Pilatus PC-12 with Pratt & Whitney PT6 Engine

The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft. It is used mainly for corporate transport and regional airliner operators, though it is also used by government and the medical field. It popularity and versatility has earned it a place in other roles such as cargo, air ambulance, and government special mission applications. The Pilatus PC-12 has gained a reputation for outstanding performance, reliability, and operational flexibility. Its ability to land on shorter runways and its low operating costs certainly make it a top choice for aircraft.

The PC-12 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine, much like other Pilatus aircraft, and also like the SOCATA 700/850. It is certified for single-pilot operations, but it is also possible to have a second flight crew member. It has a 330 cubic foot pressurized passenger cabin with seating for up to 9 passengers.

The Switzerland based company provides many services to their customers including continual support, and even custom trip analyses, cash flow analyses, and comparison reports for those contemplating making a purchase. The aircraft can also be customized depending on what is desired by the purchaser or pilot.

Pilatus PC-12

Incidents with Pilatus PC-12

  • Number built: 1200
  • Incidents recorded: 29
  • Fatalities: 75

There have been a total of 29 recorded incidences with the Pilatus PC-12, according to the Aviation Safety Network. One major accident occurred on March 22, 2009 when the aircraft crashed on approach to the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte, Montana. Investigations concluded that ice in the fuel system had prevented the normally balanced flow of fuel from the wings. All 14 people on board were killed, seven of whom were young children. Despite this high profile crash, the Pilatus PC-12 is generally regarded as safer than dual engine aircraft of similar size. Since their start of production, single engine turboprops have not had a single fatality due to engine failure.

Role of the Pilatus PC-12 Passenger and cargo aircraft
Manufacturer of the Pilatus PC-12 Pilatus Aircraft
First flight of the Pilatus PC-12 31 May 1991
Introduction of the Pilatus PC-12 1994
Status of the Pilatus PC-12 In production
Pilatus PC-12 Production 1994-present
Number of Pilatus PC-12s built 1,200 (by Late 2012)
Unit cost of the Pilatus PC-12 $3.3 million
Variants of the Pilatus PC-12 PC-12/41,  PC-12/45,  PC-12/47,  PC-12/47E,  PC-12M Spectre, U-28A
Crew of the Pilatus PC-12 1-2 pilots
Capacity of the Pilatus PC-12  9 passengers standard, 6-8 executive
Length of the Pilatus PC-12 14.40 m (47 ft 3 in)
Wingspan of the Pilatus PC-12 16.23 m (53 ft 3 in)
Height of the Pilatus PC-12 4.26 m (14 ft 0 in)
Wing Area of the Pilatus PC-12 25.81 m² (277.8 ft²)
Empty Weight of the Pilatus PC-12  2,761 kg (5,867 lb)
Max Takeoff Weight of the Pilatus PC-12  4,740 kg (10,450 lb)
Powerplant of the Pilatus PC-12  × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B or -67P turboprop, 895 kW (1,200 shp)
Pilatus PC-12 Maximum landing 4,700 kg (10,450 lb)
Pilatus PC-12 Maximum payload full fuel 539 kg (1,189 lb)
Tail wingspan of the Pilatus PC-12 5.20 m (17 ft 1 in)
Propeller of the Pilatus PC-12 Hartzell HC - E4A - 3D/E10477K – 4 blade aluminum
Pilatus PC-12 Propeller diameter 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)
Pilatus PC-12 Propeller RPM 1,700 rpm

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37467370@N08/

By Peter Bakema [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Notable Cases

Reno Air Race Disaster

On September 16, 2011, a highly modified P-51D Mustang crashed near the spectator area at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, killing the pilot and ten spectators, and injuring at least seventy other spectators. It is the third deadliest airshow disaster in United States history. The racecourse was 8.5 miles long, marked by…

Case Details

York v. Tropic Air

On September 7, 2008, a Cessna 208B Caravan operated by Tropic Air lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Belize City Municipal Airport. The flight was headed to Philip S.W. Goldson International airport in Belize City with four U.S. citizens and one pilot on board. Almost immediately after takeoff, the engine failed, and the pilot…

Case Details

Mills v. Cessna Aircraft Company

A Cessna 208 Caravan with registration number N9530F crashed shortly after take off from the Dillingham, Alaska airport. The pilot and nine passengers were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. The plane crashed less than a mile from the end of the runway during daylight hours and in visual meteorological conditions. The flight was bound…

Case Details

McKenna v. Pratt & Whitney

On October 18, 2005, at approximately 11:15 PM, a single-engine Cessna 208 turbo-prop airplane with registration number N978FE was forced to land after it lost power near Round Rock, Texas. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The cross-country flight originated at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and was destined for Fort Worth Alliance Airport, near Fort Worth, Texas. …

Case Details

Fuddy v. Makani Kai Air

Shortly after taking off from Kaluapapa Airport bound for Honolulu, a Cessna 208B Caravan with registration number N687MA operated by Makani Kai Air experienced an engine failure and crashed into the ocean off Moloka’i. The flight was an air taxi commuter flight between two Hawaiian islands with eight passengers on board. Many of the passengers…

Case Details

Fry et al. vs. Cessna Aircraft Company

On November 8, 2002, a Cessna 208B Caravan turboprop left Las Vegas, Nevada bound for Midland, Texas with three passengers and a pilot. At approximately 10:20 PM, the plane impacted terrain approximately three miles south of Parks, Arizona. At the time, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed.  A significant meteorological advisory for severe turbulence due north of…

Case Details

FlightSafety International Inc. v. Dallas Airmotive, Inc.

On October 30, 2014, a Beechcraft King Air B200 airplane with registration number N52SZ, crashed into the FlightSafety International building as it attempted a takeoff from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. The only occupant of the airplane was the pilot, who was killed in the crash. In addition, three occupants of the building were…

Case Details

Nicholson/Riola Estates v. Rico Aviation

On April 28, 2017, a Pilatus Aircraft Ltd PC12 with registration number N933DC crashed near the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport shortly after take off. The plane was operated as an air ambulance flight and was en route to Clovis, New Mexico to transport a patient back to Amarillo. The pilot and two medical flight…

Case Details

Taquan Air

On July 10, 2018, a De Havilland DHC3T Otter airplane, N3952B, crashed into mountainous terrain near Ketchikan, Alaska. The plane held eleven occupants: a pilot and ten passengers. All of the passengers were injured, six seriously. The plane was registered to Blue Aircraft, LLC, and was operated by Taquan Air as a commercial on-demand flight.…

Case Details

Barnes et al v. PB One Aviation LLC, et al

On September 12, 2013, a Pilatus Aircraft Ltd PC-12 with registration number N617BG aborted takeoff at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) when the plane began to settle back onto the runway during liftoff. The pilot and nine passengers were on board. Visual meteorological conditions were in force for this charter flight from Austin to Lubbock, Texas.…

Case Details