If you plan to fly a Cirrus should you train in a Cirrus?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by XSi, May 29, 2020.

  1. XSi

    XSi Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello !!! First post here. I would like to introduce my self and ask the question in the subject.

    I am in my forties, I live in the northeast and I decided now is the time to complete a dream of mine and learn to fly. After PPL, my plan is to take the family for trips around the area. Eventually, I would like to rent at different areas in the county and discover places flying.

    With the COVID-19 lockdown, and after reading recommendations in a lot of forums, I decided to spent my time studying for the written test before I start any flying lessons. Two weeks ago I took the test and passed. Medical exam is next week just to get it out of the way as well. And then, the search for the right school/club starts (actually it has already started)

    With zero flying experience and just by researching, eventually, after PPL, I will rent and fly a Cirrus. There are a few reasons why a Cirrus, but the major one is CAPS. I understand that CAPS is not the end-all in safety and I am reading about the flaws etc but it is important to me, especially when my family is onboard.

    With all that said, a few thoughts and concerns I have:

    --- With the thinking above, I am trying to decide if it is worth it to pay the extra money and learn to fly in a Cirrus (and all the technology etc that comes with it) or if I will be better off learn in a Piper and save the money. Based on some research in my area, the total cost (rent, instructor etc) for training in a Piper will end up being around $15K. Training in a Cirrus SR20 (2017 G6), in a Cirrus Certified Training Partner facility, total cost will be around $22K (in both cases the estimation is for about 60 hours. I understand it might be more or less). As a side note, I budgeted for the large amount.

    --- Mostly for safety reasons, eventually (but not right away), I will also get IFR rating.

    --- Obviously, becoming a good and safe pilot is the number one priority. I do have concerns that by learning in a Cirrus I will rely more on technology, automation etc. I am reading that learning to fly with a 6-pack will serve you better in the long run (since you don't have to rely on technology during the training) but that is debatable. It is a concern of mine though.

    --- I am hoping that by training in a Cirrus, and in a Cirrus Certified Training Partner, I will not have to do the Cirrus Transition Training and save some money there. Anyone knows if this is a correct assumption?

    --- Also, I am hoping that by training in a 215HP aircraft, I will not have to deal with High Performance training/endorsement/rating etc and save some money there as well.

    --- Finally, maybe stupid thought is, after PPL, if I rent a faster airplane (more expensive to rent) and I get to my destination faster, I will end up spending a similar amount of money with renting a slower airplane (less expensive) and getting to my destination later. If not similar, the difference will not be that much. Probably I am wrong on this but it is a thought.

    In any case, these are my thoughts as I am starting my journey.

    PilotsOfAmerica forum has been a tremendous resource during my research. So... Thank you all !!!
     
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  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes. Train in what you are going to fly. Have fun and good luck!
     
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  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Cirrus are nice aircraft. Just not many made available for primary training.
     
  4. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    you can't now know how your training will go. you may succeed, you may fail. you may get ill or maybe, like myself, a personal or family emergency will cause an interruption in your training. you may have an epiphany and conclude the Cirrus is not what you really need or want. have you passed your physical? do you have any medical issues that could either result in a denial or deferral. me? i'd first pass the physical, complete my ground school and training, pass the checkride and then buy your plane. good luck.
     
  5. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    If an SR20 is easily available for you to rent, then it would be a fine choice as a primary trainer. It’s used as a primary trainer for cadets at the USAF Academy.

    For IFR training, that’s especially when you want to train in what you’ll fly later, as IFR is when you truly must master the avionics that are unique to a plane. (That’s less important for the private certification.)

    If the school has only one or two, I would ask specifically how heavily booked it is. If you’ve got limited time, it would slow your progress if you cannot do a solo or lesson at the time that works for you. Actually that applies to whatever you train in, but maybe especially for a Cirrus, if there aren’t many.
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Train in what you plan to fly. The cirrus is a very nice airplane.
     
