Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aspen - Phoenix - Sedona - Scottsdale - Montgomery / Cessna Citation X (N725YL) / IFR

Yup, I've been all over the place in my various Citations lately, testing things out, getting used to the aircraft, etc. I find myself mostly flying the Eaglesoft version of the Citation, for various reasons. N725YL is one of the Eaglesoft variants.

The flight from Aspen to Sky Harbor took longer than I anticipated, mainly because of strong headwinds at altitude. I know I should have checked the winds before departure, but I loaded so much fuel (more than twice the amount I thought I might need) that headwinds were nothing more than an extra expense. I had to put up with 70-knot headwinds practically the whole way. They were present from FL190 up to FL420 or so, so it was hard to fly above or below them. Even at the impressive speed of the Citation, it still took two hours to get to Phoenix, which is more than twice what I could expect under ideal conditions in still air.

Later I flew from Sky Harbor up to Sedona. That was quick and easy. Landing went okay. After a short time I flew back to Scottsdale. I was surprised when the controller at SDL had me enter the pattern, since I was IFR, but that's okay, as visual conditions prevailed.

From Scottsdale I finally flew out to Montgomery, not realizing at the time that the Citation exceeds the published weight limits for the airport. I managed to escape any penalties, but I haven't yet moved the aircraft from that field. The runway is a bit on the short side so it may be a challenge to fly out of there.