Bert Bollar has been flying Beechcraft King Airs since 1983 and has flown N88JH, a 1989 King Air B200 [with the Blackhawk XP61 Engine+ Upgrade], for the past 19 years. He calls the airplane a member of his family and considers its owners part of his family, too.
“One of the primary reasons me and the bosses get along so well is that they allow us to maintain the airplane to the standards it needs to be,” Bollar said. “Even though it’s an ’89 model, I’ll put it up against a brand new King Air 250 as far as speed, performance and carrying capability because of the excellent shape we’ve been able to keep it in.”
Bollar reserved a Blackhawk engine upgrade before the STC was awarded and had the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-61 engines installed when they became available in 2008. Combined with RVSM, the B200 was able to fly 4,000 feet higher and cruise 30 KTAS faster with the same total fuel flow.
“We can get the boss there faster and while on a typical hour-and-a half mission that’s only five or 10 minutes, it adds up over a year’s time and saving the boss money in flight time that they have to pay to operate the airplane for the same amount of fuel,” Bollar said. “It’s an economic payback over the long haul, plus the performance is outstanding for hot and high conditions where we fly into 6,000- to 7,000-foot elevation airports on 90-, 100- or even 120-degree days out of Scottsdale. The performance of that bigger motor helps with speed, weather avoidance and gives us the ability to be safety oriented where you have full engine power on a hot day at high field elevation. It’s a no-brainer in the long run.”
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