  7. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It seems like the choice would lean heavily towards starting out in the Cirrus, but IMHO, there are lots of factors to weigh.
    Money-wise, you've figured a $7K differential. So, say you go the Piper route (for lack of a better term), get your PPL, then want to move to the Cirrus. It depends how much transition time might be required. I don't know what the certified Cirrus course costs, but it would surely be a chunk of that $7K. I can only guess that Cirrus "certification" would come automatically if you did all your training with the Cirrus. For sure, the high performance endorsement would be a default part of that training, it would also come bundled automatically with the transition course, too (assuming the 215hp IO-390). The Cirrus operation may have minimum dual hours required for transition renters (insurance driven). You should query the Cirrus outfit to get the full details, that way you can compare apples-to-apples, so to speak.
    Let's say you get your PPL in the Piper, then wish to move to the Cirrus as you begin instrument training. Personally, I don't like that sequence, it would take you many simple transition hours just to get used to the new model, before you could really delve into the "meat" of instrument training, much better to have hours of basic stick time and a good level of comfort in whatever model prior to instrument training.
    Other factors, as mentioned, scheduling issues, drive-time to the airport, instructor quality, etc. all come into the mix. Or, maybe the Cirrus facility is a club-type structure, with an initial membership buy-in of some sort, then you'd probably be best to start there at the beginning.
    Just another point, you mentioned possibly renting to fly at other locations around the country. There really aren't that many Cirrus places, except maybe major metro areas, you're more likely to find Pipers or 172s. Whatever, almost any FBO will require a bare minimum 1-hour checkout with their instructor, no matter what's in your logbook. There used to be a company that tried to have a nationwide fleet of Cirri, and once approved, "carded" members could rent wherever, but I believe they folded years ago.
    Good luck, have fun, whatever path you choose. (And, let us know how it goes!)
     
  8. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    I don’t think it matters much. If you train in a 20 the transition to a 22 would be easier, I guess, but that’s hardly worth paying a large delta in hourly rental rates for all of your training. Also I will offer anecdotal evidence that flight schools with sr20’s in the training fleet have generally higher prices for everything on the menu.

    just look around at the options where you live and find the school and instructor you like. Having a good instructor is way more important that what airplane you fly.
     
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  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Take a couple lessons in a Cirrus, a couple in a Piper, and a couple in a Cessna. After a couple hours of instruction in each pick what's comfortable.

    When you're done with your PPL the "plane you're gonna fly" might not be the one you thought it was when you started. Somehow I don't have a Turbo Arrow in my hangar, rented a few, co-owned a Cardinal and a Cherokee Six, and now I have a plane some guy built in his garage. Whodathunktit?
     
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  10. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Train in the plane you’ll be flying in: ASEL
     
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  11. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah he may like a Bonanza better! :stirpot:
     
  12. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Piper trainers, Cessna 150s and 172s, diamond da 20, all fly slower, which is a good choice for a beginner pilot in my opinion. I fly a Cirrus, rental, sr 22 now, but over 150 hours in the 20 too and I love them. But things happen faster, you come over the fence at 80 knots versus 60 or 65 for most trainers. You fly maneuvers at 120 knots, which is faster than many trainers fly. Trainers give you better seat of the pants indications things are getting squirrelly than the Cirrus, in my opinion, another good thing for a student. I've also noticed some instructors are nervous having students (and experienced pilots) stall in a Cirrus (not the guy I use presently). The recommended recovery from a spin in the Cirrus is the chute, which effectively totals the airplane. I wonder if this is in the back of those instructors heads as students do occasionally induce spins.

    I learned in trainers, I came back from years off as a rusty pilot in 172s, best decision I made as a 20 was also available but much more expensive. My goal was to fly Cirrus, but I got comfortable flying again in the 172 and when I felt ready I transitioned into the 20, which was a piece of cake.

    I've observed a few students stop training in 20s, just something I noticed, not sure if it was the 20 or the student, but when I was training in and flying the 172s all the students I knew went on to get their licenses.

    If budget is of any concern, I would fly cheap to start, 60 hours is a good goal, but many people take longer.

    That's my opinion, I know many pilots have successfully trained in Cirrus, 20s and 22s for a while now, but I do think there are good reasons to fly a slower aircraft while learning.
     
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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Train in a variety of aircraft to broaden your skill set.

