Despite the fact that we were all up later than expected last night, thanks to good food, lively conversation, and international paperwork, the worsening weather conditions this morning compel us into an early launch from KOSH. After a quick preflight, we embark on our first official leg of the trip with a quick two-hour sprint to CYHU – Montreal.
Montreal, with its abundance of history, culture, and beauty, is also home to Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC), one of the most respected and reliable aircraft engine manufacturers in the world – and the supplier of Epic’s powerhouse PT6A-67A 1200 HP engine. During our preflight briefing, we are advised that in Canada, you are not supposed to open your aircraft door until instructed to do so by customs – and apparently, sometimes this can take quite a while (which is a good reason NOT to drink that 24 oz ice tea). Luckily, we are cleared in a matter of minutes, no doubt due to the influence of the enthusiastic PWC welcoming committee awaiting us. A professional videographer interviews pilots and passengers as we exit the planes. Doug King, Epic CEO, is presented with a PWC Engine Support Bag, containing key repair parts, to accompany us on our journey — “just in case”!
We then head to Pratt & Whitney’s impressive headquarters for lunch and tours of their world-class customer support operation and engine production facility. Prior to the tour, we are required to put on special protective footwear and oversized glasses. Safety, security, and quality are hallmarks of the PWC culture, but certainly not fashion! After concluding the tour, we head to the charming Hotel Nelligan in Old Town Montreal to relax before joining our PWC friends for dinner at the celebrated Bonaparte Restaurant. The restaurant’s reputation for excellence is well deserved as we enjoy an exquisite French dining experience. After dinner, we thank our Pratt & Whitney hosts for a memorable day and enjoy a leisurely stroll back to the hotel through the busy streets of Old Town, enjoying the city’s many sites and delights.