2004 Cirrus SR22

I am a Skylane owner. Instrument Rated/Commercial and a check ride away from my CFI. I flew a fully loaded SR22 today and was amazed how quickly the side yoke and all glass became second nature. I must admit that I was a little behind the plane because of it capable speed and not having flown glass before. That being said the following questions for you Cirrus owners.

  1. Can you get a Cirrus out of a spin or that just bull?

  2. Does an annual on a 22 really cost $4-$6k?

  3. What is the best and worst thing about a 22?

  4. Exclusive of financing, flying 125-150 hours a year what it the annual cost of owning a Cirrus? (As a note the plane I flew was loaded with everything including TKS, air, Emax, XM weather, Storm scope, Cmax, E-Taws, flight director) It’s for sale.

  5. Are there any surprises with Cirrus? I.E. mandatory inspections of systems required by Cirrus that one needs to be aware of?

  6. Any other advice would be helpful as I was very impressed.


Answers to your questions:

  1. The Cirrus is designed to be spin resistent and is not approved for spins so we do not do them, Test pilots say you can recover from a spin. The POH says pull the chute. Been told it is spin recoverable but us mortals we are not allowed to do them.

  2. Annuals have about a 25 hour basic inpsection on the SR22. My shop rate is $80/hr. so that comes to $2000. Then it is a matter of what has to be fixed. This is where you need to be engaged and know what does and does not have to fixed. Many shops want to do things you do not have to do. If you follow that advice or use a maintenance advisor, annuals fall at the far low end of that range.

  3. the best thing about an SR22 is that it is fast, comfortable and a complete glass cockpit that spoils you. The worst part is that all those gadgets weigh a lot and you have more things to break. That is where maintenance can add up sometimes.

  4. At 125-150 hours a year a ballpark $25000 is a good starting point. Fuel, insurance and tiedoan costs vary by region but that is a good median range figure.

  5. There are no Mandatory inspections. Only a few ADs that are one time fixes and no surprises.

  6. I have a ton of Cessna time. The Cirrus blows the Cessna away. In the beginning you do not realize it, but ahving the chute becomes a nice comfort feature. That one engine rarely fails but if it does you have a giant trump card to play. The Cirrus Pilot community is as close knit and knowledgeable of any around.

Good luck!!

I agree with previous answer as to performance and overall superiority over the Skylane in terms of speed - but having owned a Cessna 182 and a Maule MT-7-235, those planes have their benefits as well - simple, easy to operate and can get in and out of 2000 foot gravel strips with relative ease. Ain’t so with the Cirrus. I still keep my J-3 here in town at the local gravel/broken pavement private 2200 foot long Woodstock airport (Woodstock, CT - 64CT) but having sold the Maule and purchased my own 2004 SR22 last fall, I moved up to Southbridge, MA and it’s longer runway. I guess it always comes down to the “mission.” Are you flying less than 200 NM on many of your trips? If so, the 182 is a great plane. If not, the extra speed and comfort of the Cirrus, (plus the added safety and superior situational awareness) makes the SR22 a top five choice. And, let’s admit it guys (and ladies),nothing beats the look of a fellow pilot’s significant other staring gaga at your plane as they deplane a spam can! :slight_smile:

I own a Peterson-modified Skylane (Katmai) and have 200 hr in rented SR20/22. Can’t comment on everything you asked, but…

(2) An annual should not cost that much on a regular basis if you become sufficiently knowledgeable and engaged to know which squawks are required to be fixed for Part 91 flying and which are not. If you are too hands off, many (not all) shops will manage your aircraft’s MX to suit their own liability, financial or “we just think it’s better to do it our way” concerns. This is not unique to Cirrus: the first annual on my own Peterson skylane was $7500, at least $4000 of which was the shop’s marketing to a novice owner of a really nice airplane. I now know better. A number of COPA members have engaged professional maintenance management services through SAMM and highly recommend them. At the very least, take Mike Busch’s savvy owner seminar.

(3) The SR22 is a great plane to fly. It’s a traveling airplane for fast, comfortable, efficient cross-country flying between paved runways. As others mentioned here, if your trips are generally less than 300 nm, the SR22’s speed won’t confer too much advantage. My Katmai takes about 70 minutes to cover the same distance as an SR22 would in 60 minutes but is about the same nmpg efficiency. On a long trip or into a strong headwind it makes a difference if the time matters to you. I can’t think of any really “worst things” about a Cirrus.

(4) I agree with the $25K yearly estimate. For most ASEL, 3X-4X the cost of fuel will be about right.

(5) There are some infrequent inspection requirements for CAPS; others know better and can comment.

(6) Used SR22’s are a great value at present because a lot of them have been made and that ol’ supply-and-demand thing exerts downward price pressure.

(7) Join COPA! You’ll find the answers to any and all questions you could ask, and in my opinion (as a Cessna owner) it’s the best organization of its kind in GA, more than worth the annual fee.

Hi Hugo,

I was a really happy Skylane pilot for ages but became frustrated with two shortcomings- carb icing and the cruise speed. Two years ago I had a partial engine failure and I also just got sick of the massive surprises on my older 182 aircraft that was superbly maintained and fully equipped with 430’s etc - MPI’s costing over us$12k!!! So I did the same and went for a (flight in the SR 22 - a 2004 model. I purchased the aircraft after that flight - it was natural, solid feeling, fast but very manageable. Ensure that you do plenty of loaded touch an goes on a short field to develop your own comfort levels of various airfield limits irrespective of your experience levels. The SR 22 glide also caught me as the 182 does not have the glide capability and I overshot the target forced landing area initially.

