The PT6 engine is used by operators around the world, many of whom have very specific requirements and often operate in challenging environments. PT6Nation spoke with two such operators.
Shining on the Gold Coast
Peter Gash is a tourism and aviation entrepreneur for whom the PT6 engine is an integral part of his business. That business includes flying tourists to his remote Lady Elliot Island resort on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s iconic Gold Coast. He and his wife have built a diversified business that also includes air-transport services to the fast-growing mining industry.
Over the years, the dynamic businessman has flown a lot of engines, but, given the risks of making the flight over open water to Lady Elliot Island and other locations, he now flies Cessna Caravans powered by PT6A engines. “We tested a lot of different turboprops, but we quickly realized that the PT6 engine was the one for us,” says Gash. “Today we have five Caravans.”
Gash says that when he bought his inaugural Caravan, it was the first PT6 engine on the Gold Coast. He bought Lady Elliot Island in 2005 and built a runway that could accommodate the Caravan.
After a period of thorough research, Gash recently purchased a used Beech King Air 200 powered by two PT6A-42 engines. The larger aircraft allows him to carry more passengers, thus making his flight operations more efficient.
“Our mining-company customers need aircraft that will land on a dirt strip, something that’s versatile and rugged enough to match the needs of the travelling mining camps,” says Gash. “Powered by the PT6 engine, the Caravan and King Air work beautifully and our customers just love them.”
Devoted to P&WC Parts
Johan Kotzé is technical manager for Aero Management Services (AMS), located in Glattbrugg, Switzerland.
“We currently have 22 aircraft, a mix of Twin Otters and Beech1900Ds,” says Kotzé. “The PT6 engine is a proven and reliable engine. It is also easy to maintain in the less-developed regions of the African continent.”
He says AMS relies on the engine’s ability to operate in difficult environments, such as high humidity and tropical heat. The decision to buy PT6-powered aircraft was an intentional one based on the engine’s ability to deliver on a consistent basis, no matter what operating conditions.
“P&WC’s CFirst customer support centre provides exceptionally good service,” says Kotzé. “The reps in the centre are very punctual when it comes to following through. They take ownership of an in-field issue and always come back to us with timely answers and solutions.” He says that P&WC is responsive, having proved it recently when it quickly developed a new part for the PT6A-67D engine that is better able to withstand conditions in Africa.
Kotzé spends his day ensuring that the AMS fleet is in top mechanical shape and that customer commitments are met. He’s also a great fan of P&WC quality engine parts. “No one can give you the guarantee of an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] part like the OEM itself. It’s as simple as that.”
For P&WC, global reach must translate into global action. That’s why the company has built a multi-location and multi-faceted customer service network that extends around the world, meeting operator needs whenever and wherever it’s required.