Places to fly King Air's...

Boltonpilot

New Member
Places to fly King Air\'s...

I wanted to know if anyone knew of some places where you can fly King Air 90/100/200/350's for a fractional or charter company. I've really been looking around for other careers in aviation other than flying for the airlines.

The other day, I flew my three-point 150nm+ cross country flight, (actually turned out to be 220nm) with my instuctor. One of the airports which we landed at had this big shiny King 350 sitting there at the Ohio University ramp. Sweet plane! I've been hooked ever since to flying these turbo-jets.

By the way, does anyone know anything about this company in Minnesota called Aviation Charter?

Thanks
 

FLYMcDoofer

New Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Flight Options (formerly Raytheon Travel Air) flies King Air 200s mostly. Heard they are moving to the 300/350 route also. I think thats the only one in the Fractional category. Alpha Flying out of N.H. flies Pilatus's. Thats the next closest thing though I think.

Many charter companies and corporate flight depts. fly them.
 

Eagle

New Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a king-air

they are inexpensive to own and operate (when compared to a small jet)

Many Many are part 91, just getting to Know who owns em sorta thing....
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

here is there web site - http://www.aviationcharter.com/

They are based out of Holman Field (St. Paul) and Flying Cloud (KFCM) which happens to be the same field that I fly out of. They have had some bad rap as of late because of their involvement with the late Senator Paul Wellstone. The plane that crashed was a charter from this company. Also, they have the PFT flying system. A former instructor went to what he thought was a job interview with them and it turned out that they said he would be paying for his multi-time. Give us X amount of $$ and you can fly with us right-seat for building time. I am sure that some has changed since the accident but that is a little to help you out.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Here is an Update from Today's paper:
---------------------------------------------------------------
Survivors of Wellstone crash victims settle for $25 million
Tony Kennedy and Paul McEnroe, Star Tribune

Published August 28, 2003 WELL28

Survivors of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone and five other passengers killed in an October plane crash have reached a $25 million insurance settlement with the air charter company that operated the flight.

Mike Ciresi and Roberta Walburn, who represented the families of all six passengers who died in the Oct. 25 crash, said the settlement will avert a lawsuit by their clients against Aviation Charter Inc. of Eden Prairie and its affiliated companies.

Ciresi and Walburn said their investigation determined that pilot error brought down the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air A100 as it approached Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport en route to a funeral that Wellstone and his group were to attend.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not formally determined the cause of the crash, although preliminary reports released by the safety board this spring strongly suggest pilot error contributed to the crash.

In particular, Ciresi and Walburn said flight captain Richard Conry, 55, and copilot Michael Guess, 30, "failed to maintain appropriate power and airspeed."

They also said the "lack of competence" of the crew was the result of "among other things the negligent hiring, supervision, training and retention of the crew by the settling companies."

Mike Lindberg, attorney for Aviation Charter, confirmed the settlement but said it is not an acknowledgment of pilot error or that the management of Aviation Charter had any responsibility for the crash.

"A settlement, by definition, does not acknowledge an act," Lindberg said. "The settlement is a way to avoid ongoing litigation. The motivation for the settlement is something we will not comment on."

Ciresi and Walburn said the weather at the time of the crash was not "optimum" but "should not have presented a problem to competently trained and supervised pilots."

The two lawyers also said there has been no credible evidence to support "any so-called conspiracy theories" about the crash.

The settlements with Aviation Charter and its affiliated companies -- all owned by Roger and Shirley Wikner of the Twin Cities -- is for the full amount of the Wikners' insurance. The settlements do not cover the pilots' families.

Errol Kantor, an attorney for Conry's estate, could not be reached for comment.

Michael Padden, the attorney for Guess' family, said that if there was error on the part of the crew, it belonged to Conry.

Padden said he has hired four consultants who believe Conry was flying the plane at the time of the crash. Guess' voice was the last one heard on the radio before the crash, according to the NTSB investigation. Typically, the person heard on the radio is not flying the plane.

Padden said he intends to file a wrongful death suit against Conry's estate on behalf of Michael Guess' family. He said that Guess' estate was paid $60,000 in a workers' compensation settlement and that he believes Conry's estate received a similar amount.

