Turbine

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ISA and Cruise Planning

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

Jet pilots quickly learn that when it comes to cruise planning, higher is almost always better. Ignoring a very small increase in engine efficiency at high altitude, jets cruise at an indicated airspeed that is solely a function of fuel flow.

Showdown

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

Until the HondaJet, Cessna's new Citation M2, the Cirrus Vision SF50, the Diamond D-JET, or the new Eclipse 550 enter the light-jet arena, there will be just two serious competitors in the market for new light jets under $4 million: Cessna's Citation Mustang and Embraer's Phenom 100.

Cessna's Conquest of the turboprop market

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

AOPA owned a Cessna Conquest for some 20 years starting in the early 1980s. It was the first turbine airplane I ever flew.

Fueling traps

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

I'll be the first to admit that I've been a bit lazy during an aircraft fueling or two. The fact is that airplanes have caught on fire, run out of fuel, received contaminated fuel, or been overfueled countless times because of improper management and oversight of aircraft fueling by the flight crew. Here are two recent experiences that emphasize crew responsibilities when fueling aircraft.

Turbine Logbook

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

What do turbine aircraft buyers consider when evaluating one aircraft versus another? My experience suggests that motivations have changed over time and will continue to evolve.

Iced up and fast

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Winter operations in light jets present a series of problems not encountered during fair weather. Most are related to the chance of encountering in-flight icing, and the associated risks of operating a contaminated aircraft.

Going single

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Funny how things change. There was a time not long ago when the notion of flying a single-engine anything in serious instrument weather—and especially for commercial operations—was unthinkable, or at least unlikely.

Flair in the flare

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

In all the years I've been flying corporate jet aircraft, one truth keeps coming through: You can fly a perfect flight every time and no one says a thing, but botch a landing and no one will ever forget. So I've given a lot of thought to the flare, judging your projected touchdown spot, and just what you should and should not do in order to carry out a smooth jet landing.

Mentoring matters

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

International flying poses challenges to the pilot only accustomed to domestic flight. Differences in IFR procedure design, ATC, and flight planning all require adjustment from normal routine. One issue that has proven especially troubling is that of varying transition altitudes and levels found outside North America.

Make it an easy transition

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

No company has built more business jets than Cessna. And while the market has been hard on all used business jets these past couple of years, the Citations have held up as well as any. With the used market beginning to firm up a bit, the time is right to consider a business jet before the best of the lot are gone. The lighter end of the Cessna CJ line - CJs, CJ1s, and CJ2s - can provide great value and, with their respectable flying habits, make for an easy transition to those new to turbines. Light jet expert Cyrus Sigari explores just how versatile the CJ fleet is in "The Deal on CJs,".

The deal on CJs

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

The Cessna model 525 CitationJet, first delivered in 1993, was a fresh design that replaced the venerable Citation I in the single-pilot, entry level jet niche. The "CJ" was an immediate success and became the foundation for Cessna’s light-jet line. In today’s market conditions, buyers can pick up a five- to 10-year-old, like-new, single-pilot "legacy" CitationJet CJ1 or CJ2 for roughly half the price of the equivalent 525 from the current line.

Mentoring matters

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

It's common knowledge that things happen quickly in jets. Starting an approach in a light jet at 180 knots obviously requires much faster thinking to maintain situational awareness than does the same approach in a single-engine piston at 90 knots. While this reality certainly challenges transitioning jet pilots, what's often even more challenging than the fact that things happen quickly is the fact that the pilot needs to make things happen even more quickly.

System Synopsis

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Aircraft designers pray at the altar of system redundancy, so virtually all essential aircraft systems come with backups. Of course, that goes double for twins—especially turbine-powered twins. But what about a failure of a single-engine turboprop's sole fuel control unit (FCU)? If it decides to go belly-up the engine will rapidly spool down and summarily quit. Among other cues, you'll detect the onset of an FCU failure by observing drops in the torque, fuel flow, and gas generator rpm. The engine noise level will also be a clue.

Where flying is 'still fun'

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

There are only a handful of days before the Memorial Day weekend and at the north end of Lake Washington just outside Seattle, there is a buzz of activity surrounding a group of de Havilland Beavers and Otters. The lake is more than 20 miles long and for more than 65 years its northern tip has been home to the largest floatplane operator in the country. With the unofficial start to the summer season just days away, Kenmore Air is busy preparing its fleet of floatplanes for the busiest time of the year.

Consolidation of knowledge

Article | Nov 01, 2011

There are a number of witty phrases used among pilots to refer to the often-intense nature of turbine aircraft training courses. "Drinking from a fire hose" is particularly descriptive, as anyone who's ever taken an accelerated type-rating course can attest. Earning a type rating is no small achievement for any pilot, from the airline veteran whose certificate is bulging with multiple type ratings to the newest light-jet pilot earning his or her first. The amount of information is often overwhelming; the pace at which it is presented can be enough to quickly drown one's self-confidence.

200 feet, lights in sight

Article | Nov 01, 2011

"Approach lights in sight, continue" is a callout heard during every two-pilot jet simulator session, yet generally unfamiliar to pilots transitioning from piston aircraft. Why? The reliability and capability of jet aircraft are so great that they are often flown into weather conditions a pilot wouldn't take a piston aircraft. Very low visibility conditions are one such example.

Jet or turboprop?

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Entry-level jets were so tempting to Jeffrey Brausch, a member of the Air Safety Institute Board of Visitors, that he looked at nearly every offering on the market. When decision time came in 1999, the model he wanted most was the one he already owned, a pristine 1981 Piper Cheyenne II XL.

Twin turboprop for the masses

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Given that it's been decades since we did a pilot report on the Piper Cheyenne, you might be surprised to learn that I am such a fan of the model, especially the II XL. From a value standpoint, it's hard to beat a Cheyenne - fast, comfortable, and capable.

Flying the Jumbo, Jumbo

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Illustrations by John Sauer When I was a young commercial pilot, I wanted to fly jets. Didn’t we all? A jet pilot’s life would be so easy; just flip a few switches, wait for the engines to roar to life, and take the runway.

Powering into the future

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Relative to older style engines, modern turbofan engines sound almost too good to be true: Higher and faster on less fuel, lower emissions, and less noise, lower weight, and longer TBO. In this case, the old adage about too good to be true doesn’t hold up.

The NeXT Beechjet

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Photograph Courtesy Nextant Photography by Mike Fizer It’s no secret that there are plenty of good used jets on the market today. Some are just plain excellent values for the owner-pilot, but others are particularly well-suited for remanufacturing and remarketing as rejuvenated airplanes.

(Not) straight-in

Article | Sep 01, 2011

By the time they fly their first jet, most pilots are accomplished at instrument flying. They certainly understand the difference, for example, between a straight-in and circling approach.

Profile: Stuart Woods

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Stuart Woods, a best-selling mystery writer with 46 books published and more on the way, can churn out a chapter in an hour and spend the rest of the day on a restored antique boat somewhere. That "somewhere" could be in Maine, New York, or Key West, Florida. Woods found public acclaim with "Chiefs" in 1981 and stays on the New York Times bestseller list with his Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. Like many popular authors, Woods' name appears on the cover of his books in larger type than the title. His latest book is "Bel-Air Dead." His publisher dictates mandatory nationwide book tours, but, "If I had to fly the airlines, I wouldn't do book tours," Woods said. "I like landing, backing the car up to the airplane, and we drive away. That's my idea of travel," he said.

Swapping avgas for Jet-A

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Strapping a fire-breathing turboprop engine on your average piston single confirms that one man’s toy is another man’s tool. To some, such a swap seems like a questionable use of resources.