Outback Stations – PC-24 Put Through Its Paces in Australia
Owned by a private customer, the PC-24 with serial number 119 has called Australia home since it was delivered in December 2018. It is occasionally used by Pilatus Australia for demo flights. The aircraft was recently put through a rigorous schedule for another prospective customer. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
Over the course of a week, the Super Versatile Jet demonstrated its impressive capabilities by completing multiple dirt strip landings in the Australian outback, confirming its versatility on a variety of unpaved runways in this harsh environment. Accompanied by his chief pilot, the prospective customer – who currently operates a PC-12 – was on board for all flights. The PC-24’s increased speed would deliver significant added benefit for the missions regularly undertaken by the organisation.
The executive fit PC-24 landed on dirt strips in Juandah and Pialaway, both in Queensland, and on the gravel track on Thistle Island, South Australia. These three dirt strips range between 4,260 and 4,920 feet (1,300 to 1,500 metres) – not a problem for the PC-24. The flight crew commented: “Before landing on the first airstrip we inspected the surface from a low altitude to ascertain the strip was in good condition. From that point on it became a routine approach and a relatively simple landing. The PC-24 operated exactly as promised, exceeding the expectations of our passengers who were surprised at the ease with which this jet can operate out of rough fields like this.”
Perfectly suited to the outback
The same procedure was conducted at the second airstrip – including a preliminary visual inspection from the air to determine the strip’s condition and suitability for the PC-24’s unpaved runway capability. Operations into, and out of, both these dirt airstrips were effortless, with aircraft performance as per – or even exceeding – the figures quoted in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
The combination of outstanding short take-off and landing capability, ability to operate into and out of unpaved strips, high speed and ideal range make the PC-24 extremely sought-after for operations in Australia. Only the Super Versatile Jet can deliver so much.