Division of money

The passenger settlements designate a specific amount of money for the families of each victim. Trustees for each victim will disburse the money under arrangements that will be subject to court approval.

The breakdown:

• Sen. Paul Wellstone, $7 million.

• Mary McEvoy, 49, associate chair of the state DFL Party, $4.5 million.

• Marcia Wellstone Markuson, 33, the senator's daughter, $3.75 million.

• Sheila Wellstone, 58, the senator's wife, $3.25 million.

• Tom Lapic, 49, the senator's deputy state director, $3.25 million.

• Will McLaughlin, 23, a campaign worker, $3.25 million.

Ciresi and Walburn said their investigation is continuing. They declined to comment, however, when asked whether they are considering suits against the Federal Aviation Administration and the state of Minnesota.

The FAA licensed the pilots and the charter company. The state maintained the navigational aid at Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport. The safety board determined immediately after the crash that the navigational signal at the airport was slightly out of tolerance.

Ciresi and Walburn did not characterize the amount of the settlement, beyond saying that it was for the full amount of the insurance policies. They said it was notable, however, that a settlement was reached within 10 months of the accident.

"That's generally pretty darn quick," Ciresi said.

When the court approves the exact distribution to the various next-of-kin, that information will be kept private, Ciresi said.

"The Eveleth crash took the lives of six extraordinary passengers, whose lives had been devoted to their families and to their beliefs that politics is an honorable profession intended to serve the public," Ciresi said. "They saw America as a beacon lighting the path to a more just world."

Paul and Sheila Wellstone were survived by two sons. Marcia Markuson had a husband, Todd Markuson, a son and three stepchildren. Mary McEvoy had a husband, James Cloyd, and three children. Tom Lapic had a wife, Trudy. Will McLaughlin was single.

Crash investigation

In late April, the safety board completed its major fact-finding. But a final report that includes a determination of the probable cause could take several more months.

In a series of findings, NTSB investigators concluded that the chartered airplane was flying dangerously slow on its final approach to the airport. The twin-turboprop King Air 100 crashed about 2 miles southeast of the runway on a cloudy morning.

In April, NTSB aerospace engineers released a detailed report that stated the plane had slowed to 76 knots, or 87 miles per hour, seconds before the crash. The plane's flight manual calls for a minimum airspeed in icing conditions of 140 knots.

The plane was flying at a time when other pilots in the area reported light to moderate icing.

The NTSB has found no indication of engine or propeller failure. The aircraft also had a clean maintenance history and underwent a detailed, scheduled inspection two months before it crashed, according to documents.

Speculation among aviation experts has focused on possible pilot error, and the NTSB has placed emphasis on the backgrounds of Conry and Guess that includes criticism of their perceived cockpit skills. For example, Conry made critical mistakes on two previous flights carrying Wellstone, the NTSB said. Those mistakes prompted the copilot on each flight to take corrective action to regain control of the plane, according to NTSB records.

Three days before the crash, Conry endangered Wellstone by flipping the wrong switch during takeoff from St. Paul. The copilot had to quickly take corrective measures when the plane pitched downward while trying to gain altitude just 300 feet off the ground.

After the plane safely landed in Rochester, Wellstone jokingly told Conry to "get some sleep," an NTSB report said. The copilot on that flight suggested to Conry that he should think about retiring.

Investigators said that a supervisor at Aviation Charter knew that some pilots considered Conry to be below-average, forgetful and prone to errors. When that information was released, Jeff Blodgett, Wellstone's campaign manager, said the senator and his staff were unaware of these concerns. Blodgett said that if they had known about those weaknesses, "huge alarm bells" would have gone off."

"We were deceived about Conry's flight experience and competence," Blodgett said. "We knew nothing about Conry's shortcomings. But others did. That's what is so awful."

The supervisor also told the NTSB that copilot Guess needed extra instruction.

Lindberg, the attorney for the Wikners, has said the couple were not aware that the flight skills of Conry and Guess had been criticized.

In the weeks after the crash, the Star Tribune also reported that Conry had exaggerated his flying experience and that he had done time in a federal prison camp in South Dakota more than a decade ago for felony fraud in a home construction case.

