Cessna Grand CaravanEX

We have been asked about the differences between our new 2013 Cessna Grand Caravan EX, and older Caravan models.

The main differences are the addition of an advanced TKS ice protection system, advanced avionics with synthetic vision, and a new, more powerful variant of the already proven turboprop engine.

The TKS ice protection system has been factory installed in new Caravans since 2008. It works by pumping a special glycol based fluid through fine laser drilled perforations in titanium leading edge surfaces. The leading edges “sweat” the fluid, which then flows back to cover the entire wing, wing struts, and tail surfaces. Because of this flow back, TKS provides very effective ice protection over the entire surface.

TKS fluid is also pumped over the propellor blades through a “slinger” at the prop hub. This not only protects the prop, but also provides ice protection for every surface in the propellor’s wind stream, including the pilot’s windshield, the cargo pod, and landing gear struts.

The TKS system reservoir carries enough fluid to provide ice protection for the full duration of flights where AAT employs the aircraft, and it has redundant fluid pumps.

Also since 2008, the Grand Caravan has been equipped with the advanced Garmin G-1000 “glass panel” avionics system. We have outfitted ours with the optional synthetic vision. The G-1000 with synthetic vision provides the pilot with excellent situational awareness and system reliability for navigation during less than ideal weather conditions.

New for 2013, the Grand Caravan EX model features an updated variant of the proven Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop, with nearly 30% more power than previous Grand Caravans.

To fill our need for an efficient short to medium range aircraft, we acquired the Grand Caravan EX new from the manufacturer. We could have chosen from any of several other good aircraft alternatives, however, we were confident in the safety margins provided by the advanced TKS ice protection system, advanced avionics, and more powerful engine.

We have flown our Grand Caravan EX with greater frequency than any of our other aircraft since acquiring it in April, 2013. We have experienced various less than good weather conditions, including the icing conditions inherent in Alaskan operations. We do not hesitate to fly our Caravan during any of the weather conditions that we would operate our other aircraft, according to our company’s risk management practices.

Along with our experienced and well trained pilots, Alaska Air Transit has no reservations about flying you in our new Grand Caravan EX.

Alcohol carriage policy

To our customers:

Josie and I have decided not to transport alcoholic beverages to communities that we serve, whether dry, damp, or wet. We made this decision because of several alcohol related tragedies involving good people and long time customers.

While it is not our place to judge whether drinking is right or wrong, we cannot avoid acknowledging that we have contributed to the harm that has been done by helping provide easy access to alcohol. Now, we have decided that we will no longer willingly contribute to harming members of our customer communities.

We did not take this decision lightly, as we are fully aware that there are members of wet or damp communities who drink responsibly, and that we risk the loss of their business. Also, we are not so naive to believe that any problem drinkers will not find another source for their alcohol. So be it. But, we will not willingly contribute to alcohol related harm to our customer communities.

Dan