Alaska aircraft sales fleet maintenance airplane Cessna caravan recreation cargo commercial


 At Northland Aviation Services we love Alaska, airplanes, flying, and helping others. Come talk to us about what a Caravan can do for you. We are still old fashioned and answer the phone during working hours. No voicemail - we promise!  Give us a call if you'd like to learn more.

Grand caravan ex alaskan operating experiencess

By April 2013 Northland Aviation had delivered two factory new Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to Alaskan operators. One in Fairbanks (serial 5002) and the other in Anchorage (serial 5009). Each has since operated for more than 1000 hours in our harsh, cold and hostile environment.

The chief pilot for the Anchorage operator was kind enough to share some comments on remote, cold weather operations with the new Pratt and Whitney -140 version of the venerable PT6 family of turbine engines:


Everyone wants more power in an airplane. Caravans, especially the Grand Caravan with its longer cabin and cargo pod, have long been considered an excellent candidate for engine upgrades via the STC process. Several STC's exist, but none were designed together with the engineering and product development department at Cessna Aircraft Company. Only the -140 engine with its 867 shaft horsepower fits perfectly into the opening previously occupied by the -114 version with its 675 SHP. The big engine is seamlessly integrated into the very capable and ubiquitous Garmin G1000 avionics suite.


To those operating Caravans in warm climates it is a non-issue. But Alaska has some of the most brutal winter operating conditions in the world with everything from moisture laden Pacific air crashing into the continent with massive amounts of ice waiting for the unprepared and ill-equipped, to frostbite inducing temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius and lower past zero Fahrenheit. Our pilots tell us that the TKS works really well. Just make sure that you have the titanium micro-drilled panels charged with TKS fluid prior to take off and once you encounter visible moisture, flip the switch. We have seen pictures of unprotected areas on the airframe accumulating up to 1.5 inches of ice while the TKS system keeps it from accreting in the important places. The slinger on the propeller distributes the fluid all over the fuselage and helps to keep passengers from worrying. The large windows on the Caravan mean the passengers can see everything!


By now, everyone has heard of or used a Garmin product for hiking, biking, boating and other activities that require you to know where you are and where you are going. This company took the aircraft industry by storm about 10 years ago so that today most students graduating from flight training have learned on Garmin G1000 equipment that was installed when the aircraft was built. Every propeller driven Cessna built today comes from the factory with G1000 or higher avionics. The available Garmin autopilot is perfectly integrated with the G1000. Smooth, reliable and intuitive is how most pilots describe their experience. The TKS system reports the fluid level in the belly mounted reservoir to the G1000 where it is displayed in Gallons remaining and time-to-empty.

An absolute favorite is the depiction of the terrain on the available synthetic vision technology (SVT). The Primary Flight Display (PFD) will show the terrain in yellow when it becomes a factor and in bright red when its time to start taking some immediate action. Simultaneously, the center G1000 screen which functions mostly as a Multi- Function Display (MFD) and on demand as an additional PFD after pressing the red button, will show the terrain not shaded, but with large yellow and red's which give you further intuitive depictions of the areas of immediate concern. Keep on going without taking evasive action and the nice lady behind the instrument panel will start yelling "TERRAIN! TERRAIN!".


Although the seats that Cessna offers with the airplane are really comfortable and beyond expectation for the average charter bush flight customer, the seats that make the Grand Caravan reveal itself as a flexible passenger “cargo “ combination airplane are available from another Alaskan company called Aero Twin. These folks make amazing foldable seats that, while slightly less comfortable than the deluxe seats from Cessna, can be uninstalled, folded and stowed in the belly pod in about 10 minutes. In reverse, they can retrieved and installed on the permanently fixed seat and cargo rails via brilliantly simple fittings in less than 20 minutes. Imagine being able to convert an airplane this large from passenger liner to cargo hauler and back to passenger liner all within two or three legs of a scheduled bush run through some of the most remote areas of the world. Alaskan operators really appreciate the multi-tasking ability of the Grand Caravan EX and it shorter sibling, the Caravan. Add the APE III kit and boost the maximum takeoff weight to 9062lbs.


For those fortunate enough to be in the cockpit of the Caravans these special treats are welcome conveniences:

No EPA can, a new fuel purging system, a sight glass for checking engine oil, very comfortable crew seats and big sun visors. The pilots and rampers really appreciate it if the owner spends the money on the Wipaire single-point-refueling STC. This alleviates the need to refuel the Caravan from the filler points on the top of the wings. It can be accomplished by standing on the ground with no danger of falling off the ladder or the airplane. In icy weather, this prevents injuries and makes the job of refueling easier and faster.

Cessna grand caravan aircraft sales new airplane fleet maintenance cargo crew passengers Ala
Cessna grand caravan aircraft sales new airplane fleet maintenance cargo crew passengers Ala