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From the Experts: Why a Pro Line 21 to Fusion upgrade was the right move

At Textron Aviation, both new and legacy aircraft owners have access to manufacturer-exclusive expertise. Designers, technical experts and industry-leading innovators all sit at owners' fingertips, eager to assist and advise.

Throughout the nearly 100 years of forward-thinking work, communities of Cessna® and Beechcraft® owners, operators and enthusiasts have formed. Often, Cessna® pilots and other longtime owners find each other, form connections and breathe unadulterated truth into the marketplace about iconic aircraft. The Citation® jet line is no different.

True to the Citation® reputation of quality and longevity, many of these owners are paired with their aircraft for many years, leading them to look for ways to upgrade and refresh the aircraft they love. It's one place they can take full advantage of Textron Aviation's expertise.

One upgrade is becoming more common — moving from Collins Pro Line 21™ to Pro Line Fusion® avionics.

Two Cessna Citation CJ3® jet owners explain why they chose to evolve their aircraft by investing in this avionics upgrade. Dr. Shervin Oskouei and Len Rand detail their thought process and satisfaction with moving to the new avionics suite.


Dr. Shervin Oskouei, CJ3® jet owner

Known for his expertise in musculoskeletal tumors, Dr. Shervin Oskouei is an orthopedic surgeon with decades in the medical field. Commonly sought after to speak at conferences across the nation, Dr. Oskouei is known for his quality of care and his willingness to share his learnings with others.

Dr. Oskouei has owned his Citation CJ3® for more than ten years and uses it for both leisure and work travel. He flies between his two homes in Georgia and Colorado, but also travels across the United States to attend and speak at conferences.

Q: What is your favorite part of flying?

"In one word: freedom. The freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want is simply something I cherish, and I hope to continue doing it safely as long as I can. The other thing I love about flying is the continuous learning. I am always learning and the more I learn the more I realize there is to learn. That to me is simply awesome."

Q: What made you decide to become a pilot and own an aircraft?

"I started flying mainly because I found it challenging and gratifying to learn something new and acquire new skill sets. I was never introduced to general aviation growing up although I always enjoyed travelling. The more I started flying the more I realized how much there is to learn, and I find it all very challenging yet incredibly enjoyable. Understanding things like complex airspaces, changing weather patterns, use of onboard radar, complex SIDs and STARs, and the complexities of aircraft systems are things I really enjoy learning about. Having my own aircraft was something I never imagined possible. However, as my mission changed and my travel required longer and more complex missions, I continued to upgrade aircraft until I landed on the CJ3 which to me is the pinnacle of single pilot aircraft."

Len Rand, CJ3® jet owner

Len Rand is nothing if not multitalented. His career spans technology, venture capital, private equity, partnerships and operations. That's not considering his vast experience in aviation as well.

Rand has spent decades in the sky and worked in commercial and charter aviation. He understands the business side of flying but puts his time into giving back as well. His Citation CJ3® flies for business, leisure and charity transportation.

Q: What is your favorite part of flying?

"The focus of technical flying (IMC and flying into crowded airspace and airports) disconnects me from the daily cares and stress of life. Honestly, it is my 'Zen' space."

Q: What made you decide to become a pilot and own an aircraft?

"A combination of technical challenge and utility were the original impetus to becoming a pilot. The convenience and utility (plus the joy of flying) have kept me hooked."


Q: What made you decide to upgrade your avionics suite?

Shervin "As a single pilot, I wanted everything Fusion had to offer. For instance, having three very large screens with the ability to subdivide them any way I want to is awesome. I can have onboard radar on my PFD while having SiriusXM weather on the MFD, making decision-making around complex weather that much more facile. I can have my approach chart on half of my MFD while the other half shows the moving map making situational awareness very simple. Another advantage for me is the synthetic vision capabilities. Since my second home is in the mountains, I love the ability to have synthetic vision, especially when arriving at night in inclement weather. Being able to show all the available weather products on large screens on the MFD is very useful in weather avoidance and I have found the touchscreen to be incredibly intuitive."

Len: "When we acquired the aircraft it needed an upgrade to ADS-B and WAAS/LPV. The cost of that was over 50% of the upgrade to full Fusion. In looking at the features and benefits of Fusion (and the increase in aircraft value) the jump to a full upgrade was an easy choice."

Q: What was the process of moving from Pro Line 21™ to Pro Line Fusion® like?

Len: "We read the manual, hooked the plane up to a power cart for about an hour and off we went “into the wild blue yonder”. Seriously, the operating sequences were the same as Pro Line 21, with the added layer of an intuitive touchscreen UI. This made the transition very easy."

Shervin: "It was incredibly easy. I find Fusion to be even more intuitive than Pro Line 21. If you can do it in Pro Line 21, you can do it the same way or numerous other ways in Fusion. The touchscreens also add another level of simplicity. In addition, in an emergency, Fusion adds many more intuitive resources such as auto population of approaches to nearest airports and other aids."

Q: How did you handle training as a pilot when you upgraded?

Shervin: "I was worried about the lack of a simulator, not only for the transition but also for recurrent training. During my first recurrent at Flight Safety after upgrading to Fusion, I was worried about flying in the sim with Pro Line 21. However, since they are both Collins products with similar architecture, I found my muscle memory came back immediately and I was able to do my recurrent without any avionics-based issues."

Len: "In my case, training was not an issue. Training is not about button-pushing anyway. Being able to program the avionics is easy and not the part of training that matters. With the operating sequences being so similar, it's not really been a problem."


Q: How do you feel about the upgrade overall?

Len: "It's an awesome system with a significant improvement in situational awareness and a far more intuitive interface than previous Pro Line incarnations. For us, it was money well spent, with both operational and aircraft value benefits."

Shervin: "I am absolutely certain I have made the right move and am very happy with my decision to upgrade to Fusion. One late evening after sunset, I had to execute a missed approach when the weather dropped below minimums at KEGE last winter. Flying single pilot, having all the tools Fusion has to offer to do this safely and without much fuss was enough to convince me I made the right decision. I couldn't be any happier. It has delivered as promised and worked flawlessly from the day I picked up the aircraft from Textron Aviation after the upgrade. I have tools available to me that I didn't have with Pro Line 21 and with other avionics I had in prior aircraft. The situational awareness I have with Fusion is unbelievable. If the financials make sense to you, there is no doubt you will be happy with the upgrade."

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