Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gateway Jets: Citation CJ Line Brings Comfort and Efficiency to Jet Travel

By Carmelo Turdo
The Cessna Citation line of business jets offers a wide variety of models from which to choose, each providing the ideal combination of performance and efficiency to meet each owner's mission. Cessna (now Textron) produces the CitationJet, or CJ, fleet that has evolved and modernized over the last three decades. Along with new models, there are attractive and well-maintained pre-owned aircraft available for first-time jet owners and upgrade customers. This 1996 CitationJet, managed by Gateway Jets, is an example of an updated CJ that will serve the customer's travel needs for years to come.

The Aero Experience recently visited with Gateway Jets Founder and President, Corey Tomczak, to learn more about this aircraft. The CJ series is an update to the classic Citation Model 500 and includes ten sub-types that incorporate improvements in safety, efficiency and comfort without adding undue complexity. In today's market, the CJ is affordable jet transportation, especially when shared among several owners and professionally managed by Gateway Jets. 

The CJ is larger than the later-model Citation Mustang featured in a previous series of stories with Gateway Jets. "This is a step up in terms of speed, payload, range, carrying capacity as well as having lower entry-level costs," Tomczak told The Aero Experience. "Each one of the Citation family of jets that we manage fit the customer needs differently, and to their advantage."

This aircraft has seating for up to seven passengers: five dedicated passenger seats in club-plus-one arrangement; copilot seat if flying single crew; and belted lavatory seat in the rear of the aircraft. Flights can range from 500-1000nm or more depending on number of passengers, luggage and fuel on board. The CJ is certified to fly at 41,000 feet, though typical flights cruise at 34,000-38,000 feet.

The CJ design adds high-value refinements to the conventional airframe and flight control system of the original Citation. The two fuel-efficient and reliable Williams International FJ44 engines burn only 130 gallons/hour at 360kts. A laminar-flow wing design, the product of a joint-venture with NASA, incorporates a gentle sweep and an engine bleed-air leading edge anti-icing system. Baggage compartments are quite large and are conveniently hidden in the nose and cabin behind the aft bulkhead.  

This CJ has also received a significant avionics upgrade, replacing the original vacuum-powered instruments and aging navigation and communications aids with state-of-the-art Garmin products. Illustrated here are the Garmin G600TXI touchscreen main flight instrument displays, the G750 GPS/NAV/COM multi-function displays and GI 275 backup electronic attitude indicator in this well-equipped panel. The weight reduction realized in the avionics upgrade requires about 150lbs. of ballast to be carried in the nose cargo compartment when the aircraft is flown single-pilot. 

The Aero Experience joined Corey Tomczak on a local positioning flight from St. Louis Downtown Airport to St. Louis Regional Airport where the aircraft would receive some minor maintenance at West Star Aviation. In the video below, we introduce the features of the CJ and take a brief look at the flight experience.

Gateway Jets provides aircraft management services for the Cessna Citation series of jets, including the larger Excel/XLS/XLS+ models, from initial purchase to all aspects of air operations, maintenance and compliance. Current aircraft owners will quickly see the advantage of having their aircraft managed by Gateway Jets. For those ready to acquire an aircraft, Corey Tomczak and his team will help buyers define the mission for the new aircraft and choose the most appropriate aircraft type. They will assist in the purchase process, prepare a plan of operations and then work closely with the aircraft owner to ensure the aircraft and crew are ready to fly. Contact Gateway Jets today to find out how their aircraft management service can benefit you and your business. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Gateway Jets: Setting the Standard for Aircraft Management In St. Louis

By Carmelo Turdo

Owning and operating your own jet or turboprop aircraft should be a very rewarding experience. What could be better than arriving at your destination in your own aircraft, on your own time, ready to step out and get on with your day? The practicality of flying there in a comfortable and efficient CitationJet, for example, is within reach of more business owners today with the help of the aircraft acquisition and management services provided by Gateway Jets.

Corey Tomczak started Gateway Jets in 2013 to provide personalized aircraft management services to the St. Louis market. Now with nine aircraft under contract, the company is the largest of its kind in the metropolitan area. Gateway Jets specializes in the Cessna Citation series, a proven design that offers an efficient and effective aircraft model for each customer's mission. Gateway Jets also manages other aircraft, including the TBM line of turboprops.

Getting the best value from your aircraft, and also running your own business, is not always feasible. That is where Gateway Jets can help. Corey Tomczak and his staff can expertly guide new owners and upgrade customers through the acquisition process and manage the aircraft's operation, crewing, maintenance and regulatory compliance.