Roger Wikner told reporters that he was not aware of Conry's criminal history.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

I wish the insurance company had fought harder. You know what this means - higher minimums and more "in depth" background checks for pilots.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

I wonder how in-depth the checks were here. That was a big stink when this happened and the owners gave the impression that they were washing their hands of the whole deal. The captain had mistated some of his time and the co-pilot had around 300 hours. Very recent to the accident the captain had to be "saved" at least twice by the co-pilot. One was engaging the auto pilot during takeoff and the other was not noted. All the owners could say was "We had no idea there was any problem". Yea Right! There website lists pilot reqs as 3000 TT for captain and slightly less for FO. I know for a fact that the co-pilot did not have that time. I don't want to knock the pilots, but the owners are misleading and they did not come off very well when this all happened.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Until you have had to do a background check for a pilot, you may want to reserve your comments. I've had several items slip by, even now, when we use a professional background checking company.

As CP for a local charter company I've had to investigate pilot records. You might be surprised at what pilots will lie about. The following items have been falsified or exagerrated on pilot applications and resumes that have come in front of me:

1) college education (several claim to have degrees and never went!)
2) flight time (big one!)
3) type ratings (how did they expect to get away with this?)
4) airline experience *
5) age (!!!)
6) nationality
7) experience and training in particular aircraft **

* I've had several guys claim to be ex-Delta pilots, only to find out they were never at Delta Air Lines. Some were Comair pilots, some were Comair instructors (sheesh!) and some never even got near anything looking like Delta. Had one guy claim he flew a 747 for Delta Cargo. I don't think that branch of Delta has been open for some time, and I couldn't find anything on it except old pictures of 727s at a cargo ramp in ATL.

** I was interviewing this guy for a job at Eagle when I noticed in his logbook that he flew N9302F, a PA-32, from ORL to MYAT (Treasure Cay) on May 2, 1992. This caught my eye and the conversation went as follows:

Me: "Tell me about this trip"

Applicant: "Well I was just dropping this guy off at Treasure in his plane."

M: "Do you remember the guys name?"

A: "No I don't."

M: "Do you remember what he looked like?"

A: "No that was a long time ago" (it was about 3 years previous)

M: "Did he look like me?"

A: "What?" (Sharp look at me)

M: "Yeah, did he look like me and was my new wife next to me?"

A: "I don't know what you are talking about."

M: "Oh I think you do ... I don't remember you being in the plane when I flew with my new wife in MY plane to Treasure Cay for our honeymoon!!!"

We were married May 1, 1992.

I let the guy go on the condition that he explain how he got my flight information so accurately. This is an amazing story.

He was working as a CFI at one of those trailer park flight schools down at Kissimmee Municipal (ISM). On slow days they used to listen to St. Pete Radio for people opening their flight plans and then they would log the flight!!!!!

Oh yeah, I did not recommend him for hire
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Alright then, I will take back my comments about the background checks. I meant to stress how the owners were washing their hands of some of the issues...."We never knew there was a problem with his flying", "Our Pilots all have at least 3000 TT". I know for a FACT that is not true. In my earlire response I noted that this place was notorious for PFT flying. I don't know how "normal" that is in the aviation business, but the company did not want to acknowledge, that if you paid x amount of $$ and had the ratings, etc... you could fly right seat with much less than the amount of hours they stated their pilots had. I know for a fact that the copilot in the crash had around 300-350 hrs.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Yeah the flying problems are a real dilemma. You don't want to rat on your coworker, but where do you draw the line?

It's a tough situation. I've been paired with pilots that were borderline before and I struggled over it. I don't think I ever went to any authority but there were several times I brought up less than safe procedures.

Sometimes it was well received, sometimes not.

In contrast, I have had unsafe procedures brought up to me. I used to get defensive about it (wrong attitude!) now I listen and try to learn as much as possible.
 

onthebeach

New Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

>>I wish the insurance company had fought harder. You know what this means - higher minimums and more "in depth" background checks for pilots.<<

Please do not blame the insurance company. They settled for $25 million. A jury could have awarded much, much more...and probably would have. Add to that the cost and time involved in the litigation, and I think they made a smart business deal. That's what insurance is...business. Aviation is supposed to be business too, but most often, it isn't.

Most often, it's incompetence and malfeasance and stupidity and crime.

