sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The PC-6/B2-H4 Project

For those of you who asked, the fly-away price of the PC-6/B2-H4 with all of the goodies is $2,043,620.00. Price of extended range fuel tanks is on top of that as are a few little extra luxury goodies. Delivery in the US ads a few dollars to the bottom line. 10% down for delivery in the first quarter of 2020.

The Garmin G950 Glass Cockpit IFR package is included with that amount, and from what I'm told, the weather radar downlink (via Iridium) is the way to go rather than onboard radar. But frankly, I remain unconvinced.

For the helpful souls who e-mailed me with the suggestion that I look hard at the PC-12, is's more than twice as expensive at $5 million. I have no problem with the Pilatus PC-12, but it's out of my price range.

Additional costs would include the construction of a new hanger at the Payson, AZ airport for storage of the Porter. I don't have to do that, but yes, I have to do that. I can land the PC-6 near the White Wolf Mine, but to keep it in perfect shape, and perfectly maintained, it needs a real home.

I have the price locked until August 28. I have not yet ordered the airplane. I'm waiting for money owed to be paid out. I'm too conservative. Go ahead, say it. It's true. I prefer the sure thing. I have deals pending and payments pending. Some are farther out, some are closer to the present. If you were to ask me what I do for a living, I'd have difficulty nailing it down to one particular thing. That's not at all like working for the government and I did that for most of my adult life. Now I know people in a very small world and use those relationships to make money for myself, my pathetic little company and for my friends. However if I have learned one thing, it is that you don't count the money until it's in your account, and overhead and taxes are accounted for fully.

Does that mean I'll get the order down for a PC-6 before they shut down the assembly line? I don't know.


18 comments:

  1. One of the things ADS-B is slated for is giving local weather uplinks to aircraft. Have you looked into that?
    https://ipadpilotnews.com/2015/06/ads-b-weather-look-like/

    I don't know how built out the network is by now, but the last few years of my career was spent designing aircraft weather radars for the big planes. Small planes like this are at a disadvantage because of lack of places to put the antenna. From that regard, a twin engine plane leaves the nose for the antenna.

    I believe the handwriting is on the wall for small GenAv aircraft with ADS-B uploads of terminal weather available. We were working on things like finding clear air turbulence ahead and synthetic vision for landing in rotten conditions considering pure weather radar as old tech and always striving for new and better.

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    1. I've seen some PC-6 aircraft with the radar out about 4' from the wing tip. So it can be done. I don't know how the unit functioned. More research is required in that regard.

      I'm a VFR style pilot who believes that transitioning to IFR means that I made a huge mistake when I built my flight plan. The PC-6 is a VFR aircraft with some really good, modern avionics that allow viable IFR. That statement shows you my limitations as a pilot. I'm more comfortable barnstorming by the seat of my pants than I am flying through the use of synthetic vision and trying to land on a patch of pavement I can't see.

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  2. Neat. I echo LSP's comment. Remember no polarized sunglasses with the glass cockpit if is LCD; I don't want to read that you encountered "cummulus granitas" while on instruments.

    Will this be a business asset as well as for personal use.

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    Replies
    1. I don't want to end up as a greasy spot on the side of the mountain and worse still, wouldn't want to cause the death of others who trusted me to be safe.

      I'm sure that a portion of the aircraft will end up fairly written off on taxes, in lieu of commercial aviation in the Western US. The need to take off and land without the scheduling problems caused by airlines is justification enough. That being said, I don't get too aggressive with the tax man. I pay more, but I sleep soundly.

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  3. Have you considered a Helio Stallion? Don't know if they are still in production.

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    1. There weren't that many built. Essentially the PC-6 became the go-to instead of the Stallion.

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  4. I don't know anything about planes; but if you are looking at getting a plane whose production line is being shut down; repairs and ease of part replacement should definitely figure into your purchase.

    If you already covered that, I apologise. I can't seem to keep up lately.

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    1. Pilatus committed to keeping spare parts assembly going for twenty years. By that time I won't be flying - likely dead.

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  5. Relying on data link weather vs a real radar -stale data and precipitation interference from the convective wx you want to avoid are cons, but longer range is good. Both systems would be best.
    Are you sourcing through Epps?

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    1. The basic avionics package is sourced through and integrated by the manufacturer. I don't think that I'd work on radar when the market is changing and the earliest delivery is in 2010.

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    2. "the earliest delivery is in 2010."

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    3. Yes, and I need to throw down at least 10% now.

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  6. I’ve flown behind both uplinked and onboard radar. For situational awareness uplink is awesome. If you want to fly through the wet stuff or right close to storms you need onboard radar. Either supplements what you see firsthand out the front seat!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you can see farther with uplink. Both is better.

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  7. He's hoping. And yes, onboard is better when push comes to shove.

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    Replies
    1. You were spoiled with four engines, sixteen blades, and military radar.

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It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life