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Guest RSmith

King Air - Soft Field Capable ?

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I would seriously doubt that a KA would use a soft (gravel / dirt / grass) field - but wasn't sure. Anyone know for sure ? As engines are turboprop - doubt any KA's would risk engine damage to foreign injected material ? However, performance of the aircraft is capable of handling these conditions - ??Thks,Ron

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I personally have taken a King Air 200 into 2P2, Washington Island, WI.Short field, absolutely. Soft field, if you call it that, grass is in good shape. Heck, they keep the airport in good shape. I have also had a Pilatus PC-12 to the island as well.Jason

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King Airs shine on unimproved strips. I work for a charter company, and we fly into gravel and dirt strips daily with them. We have gone into grass strips with them as well, though most of our charters aren't into grass strips. As far as engine damage, it is not a concern with the KA, or any P&W PT6 powered airplane for that matter, as the intakes have inertial particle seperators in them, which prevent heavy objects (such as dirt and gravel) to be ingested by the engines. The only concern on strips like these is damage to the props, and the fuselage of the aircraft near the prop arc. There are stone guards that can be installed to protect the airframe near the prop arc, and as far as prop damage, it happens. Ops are a bit different on these strips to try and prevent damage, but it does happen, and I have seen some NASTY prop damage in my days. If the plane is handled correctly on the ground, and the strip is in good shape, there is never a problem.

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Thanks for the insights !Follow-up ? What are some of the "basic" ops that may be unique to the KA ? I'm familiar with light single engine short-field / soft field / grass / gravel ops - would assume most are the same - but are their any unique specs. for using a KA on dirt / gravel / grass ?Thanks !RonChuluota, Fl.

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