35°C AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite.........Honeywell/Primus Apex Multipurpose variant of PC12 line with enhanced avionics and performance. Cabin. Large cabin can accommodate handling of bulky items and equipment. Pressurization/ECS. Aircraft is pressurized. Cabin climate maintained by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Aircraft certified for flight into known icing conditions. Pneumatic boots on wing and horizontal tail. Other systems electrically heated. Cockpit. 4 large LCDs PFD/MFD/EICAS integrate flight information, aircraft configuration, pressurization, and environmental controls. SmartView displays a natural 3D rendering of terrain.

4.8 ft 14 ft

5 ft

53.3 ft

47.3 ft

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Piper Piper Meridian Meridian M600 M600 Up to 6 seats, 260 kts, 1300 nm, FL300, $2.82 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (business standard/max)..................NA/6 Volume ...................................................202 ft³ Sea-level cabin .............................................NA WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................3605 lbs MTOW..................................................6000 lbs MLW.....................................................NA Payload w/max fuel...............................2400 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed..........NA/260 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1300 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm...................................................NA/NA 600 nm...................................................NA/NA 1000 nm.................................................NA/NA AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)...........2350/2125 ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ............................................1 x PT6A-32A Output/flat rating.............................NA/600 shp AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite.......................Garmin /G3000 Safety features include electronic stability and underspeed protection, coupled go-around, hypoxia recognition with automatic descent mode, and automatic level mode. Cabin. The most comfortable and luxurious interior ever offered in the Piper line, the M600 is elegant and inviting. Pressurization/ECS. Will maintain 8000 ft cabin altitude to FL300. Cabin climate maintaned by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Aircraft certified for flight into known icing conditions. Cockpit. Three large LCD PFD/MFD/EICAS and touchscreen controller integrate flight and configuration information and controls.

11.4 ft

43.0 ft

29.8 ft

Quest Quest Kodiak Kodiak 100 100 Up to 9 seats, 175 kts, 1236 nm, FL250, $2.45 million Technical Specifications CABIN Seats (standard/max)................................1+6/9 Volume ...................................................248 ft³ Sea-level cabin .............................................NA WEIGHTS BOW.....................................................4417 lbs MTOW..................................................7255 lbs MLW.....................................................7255 lbs Payload w/max fuel.................................744 lbs PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high-speed.........164/175 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1236 nm MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight level) 300 nm............................................1h47FL100 600 nm............................................3h30FL100 1000 nm..........................................5h47FL100 AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field Length (MTOW/MLW)..............1468/NA ft

POWERPLANT(S) Manufacturer................Pratt & Whitney Canada Type ....................................................PT6A-34 Output/flat rating....................750 shp/ISA+7°C AVIONICS Manufacturer/Suite.......................Garmin /G1000 High-performance STOL utility turboprop designed for rough and rugged operations. Cabin. Cabin can accommodate a wide range of configurations. Optional external pod affords additional 63 cu ft capacity. Pressurization/ECS. Aircraft is not pressurized. Cabin climate control is maintained by the pilot. Ice/rain protection. Flight into known icing conditions is permitted with optional TKS ice protection system installed. Cockpit. G1000 features 2 TFT PFD and 1 MFD/ EICAS LCDs complementing CNS suite. Options include radar, Stormscope, synthetic vision system (SVS) and TCAS.

4.8 ft 15.3 ft

45 ft

34.2 ft

4.5 ft

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Securing the future with next generation technology, designs and tactics

Photo courtesy Bell

FVL initiative began in 2008 as an ambitious plan to replace the entire US military helo fleet beginning in the 2030s, focusing on developing capabilities critical for multi-mission success for Army and other services.

The Bell V-280 Valor is a combat force multiplier postured to possibly replace Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks. The advanced technology tiltrotor made its inaugural flight on December 18, 2017 at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center TX. It’s expected to reach 280 kts, carry 4 crew and 14 troops, have 12,000 lbs useful load, combat range of 500-800 nm and deployable range of 2100+ nm.

By Don Van Dyke

ATP/HELO/CFII. F28, Bell 222 Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor


ommitted investment in emerging disruptive technologies will enable rotorcraft aviation to develop and sustain overmatch through significant improvements in reach, speed, protection, and lethality. Guiding the investment needed to preserve US military overmatch in rotorcraft and vertical-lift innovation is essential. As the leading investor in rotorcraft R&D for the Department of Defense (DoD), that responsibility falls to the US Army. Historically, the Army relied on incremental rotorcraft upgrades to bridge capability gaps identified in ongoing engagements and which anticipate future threats. However, years of deferred modernization have led to a crisis in US military readiness. In 2014, sequestration threatened to drastically cut every Army aviation program. So the Army retired nearly 800 single-engine Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and TH-67 Creek basic rotary wing training helicopters. And the Army Aviation Restructure Ini-

tiative (ARI) made trade-offs where appropriate rather than accept cuts to its entire portfolio. For example, the Army decided to repurpose the twin-engine Leonardo LUH-72A Lakota, concluding its suitability for homeland missions but not as the new designated trainer. The gap left by the retired OH58D was filled by the Boeing AH-64 Apache. It operates both in heavy attack and in armed reconnaissance roles when teamed with AAI RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). While manned-unmanned teaming helped, shortcomings remain, such as the Apache being far more expensive to operate than the Kiowa with operational concepts still being refined. Thus the need for fleet modernization remains clear.

Future Vertical Lift Future Vertical Lift (FVL) is the Army-led multi-service initiative to develop next-generation capabilities. The goal is to increase reach, protection, lethality, agility, and mission flexibility to dominate in contested and complex airspace against known

and emerging threats. FVL aims to create advanced replacements for today’s military helicopters. FVL Capability Sets (CS). The Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) describes a capability gap or other deficiency in terms of functional area, relevant range of military operations, and timeframe. Currently, industry is challenged to develop new platforms able to Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) at 6000 ft PA on a 95° F (35° C) day (known as 6K/95) with mission payload. This is a significant increase from the original 4K/95 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) requirement. FVL is now one of the top 3 US Army modernization priorities. The most expressed Army FVL need is for an armed reconnaissance successor to the OH-58D. The USMC wants to replace its UH-1Y Iroquois with a medium-lift helicopter fulfilling both utility and attack roles. US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) wants to replace its medium-lift MH60 Black Hawks. The Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) is expected to be completed in mid2018. It will define how to proceed in 2019 with a program of record to validate requirements for the Army utility mission, the USMC attack/utility mission and SOCOM deep attack and penetration missions. Given the greatest joint need is for utility and attack machines, the Army and Marines have expressed interest in beginning the FVL program with a medium-class, assault helicopter design to replace more than 2000 helos beginning in the 2030s. Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) and Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) are included as primary efforts for this vertical-lift upgrade. If all technologies in the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) prototypes are relatively mature, the program could avoid the Technology Development (TD) phase. The Army would then

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compete designs, selecting one to move directly into the Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase. However, the Pentagon has historically not allowed a major weapons system like a helicopter to bypass the TD phase. If the demonstration does not align with requirements, the Army would have to allow more time to mature the technology. The 2017 Future of Military Rotorcraft Conference examined how new military rotorcraft are designed outside traditional lines to increase their performance, particularly in range, speed and altitude. The Army will pursue a mix of long-range, high-speed, agile unmanned and optionally piloted manned aircraft to secure aviation dominance. Modern military rotorcraft progressively comprise smaller but more capable fleets with fewer types. Focus during the last decade was on asymmetric warfare and operating in austere conditions. The conference also evaluated the integration of mission systems for deployment in a rapidly changing defense environment. While DoD witnessed the first demonstration of a proposed JMR aircraft in December 2017, new types identified for FVL CS3 are unlikely to reach front line service until the 2030s. The new Army Futures and Modernization Command (AFMC) will be the custodian of Army modernization efforts, linking operational concepts, requirements, acquisition and fielding. The Cross-Functional Team (CFT), formed specifically to monitor and guide FVL, encourages rapid prototyping to fail early and inexpensively and to then learn with greater operational inputs. Advanced sensors. FVL aircraft will feature new-generation advanced sensors to enhance survivability, improve situational awareness and increase lethality. Information is linked and distilled into an easy and quick-to-understand package for aircrews. Advanced sensor suites featuring reduced size, weight, power and cost will serve the Army’s need for aircraft targeting, protection, and situational awareness. To meet the 2030 timeframe for first FVL missions, accompanying sensor technology must be ready in the early 2020s to be field tested on existing aircraft that will bridge the intergenerational gap between fleets.

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT concept for the JMR-TD is derived, scaled and tailored from the Collier Award-winning X2 Technology as well as the next-generation helicopter prototype, the Sikorsky S-97 Raider.

The Army also wants pilots to be able to see through the skin of these new aircraft. Multiple vision-enhancing sensors would be flush-mounted on the outside aircraft skin to give the crew a virtually omnidirectional field of regard. These sensors would also enable crewmembers to see through degraded visual environments. The required level of visual acuity awaits development of significantly improved digital imagery in the future. DVE technology extends to vehicle management controls and next-generation flight control computers which would support takeoffs and landings in blackout conditions caused by intense fog, dust or debris. Open-architecture. Three platforms are envisaged: a purpose-built UAS and 2 optionally-manned aircraft. Every FVL aircraft on the battlefield will have an open-system approach, government-designed and defined specifically so industry can add plug-and-play capabilities into the architecture. The Army is developing a digital backbone for its family of FVL aircraft that could transform procurement across the service. Open-architecture could dramatically benefit survivability in areas such as mission planning and signature management, active protection, threat detection, crash attenuation, and cyber resiliency, to name a few.

The early Army FVL fleet The Army FVL fleet will initially comprise UASs, an Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (ARA) and a LongRange Assault Aircraft (LRAA).

Purpose-built UAS. UAS will deliver targeting data for long-range precision fires and conduct electronic attacks against enemy radar systems. The Army will use the newly established Future UAS program to build a next-generation family to perform hazardous, challenging and often repetitive work, including cargo transport or flying ahead of manned aircraft into hostile territory to assault enemy air defenses. A subset of the Future UAS program will deliver an Advanced UAV to team with the Army’s future manned scout platform. Rather than using multipurpose UAS, the Army envisions using purpose-built machines comprising several types. Attributes should allow the service to dominate in a contested airspace and be difficult to detect, inexpensive, have swarming capabilities, be runway-independent, and able to target for Long-Range Precision Fires at operational and tactical levels. These UASs will also be able to deliver lethal or nonlethal effects like electronic attack in order to jam, spoof and kill radars, and would team in advanced formations with an attack reconnaissance aircraft. Optionally-manned aircraft. Two optionally-manned platforms will be fielded: FVL-Light to succeed the Army OH-23D lightweight attack/ armed reconnaissance helicopter, and FVL-Medium – a multiservice procurement with the USMC that will replace Bell H-1 and Sikorsky H-60 utility/assault helicopters. The aircraft would be optionally-manned with the autonomy inherent in future aircraft and have improved reach and survivability. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018  39

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X2 Technology

Advanced rigid rotor system

Composite fuselage

Manual blade fold

Advanced drive system

Active vibration control

Pusher prop with clutch

Image courtesy Sikorsky

Lift offset coaxial rotor

Crew of 4 Fly-by-Wire flight control

Retractable gear

Active rudders and elevators

Cabin for 12 combat-equipped troops

Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT is a compound design featuring rigid coaxial rotors with an aft-mounted pusher propulsor together with a number of advanced technology enhancements such as FBW and active vibration control.

Future ARA (FARA) will be a lightweight, optionally-manned platform well-suited to urban warfare. Max size will be 40x40 ft, about the area of a city intersection. FARA will mask in radar clutter and dominate through maneuver, reconnaissance, attack, and electronic warfare. It will provide close-combat lethality in complex environments, operating in the canyons of megacities. When supported by Advanced UAS and long-range precision fires from land, air and sea, FARA will find/fix targets and breach enemy Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). Desired characteristics include increased combat radius, improved endurance, speed, and agility with enhanced survivability. FARA will have interoperability to enter and exit the fight. They will open a corridor for the joint force to seize, maintain and exploit the initiative. Future LRAA (FLRAA) aligns with FVL-Medium and will become the next-generation Army lift, assault and medevac asset, operating from relative sanctuary and featuring upgraded protection, speed, range, agility and payload, and be built to exploit windows of opportunity. The Army expects to field FVL aircraft in the early 2030s despite delays in the JMR Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. While the Army will prioritize the medium-lift capability, it repeatedly declared its #1 need to be armed reconnaissance to team in complex ways with mission-specific UASs as well as the ex-

pensive and heavy Apaches currently teamed with UASs. The FLRAA will have greater speed, range and endurance than the current fleet. Once the attack reconnaissance aircraft and UAS dominate an area or corridor, the assault helicopter will operate from sanctuary with increased protection, agility and speed to flow through the window of opportunity thus created. Ultimately, FVL is a joint program and the Army will make its decisions in consultation with the other services involved and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

JMR-TD The Army-led JMR-TD program is a collaboration involving the Army and other services to identify and refine requirements for next generation reconnaissance, utility, medical evacuation and attack aircraft. The Army conducts ground and flight demonstrations of advanced rotorcraft designs through this program to achieve revolutionary increases in capabilities. JMR-TD is also developing a modular open-systems approach to provide a common digital network capability and an open-architecture portable across multiple platforms, thereby shortening integration timelines of critical new capabilities to the warfighter. In 2014, the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC)

awarded contracts to 2 industry leaders, Bell and Sikorsky-Boeing, to build and fly a medium-class JMRTD in advance of the FVL program of record.

