Changing Altitudes after Leaning


SR22T after climbing to desired cruise altitude from take off i.e. 1000ft elevation airport by doing the 30.5 or less and reducing mixture to 75% power or approx 16 fuel flow. If you want to climb to another altitude for example from 4500 to 6500 i put in full power and mixture all the way in.

If I leave the lean then the engine runs very rough since climbing to thinner air.

This is a stupid question sorry but it it correct to put the mixture in all the way when climbing to a hire altitude and then leaning once at new altitude?

You should be able to climb lean of peak, mostly at your current setting. However, it may only be at 500’/min maybe less. You may have to adjust the FF to keep CHTs at 1580 or less. I don’t do it because I’m too impatient.

If you’re getting a rough engine, something may not be set up correctly. You can post your data and we can take a look at it.

You should join COPA. Well worth the cost. You’d save enough just on this one post.


You’re in a turbo, there is no “thinner air” :grin:

Climbing more than a few hundred feet? Full rich/full power climb, then re-lean to cruise. This is just faster and will keep your cylinders cooler.

There are no stupid questions!

Set up the cruise climb to around 130 knots. As you ascend watch your fuel flow and temps and gradually lean during the climb.

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Do not lean in the climb. Your T engine does not care about altitude. Full rich mixture until level and then lean to a TIT of less than 1600 degrees.

There is a LOP climb approved but it is sluggish and not worth it until you are only climbing 1000 feet or less.


Thank you! Also when I lean for 75% power I’m at around 15.9 FFL GPH and if the TIT start to climb I reduce by .5 and try to get it to 1600.

In the pic I actually reduced the throttle down to 48% power but then the TIT shot up as high as almost 1700. So I reduced the FFL GPH until it TIT went down. The question is when I’m not at 75% power and reduce power and TIT raises, what is the leaning procedure to get it to optimal TIT which I’ve been told should be 1600. Any higher I’m assuming I’m hurting the engine

Not sure if there is a year difference or not, but my poh says 16.4 gph for 75% power at 30.5 inches of map. I can go lower on fuel flow, but the book numbers give me chts in the low 300s and tit at 1550.

I honestly don’t think all the various sensors that contribute to %pwr are very matched. I had to have a fuel flow sensor replaced and when I did, the numbers changed again. This is the most recent setup. Note POH setup and 16.4 gph = 77% power.

I’ve LOP climbed at those numbers for small aly changes at 130kta with no issue. Here recent to or from JAC fro SLC

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Thank you everyone for your responses! Here are some questions =)

  1. Goal is to keep at 1600 from what I have been trained. What happens if higher sustained level such as 1650 or 1670?

  2. In one scenario I had reduced the throttle down to 48% power but then the TIT shot up as high as almost 1700. So I reduced the FFL GPH until it TIT went down. The question is when I’m not at 75% power and reduce power and TIT raises, what is the leaning procedure to get it to optimal TIT?

  3. After LOP at 75% power and TIT is around 1600, lets say I reduce power to 65% then do I need to re adjust the mixture? it seems it does change and most of the times it will increase above 1600. when I see this I just lean out until I see TIT drop.

  4. In the pic above I had the power at 48% and the FFLOW green bar changed. I was wondering if there is an optimal location to place the arrow that is to the left of it?

This sounds like you should find a local CSIP and spend some quality time with them. You should have access to embark training through Cirrus if you recently purchased this 22T.

tx will do! Just seeing if someone can help me with my questions too

Consider also purchasing the cirrus video training program they provide. I think it’s like $250 or so, but very helpful.

I only fly 4 places -

  1. full power, full rich. This is for take offs and climbs.
  2. 30.5” and leaned to cyan marker - roughly 16.4 GPH. Usually 330 chts and 1580 tits. This is 90% of my flying in cruise and virtually all descents into the terminal area.
  3. 20” and full mix / 5 mile final or 5 miles out for pattern. This slows the T down below flaps 50 speed. Works out to be about 50% for those who like the % power instead of MP
  4. 15” and full mix - 2 mile final - flaps full for landing.

I’d bet nearly 99% of my T flying is one of those 4 settings. Get with a csip as mentioned and learn your engine. Your engine will thank you! And join COPA! Best cirrus money ever. Happy flying!


Hi David,

I fly a twin turbo - TSIO-520-WB which is similar to your TSIO-550 K in some ways (but not all). This is my first turbo plane and I’ve spent a decent amount of time reading about it’s operation. This is just the stuff I’ve learned so far. Take it for what it’s worth!

