P.R.O.P.


P.R.O.P. OVERVIEW:

What Is P.R.O.P.?

P.R.O.P. stands for Pilot’s Review of Proficiency, a safety seminar good for any pilot but oriented to the Mitsubishi MU-2.

  • PURPOSE:  To Promote Safety
  • WHEN:  April and May of every even-numbered year
  • COST:  The Seminar is Free
  • SPONSORED BY:
    • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc.
    • SimCom International, Inc.
  • MAJOR CO SPONSOR:  Honeywell
  • WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 
    • Every pilot flying a Mitsubishi MU-2
    • Anyone involved in any form of operation or support of the MU-2.
    • Prospective Owner/Operators
  • WHY SHOULD I ATTEND?
    • To meet other MU-2 operators
    • To learn more about how to operate an MU-2 safely
    • To better understand the various MU-2 support programs

The History of P.R.O.P.

THE BEGINNING OF P.R.O.P.

The original Pilot’s Review of Proficiency (P.R.O.P.) was hosted in 1982 as both an MU-2 marketing effort and an aviation safety seminar. This seminar was presented in 10 cities as a one-day program. It attracted over 550 attendees and was generally oriented toward any turbine-powered aircraft. In 1986 Mitsubishi discontinued producing the MU-2, and P.R.O.P. was suspended.

 

THE RESURRECTION OF P.R.O.P.

P.R.O.P. ’94 was not a re-make of the original P.R.O.P. It was a whole new program that focused on the MU-2 and the enhancement of safe operations. It was expanded to a 1 and ½ day seminar and was held in 3 cities in the U.S. and 1 city in Europe. Regional P.R.O.P. ’95 was a slightly abbreviated version of P.R.O.P. ’94 and was hosted to capture groups who were unable to attend P.R.O.P. ’94.

 

THE P.R.O.P. PROGRAM

P.R.O.P. ’96 was similar to P.R.O.P. ’94, however the material was more advanced. The program stressed the importance of advanced training techniques, quality maintenance, and proper operating techniques.P.R.O.P. ’98 addressed all new issues and operational matters. The program was organized to provide more schedule flexibility for the attendees and was expanded to six cities in the U.S. and Europe. Emphasis was placed on soliciting participation from operators who had not previously attended P.R.O.P. seminars.

CONTINUTING THE P.R.O.P PROGRAM:

P.R.O.P. 2000

P.R.O.P. 2000 brought a two-screen presentation with it to enhance the visual quality of the video material and the Power Point presentations. A greater variety of subjects and speakers made this the most successful P.R.O.P. yet, with attendance in excess of all previous years. Five U.S. cities, Detroit (Dearborn), Hartford, Houston, Daytona (Palm Coast) and Reno were completed with no European P.R.O.P. this year. P.R.O.P. 2000 boasted almost 45% attendance by pilots and owners that had never attended a P.R.O.P. in the past.

P.R.O.P. 2002

P.R.O.P. 2002 began in Dallas, TX, and moved on to Hartford, CT, Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN, and Scottsdale, AZ. The two-screen format, which was very well received at P.R.O.P. 2000, was continued at P.R.O.P. 2002. After a short review of previous Aerodynamics and Engines presentations, these two areas were expanded upon. The Accident Analysis sessions always generate interest, and this year was no different. Informational sessions were presented by SimCom, the new MU-2 training facility. Other new programs, such as the Vendor Room and Recognition Gifts, were introduced this year. Many of the attendees voiced their opinions that this was the “best P.R.O.P. yet.”

Attendance at P.R.O.P. 2002 was down from the anticipated numbers due to “9/11” and the current economic conditions. Even so, the total registered attendance was 376, a loss of only 19 (4.8%) from P.R.O.P. 2000. First-time attendance at P.R.O.P. 2002 stood at 48% of the total attendees, an increase over the 41% first-time attendance of P.R.O.P. 2000.

