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.
Cessna Citation 500 Cockpit
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.
Cessna Citation 500
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.