Bell V-280 Valor The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor was developed as a JMR-TD to fulfill the FVL requirement for a medium-lift utility and attack aircraft. Construction was completed at the beginning of September 2017. By early October, the first low-power ground run and ground test with 100% rotor RPM were completed. The Bell V-280 made its inaugural flight on 18 December 2017. By midMay 2018, the prototype reached 190 kts flying with its nacelles and proprotors in cruise mode. Dynamic system. The elastomeric hub spring allows a high flapping angle to increase the rotor control margin and provide Level 1 handling qualities and high agility in low-speed flight. The wing shields side doors from rotor downwash. In a hard landing, rotor rotation ensures that dynamic components shed away from the fuselage. Fixed engines. While the General Electric T64-419 engines (4750 shp) remain horizontal, each associated gearbox and proprotor rotates, eliminating exhaust impingement on the ground and leaving side doors clear for access/egress and field of view/ fire. It also reduces testing to qualify the engine and systems in the

40  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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V-280 Valor

V-22 Osprey





Carbon fiber

Composite with metallic leading edge

Tail design

“V” tail

“H” tail




non-rotating nacelle. Redundant systems are split 2:1 between nacelles for separation. The wings contain all fuel. Tailwheel landing gear. This gear is actively steered, leaving the nose free for sensors and allowing long sliding doors. Configuration. High-set engines and lack of a tail rotor improve safety on the ground. Fly-by-wire (FBW) controls. The aircraft has triplex-redundant digital FBW controls and triple 3000-psi hydraulic systems. Straight wing. The V-280 has a straight, constant-section wing with no dihedral for simpler, cheaper construction. Skins are carbon-fiber requiring no stringers. Carbon-core-sandwich webs are bonded to skins, eliminating fasteners. Labor hours are reduced almost 60% and tooling costs by 50% compared to the V-22 wing. The wings do not currently fold but, if chosen for FVL, the Valor will feature manual wing folding and stowing to meet USMC and SOCOM requirements. While similar, there are significant differences between the V-280 Valor and the earlier V-22 Osprey, as shown in the table above. Bell contends the V-280 is sufficiently developed to be considered a competitive prototype. The Bell timeline has the V-280 able to enter the EMD phase in 2019 or 2020, some 5 years sooner than the military FVL timeline. FVL steps align with the goals of a Technology Maturation Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase. If government accepts the work Bell is doing for the FVL program in lieu of a TMRR phase, acquisition of the V-280 could be accelerated by up to 8 years. The prospect remains an issue of debate.

Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT Sikorsky and Boeing teamed to build the SB>1 DEFIANT JMR technology demonstrator to fly by mid2018. Developed for the US Army JMR-TD as a precursor to the FVL program, the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT is a coaxial rigid-rotor compound helicopter. The aircraft is expected to fly in 2018, aiming for a speed of 250 kts, with greater range and hot-and-high performance than current helicopters. A critical goal is to demonstrate the tactical value of the configuration (with its rigid coaxial rotors and pusher propulsor) to the medium-lift utility mission now performed by the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. Low-drag hubs. For yaw control at low speed, differential longitudinal cyclic pitch produces differential torque on the rotors. Hub fairings reduce drag at high speed and were increased in size when manual blade fold was added to the technology demonstrator. A de-rotated aero sail fairing between the hubs also reduces drag. Rigid rotors. A coaxial lift-offset rotor generates lift on the advancing sides of contra-rotating rotors, reducing retreating pitch and delaying stall on the retreating blades to enable higher forward speed. Rigid rotors provide high control power for agility and are placed close together to reduce drag. The propulsor enables rotors to be offloaded and slowed in forward flight to reduce drag and noise and enable higher speed. Pusher propulsor. The variable-pitch propulsor, powered from the main transmission via a flexible drive, can be declutched in flight and on the ground to reduce noise and enhance safety. Propeller thrust can be reversed in flight, enabling

level-attitude acceleration and deceleration. In hover, propeller forward/reverse thrust can be used to point the fuselage. The SB>1 is powered by twin 4000-shp Honeywell T55 engines. Active controls. The SB>1 has FBW control with active rudders and elevators on the tail. Active vibration control is key to enabling highspeed flight with rigid coaxial rotors. Aircraft and sensor data are used to monitor loads on critical components for condition-based maintenance. Due to blade manufacturing challenges, the DEFIANT has yet to get airborne and, according to Army officials, will not fly until the summer of 2018. Flight control computers. The flight control computers leverage multicore processing for improved computing power and cybersecurity. These flight control computers could potentially enable the first wave of optionally-manned platforms. Open architecture. The Army’s open-system standards, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), is an open real-time standard for making safety-critical computing operations more robust, interoperable, portable, and secure. Although the consortium started with a focus on avionics, the applicability of the technical standard and its associated data model have become much broader. The latest edition of the standard further promotes application interoperability and portability with enhanced requirements for exchanging data among FACE components, including a formally specified data model, and emphasis on defining common language requirements for the standard.

Powerplant Health monitoring. The Army’s emerging Future Embedded Rotorcraft Sustainment Technologies (FERST) program is a complete vehicle prognostic system, rather than one which monitors specific areas or targeted components. Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP). The US Army’s ITEP seeks to develop a more powerful and fuel-efficient 3000-shp-class turboshaft to replace the General Electric T700 powering Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. In 2016, the

42  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Army awarded contracts to GE Aviation and Advanced Turbine Engine Co (ATEC), a team of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, to design replacement engines for those in current and possible FVL service. Design goals include longer range to improve tactical reach, more payload to mass combat power faster, better time on station, enhanced maneuverability to improve survivability, and improved low airspeed operation to expand pilot tactical options and safety margin. ITEP is required to improve performance in high-and-hot conditions (6K/95°F), which has been eroded by weight growth over time. Other concerns to be addressed include sand-tolerance, fix forward design and seamless integration. The ITEP engine is expected to reach initial operational capability around 2027.

Conclusion The Army will continue development and demonstration of all FVL technologies. Through next generation designs, FVL will integrate situation awareness, supervised autonomy, advanced manned/unmanned teaming and scalable and tailorable lethal/non-lethal fires and effects. FVL will maintain an early and continuous focus on reliability and maintainability to create mainte-

nance-free operating periods and reduce forward logistics burdens, while also establishing an affordable life cycle of sustainment. The Marine Corps is more than receptive to radically new rotorcraft. It has already committed heavily to the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor jointly built by Bell and Boeing. But the Army has bought none, and it’s by far the largest US helicopter buyer, with over 2000 UH-60 Black Hawks alone that need to be replaced some day. It’s the Army that Bell and Sikorsky must convince. A request for proposals (RFP) for the FVL-Medium program, originally due to be released in 2018, is now scheduled for 2021, when funding is less assured. Advanced sensor suites featuring reduced size, weight, power and cost will serve the Army’s need for aircraft protection, targeting and situational awareness. Rival contractors Bell and Sikorsky both say they have transcended those limits to build dramatically faster rotorcraft – albeit with very different paths. Both companies agree that the Bell V-280 Valor, which has wings, is more fuel-efficient in longrange flight than the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT, which just has rotors. However, they each claim their aircraft is more agile – a crucial consideration when landing troops in

tight spaces or ducking behind hills and trees to hide from radar. While the Army JMR-TD program focuses on medium-lift aircraft, the smaller Sikorsky S-97 Raider, currently flying, could fit in the armed reconnaissance category. Karem Aircraft and AVX Aircraft Co, which did not win a JMR-TD contract, have continued working on technologies that could feed into future Army aircraft. FVL lethality, autonomy, reach, agility and protection attributes teamed with future UASs extends Army Aviation interoperability to get there, stay there, and dominate in Multi-Domain Battle (MDB). FVL enables the joint force to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative giving the ground force commander an asymmetric advantage against peer and near-peer adversaries.

The future The Bell V-280 Valor is also a testbed of technology considered for its V-247 Vigilant UAS offspring, which is destined for autonomy along with other capabilities. Simultaneously with FVL evolution is the development of a future family of UASs that will work in intelligent synchronization with and complementary to FVL. Creatively pairing FVL and future UAS will outpace threat capabilities and quickly deliver innovations to the warfighter through open architecture and a path to autonomy that enables flexible integration of future advanced technology and capabilities.

Don Van Dyke is professor of advanced aerospace topics at Chicoutimi College of Aviation – CQFA Montreal. He is an 18,000 hour TT pilot and instructor with extensive airline, business and charter experience on both airplanes and helicopters. A former IATA ops director, he has served on several ICAO panels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a flight operations expert on technical projects under UN administration.

44  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Pinnacle Aviation Growth in both 135 and 91 has been achieved by building a reputation of satisfied customers.

The Pinnacle Aviation team oversees the 5 companies under its corporate umbrella from their headquarters at SDL (Scottsdale AZ). (L–R) Chief Pilot Todd Pixley, Dir of Ops Trevor Turcott, Pres & CEO Curt Pavlicek, DOM Scott Guetti, Lead Capt Chris Birtch, Dir of Aircraft Charter & Mgmt Services Scott Casey, and Dir of Safety Don Wade.

By Brent Bundy

Phoenix Police Officer-Pilot AS350, AW119, Cessna 210/182/172


t was 30 years ago that a young pilot was unwittingly introduced into the world of aircraft sales. Although content to continue life as a corporate pilot, a single aircraft transaction would present him with opportunities never imagined. The year was 1988, the pilot was Curt Pavlicek, and what followed was a succession of business

ventures that would embody nearly every aspect of the business aviation experience. Although it may have begun by happenstance, it was anything but luck that made Pinnacle Aviation what it is today.

Pavlicek’s early aviation history Born and raised on a farm in Dickinson ND, Pavlicek didn’t see a future for himself in the agricultural world. His father, a World War II Beech 18

mechanic, was responsible for his foray into aviation. While in high school, Pavlicek was an avid snowmobile and flat-track motorcycle racer and had planned a career in mechanical engineering. However, on a drive from Bismarck to Dickinson with his dad, he saw an aircraft above them and casually mentioned, “If we were in that airplane, we’d be home by now. My dad responded by suggesting I take a flying lesson, something I’d never even thought about before. So, I tried it and I was hooked.” Pavlicek obtained his private pilot license in 1974 in Dickinson and relocated to St Paul MN to further his aviation career. He quickly earned his commercial certificate and instrument and multiengine ratings and moved back to North Dakota where he found his first big break. A local businessman asked if he would be willing to fly a Piper Seneca back and forth from Dickinson to Scottsdale AZ. This position would also require him to live in Arizona during the winter and North Dakota during the summer. “I said ‘Sign me up, I’m ready!’”, Pavlicek recalls. This led to him moving full-time to Arizona where he opened a small charter company in 1980 named Arizona Air at Scottsdale Airport SDL. “We used that Seneca to fly people to the Grand Canyon and ski trips to Colorado.” By 1983, the Seneca owner decided to sell the airplane and Pavlicek sold Arizona Air. Shortly after, he found a pilot position in another Seneca, then in a Gulfstream I twin-turboprop flying a local real estate developer and his family to Lake Tahoe on the weekends. This lasted for 5 years until the real estate downturn in the late 80s forced the Gulfstream I owner to sell the plane. However, he offered Pavlicek a commission if he would handle the transaction. “I’d never thought about selling aircraft, but it seemed like an interesting thing to do,” Pavlicek says. As he advertised that Gulfstream, he began making connections throughout the aviation industry. “When I sold that first Gulfstream I, I realized I really enjoyed the process so in 1988 I opened Pinnacle Aviation.” He found early success in sales, including one of his biggest clients, Swift Transportation founder Jerry Moyes. “During his time as one of my customers, he purchased around 25 aircraft and I was also able to fly for him which allowed me to receive a number of ratings. I have 8 type ratings in various aircraft including Gulfstreams, Lears, Citations, Boeing 737, and others.”