P.R.O.P. 2004

P.R.O.P. 2004 was presented in only four cities: Dallas, TX, Richmond, VA, Orlando, FL, and Scottsdale, AZ. Honeywell’s representative presented Pilot Engine Tips. In a second presentation, he also answered the age-old question: 96% or 100%? Aspects of Flight Performance were presented, along with Top MU-2 Operating Topics. The three-part Accident Analysis was again well-received by the attendees. Four different Owners/Operators were chosen to give a presentation unique to their field of flying: Charter Operations, Maintenance Test Piloting, Flying the Islands (Caribbean), and Cold Weather Operations. SimCom, the MU-2 training facility and a big supporter of P.R.O.P., provided a speaker who gave two presentations during the seminar. Short Body Operations, Service Information Update, and Elements of Flying Safe rounded out the topics.

Two Optional Programs were offered at P.R.O.P. 2004. At Dallas and Orlando, Archie Trammell’s Weather Radar Course was offered on the Sunday following these two P.R.O.P. seminars. At Richmond and Scottsdale, Honeywell’s TPE-331 Pilot’s Engine Familiarization Course was offered on the two days preceding the P.R.O.P. seminars. These courses were fee-based and were very well attended.

Even though P.R.O.P. was presented in only 4 cities, the attendance numbers were the highest ever seen. The total attendance was 434, with 257 Owner/Operators in attendance. Thirty-eight percent of the Owner/Operator attendees were there for the first time.

P.R.O.P. 2005

In late 2004, Mitsubishi considered taking P.R.O.P. to Europe. The program had not been presented there for seven years, and although the numbers of aircraft were fewer and fewer every year and many of the European Owners/Operators came to the U.S. P.R.O.P.s, Mitsubishi felt that it was important to offer P.R.O.P. in Europe to local owners and operators. In May of 2005, P.R.O.P. was presented in Frankfurt, Germany and Nykoping, Sweden. The seminar was condensed to a one-day format and included presentations from previous years. In both cities, the attendance, while small in numbers compared to the U.S. seminars, was high in the percentage of Owners/Operators who had never before attended P.R.O.P. This confirmed that the owners and operators were eager to have the P.R.O.P. seminar available to them.

P.R.O.P. 2006

The FAA Safety Review of the MU-2 conducted in 2005 created new topics and new speakers for P.R.O.P. The biggest draw and the highest-rated presentation was the “MU-2 Safety Study Report”, given by Greg Feith. This session was originally scheduled as a one hour presentation. When it was presented in Dallas, it was obvious how much interest this session generated, and the allotted time was expanded to 1 ½ hours. Another new topic which was highly anticipated (and well-received) was the New Training Program. This session introduced and explained the new, mandatory training program that will be instituted for the MU-2. Most everyone wanted to know, “How does this affect me?”.

Other topics that were presented included Accident Scenarios, Little Known MU-2 Facts, Service Information, Airframe Ops, Pilot Decision Making, Engine Ops, and Engine Rigging. Also offered was the YET Icing Awareness Video for those who needed the endorsement in their logbooks. The Honeywell TPE-331 Pilot’s Familiarization Course was offered as an optional, fee-based course in both Richmond and Scottsdale. A total of 30 people attended the TPE courses.

Dallas had 109 attendees, Richmond had 120 attendees, and Scottsdale had 96 attendees. By themselves, the numbers for each city were very good numbers, but with only three cities on the schedule, the total attendance was down by 109 (compared to 2004 with 434 in attendance). The percentage of Owners/Operators who had never attended P.R.O.P. before stood at 31.4% for 2006, as opposed to 38% in 2004.

P.R.O.P. 2008

P.R.O.P. 2008 was held in three cities this year: Dallas, TX, Tysons Corner, VA, and Reno, NV. During the planning stages for P.R.O.P. 2008, the committee knew that it would be important to present a “new and improved” P.R.O.P., and that’s what the committee set out to do.

