- 03 Mar 2021
- Aviation Podcasts
Wondering what it's like to own and fly a Cessna Citation Mustang? You've come to the right place. Brad Lund discusses his experiences as an owner-pilot of this popular Very Light Jet model...Back to Articles
Learn all about owning and flying the Cessna Citation Mustang very light jet. Brad Lund discusses everything you need to know about buying, flying, and owning an entry-level jet, which is more affordable and more accessible than you might think.
Brad Lund is the proud owner of a 2009 Cessna Citation Mustang, which he’s owned for about two years. Brad has been flying for 25 years and is an experienced airplane owner, stepping up from aircraft like the Cessna Turbo 210 and Columbia 400. He’s a real estate owner and investor by trade, and owner of Purely Storage, a chain of self-storage facilities throughout the Western US.
He uses his airplane primarily as a business tool to visit his properties, many in locations not serviced by the airlines. I met Brad through Instagram where he regularly posts photos of his airplane. You can check out his Instagram page @RadDadBrad. Brad is married with five children.
The Citation Mustang is a twin-engine, single-pilot certified, entry-level light jet built by Cessna Aircraft Company between 2006 and 2017. A total of 479 aircraft were produced with hundreds sold to owners/pilots.
The Mustang boasts comfort, capability, performance, and efficiency while being a suitable next step for high-performance piston and turboprop owners. Equipped with the Garmin G1000 avionics package, you’ll feel right at home when sitting upfront.
And thanks to its fully automated FADEC-equipped powerplants, power management is as simple as it gets. Other features include club seating for up to five passengers, cruise speeds of 340 knots True, de-ice boots, speed brakes, dual-zone climate control, and a forward potty.
While Mustang technically falls under the Very Light Jet category, thanks to its 8645-pound gross weight, Cessna simply refers to the Mustang as an entry-level jet. Certified under Part 23, Cessna has built the Mustang with the same safety standards as its larger aircraft with safety and redundancy in mind.
However, unlike its bigger cousins, the Mustang was a clean-sheet design, leaving behind the more traditional looks of earlier Citation models such as the Citation I and even the later-model 525-series airplanes.
The most noticeable differences can be seen thanks to its totally redesigned nose section, windscreen, and fuselage. The result is a stylish airplane with great ramp presence and a commanding look.
At first glance, you may be surprised at just how large the Mustang is. If you're used to a cabin-class twin, a TBM, Meridian, or Eclipse Jet, you'll see a noticeable difference in size thanks to its thirteen and a half-foot T-tail and 43-foot wingspan. The Mustang sits tall on its wheels, too, but getting in and out is a breeze thanks to its 24-inch wide main cabin door and fold-down steps.
If you're used to older Citation cabin doors, you'll be happy to find a completely redesigned cabin door handle. The new handle is more ergonomic and much easier to open than what you might be used to on legacy Citations. You’re welcomed into the cabin with a 2-step ladder that folds out from the doorway. Getting in and out is a breeze, even for older adults and young children.
Once inside, you’ll probably notice a comfortably familiar automotive feel reminiscent of a high-end car. To the right, four leather seats in club configuration with automotive-style seatbelts and buckles.
But the other end is where all the fun happens. A quick turn to the left and you’re in the cockpit. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the massive 15-inch multifunction display for the G1000 in perfect view of both pilots, complete with large, easy-to-reach hard keys and knobs. The second thing you’ll notice is a familiar flight control yoke set up rather than the bulky control columns found on larger aircraft. The yokes on this airplane are stylish, too.
Each pilot gets a 12-inch Primary Flight Display and a simple, yet practical switch panel for controlling aircraft systems. Systems on this airplane are about as simple as it gets for an airplane of this caliber. Many are automated and require little attention from the pilot.
The pressurization and anti-icing systems are computer-controlled from the G1000, automatically scheduling the wing and tail-mounted deice boots and holding the cabin altitude at 8,000’ in cruise—that’s an incredible 8.3psi!
Other systems control switches are located below the primary and multi-function displays, all within easy reach from either side. A left-to-right flow pattern makes cockpit setup a breeze.
On the left is your electrical controls, including battery and avionics, then over to engine controls such as ignition, boost pumps, and engine sync, then over to the environmental controls.
Again, thanks to automation, many of these switches don’t even have to be turned on or off. Even fuel management is completely automatic. With the simple cockpit layout, you can go from cold cockpit to taxi out in less than 10 minutes.
