Owning and operating a Cessna Citation jet should be a rewarding experience. What could be better than arriving at your destination in your own aircraft, on your own time, ready to step out and get on with your day? The availability of more affordable and efficient business jets, along with more professional aircraft management and crew options, make this a great time to consider investing in the Cessna Citation model that best fits your needs.
The Aero Experience continues ourseries of feature stories highlighting the Cessna Citation Mustang, the smallest Citation model, managed by St. Louis-based Gateway Jets. We recently met with Corey Tomczak, Gateway Jets President and pilot rated in the Citation family, for some advice on selecting and managing the Citation Mustang.
In Part 1 of this series posted last week, Tomczak summed up the value of the Citation Mustang as the best choice for new jet owners, especially those who currently own piston or turbo-prop powered aircraft. “The Citation Mustang is a great entry-level jet. Its operational costs are similar to turbo-props, with speeds up to 100 knots faster. It offers a great step up from piston or turbo-prop aircraft without breaking the bank. Upgrading to this jet allows you to fly above most weather, and the pressurization provides added comfort and safety." During our visit, we discussed the typical mission profile of the aircraft currently managed by Gateway Jets. The needs of the customer are matched perfectly with the performance of the Citation Mustang. “This aircraft is perfect for these specific owners," Tomczak explained. "We can have up to five adults here and one pilot and make the trip non-stop. This aircraft provides a great shuttle between St. Louis, West Virginia and Kentucky for the owners of this plane. This aircraft was designed for a mission of around 800 miles with four passengers (or longer range when lightly loaded). The owners utilize it for their trips from 200-450 nautical miles, which allows us to take 4-5 passengers and full baggage.”
Corey Tomczak showed The Aero Experience around the Citation Mustang, highlighting the jet's safety features, comfortable cabin and modern cockpit. The Citation Mustang's compact size belies the amount of interior space and advanced technology built into the design. This newer member of the highly successful Cessna Citation family includes many of the best features of the series but with lower initial and operating costs. Climbing into the jet through the wide door is easy using the fold-out steps. Once inside, passengers can pass between the first row and have plenty of room to turn around and pick out one of the four comfortable cabin seats for the flight. This aircraft, the High Sierra Edition, features full leather wrapping and leather stitch package with four-seat club arrangement. The aircraft also features an optional lavatory seat, a refreshment and beverage console behind the crew seats and the optional satellite phone service. We sat comfortably in the Citation Mustang's cabin. The high quality of the seat leather and interior fixtures was obvious, and visibility out of the windows was excellent. “At 6 foot 2, I am by no means cramped back here," Tomczak said. "It’s a comfortable ride and a quiet environment. It is ultra-quiet – there is no reason to wear a headset. The Citation Mustang has pull-out tables on both sides and XM Radio adapters for the rear seat passengers. One of the key features the passengers like is the XM audio. They can control up to 200 stations on this remote (control), and plug into these headsets and adjust the volume.” Whether the flight is one hour or longer, the trip can be both enjoyable and productive.
From a pilot's point of view, the Citation Mustang is a pleasure to fly. The modern cockpit and Cessna Citation family heritage make pilot training and type rating a smooth process. The large cockpit windscreen and side windows provide exceptional visibility. Corey Tomczak, a veteran pilot of the Cessna Citation series, had high praise for the Citation Mustang. “All Citation Mustangs offer the Garmin G1000 three-screen avionics suite. This makes the pilot’s job simpler and allows the crew to focus on flying the aircraft, monitoring systems and looking out for traffic. The power-plant system is engine-controlled. The pilot sets the throttle and the computers do the rest. The large displays offer great situational awareness.”
The Citation Mustang design includes the best qualities of the Citation aircraft family. Tomczak showed us around the exterior of the jet, pausing in front of the wing. "The Citation Mustang is an all-weather aircraft, equipped with a pneumatic de-ice system on the leading edge of the wing," he explained. "The rubber boots inflate and contract when ice is present, shedding the ice. The engines of the Citation Mustang are heated with bleed air, hot air taken from the engine to prevent ice from forming on the inlet.” These de-ice boots are low maintenance and do not take power away from engine like bleed air systems on larger aircraft. Turning to the left engine, he continued, “The Citation Mustang has Pratt & Whitney engines that are electronically controlled, relieving the pilot of some of the management duties while increasing the efficiency of fuel burn.” These engines are very reliable, with an inspection interval of 3,500 hours. He reported using about 90 gallons per hour during flights made with this client. St. Louis-based Gateway Jets offers aircraft management services for the Cessna Citation family of jets, including the Citation Mustang like the one featured here owned by an actual Gateway Jets client. The Aero Experience thanks Corey Tomczak of Gateway Jets for the tour of the jet in this story. In Part 3 of this series next week, we will continue our discussion with Corey Tomczak about the aircraft management services offered by Gateway Jets.