    Do your pre-solo work in an old taildragger that suffers from a boatload of adverse yaw so you learn what the footrests are actually used for.
    Switch to something with fancy glass to finish up so you learn about that stuff too.
    Fly out of both big towered airports and little grass strips.

    But don't listen to me. I don't even have a medical, much less a CFII rating.
     
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  14. XSi

    XSi Filing Flight Plan

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    Great advices and prospectives.


    Yes, this is I think the best advice I got from reading all the forums and watching all the videos. As I wrote, I already passed the written exam and I have my medical exam scheduled for next week. Then, I will make a decision on a flight school.


    The Cirrus Certified Training Partner school I am looking at my area, that is all they have. Just Cirrus. I am not sure how many though. I need to get more info from them after I pass my medical exam.


    Great 2 points I think. If I see that there are not many Cirrus available for training, or that they are so heavily booked, I should look somewhere else (different school or different plane to learn).


    Good point. Didn't think of that. I thought that by getting the "Cirrus Certification", that would be the ticket to rent Cirrus anywhere a Cirrus Certified Partner is located. I have to get more info on this.


    Another great point. Though I am not sure how you can "try" different instructors and find a good match. Also, based on my research it is not easy to find reviews on CFIs. Maybe I wasn't looking at the right place


    Is it that simple switching in the middle of training? No idea how this works.
     
  15. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Some schools have a very formal syllabus that you need to follow. Others are more flexible.
    It's your money, do whatever you want. Do you need to rush through and get the magic certificate with the minimum possible hours, or do you want to enjoy the ride?
    Switch airplanes, switch instructors, switch schools, your call.
     
  16. Matt James

    Matt James Filing Flight Plan

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    Definitely train in what you’re going to fly, although don’t rely on the autopilot too much before you master the control of the airplane. I’ve heard of and have seen too many student pilots, in SR-20’s using the autopilot before even soloing. Autopilot Is obviously a great tool, but not before the fundamentals.
     
  17. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I'm curious about their rates for rental and instructors.... which airport and school?
     
  18. Adventure Aviator

    Adventure Aviator Pre-Flight

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    The Cirrus is a nice platform, and I have about 60 hours in them. However I did my PPL in a 172. Transition training to Cirrus was like 8 hours. But everything happens so much faster in an SR series .

    It would be cheaper and probably a bit less stressful (due to speed) to train in a 172. Then do the transition training.
     
  19. XSi

    XSi Filing Flight Plan

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    $299 SR20, $399 SR22. PMed school and airport (not sure if I am allowed to post those)
     
  20. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    It's really easy. Take a lesson or two or three with one CFI. Then, say something like "I'd like to try flying with <some other CFI> next week", and just book it and go. This is a totally cool thing; don't worry about ruffling feathers or anything like that. CFI's are not possessive about "owning" students, at least, the good ones are not. Finding the right match is a very individual thing, because all of them (and all students!) are different. CFI's understand this too, and a professional one may even encourage you to shop around. It's like dating; you'll learn more from one hour in the cockpit with a person than any amount of online research, and when there's a good vibe, you'll just know. ;)

    Same goes for airplanes. Which one you "like best" is an individual thing, and the only way to know is to try one or two or three.

    Best of luck, and keep us all updated!
     
  21. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like where I rent from in Massachusetts, great operation if I'm right.
     
  22. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like KBED
     
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  23. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    I paid for introductory lessons with several instructors until I found the one I liked. I don’t think reviews would be reliable. The best instructor I ever met might just be a real turd for you. I was a naive 16 year old kid but I sure didn’t mind taking the time to find the right instructor. Good luck in your journey. My advice is to own your training.
     
  24. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    I fly an SR22, and for sure there’s no reason to prefer it over the cheaper SR20 for training. They have the same airframe and avionics, and same chute, for the same year. The bigger engine in the 22 mainly gives faster climb and cruise that are of little value except for long cross country flying.

    For training, the 22’s engine offers no advantage and actually a disadvantage because of a greater P-factor that is a menace to novices in a go-around. Novices and rusty pilots have actually died that way, in a loss of control at zero altitude.
     
