Thursday, May 11, 2017

True Blue Power's Lithium-ion Battery approved for Blackhawk Caravans

As reported by AIN - Operators of Cessna 208/208B Caravans powered by Blackhawk Modifications engine upgrades now have the option of adding True Blue Power’s TB44 lithium-ion battery. The 46-amp-hour battery replaces the existing main-ship battery and offers advantages in power, safety, life and energy, according to Blackhawk, which has been offering Pratt & Whitney turboprop engine upgrades since 1999.
The TB44 is 40 percent lighter than standard lead-acid batteries used in the Caravan, weighing 51.7 pounds, and it delivers 26.4 VDC during engine starting, higher than the typical 24 VDC from lead-acid batteries, Blackhawk explained. During engine cranking, voltage typically declines, but the TB44 maintains its voltage level during the entire start sequence, delivering a 12-second-faster engine start and lowering start temperature by 60 to 80 degrees F.
The TB44 employs Nanophosphate lithium-ion cell chemistry. Maintenance consists of an in-field capacity check every two years, and battery useful life averages eight years, double the life of lead-acid batteries, according to True Blue Power. 
This new True Blue Power battery has a lot of similarities to our popular New Engine Exchange Program with Pratt & Whitney,” said Blackhawk president and CEO Jim Allmon. “We have found that turboprop operators are willing to invest in new technologies that increase aircraft utility and performance while lowering operating costs and risk.” Blackhawk estimates that fuel and maintenance costs for Caravans equipped with the TB44 will be $2,000 per year lower compared with lead-acid battery-equipped Caravans. This is a result of lower hot section and overhaul costs and reduced fuel consumption.
The TB44 was STC'd on the stock 208/208B Caravans without the Blackhawk engine modifications last October.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Watermakers Air has Added a New Caravan EX to its Fleet

As first reported by World Airline News: Watermakers Air has announced it is adding a Cessna Caravan EX as the newest addition to their fleet of Cessna 208B Grand Caravans. Delivered direct from the Cessna factory, this state of the art Caravan EX will be the newest, most comfortable Caravan available in South Florida. The modern Caravan EX boasts a luxurious cabin our passengers are sure to enjoy, with executive leather seating, a wide aisle, and large windows to savor the beautiful views of the islands. Equipped with the most advanced technology in its class, the EX features the exceptional Garmin G1000 glass cockpit avionics suite. In addition, the larger engine and four-bladed prop allow for a faster cruising speed and provide an ultra-quiet and smooth ride.

Watermakers Air offers comfortable and reliable scheduled air service for both passengers and freight from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport to 10 Out Island airstrips in the Bahamas. Watermakers Air also offers private charters to destinations of your choice.
Scheduled Passenger and Freight Service to:
Andros (San Andros, Fresh Creek, Congo Town)
Chub Cay
Great Harbour Cay
Eleuthera (North Eleuthera, Rock Sound)
Staniel Cay
Great Exuma
Cat Island (New Bight)
Private Charters to the destination of your choice
Anywhere in the Bahamas or within 500 miles of Ft. Lauderdale
(excluding Haiti and Cuba)
Watermakers Air operates from a private hangar at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE).
All scheduled flights are operated by Exuma Cays Travel, Inc., a Public Charter Operator under the approved U.S. DOT 380 Public Charter Program, prospectus number PC-15-191.
Watermakers Air was formed in 2002 for the specific purpose of flying passengers, as well as freight and supplies. Although the name harkens back to the time when our operation was primarily a support division of Watermakers, Inc., we are now a stand-alone FAA certified public charter operator for both passengers and freight.
All images by Watermakers Air.
Route Map:

Friday, April 7, 2017

Get your Cessna SET at IAS in their Caravan approved by the LBA of Germany

Caravan owned by IAS

In Europe a Class Rating is required to fly the Cessna Caravan. IAS of Germany can help you acquire this important rating.

Cessna Caravan D-FUNK is available as a training aircraft with an approved training program according to EASA.FCL for pilots who would like to get the class rating CessnaSET (Cessna Single Engine Turbine). In cooperation with ATO Ardex, Kyritz (DE.ATO.039) IAS has now received the training certification for the class rating CessnaSET on their Cessna 208 Caravan D-FUNK by the German Federal Aviation Authority Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA).

For the class rating CessnaSET, IAS offers a very competitive package price. The training is accompanied by highly experienced and highly qualified instructors (CRI) and examiners (CRE). The training for CessnaSET Class Rating consists of 25 hours of theory and 8 hours of flight time. Please rate about 4 to 6 days (weather permitting) for the entire training.

Check Flights:

Also, IAS can now offer the Caravan D-FUNK for your next check flights. Two by LBA approved class rating examiners are available for your proficiency check in accordance with JAR-FCL.

For further information please contact them by mail or by phone +49 (0) 4826 - 3768-447

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Featured Caravan Operator - Catalina Flying Boats

On a recent trip to Southern California we visited Catalina Island. While up at the infamous "Airport in the Sky", we had the pleasure of seeing a Caravan (Super Cargomaster) off loading and loading cargo. It belongs to a company called Catalina Flying Boats.

The company flies cargo back and forth between Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland, mostly to Long Beach Airport (LGB) in their Super Cargomaster and DC3 (C47).

I personally remember being a young student pilot at Long Beach Airport, admiring and desperately wanting to fly the DC3 and Caravan owned by Catalina Flying Boats. These aircraft still inspire me after more than 25 years.

