I’m contemplating buying a used SR20 some time this year. I have searched as best as I could old posts on this forum on this very topic. Of course there have been lots of informative discussions on the SR20 but I still wonder if any of you would be able to give me some advice for my particular case. A bit of a context…
Pilot: currently student pilot, hoping to get PPL this summer and planning to go straight to instrument training. Mid 30s, physician, short, marathon runner, road cyclist, motorcycle rider, very safety conscious (full gear when riding Ninja).
Mission: IFR training, short 1-3 day vacation trips starting from KPAO, hoping one day to fly to all states except Hawaii. Expecting one passenger for most trips, sometimes with young kids. Unclear how many hours per month, perhaps 5-10 hours.
Budget: low-mid 100,000s for purchase, low 20K for annual operations; of course the lower the better.
Other airplanes being considered: Archer II, DA-40 (I’m doing training in PA-28s). High-wings are out.
Important factors: safety, safety, safety with a very low-time pilot who will likely make lots of mistakes, mistakes that he can’t even predict.
Not important factors: speed, comfort, ramp appeal, glass cockpit (I can endure lots of pain, e.g. last few miles of a marathon or last few miles of a 7000-ft climb on my road bike. And I value time just being in the air, not distance covered.)
Rental options available at local airport: SR20 ($180-$190/hr), DA-40 ($165/hr), Archer III ($138/hr).
I guess the economic-based answer is to rent. But the emotional benefit of owning a plane is also significant. If you were in my shoes and wanted to buy, not rent, would you
(a) buy an Archer II because it’s cheaper than other options and does this mission well. It’s forgiving, and the same tough weather conditions that ground the Archer also ground the fancier composite aircraft. DA-40 and SR20 don’t add much safety value.
(b) buy a DA40 because it is also forgiving, perhaps even more than the Archer, and has a great safety record. A low-time pilot is more likely to make mistakes at low altitudes that are non-events in a DA40 but can be lethal in a faster SR20.
© buy an SR20 because it has a chute. With good training, it can be manageable by a low-time pilot, perhaps still not as easy as a DA40 or Archer but it’s not going to stall and spin from base to final as a newbie might fear. In the unlikely event that one needs to get to the ground STAT but cannot fly/land the airplane, a chute will bail one out. None of the other planes has this feature.
I know this is a Cirrus forum and the answers might be biased, and I will likely ask the same questions on Diamond and Piper forums. But I greatly appreciate any input you might have.