  25. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I very much liked just owning my own plane for training. No hassles with the schedule. And a lot of freedom to fly when you like once post-solo.

    I also tend to think that learning to fly taildraggers or gliders first provides very good training in the fundamentals of flying and use of the rudder.

    These planes are much cheaper to purchase than a Cirrus to start with as well.
     
  26. XSi

    XSi Filing Flight Plan

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    Great advices from a lot of people. Thanks!

    I would like to provide an update on the progress. Yesterday I had my very first flight with the Cirrus (SR20). It was kind of an introductory/first lesson type of thing. My very first flight on a small airplane. Some observations:

    --- I enjoyed the process a lot. That is, driving to the airport (25 min drive), some minor ground school, then preflight (for some reason that was my favorite part...crazy), flying and coming back, tie the plane and do a quick debriefing and then give my credit card for payment (didn't enjoy that last part too much :) )

    --- It was surprising to find out how well I fit in the Cirrus. I am 6ft 2in, 210lbs. My height comes mostly from my legs so I was a bit worried. But that wasn't an issue at all. Also, I had no issues with the headset hitting the ceiling (they provided BOSE A20s)

    --- The instructor I was assigned to had me do a lot of things including taxing and takeoff (he was handling the pedals and I had the throttle and side-stick). Then climbed to about 4000 ft, tried to do some straight and level flight, tried to find my "picture" of the horizon, some turns, some descents, and then back to airport. I managed to get him close to final and then he took over. I think we were about 35 mins in the air.


    --- I cannot say I enjoyed the flight itself that much. I think this is due to 2 reasons 1) I was super stressed (so by definition I couldn't enjoy it). From the moment we lined up, till the moment I gave up the controls for landing, I was holding the stick so hard that I feel I need a massage to relax the muscles today. I mean... what was I thinking?. Due to the stress I was sweating like crazy (even though AC was on) so that part was very uncomfortable too 2) I got a little bit motion sick. Normally I don't have issues but I think the problem here was that I was focusing too much on the PFD trying to perform level flight. I need to learn to judge the attitude of the plane by looking outside instead of the instruments that much. I believe this will come with time (I hope).

    With that flight now in the bag, I will follow some of the advice here and try a similar introductory flight with a Piper (at a different school). My goal has not changed; my goal is to end up in a Cirrus. I think that first flight reenforced my thinking of that. I didn't feel any fear on this flight but just knowing that CAPS is there (with all its flaws etc), at least for me, was reassuring. With that in mind, I will try a Piper (low wing), and see how it feels. If I end up training in the Piper, I am hoping the transition to the Cirrus will be easier.

    Thanks for all the great advice. I will keep updating this thread
     
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  27. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    LOL, great job. I still remember my first flight, 30 years ago, similar experience to yours.

    Remember, initially it takes all your primary focus to do what turn out to be simple things once you learn. Part of the process, it's not always that hard it gets easier. Don't be afraid to ask the instructor to take the controls if you need a few minutes rest while flying.

    Two fingers is all you should need on the stick, if it requires more, you are not doing it right. That doesn't mean you always fly with two fingers, it just means to relax. Cirrus are touchy to trim. Unless it is seriously out of trim short jabs on the trim hat is all it takes to get it adjusted. You should be able to let go of the stick and not have any major deviations in flight path if you are correctly trimmed.

    Don't get discouraged, it takes perseverance to become a pilot.
     
  28. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    Where are you located? What are the Piper prices?
     
  29. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    Do what feels comfortable and is within your budget. We all have our own preferences and things we gravitate towards in life. I started teaching my sixteen year old daughter to fly in a J-3 Cub because I wanted the fundamentals to be emphasized early in her training, but we've already switched to a Cessna 172.

    I've done checkrides for schools which start their students in glass panel airplanes right from the get-go. And schools which teach in the Cirrus at the private pilot level as well. Recently I conducted a private pilot practical test for a gentleman whose total sum flight experience included only the Cirrus SR-22T. He had never flown a different airplane. That fit his needs and wishes (and financial capabilities) so that's what he did, and that's fine... the airman certification process is designed to make sure applicants meet the standards regardless of these differences.