N403JB Photo by Greg Bishop

Well, as you obviously know, I have definitely logged some time in Caravans. The DC3 on the other hand, they are a lot harder to find and it's even harder to find an owner or pilot that will let anyone "take her around the patch" a couple times. Oh well, we can dream! 

If you have any experiences or photos of these beautiful birds feel free to share!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flying Caravans in Papua.... no room for error!

By Thomas Thrap 

This aircraft landed 3 minutes after me and as you can see, it wasn't able to stop in time, so it went off the end of the runway. The engine in the aircraft is brand new, it was literally on a couple of hours old, as this was it's first day.

The approach looked all good and the landing was fine too, but we were told by the captain that the reverse didn't work as they tried to slow down on the runway. We had figured, as we had heard no reverse as they came up the slightly sloped runway.

At the end of the day, both crew members walked away from it unharmed, which is the most important thing.

It is certainly a reminder and a wake-up call to us pilots here. Flying in Papua can be dangerous, so caution and care must be taken at all times. This could happen to anyone of us if we're not careful.

Out of interest, this is the 5th airframe that has run off the runway in Ilaga Papua in the past 5 months!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Southern Airways Express to take over a previous Seaport Airlines route

Certain Regional Airlines provide Essential Air Service (EAS) to various communities so that they can be connected to larger hub airports. The airlines that provide that service are then subsidized by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

According to the DOT, "The Essential Air Service program was put into place to guarantee that small communities that were serviced by certificated air carriers before airline deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service." There are currently 175 such communities in the country. One of those many communities is Harrison AR.

On September 20th 2016 Seaport Airlines, after almost a year of financial problems, filed for Chapter 7 and ceased operations on that day. Caravan operator Southern Airways Express, a regional airline based in Southaven MS, has since taken over the Memphis TN to Harrison AR route that was previously serviced by Seaport Airlines.

The Harrison airport Board of Directors requested that the DOT grant the EAS contract to Contour Airlines, but it was instead given to Southern Airways.

Flights between the two cities will begin on Tuesday January 31st, with one-way fares starting at $39.

For more information about Southern Airways Express, check out their site

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Featured Caravan Pilot: Marjorie of Sansa Airlines

Meet our Featured Caravan pilot Marjorie with Sansa Airlines. Founded in 1978 and based in San Jose Costa Rica, Sansa flies to 14 destinations with 8 Caravans, including the EX model.

Marjorie is an inspirational pilot! Below you will find her answers to some questions that we asked her.

Name: Marjorie
Age: 29 years old
From: Costa Rica 
Total Time: 1200 hours 
Company: Sansa Airlines 
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Years flying Caravans: 1 year

What do you like most about flying the Caravan? 

For me it is one of the most fascinating airplanes. The Caravan lets you fly at high speeds when you need to do a high speed approach for example and in just a few seconds slow to landing speed on short final. It is a really maneuverable and versatile airplane to fly. Also, flying glass cockpit with the Garmin 1000 is a plus that does this airplane outstanding! In Costa Rica, we fly the Caravan from the main airports through short runways, ballast airfields, and a lot of destinations all over the country. We carry 12 passengers on each flight sharing in the cockpit between a Captain and First Officer.

What are your career goals?

The first one is done, flying a Cessna Caravan was my dream before I got my Pilot license. My next goals.. Well, new opportunities to fly Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 are coming, but before I take that step in my career I would love to fly this airplane as a Captain.

What is your advice for younger pilots?

Never forget your dreams! If you see yourself as a pilot you can do it. I know it is an expensive career but it's not impossible to achieve it. I started as an Airport Agent at the counter checking-in the passengers on the flights. After that I became a Flight Attendant and did that for almost 5 years. Then I started my flying lessons, and after a couple of years I became the first Pilot in my family. Now I feel like the happiest person doing what I do and seeing the most amazing sunrises, sunsets and landscapes while I work. So your hard work will be worth it!

For more information about Sansa Airlines visit their site


Friday, November 25, 2016

Review - Procedures for Exiting Severe Icing Environment

Procedures for Exiting Severe Icing

Here in the Northern Hemisphere ground temperatures have dropped below freezing over much of the population. So we thought that now would be a good time for us Caravan Pilots to review Emergency Procedures in the icing environment.

Please remember that these Emergency Procedures found below are for the Cessna Model 208B (675 SHP) and no others. If you are flying a different model Caravan, please review your aircraft's FAA approved Abbreviated Checklist or Airplane Flight Manual for that specific model.

As stated in the Pilots' Abbreviated Checklist published by Cessna:  

Procedures for Exiting the Severe Icing Environment (As required by AD 96-09-15) 

1. Immediately request priority handling from Air Traffic Control to facilitate a route or an altitude change to exit the severe icing conditions in order to avoid extended exposure to flight conditions more severe than those for which the airplane has been certificated.

2. Avoid abrupt and excessive maneuvering that may exacerbate control difficulties.

3. Do not engage the autopilot.

4. If the autopilot is engaged, hold the control wheel firmly and disengage the autopilot.

5. If an unusual roll response or uncommanded roll control movement is observed, reduce the angle of attack.

6. If the flaps are extended, do not retract them until the airframe is clear of ice.

7. Report these weather conditions to Air Traffic Control.

If you are a Caravan pilot, I highly recommend that you complete some of Cessna's E-Learning courses on this topic. Courses such as "Caravan Cold Weather Ops" and "Caravan Vodcast Ground Icing Conditions". There are many other interesting courses available, most of which are free and are all available at

My fellow Caravan Pilots, please remember to Review Often, Fly Safe so that you can continue to Have Fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

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