In line with BCA's previous Citation Operators Surveys, Cessna's technical and parts support received very high marks. “It's A++,” declares Dr. Russell Boyd, who flies s.n. 480. “Cessna always has been very helpful,” says Kent Gillen, chief pilot for Chick-fil-A, which operates s.n. 319. “It's A+. It's extraordinary, truly one of Cessna's strong suits,” comments Chris Wheeler, who flies s.n. 323. “We've seen the company yank parts off of production line aircraft to support the customer.”
But some operators are concerned that Cessna's recent widespread staff changes, including those in charge of product support, may have an adverse impact. “I've experienced too many handoffs,” says Bagwell.
Williams International's product support receives mixed grades. Some operators rave about the firm's service, but others believe Williams' defense contractor history creates walls to communication with customers. “I give them a D grade. They're just too close-lipped,” says Nat Goldhaber, who flies s.n. 388. “The company is slow to respond, so I give it a C,” says Dan Gimbel, who flies s.n. 425. Yet, most operators were pleased with Williams' technical support, explaining the B+ overall grade respondents awarded the firm.
Rockwell Collins also received good grades for technical and product support. But a few operators said that spares were in short supply, especially LCDs and file server units.
On balance, the CJ2+'s performance meets or exceeds the expectations of operators. But they say it's essential to know your mission profile. “If you're flying less than 1,500 mi. and carry four or fewer passengers, stick with this airplane,” says Cooper. “The CJ3 is better suited to longer trips and with more passengers,” adds Miller. “Know your mission and you can't go wrong with this airplane,” says another operator.
“It's a very wise choice, a great tradeoff between price and performance,” comments Nolan Kirkman, who flies s.n. 309. “The CJ3 and CJ4 have better legroom and more range and speed. But there's a $1 million to $2 million price difference.”
“The CJ2+ is an ideal airplane for the price. It does much of the job of the CJ3. And it's a much, much better aircraft than the original CitationJet,” says Robert Fiscella, who flies s.n. 327.
Based upon comments from CJ2+ operators, Cessna clearly has reinforced its lead in the light jet market with this Citation model. The firm also created a near ideal niche between the Citation M2 and CJ3 providing buyers with an intermediate step up in performance with a proportionate increase in price. While there's still ample opportunity for improvement in the refinement of some CJ2+ systems, those shortcomings aren't significant detractors to high levels of customer satisfaction. Cessna's product support also remains a key selling point. So, CJ2+ operators are likely to buy another Citation when they're ready to trade up.
Perhaps Stuart Fred says it best for the CJ2+ community. “There just isn't anything else to match it in a single-pilot aircraft.” That's a sweet tune if you're a Citation sales representative. BCA