A Cessna Citation II (CE-550) flying a visual approach and landing at the Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA). Enroute we easily pass a few spring thunderstorms. Normally in the Citation 550 we would cruise at FL 300 to FL 350 so it wasn’t always possible for us to stay above the thunder storms. This aircraft normally cruised at 365 kts so it was a little bit slower than the later generation Citations. The cockpit view shows the older analog flight instruments that the Citation II’s were originally equipped with. Cessna eventually replaced the Citation II with the Citation Bravo.
A Cessna Citation Encore flying at night around a line of thunder storms west of St Louis. During the cockpit view you can see the instrument panel labels are illuminated with electro luminescent lights that illuminate the lettering on the panel. The instruments are either illuminated internally or by post lights and the tubes for the pilot flight displays and the multifunction display are internally lighted monitors. As we enter the terminal area for our landing at Cahokia airport we get a great view of the lights of St. Louis. The Citation Encore is an upgraded Citation V with a hot wing, Primus 1000 avionics and Pratt and Whitney PW535A engines
The instrument panel and cockpit of a Cessna Citation Excel (CE-560XL). This Excel is taking off and flying along the gulf coast of Florida. The cockpit view is as the aircraft is approaching Alton Illinois for a landing. The Cessna Excel has a Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite.
A Cessna Citation Encore CE560 landing in snow showers at the St. Louis Cahokia Downtown airport KCPS. We’re landing after the heavier snow showers have moved off. The white flashes you can see on the windshield are individual snow flakes hitting the windshield at 135 mph. Flying in snow can create a couple of problems. If the runway is snow covered it increases our stopping distance and with a strong cross wind can create control problems on the runway. The other problem is an inflight issue of precipitation static. When flying through snow the aircraft can accumulate a static charge on the airframe faster than the static wicks can dissipate it. When this happens the radios pick up a loud static which can make them unusable till the static discharges.
A Short single pilot IFR flight in the Cessna Citation Mustang (CE-510). I takeoff in light rain from the St. Louis Downtown Cahokia airport (KCPS) and fly an ILS approach and landing into the Spirit of St. Louis Airport (KSUS). It’s a very short eight minute flight between the two airports. When flying Single pilot in instrument conditions, especially on short IFR flights in congested air space, the pilot work load can be extremely high. A thorough familiarity with the autopilot and avionics is a must. In situations like this the autopilot acts as your dumb copilot, faithfully flying altitude and heading while you work the radios and set up the approach. It’s important to have as much of the cockpit and avionics set up before takeoff as possible. This morning I was being vectored for the ILS 26L approach two minutes after takeoff. With two to three minutes to localizer intercept there is very little time to get set up and familiarize yourself with the approach. If you don’t have time to get setup ask for a delaying vector before accepting the approach clearance. Passing to the south of Lambert (KSTL), the approach controller gives us a vector to the right to intercept the localizer. After being handed off to spirit tower I’m cleared to land. Closer to the airport my landing clearance is revoked and the controller directs us to continue. She does this so she can launch another aircraft before we land. After the departing aircraft is rolling down the runway we are again cleared to land. This video includes Air traffic control radio communications and more of the Garmin G1000 instrument panel.
A 10 minute repositioning flight in a Cessna Citation Encore from Flagstaff Arizona to the Sedona Airport (KSEZ). It’s a beautiful clear day but the winds are very gusty. The Sedona airport can be a very challenging airport to fly into. Field elevation is 4,827 ft., the runway is 5,132 ft in length and runway 3 has a 1.8% up hill gradient. Add to this high temperatures or unfavorable winds and normal takeoff distances can be dramatically increased. In some cases you may need to leave fuel behind or wait for more favorable conditions before departing. This airport sits on a mesa that rises 500 ft. above the town of Sedona and is surrounded by an other worldly landscape that has to be seen to be believed. The draw back to this incredible vista is that it’s composed mostly of rapidly rising terrain. When winds pickup from the southwest treacherous downdrafts can be expected northeast of the approach end of runway 21. Unfortunately, a series of fatal accidents have occurred over the years at this airport. But, with a little preparation this airport is worth flying into just for the experience of being there. Just make sure to check your aircraft performance charts before departing. Before you leave, stop by the Mesa Grill next to the runway, it has excellent food.