46  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Founder, Pres & CEO Curt Pavlicek turned a single aircraft sale into the multifaceted aviation powerhouse that Pinnacle is today.

Expansion of Pinnacle Aviation It was another customer and aircraft sale that would begin the expansion of Pinnacle Aviation. In 1996, Pavlicek sold a Learjet to a client based in Minnesota and Scottsdale. Soon after, the company’s CFO advised him that while they loved the plane, they didn’t want to handle the pilots, maintenance and details involved with corporate aircraft operations. Pavlicek agreed to take over managing the plane. Recognizing the opportunity, he opened Pinnacle Air Group for aircraft management. But he was far from done. Now handling sales and management, Pavlicek also needed maintenance completed on the planes. In 1997, Pinnacle Air Maintenance opened their doors. Three years later, another Phoenix-based trucking company purchased an aircraft from Pinnacle Aviation and were looking to offset some of the operational costs when they weren’t using the plane. Not wanting the customer to look elsewhere, Pavlicek tapped into his previous Arizona Air experience and began Pinnacle Air Charter. With his companies covering nearly the entire gamut DOM Scott Guetti has spent 35 years in aviation, the last 22 years with Pinnacle since joining as one of their first employees.

Administration and Insurance Pavlicek certainly couldn’t have achieved this level of success by himself, but in the beginning, he nearly had to. “When I started Pinnacle Avi-

After years in the airline part of aviation, Chief Pilot Todd Pixley has found his niche overseeing the 38 pilots of Pinnacle’s charter and management operations.

Photos by Brent Bundy

of corporate aviation, the 5th and final business seemed natural. Pavlicek explains, “We were already selling the client the aircraft, managing it, maintaining it, and putting it on charter if they wanted. The last thing left for us was to insure it so, in 2001, we opened Pinnacle Air Insurance. Now we pretty much do everything from A to Z.” Along with expanding business into new areas, Pinnacle Aviation also expanded locations based on customer needs. While headquarters and most of the managed and charter aircraft have stayed in Scottsdale, they’ve added sites in San Diego CA and Honolulu HI. In San Diego, they have 1 aircraft on a Part 91 management contract; Honolulu has a Bombardier Global 5000 and Challenger 604, both available for charter. “Of our 5 businesses, sales and charter have been our most successful with charter probably our best,” Pavlicek states. Pinnacle Aviation morphed from a single sales company to an umbrella of 5 operations in only 13 years. Expansion was always customer or need-driven. Pavlicek proclaims, “We wanted to meet client needs. That’s the key. When our clients need certain things, I’ll do everything I can to make sure we can meet those needs. We’ve got to do it the right way and if we can’t do it the right way, I don’t want to be in the business.” This approach, along with their diversification, proved beneficial during the tough times of 2007-2008. “Sales pretty much stopped and aircraft values were cut in half. But we tightened our belts and continued to do charter, management, and maintenance and we were successful in weathering the storm. We never laid anyone off. In fact, we were even able to continue some slow growth during that time period.” As of 2018, Pinnacle Aviation lists 13 charter aircraft composed of light, mid, super-mid, heavy, and long-range jets. They also have 9 managed airplanes and 50 employees spread across their 3 locations. In addition, they’ve obtained the coveted IS-BAO Stage 3 and ARGUS Platinum ratings. When asked to sum up the biggest reason for his company’s success, Pavlicek quickly responds, “Our reputation. We don’t cut corners and we are transparent in all aspects of what we do. Customers come back to us because of that.”

ation in 1988, it was just me and 1 assistant. And in 1996, when we opened the management company, it was me and Pegeen,” Pavlicek recollects. He’s referring to Director of Administration Pegeen Griffith. For 22 years, Griffith has been instrumental in the evolution of Pinnacle Aviation. This New York native of Irish descent has a no-holdsbarred approach to success and adversity. “I tend to tell it like it is. I’m very direct, very forward, but everything I do is for Curt and Pinnacle. I do what’s good for them, not me,” she explains. Over the years this meant taking on a variety of roles to help set up the 4 companies added since her arrival. And she’s a licensed agent in the most recent, Pinnacle Air Insurance. After Griffith helped establish the insurance side, Insurance Consultant Bruce Ison joined to run the program in 2012. “I’d known Curt, and how he operates, for over 20 years and always wanted to work at Pinnacle,” Ison states. As a pilot himself, who previously worked at United States Aircraft Insurance Group, Ison was well equipped to join the Pinnacle Aviation team, where they provide insurance for any aircraft owner in need of a policy. While Griffith will still help on the insurance if needed, she currently manages the office staff, oversees accounting and payroll, as well as “anything else that comes my way,” she declares. “Curt never had a business plan, no expectations of where he wanted to take the company. The expansion just came his way, usually at the request of customers, and I’ve just been fortunate to be here to do what I can. This is an amazing company. I’m behind the scenes and I like it that way. Curt is a class-act and he is why Pinnacle has succeeded.” In his 10 years with the company, Dir of Aircraft Charter & Management Services Scott Casey has become the point of contact for much of their clientele.

48  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Dir of Ops Trevor Turcott flew for airlines and EMS operators before joining Pinnacle in 2003. He assumed his current role 2 years later.

Maintenance The next most senior person within Pinnacle Aviation is Director of Maintenance Scott Guetti. Like Griffith, Guetti joined the team near the beginning in 1996. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley region of Southern California, he dreamed of flying helicopters for the US Navy. While that never came to fruition, it did push him towards the aviation world where his natural mechanical inclination would serve him well. After earning his A&P from Glendale Community College in Los Angeles, Guetti went to work for Million Air at their Van Nuys location for a year. In 1984, he met Robert Roig of RoigWest and SoCal Jets, who took him under his wing and employed him for the next 3 years. Guetti then moved on to Garrett Aviation at LAX where he worked his way from a night-time mechanic to a lead supervisor. After attending a Honeywell engine class in 1993 in Phoenix, he decided to make the move permanent and hired on with Aero Services as a crew chief and chief inspector. During his year at Aero, Guetti had a chance meeting with Pavlicek during a pre-buy of an airplane. When Pinnacle Aviation was first testing the waters of aircraft management, Pavlicek asked Guetti to help with some parttime maintenance work. Subsequently, Guetti came to Pinnacle Aviation full-time and has now been with the company for 22 years. “When I joined Pinnacle, it was only Curt, Pegeen, and me with 1 plane. From that, we’ve grown to 25 planes that I work on, including both Part 135 and Part 91,” Guetti points out. With this expansion, there was a clear need for personnel growth, as well. “We currently have 6 A&Ps with 2 more

As a longtime pilot, Insurance Consultant Bruce Ison understands the needs of aircraft owners and operators.

joining soon and 3 admin staff on the maintenance side.” This size of a team allows most work to be completed at the Scottsdale location, with major work being sent out to companies such as West Star, Duncan, Constant or factory work by Cessna, Bombardier and Gulfstream. With his level of experience, Guetti’s skill set is in high demand but his reason for staying with Pinnacle Aviation is clear. “Because of Curt. He’s a great person to work for, he backs me up on my decisions and gives me the flexibility I need. I also have a great team of guys working for me. We don’t have a lot of turnover but when we do have openings, people want to come work here.” Regarding their success and longevity, Guetti relates, “We’ve been in business and on this field 30 years and that means a lot to people. We’re also the biggest charter operator in Arizona. Our transparency is crucial, Curt hides nothing. It’s all about showing and doing what you say you’re going to do.” This approach seems to be working, not only for Pinnacle Aviation but also for Guetti. He was awarded the 2003 FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year for Arizona.

Business development Assuring Pinnacle Aviation is always on the right path is Director of Business Development Orin Anderson. He has an extensive background in strategic business development including sales and management positions with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings, as well as Bank of America’s Commercial Card Services. Anderson first ventured into aviation in 2011 when he joined AirSprint Private Aviation. When the Canadian company closed their US operations in 2014, Anderson reassessed his clients’ transportation options. “After evaluating every private aviation organization in Arizona, Pinnacle Aviation was by far the best choice for most of my clients. I was inspired by Curt’s integrity and that he was always striving to take care of the best interest of each aircraft owner and charter client. AirSprint closed on a Tuesday, I came to Pinnacle Aviation that Friday,” Anderson recollects. By that time, the company was well established in all 5 endeavors which made for a seamless transition for Anderson. “My job is to create opportunities for Pinnacle Aviation’s name and reputation to be discussed in the right place at the right time. When jet owners and charter clients spend some time with Curt, or any of our aviation experts, they quickly understand what

Dir of Business Dev Orin Anderson made the transition from professional sports and banking management positions to aviation in 2011. He joined Pavlicek’s team in 2014.

we’re all about.” Anderson summarizes why customers come to and return to them, “People who are buying and selling aircraft with Pinnacle Aviation have complete trust with us and know exactly what they are getting. We stay as transparent as possible and customers appreciate that.”

Operations Director of Operations Trevor Turcott joined Pinnacle Aviation 15 years ago after spending most of his adult life in the aviation world. He began flying as a high school student in the Seattle area and continued while in college where he bought 2 small planes, a Cessna and a Piper, to help pay for flight lessons. His first commercial pilot job was with regional airline Mountain West, followed by Air Midwest flying Beechcraft 1900s, eventually rising to the position of check airman and regional chief pilot. By 2001 he made his way to Arizona-based Native Air Ambulance flying their Pilatus PC-12, Bombardier Challenger 601, and Cessna Citation Excel, also attaining the chief pilot position. Turcott had flown part-time for Pinnacle Aviation but in 2003 came over full-time as a line pilot in the Dassault Falcon 2000. He was offered his current assignment in 2005. Turcott has seen the growth from a single plane to the impressive fleet they have today. His present duties have him overseeing day-to-day operations on the flight side of the house including managing the chief pilot, working with the FAA, writing manuals, maintaining a rapport with their dedicated Director of Safety Don Wade and Director of Training Hall Lewallen, and more. While these responsibilities keep him too busy to continue flying for Pinnacle Aviation, As one of the original 3 employees, Dir of Admin Pegeen Griffith has been a part of the growth and success of the company for the past 22 years.

50  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Pinnacle Aviation’s mechanics are kept busy performing maintenance on their 13 charter and 9 managed aircraft at their 3 locations. This Cessna Citation Excel is in for service at the SDL location.

Turcott still enjoys the time he can spend in his own Cirrus SR20. “I really believe in this company. There is a great team environment. We fly excellent aircraft from nice facilities and we have a president who treats his employees like his customers, if anyone needs something, Curt will do whatever he can to make it happen. What more could you ask for?”

Charter Arguably the most successful of the 5 Pinnacle Aviation businesses is charter operations. Much of that success can be attributed to Director of Aircraft Charter and Management Services Scott Casey and his team of seasoned charter professionals. Once an aircraft is brought into the Pinnacle Aviation family, whether it is for charter or management only, he becomes the point of contact. Casey oversees scheduling, dispatch and charter sales, charter viability assessment, and pretty much any other service that an owner may need. This can keep him quite busy considering their fleet will fly approximately 5000 hours annually on over 2500 legs. For international trips, Casey utilizes trip planning companies to handle the complexities, with Houston-based International Trip Planning Services being a favorite. With no aviation experience before joining Pinnacle Aviation in 2008, other than his brother, Director of Aircraft Sales and Acquisitions Ken Casey, already at the company, he says, “I was in mortgage banking and Curt took a chance with me! I’ve learned along the way, but I love it.” When asked why customers choose Pinnacle Aviation, his response is also about Pavlicek. “It’s our reputation in the industry and having an approachable owner. We’re not the flashiest, we’re not the biggest, but that’s not our goal.”

