Pilot shares experience of SmartSky connectivity


The pilot and passengers of a SmartSky LITE-equipped Pilatus PC-12 have shared positive feedback on the connectivity solution after using it for numerous trips across the country.

“SmartSky has developed a system that is highly capable and reliable, which my passengers have all mentioned after flying,” said Barry Blackwood, veteran pilot of the aircraft that is managed by Davinci Jets of Charlotte, NC. “Its ability to power many devices at the same time, with no system degradation, is truly impressive. Once you fly with a SmartSky-equipped aircraft, it’s hard to think about a world where you don’t fly with it.”

The SmartSky LITE system is a streaming-level system available for smaller business aircraft. Its compact, single-antenna design fits aircraft that cannot accommodate the two-antenna SmartSky Flagship system due to space or other configuration limitations. SmartSky Flagship is aimed at mid- to large-cabin aircraft.

SmartSky said both systems bring the same advantages of its next-generation network, combining the best of 5G and LTE technologies. The compact hardware systems are designed to be quick to install, and the software-defined network and radios allow easy updates with the latest technological advancements. The SmartSky LITE hourly and unlimited data plans provide flexibility for limited and more frequent flyers.

“It’s a total game-changer flying with SmartSky,” said Blackwood. “Having the SmartSky system on board is immensely valuable in aiding aviators with communications and access to real-time flight information.”

The SmartSky solution is designed to move data just as easily from the aircraft as to it. SmartSky shared that this capability includes plenty of bandwidth for the cockpit to connect to situational awareness applications and electronic flight bags (EFBs) during the flight. It added that the broadband connection ensures the cabin can simultaneously connect to what they need, without interruption.

“We could not be happier with the positive feedback we are hearing from our customers,” said Eric Legvold, CEO of Davinci Jets. “Many passengers on the other legacy IFC-equipped aircraft we manage land frustrated because of inconsistent, unreliable connectivity. Because word is getting out about SmartSky’s superior inflight performance, we are booking more installations and are excited to be bringing this long-awaited level of connectivity and affordability to our management and MRO customers. It’s fantastic that everyone on the aircraft can have a connected experience in flight that exceeds their expectations.”

SmartSky Networks is an air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity provider. It has STCs for a wide variety of aircraft models, with nearly a dozen in-progress or awaiting certificate issuance from the FAA.

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Lauren is a freelance technical journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint on Business Jet Interior’s sister title Traffic Technology International, as deputy editor from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum to two busy little girls. She is always in demand!

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