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 Cessna Citation II, CE-550, departs the Tampa International Airport(TPA) and repositions to the Orlando Executive Airport(ORL) in central Florida. Shortly after takeoff and during the turn to the east the citation passes over McDill air Force base which is only about 5 miles south of Tampa. This is a short repositioning flight at 11,000 feet and for most of the flight we’re in and out of the lower clouds. There is some Air traffic Control communication in this video but it’s hard to hear due to the background noise generated by the defog fan. Once in the terminal area we’re cleared for the visual approach to runway 7 behind another airplane doing pattern work. After the lowering the landing gear the aircraft about to land is directed by Tower to go around and this air plane can be seen climbing in front of the Citation II.
Video of a Cessna Citation Encore CE-560 takeoff, cruise and landing at Arlington Airport (GKY). On this flight the copilot is the flying pilot. Arlington is about 10 miles south of the DFW airport. Due to its close proximity to DFW, Air Traffic Control requires arriving private jets to descend below the arrival and departure gates of DFW, and then are vectored around DFW to the east. This routing takes arriving aircraft right over the Dallas love airport at a relatively low altitude. In the video the citation flies over Dallas love then turns to the west. At this point the crew gets a Traffic Alert from the TCAS(Terminal Collision Avoidance System) but pass well to the side of the VFR traffic. They then descend and after crossing over the Grand Prairie Airport are cleared for the visual approach to runway 16 and land. Getting into theses smaller general aviation airports where your passengers are closer to their destination is one of the huge advantages to having access to a business jet.
The Cockpit view from a Cessna Citation 550 corporate jet as we fly around weather. We use weather radar and a GNS 530 with XM Satellite and WX Weather Service to avoid the cells. This combination is the best way to go. I like to think of the Garmin as my strategic display for weather planning and the weather radar as my tactical display for maneuvering around cells. At our destination we have to fly around some cells and get into a little rain just before landing.