African Pilot



The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single turboprop engine, fixed-gear short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft built in the United States. The airplane typically seats nine passengers, operated by a single pilot, although with a FAR Part 23 waiver, the type can seat up to twelve passengers. The aircraft is also used for cargo feeder liner operations. The Caravan’s cabin can be outfitted with seats or as a cargo hold. The standard high-density airline configurat­ion features four rows of 1-2 seating behind the two cockpit seats. This variant is capable of holding up to twelve passengers, although the type is marketed as being able to make a profit carrying just four passengers.

In January 2013 a higher-powered version (867 shp P&WC PT6A140) version, the Grand Caravan EX, received FAA certificat­ion. Cessna offers the 208B in several configurat­ions. The basic 208 airframe can be outfitted with various types of landing gear, allowing it to operate in a wide variety of environmen­ts. Some common adaptation­s include snow skis, enlarged tyres for unprepared runways and floats on the Caravan Amphibian model. The cabin can be configured in a low-density passenger configurat­ion, with 1-1 seating, as a combinatio­n of passengers and cargo, or as a strictly cargo aircraft. Many variants include an underbelly cargo pod, which can be used for additional freight capacity, or for passenger baggage. A number of Caravans are operated as skydiving aircraft with the left-side cargo hatch converted to a roll-up door. Presently there are 85 Cessna Caravans operating within the Southern African region.

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