The recent Global Customer Committee (GCC) face-to-face meeting in Phoenix brought welcome news for the community of Pilatus owners and pilots.
The GCC, which has become one of Honeywell's primary tools to bring in feedback from the PC-12 community, is an independent group of more than 75 business aviation professionals who work with Honeywell to bring about improvements in aircraft, equipment, operations and services by seeking input on any concerns based on the operators' experience and to represent those topics to Honeywell.
It's no secret that there had been a perception among some Pilatus operators that Honeywell wasn't listening as carefully as we might.
However, utilizing a variety of "Voice of the Customer" feedback modalities, notably the GCC, Honeywell was able to identify and correct several weaknesses and areas of challenge.
First off, Honeywell took action to enhance its Spares Exchange Inventory (SPEX) with special attention to improving in-region support―a point of particular significance to heavy users of PC-12 aircraft such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS), which provides emergency and primary health care services to people living and working in Australia's remote areas.
Another significant area addressed and resolved by the GCC team was a yaw damper disconnect problem. The yaw damper―a device used to reduce the rolling and yawing oscillations due to Dutch roll mode―had been disconnecting because of a software issue. Feedback from Atlas Aircraft Center helped prioritize a solution that is now available to PC-12 NG customers.
Yet another improvement reported out by the GCC was reduction of the complexity and time of database loading of the PC-12 NG Connected Flight Deck wireless fastload system. This system allows wireless data transfer between the Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics suite and an Apple iPad. As with any electronic application, faster is better!
Legacy PC-12 Continuing Support
Honeywell advised Pilatus that we haven't forgotten about legacy PC-12s either.
Even though the PC-12 EFS 40/50 Electronic Flight Instrumentation System is a 25-year-old product, Honeywell has committed to continued support in the aftermarket through SPEX, repair and overhaul services (R&O) and the Honeywell Avionics Protection Plan (HAPP) for at least another decade. In fact, in response to customer requirements, Honeywell executed an agreement with the CRT provider to reinstate manufacturing of CRTs.
Pilot Gateway Mobile App
The Honeywell Pilot Gateway is a powerful tool for Pilatus flight crews, providing free and instant access to technical publications, familiarization materials, operational alerts and updates as well as news and events.
But the Gateway is not a one-way street. PC-12 pilots can use it to ask questions, report technical issues and provide feedback about Honeywell products and services.
Another "Top 25" outcome of the GCC liaison with operators was the introduction of Direct Access Support Network Directory Mobile App―a Honeywell customer support network that travels with you. The aptly name app provides direct access to vital services such as technical and pilot support, locate dealer and service centers by region or product line with just a few touches on a smart phone or tablet.
It's clear that Honeywell has been actively seeking and implementing feedback from PC-12 operators, service centers and collaborative customer teams to take impressive action on the items that affect their day-to-day operations and their longer-term interests as a legacy PC-12 or PC-12 NG operator.