Thoughts On the CL-600

User546

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Our flight department is in the final stages of adding a Challenger 600 to our fleet.

We also have a Challenger 604 in the fleet, and those pilots don't ever seem to have much good to say about the 600. Common comments evolve around it being a pig, poor performance, etc.

I've been tapped to upgrade into it, so I was curious what pilots that have flown it really think about it? All the pro's and con's, and your experience with it. And is all the negativity that the guys are saying about it really true?
 

empenage

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I dont have much good to say about the 600. Have they added winglets? Is it old enough to have the door go up instead of down? If it goes up then you will stay dry in the rain. I do believe the Lycomings are better than they used to be.

The best part is the CL-600 type covers the 600 and 601's (but not the 604).

See, that was a good thing!
 

ultrarunner

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There is a reason only a few of them were built. If an operator already has a 604, the only reason to add a 600 vs. a 601 is because it's cheap.
 

SigAV8R

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We've got a 600 and it's a beast of a mtx hassle. It rarely goes out without coming back with something squaked on the plane. I don't know much about it other than that. It's often having some sort of work done when it's "home" and occasionally something done while it's away. Not that I wouldn't fly it, but it's a beast of a mtx hog.
 

HawkerF/O

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Don't know which one you are going to buy, but stay away from N800BT (s/n 1044). It's for sale and it is junk. A real MX HOG!!!! It is based in Kansas City. They paid a little over 5M for it and they painted, so now they are trying to make an additional 1M on the sale. STAY AWAY!!
As for the plane itself, if you have been flying something much smaller, it's a decent plane to upgrade to.
X Winds- PIG! Wind strikes all that surface area of the tail. It makes it tough. Rudder needs more authority
PErformance- Like most airplanes, when it gets hot, it becomes a real dog. Hot and High in the summer is not good for this airplane, more so than others. 100F and 5K feet elevation with 7K runway, with 2 people on board is only going to get you about 300 miles. Needs bigger brakes as well.
Engines- Loaners are very limited and you'll learn all about loaners with this airplane. They are Lycoming and they are junk.
Range- If you get one and you want any range (like making Hawaii comfortably) get the Branson Tanks. It's a mod and they add a few hundred miles, but it is the difference between night and day.
They made less than 80 of them, so be sure to get a late S/N with low time. i would not look at one with a s/n of less then 65-70.
When you start operating it, I am sure your engines will be on a MX program. With that in mind, you see these 600 pilots cycling the starter after every shut down. Don't do that. Only the idiots do that. Here is why. The book says if the ITT is over a certain temp at shut down, to cycle the starter. It is to bring cool air over the compressors. That's fine, and If you see those temps, then cycle them. Most of these idiots cycle them as a SOP, no matter the ITT. How stupid. You are just putting an extra cycle on all those parts, and as picky as those engines are, you are just asking for the life of those parts to be cut signigantly. With those engines, you need all the help you can get, so only cycle the engines after shut down if the AFM calls for that.
APU- 2 things. Change the Ignightor pulgs in the APU often and carry some with you on the road. They fail often, and without the APU, you don't get engine start unless you have a huffer. You'll look like an idiot to your boss having to use a huffer and having to choose ALT airports based on the fact of whether they have a huffer or not. Also, the APUs will never make it to TBO. They all fail long before that. To extend the life of it by more than 2Xs, when cooling the aircraft on the ground, use both ACUs. Once the airplane is cool, turn 1 ACU off and maintain the cool cabin with just 1 ACU. Be sure to alternate evenly which ACU you use. Using just 1 will take SEVERAL hundred degrees off of the APU and we all know what heat does. Doing that will make all the difference in the world and extend the life of the APU considerably. You can use that technique on any Challenger.
If you cross the pond, consider pulling the ADG C/Bs. That thing is loud, and if it deploys, you have to slow to 250KIAS. It'll make for a long day and you'll literally go deaf. Done a ADG ops check, and it suxed!!! Be sure to ask someone how to do that, because pulling the wrong ones or ever the right ones in the wrong order will cause that bad boy come on out.
These planes are popular because they have quite a ramp presence and the cabin is one of a kind in terms of space. From 1995 to about 2000 they were worth 9M. Market got flooded with them and now you are going to get a nice one with low time for about 5M RVSMed. Good luck and if possible, consider a 601-3A or -3A/ER. Even better choice would be a 601-3R
 
