A few years ago, the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport lengthened its runway to allow a wider variety of passenger planes to fly people in and out of Lamoille County, and the airport has been as busy as ever.

Last week, a brand-new twin engine jet chartered by Portsmouth, N.H.-based PlaneSense flew into town and used far less runway than was available. How new? Like, one week out of the factory.

The new plane, a Pilatus PC-24, is one of a half-dozen of its kind that PlaneSense plans on adding to its fleet over the next two years.

According to Toni Barr, vice president of Stowe Aviation, the Feb. 15 morning landing at the local airport was the aircraft’s maiden voyage. Barr said PlaneSense used the “idyllic mountain setting” to showcase the new plane in its promotional materials, and brought on a crew of photographers and videographers, makeup artists and models for a promotional photo shoot.

Also present at the landing were some local lawmakers, Reps. Gary Nolan, R-Morristown, and Dan Noyes, D-Wolcott.

The Pilatus is well-suited for small airports like Morrisville-Stowe. It’s nimble and efficient, with an approach that sees it nearly drop out of the sky, make a smooth touchdown and come to a quick stop without visible jerkiness. Its takeoff is just as efficient, with the plane going from an accelerating state to airborne in an instant.

— Tommy Gardner

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