    He was very good at flying the airplane at 120 knots max so he could keep up with what what was going on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  30. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats on taking up flying. I know it can be overwhelming during the first couple of lessons, but that's why you are up there with a instructor. Find an instructor who can put you at ease, has a teaching style that works for you and train in whatever plane he has access to. You can solo in a Piper and transition to the SR20 before or after the checkride.
     
  31. dwalt

    dwalt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As someone who trained in 172s and PA28s, then purchased a Grumman Tiger, and now owns an SR22, I’d say that I was at a major advantage not doing my initial training in the Cirrus. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible machine and has amazing technology for making flying easier, safer, and more automated, but, for me, I’m happy that I have these tools after I learned to fly.

    For one, there is so much information available that it makes it easy to focus on the PFD & MFD instead of looking outside. Great for IFR flying, but when getting your PPL, I think it’d take away from the value of learning how airplanes fly and react by looking and feeling as opposed to interpreting data. Additionally, the basics of navigation are also oversimplified, which would make it easy to not fully gain a true understanding of how VORs and other navigational aids work.

    One caveat: most of this would be the case with any G1000 aircraft, so it’s not really specific to Cirrus. Another consideration, which may not be a factor for you, but it will also be a lot cheaper in a “traditional” trainer.

    Overall, they are very capable airplanes that are easy to fly and make great IFR machines. My advice would be to do your PPL in a traditional trainer and then transition to the Cirrus for your IFR and beyond.
     
  32. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    I remember my "Introductory Flight" 50 years ago. It was in a new Cessna 150 at the local Cessna dealer/Flight Center and the intro cost me $5. It was exhilarating and not stressful in any way (I was 17 at the time though...my appreciation for my own mortality was different then).

    My thoughts, given the level of stress you felt....the SR20 is too much airplane for you at this stage. Things happen so much faster and there is so much process to manage that it will detract from actually learning to fly. From your description, it will take you many hours into the training to get to the point where you are going to be able to keep up with that fast and unforgiving airplane. You can probably do it, but I think it will clearly be faster, more efficient, less stressful, cheaper, and much more enjoyable for you for you to start with an airplane that is easier to manage and where things don't happen as fast. IOW, you will be far better off learning to fly the Cirrus after you've learned to fly. You will be able to focus on mastering the airplane rather than focusing on learning to fly AND mastering the airplane with enough experience to handle its quirks.

    Flight instruction always has a component of stress, but each lesson should make you look forward to the next. It sounds very much like you're going to dread flying that airplane, at least for awhile and my fear would be that it will in turn make you dread flying. Your plan to head to try out a Piper or Cessna is excellent, and I predict a much better experience. You start becoming a pilot when you get to the point where you can stay ahead of the airplane. The point in your training where that happens is a transformative experience. IMHO, that's a lot easier at 75 knots in the pattern. You have time to actually listen and process what the instructor is teaching you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  33. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is a very strong argument for training in what you will be flying in.

    My only 2 concerns would be:
    1) What is $15k vs $22k paying for? If they are quoting 40 hours to PPL, keep in mind that the average hours for PPL takes 60-70 flight hours. Make sure you budget for the whole thing, and keep in mind that training more often will likely allow you to do it in fewer hours.

    2) Can you rent with an SR20 with just a PPL? Some of the Cirrus Rentals I have looked at want 100 hours before they will allow solo rental in a Cirrus. Call around to the places you plan to rent from and ask.
     
  34. XSi

    XSi Filing Flight Plan

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    XSi
    Thank you! Good to know there are success stories out there


    Yes. During my research on the subject a lot of people suggesting to start Piper/Cessna 6-pack and then switch to glass (in my case SR20) around half way. It is an option for sure


    I don't have experience, so I am not sure, but my feeling is that I would have similar stress no matter the airplane I was in. Stress came from the fact I was asked to do things from the beginning (I don't think this is a bad thing) and, although my instructor described exactly what I would do (during preflight), for some reason I felt I wasn't ready. Stress came from the unknown. Rotation speed is reached and now I have to pull the stick. How heavy is it? How far back do you pull? How sensitive is it? Do you pull and stay there? Or you pull back and forth? You start thinking it is a $800K plane (really, that thought crossed my mind right there). So I think I would probably feel the same trying to fly a Balloon. But not sure either.

