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The benefits of a versatile jet type rating


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Although a relatively new entry into the midsize business jet category, the CESSNA CITATION LATITUDE aircraft has quickly become a frequently relied upon option for single and multi-aircraft fleets in search of optimal midsize jet capabilities. The jet delivers the performance and range required for longer trips, and a spacious, state-of-the-art cabin environment offers the comfort needed for regional hops and transcontinental travel alike.

In search of a pilot certified to fly the Latitude jet?Nearly 3,000 FAA-certified pilots hold a Model 680 type rating.Source – Federal Aviation Administration

But when the Latitude jet officially entered service, pilots and flight departments also welcomed the aircraft’s operating efficiency and its type rating versatility. The jet is certified under the same Model 680 type rating certificate as the Citation SOVEREIGN and SOVEREIGN+ jets, making the transition into a new aircraft easier than ever.

Pilots with a current Model 680 type rating certificate could now step into the Latitude aircraft with only minor differences in training required.

"The versatility of the type rating is achieved through engineering similarities in the Sovereign and Latitude," said Joe Phillips, Textron Aviation’s senior project engineer during the Latitude jet's flight test and certification program.

“Some systems used to develop the Latitude were derived from the Sovereign family, and the aircraft also share some internal design features and components,” Phillips said. “From an engineering standpoint, this allowed the FAA to certify them under one model type.”

For flight departments with Model 680-certified pilots on staff, the flexibility made moving to a new aircraft seamless and time-effective.

“We really liked the Latitude because that 680 type rating we already had would allow us to get on board and start flying almost right away. We had no downtime.”James Olson, Chief Pilot and Vice President of Aviation Sales, Whelen Engineering

Whelen Engineering pilots Dennis Piscitello, James Olson and Greg Ginnetti in front of the company's Citation Latitude jet.

Type rating versatility initially attracted Olson and his team to the Latitude aircraft. After more than eight years of flying the Sovereign jet for the emergency warning lights maker, he was prepared for takeoff upon stepping into the larger Latitude jet for the first time. With minimal training needed, the normal Whelen Engineering travel schedule could easily continue, he said.

Today, Olson and his flight department fly approximately 600 hours annually transporting company employees to customer sites, where they provide hands-on training and technical support.

“To relocate our small flight crew for type rating training would have stifled us and our ability to respond. We put the aircraft into service as soon as we brought it back to our home base.”

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