Canada • Singapore • India • South Africa A Neterwala Group Company

Fixed-wing Aircraft

A fixed-wing aircraft has a number of advantages in addition to its lower operating costs. First, it has a payload and cabin space larger than a helicopter and thus can carry more instrumentation. Second its operating range is generally three or four times greater than that of a helicopter. Surveys can be flown farther from population centres, thereby reducing some of the logistical problems of a helicopter-borne survey.

McPHAR operates Piper PA-31 Navajo's, Cessna 210 and if required the Cessna Grand Caravan to carry out its survey operations. The choice of aircraft will depend, among other things, on the survey technique to be applied, the terrain to be flown over, fuel availability and safety considerations.

  • Piper PA-31 Navajo Twin engine aircraft commonly used for offshore oil & gas exploration, modified for seep, mag, gravity and radiometric surveys

  • Cessna 210 Single engine aircraft commonly used for mineral exploration, equipped for gradiometer, mag, and radiometric surveys

  • Cessna Grand Caravan Single turbine aircraft commonly used for mineral exploration equipped with gravity, gradiometer, mag and radiometric for on and offshore surveys


Registration ZS-KRB & ZS-MXF
Gross Weight 3800lb – 1723kg
Empty Weight 2528lb – 1147kg
Useful Load 1272lb – 577kg
Useful Fuel Capacity 540lb – 245kg
Typical Survey Speeds 120 knots
Flight Duration (no reserves) 5h30
Cruise Speed - Ferry 125 knots
Cruise Range 560 km – 650 km
Stall Speed 57 knots
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,000'
Climb Performance @ Sea Level 500fpm
Power Available for Equipment (28 VDC)
Typical Balanced Field length (@ gross weight) 3,280' – 1,000m (Sea level)

Piper Navajo PA-31

Registration N370RC, N477PM, N478AP
Engines 2 x Textron Lycoming TIO-540-A– each 310 BHP
Gross Weight 6,500 lb / 2,955 kg
Empty Weight 3.759 lb / 1,709 kg
Useful Load 2,741 lb / 1,246 kg
Useful Fuel Capacity 350 gallons / 1,330 litres
Typical Survey Speeds 120 – 160 knots / 220 – 295 kph
Flight Duration (no reserves) 7.45 hours
Cruise Speed - Ferry 185 knots / 340 kph
Cruise Range 1,295 nm / 2,380 km
Stall Speed 66 knots / 120 kph
Maximum Operating Altitude 26,300 ft / 8,092 m
Climb Performance @ Sea Level >1,395 ft/min / >429 m/min
Power Available for Equipment (28 VDC) 150 amps
Typical Balanced Field length (@ gross weight)                              2,280 ft / 701 m

CESSNA caravan

Registration Varies (Leased in Aircraft)
Engines Pratt & Whitney PT6-114A
Gross Weight 8,750lb – 3,969kg
Empty Weight 4,570lb – 2,073kg
Useful Load 4,180lb – 1,896kg
Useful Fuel Capacity 2,224lb – 1,009kg
Typical Survey Speeds 125 – 135 knots
Flight Duration (no reserves) 6h15 (Sea level)
Cruise Speed - Ferry

135 knots (Survey config)

Cruise Range 742nm – 1,375km
Stall Speed 61 knots
Maximum Operating Altitude 25,000’
Climb Performance @ Sea Level 770 fpm
Power Available for Equipment (28 VDC)  
Typical Balanced Field length (@ gross weight) 2,280 ft - 701 m


  • Cessna 210
  • Piper PA-31 Navajo
  • Cessna Grand Caravan