A great Cirrus NIGHT pirep

This early morning I took the SR22 up for a ride to watch the Leonid meteor shower. What a night!

Between 1:30 and 2:30am PST there was at least a meteor every 5 seconds, often showers of 2-4. Many of them were bolides, perhaps magnitude -4 (bright as Venus), with distinct trails that lasted several seconds.

I orbited the bird over Mariposa Yosemite Airport (O68) for the observing. At 16,500ft, throttles back to 2500rpm, and leaned for economy I was burning just 10gph while still making 163ktas. I had to hand adjust the heading bug to keep us on station. Does anyone know a StupidGarminTrick to orbit the plane?

The hard part was darking out the cabin. I pulled the breaker on the Arnav since it is too bright for night flight even dimmed down to its 5% setting. I threw covers over the Garmins (after dimming them all the way), and the main remaining sources of light pollution were the flaps light, altitude preselect display, transponder, and the red light behind the CAPS handle. The Sandel was a charm since it could be dimmed quite low and still provide all necessary navigation information. Flight and engine instruments also dim very well (although the AI dims faster than the rest and fades out first–but I was VFR anyway). I find the Cirrus cabin very bright for regular night flight, but it is really hard to get blackout conditions!

Sound was provided by Archos, with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as the featured selection.

As the man (almost) says, It was a Great Cirrus Night!

-Curt

As a hope-to-be Cirrus pilot (SR20, March 02??), a former researcher in grad school with meteorites (mesosiderites) and a music fan, your flight seems like a dream! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Alex Kulpecz, no.343 SR20a