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You Took Off From That? This PC-12 Defies Belief and Gravity!


At a private airfield in Germany, a fearless pilot operates a single engine turbo-prop Pilatus PC-12 in landings and takeoffs that will stun. The terrain and environment (trees/buildings) make this quite a challenge. The taxiway leading out to the turf strip is nothing short of a concrete goat path!

When landing at such short fields, precision aim point is crucial—too short, and the aircraft will not clear the trees surrounding the airfield boundary. Too long, and the aircraft will not have time to brake, and go careening off the runway. Even if the aim point is perfect, managing the aircraft’s touchdown (main wheels contacting runway, or in this case, Mother Earth) is also critical. Too firm, the struts buckle and turbo-prop chews up quite a bit of grass. Not enough, and the plane will float—further down the preciously short runway.

The PC-12 is a combination passenger and cargo plane, manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft, located out of Switzerland. Depending on configuration and fuel load, it has a range of over 1,700 miles.

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