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CL600Pilot

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Agree 100% with all of the above - I flew s/n 1026 (one of the first few with the downward opening doors) in a little over a year we had 3 events requiring an air return(1 engine with severe compressor stalls, a flap fail, and an internal failure of the AoA vane resulting in a stick shaker event). We also had numerous other maint. problems resulting in it sitting in the hangar. I had added it up at one time and out of 14 months I was on the airplane it was in maint. for a total of 6 - but to be fair that did include one of the major inspections.


If your company is already in 'the Challenger world' with a 604 they really should have been smart enough to get a 601 instead of the 600....that decision is going to cost them BIG TIME in the long run.

Having said all of that - having a 600 is better than having no Challenger at all and it's not a bad airplane to fly. If you have not yet been to school - go now before it gets too cold in Montreal!! And make sure you know the serial # of your jet so they can look up what mods have been done - there are a gazillion and a half mods for 600.

CL
 

empenage

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CL600Pilot said:
Agree 100% with all of the above - I flew s/n 1026 (one of the first few with the downward opening doors) in a little over a year we had 3 events requiring an air return(1 engine with severe compressor stalls, a flap fail, and an internal failure of the AoA vane resulting in a stick shaker event). We also had numerous other maint. problems resulting in it sitting in the hangar. I had added it up at one time and out of 14 months I was on the airplane it was in maint. for a total of 6 - but to be fair that did include one of the major inspections.


If your company is already in 'the Challenger world' with a 604 they really should have been smart enough to get a 601 instead of the 600....that decision is going to cost them BIG TIME in the long run.

Having said all of that - having a 600 is better than having no Challenger at all and it's not a bad airplane to fly. If you have not yet been to school - go now before it gets too cold in Montreal!! And make sure you know the serial # of your jet so they can look up what mods have been done - there are a gazillion and a half mods for 600.

CL
Quick question..Have the Lycomings gotten any better?
 

Spooky 1

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Cl600

User997 said:
Our flight department is in the final stages of adding a Challenger 600 to our fleet.

We also have a Challenger 604 in the fleet, and those pilots don't ever seem to have much good to say about the 600. Common comments evolve around it being a pig, poor performance, etc.

I've been tapped to upgrade into it, so I was curious what pilots that have flown it really think about it? All the pro's and con's, and your experience with it. And is all the negativity that the guys are saying about it really true?
Important dsiclaimer! I do not have any experience in flying this aircraft, but I was around alot of them when they were first introduced. Selling end of the airplane. I think it is safe to say that if you are still searching for this model, you should make sure that it has all the post production mods possible. L2C, SBW, ect. Avoid the really early serial numbers with the FedEx door (1st, 21 aircraft produced?) As I am sure you already know the Lycoming engines on this model (originally helicopter engine design), have a history of issues. Probably most of these are squared away by now as the fleet hours have increased considerably.

Good luck, nice cabin thats for sure.
 

CL600Pilot

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empenage said:
Quick question..Have the Lycomings gotten any better?
hahahahahaha!!!! Now that's some funny stuff right there!

As a matter of fact - it's getting worse because of support issues. In our situation there was some kind of 'internal coating' (as it was described to me) on the inside of the engine that started to flake off causing disturbances in the airflow thus causing the compressor stalls. Our first engine went at 400 feet above Grand Cayman and apparently was so loud we had half the island at the airport to see what was going on by the time we got back around the pattern. We caught the second engine on an inspection before it got to that point but the guy from Dallas Airmotive told us this is/was(this happened in 2002) becoming a major problem with the airplane as they've seen many of the Lycomings with that problem. Apparently the company that applied the coating to all of the engines didn't do it quite correctly and they are long out of business.

