Friday, April 04, 2008

Flew the Cirrus SR-22!!!

Despite the current crushing workload, the IFR Pilot stole away from the office for a couple of hours yesterday to visit with the Cirrus representative who was attending an open house at BKL. What I thought might be an up close and personal inspection, with perhaps a right seat trip around the pattern, turned into a full-out test flight in the left seat.

We flew N576SR, a 2006 SR-22GTS. This was the IFR Pilot's first experience with a Cirrus and with any kind of glass cockpit. There was a tremendous amount of button pushing and knob twisting to get us going (and in the air), and, truth be told, it was a bit hard to keep track of all the details. Nevertheless, after a brief orientation, we taxiied into position and held short of BKL's Runway 6R.

The Indians were playing during the day yesterday, so that meant the Stadium TFR was in effect for Jacobs Progressive Field, so touch and goes became out of the question, as were any kind of operations inside BKL's Class Delta airspace. We had to get the heck out of dodge, so we went southeast for some maneuvers, including slow flight and steep turns.

Not surprisingly, the sight picture out the front of the Cirrus is vastly different from both 78S and 2MH. I felt that we were consistently in a nose-down pitch attitude, and apparently I kept pulling back on the sidestick (which was pretty easy to operate); meanwhile, the demo pilot said we were climbing at 1500 FPM!

The maneuvers went well, and the traffic-enabled Garmin 430 was helpful in alerting us to other maneuvering traffic nearby. Much easier to spot than just based on the callout from ATC.

We then punched the GPS 27 for 1G5 into the 430 and watched as the autopilot maneuvered us onto the final approach segment. I disconnected the autopilot inside the FAF and hand flew 6SR from there. The demo pilot said I did a pretty nice job on the landing, but I think it was just OK. After taxiing to the turnaround, we did a "hot swap" of pilot and backseat passenger and the other gentlemen flew us back to BKL.

I left the DSLR at home, but remembered to grab the point-and-shoot that was given to me for my recent 40th birthday (thanks M!). So, I took some stills, and even filmed the takeoff and landing using the video function.

Takeoff Video

Landing Video

It would be great to own a Cirrus; clearly, it is a serious cross-country machine. But the finances of it are absolutely daunting (I reserve the right to amend this after I win the MegaMillions tonight!). Even assuming you could manage the 10% down payment and monthly installment payments, the insurance could be something like 400% of what we now pay. Plus, I think operating it out of the Home Base's 2350' foot runway would be a dubious proposition. That means finding a new place to house the airplane. So, I won't be buying one.

Waiting on the tarmac was a nice surprise, a DA-42. Didn't get a chance to see it in flight, but even on the ground, it has a striking ramp presence.

Finally, if the weather gods cooperate, 2MH is bound for Rick's this evening. Spring's here, it's time to get out a see some sights!!!


Perry Reed said...

I had a chance to fly an SR22 when Cirrus was giving demo flights here at KVDF and it is absolutely my dream plane! If I had all the money in the world, I would absolutely have one. That said, I don't realistically see how I could ever actually afford one.

I was really impressed at how powerful it was, especially when compared to a Skyhawk. Just a twitch of my hand on the side stick, it seemed, and we had climbed 100 feet.

I also very much enjoyed the cabin air conditioner (very nice here in Florida) and the XM radio playing quietly in the background in our headsets.

By the way, your landing video doesn't seem to be working.

IFR Pilot said...

Landing video should be working now, it took a while to come on line because of its size.

Windsor said...

I've heard a lot of good things about the SR-22. I'm jealous you got the chance to fly one. I've still never had the chance. Sounds like a pretty cool little airplane.

Mark said...

I talked to that guy on Saturday although they weren't giving rides then as they had split up and were giving info out at both BKL and LNN.

The DA42 is parked in the Premier spaces (they moved from CGF within the last six months) and they'd been talking about getting a new twin trainer, so I bet that's it. I think it's a goofy-looking plane but apparently fun to fly.

The finances of the SR22 are impossible any way you slice it. T&G is renting one now for $220/hr. wet. I'd imagine they require 10+ hours before they'd check you out in it. I think AirShares is somewhere in NE OH but they're even more expensive. The Cirrus reps were talking up the ONE YEAR ONLY! small business depreciation bump, but even so... not a cheap plane. It would be nice, though. I'm thinking maybe in a couple of years if the price of the used SR20s takes any hit at all.

Steve Lupinacci said...

The side stick was easier to fly than I expected when I took my check-out ride in a Cirrus. The only thing noticeable was a tendency to "snap" back to neutral out of a steep bank, and that was probably my technique. I fly a 28 year-old airframe and the thought of having everything new is really appealing.

Anonymous said...

No techie comment, just saying hello from a commercial airline ops in UK..waving at you!

Jordan23 said...

It seems like a fun way to spend 1.5 hours in the sky. I cannot believe I am going to sit in one soon. I will let you know how it goes.

marion said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Wilson Richards said...

I had a good time reading your blog post. I had the change to fly Cirrus SR-22 and it was a very good experience.

Flying this kind of aircraft is fun. Cirrus, for me have this sense of special navigation equipments that help pilots while taking off, while flying and during landing. Nonetheless, I was really impressed with how you handled your flight! Keep posting your flying experiences!