Annual inspection cost

i don’t know why some of you are finding the inspection costs so high. I’ve had a second annual done on my 2013 G5 NA22 and it was $1700. The only repairs or actual fixing was fuel lines through the tks and chasing Pstatic fixes through warranty.

What Cirrus Service Center are you using?

I go to Quality Aviation in Faribault, MN. KFBL. Jerry runs the place there. Great person to work with.

That is so far below normal for that complexity of the plane that I would be very wary. You might discover quite a bit when you try to sell it.

I’ve used Quality Aviation for my Piper Arrow and now my Cirrus for the last 12 years as my primary maintenance shop and will attest to their thoroughness and quality. They were one of the first Cirrus Service Centers and there is always one or two of them their shop for annuals so they know what to look out for. In all the time I’ve owned my Cirrus I’ve never been AOG with the exception of a mag that failed in flight, and that mag had been sent out for IRAN less than 200 hours before to one of the recommended shops. They have a great relationship with Cirrus and never hesitate to check with them if there are any problems they haven’t seen before. As a part 91, they will do what is required and make recommendations, but they will leave the final decision to pilot/owner for anything that is optional. (I have no financial interest in the shop, just a very happy and satisfied customer!)

I think I just found an honest businessman who wants to keep my business. As far as complexity, it is less than the RG Skylane I have and will be selling this spring since the Cirrus gets all my personal flying now.

Maybe you have something there. My Maintenance on my new in warranty TN22 averaged $9000/yr, most of which was the annual. There was quite a but of warranty work done, but I don’t know what that part cost. I used the local SC, and deferred a good bit of work that I thought was unnecessary (like checking the friction on the AP servos, which was a lot of labor for a relatively non-essential piece of equipment that works fine).

I have heard some horror stories in the PA46 world, though, with people going to sell their aircraft, the seller taking it to a shop that really knows the airframe for a pre-buy, and realizing that there was quite a bit of deferred maintenance that came to bear.

I think caveat emptor applies everywhere, though being a COPA member is probably the safest bet for the money in aviation!


I used the same SC you did in SLC when I owned my Cirrus and I found out later they ripped me off. They were the most overpriced, incompetent service center I ever have used. Can you tell, I was really happy with their work?! [;)]

I was aware of your dissatisfaction, probably an interesting story there. I know one of the managers pretty well, and I was asking about one unhappy customer in a generic fashion. Seems like there are a lot of people that want to cut corners on maintenance, particularly people flying older airframes. He explained to me that since they are a class IV part 145 certified facility, with a FSDO within walking distance, they are unable to shortcut some things like the local A&P/IA can, at risk for losing their status. They have to have internal QC monitoring and report to the FAA on those QC measures. They also have to have extra equipment since they are a Class IV station that means the right tool is always available no matter what the problem. Some small shops may not have the proper tooling to complete a job to spec, and improvise with some other technique. I did an FAA search and found that some of the threads talking about annuals the shops are not listed as certified 145 stations, and those that are, are not Class IV (I being lowest, IV being highest). Comparing a small community hospital to a referral major medical center might be a good analogy. They can both take your gallbladder out with 97% chance of no complications, but if there is a serious complication there is a lot more depth at the major medical center to deal with the aftermath in a correct fashion. [:P]

Outside of the fact that they have master mechanics for almost every aspect of the aircraft, I like the fact that they service a high volume of aircraft from Cessna’s to heavy metal, and have deep pockets should they screw something up. There is no concern of them not making it right. Maybe they are more expensive, still not sure on that, since they use the factory specific inspection manuals, and charge pretty standard rates.

Other things that I like about SLC is that they have a day and night shift. Often if I have a minor annoyance, I can fly in after work, the night crew can fix it while I wait, and then I fly home that night. That same 2 shift system can get my plane in and out of annual sometimes under a work week.

They have a full mobile repair facility and can drive or fly to any AOG aircraft in the West, and get you up in the air. They also retrieve damaged planes if necessary.

They also will come to my hangar 50 minutes away for some light maintenance including oil changes, even switched out a generator control unit for me in my hangar, without a call out fee. So I have been pretty happy. Over the better part of the last decade, I can’t recall canceling a flight for maintenance. The closest I came was when I lost a Mag on the way to DC. SLC overnighted off the shelf parts to another great COPA’n Kenny Fletcher at HEF, who came in on a weekend to get my Mirage back in the air. SLC didn’t even charge me for that service, still not sure if Kenny charged me or SLC either, but I don’t pay the bills, so maybe he did. Kenny send me a bill if I owe you. [;)]

I have been pretty happy with them, but I am sure there are good stations elsewhere.

I am glad you’re happy, that is all that matters to you. I would counsel most Cirrus owners to avoid 145 shops. They can’t be flexible and they are top dollar. And on a Cirrus, which are pretty simple, you don’t need that. Of course if you’re happy no worries, but often the poor non jet GA owner isn’t. Jets, different story…

I have not paid $9K in ANY year for maintenance (leaving out upgrades). That’s over 13 annuals. If you bought no parts you got, well sorry to say, hosed!!!