Today’s modern corporate jets fly at altitudes that place them in the earths stratosphere. The highest flying corporate jets can fly as high as 51,000 ft. Commercial airliners normally fly between 30,000 and 40,000 ft. The Cessna Citation Encore is certified for flights up to Flight 45,000 ft. At these altitudes the atmosphere is extremely thin and temperatures may be as low as -60 C. If the aircraft cabin were to suddenly depressurize at 45,000 ft a pilot would only have 9-15 seconds of useful conciseness to get his oxygen mask on and sealed. I say sealed because at these altitudes even though the mask provides 100% oxygen, there isn’t sufficient atmospheric pressure to move the oxygen through the membranes of the lungs. A pressure demand mask such as the EROS has inflatable straps that tightly constrict around the head and when you take a breath it forces oxygen under pressure into the lungs. The mask is deployed by squeezing two red triggers at the base of the mask. This inflates and extends the straps on the mask allowing the mask and straps to be placed over the head with one hand. The triggers are then released and the oxygen is released from the straps and the straps constrict around the head, pulling the mask tightly over the mouth and nose. Once the mask is secured in place every time the pilot takes a breath oxygen under pressure is forced into his lungs. a small microphone is embedded in the mask so that the pilot can still communicate over the radio or intercom. This video starts with a demonstration and explanation of the EROS quick donning pressure demand oxygen mask. Pilot oxygen mask are considered quick donning if they can be donned and secured with one hand. It ends with a landing at the St. Louis Downtown Cahokia Airport (KCPS). Just before landing you can hear a “glideslope” audio warning. This is because the main runway with the ILS is closed but the frequency for the ILS is tuned in.
During the climb out we get a good aerial view of the St Louis Lambert Airport and end the trip with a cockpit view of our landing at Iowa City Airport. In the descent, it’s a little bumpy due to summer thermals and as we turn into the sun for our landing on runway 25 the haze seems to reduce the visibility by half. This trip was flown in a 1974 Citation 500 that had much of the original avionics in the panel. The 500 was the original light business jet and this one was still running on steam gauges. It had no thrust reversers or anti-skid and was equipped with an emergency drag chute.
This aircraft was definitely old school, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get the job done. The Drag chute release was on the floor between the pilots. When the pilot pulled it up to arm the chute for landing it looked like he was applying a large automotive hand brake. In the possible event off brake failure, the pilot could deploy the drag chute and bring the aircraft to a stop. the drag chute eventually disappeared from later citations. The Citation 500 was the first of the straight wing Citations built by the Cessna aircraft corporation. It was designed to compete not against the faster Lear jets but in the rapidly expanding business turboprop market. With a maximum takeoff weight of 11,500 lbs., a straight wing and turbo fan engines it could operate out of smaller airports and was much more fuel efficient than other corporate jets.
The down side was that it lived up to its nickname of the “slowtation”. With a cruise speed of 345 knots, It was over 100 kts slower than the Leer Jet. The 500 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT15D-1 turbofan engines that produce 2,200 lbs. of thrust each. It has a range of 1,250 nm and a maximum altitude of 35,000 ft. The 500 was only in production for five years then Cessna added thrust reversers, lengthened the wings and renamed it the Citation I.
A pre-dawn arrival and landing in a Cessna Citation Mustang at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. O’Hare is the world’s 2nd busiest airport and flying single pilot in this airspace can be a challenging experience. I arrived before 6:00 am so avoided the peak traffic times but even so, approach was very busy with airline traffic entering the terminal area. This was evident by the high number of ATC radio calls and the approach controllers request to maintain a higher than normal speed to the marker. No problem for the Mustang, which can slow rapidly. There’s no speed limit on the speed brakes and the gear extension speed is 250 Knots. Pull the throttles to idle, extend the speed brakes, drop the gear and your decelerating towards the outer marker like you just dropped anchor. In the center of the instrument panel on the Multi-Function Display (MFD) you can see how helpful the G1000 moving map display is for situational awareness. On the flight plan page I flip through various approaches to 27L and select and load the 27L ILs approach. With all the city lights on the ground it can be very difficult to visually identify and maintain the landing runway. The course line and all the approach fixes are presented on the MFD map and greatly aid in identifying the airport and the runway. More than one seasoned pilot has started his turn towards the airport and rolled out on the wrong runway. Once cleared for the visual approach the map display is great for confirming you’re on the correct course to the assigned runway. The lighting on runway 27L consist of an ALSF2 Approach Light System leading to the runway, a 4 light PAPI Precision Approach Path Indicator to the right of the runway for visually maintaining the glide path, and at the far end of the runway the pulsing white lights across the runway are hold short lights for use in land And Hold Short Operations LAHSO. Unfortunately, with an early morning summer takeoff I picked up lots of bug splats on the windshield which are visible in the video.
A Cessna Citation Mustang CE-510 Very light jet (VLJ) makes a visual approach and landing to runway 31 at the Nashville, Tennessee airport. Once cleared for the visual approach we follow a Boeing 767 visually to the runway. In this case, a wake turbulence encounter while following the heavy 767 is a very real concern. Its wake vortices are an invisible hazard and flying into the vortices of an aircraft of the size of the Boeing can cause the temporary loss of control or worse for a smaller aircraft. Our strategy to deal with this possibility is to stay above the wake vortices of the preceding aircraft. These vortices sink at 300 to 500 ft per minute and can last up to 2 minutes before dissipating. Since we can’t actually see these spinning horizontal tornado like columns of air that come off the wingtips of the heavy we stay one dot high on the glide slope as we descend to the runway. There is a fair amount of air traffic control communications in the video. Another interesting thing about the video is that this landing is just before the sun comes up. You can still see all the airport lighting and the two bright flashing lights on the approach end of the runway are the Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL’s) their purpose is to aid in identifying the end of the runway at night when the runway is surrounded by bright city lights.