Citation Airlift Converges on Lincoln, Nebraska

On Saturday, July 17, a Cessna Citation will touch down every two minutes at Lincoln (Nebraska) Municipal Airport (KLNK). Onboard each jet will be three to seven Special Olympians, along with coaches and sponsors. They will come from all over the country, the average flight lasting between 1.5 and three hours. Approximately 120 Citation operators will participate in the airlift, each one donating the use of its aircraft (or fleet of aircraft), fuel costs and pilot time. The 120 participants range from individual owner-pilots to large corporations, including Cessna's own fractional share operator CitationAir. The 2010 games in Lincoln represent the sixth airlift coordinated by Cessna, starting with the 1987 games in South Bend, Indiana. To help ensure smooth operating for the volunteer Citation owners, Cessna will supply a contingent of its Mobile Service Units (MSUs) on site at KLNK. And as impressive as the estimated 10-hour wave of constant arrivals will be, it's equally impressive that the process will reverse a week later. The mass exodus of athletes from the airport will take place on Saturday, July 24. And for the return flight plans, pilots must factor in a little extra weight. A number of gold, silver and bronze medals — and the smiles that go with them — will be an important addition to the payload.