Pilots With the amount of flying being done, Pinnacle Aviation needs someone who is up to the task of managing the pilots. For the past 4 years, that has been Chief Pilot Todd Pixley. With his father and uncle both being pilots, it seemed to be his destiny. After graduating from the aviation program at Metro State College in Denver CO, Pixley worked his way up to flying for United Airlines. In 2006, another uncle asked him to help buy and fly a plane for his construction business in Scottsdale. “I’d been through furloughs and was tired of feeling like just another number at the airlines, so I took his offer,” Pixley says. He helped the uncle purchase a new Hawker 400XP, of which Pixley also became a partner, and moved to Scottsdale. In 2008, they brought their Hawker to Pinnacle Aviation for charter operations, where they kept it until selling in late 2017. Pixley still stays current on Hawker 400/800s and the Challenger 350. But most of his time is spent coordinating the 38 pilots working for him. “One of the unique services we provide is personalized service with the crews. Each pilot is assigned to individual planes, with most here in Scottsdale but 1 is in San Diego and 4 full-time in Hawaii.” While customers appreciate the familiarity, it can be difficult at times. “If a designated pilot is not available for his plane, although it’s not often, it can be difficult to fill that spot. Especially with the industry-wide shortage of pilots we are seeing lately,” Pixley relates. Fortunately, they have very low attrition which Pixley attributes to their operational style. “Each owner’s aircraft is like its own flight department. We build a flight crew to match that owner.” New pilots joining Pinnacle Aviation as captains are typically type-rated with experience and have an average of 4000 hours of flight time. Co-pilots

Sr Tech John Courtemanche works on an aircraft at Pinnacle’s main base and headquarters in Scottsdale.

need 1500 hours total time with 500 hours of multi-engine and, ideally, an ATP already in possession. Annual and biannual training is completed at either FlightSafety, CAE SimuFlite, or Bombardier. Although Pixley finds the work challenging, he enjoys it and he enjoys working for Pavlicek and Pinnacle Aviation. “We have a solid company. We’ve been here for 30 years. Curt is honest and correct in the way he does business. That is why I’m sitting here, because of his reputation. We’re always trying to get better.”

Conclusion Within the past 3 decades, Curt Pavlicek took a serendipitous encounter and turned it into a robust aviation operation encompassing almost every aspect of private and corporate jet-ownership. By securing a rock-solid reputation, he has established a go-to destination for aircraft owners in Arizona and beyond. With steady growth, the right team and a keen eye for the smart opportunities, Pinnacle Aviation has shown they have what it takes to provide their unique brand of individualized service to aircraft owners for years to come. Brent Bundy has been a police officer with the Phoenix Police Dept for 26 years. He has served in the PHX Air Support Unit for 16 years and is a helicopter rescue pilot with nearly 4000 hours of flight time. Bundy currently flies Airbus AS350B3s for the helicopter side of Phoenix PD’s air unit and Cessna 172, 182s and 210s for the fixed-wing side.

52  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Light and optics

Image courtesy NASA

Sunlight can provide dazzling displays or play tricks on pilots.

By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst. Climate Scientist


ruising above a stratus cloud deck, the boss poked his head into the cockpit. “Hey guys, I was glancing out the window and saw a bright rainbow all around the airplane’s shadow on the clouds. What’s up with that?” “That’s a glory,” remarked the pilot. “It happens when the sunlight that passed by our aircraft is bent and reflected by the cloud droplets back toward our eyes.” The copilot anecdotally chimed in, “Pilots who saw glories during World War II took it as a sign of good fortune and divine protection in the coming fight.” The boss smiled and went back to his seat with a little more confidence about the tough business negotiations waiting at the destination a few hours ahead.

Our sun and its energy The sun emits roughly 3.86 x 1026 Joules of energy every second (Watts). That’s arguably more energy in 1 moment than humanity has used in its entire history. Of that massive quantity of energy, only a tiny fraction – around


Solar radiation that reaches the earth is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere or by the Earth’s surface. Absorbed radiation is usually reradiated and most of the energy eventually is lost again to space. Much of the reflected radiation is scattered within the atmosphere, producing blue skies and reddish-yellow sunsets.

0.00000005% – is intercepted by Earth. But that is more than enough to support life as we know it and to fuel the atmosphere to produce weather. As solar radiation passes through the atmosphere, some of it is absorbed by molecules such as ozone or water vapor (19%), some of it is absorbed by the earth’s surface (51%), and the rest (around 30%) is scattered by clouds, aerosols and particulates in the air or reflected from the surface. Some of scattered and reflected radiation may also be absorbed as it returns toward space, while much of the absorbed radiation is released as kinetic or heat energy that warms the atmosphere or evaporates water. Other molecules in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide or methane, absorb and reradiate this energy, keeping the atmosphere warm. Without them, the energy would more quickly dissipate to space, and we’d see an average

surface temperature of around 0° C (-18° F) instead of the roughly 16° C (61° F) we actually experience. This radiation balance is also responsible for the temperature gradients we see in the atmosphere, and for the movement of air and water vapor throughout the atmospheric levels in which we fly. While the importance of solar radiation in the generation of the weather that affects our flights cannot be understated, sunlight also produces other atmospheric effects that are of interest and are important for pilots to understand. The sun produces light in many wavelengths but emits around 47% of its energy in the narrow portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between around 400 and 750 nanometers, which encompasses the range that we call visible light. The sun also emits ultraviolet radiation, which is both invisible to our eyes and also a mixed bag for our


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Blue skies The 30% of the sunlight reaching Earth that is scattered by clouds or aerosols in the atmosphere produces a number of optical phenomena. The most overlooked one is simply the color of the sky and the sun or moon. The colors we see are the result of the scattering of light, and that is largely dependent on the size of the object doing the scattering. This is because objects have a difficult time intercepting energy traveling in wavelengths longer than their diameter. Most of the time the sky appears a shade of blue for a simple reason: the tiny molecules that comprise most of the atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen) are so tiny that they are only capable of effectively scattering the short, blue wavelengths in a process called Rayleigh scattering. Rayleigh scattering is the preferential scattering of certain wavelengths over others. The microscopic air molecules allow the longer green, yellow, orange and red wavelengths to pass by, while intercepting and redirecting the shorter blue and violet wavelength light. The sheer quantity of these molecules in the atmosphere ensures that the blue light reaches your eye from every conceivable direction, while the reds and greens are only picked up when your eye is directly in their path. Additionally, our eyes are more sensitive to blue light than other colors. So the result is a blue sky. As more and more large particles, such as aerosols, hydrocarbons or dust are suspended in the atmosphere, they help to scatter longer wavelengths in addition to the blues. A variety of particle sizes will ensure that all wavelengths are equally scattered. This is called geometric scattering and it gives the sky a paler appearance that becomes whiter as more particulates are present in the air. Because they are mostly present near the surface, these particles often produce a haze layer that reduces visibility and depth perception for pilots flying through it.

Spectrum of solar radiation (Earth) 2.5




2 Irradiance (W/m2/nm)

health. But UV radiation amounts to around 2% of the sun’s radiation and is almost entirely absorbed by the atmosphere, predominantly by stratospheric ozone. The little that makes it through is still sufficient to both help us synthesize vitamin D as well as promote skin cancers. The rest of the sun’s radiation is in the infrared and radio spectrum but is sufficiently spread out that the intensity of radiation at any given wavelength is very low.

Sunlight without atmospheric absorption 1.5 5778K blackbody 1

Sunlight at sea level

H20 0.5



Atmospheric absorption bands H 20

03 250




1250 1500 1750 Wavelenght (nm)

C20 2000

H20 2250


Spectrum of solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere and at the Earth’s surface. The most intense energy comes in the visible wavelengths between around 400 and 750 nanometers. An equal amount of energy, but lower intensity, comes in infrared and longer wavelengths.

White clouds and gray skies Geometric scattering is also why clouds appear white. A typical cloud droplet is about 10–20 micrometers in diameter, compared to 0.75 micrometers for the longest visible red wavelengths. Water droplets of this size are exceptionally good at scattering light geometrically, which, in the concentration of a cloud, results in bright white light coming from the cloud. Small clouds appear white throughout because much of the light is scattered internally and makes its way out through the lower parts of the cloud. But when the cloud thickens past about 1000 m, a lot of that light that entered the upper parts of the cloud is eventually absorbed within it, allowing less and less light to escape downward. This is what gives thicker clouds a gray appearance when seen from below. Larger droplets within the cloud also are more effective at absorbing light, suggesting that darker gray clouds are indeed more prone to produce precipitation. Normally, if one were to view the noonday sun (not recommended), or for that matter the moon, the observer would see a white orb. Although the atmosphere normally scatters much of the blue wavelengths, there is still enough light making it through in all wavelengths to make the sun or moon appear white. Particulates higher in the atmosphere, such as volcanic ash, will often scatter longer green and yellow wavelengths as well, making the sun or moon ap-

pear red or orange. At sunrise or sunset, high clouds or ash may produce vivid orange-red skies as the blues are scattered away early and the longer wavelengths are scatted and reflected toward your eye by the nearer large particles. In some instances, particulates suspended in the air are of a similar size to a particular wavelength of light, which can produce some unusual phenomena as a result of a process called Mie scattering. While rare, Mie scattering of red wavelengths can produce a sky with a reddish appearance and a sun that appears blue. When that same effect occurs on a moonlit night, we can’t see the red in the sky, but we do see a blue moon. The phenomenon is rare enough to have produced the saying “once in a blue moon.”

Mirages Refraction, or the bending of a light path as it travels through a medium of different density produces a number of effects. This included the twinkling of stars as their light passes through different thermal layers of the atmosphere, and mirages that make things appear where they are not. A mirage commonly encountered by pilots taxiing or departing from a hot runway is the appearance that the pavement is covered by a puddle of water which disappears as your aircraft approaches it. This phenomenon is an inferior mirage that is caused when light from the blue sky that is directed toward the runway’s surface is bent toward the pilot’s eyes by the PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2018 55

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Halos and glories

Photo by CC/Gopherboy6956

A pair of sundogs appear adjacent to the winter noon sun at FAR (Fargo ND). Sundogs appear 22° from the sun as flat ice crystals refract the sunlight entering their sides, with the light exiting toward the viewer’s eyes. They are commonly seen when the sun is behind a thin cirrus or cirrostratus deck.

hot air layer just above the runway’s surface. This is the same reason people often report seeing an imaginary oasis of water in the desert. A superior mirage can be even more disconcerting. These mirages make mountains, buildings or other obstacles appear directly ahead of you or floating in midair, even though they may be miles away. This occurs when warmer air rests above colder air, as is sometimes the case above snow fields or cold water. Light reflecting off a distant object initially takes a path upward, but upon entering the warm layer, is refracted back toward the viewer’s eyes. The viewer sees these objects either floating in the air or appearing far in advance of where they actually exist.

Ice effects Some of the most delightful optical effects produced by sunlight are those created by reflection from or refraction through ice crystals. There are 2 ice crystal shapes that are most conducive to optical displays. The first are ice crystals that are pencil shaped columns. The second are shaped like flat, hexagonal plates. Both of these type of crystals can be found in cirrus clouds and in the air above very cold water bodies or ice caps. When the sun shines through an area of columnar ice crystals, normally no wider than 20 nanometers, it will refract through their hexagonal shape to disperse the wavelengths into their prismatic elements and produce a 22° halo around the sun. In situations where the sun is low in the sky and there is an abundance of ice crystals, such as in the high latitudes, a 46° halo may also appear, as well as a horn-shaped tangential arc resting atop the 22° halo. Plate shaped crystals tend to fall with their flat sides oriented horizon-

tal to the ground. This prevents a halo from appearing, but produces a phenomenon called a sundog. Sundogs appear on either side of the sun as the sun’s rays refract through the side of the crystals. The sundogs appear as rainbow colored bright spots 22° from the sun. Those same plate-like crystals falling in front of a sun that is low in the sky can produce a sun pillar of bright white light as the sun reflects off the flat surfaces of the crystals.

Rainbows When the water that plays with the sunlight is liquid instead of ice, the optical phenomena are often some combination of reflection and refraction. Where light passed through an ice crystal from behind to make a halo or sundog, with water droplets the sun will tend to be behind the viewer – the light being refracted and reflected from inside the water droplet toward the viewer’s eyes. A rainbow is such a phenomenon. When the sunlight strikes a falling raindrop at just the right angle to the viewer’s eye, it is refracted by the change in density, which separates the light into its prismatic colors. Then each color is reflected off the back of the raindrop back toward the viewer who is standing with the sun at their back. The angle between the incoming and outgoing sunlight is between 40° and 42°, which means that rainbows will always create an arc between the viewer and rainbow of 42°. The dispersion of the different wavelengths will place the blues on the inside of the arc and reds on the outside. In strong sunlight and rain combinations, some droplets may experience a double internal reflection that produces a secondary rainbow outside of the primary bow, but with its color pattern reversed.