The first change was to revert from the 2-screen format back to one screen. The new screen was large format and was a beneficial update to the program. The second improvement was to bring in new speakers. The speakers making presentations at P.R.O.P. 2008 were knowledgeable and vibrant speakers, and their topics were given very high marks. The topics presented were Accident Analysis (always well received), MU-2 Website, Sagem Glass Cockpit, MU-2 and the Media, Service Center Technical Corner, SFAR Review, Crossing the Line, Operational Tips & Techniques, Engine Ops (NTS System), Aeronautical Decision Making, and Have You Ever Been Stung By A Dead Bee? This wide array of topics gave the attendees many new ideas and much needed information. The audiences were very responsive.

A third upgrade was the use of interactive keypads. The speakers had embedded questions in their presentations, and the attendees were given four or five answers to choose from. Each audience member had been given a “clicker”, and when the speaker’s question came up on the screen, the participant chose the appropriate response and clicked that number. The responses were tabulated immediately on screen, and the audience could see how others had responded. This allowed many people to respond to the questions, whereas before they might have been too shy or didn’t want to embarrass themselves. The “clickers” were a huge success.

A fourth upgrade was in the Vendor Room. New signage was produced that “jazzed” up the room. Many of the Vendors brought their pop-up booths or even full-sized wall booths, and this gave the room a very attractive look. Many, many of the Vendors made mention that P.R.O.P. is the best trade show that they attend.

One final improvement was the reception that was held in Tysons Corner. Attendees were bused from the hotel to the Udvar-Hazy Center (a branch of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum). P.R.O.P. attendees had the entire place to themselves and could gaze at and walk amongst all of the aviation displays there. According to the responses from the attendees, this event may never be equaled.

The TPE-331 Pilot’s Familiarization Course was presented in all three cities on the Wednesday and Thursday before the formal P.R.O.P. seminar. There were a total of 32 people attending the three TPE Courses.

P.R.O.P. 2010

P.R.O.P. 2010 was held in three cities this year: Dallas, TX, Orlando, FL, and Scottsdale, AZ. The committee wanted to rev up the presentations this year, so they brought in two outside speakers who were new to P.R.O.P.

The first addition to the program was Dr. David Strahle, and his presentation was titled “Airborne NEXRAD Radar”. He spoke for 2 hours and he mesmerized the audience. Attendees learned things about their radar and what they were looking at that they had never known before. Dr. Strahle’s topic was timely and the presentation was first rate.

The second addition was Mr. Ralph Hood. Mr. Hood was not a presenter during the formal P.R.O.P. seminar but was the Saturday luncheon speaker at all three cities. Mr. Hood regaled the audience with aviation anecdotes and true stories (so he says) that had everyone in stitches.

Other P.R.O.P. topics included Accident Analysis, Technical Corner with the Service Centers, MU-2 Website, MU-2 and the Media, LE Status Report, SFAR Review, WAAS/LAAS Approaches, Operational Tips & Techniques, Engine Ops, and SMS. Some of these topics have been presented year after year, but always with new information.

Prior to the first seminar in Dallas, the numbers weren’t looking all that great. Times are tough, and that was reflected in the pre-P.R.O.P. registration numbers. When the final count was taken, there were 75 in attendance in Dallas, an astounding 128 in Orlando, and 73 in Scottsdale for a total of 276. This number is approximately 40 below what the total count was for P.R.O.P. 2008, and the number of actual operators was only down by 10%. Not bad, considering the economy and the reduction in the freighter fleet.

The optional TPE-331 Engine Familiarization Course, on the other hand, was much higher in numbers than were expected. This fee-based course was offered in Orlando and Scottsdale, and there were a total of 28 people who attended. That’s very close to what the count was in 2008 when it was held in 3 cities. There are many new owners and operators of MU-2s who are hungry for knowledge, and that can be seen in these numbers.

