Monday, November 17, 2008…When you're flying a KODIAK with the all-glass GARMIN G1000 avionics suite you can get there from here. What's more, you can make the trip safely, with complete confidence, and you have a much better chance of getting there today. While just knowing this is comforting...actually doing it makes the difference between getting home to sleep in your own bed or waiting out the storm in a motel somewhere south of Butte.
And so begins our story...
A few weekends ago, we got a weather briefing on the ground in Colorado. Simple enough. We were looking forward to the rush of KODIAK's PT-6 driving us through the moonless night from Denver, home to Sandpoint. But, as is often the case in these fall months, once we got into the air things began to look a little different and with night closing in the difference wasn't something we could see out the windows. Thankfully our KODIAK was optioned with StormScope and SkyWatch (integrated weather and traffic), plus weather updates via XM radio. With this trio of vital resources under the glare shield we could clearly see weather dropping out of Canada and brewing into a couple of big storms over Montana.
This night was about to prove what KODIAK utility is all about.
We've done a lot of flights in these KODIAKs and there are a few things we've learned. When you have the kind of range, speed and versatility KODIAK offers…plus the G1000's ability to see weather hundreds of miles in the future…you have the means to turn a stressful overnight stay at an alternate into two turns of a few degrees and a pleasant night at home. On this flight, those few degrees took us entirely around IFR conditions that, without the G1000's foresight (and in spite of our pre-flight briefing), would have sent us headlong into the muck and seeking shelter overnight. We would have been stuck trying to find a way to turn wasted time into productive time. As it was, we clearly saw the storm fronts moving across our route from 200 miles out. We drifted a little south, skirted the storms and had a completely uneventful four hour flight.
We made it home on time. It really wasn't a big deal…and that's the whole point.
Honestly, what you're able to do in the KODIAK isn't all that unusual…it's something light jets do all the time. Even the best weather briefer can't save you from the unexpected. And that “unexpected” is exactly what the KODIAK and G1000 are built for. Simply put, KODIAK offers the tools that enable you to shape your future…safely, easily, and with plenty of time to consider your options.
In uncertain times circumstances cause you to take stock in your resources. What we've found in the KODIAK is stock that pays dividends on every flight.