When the moonlight, or in rarer cases the sunlight, passes through a thin cloud deck, it can create 1 or more bright rings around the moon (or sun). These are coronas and are the result not of any internal reflection or refraction, but rather due to diffraction, which is when light is bent around an object. In this case, the object is the cloud droplet, and the rings are created when these bent light waves combine. Sometimes, if the droplets are of uniform size, the diffraction also separates the wavelengths in a manner that produces a multi-hued corona. Where the droplets are of different sizes, the corona may become distorted, and appear instead as an iridescent cloud with patches of pastel colors. Pilots often encounter a different form of diffraction while flying between the sun and a cloud deck. The sun’s rays passing by the aircraft strike the edge of a droplet in the cloud. The light is refracted, and then internally reflected to exit the droplet on almost the exact opposite path it entered. As the light travels the edge of the droplet, it is diffracted, which magnifies the light intensity into a bright, often prismatic ring of light around the shadow of the aircraft called a glory. In general, while sunlight is a necessity for life on Earth and for producing the weather that often delays or cancels our flight plans, it also has the potential to produce beautiful atmospheric displays that are frequently experienced best from a cockpit vantage point. To maximize your chances of spotting one of these optical phenomena, you just need to know when and where you will find the right conditions and where to look with respect to the sun or moon. During the day, a patch of cirrus between you and the sun will often produce sundogs or halos. Watching rain fall ahead with the sun to your back can lead to a rainbow, and looking at your shadow as you pass over a cloud will usually reveal a glory. All of these can be enjoyable features to point out to your passengers during your next cross-country flight. Karsten Shein is a climatologist with NOAA in Ashe­ville NC. He formerly served as an assistant professor at Shippens­­burg Uni­versity. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.

56  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Glenn Curtiss and his accomplishments

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Curtiss June Bug in flight after winning the Scientific American trophy on July 4, 1908.

Collaboration and competition

Glenn Curtiss was introduced into aviation due to his expertise and continuous improvement of the internal combustion engine. He built his own cylinders, carburetors and components for the bikes, which translated easily into airframes. Because weight was a consideration in the former, the aviation aspect was simple to understand and improve upon.

By David Bjellos

ATP/Helo. Gulfstream IV, Sikorsky S76, Bell 407 Pro Pilot Senior Contributor


he fascination of flight has held man in awe at least since DaVinci. Many have claimed aviation “firsts,” including German brothers Otto and Gustav Lilienthal, who flew glider experiments near Berlin in the late 1890s. Otto was killed during one such experiment, and reading of his death in Dayton, Ohio, were 2 brothers named Wilbur and Orville Wright who ran a bicycle shop. Such was the impact and enormity of aviation during this period that the news caused them to take up aeronautics. A very successful civil engineer by the name of Octave Chanute from Chicago closely followed the Lilienthal’s progress, and he tried to match their success at aviation in America. Chanute and the Wrights formed a lifelong relationship. There was also this quiet boy from Hammondsport NY who tinkered in a bicycle shop, figuring out how to put a 1-cylinder engine on the frame to go fast. His name was Glenn Curtiss and he succeeded with that engine, and bigger models, eventually becoming known as “the fastest man alive” on a motorcycle. He reached speeds of 136 mph in 1906 at Ormond Beach FL, a record which stood until the 1930s. His expertise with powerplants was his introduction into aviation.

Curtiss was not just a contemporary of the Wright brothers during the dawn of flight, but actually superseded them in many accomplishments. Despite both camps starting out working in bicycle shops, Curtiss was fascinated with engines and the resultant speed they produced – always on his own motorcycles – while the Wrights concentrated on aerodynamics. All 3 men were quite similar in that they had limited formal education, but were self-trained engineers and saw potential in aviation where none existed. In 1907, a highly talented group of men formed an association called the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA), headed by the famous Dr Alexander Graham Bell. Five men, including Curtiss, worked together to perfect a powered flying machine; Curtiss flew the 3rd prototype, called the June Bug, which featured the first ailerons as opposed to the wing-warping system used by the Wrights. Although Curtiss is credited with the invention of the aileron, it was actually Dr Bell who first proposed the concept by way of correspondence with the AEA team, which they incorporated. The Wrights famously flew their flyer in private in 1903 on numerous flights, while Curtiss is

US Navy Trainer with ailerons. This early example of the first ailerons on an aircraft can be seen on the left wing. Theodore Ellyson, Naval Aviator number 1, is seated to the far right.

58  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. Made famous by General Claire Chennault during the China/Japan conflict, the P-40 provided both offensive and defensive capabilities to Chennault’s “Flying Tigers.” Chennault was an aviation advisor to General Chiang Kai-Shek and distinguished himself and the aircraft during the conflict. The Curtiss Condor was an interwar transport flown by most of the mainline carriers of the time. It offered sleeper berths and was occasionally served by a steward for pax care and comfort.

credited with the first public flight in the June Bug near Hammondsport on June 4th, 1908, for which he won the Scientific American prize. Bell was fascinated with flight, and flew a tetrahedron called the Cygnet towed from a boat, with US Army Lt Thomas Selfridge as pilot (although he had no controls to speak of). After a successful launch, the tetrahedron settled towards the icy waters; Lt Selfridge was helpless to arrest the descent. The craft was all but destroyed as the boat continued forward. Selfridge was rescued and offered liberal libations of brandy to calm his nerves, which he readily accepted! Selfridge later earned the dubious honor and misfortune of becoming the first casualty in an aircraft when he died in a crash flown by Orville Wright. Selfridge Air National Guard Base MI is named after him. Curtiss went on to become the first licensed aviator by the Aero Club of America, while Wilbur Wright was number 5. Explanations of alphabetical ordering did nothing to assuage the Wrights, and a battle of egos and fortunes ensued for years.

JN-4 Jenny. Arguably the most important trainer of WWI, the Jenny was built under license to numerous countries post-war, and helped train many hundreds of early fliers.

sisted for decades. It was the first great setback for American aviation. Had these 2 settled their differences and combined talents and resources, the aviation landscape would have been markedly different during those early years. Ironically, the 2 eventually merged, forming the Curtiss-Wright companies, but the bitterness and animosity never abated. Aviation was highly controversial during WWI. Men like Billy Mitchell and Thomas Selfridge were strong proponents, while Congress was not – and they held the purse for contracts. Curtiss moved operations from Hammondsport to San Diego due to good flying weather, and began training pilots for the US Navy after successful landings and takeoffs from naval vessels was proven viable. He trained the pilots and built their aircraft, and is widely considered “The Father of Naval Aviation.” His aircraft model called the Triad A-1 was a seaplane, and for this design Curtiss won the Collier Trophy. North Island in San Diego is considered the birthplace of US Naval Aviation and the subsequent use of aircraft by other navies as well.

Legend and legacy of Glenn Curtiss Curtiss was honored and memorialized for his tremendous contributions to the war efforts in both world wars as well as for his inter-war commercial transports. In 1929, a small aerodrome on Flushing Bay in New York was named Glenn Curtiss Airport, then later North Beach airport. In 1935, the mayor of New York wanted his own airport – independent of Newark; his success was rewarded with his name and today is known as LaGuardia. Curtiss died in 1930 from complications of an appendectomy, and he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1933 which is now on display at the Smithsonian. Other honors include induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame as well as numerous motorsports accolades.

A monumental feud with the Wright brothers Both Curtiss and the Wright brothers collaborated during the early years, but the Wrights remained secretive throughout their lives regarding aviation. WWI saw the government in desperate need of aircraft and airmen, and both the Curtiss and Wright companies were heavily flattered by the US military to cooperate and pool resources for the greater good. The Wright’s responded with patent infringement suits against Curtiss, and the acrimony per-

David Bjellos is the Aviation Manager for Florida Crystals, flying a GIV-SP, S-76C+ and Bell 407. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Helicopter Association International (HAI).

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018  59

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Salary Study 2018 Global population growth means more airline seats being sold, new aircraft ordered and pilots needed. Aging airline pilots are retiring. Net result is increased airline recruitment of trained corporate and charter pilots. Bizav flight departments responded with a 3% average salary increase in the past year. But some have added benefits and raised pilot pay by a higher percentage. Gulfstream G650ER

Global Express 6000

Dassault Falcon 7X

Bell 429

Airbus Helicopters EC145

Leonardo AW189

Pro Pilot Staff Report


alary increases for business aviation pilots grew during the past year on average 3%. But more bizav activities are feeling the pinch of recruitment targeting from the airlines. So they’re giving more money and benefits to attract and retain their pilots. Airlines are looking desperately for more pilots wherever they can get them – from the military ranks and both corporate and charter activities. At the same time the fraternity of well-trained airline pilots has many older members that are approaching mandatory retirement age.

Pilot shortage and airline pirating cause new thinking for corporate and charter operators Student pilot starts are way down. Where young people previously wanted to learn to fly, the mass appeal to slip the surly bonds as a pilot just isn’t there. The higher costs of flight training

and difficulties in getting to and from FBOs where this training is available have contributed to a continuing drop in student starts. There is no doubt that all aviation activities, including the airlines and corporates, will have to attract young people to become professional pilots by offering to help share training costs. They also must offer a stable pathway to well-paying cockpit jobs for fledging pilots after they obtain their necessary – and probably subsidized – certificates and ratings.

Pro Pilot also talked to cooperative aviation department managers from various corporate and charter flight activities. In every case, these experienced ADMs had their own stories to tell about losing pilots to airline recruitment. It was encouraging to note that all were working with their top management to give better compensation and benefits packages to their flight crew members. The main challenge: keep them from leaving for airline cockpit positions.

Bigger is better in cockpit salaries

We give a high, a low, and an average in US dollars

Looking at the salary ranges we obtained from questionnaires sent to the corporate and charter pilots who form our Professional Pilot readership, it was clear to see that “bigger is better.” Pilots flying the big Gulfstreams, Bombardiers, Dassault Falcons, and larger Embraers and Citations earned the most. In addition to a large return of completed salary study questionnaires,

We have structured the Pro Pilot Salary Study to be easy to reference and compare. There is a low, a high and an average salary for the type aircraft flown. These are always given in US dollars. Since bizav flight departments are more varied than the airlines, we avoid locality-type pay or cost-ofliving differences. And due to their more personal nature we also don’t

60  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018

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Responses by use of aircraft

Responses by level of education

0.2% Offshore oil 0.1% Electronic news gathering 0.6% Police 1.3% EMS

0.1% logging/


4.1% Regional


MA/MS degree

High school

0.5% PhD

First officer


17.4% 78.1%

Some college Corporate

factor in annual bonuses, perks or other incentives such as a company car or pilot certificate insurance. Individual hiring and retention considerations can also be both complex and unique, so seniority and crosstraining specifics also aren’t included.

Where we see corporate and charter aviation growth It is encouraging to see new aircraft being developed and certificated for corporate and charter use. New business jet models such as the Gulfstream G500 and G600, Bombardier Global Express 5500 and 6500, Cessna Citation Latitude and Longitude, Dassault Falcon 6X and 8X, Embraer Legacy 450 and 500, HondaJet, and Pilatus PC-24 light jet – all speak well of sales to come and more corporate and charter pilot jobs to follow. Turboprops are also having a sales increase. According to GAMA figures, there are new sales for the Piaggio Avanti, Pilatus PC-12, Piper M500 and M600, the ubiquitous Textron Beech King Air, and the Daher TBM 910 and 930.




BA/BS degree

Helicopter use increasing for a variety of jobs Helicopters purchases are also increasing for EMS, SAR, energy exploration, airborne law enforcement, and corporate executive use. We are seeing more sales for Airbus Helicopters, Bell, Leonardo, MD, Robinson, and Sikorsky.

Our outlook is positive with growth expected in corporate/ charter ops We expect top executives will continue to prefer private executive aircraft to conduct their business direct to their intended destination – instead of the impersonal, time-consuming, crowded hassle of the airlines. Our outlook is positive and we’re especially optimistic about corporate and charter aviation’s opportunities to grow and prosper. This means bizav flight departments will offer increasingly better compensation packages for pilots flying these private executive aircraft.

filled out by eligible respondents. There were 222 forms disqualified due to lack of information, inconsistencies, errors, part time or contract pilot positions or lateness. Each form was carefully reviewed to ensure reliability of data. In addition to survey averages, Pro Pilot has also compared salaries provided by various corporate flight departments, pilot placement agencies and such activities as FAPA Financial Services, scheduled airlines and US government pilot services.


Chief pilot


Responses by licenses held %





Commercial Helo

36.0 8.9


7.8 0

Methodology his is the 46th year Pro Pilot has conducted a salary study by aircraft type, matching compensation to specific fixed and rotary-wing aircraft models. During Apr 2018 a total of 9108 survey forms were sent out to a random selection of qualified Pro Pilot readers in the US and worldwide. A total of 1328 forms, representing a 14.6%, came back to the Pro Pilot office in Alexandria VA by the cutoff date of May 31, 2018. After review a total of 1106 survey forms were qualified as being properly


Av dept mgr


AA/AS degree 11.3%



Responses by position









90 100

Responses by achievements %






3.1 0











Responses by company benefits %

Health insurance




Dental insurance


Life insurance


Disability insurance




Profit sharing


Loss-of-license ins




Stock options





3.7 0

10 20 30





80 90 100


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2018 US Salary Study US-based corporate av dept mgrs flying a Citation Sovereign can earn an annual average salary of $135,000, a top of $160,000 or a low of $108,000. Chief pilots flying a Sovereign can receive high pay of $146,000 a year or a low of $94,000 with an average of $121,000.

