Cirrus SR20 for New Pilot Flight Training

I’ve been doing research on getting my PPL in Colorado and it has been suggested that I consider doing my entire PPL training in a Cirrus SR20. There are different perspectives on this issue as I am aware - however one article i read indicated that your Time in Type is considered one of the most important aspects for insurance purposes, etc. If I started with Cessna 172 then there would be transition training to learn the cirrus… I do believe that loading a plane up with a bunch of electronics does not make you a better pilot, at the same time some of the technological things (Emax, traffic monitoring, etc.) should add to your situational awareness and make you a safer pilot in the air…

I do think that for Colorado flying having a high performance plane keeps you possibly out of dangerous situations, it probably also gets you in to them easier thinking you can easily “power out”… I was in Leadville 3 weeks ago and it was snowing if you can believe that.

Comments, suggestions, etc. are always appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

having zero time in a Cirrus myself im not so sure, i know that when i was learning in a cherokee i would have loved to fly something as cool as a cirrus, however at the student level i couldnt quite afford many hours in a cirrus. so theres pros and cons so it. are you planning on buying and flying redularly in the Cirrus? Can you afford the 60 to 100 hours of instruction in the cirrus to get your Private? so there is a lot to be considered. since i am a traditionalist id say start in the 152/172 and maybe do some in the cirrus. the power is always nice to have especially in a higher altitude location, and in the summer on top of that.

Id honestly like to hear what some CFIs have to say about this matter

As a CFI I don’t agree with it. IMO it’s like learning to drive in a high performance sports car vs an old beater. I don’t have any Cirrus time yet, but from other CFI’s and pilot’s I work with, they say that it’s a very slippery airplane. The basics IMO should be learned in something like a 150\172\PA28. Learn how to fly, and then move onto bigger and better airplanes. The learning curve won’t be as big or as difficult after you get a private in a 172, and make a move to the Cirrus. It will be a totally different airplane equipment and power wise, but all airplanes fly the same way, so you won’t be learning how to control the basics of flight, in a 200kt airplane.

You will be a better pilot by flying as many different aircraft with different characteristics as possible. With that said.

The SR20 is not a 200 kt airplane,not by a long shot. I have flown the 20 before and owned a share in a 22 while times were better. . If you had a competent instructor who would keep you out of trouble you could gain your PPL in the SR20 in a bit longer time than a C172. Remember you are learning basic manuevers and how to land and navigate all VFR. If you want more time in type then go for it. The insurance requirements are a another ball of wax, especially Cirrus aircraft.

Previous thoughts posted to consider … 5400#25400

Do you want to re-think that statement?

noutlaw…learn in what you want to learn in… The basics that you’ll learn to meet the PTS to become a private pilot are the same regardless of the type of airplane that you learn them in. It’s not as if a SR20 is some significant performance leap over a 172. As far as the SR20 being a TAA…so are a lot of newer 172’s that can be found at flight schools. And learning how to work with a TAA right out of the box is not a bad thing. But as was mentioned, the primary focus will be learning basic aerodynamics and aircraft control. You will accomplish this in an SR20 the same as in anything else.

Now even though the sr20 is not a huge performance increase over say a 152, at the pre private level 30 kt cruise increase is huge. think of the first time you jumped from a 152 to say an arrow or its equal, adding even 20 kts of cruise speed can make you get behind the airplane rather quick. things are going by 30 percent faster than youre used to. i remember what its like and its frustrating. in the learning stage used the tried and true method and go with the traditional trainers. And plus, you cant do spins in a cirrus :smiley:

Yes the SR20 is faster… But that doesn’t mean that one needs to, or should, go that fast until a level of competence is achieved. The airplane will fly just fine at 172 speeds, and a good instructor will introduce performance as the student demonstrates ability.

You can… You just may not like the outcome… :open_mouth:

Not to be rude, but that’d be like saying buy a .22 as your first gun because it won’t hurt as bad when you shoot yourself.

Instructor competency, and ability, would be the one of the biggest determining factors in student achievement.

on that note, a wise man once said “the piper cub is the safest airplane in the world, because it can just BARELY kill you”

If you’ve ever gotten low and slow and uncoordinated in a J-3 you’d know that statement is underrated. you can spin a J-3 WAY easier then a 152.

Plus real men fly taildragges. Learn to fly in a J-3 with no GPS or NAV equipment other then a whiskey compass. I’m a super good stick and contribute it all to learning in a J-3.

I tried to follow your example, but real men need more than ~65HP to fly!

Way back around the middle of the last century when I started my lessons in earnest at around 14 I was already 6’4" and weighed 200 pounds. As this was near to twice what the average CAP cadet weighed our war surplus L-4s were huffing and puffing to get me and one of our instructors into the air. A meeting of the minds soon decided that the best course of action was to make one of the Wing’s PT-17s available for my use during training. I recall that I was young enough and ignorant enough at the time that I was initially disappointed to have to fly an “old” biplane rather than a “modern” monoplane like all my friends. That disappointment didn’t survive the first flight!

Well then…I guess that I’m in the club, as I started my flight training in a '47 Aeronca Champ. 8)

Let me ask you, don’t know if you have a kid, but would you put your 16 year old in a 2009 ''vette and let him loose on your closest interstate after driving course training? Most people I know will select the cheapest car possible. I see no difference in airplanes myself.

Comparing guns and airplanes I can’t even comprehend myself…

Like you said, it starts with instruction but there is a lot more to be retained on flying a Cirrus with all it’s bells and whistles then your local schools clapped out 152. I see a lot more error prone possibilities with a Cirrus from distraction of programming a PFD or MFD then tuning one simple radio when trying to fine tune your newly minted privilege of flying a plane…

We can’t forget the human nature part of learning and going 180 knots in a slippery plane just leaves that much less room for error.

JMHO of course :wink:

Did my seaplane training in the champ

It was enough of a challenge to get that thing to haul two and gas off of the runway…then add the weight of floats?.. :open_mouth:

My most memorable time in that airplane was slow flight into a stiff wind and having a negative GS. 8) Well maybe not the most memorable…but that’s not to be discussed here. :laughing:

Use to do the backwards flight in a J-3 at Evergreen airport in Vancouver WA. You’d get that strong east wind in the winter, Take off in 10R, Land on 10R without making a turn.

BTDT :wink: It makes for a fun way to conduct “pattern” work, huh?..

I see no problem with the handling or power of an SR20 with regards to its use as a primary trainer. I think a slippery aircraft makes for a great training program, as dirty airplanes let you make up for mistakes that shouldn’t have happened (A 172N with 40 flap lets you get away with murder, whereas a DA20/SR20 will make you go-around, as you should).

The issue, however, is with the avionics. I think it’s still better to learn the fundamentals with a 6 pack and transition to glass later on. The reason for this is that you could spend WAY too much time with eyes in the cockpit, workin’ the avionics and following the pretty magenta line instead of flying with eyes out the window, looking for that next lake, river, hill, or more importantly, traffic.

For that reason, I would start with a traditional training airplane with traditional avionics, then move up at a later date. A few CFI’s I know feel the same way and think it’s “too much” to dump a primary student into a TAA.

Bingo! A hamfisted student needs that extra margin of permissible (for lack of a better term) error.

Save the Cirrus for after the basics of learning how to fly and when the students proficiency improves to where margin of error can be narrowed then move 'em up to bigger and better.

Students (like myself in 2000) just don’t have the fine motor skills needed when things happen much faster in airspeed just as I wouldn’t have the fine motor skills needed doing laps in a Nascar track (even now!)