G1000 on Cessna CitationJet

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Hello Phil,

I recall from reading your and David's review of the Cessna Mustang
and its style-related deficiencies (I recall the term "Minivan" being
used). Garmin announced yesterday that they will be certifying
retrofits of the G1000 with the GFC700 autopilot for Cessna 525
CitationJets. Do you think a G1000 CitationJet would be a suitable
substitute for a Mustang for the air taxi or owner-operator pilot, or
would the older and more complex systems of the CitationJet still make
it an unacceptable aircraft for the part-time pilot?

Link: Garmin blog post about the certification


-- Joshua Levinson, October 20, 2009


I guess for an older CJ the Garmin retrofit might result in a substantial reduction in workload and increase in situational awareness. All jet autopilots are pretty good, so I wouldn't expect the GFC700 to be the huge improvement that it is in a typical piston aircraft. For someone who doesn't fly a lot of hours, an old plane makes a lot of economic sense and the increased size of the CJ will certainly be appreciated by passengers (though of course they would be equally comfortable in a Phenom 100).

No matter what instruments and avionics you put into a CJ you're still talking about higher airspeeds and somewhat more complex switchology than a Mustang or Phenom 100. Finding simulator training for a Garminized CJ might be tough; early adopters would have to do all of their training in a real airplane (has pluses and minuses).

-- Philip Greenspun, October 20, 2009