Corporate jet

Average Low High

Aviation dept mgr Heavy intl jets

Airbus ACJ318/319 Boeing 727 Boeing 737/BBJ Challenger 600/601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 7X Falcon 900/900EX/900LX Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650

205,000 185,000 198,000 170,000 189,000 201,000 196,000 204,000 199,000 206,000 212,000

Large jets

Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX Gulfstream III

156,000 126,000 152,000 123,000 133,000 139,000 135,000 153,000 146,000 151,000 159,000

271,000 204,000 266,000 239,000 252,000 256,000 251,000 262,000 252,000 261,000 266,000

170,000 138,000

135,000 123,000

Supermidsize jets

Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280

162,000 164,000 166,000 144,000 160,000 150,000 142,000

132,000 134,000 137,000 122,000 135,000 115,000 122,000

Midsize jets

Citation Excel/XLS 128,000 Citation Sovereign 135,000 Falcon 20/200 105,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 123,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 133,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 143,000 Learjet 35/36 94,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 118,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 130,000 Learjet 70/75 133,000

105,000 108,000 88,000 100,000 102,000 107,000 82,000 96,000 101,000 104,000

Light jets

Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 Citation V/Ultra/Encore Embraer Phenom 100 Embraer Phenom 300 Premier I

102,000 97,000 104,000 107,000 94,000 101,000 94,000

220,000 177,000 182,000 196,000 208,000 159,000 210,000 197,000 166,000 151,000 160,000 133,000 153,000 164,000 175,000 114,000 143,000 159,000 163,000

86,000 130,000 78,000 128,000 87,000 138,000 90,000 141,000 78,000 121,000 88,000 130,000 78,000 120,000

Chief pilot

Average Low High

Heavy intl jets Airbus ACJ318/319 188,000 141,000 210,000 Boeing 727 161,000 123,000 175,000 Boeing 737/BBJ 186,000 140,000 210,000 Challenger 600/601 133,000 112,000 163,000 Challenger 604/605 161,000 118,000 200,000 Falcon 7X 171,000 127,000 205,000 Falcon 900/900EX 166,000 120,000 201,000 Global Express/5000/6000 186,000 135,000 219,000 Gulfstream IV/G450 165,000 125,000 207,000 Gulfstream V/G550 189,000 141,000 220,000 Gulfstream G650 195,000 145,000 223,000 Large jets Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX 147,000 119,000 175,000 Gulfstream III 122,000 99,000 152,000 Supermidsize jets

Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280

134,000 136,000 138,000 129,000 134,000 126,000 129,000

110,000 112,000 115,000 104,000 106,000 101,000 103,000

Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 110,000 Citation Sovereign 121,000 Falcon 20/200 98,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 111,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 108,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 123,000 Learjet 35/36 88,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 103,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 111,000 Learjet 70/75 114,000

85,000 94,000 78,000 88,000 92,000 96,000 75,000 86,000 92,000 93,000

160,000 162,000 165,000 148,000 154,000 156,000 150,000 137,000 146,000 122,000 137,000 134,000 139,000 107,000 118,000 128,000 136,000

Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 93,000 77,000 116,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 88,000 75,000 112,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 95,000 77,000 124,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 97,000 75,000 126,000 Citation Mustang 75,000 68,000 88,000 Embraer Phenom 100 77,000 73,000 93,000 Embraer Phenom 300 89,000 78,000 105,000 Premier I 83,000 74,000 104,000

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Embraer Legacy 500 captains operating in Part 91 can earn an average compensation of $119,000, a high of $142,000 or a low of $97,000. FOs/copilots flying this aircraft can make a high of $89,000, a low of $62,000 or receive an average salary of $78,000 per year.


Average Low High

Heavy intl jets

Airbus ACJ318/319 145,000 Boeing 727 130,000 Boeing 737/BBJ 145,000 Challenger 600/601 121,000 Challenger 604/605 135,000 Falcon 7X 144,000 Falcon 900/900EX 138,000 Global Express/5000/6000 157,000 Gulfstream IV/G450 145,000 Gulfstream V/G550 158,000 Gulfstream G650 162,000 Large jets Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX 128,000 Gulfstream III 115,000 Supermidsize jets

Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280

131,000 108,000 133,000 101,000 106,000 106,000 101,000 118,000 108,000 120,000 126,000 101,000 93,000

118,000 120,000 122,000 108,000 119,000 110,000 117,000

95,000 97,000 100,000 88,000 97,000 88,000 92,000

Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 93,000 Citation Sovereign 109,000 Falcon 20/200 86,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 103,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 102,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 105,000 Learjet 35/36 80,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 96,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 99,000 Learjet 70/75 103,000

79,000 90,000 71,000 82,000 81,000 88,000 69,000 83,000 84,000 89,000

184,000 151,000 175,000 146,000 174,000 180,000 175,000 201,000 181,000 197,000 204,000

167,000 142,000 141,000 143,000 147,000 134,000 142,000 138,000 142,000 118,000 123,000 108,000 121,000 124,000 127,000 98,000 110,000 114,000 116,000

Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 82,000 72,000 101,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 76,000 66,000 89,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 83,000 69,000 106,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 88,000 73,000 108,000 Citation Mustang 71,000 62,000 86,000 Embraer Phenom 100 73,000 64,000 88,000 Embraer Phenom 300 78,000 67,000 94,000 Premier I 75,000 64,000 91,000

First officer/copilot

Average Low High

Heavy intl jets

Airbus ACJ318/319 Boeing 727 Boeing 737/BBJ Challenger 600/601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 7X Falcon 900/900EX Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650

90,000 81,000 91,000 78,000 89,000 93,000 92,000 96,000 95,000 97,000 100,000

Large jets

Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX Gulfstream III

86,000 80,000

Supermidsize jets

Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280

80,000 82,000 84,000 71,000 78,000 78,000 72,000

79,000 70,000 80,000 71,000 81,000 82,000 81,000 83,000 82,000 85,000 88,000

100,000 94,000 100,000 90,000 96,000 102,000 100,000 107,000 105,000 110,000 111,000

74,000 68,000

66,000 68,000 71,000 61,000 62,000 61,000 59,000

97,000 91,000 90,000 92,000 95,000 86,000 89,000 87,000 86,000

Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 60,000 54,000 72,000 Citation Sovereign 70,000 59,000 84,000 Falcon 20/200 55,000 45,000 66,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 59,000 51,000 74,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 65,000 58,000 82,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 71,000 62,000 87,000 Learjet 35/36 52,000 44,000 61,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 62,000 51,000 71,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 66,000 58,000 78,000 Learjet 70/75 70,000 59,000 81,000 Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 52,000 47,000 60,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 49,000 41,000 56,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 52,000 47,000 59,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 54,000 49,000 61,000

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Annual remuneration for an av dept mgr under Part 91 in the US flying a Leonardo AW139 is an average of $128,000, with a low of $111,000 and a high yearly salary of $138,000.

Corporate turboprop

Average Low High

Aviation dept mgr Caravan Cheyenne II/III Conquest II King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350 Mitsubishi MU2 Piaggio P180 Avanti Pilatus PC-12 TBM700/850 TBM900/910/930

63,000 53,000 78,000 67,000 55,000 81,000 68,000 57,000 85,000 78,000 65,000 100,000 88,000 71,000 102,000 92,000 76,000 111,000 66,000 53,000 80,000 81,000 72,000 98,000 80,000 69,000 97,000 68,000 59,000 82,000 73,000 64,000 89,000

Chief pilot

Corporate helicopter

Average Low High

Aviation dept mgr Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 85,000 75,000 101,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 88,000 78,000 105,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 111,000 101,000 147,000 Airbus Heli EC145 99,000 89,000 126,000 Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala 81,000 69,000 101,000 Bell 212/222/230 86,000 71,000 103,000 Bell 407/EC130 89,000 78,000 105,000 Bell 412/430 91,000 80,000 108,000 Bell 429 108,000 93,000 134,000 Bell 427 97,000 86,000 126,000 Leonardo AW109 93,000 76,000 112,000 Leonardo AW139 128,000 111,000 138,000 MD500 series 82,000 68,000 102,000 MD900 series 96,000 83,000 121,000 Sikorsky S76 130,000 112,000 165,000 Sikorsky S92 135,000 120,000 180,000 Chief pilot

Caravan 57,000 48,000 73,000 Cheyenne II/III 60,000 48,000 76,000 Conquest II 63,000 53,000 79,000 King Air 90/100 68,000 55,000 85,000 King Air 200/250 81,000 59,000 98,000 King Air 300/350 86,000 63,000 104,000 Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 77,000 67,000 95,000 Mitsubishi MU2 58,000 48,000 74,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 79,000 69,000 99,000 Piaggio P180 Avanti 74,000 59,000 91,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 103,000 91,000 135,000 Pilatus PC-12 74,000 58,000 90,000 Airbus Heli EC145 91,000 82,000 119,000 TBM700/850 61,000 50,000 75,000 Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala 76,000 62,000 95,000 TBM900/910/930 65,000 57,000 79,000 Bell 212/222/230 81,000 66,000 92,000 Bell 407/EC130 83,000 71,000 100,000 Captain Bell 412/430 87,000 73,000 102,000 Bell 429 98,000 86,000 122,000 Caravan 53,000 44,000 67,000 Bell 427 90,000 79,000 116,000 Cheyenne II/III 54,000 45,000 69,000 Leonardo AW109 87,000 71,000 101,000 Conquest II 56,000 50,000 75,000 Leonardo AW139 118,000 101,000 126,000 King Air 90/100 64,000 52,000 80,000 MD500 series 76,000 61,000 96,000 King Air 200/250 75,000 56,000 90,000 MD900 series 89,000 77,000 114,000 King Air 300/350 77,000 57,000 94,000 Sikorsky S76 124,000 105,000 158,000 Mitsubishi MU2 54,000 46,000 66,000 Sikorsky S92 126,000 114,000 171,000 Piaggio P180 Avanti 66,000 54,000 78,000 Pilatus PC-12 65,000 53,000 80,000 Captain TBM700/850 56,000 46,000 68,000 Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 71,000 59,000 88,000 TBM900/910/930 60,000 52,000 72,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 75,000 61,000 91,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 98,000 85,000 124,000 Airbus Heli EC145 87,000 72,000 112,000 Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala 70,000 56,000 87,000 Bell 212/222/230 75,000 62,000 85,000 Bell 407/EC130 76,000 64,000 89,000 Bell 412/430 80,000 67,000 95,000 Bell 429 91,000 76,000 112,000 Bell 427 85,000 71,000 107,000 Leonardo AW109 80,000 65,000 94,000 Leonardo AW139 108,000 96,000 114,000 MD500 series 70,000 55,000 87,000 MD900 series 85,000 71,000 107,000 King Air 350i av dept mgrs operating under Part 91 can make as much Sikorsky S76 118,000 98,000 141,000 as $111,000 annually. They can earn an average salary of $92,000 Sikorsky S92 123,000 108,000 157,000 and generally the minimum will be $76,000.

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Challenger 350 captains flying under Part 135 earn an average annual salary of $112,000 with a maximum of $132,000 and down to a minimum of $89,000.

