What it is about the King Air
that makes its Owners/Pilots so fiercely loyal??
This question was asked of attendees at the first annual King Air Gathering on 4/21/17. The weekend event was organized by the King Air Society and took place at Apex Aviation’s Henderson, NV location. Although over 60 King Air aficionados attended, in addition to vendors from multiple companies, we did not get 60+ different answers. Eight themes dominated the conversations: the Beechcraft reputation, the reliability, utility, capacity, safety, value, and good looks of the King Air, and that it’s easy to fly.
What made you fall in love with the King Air?
“I’ve always wanted a King Air,” was the number one common thread.
Very few respondents started out flying a King Air. Most had previously flown other Beechcraft products such as Bonanzas, Barons, and Dukes or Pipers, Meridians, Cessnas and all sorts of piston and military airplanes. The one thing they all had in common was the goal of a King Air. And, if they had been flying a King Air C90 or 200, many gradually upgraded until they reached their goal of a King Air 350.
Some fell in love when they saw their first King Air. For others, the romance began the first time they flew in one/flew one. For one gentleman, it began, “with my Dad, way back when.”
“King Air was my first love. I didn’t become a pilot until I was 44 years old. I had always seen the King Air. I always thought it was a beautiful machine and never had any idea that I would own one.”
So what’s the appeal?
It appears that some people are Beechcraft people and they love Beechcraft because of how well they build things. Beechcraft has been around for almost 100 years and has built a solid reputation.
“It’s the greatest plane ever built. I’ve flown Beechcraft airplanes, Bonanzas, and Barons, and I couldn’t wait to get into a Beechcraft King Air. It meets all my expectations.”
“Beechcraft has always been the Cadillac of aircraft. “
“I remember when I flew my first Bonanza… my first Baron…my first King Air. These are things that really stick with you.”
“I remember when I flew my first Bonanza. I remember when I flew my first Baron. I remember when I flew my first King Air. So these are the things that really stick with you. You don’t necessarily remember those things with other brands of aircraft… A lot of it is about Beechcraft and how well they build things.”
“I consider the King Air to be the Cadillac, the Station Wagon, the Suburban in the air that flies like a dream. Those are dream cars to me. You can put anything in it you want; you can fly it anytime you want. It’s very dependable and reliable. It has attributes that even a fighter pilot like me would say, “nice airplane”.
“They have an incredible track record.”
“What’s wonderful about the King Air is that it’s an aircraft that is a turboprop which is as reliable as any jet engine, yet you can still go into grass strips, go into short fields.”
“With piston planes, everything is always breaking. Piston planes are maintenance monsters. Maintenance for the King Air is all about inspections. It’s not about stuff breaking.”
“It can land on grass strips, short fields, and remote airports, where a jet or something this size that’s not a King Air couldn’t get into.”
“It can go high and go fast.”
“The King Air is as close to an all-weather airplane as you can get. There is no such thing as an all-weather airplane, but it’s pretty close.”
The size of the King Air cabins is perfect for families and companies.
“We were looking for a bigger airplane to carry my family.”
“We can get a lot of people in there and a lot of stuff.”
“The King Air is the safest and best-looking plane on the ramp.”
“I guess I what I like is the utility of it and its value. It is not an expensive airplane compared to others of its capability. Besides that, it’s the utility of it. It’s perfect for what I need.
“Ramp appeal and strength. When a King Air pulls up, you’re above all the others”
Easy to Fly.
“It’s easier to fly than a twin reciprocating engine. I think it’s one of the best all around.”
So there you have it – the top eight reasons why some pilots and owners are King Air aficionados.
If you’ve got more reasons of your own, please feel free to comment below.
If you need maintenance work or avionics for your King Air, contact Apex Aviation.