Cirrus on Part 135?

Specifically, I’m looking for anybody that knows of any Cirrus aircraft in Sourthern California on a Part 135 certificate.

I’ve recently talked to some people that want to charter, but can’t afford jet service and would feel most comfortable flying in something that looks and feels modern. My favorite aircraft naturally came to mind immediately and I’d like to point them in the right direction.

More generally, though, I 'm curious if there are any in 135 service anywhere in the country. If there aren’t any out there, I have to wonder why not?? Cirrus aircraft are fast, comfortable, affordable, and safe. Sounds good to me. Any thoughts from our experts??



I agree with you, at least at first glance. The parachute mesmerizes the lay public and the plane is shiny and modern looking. In fact, we inquired about putting my Cirrus SR22 on our certificate (we currently have a Cessna 414 on Part 135).

In practice it just isn’t feasible because:

  1. Insurance would soar. Our insurance for the 414 doubled to $18,000/year.

  2. The SR-22 is only certifiable for day-IFR for Part 135. To make it IFR certified we would need to add a second attitude indicator.

  3. Once you are on a part 135 certificate you have to maintain the plane to part 135 rules. For example, we would have to do 100 hour inspections, which are optional for Part 91 plane. These are somewhat expensive in the Cirrus.

  4. It is our FSDO’s opinion that we would need to follow part 135 duty day rules for all flights, even part 91 flights (8 hours of flying in a 14 hour day). In truth, this one didn’t bother me because we wouldn’t fly that long a day anyway, even part 91.

We figured we would need to fly 50 hours per year just to break even (not counting any marketing expenses). In the end it sounded good but didn’t pencil out.


Not to contradict Neil, as I’m sure his situation with trying to get his Cirrus FAR-135 certified has elements unique to them (which FSDO you talk to, etc.).

I inquired about getting an SR-22 on a -135 Certificate. I spoke with the Milwaukee FSDO and with the FAA’s Federal office in Oklahoma City. I got the same answer from both sources. Single-engine, piston-powered, aircraft can only be certified to fly under FAR-135 in Daytime-VFR operations for passenger carrying (exceptions are made on a case-by-case for strictly cargo operations). That puts a severe restriction of the utility of passenger charter ops!

It has just been in the past couple years that the FAA has relaxed this rule for single turboprop engine aircraft. They now allow SOME of those type aircraft to operate FAR-135 passenger carrying operations (Piper Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, TBM-700).

In all cases, as Neil pointed out, your aircraft must be maintained to FAR-135 specifications (100-hour inspections, engine and prop overhauled at TBO, etc) and pilots must limit duty and flight times FAR-135 maximums.

Fly Safe,
~Matt McDaniel
Progressive Aviation Services


Thanks for your insight. I figured that somebody out there had done the math on this deal.

You raise some very interesting points and I’m especially curious about the day-IFR. I could probably pull out my Regs and look it up, but could you explain if the aircraft could overcome the day-only IFR by adding the second AI or is there more to it?? I guess the new PFD’d 22’s would meet this since they have that second set of “steam” gauges below the screen.

I guess similar problems are encountered with other piston singles that we see on 135 like the C-210, 182, 172, etc…

Thanks for the help


The word on needing the second AI came from our FSDO. That is all they felt was needed (unofficially). Not sure about the PFD, I would guess they would have to evaluate it.

Matt brings up one of the frustrating things about the FAA. Every FSDO is different! For example, when we were refurbishing our 414 we that things that our avionics shop in Dallas were prohibited from doing were easy to get approved when we switched to an Austin shop. Our paint shop told us that this is a common issue.

As I mentioned, the Van Nuys FSDO said we could do IFR part 135, but based on what Matt heard, once we did the offiicial paperwork they might have reconsidered. Who knows! [:)]