Charter jet


Average Low High

Heavy intl jets and large jets

Airbus ACJ319 145,000 116,000 161,000 Boeing 737/BBJ 147,000 118,000 162,000 Boeing 757/767 151,000 120,000 164,000 Challenger 601 101,000 94,000 126,000 Challenger 604/605 118,000 104,000 139,000 Falcon 900/900EX 121,000 108,000 141,000 Falcon 2000/2000EX 120,000 99,000 136,000 Falcon 7X 145,000 116,000 162,000 Global Express/5000/6000 140,000 112,000 154,000 Gulfstream III 110,000 91,000 124,000 Gulfstream IV/G450 130,000 108,000 150,000 Gulfstream V/G550 143,000 112,000 158,000 Gulfstream G650 150,000 118,000 168,000 Supermidsize and midsize jets Challenger 300/350 112,000 89,000 132,000 Citation Excel/XLS 83,000 70,000 96,000 Citation Sovereign 90,000 80,000 106,000 Citation X 97,000 89,000 123,000 Embraer Legacy 600 95,000 86,000 110,000 Falcon 50 95,000 86,000 112,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 88,000 75,000 106,000 Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280 99,000 83,000 116,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 90,000 74,000 107,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 97,000 80,000 112,000 Learjet 35/36 73,000 62,000 88,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 81,000 71,000 95,000 Learjet 55/60 88,000 76,000 108,000 Learjet 75 93,000 79,000 112,000 Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 76,000 63,000 95,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2 70,000 60,000 83,000 Citation Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 75,000 62,000 86,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 77,000 60,000 95,000 Embraer Phenom 100 65,000 56,000 77,000 Embraer Phenom 300 71,000 58,000 85,000

First officer/copilot Heavy intl and large jets

Airbus ACJ319 Boeing 737/BBJ Boeing 757/767 Challenger 601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 900/900EX Falcon 2000/2000EX Falcon 7X Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream III Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650

85,000 84,000 88,000 75,000 79,000 84,000 82,000 89,000 87,000 64,000 82,000 87,000 96,000

66,000 65,000 68,000 60,000 63,000 65,000 64,000 73,000 67,000 56,000 60,000 66,000 76,000

108,000 108,000 110,000 89,000 92,000 103,000 98,000 109,000 103,000 82,000 90,000 97,000 109,000

Average Low High

Supermidsize and midsize jets Challenger 300/350 64,000 Citation Excel/XLS 60,000 Citation Sovereign 61,000 Citation X 65,000 Embraer Legacy 600 60,000 Falcon 50 60,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 57,000 Gulfstream Galaxy/G280/G200 60,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 59,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 61,000 Learjet 35/36 50,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 52,000 Learjet 55/60 56,000

55,000 50,000 53,000 58,000 52,000 53,000 50,000 54,000 48,000 50,000 42,000 44,000 48,000

84,000 76,000 79,000 84,000 72,000 72,000 72,000 74,000 75,000 76,000 61,000 63,000 70,000

Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 48,000 43,000 57,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2 48,000 43,000 56,000 Citation Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 50,000 45,000 58,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 52,000 46,000 60,000

Pilatus PC-12 NG captains under Part 135 ops register average salaries of $57,000 per year. They can earn as high as $72,000 and as low as $50,000.

Charter turboprop Captain Caravan/Conquest King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350 Piaggio P180 Avanti Pilatus PC-12

50,000 44,000 64,000 57,000 49,000 72,000 63,000 52,000 75,000 67,000 58,000 84,000 59,000 52,000 74,000 57,000 50,000 72,000

First officer/copilot King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350

41,000 43,000 48,000

37,000 40,000 42,000

55,000 58,000 60,000

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Regional jet


MD902 is a multipurpose twin-engine helicopter found in every market segment. Captains operating under Part 135 can earn salaries as high as $87,000 annually. They average $67,000 with a low of $57,000.

Charter helicopter

Average Low High


Average Low High

Bombardier CRJ100/200 94,000 67,000 120,000 Bombardier CRJ700 95,000 70,000 123,000 Bombardier CRJ900 99,000 79,000 125,000 Embraer ERJ135 87,000 61,000 101,000 Embraer ERJ140/145 91,000 73,000 119,000 Embraer 170/175 96,000 72,000 124,000 Embraer 190/195 98,000 79,000 127,000 First officer Bombardier CRJ100/200 Bombardier CRJ700 Bombardier CRJ900 Embraer ERJ135 Embraer ERJ140/145 Embraer 170/175 Embraer 190/195

46,000 47,000 52,000 45,000 47,000 50,000 51,000

34,000 38,000 40,000 34,000 38,000 41,000 42,000

60,000 66,000 71,000 60,000 66,000 71,000 73,000

Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 65,000 57,000 85,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 70,000 61,000 90,000 Airbus Heli AS365 81,000 72,000 97,000 Airbus Heli EC145 81,000 71,000 98,000 Bell 206/206L 66,000 55,000 83,000 Bell 407 71,000 61,000 88,000 Bell 429 79,000 66,000 98,000 Leonardo AW109 73,000 60,000 89,000 Leonardo AW139 102,000 91,000 118,000 MD900 67,000 57,000 87,000 Sikorsky S76 100,000 93,000 120,000

First officer/copilot Airbus Heli AS365 Leonardo AW139 Sikorsky S76

59,000 67,000 67,000

52,000 57,000 57,000

73,000 84,000 84,000

CRJ900 captains flying regional airlines can earn up to $125,000 annually with an average of $99,000 and a low of $79,000. Corresponding FOs can earn a high of $71,000 with an average of $52,000 and a low of $40,000.

Regional turboprop


ATR72 Beech 1900C/D DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 DHC Dash 8-Q400 Saab 340

81,000 70,000 90,000 48,000 38,000 67,000 76,000 51,000 91,000 90,000 76,000 105,000 59,000 47,000 85,000

First officer

Regional ATR72 captain can make as high as $90,000 per year. The average is $81,000 and low is $70,000. FOs can average $45,000, with a high of $58,000 and a low of $33,000.

ATR72 Beech 1900C/D DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 DHC Dash 8-Q400 Saab 340

45,000 33,000 58,000 34,000 31,000 45,000 44,000 33,000 54,000 47,000 38,000 59,000 40,000 32,000 49,000

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2018 Major US Airline Pay Survey provided by FAPA Financial Services, Henderson NV. 1-800-JET-JOBS. Info courtesy of VP of Financial Services Tom Smith.

Jet Blue has 130 A320s. This Airbus has the widest fuselage of any single-aisle aircraft with 162 revenue seats. A 5-year FO can earn $146,150 and a 10-year captain $242,476. This doesn’t include other extras such as profit sharing and per diem.

Major US airline jet

Annual pay based on 80 hrs per month and size of aircraft flown.

1st year 5th year 10th year Max Airline FO or FE smallest a/c FO medium a/c Capt smallest a/c Capt largest a/c








$248,189 B737




$164,160 B757






























$248,640 A320








$247,680 B737











All aircraft


All aircraft


All aircraft

$296,640 All aircraft







Notes: Annual pay shown based on 960 credit hours per year. Pilots for all carriers can earn considerably more with profit sharing, intl overrides, overtime, special credits, per diem and other extras. JetBlue pay is based on a new agreement in principle. Pilots will hold ratification vote in mid-2018. Major US Airlines hired nearly 5000 pilots during 2017. Copyright 2018 FAPA Financial Services - 800 JET JOBS (538-5627)

Current pay rates in force since Jan 1, 2018

Monthly military basic rates of pay Cumulative years of service. Commissioned officers.

Pay years

















0-10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 15800.10 15800.10 15800.10 15800.10 0-9 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 14696.40 14908.80 15214.50 15747.60 0-8 10398.60 10739.40 10965.60 11028.60 11310.90 11781.90 11891.40 12339.00 12467.40 12852.90 13410.90 13925.10 14268.30 14268.30 14268.30 0-7 8640.60 9041.70 9227.70 9375.30 9642.60 9906.90 10212.30 10516.80 10822.20 11781.90 12591.90 12591.90 12591.90 12591.90 12656.40 0-6 6552.30 7198.50 7671.00 7671.00 7700.40 8030.40 8073.90 8073.90 8532.60 9343.80 9819.90 10295.70 10566.60 10841.10 11372.40 0-5 5462.40 6153.60 6579.00 6659.40 6925.50 7084.20 7434.00 7690.80 8022.30 8529.60 8770.50 9009.30 9280.20 9280.20 9280.20 0-4 4713.00 5455.50 5820.00 5900.70 6238.50 6601.20 7052.70 7403.70 7647.60 7788.00 7869.30 7869.30 7869.30 7869.30 7869.30 0-3 4143.90 4697.10 5069.70 5527.80 5793.00 6083.40 6271.20 6580.20 6741.60 6741.60 6741.60 6741.60 6741.60 6741.60 6741.60 0-2 3580.50 4077.90 4696.20 4854.90 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 4955.10 0-1 3107.70 3234.90 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20 3910.20

Data published by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel & Readiness

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MD530F is designed for hot and high altitude operations. Aircraft captains in law enforcement can earn salaries as high as $89,000 per year. The average is $77,000 with a low of $67,000.

Police helicopter


Bell 412EP can fill multiple roles with its large interior, aft-sliding and swing out front cabin doors. EMS captain pay goes from $70,000 to $95,000 a year with $82,000 as the average.

Emergency medical service (EMS) helicopter Average Low High

Average Low High


Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 Airbus Heli AS365N Bell 412/430 Bell 206/206L/OH58 Bell 212 Bell 407/EC130 Leonardo AW139 MD500 MD900 Sikorsky S76 Sikorsky UH60 Black Hawk

81,000 98,000 96,000 81,000 87,000 84,000 99,000 77,000 86,000 98,000 98,000

68,000 91,000 83,000 106,000 83,000 105,000 68,000 91,000 74,000 102,000 72,000 98,000 85,000 109,000 67,000 89,000 71,000 99,000 81,000 107,000 81,000 107,000

Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 75,000 62,000 85,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 77,000 70,000 93,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 89,000 71,000 102,000 Airbus Heli H145 85,000 73,000 96,000 Bell 206/206L/OH58 75,000 63,000 87,000 Bell 407/EC130 77,000 67,000 91,000 Bell 412/427/430 82,000 70,000 95,000 Bell 429 84,000 73,000 97,000 Leonardo AW109 85,000 70,000 100,000 Leonardo AW119 Koala 79,000 64,000 95,000 Leonardo AW139 95,000 74,000 105,000 MD900 series 75,000 62,000 87,000 Sikorsky S76 97,000 74,000 107,000

Emergency medical service (EMS) fixed-wing Captain

King Air 90/100 King Air 200/300/350 Learjet 35/36 Learjet 45/55/60 Pilatus PC-12 TBM 700/850 Sikorsky S92 is a capable servant of the offshore oil indsutry. Their captains earn as high as $127,000 with an average salary of $114,000 and low of $99,000.

Offshore helicopter Captain Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 Bell 407/EC130 Bell 412/429/430 Leonardo AW139 Sikorsky S76 Sikorsky S92

89,000 87,000 92,000 108,000 108,000 114,000

77,000 74,000 77,000 87,000 87,000 99,000

99,000 98,000 101,000 121,000 121,000 127,000

Electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopter Captain Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 Bell 206/206L/407/OH58

73,000 75,000 72,000

61,000 64,000 60,000

91,000 95,000 90,000

66,000 75,000 59,000 72,000 67,000 65,000

58,000 62,000 52,000 64,000 61,000 59,000

76,000 89,000 77,000 88,000 82,000 77,000

68,000 73,000 72,000 80,000

95,000 104,000 107,000 111,000

Boeing BV107 Chinooks are workhorses in many industries, including logging & construction. Captain’s annual salaries average $82,000, ranging from lows of $73,000 up to highs of $104,000.

Logging/construction helicopter Captain Bell 205/212/214/412 Boeing BV107/234 Kaman K-Max Sikorsky S64

79,000 82,000 82,000 86,000

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2018 International

Salary Study All salaries given in US dollars

Corporate intl


Average Low High

Heavy intl jets

Aviation dept manager 176,000 130,000 209,000 Chief pilot 155,000 119,000 181,000 Captain 140,000 99,000 170,000 Large jets Aviation dept manager 142,000 110,000 165,000 Chief pilot 126,000 97,000 147,000 Captain 116,000 89,000 137,000 Supermidsize and midsize jets Aviation dept manager 132,000 101,000 148,000 Chief pilot 116,000 87,000 127,000 Captain 103,000 79,000 119,000 Light and entry-level jets Aviation dept manager 117,000 88,000 127,000 Chief pilot 102,000 78,000 112,000 Captain 90,000 67,000 106,000

Turboprop Aviation dept manager 106,000 79,000 114,000 Chief pilot 91,000 63,000 103,000 Captain 81,000 57,000 94,000 Helicopter Aviation dept manager Chief pilot Captain

113,000 90,000 132,000 95,000 77,000 115,000 87,000 67,000 106,000

Charter intl Jet Heavy intl and large jets

Captain 130,000 89,000 155,000 Supermidsize and midsize jets Captain 107,000 76,000 115,000 Light and entry-level jets Captain 86,000 62,000 102,000

Gulfstream G650 and its sister the G650ER offer speed, range, altittude, connectivity, and comfort. Corporate av dept mgrs can make as high as $209,000 annually with an average of $176,000 and a low of $130,000. A chief pilot averages $155,000 with a salary range of $119,000 to $181,000.