As long as "pilots" continue to lie, cheat, steal and prostitute themselves to fly airplanes, and as long as "business owners" continue to cut corners on personnel and policies, things like this are going to continue to happen.

Then, the government will step in and attempt to correct the situation.

You will not like the result.

Unscrupulous "operators" and "owners" will always find a way around new laws and regulations; but those of us with professional ethics will find our way of life and our livelihood increasingly restricted.

If this makes you angry, then don't blame the insurance company, or the government.

Blame the crooks in the cockpit and the crooks in the front office.

Don't be a crook. Refuse to play along with crooks, and rat them out every chance you get.

Policing ourselves from within is really the only hope of ever improving this "profession." Your integrity is your only real asset. When that's gone, everything's gone.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

You must be with insurance?

I fly occasionally for lawyers who represent insurance companies in these cases.

They often express frustration at the Ins companies willingness to settle. Several times they think they have a good case, and that the plaintiff's lawyers are incompetent, yet the company will settle.

I don't know the costs and balances, but insurance and lawyers are aviation's nemesis right now.

Just try and get insured to fly a king air without FSI or Simcom.
 

onthebeach

New Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

No, I'm not in the insurance business and you are missing the point. Because I think it's an important point to make for young folks just starting out in aviation, I'm going to make it again.

"Aviation's nemesis" isn't insurance, or the government, or even lawyers. Our own worst enemy is our own stupidity, greed, and crookedness. If we want this industry to survive and to be a good career again, we have to stop putting up with this sort of thing. Nobody can stop it by themselves, but everyone can do something.
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

[ QUOTE ]
"Aviation's nemesis" isn't insurance, or the government, or even lawyers. Our own worst enemy is our own stupidity, greed, and crookedness.

[/ QUOTE ]

I have to disagree. Insurance and lawyers are indeed a nemesis. When Cessna stopped production of piston aircraft in 1986, it was the direct result of insurance settlements. The only reason they resumed was when congress approved a 30 year limit to manufacturer liability.
Liability is the reason that Bonanzas cost $600,000 and C172s are $190,000+.

The "stupidity, greed, and crookedness" has come from the excessive lawsuits. Such as when Lycoming was sued because they would not guarantee 100% that their engine would NEVER FAIL. Or when Goodyear was sued because their tires were on a crashed airplane. Have you wondered why an air-cooled engine with 1930s technology costs $20,000 and you can buy a cutting edge automobile engine for under $1000?

Answer...Lawyers
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

[ QUOTE ]
I have to disagree. Insurance and lawyers are indeed a nemesis. When Cessna stopped production of piston aircraft in 1986, it was the direct result of insurance settlements. The only reason they resumed was when congress approved a 30 year limit to manufacturer liability.
Liability is the reason that Bonanzas cost $600,000 and C172s are $190,000+.

The "stupidity, greed, and crookedness" has come from the excessive lawsuits. Such as when Lycoming was sued because they would not guarantee 100% that their engine would NEVER FAIL. Or when Goodyear was sued because their tires were on a crashed airplane. Have you wondered why an air-cooled engine with 1930s technology costs $20,000 and you can buy a cutting edge automobile engine for under $1000?

Answer...Lawyers

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, as an insurance defense lawyer, I suppose I might have something to add to this debate. I deal with insurance companies every single day defending companies in product liability class actions, personal injury cases (mostly auto collisions), malpractice cases - everything really (even one old aircraft parts contract breach case).

Insurance is part of the equation here, but not the main factor, as some of you seem to imply. Airplanes and airplane parts are expensive partly because they are very complex machines with precision instruments and expensive materials. For instance, take newspaper printing presses - even small sized ones. Liability insurance on a modern, computer-controlled printing press is not very expensive, but the actual press is expensive because it is a very complex machine.

Despite changes to nearly all states' laws limiting product liability suits to the useful life of the products, a used, late 60s or early 70s 172 will still cost $40-60,000 because that's what the market will bear. Insurance has nothing to do with that. Garmin will still charge thousands for a GNS-530 because they can. Raytheon will still charge $600k for a new Bonanza because someone will pay that price. Used airplanes appreciate in value every year regardless of what insurance premiums are doing.

