“Our neighbors would check their fields by using a light aircraft they kept on farm landing strips,” Bodlak shared. “Their farms were only a bicycle ride away, so I was able to watch them take off and land.”
The same interest in his neighbors’ aircraft would grow to see Bodlak become a pilot himself in 1975, flying a Cessna 150. His journey would eventually guide him to Wichita, Kansas, as a Cessna Aircraft Co. demonstration pilot. As his personal mission with Textron Aviation has progressed, Bodlak notices how the products continue to develop.
“The cockpit design of the Citation M2 Gen2 will quickly make any pilot feel ‘at home,’” Bodlak said. “The expansive windshields and side windows provide great visibility making it easy to spot other airborne traffic and avoid hazards.”
As a pilot, Bodlak understands what others may appreciate while maneuvering the aircraft. While the view from the cockpit is one of his favorite features, Bodlak admires the avionics system complete with practical technology at his fingertips.
“The Garmin G3000 avionics suite provides rapid access to vital information while its intuitive operating logic helps the pilot easily maintain situational awareness of all the aircraft systems and flight status,” Bodlak explained. With the help of an advanced avionics system, Bodlak explains why the M2 Gen2 is the ideal aircraft for those looking to invest in their first jet.
“It has simple and reliable systems, pleasant flying characteristics and the establishment of a balance between automation and pilot control, all excellent for first time jet owners.”
Enhanced technology and features found on the Citation M2 Gen2 are efforts from a dedicated design team listening to customer feedback and implementing innovative changes.
“Each time I fly the M2 Gen2, I am reminded of the legacy of constant improvement and enhancement that characterizes the Textron Aviation team. My first assignment was the original Cessna 525, known as the ‘CJ’,” Bodlak shared. “Textron Aviation has continually upgraded the aircraft as proven technology became available which created the airplane we experience today as the Citation M2 Gen2.”
Being able to introduce customers to the Citation M2 Gen2 is an opportunity Bodlak considers a privilege. Citing his experience in demonstration flights, he says the Citation M2 Gen2 consistently excites, no matter the mission.
“The thrill of watching a customer as they experience the speed and ease of flying a M2 Gen2 never gets old, it has been a very popular model in our current demonstration fleet,” he explained. “Conversations with customers frequently include discussions of performance and how their current travel pattern can be enhanced by the range and the speed of the M2 Gen2.”
For some, the Citation M2 Gen2 offers an introduction to business jets, specifically for owners who will fly the aircraft themselves. Some may be transitioning from a turboprop aircraft while others are entering into aviation for the first time all together. Offering a comfortable and cost-effective switch to jets, without sacrificing performance standards, is something Bodlak respects about the aircraft.
"The M2 is frequently the first jet aircraft many pilots will fly or own. The realization that this level of performance is available, while still operating from many of the smaller general aviation airports, is a revelation,” he shared. “There are features on the Citation M2 Gen2 that start the conversation with pilots, such as the ability to take off without needing a long runway.”
While his discussions with customers may center around performance and their initial exposure to the aircraft, he fondly remembers his own experiences flying the Citation M2 Gen2.
“After landing at an airport and parking the airplane, I will count the number of Citations there. It is not unusual to have more than 50 percent of the airplanes be Citations. I am always proud to be flying one of them.”