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PA-46 For short trips (Business)

Hi there,

A fellow pilot and friend approached me to the other day with a rather interesting idea. He is planning to purchase a PA-46 (turboprop) to perform short trips in Spain. Most of the trips will be of 1h – 1h 30m.
He’s really convinced that the numbers do work out. He will start to operate as a private owner flying friends and himself (legal concerns apart) and later if he foresees a sustainable business he will look forward to obtain an AOC. As you maight be aware SERA rules now allow SET for CAT with single pilot (he is of course CPL).

What do you think? I told him that it sounds like a good idea since there are some areas in Spain that are not very well connected but I think that the maintenance of the aicraft can be a problem if he’s just having one Malibu. He’s looking at an operating cost of 600€/h wet.

Regards

Don't get too slow
LEBZ | LECN | LECU, Spain

He’s looking at an operating cost of 600€/h wet.

Sounds very optimistic unless it excludes capital and depreciation. Turbines are not that keen on cycles, so if the sectors are quite short, an MEP might be more sensible.

A2B AOC with a fleet of one is usually unviable, although some business models on retainer for ambulance repatriation might manage.

Oxford (EGTK)

600 Euro dry might be more realistic. Then it depends on what you pay for the fuel. If you rent the PA46 turbine is about 1000 Euro per hour. 600 is about what you pay for a piston PA46 wet. Cycles are not an issue as nearly all PA46 turbines are low time engines with plenty of cycles left. Payload will be an issue. That rules out the Jetprop especially later on an AOC. Finally I would stay away. It is very hard to make decent money on such an operation unless there is one major lead customer.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

As you maight be aware SERA rules now allow SET for CAT with single pilot (he is of course CP

Also, AFAIK, certain restrictions come with this liberalization, which can likely not be overcome in this case). He should do more homework (and not ask others to do that…). Maybe start with an enquiry with AENA?…

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

and not ask others to do that

WHY ???

This is what EuroGA is for: helping others.

Getting info out of any CAA is like pulling teeth, and half the time the reply that you do get will be wrong.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

speed wrote:

As you maight be aware SERA rules now allow SET for CAT

EASA rules now do, but I hear this is at the “cost” of having to plan routes where “time not in gliding range of a suitable aerodrome” is restricted.

ELLX

WHY ???

You didn’t get the point. It sounded like that “friend” asked speed (explicitly or not) to get some information… which would be kinda weird…

Getting info out of any CAA is like pulling teeth, and half the time the reply that you do get will be wrong.

Sure, but ultimately, that CAA will have to issue that required AOC, so it is without alternative to enquire with exactly them.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 31 Jul 19:17
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

lionel wrote:

having to plan routes where “time not in gliding range of a suitable aerodrome” is restricted

Spain being the only country in Western Europe where this might be an issue, even if they let him plan to use military airports – the space between Madrid and Saragossa is basically a desert.

EGTF, LFTF

denopa wrote:

Spain being the only country in Western Europe where this might be an issue, even if they let him plan to use military airports – the space between Madrid and Saragossa is basically a desert.

Yes, but Spain also has very limited public transport connections between many secondary cities (as has France, for that matter). Everything is centered on Madrid and to a lesser extent Barcelona and if you, say, have to go from Malaga to Zaragossa – well, good luck. When I lived there, there was a lot of- shall we call it ‘informal’ – air transport going on between secondary cities. He may be on to something, not sure about the choice of plane, though.

I can’t comment on the legality of the operation but I can on the operation costs of a Meridian.

If Speed’s friend flies 100 hours/year he can utilise combined Events 1 and 2 which is the first maintenance economy step. If he does that and conveniently ignores hot section inspection fund, engine overhaul fund, prop overhaul fund, depreciation and cost of capital employed he might operate it for 600 euros/hour.

But ignoring these costs are comfort tricks we private owners play to avoid facing the hard economic cost of operation that we hope to indefinitely defer.

But as a business, Speed’s mate really ought to consider everything and I suspect an operating cost closer to 1000 Euro/hour is more realistic for an older Meridian based on 100 hours/year and insurance to cover commercial ops. Maybe 25% more for a newer one where depreciation on most aircraft is pretty unpleasant. (PC12 being the exception perhaps?)

As for mass and balance, a Meridian would be workable for 1.5 hour IFR sectors at 2310kg MTOM assuming cabin not full of 200kg pax.

Last Edited by PhilG at 31 Jul 21:21
Lydd
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