Engine start is also pretty easy. Simply turn on the 24-volt lead-acid battery, do a quick systems test, then push the left or right starter button. At 8-10% N2, introduce fuel by bringing the thrust lever out of cut-off and into the idle gate.
From there, just monitor the parameters and let the FADEC do the rest. Even takeoff, climb, and cruise power is calculated automatically for you by the FADEC. Gone are the days of needing paper charts and tables to crunch power settings for ambient conditions. Simply bring the throttles to the desired detent and the FADEC does the rest.
The hydraulic system on the Mustang more reminiscent of a Cessna 182 – only the brakes are hydraulically actuated through a master cylinder system found in most light singles. The speed brakes, landing gear, and flaps are actuated electrically through motors and power packs, again like a Cessna single. A backup nitrogen bottle will ensure the gear is down and locked in the event of a failure of the powerpack. The nitrogen also provides you with a means for braking should that system fail.
Like many larger jets, the Mustang has a lot of redundancy, including an isolated and paralleled electrical system should you lose a generator.
If you lose all electrical power, the backup battery will power essential avionics for 30 minutes. Fuel can be transferred from one wing tank to the other in the event of an engine failure.
The cabin is comfortable, and fairly roomy considering the overall size of the airplane. Cabin volume is about 163 cubic feet. The cabin is also well insulated, dampening sound and keeping the noise level comfortable for normal conversation. The passenger compartment is basic, yet classy and comfortable. It can seat four passengers comfortably with a club-configuration.
The two aft seats are a split bench with a shared armrest and cup holder. There is one fold-out table on each side and three windows as well as overhead reading lights. Thanks to the center drop aisle, the cabin has a height of just over 4.5 feet.
Right now, there are 24 Citation Mustang aircraft for sale, ranging in price from $1.3-2.7M depending on condition and year. Perhaps the biggest variable in the sales price of the Mustang is engine time and whether the aircraft is on any maintenance programs.
Unlike piston airplanes, the overhaul intervals on jet engines is mandatory, and without an engine maintenance program, the airplane’s value takes a hit anywhere between $200-500K.
For the Pratt & Whitney PW615F engines installed on the Mustang, TBO is 3,500 hours, with a mid-time hot-section inspection required at 1,750 hours. In addition, airframe hours and scheduled inspections play a significant role in pricing.
For instance, annual scheduled maintenance on the Mustang will cost about $17,000 a year. If the airplane hasn’t complied with yearly inspection requirement, expect a reduction in the sales price. Likewise, the airplane is due for several big inspections every 72 months, namely the Doc 11 and Doc 32. Between the two, these inspections will run about $15-20,000.
Again, the sales price will reflect. You’ll need to consider AD and service bulletin compliance as well. Fortunately for the Mustang, there are really only two airworthiness directives to worry about, one for the brakes and the other for a fuel/oil heat exchanger on the engines.
So if you see a Mustang on the market that looks underpriced, there’s probably a good reason for it and you should proceed with caution.
Of course, I recommend enlisting the help of someone that specializes in jet-aircraft transactions to avoid some of the major pitfalls which we’ll hear more about shortly during our interview with Brad. I’m happy to discuss these issues with you, including maintenance and helping you research the market through our coaching program.
In addition to maintenance, you’ll likely need to invest in maintenance tracking software such as SierraTrack, Cescom, or CAMP. All of these software programs help you track scheduled maintenance and inspections as well as organize the maintenance records for the airplane.
For more information on scheduled maintenance and inspections on jet aircraft, check out my recent AOPA article titled “The Maintenance Maze.”
While the Mustang is an excellent contender, it’s not the only airplane in this class that many prospective owners consider. For instance, the TBM, Eclipse Jet, Phenom 100, and King Air 90 are all in relatively the same class of airplane. But each of these airplanes does different things well. It all comes down to the mission the airplane will be flying most of the time.
The TBM has almost identical performance to the Mustang, but is more suited for shorter trips, say 200-500 miles cruising in the mid-to-high twenties. The Eclipse Jet is a bit smaller and doesn’t have the same range or useful load; the same is true with the Cirrus Vision Jet, which is also much slower.
The King Air 90 is great for carrying a lot of people or cargo; it has excellent useful load and takeoff performance but is 100 knots slower than the Mustang. All factors to consider before making a purchase decision.
Find the latest Very Light Jets for sale