Monday, July 20, 2009

Airport watching

Here's something you don't see everyday. A Cessna Citation jet at KSGS (South St. Paul, Minnesota). He landed with a bit of a tailwind on Sunday morning and used all but about 300 feet to stop. Then he taxied over to Wipaire, leaving the engines running while disgorging a couple of guys and their bags. I think they might've worked at Wipaire. They loaded some cans of something (paint) and then the jet took off.

I noticed later he came up from Waterloo, landed at KSGS, went to Canada, then Duluth, then back to Waterloo.

I'd love to know what that was all about.

Frankly, I don't think it's a very good idea for business jets to land at airports like KSGS. It's an airport that works very hard to be a good neighbor and the pilots based there do what they can to limit noise.

A rich guy coming in on a Sunday morning to buy some stuff is bound to upset the neighbors, and I don't blame them a bit.


  1. Be careful, the private jets add a lot to the GA population including good ol tax money. If you bad mouth Private jets you are bad mouthing GA and only cutting your own throat.

  2. That's nonsense, Anonymous. All of the EAA pancake breakfasts, all of the high-expense efforts by AOPA and others to extol the virtues of the local community airport, are erased by a fat cat with a jet who decides to wake people up on a Sunday morning.

    At KSGS, the good pilots follow the rules and we do our runups at the opposite end of the runway because there are fewer houses there.

    Just because a jet can land at a particular airport; it doesn't mean he should.

    If I bad mouth private jets; I'm only bad mouthing private jets. But, trust me, the airport neighbors aren't making the distinction between private jets and every other airplane that's at that airport now.

    At some point, pilots have to wake up and stop drinking the Kool Aid, swearing allegiance to their own and only their own; ignoring the misdeeds and poor decision-making that give us a bad name.

    Or you can just scratch your head and wonder "what happened" when they close the airport.

  3. B.S. All of General Aviation needs to stand together or we will all hang separately. With the General Aviation population making up such a small percentage of the population, we don’t need to do the work of the haters and tear down our own while providing the haters with additional ammunition. And interjecting class warfare by labeling private jet operators as “fat cats” does just that.

    Its bad enough with all the haters labeling airports as “country clubs” without people like you feeding into this misperception. I have been involved in aviation my whole life as a pilot, airport manager, in airport development and in government as a transportation specialist and I can tell you that many of the fine airports we have today would not exist in their current form absent their use by business and private jet aircraft justifying their existence.

    All segments of General Aviation are crucial to the health and success of General Aviation and our airports in the United States. It is a shame that someone such as yourself being involved in aviation does not realize this.

  4. See, this is the mindset that betrays organizations such as AOPA which insisted that security rules at airports were not necessary because pilots would police themselves and be alert. It's the same mindset that allows dangerous pilots to fly, despite good programs like the flight advisors and the FAA safety teams.

    "We all stand together" is not a good reason to ignore the elements that threaten GA.

    It's also the mindset that creates the ridiculous "us against them" mentality in aviation. That some in aviation can't do the math and can't figure out that there are more "them" than "us" and you can't win an "us against them" battle is a shame.

    Now how about using your real name?