Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Is the Jetprop the right plane for my mission? (and other high performance types)

My mission:
- flying around Europe, business & family, home base in Switzerland, much IFR
- typical legs between 100nm and 500nm
- with 2 adults and 2 kids, I want to safely get in and out of 600m grass strips, even if they are not perfectly prepared, and then fly 500nm
- with 2 adults and 2 kids, I want to safely get in and out of 500m asphalt, and then fly 500nm
- pressurization is a must (small kids are incompatible with oxygen and rapid descents)
- 1999kg mtom is attractive for access to smaller fields and also eurocontrol reasons

According to my research the JetProp can do the above, but I also heard people critical of operating it out of grass strips. Does anyone have real world experience on that? Am I correctly informed that the JetProp has better short field performance, and more prop clearance than the Meridian/M500/M600?
If the JetProp really cannot do it, what are viable alternatives?

Also, I am not flying too much actually, would probably use the plane 100h per year. So I don’t want to get killed by fixed cost maintenance/calendar items. Is the JetProp fine in that regard? Would probably purchase in US ferry to Switzerland and keep on N-reg for that reason. Alternatively buy N-reg from European seller. Depends on supply.

Switzerland

Don’t operate a Jetprop, but a piston Malibu. But the undercarriage is the same…

Gras strip is always a question. Heavily depends on the quality of the grass strip. LIPV is grass and not a problem at all with a Malibu. For softer and/or bumpier strips, however, I would actually be very cautious. It can be safely operated from good grass strips, but it is not a grass strip airplane (no 2t plane is, arguably…)

HBadger wrote:

So I don’t want to get killed by fixed cost maintenance/calendar items.

That obviously depends on your financial situation and is very individual.
If I would not fly at all, the “fixed” maintenance cost are about 5k per year (including, however, one 100h inspection that I need to do for the annual even if I’ve flown zero hours).

Germany

HBadger wrote:

but I also heard people critical of operating it out of grass strips. Does anyone have real world experience on that?

There are at least 3 Jetprops (incl mine) that regularly fly into Texel and ditto Midden Zeeland, but both runways are in good shape and need to be dry.
What you need to be careful off on grass is a strong crosswind and trying to lift the nose wheel off early, but I suppose that goes for any aircraft with more than 250 HP.

Malibuflyer wrote:

For softer and/or bumpier strips, however, I would actually be very cautious.

I would agree with that

HBadger wrote:

Am I correctly informed that the JetProp has better short field performance,

There is no comparison, the Jetprop would probably use half the distance to 50ft.

HBadger wrote:

- with 2 adults and 2 kids, I want to safely get in and out of 600m grass strips, even if they are not perfectly prepared, and then fly 500nm
- with 2 adults and 2 kids, I want to safely get in and out of 500m asphalt, and then fly 500nm

As far as I know the Jetprop runway performance was never tested. The STC just says equal or better than the piston model before conversion. So even if the plane can do it and something goes wrong there is a chance they blame you because the POH did not say so.

> 600m grass

To make the plane stop properly on 600m grass maybe even a bit wet you will definitely need quite some prop reverse which on a grass field comes with a big risk for the engine and the prop. Also if the field is nearly 2000ft high that does not help either. Same on take off. You will have to spool up the engine standing still with a huge risk to ingest bad stuff into a quarter million Euro engine and a 30-50k euro prop. I owned 3 PA46 (no Jetprop) and they are not very comfortable on non golf course quality grass. I did only do a fast taxi over our local grass runway and then decided I would not try it for real. The gear sits very high and history is full or nose gear collapses on PA46 and again on a Jetprop such an even can cost easily 300-500k Euro.

So probaly the plane can do it but if you do it regularly its is just a very expensive accident waiting to happen.

> 500m asphalt

At least you can spool up the engine with much more comfort and use the reverse with less risk. So I would definitely prefer this over 600m grass. Again the plane can probably just about do it but if something goes wrong they will find you overloaded (all Jetprops are more or less always) on a runway which the POH says is probably too short also if the field is 1300ft and it might be hot. I know the local JetProp from our field once went to Helgoland airport (480m). It did work out and they did it once and now years later they still tell about this adventure. If the runway is very short it sometimes helps to see if there is more tarmac which is not certified (taxiway, turn area etc.) and how low the obstacles are but I think I know which airport this is about and there is just maybe 20m extra on the west side and on top possible moving obstacles passing by.

> If the JetProp really cannot do it, what are viable alternatives?

I fear only the PC12 will really be able to handle this mission with reserves and all the requirements less 2t MTOW. Or the AW609 when it comes to market ;-) Maybe a C210 Silver Eagle might also work but I don’t know enough about them.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

https://www.euroga.org/forums/aircraft/3504-jetprop-short-field-performance-porn

Paging @eal and @sebastian_g for real world data

A lot is possible. If it’s worth the stress/effort and additional risks is another matter. Would the 600m grass field be your base? What are the conditions of the runway? Terrain/obstacles? Predominant weather?

Turbine and pressurization and IFR are plus points for safety, comfort and dispatch rate. A short grass runway (with all the uncertainties regarding field condition), for instance in the swiss alps requiring close obstacle VFR maneuvers, aren’t.

GA PRO, IFR Instructor, Safety Pilot,...
LOWG | Worldwide

Sebastian_G wrote:

I fear only the PC12 will really be able to handle this mission with reserves and all the requirements less 2t MTOW.

Yea, one only needs to look at the PC12 videos from Locher Field… no more questions. That thing was made to land on just about anything. I wonder why none of them have been up at Lukla yet, I bet it can do that too with ease.

LSZH, Switzerland

HBadger wrote:

with 2 adults and 2 kids, I want to safely get in and out

For that I would recommend a transport category aircraft.

EPPO, EPPK

Mooney_Driver wrote:

That thing was made to land on just about anything.

I once met a PC12 demo pilot. I asked him about rough field operation and he did show me pictures with the dirt flying to the sides. If you meet a PA46 demo pilot and ask about rough field operations he will tell you it can be done. Then you ask if he could demo you such a flight and he will say no. Any more questions ;-) I absolutely love the PA46 and I have owned 3 but rought field is just not its thing.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I wonder why none of them have been up at Lukla yet, I bet it can do that too with ease

Actually from a performance point it should not be that bad, quite similar to Courchevel which is actually easier than the flat 500m field asked about here. I flew the Meridian to Courchevel and it handles that very well in and out. But I never saw a picture of any private plane lading at Lukla, just the local airlines. Jeppesen does not even seem to have a public approach chart for Lukla but I assume what gets into Courchevel will also get into Lukla.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

Sounds like you need a Silver Eagle to me. It’s stol performance is top class.

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

+1 for the PC12, which would be the ideal airplane for your missions

However, you could also look at the various C210s, not necessarily only the Silver Eagle. I fly a NA 210L and a friend has a P210 and they – especially the latter – are great traveling machines. While the undercarriage isn’t the most robust ever made, they are used extensively in southern Africa and Australia on gravel strips (usually well above MTOW….) and can handle that well. That said, hard rwy is definitely preferable, but that goes for pretty much any small touring SEP/SET.

Thinking a bit outside the SE box (and of course I don’t know if you’re multi rated), a Partenavia P68 or a Tecnam P2012 would probably be perfect for you, although the latter is right on the limit for the runways you describe.

Last Edited by 172driver at 09 Jan 23:47
84 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top