Someone left me a surprise when I got to the plane.
We had the opposite experience re: gravel in the U.P. Whatever they’re treating their runways with is not kind to composite props.The 5-bladed prop pins you in your seat and doesn't erode as badly on gravel
I literally have flown the 5-bladed machine to some of the nastiest runways Alaska can reasonably throw at a PC12. Gravel, mud, etc. Volcanic rocks are the worst, but still mostly mitigatable if you're cautious. 90% of gravel dings are pilot induced. Don't taxi downwind if you can't help it, always shut down and start up into the wind, don't use reverse and be sparing with beta, if you do have to taxi down wind get some speed into the wind before you turn, don't get slow when turning, etc.We had the opposite experience re: gravel in the U.P. Whatever they’re treating their runways with is not kind to composite props.
The one we had was also probably an aftermarket conversion, where the de-ice system was a 4-blade system Wagner(tm)-rigged for 5 blades and was generally terrible. Wasn’t noticeably quieter inside, didn’t see a noticeable performance boost, and bucked hard right as soon as it spooled into reverse. Glad the plane we had it on had it swapped out for a conventional 4-blade.