This is the 2nd half of our 3 day trip to Fort Myers Page Field in the Cessna Citation Excel. On our non flying day we visit sanibel island and the it’s lighthouse. On the third day we depart Ft. Myers for St Louis. Our passengers were running behind and by the time we were taxing our jet to the runway, thunderstorms were already developing to the north of the airport. We had lots of traffic right after takeoff and were being immediately vectored to the north and started deviating to avoid the cells. There’s lots of good footage of the cockpit view during takeoff, landing and en route. I’ve included the ATC radio communication with our aircraft as well as the other airplanes in the area.
I’m posting these vlogs to share what life is like as a corporate pilot flying private jets. Enjoy the ride.
This is a flight to the Fort Myers Page Field airport in the Cessna Citation Excel. The Excel is a twin engine medium size private jet with a range of 1,700 nm. It carries 9 passengers and cruises at 420 kts. This is a vlog style video of what it’s like to work as a corporate pilot.
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.
The Cessna Citation VII, the last of the Citation 650’s, is an upgraded Citation III powered by two Garrett TFE731-4r-2s turbofan engines capable of producing 4,080 lbs of thrust. It has a maximum cruise speed of 480 knots, a range of 2,000 nm and a 51,000 ft service ceiling. The VII was Cessna’s corporate jet that it marketed against the Lear Jet lineup of high speed private jets. The 7 is capable of .85 Mach or 85% the speed of sound. Cessna surpassed this when they built the Citation X which is capable of mach .92. A total of 119 VII’s were built.
Today’s air traveler has three options, buy an airline ticket, buy a private jet or charter a jet. The charter option gives you all the benefits of owning a jet without the downside of ownership. You get the convenience owners have without any of the ownership expenses or headaches. Thousands of air travelers have given up the frustration and inconvenience of flying the airlines for the hassle free experience of flying on a charter jet. FAA Certified Air Carriers or Air Taxi Operators provide a wide range of jet aircraft ready to satisfy the needs of today’s busy air travelers. Flying with a charter company comes with all the conveniences of owning a jet bu none of the downside.
Many charter operators have a variety of aircraft to fit varying missions and provide the aircraft and crew that best fit your needs. This type of flying gives you control over your travel schedule, privacy and access to thousands more airports than the scheduled airlines serve. Your jet departs on your schedule, there’s no frustrating check in process, and it takes you closer to where you want to go. Every seat is first class and many charter aircraft have ac outlets for portable electronics. On the day you’ve scheduled your trip, drive up to the aircraft. The crew will take your bags and you step from your car to your private jet. No waiting. Running behind; no problem. We’re leaving on your schedule not ours.
To set up your first charter flight, call your local airport and ask for the names and phone numbers of local Air Taxi Operators. They’re also referred to as 135 operators. When you call they’ll want to know where you want to go, time of departure, when you want to return, any intermediate stops you want to make, how many people are going, how much baggage you’re taking, catering requests if any, and if you need ground transportation arranged at your destination. Each operator call back with a quote and you select the company that best meets your needs. Be sure to ask about any additional fees like airport landing fees, overnight fees, pilot wait time, or hanger. Most operators charge by the mile or by the hour. You can expect to be quoted for the round trip whether you’re going one way or not and a minimum of two hours a day when the aircraft sits.
A Cessna Citation 550 charter jet crosses the beach at Naples Florida for a landing on runway 23 at APF. Landing view from the cockpit. The Naples Florida airport is just off the beach and landing on a clear day offers a great view of the beach area. Naples is not served by scheduled airline service, so the only flights in and out are general aviation flights or corporate jets.
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.
The Cessna Citation Encore (CE-560) is an 8 seat private jet that cruises at 420 kts, has a 1,800 nm range and will climb non stop to 45,000 ft. It’s powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW535A engines generating 3,400 lbs of thrust each. It has great short field performance and is a favorite among the straight wing Citations. This video shows the cockpit instrument panel with the Primus 1000 avionics suite and cabin interior as well as a cockpit view of the landing at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport SRQ.