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What RV Owners Do When They Aren't RVating
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   First In The Series:  Bill Goeken

Cessna Citation I

Climbout from Dallas

Bill working...

In cruise phase.

Bill Goeken

8/7/07 - I fly formation on occasion with Bill 'Lurch' Goeken.  He grew up in Iowa working at his Dad's FBO, eventually getting his instrument, multi and commercial ratings.  After college he got hired by Delta, where he worked for most of his career.  After leaving Delta, he now flies corporate jets, and over pancakes the other morning, asked if I would like to come along with him on a day trip from Ft Worth to Houston in a Citation I.  He usually flies it single pilot, but said I was more than welcome to act as copilot.


I showed up wearing business casual clothes as instructed, then followed him around as he got the jet ready to go.  Is the jet clean?  Is the Wall Street Journal on the seat?  Coffee?  Hot water?  Ice?  Each jet is different, and the clients sometimes provide a sheet of paper listing what their preferences are.

Since it was getting warm , Bill showed me the cockpit shades, and asked me to put them in until the client arrived.  He showed me the radio configuration (3 Comms) and how to use them, had me get ATIS and clearance to taxi.  This particular jet is equipped with a Garmin 530, and it was the first time I had seen the flight plan feature used to full advantage.  Before we left I took the shades down (seeing a trend here <g>).  Takeoff was uneventful, with a surprisingly slow acceleration rate (full of gas).  After takeoff he had me change the freq from tower to departure and make the call.

The climb speed was slower than what I would have expected (around 200kts).  We leveled off at 21,000' (for about ten minutes) then began the descent into Houston.  Bill had me look up and enter the Unicom freq for the jet center we were parking (on comm 2).  Then I called them with our ETE so they could have the rental car started with the air running for the client.  After that, my job was to turn the air conditioner on max for the back of the plane and not say another word until after touchdown <g>.  This I can do.

Approach got us in the neighborhood of the 17R LOC approach and I called tower when the field was in site.  Gear, flaps, etc and a flare that felt SOOOO different from the RV-6!  Later, Bill talked about how the Citation I is not a jet known for its stopping abilities.  It's pretty important, he said, to be right on the approach speed and to land in the first part of the landing zone.  Many of the accidents of this type jet involve rolling off the end.

We taxied up to the jet center as the rental pulled up to the door.  Very nice.   Fifteen minutes later I called Paul Dye (it's 11:00am on a Tuesday - what could he be doing that is important?) to find out if there was a place to eat at/near the airport.  We ended up eating at the jet center (no crew car), and had a pretty decent hamburger.

After lunch we walked out to the hangar next door and found, of course, an RV parked there.  I liked the access panels for the instrument panel and the storage doors out in the wingtips.  It had one of Luke's interiors and looked very nice.  After that we went to the pilot lounge where I plugged the laptop in and started typing this.

The trip home later in the afternoon was just as memorable.  Bill had me get ATIS, talk with ground, set the transponder, heading bugs, altitude alarms, talk with departure, center, had me ask and get closer waypoints, talk to Ft. Worth approach, load the ILS freqs into the NAV and had me pull the flaps and gear.  A little different from my usual routine - following Danny, Ross, Grump or Lurch in the RV.

What a pleasure!

Of course I felt like I was drinking from a fire hose and I could feel my brain stretching at times, making me feel like the student pilot that I most definitely was at the moment.  After landing I had the very positive desire to finish my instrument rating.  Knowing how to use the system and talk comfortably will someday help me out of a corner I don't want to be in.  Seeing it actually work in a real-time, high speed environment had definite value.

Climbing to 22,000' (note 220 on the altitude alarm right of center)

Video Clips From the Flight:
1. The take off from Ft. Worth

2. The landing in Houston

3. The landing back in Ft. Worth

(note: All pictures and video on this day trip were shot with my little Canon SD-1000 pocket camera.  $239 at Best Buy)

Bill, you rock.  Thanks for letting play in your world for a day.

Bill can be reached at:    lurch 'at' vansairforce 'dot' net

I'd be happy to do an article comparing my RV-6 to the two seat F-18 if anyone can help make that happen <grin>.



PS:  I created this web page in one afternoon, including all photo editing, video uploading and typing.  An article that can help you do this also can be found here.