One more new event that was added to P.R.O.P. was the Pinch Hitter Course presented by Tom Goonen of SimCom. This break-out session was 2-hours in length and was intended to give non-MU-2 qualified persons a basic idea of what to do if the pilot becomes incapacitated in flight. The total number in attendance was 50, and Orlando had the most because SimCom also offered a ½ hour sim session the day after. The course was a very popular event.

Other highlights of the entire series of P.R.O.P. seminars were:

  • Two original owners of their MU-2s were each recognized by MHIA. The two companies who originally bought and still own their MU-2s are Keller Companies (Bill White) and Celco-Constantine (John Constantine). Congratulations to both companies for their continued loyalty.
  • The passing of John Spoor (Jack) Broome was noted. For many years, Jack was also recognized as an original owner, and his MU-2 was finally sold a short time before his passing. Jack was not only a big MU-2 supporter, but he was a past-member of the Board of Directors of NBAA and was a quiet philanthropist in his home state of California.

P.R.O.P. 2012

During the initial planning for P.R.O.P. 2012, the committee discussed presenting P.R.O.P. in 4 cities. Having PROP in four cities had not been done since 2004, and by choosing a city in the northern or northeastern US, it was felt that that would attract a large number of attendees. It was a risk – four cities meant more costs – but the committee decided that the potential benefit outweighed the risk. As it turned out, the benefit was huge.

The four selected cities and their attendance numbers were: Dallas, TX (113), Orlando, FL (91), Reno, NV (65), and Columbus, OH (106). The total attendance numbers were very good (375), albeit Reno was somewhat lower than hoped for, but the addition of Columbus to the roster was a good choice. Two other statistics that are of note is (1) the percentage of first time Owner/Operators in attendance (compared to total O/O) was 33.4% and (2) the total number of prospective buyers at all four PROPs was 20. These two statistics show that there is a lot of interest from new owners of MU-2s and those considering the purchase of one.

The guest speaker for this series of PROPs was Mr. Sean Roberts, Flight Research test pilot. Mr. Roberts’ presentation was “Flight Envelope – Surviving Upsets”, and his session was rated the highest of all. The comments on the critiques were all positive and many attendees asked that he return during PROP 2014. Mr. Roberts was also the speaker during all four Saturday luncheons, and his topic was “How Many Lives Does a Cat Have?”.

Other topics that were presented were: Lunch with Pat (MU-2 Website Update, Involvement with Congressional GA Caucus, and LE Status Report), Accident Analysis (again a favorite), Maintenance Technical Corner & FCU AMOC, Operational Tips & Techniques, SFAR & AMOC Reviews, SFAR Profile Flying, Most Challenging Approaches in the US, Engine Tips from A to Z, Service Information, and Because You Asked. Each of the topics and speakers were rated over 4 (out of a possible 5).

The optional TPE-331 Engine Familiarization Course was offered In Dallas and Columbus, and was held on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to those PROP seminars. Mr. Don Ross, former Honeywell instructor, joined the team again as the TPE presenter. There were 16 in attendance at Dallas and 14 in attendance in Columbus. A large majority of the participants were new or nearly new to the MU-2.

Because the Pinch Hitter Course that was initiated in P.R.O.P. 2010 was such a success, it was offered again in all four cities. There were 17, 15, 5, and 9 people who attended in the four cities for a total of 46. Also, a ½ hour simulator session at SimCom following the Orlando seminar was available to any Pinch Hitter attendee who was able to stay over till Sunday.

One of the goals that the P.R.O.P. committee set for themselves this year was to have a Friday night hangar reception at each P.R.O.P. Dallas was easy – there has been a hangar reception in the Turbine Aircraft Services hangar (or next door, in the case of 2010, when the new TAS hangar was being built) since the first time P.R.O.P. was held in Dallas. Two of the other cities just fell into place: in Orlando, a good hotel and a good general aviation airport and FBO were found in Sanford, FL, just north of Orlando. In Columbus, Bolton Field had a perfect location for the reception at a food establishment next door to the FBO. The only city that was not able to host a hangar reception was Reno due to the large commercial airline activity at that airport. In 2014, finding locations for hangar receptions will be high-priority. All of the attendees really like to be able to enjoy good food and beverages in an outside area, look at and walk around MU-2s and watch a precision fly-by of two MU-2s.

