“I have been flying for 32 years and, prior to starting my Part 135 air charter business, owned a Mooney M20E and Piper Lance. I started my charter business in 1985, and have owned a Navajo Chieftain, Cessna 401 and 601P Aerostar for charter. After flying about 80 hours in a B100 King Air, I began flying the MU-2 on charter in 1989, and have flown nothing else since. I have operated the MU-2B-20, -36A and –60 on charter. My current aircraft is a Marquise in my single-pilot single-aircraft charter business.
Compared to the King Air 200 (the mainstay turboprop in air charter), my Marquise is faster with a smoother ride and offers more passenger legroom and width (albeit with less luggage space). The King Airs charge about 25-30% more than I do for a trip (due to their longer time in the air) but I believe I make more money than they do. The vast majority of my trips are for well-to-do executives, but I fly airline mechanics and oil field firefighters as well, along with small cargo. Once people have experienced a properly appointed, equipped and maintained MU-2 they will forget the King Air (and even a higher-priced jet) and come back for more MU-2 trips.
When I went to work for the company I now own in 1989, they were flying to IJSC Tulsa for inspections so I inherited and fortunately for me have maintained that relationship. It is worth the three-hour Houston-Tulsa roundtrip (only getting 97 revenue hours between 100-hour inspections) to have the same people that have been there forever taking care of me and my Marquise; several of them attack my airplane as soon as it is in the hangar and they are well into the inspection immediately. From airframe to engine and avionics, I come out of inspection promptly and thoroughly and have never missed a trip. They are always available when I am on the road and they need to advise another A&P or ship a part same-day or overnight.
MU-2 people are the reason I got into the MU-2, and those at IJSC are at the top of the list.”