Monday, March 1, 2004
Going Recreational In A Pilatus
An executive turbine with a fun personality sets out to fulfill a mission in the Grand Canyon
|Pilots dream about having more than one airplane. They’d like one that’s comfortable and fast for serious cross-countries and another that’s nimble enough to even play in the dirt for the sheer fun of flying. As long as we’re dreaming, let’s include a ridiculously huge useful load, enough to carry a boatload of friends or family, and whatever toys and goodies the mission requires.|
|ATVs are fun alternatives to horseback riding when exploring the beautiful sagebrush-covered valley (above).|
Gavin is the head manager at Bar 10. He, his wife, Andrea, and daughter, Hailee, spend five days a week there on the North Rim, then travel for a day’s work at a cattle ranch in Penguich, Utah. The trip takes about four hours each way on the barely improved roads of northern Arizona. “It would be nicer if we had a plane,” smiles Gavin at Schneider as he eyes the PC-12.
The Pilatus team, like other pilots who fly into the Bar 10’s runway, are hard-pressed on what to do first. The ranch’s helicopter provides bird’s-eye views of the 217-mile-long, 6,250-foot-deep Grand Canyon. Mountain bikes triple the amount of the sprawling desert you can cover by foot, or the Bar 10’s ATVs can take you to the petroglyphs and cliff dwellings of Anasazi Indians who inhabited this area thousands of years ago.
Although the PC-12 had packed in plenty of food for its “business trip,” the team could smell the Bar 10’s cowboy-style buffet dinner next door. “Y’all hungry?” a ranch hand asked as the group approached on their bicycles. “These cooks sure know how to ruin a good appetite.”
Like so many trips, it was over much too quickly. At 270 knots, the PC-12 was back home in well under two hours, coming and going on a single tank of gas.
“Business or pleasure?” one of the line crew asked.
“This airplane was working,” pipes the Pilatus team. They know that all flying is serious business.
Must Have Contacts:
Bar 10 Ranch