Flightglobal: A US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) "go team" is on its way to the state of Montana to investigate the crash of a Pilatus PC-12/45 that reportedly killed 17 people, many of them children.
The NTSB says in a statement that the PC-12, registered as N128CM, crashed at around 15:...Date: 23 March 2009Read the full article
Date: 23 March 2009
Read the full article
My wings are like a shield of steel.
Batfink:I've got a copy of Flight's '2008 Pocket Guide to Business Aircraft' by Alan Peaford here with me and it states that a PC-12 in airliner configuration can seat nine plus two crew?
I fly a PC12 for a charter company, and ours has 10 seats (8 pax, 2 crew) in the exec configuration. I've heard of the airline configured seating but never seen it. From what I've read it sounds like a stall/spin accident; it's possible the cg could have been too far aft. If there were 14 aboard with seating for 11 that's criminally negligent.
I read last night the aircraft owner said the plane had 8 pax seating. The PC12 is available with 9 pax airline-type seating though, which explains the 11 seat limit on the TC. Most of them I've seen have the 6 pax executive seating layout. We add/remove the two back seats by the cargo door based on need.
14 aboard with seating for 10 is criminally negligent IMO. This should never have happened.
Upon a little investigating on the Pilatus website its clear to me that he was running out of gas and thats why he diverted to Butte…only 80 miles from Bozeman
Here’s why. If you go to the Pilatus website you can see all the performance data for the PC12. It is for the NG (new generation) version but I don’t think the older versions will be that much different.
First, the distance from Oroville, CA to Butte MT is about 596 miles (shorttest distance). If he took on full fuel when he left…he was over weight…and not by a little. After full fuel you are only allowed 1096 pounds. 14 people died but the pilot is counted in the emty weight. So 7 childrenX55 lbs=385lbs. 6 adults X175 lbs=1050lbs. Total=1435lbs…already over weight and I haven’t even accounted for any luggage and perhaps skis…but needless to say it was probably >500lbs overweight. But that isnt where the real problem lies.
If you look on the Pilatus website for the range of this aircraft…something very interesting jumps out. With no payload (other than fuel) and at 30,000 feet…the PC12 NG has a range of approx. 1500 miles with reserves. Bump the payload up to max and the range drops to 600 plus IFR reserves. Hence, weight plays a big deal in the range on this aircraft. So if he had full fuel he would have been more than 500lbs overweight and probably less than 600 miles of range. Any less fuel would have made the situation worse as would flying at lower than 30,000. His flight plan stated 25,000
Now there was fire at the crash site but there is going to be 5-7 gallons of unusable fuel in the tank and in all likelyhood there was probably more…as banking and turning for final could prevent fuel from flowing continuously to the engine.
So they can speculate on ice and/or being overweight, but I think this is just going to be a case of fuel starvation from high fuel consumption from a heavy/overweight airplane.
Perhaps some PC12 guys on here could shed some real life situations, i.e. fuel burn and such.
It's actually legal for two passengers who's combined weight is less than 170 pounds to share a seat for a part 91 flight. Check it out on the AOPA web site under traveling with family. Sorry, I don't have the specific link. From what I've read about this pilot, I just don't see him being "criminally negligent". We might disagree as to whether or not it was prudent to carry all of these folks in that plane, unless the number of pax is specifically limited in the POH, I think he was legal since the small children could have easily shared a seat.