Ok - so the real question is maintenance - at 5 years remember that a couple of things are due - magnetos, CSU unit are due- so maybe check this was done. I think hoses are also required. The sixth year MPI requires the replacement of the chute line cutters- labour is minimal but the kit cost us$ 1600 - maybe numbers are slightly out - as I live in South Africa.

The only snags I have had in 2 years are the EGT and CHT probes- every now and again they loosen at the clip connectors - giving red line read outs - usually just one probe does this and immediately refer to EGT if say CHT goes red. There is a kit that replaces the older spade type connectors.

I have thoroughly loved ownership and flying this fantastic aircraft!!! I own it on my own and it has been more economical on fuel and maintenance!

In respect of spinning - the stall is very docile and you have full aileron control in this condition with the cuffed wing. You will not easily get into a spin accidently! None of us have pushed the spin limits though and of course it is a very valid question as “chute happens” sometimes.

I still believe a 182 is a brilliant plane with a specific purpose and has a great safety record. From an older 182 to my current Cirrus- the best decision I made! My wife and kids used to get airsick in the 182 but have never felt sick in the Cirrus- better visibility, comfort and ventilation!

Trust this helps!


Thank you, everybody for your comments. They have been very helpful in the decision making process which I continue in. I figure if there is any time to upgrade the economy dictates now.

I think others have answered most of your questions, and to be honest, as an aircraft owner already, I doubt you’ll be too surprised by annual costs, etc. A lot of the horror stories you hear are from people new to airplane ownership in general - I don’t think the Cirrus is much worse than other types, but certainly the maintenance on any type of plane is a lot more involved and costly than, say, a car. There also seems to be a strange phenomenon where certain individual planes do have more than their fair share of problems. But a look at the logs prior to purchase should help detect that.

I did want to point out that the parachute involves a couple specific requirements. First, as someone already mentioned, the parachute line cutters need to be replaced after 6 years; I thought the cost was around $1900 plus minimal labor, but I think the previous poster quoted a cheaper number. Also, at the 10 year mark, the entire parachute needs to be removed and replaced (or repacked maybe?). I have not seen any firm cost for this operation, but it is expected to be significant - I thought I heard guesses of $10-$15K. And more significant for the older planes, like mine, than newer planes. Of course, the other worrisome thing, in this economy, is that really Cirrus/BRS is the sole source of any parachute work, and this system is required for continued airworthiness. Not that I have any impression that they won’t be around in a few years, but IF the worst happened, that would be one of the biggest problems.

The line cutter cost was reduced to $1000 last year and require one hour or so to replace.

There is a ton of info on the member side as to the differences between “mandatory” and recommended maintenence re magnetos, alternators, hoses etc

There is no antidote that I know of to get rid of the s… eating grin on owning a Cirrus

  1. one of my clients’ father was the test pilot that died when the spin was tested in the Cirrus. 1996

I thought the test pilot that died did so due to binding of a control surface which was then fixed in the design.


Are you referring to Robert F. Overmyer? If so, that crash involved a Cirrus VK-30, a kitplane that is not comparable to the certified SR-series aircraft in any meaningful way.


That accident involved Scott Anderson and occurred on March 23, 1999. See here.

Robert, not even close to the truth! You almost take the part of a troll…Ed

P.S. Get your facts straight on this board or you will be hung :}

An annual inspection on a Cirrus SR22 is typically flat-rated between 20 and 25 hours, with 23 being about average. The shop rate varies widely between Service Centers based predominantly on location. (For example, we see hourly rates as low as $65/hour in Texas, and as high as $120 in the San Francisco Bay area.)

Of course, the flat-rate inspection does not include repair of discrepancies, nor scheduled preventive maintenance. Cirrus recommends an extensive list of scheduled preventive maintenance, and owners that choose to comply with Cirrus recommendations wind up spending quite a lot for maintenance. However, none of these recommendations are compulsory, and owners who are sophisticated in their maintenance decision making (or who hire a professional maintenance manager like my firm SAMM) reject many of these scheduled maintenance tasks in favor of on-condition maintenance.

Our experience is that a five-year-old SR22 almost always provokes an estimate of $10,000 at annual inspection. A sophisticated owner who makes good decisions on what items to decline will bring the cost of that annual down to between $2,500 and $5,000 depending on exactly what discrepancies are uncovered during the inspection and whether the SC’s hourly shop rate is at the top or bottom of the range.

The SR22 does have certain mandatory maintenance requirements that do not apply to a CAR 3 aircraft like your Skylane. For example, the CAPS system has compulsory airworthiness limitations requiring replacement of reefing line cutters every 6 years (around $1,000 in parts plus 1-2 hours of labor), and replacement of the rocket and canopy every 10 years (~$10,000, or $1,000 per year). Additional airworthiness limitations apply to aircraft that have inflatable seatbelt airbags.

In my opinion, comparing maintenance costs of a Cirrus SR22 to that of a Skylane makes about as much sense as comparing maintenance costs of a Cessna P210 to that of a Skylane. The SR22 is a vastly more capable, more sophisticated airplane than the Skylane, so it’s only reasonable to expect that it costs more to maintain. An SR22 whose maintenance is managed optimally costs roughly the same to maintain as a Bonanza. (Very roughly!)

I’m a Skylane lover…my first airplane was a Skylane, and I still believe that the Skylane is the ideal first airplane for a new owner. I’m also a SR22 lover, but I don’t think an SR22 is a good choice for someone who is new to aircraft ownership – when you make your inevitable newbie-owner mistakes, the tuition is too high. (I do think the SR22 is a great second airplane.)