Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Great planes of the Great Plains

Got an extra $440K lying around? Then a Continental Cirrus SR22T is yours for the asking.

The peppy four-seater is a single-engine piston aircraft with a whole-plane emergency recovery parachute.

Or maybe you’re the CEO of a small but financially robust company with execs who need to travel city-to-city minus the hassle of long security lines and metropolitan rush hour traffic.

In this case, you’ll want to consider something bigger, say a made-in-Switzerland Pilatus PC-12 NG, fully loaded at $4.9 million.

These two aircraft were part of Tuesday’s Great Planes Air Expo at AVP Kenosha Aviation at Kenosha Regional Airport.

In expos since 2009

Hosted by KCAC Aviation, the “static demonstration” (no air time) is an annual showcase for light business jets, turboprops and piston aircraft for personal and business use.

KCAC has sponsored aircraft expos since 2009 to boost sales and increase awareness about private aircraft, said marketing representative Carrie Gicante.

KCAC is the Midwest dealer of Pilatus and Piper aircraft and has held the expo at the Kenosha Airport since 2012.

Displaying the upscale private planes is a way to get the products in front of potential buyers who can’t make some of the usual aircraft expos, Gicante said.

In addition to the Cirrus and the Pilates, a third plane on display was a Quest Kodiak 100, a single-engine turboprop with a 10-person seating capacity and ample cargo pod.

“It’s ideal for small businesses that need to move people around,” said representative Jed Albright.

Designed with humanitarian-rescue operations in mind, floats can be attached to the undercarriage to accommodate water landings. It’s price tag is $2.5 million.

The benefits

Gicante cited several reasons why individuals and businesses choose to own private planes, including tax benefits, insurance considerations, reduced travel time and increased work efficiency.

“(In the U.S.) there are (only) 500 international airports, so being able to get into smaller airports is important,” she said.

Al Waterloo, pilot and representative for Cirrus, said he’d flown the SR22T all over the world and the cabin has all of the comforts of a car, say a BMW Series V.

“It’s good for an owner/flier,” Waterloo said.

The largest of the three, the Pilates, is a nine-seat, five-blade, single-engine turboprop plane featuring a pallet-sized door. It can be used as a air ambulance, said sales representative Josh Kovac.

Able to travel about five hours without refueling, it is typically purchased by businesses, he said.

“Private planes can go places where commercial planes can’t reach,” Kovac said.

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