Published on April 28th, 2022 | by Joe McDermott


Pilatus Wings over Ireland

​​​Few in the aviation industry here will have failed to notice that the Pilatus PC-12 and PC-24 have become increasingly active across Ireland over the last couple of years.

Delivery to No.104 Squadron at Baldonnel of three PC-12NG Spectre in 2020 along with the single PC-12 47E the same year gave the Irish Air Corps considerably enhanced airlift capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic which was noted regularly by both print and TV media. The large, rear cargo door being a particularly outstanding feature as it afforded palletized CORVID-19 tests consignments to be loaded directly into the aircraft and flown to testing laboratories without fuss!

In Q3 2021 the first PC-12, an NGX, was added to the Irish civil register, based at Dublin-Weston.

PC-12 of Oriens Aviation

Private and commercially operated PC-12s are routinely visiting Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Weston and even at a few grass strips across the country, where the STOL characteristic of the PC-12 have been employed to great effect creating an efficient airbridge to the UK and continental Europe, bypassing airport terminal delays and reducing the CORVID-19 risk to passengers and crew, especially important when moving jockeys and trainers between racing events, for example.

Pilatus aircraft are known for their versatility, their ability to operate from short and unimproved runways due to their STOL capability and rugged undercarriage combined with that large rear cargo door – characteristics that are particularly attractive to Irish users, combined with some of the lowest operating costs in the business. 

The PC-12’s Swiss build quality is manifested in the highest residual values commanded by any aircraft in the industry. A 10-year-old aircraft retains close to 80% of its value when new.

Biggin Hill based Oriens Aviation, led by the entrepreneur and Folland Gnat display pilot Edwin Brenninkmeyer, are the Ireland and UK exclusive Pilatus distributor for both the PC-12 and PC-24. 

A Pilatus PC-24 at Waterford Airport. Donal Leahy

Increasing numbers of the Swiss airframers’ unique, twin jet, PC-24 are carving out their own niche in the business aviation sector here.

Oriens Aviation has held demonstration events for the PC-12 at Weston and Newcastle. PC-24 demonstration events during 2021 were held at Cork, Waterford, and Weston.

PC-12 in the hanger at Weston

Both the PC-12NGX and PC-24 will visit Weston with Oriens Aviation again during the spring and summer of 2022 for private demonstration appointments. 

Oriens Aviation will soon have their first PC-12NG on their AOC and it will then be available to the charter market.

In other news, Oriens Aviation is now the Ireland and UK distributor for the famous Italian designed and constructed Tecnam family of aircraft. A selection of Tecnam types will be featured at various locations throughout Ireland before year’s end, including the two-seat P2008, the four-seat P2010, and the Lycoming powered eleven-seat twin P2012Traveller and the Rotax powered four-seat, fully retractableP2006T, the lightest-twin-engined certified aircraft available.

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About the Author

Joe has worked in operations & business development with a number of Fixed Based Operators (FBO) including USA based companies Landmark Aviation & Universal Aviation. As founder of business airport/FBO focused consultancy Global FBO Consult he has worked on projects in Bahrain, France, India, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Tanzania, UAE, United Kingdom & USA. The company specializes in providing cost effective solutions to assist airports, FBOs & ground handling companies grow efficiently & deal with the competition head on, allowing them to attract new customers, keep existing customers & generate maximum revenue. He is a contributor to many BizAv magazines including Business Airport International, Bluesky Business Aviation News, Globalair.com & has written feature articles for P1, historic aircraft magazine FlyPast and a regular contributor to Flying In Ireland. He is a founding member & CEO of the Irish Business Aviation Association (IrBAA), Honorary President of Runway Aviation Club Ghana, founder of Follow Me-Aircraft Marshallers & a “patched” member of the Commemorative Air Force Marshallers-Detachment in the USA.

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