[quote user=“Roger Whittier”]
Roger Whittier wrote the following post at Fri, Dec 26 2014 12:12: I have not paid $9K in ANY year for maintenance (leaving out upgrades). That’s over 13 annuals. If you bought no parts you got, well sorry to say, hosed!!!


Besides the ridiculous high prices when they were doing my Cirrus maintenance, it always came out with more things broke than fixed. It got to the point where I was thinking about hangaring it there because it was always broke. Found out later that they were morons when I took the plane to Las Vegas to a real Cirrus SC. They run a great FBO, but I was not impressed with their mechanic shop. Of course, this was 10 years ago, so I’m sure things have changed, but I don’t plan on finding out! Remember that the Cirrus was fairly new back then and maybe it was a learning curve that I was paying for, but it was extremely frustrating.

You need to see a Citation Service Center in action. Then you can see what real service is about. [:P]

LOL. Yes. But I didn’t always. Prior to retiring I didn’t have the time so it went into shops. So, for the first 5 or six years, which corresponds to your time period, top bill was the second annual. $2.5K and no parts costs since it was in warranty. That was at a 145 shop and a long time ago, so factoring in inflation somewhat higher today.

That sure seems like a lot of money, for a plane in warranty. Don

Roger I’m gonna guess that guys like yourself who are very MX aware are dealing with issues throughout the year, finding minor chafing and such during oil changes, etc. I suspect some pilots do virtually no MX during the year and everything gets found at annual. I noticed that when my CIrrus had the “enhanced” spinner to tail program the oil change visits were very complete, and brakes and such were examined well before annual. Finding parts that are rubbing, etc. during the year is a lot cheaper than finding the hole at the end of the year!

Joe I just dropped my Mustang at the Mesa service center today. My expectation is a big bill for inspections, but very little actual parts replacements. I am getting the front landing gear teardown for the dreaded “Mustang shimmy”. They are wonderfully efficient and organized, but they are also incredibly expensive. Thankfully, they will negotiate price when asked to, and I wonder how many Cirrus owners negotiate prices with their MX providers. Mesa will usually bend a bit, even though I’m captive.

That sucks Jason. You aren’t completely captive though. I just did my annual at Westar in Grand Junction. Their bid was 60% of what Mesa quoted, so I decided to try it since I’ve heard good things. They were fantastic other than the PITA of flying there doing a commercial round trip back and forth. Several Mustang guys did the same thing as me in the last few months. Hopefully Cessna gets the message and cleans up their pricing. I’m willing to pay 10-15% more, but not double.


Great observation. Guys that know planes know to do an inspection every time the cowl is off. That does keep costs low. OTOH, costs like Chuck is relating on a new piston plane under warranty is just too much. Can’t say why, don’t know the details.

We are good on the bill Mr. Ivester but you do owe me a ride in the new turbine when you return to HEF! :slight_smile: Sometimes I believe what 145’s are saying to customers is just a summarized version of what they really mean as the rules get really complicated. The operating expense for a 145 is significantly more as you are held to a higher standard. You basically have a book that says this is the way we do business and the FAA grabs a copy of the book and visits to say ok you are complying with what you told us we are going to do. The local mechanic does have more options as he is operating a majority of the time by AC 43-13 which has general rules and then you can maneuver inside those rules. That being said, it is not that a 145 must comply with everything, it is a simple matter of just too much headache if they do not. The rules are basically the rules. If the limit is 1 and you get a measurement of .9 you are still airworthy. If it’s 1.1 you are not airworthy. That is the rule for everybody. The issue for a 145 is that if you let it go at .9 and there is an incident you now have to defend why you let the aircraft go when you knew there was a pending issue. For me it’s a simple I told the owner, I made the owner sign here on this document saying I recommended he address this issue, the owner said no and I’m clear. The 145 has the same option but the publicity, legal costs and possible shut down from investigation could be devastating. Even though according to regulations it’s an open and shut case. So while they won’t break it down into simple terms for you, they are basically covering their rear ends by doing everything possible. I have never worked for the 145 mentioned and I can’t speak for all 145’s but I have worked for a few and this is what I have observed. I don’t condone starting havoc with any maintenance provider but next time if you just pick an item off your list and ask “ok well what’s the limits” you may get a great example of what I am talking about. Some 145’s I worked for would have that in the quote. The statement would read " part is worn .9, manufacturers limits are 1. Inspector Recommends replacement of part at this time." Most 145 repair stations deal with 121, 135, and 91 operations but sometimes that is too confusing for the floor. One standard helps flow and keeps technicians on the same page. So that is another factor. 121, 135 must at all times comply with manufacturers recommended maintenance. 91 has an option. Good or bad they do have the option. The down fall to deferring is the resale value. At the time of pre buy I have to run the aircraft against the manufacturers recommended list and report what hasn’t been complied with. To some it’s an eye sore and an issue and to others it’s no big deal. I have my personal views of it but don’t judge either way. It’s just so many layers to this stuff. (Not directed at you Mr. Ivester but just my general observations for the forum)