Pilot Reports

Join AIN pilots/writers as they test fly business jets, turboprops, rotorcraft, and airliners featuring the latest technology from the world’s airframe, engine, and avionics manufacturers. From fly-by-wire flight controls to touchscreen flight decks and sophisticated satcoms, these are the aircraft that make the aerospace industry fly.

Cessna Citation Longitude
May 3, 2021 - 8:55 AM
The Cessna Citation Longitude is an excellent performer in the super-midsize business jet market.

Textron Aviation’s largest jet—the Longitude—is gaining ground in the super-midsize market. As of the end of 2020, the company had delivered 31 Longitudes, following certification in September 2019.

Although it shares the flat-floor cabin width and height dimensions of the Latitude, the Longitude is a fairly big step up from its smaller sibling. With a maximum takeoff weight (mtow) of 39,500 pounds, the Longitude is longer, by 3 feet, 5 inches in cabin length and 10 feet 11 inches in overall length.

Pilatus PC-24
Jan 7, 2021 - 8:26 AM
I was reviewing the limitations section of the Pilatus PC-24 flight manual before my evaluation flight for this pilot

I was reviewing the limitations section of the Pilatus PC-24 flight manual before my evaluation flight for this pilot report. Maximum ramp weight: 18,400 pounds. Maximum takeoff weight: 18,300 pounds. Useful load: 6,880 pounds. Maximum pothole depth 1.37 inches (35 mm) with a maximum diameter of 39 inches, and  maximum grass height three inches. Potholes, grass height? When was the last time you had to consider the size of potholes or grass height on runways when flying a jet?

Phenom 300E
Apr 7, 2020 - 2:48 PM
The new Phenom 300E adds safety, performance, and comfort features to a best-selling light jet.

Embraer’s new Phenom 300E received triple certification from Brazil’s ANAC, the FAA, and EASA in late March, about a month after I flew the high-performance jet at Embraer Executive Jets’ U.S. facility in Melbourne, Florida. It was an excellent opportunity to experience the 300E’s faster top speed, upgraded avionics, and improved cabin.

Cessna Citation CJ4
Jan 10, 2020 - 8:39 AM
Large-jet features make the small jet a crowd pleaser.

The Citation CJ4 has done quite well in the light-jet market, carving out a profitable niche for Textron Aviation with a well-performing capable jet serving both owner-pilots and professional fliers, alike.

Leonardo TH-119
Sep 27, 2019 - 12:29 AM
AIN flies the Leonardo TH-119 IFR training helicopter.

Thirty-two years ago I started my helicopter training at Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey, England, sponsored by the global oil industry giant Bristow Helicopters. I completed my commercial pilot's license course on the even-then venerable 1960s-vintage Westland-Bell 47 G4A.

Global 7500 in flight
Apr 17, 2019 - 1:10 PM
The airplane more than delivers on speed and range promises, while offering a comfortable environment for pilots and crew.

When Bombardier announced two new jets in the Global series—the Global 7000 and 8000—in 2010, the clear intention was that the Canadian manufacturer planned to take away the mantle of building the largest purpose-built business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace’s 7,500-nm G650ER. Originally the two new airplanes were meant to complement each other, with the larger 7000 projected to fly 7,400 nm, while the shorter 8000 would fly the farthest at 7,900 nm.

Learjet 75 in flight
Jan 17, 2019 - 1:57 PM
Bombardier builds on its Learjet 40/45 Legacy.

To say the Learjet 70 and 75 are versions of the 40/45 updated with new Garmin G5000 avionics is accurate, but there is more to the newer models than just the flight deck. Every upgrade is an opportunity to improve the marque, and Bombardier engineers certainly did that.

Piper Archer DX
Nov 21, 2018 - 2:03 AM
The diesel-powered single-engine Archer might have new life in large training academies.

Piper Aircraft has strengthened its commitment to the diesel-powered light aircraft fleet by bringing the diesel Archer DX program in-house, starting with 2019 models. Since the Continental CD-155 diesel engine was approved for installation in the Archer under an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC), Piper has been building diesel Archers as standard TX models that were then modified with the diesel-engine STC.

Embraer Praetor outside facility
Nov 20, 2018 - 2:10 PM
A flight in Embraer's new Praetor 600 super midsize jet reveals a host of new features.

Embraer’s new Praetor business jets were unveiled at the NBAA convention in October, and both will enter service next year. Embraer Executive Jets redesigned the Legacy 450 and 500 fly-by-wire business jets, adding two new models—the Praetor 500 and 600—with new performance capabilities. The Praetor 500 and 600 will sit at the top of Embraer’s midsize and super-midsize offerings, but the company said it will still manufacture the Legacy 450 and 500 as long as there are buyers.

Citation Longitude
Oct 23, 2018 - 6:27 AM
AIN flies the longest Citation as it nears certification.

Textron Aviation’s super-midsize Longitude, the largest Citation yet, is about to enter service. Just before certification, I flew twice in the new Longitude, the first time in the cabin and the second up front on the flight deck.

This was the fifth flight-test vehicle Longitude, which had completed all flight test activities and is now a demonstrator equipped with a production interior. It was a typically warm summer day in Wichita with puffy scattered clouds above 10,000 feet, but otherwise clear with excellent visibility.