CL
 

Gatorman

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I have bent a few wrenches on a the 600's. I can tell ya one thing, if you buy the plane, you need to buy the mechanic with it! He will know more about that airplane than anyone else in the world.

You can believe almost everything that has been posted above. I am pretty sure that I have worked on 1044, not sure about 1026, but here is the history lesson on the ol' 600's:
They were first designed by Bill Lear and the design was bought by Canadair. Canadair had made an agreement with Fed Ex in their salad years for 12 aircraft to haul cargo - hence the upward opening door. But Fed Ex decided to go with the Falcons instead.
The "Branson" tanks that were refered to earlier are called such because thay are manufactured in Branson Mo. and were later installed as a service bulletin and eventually as a part of the completion package. One tank fwd of the wing and one aft of the wing inside of the cabin.
The ALF 502 engines are a little under rated for the aircraft and it is a bit of a hassle to get good maintenance on them. It would be who of you to be on an engine maintenance program with your engines so you can some priority for the loaners.

Be very careful though, there are several 600's out there that have been operated by the Canadain military and have been de-modded for civilian use and there are issues with their log books and the maintenance involved durring that time. (oops, did I say that?)
Remember the 600 that went off the end of the runway in TEB?
Yep, that was one of them.

Well, I think I have said about enough to get me in trouble....
 

empenage

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CL600Pilot said:
hahahahahaha!!!! Now that's some funny stuff right there!

As a matter of fact - it's getting worse because of support issues. In our situation there was some kind of 'internal coating' (as it was described to me) on the inside of the engine that started to flake off causing disturbances in the airflow thus causing the compressor stalls. Our first engine went at 400 feet above Grand Cayman and apparently was so loud we had half the island at the airport to see what was going on by the time we got back around the pattern. We caught the second engine on an inspection before it got to that point but the guy from Dallas Airmotive told us this is/was(this happened in 2002) becoming a major problem with the airplane as they've seen many of the Lycomings with that problem. Apparently the company that applied the coating to all of the engines didn't do it quite correctly and they are long out of business.

CL
Thanks..Question answered. It's been a looong time since I've been in a 600. Some of the GE CF-34's on the 601's had tower shaft problems as well. I'll take a leaky RR any day. ;)
 

empenage

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Anyone have the video of the Canadian AF Challenger training crash?

That was impressive.
 

robert garland

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If you would like to talk to a captain operating one call me at 214 929 0823. They would be happy review the aircraft with you. They have an interesting opinion on the one that ran off the runway at TEB.
 

User546

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Thanks guys for all your input! What everyone is saying seems to be closely along the same lines as our 604 guys.

And why we're getting the 600 instead of a better aircraft, I think there is more political reasons to it then pulling out a "For Sale" list and picking one of there. If the maintenance and reliability turns out to be as big of an issue as everyone here says, then I can't imagine the boss will be happy long with it.

But I know the Chief has invested a lot of time, research, and energy into this, so I know he's not going into it blindly.

Well, on the bright side I guess I'll start learning a lot about troubleshooting, and inflight maintenance decisions/issues. :D
 

robert garland

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The one I was in was extremely noisy in the back. Be sure the boss checks this out on the demo flight. Sounds like a factory back there.
 

Gatorman

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robert garland said:
The one I was in was extremely noisy in the back. Be sure the boss checks this out on the demo flight. Sounds like a factory back there.
If it had the sound attinuator kit installed on the hydraulic systems, you will not have that problem.
Best way to check that - open the service doors on the aft chin farings and look to see if a little accumulator is installed. It looks like steel base ball.

Who did 1044 use to belong to?
 
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