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 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.
This video is a year of corporate flying in 5 minutes. It’s mostly takeoffs, landings and approaches or what I like to call the fun part of the job. I enjoy what I do and like to share that experience in my videos. In actuality, over a years’ time, I’ve flown many more flights and in more airplanes than are shown in the video. So this video is more of an attempt to give you the feel of flying as a charter pilot than a day by day account. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the chance to pull out my camera and capture what would have made great video so some of the coolest things I’ve seen I didn’t get in the video. The aircraft in the video are the Cessna Citation Mustang, Citation Encore, Citation II, Citation Excel and a Beechcraft King Air 350. Some of the video is taken while acting as the pilot or co-pilot. A few of the included scenes are of the aircraft cockpits and the cabin. The name of the music is “Full Throttle”
A Cessna Citation makes a Winter landing on runway 36 at the Fond Du Lac County Airport (FLD) in Wisconsin. With snow covering the ground it’s hard to pick out the runway till getting fairly close to the airport. The large flat area to the northeast of the field is frozen lake Winnebago. This airport is just 14 miles south of the Oshkosh airport and acts as a reliever during the yearly fly in. During the EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh Fond du lac is a popular stopping spot for aviators who want camp next to their airplanes and avoid the more crowded traffic pattern at the Oshkosh airport.
Flying a private jet doesn’t mean you’re totally isolated from the airline world. At larger airports General aviation service providers, called FBO’s or Fixed Based Operators provide a variety of services to arriving and departing private aircraft. FBOs may occupy one side of the field and the airline terminal the other. At smaller airports these FBOs are often the only business selling services such as fuel, maintenance, or hanger space. Even though they may be operating on the same airport, for security reasons, private aircraft are not allowed to pick up or drop off passengers at the airline terminal. But, you may see an airliner like a Boeing 737 or an Airbus 320 in airline colors parked on the general aviation ramp. This often happens when extra space is needed for parking or the airline may be doing a special charter like flying a sports team. Often FBOs will drive passengers from private flights to the terminal or back. If an aircraft is going to be on the ground for an extended period or needs to be picked up from a service center, pilots need to be repositioned. In these cases the company will buy airline tickets for the repositioning crew. All of the video from inside 737s was taken during crew repositioning flights. Many of the airline takeoffs and landings in this video were taken from general aviation ramps. Takeoff and landing by various airliners.
Video of a Beechcraft King Air 350 landing at the Des Moines International Airport (DSM). Included in the video are up close views of the cockpit with views of both the pilot and copilot sub panels, the fuel panel, and the throttle quadrant. The BE350 is a pressurized cabin class twin turboprop. It can land at 95 % of US airports and can carry 8 to 11 passengers and up to 550 pounds of luggage in its large cargo area. It cruises at 360 mph, has a 1,800 mile range, and It’s max service ceiling is 35,000 ft. It can be flown single pilot if the pilot has a single pilot 350 type or as a crew. The 350 is a joy to fly and a heavy lifter for its size. This is one airplane that you can fill all the seats and top the fuel tanks with weight to spare. The basic operating weight of this aircraft is 9,580 lbs, max fuel is 3,611 lbs and Max ramp weight is 15,100 lbs. That leaves an available payload of 1,909 lbs.
One of the best places in the world to watch planes land is on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. St. Martin is a 35 square mile area island with mountains in the center and beautiful white sand beaches at the water’s edge. The northern half of the island is owned by France and called Saint Martin. The south side is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch call it Sint Maarten. This beautiful island is served by Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Dutch side. Princess Juliana is without a doubt the best place in the world to watch airplanes land and the best place to set up for fantastic pictures of the world’s largest airliners landing is the sunset Beach Bar and Grill on Maho Beach.
Boeing 747’s and the Airbus 380 cross Maho Beach at approximately 50 feet over sunbathers and swimmers for some fantastic aviation photo opportunities. The landing runway, runway 10, is only 7,150 feet long and the touchdown area is only a short distance from the ocean waves. On the departure end of the runway is Pic Paradis, a 1,390 feet high mountain that departing aircraft must avoid with a sharp right turn after takeoff. Water on one end and mountains on the other end of this short runway is what places Princess Juliana airport on the list of the world’s most dangerous or extreme airports. Pictures and video from this spot often surprise viewers with how close people are to these flying behemoths crossing the beach. These pictures are recognizable across the world. The other shocking images are of tourist and sunbathers hanging on the airport fence just behind departing jets as pilots hold the brakes and throttle up the engines for the short run down the runway. Tourists hold on for dear life while being pounded by hot blast from jet engines. With the larger airliners this can or will lift them off the ground as they cling to the fence. Unfortunately this can be a very dangerous sport. A few misfortunate fence riders have been severely injured by jet blast. If you make it to St. Martin make sure you spend some time on Maho Beach and don’t forget your camera.
US Airways Boeing 757 landing St martin
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.
A Citation 550 crosses the beach at 3,000 ft for a landing at Naples Florida