Last week I was lucky to not only get a ride home in a Citation V, I was able to fly it.
Our friend, M, is a CFI (certified flight instructor), and pilots this aircraft. He had me do the taxiing, and the take off. Pretty smooth.
Then I had to stay on track as ATC guided us around other aircraft. Then he showed me how to program the autopilot and various ways to get to altitude ordered by ATC.
It was a pretty clear day – beautiful – flying from Los Angeles to Sacramento.
We then had to descend. So, guided by ATC, we ended up right downwind for 16 Right.
We turned base. As I kept looking at the runway and asking if I should turn, he kept saying not yet. Finally when Gen Yeager asked from the back if we were trying to fly formation with the commercial airline, the pilot realized his point of view was 16 left.
We turned. And we approached the runway on final. Interesting, I wasn’t nervous. Of course, I wasn’t by myself either.
We came in, I flared, and flew a little – and clunked down just a little – the last 2 feet. Not too bad for a first landing in a Citation V.
But I can do better.
We taxied in – weird. This time I was a little jerky on the brakes – they are very good and sensitive. I told myself to slow down and smoothed it out.
Followed the “follow me” golf cart. We remarked that they had heard about our base to final and wanted to make sure we didn’t get lost.
And parked it.
General Yeager made a joke about our formation flying and my landing. And smiled.
And said: It was a good landing.
Me: It was an excellent landing. M can fly it again right now.
We all smiled at the joke. (Good landing, can walk away. Great landing, can walk away AND use the plane the next day).
Wow! What a cool day!