“Gateway Jets is a company designed to give the client the best experience of owning an aircraft at a reasonable cost," Tomczak told The Aero Experience"Our business is to provide a mission-ready, safe, clean aircraft while looking out for our client's best interests. We take care of the whole operation so that they can just arrive and fly knowing that their aircraft is in good hands. Leave the fine details up to us. Your only job is to arrive and fly.”

In many cases, an aircraft management company can turn a good business into a great business by providing direct, cost-effective air transportation to where the next big deal will be struck or to visit with regional site managers. Knowing that your aircraft is well maintained, stocked and crewed takes much of the stress away from using the aircraft as a great asset. St. Louis area aircraft owners can have that peace of mind when entrusting their aircraft to locally based Gateway Jets. 

Customer consulting is one way Gateway Jets adds value to their services. Most of the owners working with Gateway Jets are non-pilots or are not rated for the aircraft under management.

"I enjoy taking clients from step one," Tomczak explained. "They'll come to us with a mission, an intended budget. We analyze their mission, help them find a plane, and once they have the plane, we help them put a program in place that suits their budget as far as supplying pilots, maintenance and other services."  The result of the consultation is a cost-effective, practical plan for meeting the air transportation needs of the client.

"It's a time and money savings," Tomczak emphasized. "We can guarantee time and hassle savings by using our experience to do things the correct way. Even with our management fee, they will save money." Part of that savings comes from industry maintenance sourcing and budget forecasting services that greatly reduce the chances of the most common unexpected costs of aircraft ownership.

Gateway Jets has "written the book" on aircraft ownership. Their "10 Secrets of Personal Flight Management" provides key insights on the practical issues faced by new business aircraft owners. From flying to a neighboring state to jetting across the country, owning and operating increasingly sophisticated aircraft efficiently and cost-effectively takes a new level of expertise. Gateway Jets provides the aircraft management services that make aircraft ownership and operation a reality for growing local businesses.

In our next story and video presentation, The Aero Experience will meet again with Corey Tomczak for a flight in a CitationJet managed by Gateway Jets. Below are photos and videos from our previous coverage of Gateway Jets managed aircraft.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Wings of Hope Introduces Limited Edition Oris Watch to Media

(Oris Watch graphic)
By Carmelo Turdo
Wings of Hope hosted a group of media and retailers for a two-day visit October 11-12 at their World Headquarters at Spirit of St. Louis Airport as part of their Oris Custom Watch launch promotion first announced at the Wings of Hope Gala in June. Watch subject matter media representatives and Oris product retailers each spent a day getting familiar with the Wings of Hope mission and meeting the staff and volunteers who make Wings of Hope a leader in humanitarian aviation services. The custom watch product promotes the mission of Wings of Hope through the production of a high-quality time piece designed for flight crews and aviation enthusiasts alike.

On media day, the guests were greeted by Wings of Hope President and CEO, Bret Heinrich, who invited them to the regular staff meeting and conducted a tour of the facility. The niche media members are also seen here in a group photo with the Wings of Hope Cessna 206 and also at the arrival of the Piper Seneca with a Medical Relief and Air Transport (MAT) patient. 

Later in the afternoon, Wings of Hope Education Coordinator, Robert Powell, briefed the media representatives on the SOAR Into STEM Program held in the spring and fall each year. Here Powell shows off the glider project used in the previous session and coaches the group on how to fly the UAV (drone) through an obstacle course.

Day one concluded with an open discussion of the Oris watch line and the Wings of Hope Custom Watch, getting into the details that this media group wished to explore with the Oris company representatives. Here we feature a sample of Oris watches, another group photo and a short video of the day's activities.

On day two, Wings of Hope hosted an afternoon visit by a large group of Oris retailers. Following a briefing on the Wings of Hope mission and the Oris Custom Watch, they were treated to a detailed tour of the hangar and MAT aircraft, including the newly updated Piper Navajo and the Cessna 206.

Later in the afternoon, the retailers gathered to participate in packing meals for Kids Against Hunger, a Wings of Hope partner humanitarian organization that distributes pre-made meal packages to seventy countries. The local Missouri Valley satellite location, led by Wings of Hope avionics technician Steve Tompkin, provided the food mix and bagging stations to facilitate the operation. The meals will be delivered to Haiti as soon as arrangements for passage to that country are confirmed.

Day two wrapped up after the return of the MAT aircraft from another mission and more photos with the Cessna 206 in the hangar.