Regional intl


Captain Bombardier CRJ100/200 93,000 Bombardier CRJ700 98,000 Bombardier CRJ900 106,000 Embraer ERJ135 81,000 Embraer ERJ145 92,000 Embraer 170/175 97,000 Embraer 190/195 107,000 Fairchild Dornier 328JET 76,000 Fokker 70/100 77,000 First officer Bombardier CRJ100/200 52,000 Bombardier CRJ700 55,000 Bombardier CRJ900 61,000 Embraer ERJ135 49,000 Embraer ERJ145 52,000 Embraer 170/175 55,000 Embraer 190/195 61,000 Fairchild Dornier 328JET 50,000 Fokker 70/100 51,000

78,000 88,000 90,000 75,000 78,000 88,000 92,000 65,000 69,000

42,000 47,000 51,000 40,000 42,000 47,000 51,000 40,000 40,000

111,000 115,000 123,000 99,000 111,000 115,000 125,000 96,000 97,000 71,000 76,000 82,000 68,000 72,000 76,000 82,000 66,000 66,000

Turboprop Captain ATR42 64,000 55,000 79,000 ATR72 72,000 59,000 89,000 DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 72,000 56,000 86,000 DHC Dash 8-Q400 83,000 66,000 94,000 Fairchild Dornier 328 58,000 48,000 73,000 Saab 340 61,000 51,000 79,000 Saab 2000 74,000 57,000 87,000 First officer

ATR42 ATR72 Captain 76,000 51,000 91,000 DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 DHC Dash 8-Q400 Fairchild Dornier 328 Helicopter Saab 340 Captain 78,000 59,000 98,000 Saab 2000


Average Low High

45,000 40,000 60,000 50,000 42,000 65,000 49,000 40,000 60,000 54,000 46,000 67,000 43,000 38,000 58,000 43,000 38,000 58,000 49,000 41,000 66,000

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018  69

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Tech stops in Nordic and Baltic countries This region is well positioned for many great circle routings and has capable FBOs and other efficient handlers and ground services available. By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large


ech stops in Nordic countries and Baltic states are popular for many operators flying transoceanic, intercontinental and polar routes. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are well-positioned for flights between North America and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, and Far East and between points in Asia (Japan, Korea and/or Taiwan) and Europe wishing to avoid overflying China. Services are efficient, FBOs are available and costs are comparatively reasonable. In general, this region is GA-friendly, well-equipped for quick turns and straight-forward in terms of permits and airport slots. But International Support Providers (ISPs) remind operators they still need to consider potential issues to avoid operational delays. “Unless you’re tech stopping at LED (St Petersburg, Russia) the Nordic/Baltic region is typically very easy in terms of permits, visas, airport slots and operational flexibility,” says Universal Weather Mission Advisor Ryan Masters. “However, you do need to be mindful of winter weather as well as specific local mandates, such as new GA APIS filing requirements for Finland.”

Tech stop options HEL (Helsinki, Finland) is a wellused and popular tech stop in the region. It’s close to Russia and is a good jumping off point to the Middle East, India and Asia. Other efficient 24 hour Airport of Entry (AOE) tech stops in the Nordic region include ARN (Stockholm, Sweden), CPH (Copenhagen, Denmark), OSL (Oslo, Norway), and BGO (Bergen, Norway) – all have 24 hour FBOs. Over in the Baltic States, you’ve got attractive tech stops at RIX (Riga, Latvia), TLL (Tallinn, Estonia) and VNO (Vilnius, Lithuania). For operators who wish to stop further north there’s KTT (Kittila, Finland) at 67 degrees N Lat, and LYR (Svalbard, Norway). It’s one of the northernmost airports in the world at 78 degrees N Lat. Be aware that these higher Lat options are not active 24/7 and don’t have FBOs, but local handlers do offer full GA support services and fuel uplifts. If you’re heading to one of these very high Lat airport locations, also keep in mind that alternates are more of a consideration, RON and accommodation options will be more limited, and crew swap/AOG support logistics become more challenging.

Photo courtesy FBO Riga

Pictured above is Riga, Latvia’s capital on the Baltic Sea. The city comes complete with a medieval-era old town. FBO Riga (left) provides full bizav support 24/7 at RIX (Riga, Latvia).

“There are many great tech stops in the Nordic/Baltic region with good approaches and top-notch services,” points out Avfuel Account Exec David Kang. “Usually there’s no reason to go too far to the North, as there are additional weather and alternate issues to consider along with polar ops rule compliance. Also keep in mind that you can only make 1 tech stop in Russia without visas, so if you plan to tech stop at LED, this pretty much eliminates your ability to make another tech stop in country.” UAS Regional Ops Mgr Duke LeDuc says there are good quickturn tech stops all over this region, well geared for winter ops. However, some may be preferred over others. LeDuc uses the World Bank’s 1-5 scale Logistics Performance Index (LPI) to help determine challenges and opportunities associated with different regions. The current index (2016) has Germany at #1 with an overall score of 4.23. For comparison, Syria has the lowest score (1.6) while the US is #10 with a 3.99. A 3.50 is required to be in the top quintile. In the Nordic/Baltic region, Finland scored 3.92 and is #15 on the 2016 LPI while Sweden ranked 3rd with 4.20, Denmark is #17 with 3.82, and

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Photo courtesy Roskilde Airport

CPH (Copenhagen, Denmark) supports a steady flow of GA traffic. If you RON here, be sure to visit the old port and Frederiksstaden (at right), an 18th-century rococo district with some of the best restaurants in the area.

Latvia scored 3.33 to clinch the 43rd position in the index. “These are very good ratings,” explains LeDuc. “Russia currently ranks 99th with 2.57, so it and can be more challenging from a number of perspectives, including coordinating customs access for any needed AOG parts.” LeDuc points out that while some tech stops may be more familiar to operators than others, it’s always best to cast a wide net when considering locations. “While HEL is the top tech stop in the region for many operators, the Baltic States offer good options, plus prices tend to be lower,” he adds. “Lesser known stops can also be considered. MMX (Malmo, Sweden) has limited hours for fuel uplifts but suits many operators and routings well. Stockholm’s GA airport, BMA (Bromma, Stockholm, Sweden), is a very convenient location, although you’ll need to obtain a waiver to fly in there and the runway, at only 5472 ft, may not be suited for larger aircraft.”

Permits, slots and parking Other than for Russia, landing permits are not required for private operations in this region. In the case of charter, however, you’ll need permits for ops to most Nordic/Baltic countries as well as to Russia. ISPs advise to plan on 3 to 4 business days lead time for permit requests. Airport slots are mandated at most AOEs in the region but obtaining/revising slots is usually straightforward. But keep in mind that slot tolerances vary. Slots for HEL, for example, offer a generous -20/+30 minute window, while those at OSL are -15/+15 minute and BGO is just -10/+10 min. “Although you’ll need to deal with both Eurocontrol airway slots and as-

sorted airport slots, this is not usually an issue and there’s good flexibility within this region,” says Masters.

Ops costs and fuel uplifts Operating to the Nordic/Baltic region is a fairly reasonable proposition in terms of handling costs, airport fees, nav costs and fuel pricing. Plan on similar costs to what you’ll pay further south in the European continent, say ISPs, although fuel prices and taxes may be lower. Russia is the highest cost region for tech stops, while Baltic State airports are generally less expensive than those in Nordic countries. “This region is generally reasonable in terms of operating costs and cheaper than many popular destinations in Western Europe,” adds ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller. While it’s always recommended to carry printed copies of fuel releases when operating internationally, some major airports in the Nordic/ Baltic region accept aviation cards on sight. It’s suggested to give your fuel provider 24 hours notice of any planned uplift and to have your handler confirm fuel arrangements prior to uplift. “It’s best to confirm fuel credit and any local requirements prior to day of operation,” recommends Masters. “Be aware of any local idiosyncrasies or times of the day as fueling overtime charges may be imposed. At BGO and OSL, for example, you must indicate your next destination on your fuel release, otherwise the uplift won’t happen.”

Finland APIS APIS filing are currently only needed for aircraft arriving from/departing to non-Schengen countries with passengers onboard. But as of

September 1, 2016, both private and charter GA operators have been required to file APIS for certain ops to/ from Finland. In the case of a stop in Finland with no passengers onboard, APIS filings are not necessary regardless of where you’re flying from/to. GA operators with passengers making tech stops in Finland also don’t need to file APIS so long as nobody embarks and/or disembarks, but only if you’re continuing on to a non-Schengen country. If, however, Finland is either your first point of entry into the Schengen region or your last departure from that region, APIS must be filed whenever there are passengers onboard. For example, a flight such as from TEB (Teterboro NJ) to HEL to MCT (Muscat, Oman) with passengers onboard would require Finnish APIS for both flight legs. In the case of a TEB-HEL-NCE (Nice, France) trip with passengers onboard, APIS is only needed for the inbound leg to HEL. “We recommend filing APIS no more than 24 hours prior to ETA/ETD so it does not get lost in the system,” says Masters. “Note that Finnish APIS must be filed at least 15 minutes after your departure point from outside the Schengen region and/or 15 minutes after you depart Finland for a non-Schengen country.” Finnish APIS, in the case of GA, is submitted to Finnish Border Guard in Excel format. This may be done via your ground handler, ISP or directly. If there are any changes to your flight PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  June 2018  71

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Photo courtesy Grafair Jet Ctr

Grafair Jet Center ARN (Stockholm, Sweden) operates the only FBO at this location. Stockholm (right), a delightful city occupying 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges, is always an attractive crew rest stop.

or passengers manifest, APIS must be resubmitted – even if you’re just removing a passenger whose details were previously submitted. Should you neglect to file Finnish APIS for any applicable flight, the operator has up to 2 weeks to submit a letter to civil aviation authority (CAA) to explain why APIS was not submitted.

Russian tech stops LED is the primary GA tech stop in Western Russia, and it offers FBOs, 24 hour full-service GA support, and high level service standards. “You’ll need a landing permit to go to Russia and visas may be a consideration,” says Jeppesen Vendor Relations Mgr Russia, Africa & Central Asia Ian Humphrey. “For a tech stop in Russia, plan on 3 business days permit lead time, although permits can often be organized quicker. Be aware of visa requirements for both crew and passengers. You may make 1 tech stop in Russia without visas, but if you need a Russian visa, be aware that visas on arrival at LED are not an option.” Fuller notes that Russian permits may not be issued until very close to operation time, creating potential issues. “We had a case recently where an overflight permit for Russia did not come through until a couple of hours prior to crossing the FIR,” he says. “Russia is generally not as user-friendly as Scandinavia or the Baltic States in terms of permits, airport slots and visa requirements. And, whenever you fly to Russia, your alternate airport must also be in Russia.” ISPs often encourage operators to tech stop close to the Russian bor-

der, when possible, rather than in Russia. “I’d shy away from using Russia for a tech stop when headed from the US to Asia. This is due to the additional challenges. There are less complicated tech stops in this area,” notes LeDuc. “If you need to revise schedule, there’d be less operational flexibility in Russia, due to slot and permit issues. A schedule revision in Russia could, potentially, result in hours of delays.”

Weather and other flight ops considerations Weather systems in the Nordic/ Baltic region vary considerably depending upon season and airport location. “Weather systems can change rapidly in this region, which can cause service delays,” says Masters. “Some Baltic airports near the sea experience dense fog, and HEL can be much colder than tech stops to the south such as CPH and ARN. However, all major airports in this region do a very good job of staying open. Snow removal and de-icing services are typically efficient since FBOs and handlers at most locations are accustomed to winter weather challenges. But it’s always important to stay up to date on weather and to review all NOTAMs.” Kang adds that winter weather is often the biggest operational issue. “If you’re heading to this part of the world during winter, it’s important to be comfortable with CAT 2 and 3 approaches. Weather can be bad and you need to be prepared for limited visibility and crosswinds procedures. Once you land, handling services and infrastructure are very good, although hangar space for transient

ops is usually expensive and it’s not always available.”

Summary Tech stops in this region are straight-forward and usually a routine experience, permits are seldom needed, slots are not problematic, operational flexibility is good and ground handling standards are high. Of course, your choice of tech stops may be influenced by your particular mission profile. If you’re doing a crew swap or RON, HEL would be a better choice than remote LYR in the extreme north, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Be mindful that some stops offer better AOG support opportunities than others. In the event you’re traveling with a pet, guns or onboard hunting trophies down in the hold, you’ll need to research applicable local requirements and restrictions. “Each airport in this region has its particular pros and cons,” says Jeppesen Supervisor Global Vendor Relations Mark O’Carroll. “Keep an eye on weather during winter, consider local support options for any particular needs you may have, and have backup options at the ready in the event you may need to use an alternate airport.”

Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 20 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.

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