    Again, no experience on this but the plane didn't feel fast. I didn't feel I was "behind" (although a) I am not exactly what that feels like and b) I wasn't doing anything special; no navigation, no ATC... just climbs, descents and turns). To be honest it felt a little bit slow. The instructor had me manage the speed I think around 100-110 (about 75%). There wasn't any moment it felt fast. Even when he did the landing, it felt slow. With all that said, I am sure it is different just watching vs doing all those things yourself. We will see. Still getting the feel of it and as I said I am trying the Piper next.


    1) 60 hours budgeted for both. Although I can see now with the Cirrus (vs a 6-pack), just for learning the equipment etc might take me north of 60. Budget for the whole thing is one of the great advices I got early in this journey.

    2) Yes, you can get your PPL in a Cirrus. Especially if the facility is Cirrus Certified Partner. It is one of the Cirrus program they advertise... EDIT: I am just reading your second Q better. They told me if I get the PPL with them, that qualifies for the Cirrus Transition Course as well and I can start renting directly from them the next day (after I get insurance). Obviously this would be different if I go to rent from a different place. I think.
     
  35. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Welcome!

    The answer is "yes"

    If you learn in a 172 or PA28 you'll spend several hours relearning a bunch of stuff to transition to the Cirrus. The Cirrus will not forgive someone for dragging it in on final at 60 knots and will not enjoy flying downwind legs at 75 knots like so many 172/PA28 people do

    They're also not that daunting..
     
  36. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Timothy
    @XSi

    I got my PPL in an SR20. A few points, in no specific order.
    1. PFD vs six pack. The question which is better has likely more to do with age and social environment. When I was working on my IR, two fellow pilots were switching to Cirrus; both my age (late forties now, 30s then). Among the three of us; I bounced between analog and digital and did not have much trouble with either. I am slightly faster with the "tapes" on a PFD vs the dials to notice trends though. One guy had an analog watch, never owned a computer, he lived in a world with lots of dials. He had massive trouble switching to the PFD. The other guy grew up in digital world, could not even read an analog clock! He had no issue with the PFD, and spent hours pontificating on how the six pack is torture and is therefore unconstitutional. :)
    2. Cirrus has an Embark program. I do not know the details, but if you buy a new or used Cirrus, you get training in the Cirrus with the instructor paid by Cirrus.
    3. Use the SR20 for training, no need to pay the extra carry cost of the SR22. It is cheaper. In terms of SR20 vs SR22 to won. I have had both. On a per mile basis, the 20 is cheaper. The 22 is faster, and you pay more mile for the speed. Worth it to me, hence why I am now in an SR22 partnership.
    4. You do not need a "Cirrus" center; but do find a CSIP. Cirrus is a travel plane, and you need to focus on energy management much more so than many other trainers.
    5. I like instructors that give hints which help focus. For example, to fly straight and level, find a smudge on the windshield near the horizon, then keep the smudge on the horizon. This helps keep the eyes outside the cabin.
    6. Depending on you purchase budget, you will either be an in Avidyne or Garmin system. From a PPL perspective, there is basically no difference from a Garmin avionics installed in 2005 vs 2020. The newer the plane, there are a few additional options such as envelope protection, nicer quality A/C, better fit/finish... But pretty much nothing that changes how you fly (they just make it more comfortable). The real differences in SR22 from 2005 to 2020 are

    Tim
     
  37. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    60 knots on final in a Cirrus, that gives me the hee bee jee bees just thinking about it.
     
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  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Yeah.. I get that the Cirrus is not the ideal trainer, but if the OP plans to fly one ultimately it makes sense I think to start in Cirrus
     
  39. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, there are lot of people who do so, why not.
     
  40. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    I've read everything contained in this thread. I'm a former CSIP, long time flight instructor, and nowadays I give checkrides in all of these airplanes and see pilots at all levels of the airman certification arc. I feel like I'm able to contribute some additional thoughts here which are germane and may be somewhat illustrative.