The first thing I’d recommend is reading the Continental manual for your motor. The aircraft manufacturer has some er hem, “leeway” in how they choose you operate the motor. This may be on the high end of OK in order for the plane to look its most capable but may not be the best for the motor. For example for my Baron, the POH says go to red line on the TIT (899C, 1650F) when leaning which isn’t what everyone says is a good idea. I’m not saying that Cirrus has done this, I’m just saying read all the valid documents and form your opinion within the bounds of the limits.

The engine manual may give you a range of other options as well as some interesting tables on fuel consumption and power that can help you see if you are getting your book values. I recently went through this exercise and concluded that my fuel servos needed to be serviced. Lo and behold they were not in great shape! This is unlikely to be your problem but my point is only that you should know your engine and its performance parameters so that when things “get weird” you know.

To answer your first question about exceeding: the TIT is the downstream product of all of the firing cylinders. Chuck Cook recently told us at a clinic that leaning to peak TIT is sort of like moving the heat problem around. Yes, fuel economy improves but wear increases in other parts of the engine. In a richer mixture the cylinders may capture and dissipate the combustion heat more efficiently versus some of the charge making its way further down the exhaust system.

The risk as I understand it for exceeding peak TIT is the potential of fatigue in the vanes of the impeller as well as the seal that keeps the oil flowing through the turbine wheel for lubrication and heat removal. A failure of the seal will usually leak oil, potentially into the exhaust system.

Second, remember that your exhaust system is also exposed to those higher temperatures. This can cause fatigue for your exhaust components as well. Broken exhaust pipes are not great.

Your question did prompt me to look for something that does not seem to exist. There appears to be no document that mandates any sort of inspection for TIT exceedance from Continental. There is one specifically for RPM exceedance so I would suspect if this was truly a safety issue a similar document would exist.

That said, broken turbos or holes in your exhaust are not things we should invite into our flight plan.

On leaning - remember that your engine automatically compensates for altitude.

We lean to TIT - so your normal maximum TIT is 1750F with the actual max at 1800F. So there isn’t really much of an issue here from what I can tell - I think you are doing everything right.

General rules are:

#1 Always climb full rich even for enroute altitude changes. The risk is that the excess heat of full power operation plus a reduced mixtures reduces your detonation margin to the point where detonation does occur. I know this seems like extra work enroute but on the off chance that you forget to enrichen the mixture and don’t notice you could run beyond peak permitted TIT while doing an enroute climb. Also in climb pay attention to your CHTs. In the summer I have high CHTs fairly quickly after departure. I manage them with airspeed and to a less extent, power.

#2 If you reduce power when LOP you are actually increasing the mixture which is the same as enriching back towards peak, the system will get hotter. Reducing power ROP is the opposite, the system will get cooler. However, all of the values you mentioned are fine. So as long as you keep it below the top of the green arc for TIT.

#3 Since I’ve been flying ROP something I’ve been playing with is leaning on descent to keep the engine warmer which the POH alludes to. I asked Chuck about this and he seemed to think that it doesn’t matter.

The POH provides a good guide for cruise ops:

Target fuel flow is determined using a calculated engine air flow based on
Engine Speed, Manifold Air Temperature and Manifold Air Pressure and
indicates a fuel flow that will give the approximate air-to-fuel ratio for best
economy operation. Alternatively, the mixture can be set by finding a fuel
flow that provides peak TIT and then leaning until TIT is 50-75 °F less than
its peak value.
Target Fuel Flow is advisory only. This indicator or the Peak leaning
method will provide an initial lean point only. As this setting is dependent
on ambient air temperatures, it may not ensure sufficient cylinder cooling.
If any CHT are greater than 420 °F, lean the mixture to maintain cylinders
below 420 °F. As an approximation, a 0.5 GPH reduction in fuel flow will
reduce CHT by 15 °F

In the end this is just an exercise in heat management. So pick flows and % Power settings that keep your CHTs in a good place and keep the TIT in the green Arc.

What a “good” cylinder temperature is, I don’t know… I think that is another discussion :rofl:

Also knowing the failure modes for the turbo is super important.

Hi Logan (and everyone), Thank you for your very detailed response. I did take embark training but there are lots of nuances and I want to ensure I am protecting my engine and being safe. My key takeaways are below. Please correct me if anything looks off!

  1. Always climb full rich and of course coming in approx 5 miles to the airport (of course on take off and remaining in pattern too)

  2. if I reduce power after LOP then I must adjust the mixture. Typically would have to lean out to keep TIT in check ideally 1600.

  3. CHT’s have never climbed high for me. Only the TIT climbs very fast if I’m not on top of this. When TIT climb I reduce mixture by 0.5 gph and if not enough I repeat until around 1600