What is the main difference between training for PPL with Cirrus vs other regular flight schools? I know cirrus aircraft rental is more expensive than C172, but what are the other differences? Is the ground school training much better?
Cirrus requires their Instructors to have quite a bit of dual given (>1,000 Hrs) before they will hire the applicant. From what I have seen they are pretty picky about who they hire as well. At a normal “puppy mill” training school the instructors can have much less dual given. Perhaps even close to zero. Experience counts!
That’s available for a subscription fee and provides access to a huge amount of resource material. Of critical importance is the reliance on video training materials, simulator exercises integrated into the 40+ lesson plans, and instructor assessments along the way.
Other syllabi are in use at other Cirrus training centers, so ask about what they use, why they use it, and how much experience their instructors have with it.
Choose your instructor carefully!
As others have mentioned a lot of this will depend on your goals, the instructors/planes involved and what your end goals might be.
Rick Beach mentioned the new Cirrus Private Pilot Course, which is a fantastic, Cirrus specific training course that does make the ground portion of the PPL training much better. Most specifically as that training was focused 100% around the usage of Cirrus Aircraft. There are many other ground training options out there; Sportys, King, etc but they are more generic trainings and don’t cover Cirrus specifically.
The aircraft itself will be the larger difference in my opinion. For example the local flight school with C172’s have older airplanes with standard six-pack gauges and a single GTN750 GPS. Where a Cirrus Training Center will be teaching in a fully glass cockpit equipped Cirrus.
If your long-term goal is to fly a Cirrus, getting more time in type is never a horrible thing.
Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, many schools have Cessna planes with the latest Garmin screens. You can fly several times a week, 365 days a year. Plenty of instructors are available.
Another way to learn to fly is to do it like the US air force does. They fly in Diamond Katanas out in Pueblo Colorado. They fly all day long, all week. When I flew to Pueblo, there were 50+ student aircraft flying around - all talking to ATC. Super professional and competent CFIs in every plane.
I read some reviews (from google maps) about the school. The students said; They eat breakfast, go flying, eat lunch, go flying, eat dinner, sleep. Next day repeat. They loved it. They did touch and go’s, taxi back after landings, go arounds and loose formation flying.
The more frequently you can fly, the better you get. Flying a dirt simple plane will teach you the physics of flying in a safe and slow manner. This is critical knowledge that is much harder to acquire in a large, high powered, complex plane (such as the Cirrus).