The Future of P.R.O.P.

Other aircraft manufacturers offer fee-based seminars, and while they impart a lot of useful information, they are geared toward the “sale.” Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America produces the P.R.O.P. seminars, which are free to all who attend, as a way to increase the knowledge and proficiency of the owners and operators, thereby promoting safety.

History is being made here, but not just in one seminar or in one city or even in one year. It is being made in the consistency and continuity of the overall project. It is being made in the commitment by Mitsubishi and SimCom and Honeywell to make P.R.O.P. available to the MU-2 community. It is being made in the dedication of the Owners and Operators who attend year after year.

Looking ahead at P.R.O.P. 2014, retention of the 2012 attendees along with the addition of new, never-before-attended owners and operators will be the goal. With an ever-diminishing fleet, it will be quite a challenge to meet this goal, but not impossible.

P.R.O.P. STATISTICS:

FINAL REGISTRATION SUMMARY (2012) COMPARISON TO PREVIOUS YEARS

P.R.O.P. 2012 PARTICIPANT SUMMARY

P.R.O.P. 2012

O/O

FAA

NTSB

S/C

VENDOR

DEALER

INS. CO.

MAINT.
FAC.

PROS.
BUYER

OTHER

TOTALS

PINCH
HITTER

TPE-331

DALLAS
57
1
0
9
21
0
3
5
3
14
113
17
16
ORLANDO
53
0
0
8
16
2
2
0
1
9
91
15
N/A
RENO
35
0
0
6
12
0
2
1
4
5
65
5
N/A
COLUMBUS
68
0
0
9
12
0
1
0
11
5
106
9
14
TOTALS

213

1

0

32

61

2

8

6

19

33

375

46

30

 

NUMBER OF DIFFERENT MU-2 SERIAL NUMBERS REPRESENTED AT P.R.O.P. 2012: 139

 

OWNER/OPERATOR ATTENDANCE NUMBERS (NEVER ATTENDED AND PREVIOUSLY ATTENDED P.R.O.P.)

CITY

O/O NEVER ATTENDED

O/O PREVIOUSLY ATTENDED

TOTAL O/O IN ATTENDANCE

% OF O/O WHO NEVER ATTENDED PROP

DALLAS

20
37
57
35.0%

ORLANDO

15
38
53
28.3%

RENO

11
24
35
31.4%
COLUMBUS
25
43
68
36.8%

TOTALS

71

142

213

33.3%

 

P.R.O.P. 2012 PROGRAM STATISTICS
COMPARISON OF NUMBER OF ATTENDEES
PROP 2012
4 Cities
PROP 2010
3 Cities
PROP 2008
3 Cities
PROP 2006
3 Cities
PROP 2004
4 Cities
PROP 2002
5 Cities
PROP 2000
5 Cities
PROP 1998
6 Cities
PROP 1996
5 Cities
PROP 1995
1 City*
PROP 1994
4 Cities
TOTALS

375

289

322

325

434

379

395

413

314

246

265

INTERNATIONAL

28

45

47

37

U.S.

375

289

322

325

434

379

395

385

269

199

228

Categories (includes International and U.S.)
Owners/Operators

213

161

182

191

257

242

256

299

244

194

191

FAA

1

2

4

6

2

6

12

11

23

13

8

NTSB
0

0

2

8

7

1

Service Centers
32

33

19

28

28

21

44

20

16

4

13

Vendors

61

48

62

53

75

44

41

79

7

11

30

Dealers

2

2

2

2

7

5

42

4

24

24

23

Insurance Companies

8

10

8

4

2

1

Maintenance Facilities

6

4

6

2

24

26

Prospective Buyers

19

9

12

7

11

7

Others

33

20

25

24

21

26

* Regional