Cessna Citations To Fly Special Olympians

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It's the largest peacetime airlift in the world, according to Cessna. Coming up July 1, 400 Citation jets from around the country will fly into the Des Moines International Airport, carrying athletes and coaches to the 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games. A Citation will land or take off every 60 to 90 seconds during a 12-hour period. "All the work leads up to that moment when a Citation door opens and an athlete steps out smiling from ear to ear," said Jack Pelton, Cessna CEO. The fleet will return on July 8 to carry the Olympians home. The first Citation Special Olympics Airlift took place in 1987 with about 130 jets. Similar airlifts took place for the games in 1991, 1995, and 1999, but this year's is the biggest. Corporations and individual Citation owners and operators donate the aircraft, pilots and fuel for the event.