You would think we would be over the thrill that comes with flying a new aircraft. But the excitement Martha and I felt recently from learning to fly the Citation Mustang demonstrated that when it comes to flying, we still have the childlike enthusiasm of beginners.
To a pilot with a piston-powered background like us, there is no greater thrill than transitioning to a new jet. To us, jets will always be special. You are flooded with excitement and sensations—the thrill of hearing a jet engine wind up on engine start, so full of promise—the semi-sweet smell of jet fuel—the exhilaration of hearing jet engines follow you wherever you go—and the power, oh so much power and all at the command of your right hand.
Along with this excitement comes the pleasant discovery of new concepts, a new flight environment and elegant systems that provide a whole new level of comfort and safety.
As you know, many jets require two pilots, but the Citation Mustang is certificated to be flown single pilot. It is a personal airplane, just the way a Cessna Corvalis or a Cirrus is a personal airplane. It is a jet that evokes dreams of the freedom of getting in whenever you want and jetting off into the blue.
Before you can fulfill that dream, you have to demonstrate the ability to fly single pilot by taking a checkride and earning the C510S type rating. It would seem that should be slam-dunk for us—we have been flying jets for over 24 years. But getting that single-pilot type rating wasn’t all that easy for us. Our jet flying has always been in a two-crew environment. We have shared the workload and always had someone to look out for our mistakes.
Martha and I each rode along in the right seat of the simulator while the other was in the left, but since we were going for our single pilot ratings, we weren’t supposed to help out the other pilot. For me of course, sitting in the right seat and keeping my mouth shut was probably the hardest part of the training.
As when flying any aircraft single-pilot IFR, the challenge is to use periods when you are not busy, to get ahead of things to relieve the workload during periods when you will be busy—all the while using all your resources to maintain situational awareness.
The G1000 and the GFC-700 autopilot in the Mustang are fabulous tools for doing all of that. But it really pays to be sharp at using the G1000. (King Schools’ course on the G1000 can be a great help here. It includes a built-in procedures trainer.)
The other thing that can help out a lot is knowing how jets behave compared to piston aircraft. Among other things, the throttle response is different and you don’t have the benefit of propellers to create instant lift or drag when you need them. (You might want to take a look at King Schools’ Jet Transition Course.)
In our opinion, if you are dreaming of flying your own jet, you should get your type rating first. Martha and I have gotten great pleasure from learning to fly each jet we have flown, and confirmed in two cases that we did want to buy the aircraft…and in another case decided we did not want to buy the aircraft.
By the way, you’ll want to know that we are finishing up the production of our new course, “Flying the Citation Mustang—Single Pilot.” It leverages our own recent learning experience and will make your dream of flying a jet even more vivid.
UPDATE: We just posted a video preview of our upcoming course on flying the Citation Mustang.
UPDATE: Flying the Citation Mustang—Single Pilot course is now available for purchase here.
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never
understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
Thanks John & Martha! Please advise when this video will be available, for I am ready for this transition!
Michael, the video is done! You can find it on our web site by searching for “mustang”.
So have any of you ddecied on an aircraft? It has been a year of dreaming/planning and crunching the numbers…and aircraft are at an all time low considering purchase price. Having owned and operated five of my own aircraft and flown thousands of hours in additional aircraft, If I can be of any assistance in making the right choice, you have my contact info.Excellent blogs on the different aircraft! Thanks!GodspeedAB
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i love to read everyone flying experiences it is very up lifting to me .i still have a lot flying to do .i am complete of healing from breast cancer .can always ues help in completeing my private .thank you for reading this .love you all john and martha you have made me a safer student pilot.thanks michelle davison.
John & Martha!
Congratulations, Martha, on your newest rating! I treasure the memory of our trip to Loretto in the Citation (2/14/93) and to the Magic Castle! I left the airlines and now teach 4th grade in Chula Vista. Keep out of the trees!
I’m so glad for you both!
You have made my winter very exciting, because I have been studying your course “Private Pilot” and it has been a reel pleasure to study it.
I’m just a sim-pilot but today I took all weather information from NOAA as I learnt from your course and took off from Whidbey KNUW in Washington with my P47 from A2A simulation, climbing to 6000 feet in a long right turn to cross over the airport at right level and on right course. A thing I could do by knowledge from your course and with help from my flight computer.
I have 5% left to do of your course and off course all repetition before I could do my exams that I will have to do at home because I live in Sweden but I hope to get my diploma from you.
Best Regards from
I have completed the King Schools G1000 and Jet Transition Course with RVSM, Radar, TAWS, etc. What is missing is a video that walks through the procedures. More video footage in the Jet Transition course would have been helpful.
I am a new pilot with a little over 300 hours, many of your courses, and still wanting more than you offer on jets. I own a Cirrus SR22 Turbo and am getting ready for a week in the Phenom 100 (EMB 500). Actually out your way, using Montgomery Field.
With my multiengine Instrument behind me, I am looking forward tonsome time in a VLJ.
Congrats!….another great accomplishment
We met in Lantana Florida at PB Flight Training… and you both were nice enough to pose for pix with me
I fly a 182T….
Martha….what rating DONT you have by now!….I’m envious!
Glad the ‘incident’ with the 172 and the wrong tail number worked out ok for you both.
You are treasures for General Aviation….
No thanks. I like the feel and noise of a piston driven engine!
If I can’t do it myself, I will live vicariously through those who can. I can’t wait to see the Mustang program. As with all the other King programs, I am sure it will be great education, fabulous video, and just a fantastic and satisfying program..any tentative release date yet?
Well I delivered that airplane with Jonathan at the end of the year and I have been a mentor pilot, delivery pilot and active charter pilot both domestically and internationally for 4 years now. So no I’m not interested in the course but I appreciate the offer!!
Tell Jonathan I said hello!
Come on Jim, a great pilot is always in training! Great to from you and see you are still supporting a superior airplane!!