First Flight in VH-TCP

Today was my first flight in my new PC-12 🙂

For reasons related mostly to insurance coverage before the ferry flight, I was ‘riding shotgun’ on this flight, watching from just behind Pete and Jan (a Pilatus factory/test pilot).

Being in this spot gave me a great chance to have a first play with the aviation video camera I’ve got. The outcome there is that I need to tweak it some more – the imaging of the panel is excellent but the contrast to the outside world is too high (hence no useful visibility out of the window in the resulting recording)

I’ve subsequently fitted a (supplied) propellor blurring filter and I’ll try some more contrast adjustments on our next flight.

Due to the size of the video files and uncertainty about Internet access in each spot we’re going to be, I may not be able to upload any video sequences until we get back (but… ‘we shall see’)…

Other than doing a full engine shutdown and relight demonstration, we did a couple of flight-management-system controlled approaches to demonstrate some of what the Apex glass cockpit system can do (including one ILS approach and one using GPS to drive the entire approach including vertical and lateral guidance).

Some of the photos I’ve posted (below) illustrate a rather unusual feature of operating from the Pilatus factory.

A public road separates the factory from the airfield.

Aircraft from the factory use radio to trigger an exit gate from the factory and then just taxi toward the road, where traffic lights stop the cars and make them wait for the plane!

I think this is the first time I’ve taxied through a traffic intersection in an aircraft 🙂

After the flight, we had a short handing over ceremony, red carpet and all. We did things slightly backward because we were still in the aircraft as they towed it into the hangar, meaning I came out of the plane to accept the keys, instead of the other way around 🙂

After all of that, we had a nice lunch at a lovely spot beside the lake, and then we got on with packing the aircraft toward being ready to start the ferry flight later this week.

All in all, a great day – the aircraft is performing flawlessly, and it looks wonderful.