This trip in the Cessna Caravan starts at the Spirit of Saint Louis Airport with a short hop to the St, Louis Downtown airport. Then a quick turn and flying on to the Chicago/Aurora Municipal Airport. The landing at Aurora includes the Live ATC radio communications and the pilot cockpit view.
The Cessna Caravan is a large single engine turboprop that only requires one pilot. It’s a fun easy to fly airplane that can carry a large load and cruises at 170 kts. It’s also a great performer on short and unimproved landing strips.
This was a two day trip that involved flying two very different airplanes. One was a single pilot light jet with advanced avionics and the other was an older midsize Citation business jet. The plan was for me to fly the Cessna Citation M2, a single pilot private jet, to the Raleigh-Durham International airport for a pick up and be back in St Louis in time to fly the Citation XLS to the Chicago Midway airport. I would fly the Citation XLS back the next day. Unfortunately, the return time was an hour before the XLS flight. So, just to be on the safe side, I arranged for a part-time captain to be ready to fly the trip if it looked like I wouldn’t be back in time for the departure. I was really glad I had setup a contingency plan because as soon as I checked on with st Louis approach I head the XLS being handed off St Louis approach to Chicago center. I had missed the connection by 45 minutes. Fortunately, as a precaution, I had already purchased an airline ticket to the Chicago Midway airport. As soon as I shut down I secured he aircraft and jumped in my car getting to the St Louis airport in time to catch my Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. The other Captain was flying back on the Airlines later that evening. I made it to Chicago, checked into the hotel and was ready for the return flight the next afternoon. This video is that two day trip with ATC, cockpit views and takeoffs and landings. Enjoy and safe travels.
This is more of an aviation vlog format for the flying video with a mix of flying, ATC and travel. Our flight started with takeoff on pretty day from the Spirit of St. Louis airport. Enroute we encountered some interesting cloud formations we flew through. Once we start our descent into the San Antonio area the weather clears again, and you get a good view of the area. San Antonio approach vectors us for a visual approach to runway 13 right and the Tower clears us to land. We taxi to the FBO which is Million Air and after securing the aircraft we are treated to fresh cookies.
We have one free day in San Antonio which we use to tour the Alamo and then have lunch on the River Walk. Day three starts of with a dense fog but it clears, and we get delayed so that we eventually takeoff at night. The departure ATIS at the end of the video has an interesting NOTAM referencing a laser strike on an aircraft.
The Cessna Citation Excel is a turbofan-powered, medium-sized business jet That seats eight passengers. It has a range of approximately 1,900 nm and cruises at 410 kts.
Flying the Citation M2, the newest version of the Cessna Citation Jet. The M2 is an absolute pleasure to fly. It’s an upgrade of the original CJ that has six passenger seats and is powered by the dependable Williams FJ-144 engines. It cruises at 400 knots and has the original service ceiling of 41,000 ft. The instrument panel has been completely redone and is now dominated by the three panel Garmin 3000. The new Garmin avionics are incredibly capable but, require a steep learning curve. FlightSafety is now requiring any pilot upgrading to the M2, who doesn’t have previous Garmin 3000 experience, to take a one time two day course on the avionics suite. Half the switches are gone and the systems they controlled are now selected and managed through the Garmin touch controllers, GTU’s. This isn’t always a plus. Now instead of just flipping a fan switch, you have to flip through a couple of pages to get to the selection option. The avionics master switch has been removed and when you turn on the battery the avionics come on. This is an odd adjustment if you transitioned from aircraft that would drain the battery in ten minutes if everything is powered up. The avionics now have their own full size battery. Systems are powered by the original battery. With the loss of both generators, and both batteries fully charged, you now have one hour till the total loss of avionics power. A properly managed electrical failure in this airplane is almost a non event. You still have one full panel in front of the pilot providing all the required information. Some of the other changes are the removal of one of the engine fire bottles, no inverters due to the fact that all lights are now LED’s and all equipment requiring ac power have integral inverters. The aircraft now has little winglets I like to call them stubies but, they are more for marketing appeal than anything else. Cessna had originally planed to provide the M2 with an option for an electric windshield but, recently announced that they had discontinued any plans to do so. In this video we go out for some training before picking up our clearance to Punta Gorda Florida. Some of the basic weights are maximum ramp weight 10,800 lbs., Maximum takeoff weight 10,700 lbs, maximum landing weight 9,900 lbs. Maximum fuel is 3,296 lbs and fuel burn is 800 the first hour then 700 lbs and 600 lbs.
Flying the Cessna Citation into St. Louis. This is an early morning arrival and landing of a Citation Encore at Spirit of St Louis Airport (KSUS). The vast majority of St. Louis bound general aviation aircraft land at the Spirit Airport. We’re flying a visual approach and landing on runway 26L with a left base turn to final. The video starts with an interior view of the main entry door and the passenger cabin area. In the cockpit I point out the visual reference we use to set the seat position before the flight. By lining up the orange and white reference balls the pilots set the seat position so that their eyes are in approximately the same position every flight. This is done in order to ensure that the sight picture through the forward windshield is always the same for visually adjusting the aircraft attitude for landing. Our landing was uneventful. Unfortunately, a Cessna 210 that was landing after us, made a gear up landing. After picking up our passengers we pass the disabled aircraft as we taxi to the smaller runway.
A Cessna Citation Encore takes off in the rain from the Nashville International Airport (BNA). On takeoff the windshield bleed valves are opened to blow the rain of off the windshield. This system routes hot bleed air from the engines to the windshield to remove ice or rain. During the cruise phase of the flight we look at the TCAS display on the MFD and see it’s indicating crossing traffic at 1,000 ft above us. Once we’re in the terminal area we do a visual approach and landing to runway 26L at Spirit of St. Louis Airport (KSUS). There’s lots of ATC radio traffic in the video and I tried to position the camera get more of the cockpit and instrument panel in the video.
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
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 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.
A Cessna Citation 510 landing on runway 26L at Spirit of St Louis Airport. The Citation Mustang is a single pilot light jet with a fairly low landing ref speeds. For this landing the aircraft was at a weight of 7,500 lbs., the ref speed was 91 kts and the required landing distance was only 2,380 ft. The maximum landing weight is 8,000 lbs. In the video it was a little bumpy on final and you can see that the pitch tends to vary a little more than it does on other aircraft. I think this may be due to the relatively short coupling of the wing and fuselage and would probably be more noticeable to pilots transitioning to the mustang from larger aircraft. Over all, the Mustang has the feel of a sports car and is a good short field performer. Here are a couple of takeoff performance examples at the maximum takeoff weight and high temperature.
Max takeoff weight of 8,645 lbs and Flaps-15 Airport elevation sea level, no wind and temperature +40C Takeoff distance required is 4,440 ft
Max takeoff weight of 8,645 lbs and Flaps-15 Airport elevation of 5,000 ft., no wind and temperature +20C Takeoff distance required is 5,020 ft