5 People in Cirrus SR20 G6 Perspective +

I’m planning to do a trip from Los Angeles (KRAL) to Las Vegas (KHND) in a 2018 Cirrus SR20 G6 rental. I currently am taking no bags in the plane as my family will bring suitcases in the car. Currently it is 4 people in the plane and 50 gallons fuel. The weights are as follows. Pilot (Me):170lbs Front Seat Passenger: 210, Rear Seat Passenger:130 and Second Rear Seat Passenger: 170, and 50 Gal fuel. This works and is within limits. The cg is a couple inches from aft, I’m new to Cirrus and it seems they have a bit more aft cg loading when loaded compared to other. Probably why it is very fast for its class as well as flush riveting on wings.
The issue is we’re trying to take a fifth person. They would also be 130lbs. If I drop fuel carried to 30 Gal, which is still very conservative with one hour reserve, I meet the weight requirements. But the cg is 0.4 inches of the aft limits.
Has anyone safely done 5 people, 2:45hr of fuel (30gal) and no baggage safely. If so let me know how it handles.
FYI: the picture that says out of balance the seat of 260 pounds is the 60/40 seat with two 130lb people.

Ignoring the “can I be a test pilot?” In a public forum question, the 60/40 seat is going to be very snug with 3 adults for that long of a flight. I hope these are all really good friends that like each other a lot…

I wouldn’t put 5 people in a SR20. The Kathryn’s Report writes itself.

It’s just math. Plane doesn’t care if 5 small people or 3 biggies. But I wouldn’t mess with envelope…

Your profile says student pilot. How are you planning on carrying passengers?

The SR22 exists for a reason. Since you’re renting, why not rent one of those?

Taking my check ride soon, I’ve been a student pilot for the last three years. Some would say not to get ahead of myself as I haven’t passed yet, but planning events like this keep my nerves down. I definitely would not take passengers without a CFI. Cirrus is my dream plane, but can’t afford so I wanted to rent for a trip with friends and family once.

Thanks for the replies. As I said I’m new to the Cirrus, I’m going to be doing the transition program soon. Is 4 people ok with 50 gallons and no baggage. And would the center be considered more as a child seat?

50 Gallons and 4 Adults (+ a little baggage) is what I would do with my SR22 after having flown it for 600 hours (1600 h total time).

I would never do it in a 20. Even if the graph says it’s “possible” it will not fly well, climb poorly and you will have zero performance reserve. Als the takeoff run will be long and the initial climb will be lousy.

As a beginner I would restrict myself to very conservative limits.

Alright thanks, this is something I was wondering. I’ll probably drop it to 30 or 34 gallons.

Why not reduce it to 5 Gallons then? (;-))

It makes no sense - and it is dangerous - to fly with 4/5 people on board in the SR20, as a beginner anyway.

LA to LV is 200 NM direct. Let’s say your average fuel flow is 9 gph. Add the climb of the heavy airplane to that - and that you will not fly a direct route maybe - and it will be 25 gallons minimum you need. You want to have 5 gallons of reserve for such a flight?

Fly with 3 POB and as much fuel as possible. That’s the max I would do in a 20.

The MGW of the G6 SR20 is 3150 (you have 3125).

There is no way 3 adults will fit comfortably in the back seat, unless they are all under 5’ tall and under 100 lbs. (I’ve got >500 hours instructing in a G6 20)

I would not advise this trip for a newly minted PPL. I don’t care how long you’ve been a student, or how many hours you have (unless you have about 100 solo hours!). You need to gain some experience flying without an instructor in the right seat before you go loading a bunch of friends (whom I’m sure you care a lot about) in the airplane you’re piloting.

You said someone is taking all the baggage - that car should take all your friends too. You go by your self.

The Lycoming in the G620 is not authorized for LOP operations so the fuel burn will be 12gph for best economy. (Rentals are going to require the plane be flown per POH).

That’s the best advice. Or take one friend with you and top off the airplane. And only do the trip in perfect VMC weather. That’s the only way I would go with you.

You have gotten good advice. You really do not want to mess with the edges in an SR20. Stick with good, well-within-envelope experiences especially during your early piloting. I’ll only add that if you haven’t already done this, consider bringing your most experienced instructor and see how the plane handles at different weights and CGs. Even when the iPad says green, there are significant differences in how the plane performs, it’s not just of how many lbs are in it.


  1. You have gotten a lot of good advice. I personally think that you should not make this flight.

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Good luck with your Private! What kind of plane are you flying right now?

I’m currently flying a Cessna 172.

I own an SR20 G6. It’s a different animal compared to a G3 in payload. However, the fact the chart says the airplane can do it, it doesn’t mean YOU can.

The flying characteristics on the top right corner of the envelope is very different. It takes experience for you to notice what that means and how you should plan and react accordingly. I can fly there safely, but it took me hundreds of hours to do so comfortably, and even so, I wouldn’t do it under some conditions, like high density altitude (hello Vegas).

If you’re planning to fly to Las Vegas, I’m assuming you want to fly back as well. It looks like you have no idea what flying around the Las Vegas valley means. And to get to/from there, you’ll be dealing with high terrain, where performance is important.

On top of that, you have zero experience flying with passengers. You’ll be shocked by how much distraction and pressure they add to the game. I had to develop and entire cockpit discipline for myself when flying with passengers and flying with my small kids. It took me over a year to find what works and what doesn’t.

In summary, technically your flight is not even doable given the high terrain. If you need to go around there, you’re screwed.

Even if doable, it’s irresponsible. Sorry to be blunt, but you have to learn this stuff and it’s better you learn while safe on the ground.

Kudos for posting here. That demonstrates that you are concerned, as you should be, and you’re seeking advice. The advice is this forum is usually gold. Don’t take it for granted.

Great post, especially last paragraph !

I’m most likely going to fly three on board including me. The 5th was mostly just a question of interest. I’ve flown with people in the back with my instructor in the 172. I’m going to bring my friends along for the Cirrus Transition so I can learn the handling characteristics with them in it. And I redid the math, I’ll probably take 40 gallons fuel which keeps the weight down still, and also gives me a good reserve. I flown solo to Barstow-Daggett Field. Which is halfway to Henderson in a c172N. Climb rate was about 300fpm. I got cleared through the Ontario Class C final approach course, but took the path a bit more East to climb and cross the big mountains at 2000ft AGL. That was 9500FT. The only reason I considered doing with friends and family is because I have done it before solo. Before the solo I didn’t consider it. But before I go on this aforementioned trip, I’m going to go with my friends only two at a time for a local flight, so I can see how they handle in the aircraft, how I handle, and how the aircraft handles. But EVEN before that, I’m doing it with a CSIP on my Transition flights.