Advice on buying plane for work

Hi. I’m a former Army helicopter pilot 15 years removed from flying. In my new job I have a nation wide team and will be doing a lot of inter state travel. I’ve got the opportunity to fly myself for work. It will greatly improve productivity and…its flying so I am ready to buy. I was going to get a Malibu but now am leaning 22T G3. I’ll be hauling myself and am just about sold on systems in Cirrus over pressurization in Malibu. I will be flying at altitude whenever needed to get over weather or for winds. Anyone out there do a lot of flying with oxygen have advice before I buy this thing? Unbiased feedback on Malibu vs Cirrus for this mission?


Personally, I’d chose a Gulfstream 450, but there is an axiom in aviation; What makes an airplane fly?

The answer is: MONEY.

As pilot of 52 years and aviation attorney I’ve flown and owned lots of different aircraft. I’ve closed deals on Piper Malibu’s (and all of the M series aircraft) as well as many Cirrus.

Both are good aircraft, but the operating overhead of the Cirrus is lower. You might want to confirm this with a service center that services both Cirrus and Piper aircraft. Pete LoBello of Advanced Aircraft in Miami is one such maintenance center.

Personally, while I could afford either, the cabin of the M-series is difficult for both entry and exit; more so in an emergency evacuation. Further, the Cirrus has the advantage of the BRS parachute system in the event of an engine failure which can and does happen.

Are you sure about that??[;)]

Based out west, we fly often with O2. I find the Mountain High 02D2 system with cannulas to be quite comfortable.

I loved my SR22 TN and now fly a Piper turbine. Pressurization makes a huge difference on a day to day basis; I didn’t mind the cannulas, but they are difficult for passengers. If you’re going to be flying solo, it becomes a matter of personal preference. But if you will be taking business colleagues, the M-Class club seating, pressurization and climate control will make them more comfortable and ready for business at the other end, in most cases (especially longer missions).

I just made a 1000 nm trip yesterday from Minneapolis to Houston in my M600 at FL280 nonstop, with major headwinds. Malibu/Mirage will do the same (at 250 or below). You are not going to want to fly an unpressurized piston above 180 very much, if at all. VERY hard on the body, even with a mask (which you need over 180).

And I am a huge Cirrus fan - absolutely LOVED the plane. If I have to step back from a turbine in retirement, I could easily wind up back in a Cirrus and would be happy. But for business, if I want to arrive refreshed and ready to go, it’s hard to beat pressurization.

If I was you, I’d be sure and spend time in both aircraft on longer legs, with a potential business passenger or two to get their feedback also. The Piper takes a little getting used to in terms of getting in and out of the front seat but I can get in an out pretty easily now - only takes a few times to get it sorted. The passenger ingress and egress is much easier than wing-walking. My 81-year old mother would not even attempt the Cirrus but she loves the Piper!

MX costs will be higher in the Malibu/Mirage than a Cirrus turbo, which will in turn be more expensive than a normally-aspirated Cirrus. BRS is fantastic, but the Pipers glide forever if you have a turbo or engine failure at altitude. Malibu will get you over more weather more comfortably and uses boots rather than TKS for ice. It really boils down to what issues you value the most in terms of the missions. And be prepared for “mission creep” - once you get a plane that can carry you over 1000 nm without stopping, your missions tend to expand to fit the plane. I found myself flying max range missions in my Cirrus and now fly max range missions in the Piper - which are longer.

Both great airplanes - no wrong answer. But spend time in both and that will help you make a decision. Good luck!

Subscribing to this thread. I am flip flopping with the same thoughts except I already have a very nice, updated squawk free G2 Cirrus I love am very happy with. Seems like every day I change my mind.

One thing today that changed my mind was an episode of Taking Off I watched. There was a very interesting gentleman on there who was talking about upset recovery and how basically none of us are prepared or trained for it. Loss of control dominates fatalities by a long shot in every single feet of aviation…way more than what we actually worry about …and what we worry about most is what someone has already mentioned here in this thread which is engine failure.

When contemplating…I was thinking about the gliding distance of Malibu/Mirage and another statistic of only 2 fatalities in regard to engine failure in a Lycoming Mirage last 30 years (I can’t prove this…read it on forum). We worry more about engine failure as we have no control of that scenario…but in reality loss of control kills us way way more often. As pilots (masters of our universe) we feel like we have control over that…we think about it happening in the pattern and we as pilots have “control” over that. But what about turbulence turning us upside down or nose down?

The video I watched today made me aware I am not prepared and have never experienced this type of training or sensation. The chute then becomes more valuable than just an engine out scenario, but rather more of an “out/escape” for possible loss of control like the fella did over Asheville mountains this summer when he got caught in a T-Storm cloud with a perfectly running engine.

Anyway, that video kind of hit home for me today. But I will likely change my mind again at some point…maybe this afternoon or tomorrow when I see some kids and a dog in the back seat above clouds on a video.

As pilots I think we are more fearful of engine failures than we are what actually kills us the most by a long shot, and I think that fear is derived from the feeling of “non control”…we don’t have control over engine failure but we believe we are all good pilots and we would not allow our airplanes to leave the safe envelope we are trained to fly in.

The interviewee…I could listen to him speak for days…I wish the interviewer just would have let him talk more.

Not to derail the OP’s concern, but do the data bear out this assertion?

I believe so. I am going to start a new thread with this information as I would be interested in hearing opinions on the subject. Sorry to the OP, but this specific scenario plays into my decision between a Malibu and Cirrus.

I have no experience with anything but a Cirrus so I can offer no comparisons. But your question about “Anyone out there do a lot of flying with oxygen”… I fly my normally aspirated FIKI SR22 for business across the US (mostly east side, but many trips across the entire country.) It’s very rare to not make a mission (single handful of times in five years – averaging 250 business flight hours per year). I pick the best altitudes of course, but when I fly above 10,000 (which is often) I use the Precise Flight boom cannula and conserver. I’m a fan. It’s comfortable and works well. (Although I have had the boom cannula stickies separate from the headset in flight and switched to a regular cannula that I carry as a backup in my flight vest.)

Plane and oxygen work fine to 17,000 at least for me. Oxygenation is good and my fatigue level is good on long flights. I fill up the Cirrus built in oxygen system about four times per year (and a 55 gallon drum of TKS once per year.)

Hope that helps.

I have a G3 Turbo with built in O2 as all Turbos will have. With MH02D2 And Boom Canulas the system works great. I’m sure pressurization is better but I love my Cirrus and CAPS is important. If you fly alone or with one passenger upfront, the O2 Setup works great and with the right setup up you forget you even have O2. Enjoy whatever you buy!

You have prompted a lot of research on my end, and I am settled on a Cirrus G5. For what I can afford and for my abilities I will be more comfortable in a Cirrus with BRS. If I do fly the family or anyone for business I am not taking them up to 25k. The feedback did bump me up from a G3 to a G5 so thanks for that…but a pressurized plane will be the next plane for me. If I could afford a turbine Malibu or turbine P210 I might be thinking differently but those are not in the cards. Really appreciate the input from everyone and hope to be joining the forum as an owner in 30 days or so.