Cessna’s Citation Special Olympics Airlift is set to take off this weekend, the latest in a long series of such airlifts started by Cessna back in 1987. This year the big change is that many of the athletes will be flying in airplanes built by Beechcraft, Cessna’s new sister company under the Textron Aviation banner.
Starting on Saturday, June 14, an armada of more than 100 Citations, King Airs and Hawkers will transport around 700 athletes in more than 100 airplanes from 28 locations around the country to Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) for the games. Owners donate their aircraft, fuel and all expenses to the effort. The following Saturday the planes will return to New Jersey to fly the athletes back home. As it is every time an airlift takes place, this year’s will represent the largest fleet of business aircraft arriving at one location in the country, so many in fact that landings will be spaced by only a few minutes.
The event is a massive undertaking. Textron Aviation personnel have spent more than two years in the planning of it. Come Saturday, that hard work will have paid off, as evidenced by the smiling faces of hundreds of very special athletes making their way to a very special event.
Look for more coverage of the airlift here and in Flying.
Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.
We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.