    The main argument "against" flying an SR-20 or SR-22 in training is that all of the performance advantages, as well as the advanced avionics package, are actually a hindrance to training at the private pilot level.

    The biggest challenge I've seen is the latter first, the former second. It's mighty hard to draw a new pilot's gaze away from a huge PFD and MFD with infinite levels of pages and customization. We've all heard 90% outside, 10% inside, in terms of where the pilot's attention should be focused. That remains as true as ever, and in my view 90% is a "bare minimum" in terms of attention focus. It is extremely important to develop this mindset right from the start in private pilot training, which is why I started my daughter in a J-3. There are only a few instruments inside to look at, no attitude indicator, no radios. It's the purest form of primary training I can put together for my little girl.

    If I were to take a pilot from scratch and train him or her in the SR-20 or SR-22, I'd pull the moving map displays away and make a "simple" version of available MFD views to the pilot, probably leaving it on the engine page most of the time. It's the only way I know of to develop the SA needed to be a safe private pilot. Building a mental "satellite view" of where he or she is, finding points on the ground and correlating them with the sectional, making mental calculations of fuel needed to reach the destination based on time and ground speed... among other things. This is absolutely critical to do in the early going. There are a lot of great SA-enhancing features in a modern Cirrus, but they're designed to augment the fundamental skillset described above. Without that foundation they're a net negative rather than a net positive. It starts the pilot off leaning on a crutch which they're never really able to do without from that point on. (Or, it's significant time and money investment to 'train it out of them' later on.)

    The other issue is performance, particularly the SR-22, but the SR-20 is no slouch, either. A beginning pilot can barely keep up with a Cub, C-152 or C-172, much less a high performance composite traveling machine. As a result the pilot is generally trained to use low power settings to keep the sequence of events unfolding at manageable speed. These airplanes do okay at 120 knots cruise speed, but they weren't really designed for it. And you can only go so slow in the traffic pattern, particularly in the SR-22. The final approach speed is significantly higher than a C-172 or Piper trainer. And Task XI.B., Emergency Approach and Landing (Simulated), is more challenging due to the high sink rate of the SR-22. Of course a student pilot can learn how to manage this, but it's significantly more challenging for a low-time pilot to put the Cirrus on a specific point on the ground vs. the prototypical trainer.

    The last issue has to do with the fact that, after all of this training has been accomplished, at some point the pilot will need to be taught "the rest of the airplane" in terms of performance and avionics. That's additional training time and money which will need to be spent after the certificate is earned to truly operate safely. I think going with the Cirrus will generally, but not "always" result in a longer training path in both calendar months and flight hours, with far greater dollars expended.

    All of these points suggest that my view would be to take the traditional route in flight training. And all things being equal, that is my view. You're choosing a more "difficult" path starting in the Cirrus. But... I'm also a realist.

    Some people just don't want to jump into the local flight school's beater 172 or Warrior and learn to fly. The airplane itself can be a turn-off. I get it -- I've certainly flown in more old "ratty" single engine airplanes than most GA pilots in the last 30 years of my life. I'd much rather hop into an air-conditioned SR-22 in the middle of summer than a 1970s era Cessna or Piper trainer. So from that perspective, I look at the airplane itself as an on/off discriminator for new pilots to join the fold. If the Cirrus draws someone in and it makes for what they feel is a satisfactory training experience for the private pilot certificate, then I say go for it. The onus is now on the school/flight instructor's shoulders to account for the issues mentioned above, not to mention some others, in the process of building a safe, conservatively-minded pilot who meets the ACS for the certificate/rating they seek.

    And most importantly, the student pilot must understand and accept what they're signing up for. A possibly significant increase in time and money spent, with more training required after the rating to fully be able to appreciate all the Cirrus has to offer. Personally, if it was my call, I'd just go with the simple low speed trainer option and then transition into the Cirrus afterwards. It would be easier, less stressful, and more intuitive to learn the Cirrus after learning the fundamentals of flying an airplane. But if it's the difference between going forward with training or not, then proceed as you like understanding what lies ahead.

    Hope this helps! And I'm not criticizing or casting aspersions on any possible choice one makes on this subject. This is simply my experience and observations talking.
     
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