Now, insurance has a bit to do with Raytheon's bottom line, I'm sure. Airplane accidents tend to be expensive, multi-million dollar affairs even before getting to court, especially if the plane hits property on the ground and kills any pilots/pax/bystanders. However, there really aren't very many high casualty accidents in a given year, so the actuarial numbers aren't too bad for a single manufacturer. If the insurance company manages its risk pool well, then premiums should be stable year to year (and I'll bet they are). You don't hear Boeing complaining about runaway lawsuits simply because there just aren't that many over time. GA is not that different and their accidents tend to be smaller scale.

I'm not defending every aspect of insurance. However, aviation has its own problems that cause slim profit margins, poor employee compensation, and dangerous corner-cutting. It reminds me of another industry - professional horse-racing, dressage, and 3-day eventing. The folks in that industry love it, but it's damned expensive, the money's terrible unless you're among the favored elite, and bad guys take advantage of desperate riders/owners all the time.
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

Needle6,
How many auto claims have you settled for $200 million?

Here is an excerpt from "Wells v. Smith," Civil Action No. 87-C-4527, Submitted: October 1, 1991, Filed: December 5, 1991

"From 1977 to 1985, for example, liability claims against small-plane manufacturers rose from $24 million to $210 million. Beech, Cessna and Piper curtailed or stopped production because of the increased costs. The market for small planes then became dominated by older used planes that were much less safe than the new ones that Beech, Cessna and Piper could have produced...

Punitive damages, especially in the area of products liability, can create a chilling effect on new product research and development."

Dallas Business Journal, Dec 1996:
"Cessna stopped production of the legendary plane in 1986, when accident liability for planes shifted from consumers to manufacturers. Simultaneously, general aviation went into a nose dive. At the industry's peak, in 1978, 17,811 airplanes of all makes were shipped nationwide. By 1992, the industry hit its low of 941 shipments. Throughout that time, the Cessna Skyhawk 172 has been acknowledged as the most popular airplane of its kind.

Now, interest in general aviation is on the rise again, thanks largely to the 1994 Aviation Revitalization Act. The federal law limits to 19 years the duration of a manufacturers' liability for airplanes."

St. Louis Business Journal: Sept 1996
"Most manufacturers stopped production of smaller planes because of numerous product liability suits in the 1980s.

Cessna, the biggest general aviation plane maker, quit making piston-engine planes altogether in 1986. But before the firm quit production, it was adding a third or more to the price of its planes in order to pay for liability coverage. emphasis added.


Sir, there is nothing "high tech" in a Bonanza or a Skyhawk, other than the $5000 Garmin. The engines are still '30s technology. The Bonanza dates back to 1947 and the 172 back to the '50s.

I rest my case, you have the floor.
 

Athena

New Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
"Aviation's nemesis" isn't insurance, or the Liability is the reason that Bonanzas cost $600,000 and C172s are $190,000+.


[/ QUOTE ]

Does anyone have a guess as to what it 'really costs' to build an aircraft? Is the markup as bad as a pair of Nike shoes?
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

NJA Capt,

Notice that the cases you cite all refer to the industry in the 1970s and 1980s. As I stated above, most states have revised their product liability statutes since then to limit long-term liability for product failures (for example, WA's limit is 12 years; OR's limit is 8 years, etc.). As you also know, Cessna, Piper, and Beech have reconstituted their businesses and are selling airplanes again. Part of the reason they could do so was because the insurance risk pool is much more manageable in the present business/legal climate.

So tell me, how is insurance causing a crisis in 2003?

Again, ask yourself why a used 1960s Bonanza still fetches over $100,000 even though Beech is totally safe from liability on that airplane. If that Bonanza crashes, any lawsuit against Beech will be thrown out of court before any significant amount of money will be spent on defense costs. If you're right that airplanes are really no more complex or high-tech than cars, then I don't know why a 1960s Bonanza costs $80,000 more than a 2003 Honda Accord, but you can't blame lawyers and the insurance industry for USED airplane prices.

I cede the floor to you...
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Places to fly King Air\'s...

I'd sure like to know what states you are talking about.

There are no limits to liability in FL, and that is the largest training state in the US. The Tort Reform act has been shot down 3 times in a row now.
 
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