Considering buying a Cirrus 2003 SR22


I’m considering selling my Cessna 182 and buying a SR22.

I have the following questions.

I have been advised that every time Cirrus comes up with a new generation of airframe, flaws are fixed. What types of flaws should I be on the look out for in a 2003?

The 75% cruise speed is supposed to be 180Knots… At what altitude can I expect that…

This airplane is non turbo charged. At what altitude does it begin to loose manifold pressure?

How does it climb near its service ceiling of 18000 feet?

What is the transition going to be like from a 182?

I’m overhauling the avionics and building it in to the purchase price. How do i get up to speed on flying with an Avidyne glass cockpit?

Feel free to call me, David. 218-343-5464

There are very few “flaws” although the newer airplanes have a better fit and finish. For really complete information you should join COPA because very few of us monitor the “guest discussion” and there are many thousands of posts and opinions available on the member side.

To get that speed in a NA airplane you need to be at high power and rich of peak. A more reasonable cruise speed for a normally aspirated SR22 is in the 170 knot range at 6-10,000 feet flying lean of peak. Again, far more information is available on the member side.

Any normally aspirated engine begins to lose manifold pressure at 1 foot and continues to lose it as it climbs. That’s the nature of a non turbocharged engine.

The SR22 has a maximum certified altitude of 17,500 feet. That is NOT a service ceiling. It is a violation of the airplane’s operating limitations to fly above 17,500. The climb at 17,000 depends on many factors including the temperature and weight, but generally speaking climb is <500 fpm above about 12-13,000 feet and decreases with increasing altitude

Again, go to the member side. Many of our members have done that transition. I personally have not flown a 182

You should budget for several days of training with a CSIP who is familiar with the avionics in the plane you buy. Good dual instruction is an absolute necessity with a transition from analog to glass.


Everything Jerry said is right on point.

I purchased a 2003 Centennial Edition this past year trading from an SR20. Wish that I had made the move years ago. The plane is amazing. One item that I noted in my search was that in 2004 (first year G2) they went to the 6 point engine mount. Prior to that I believe 4 point was standard except for the Centennial. Some owners of 03 and prior have installed the 6 point later but I’ve flown in both. I knew that I wanted the 6 point. Others don’t find it much of a difference. Something to be aware of.

As Jerry mentioned I typically see 170-172 ktas LOP at 6-10k. No idea how the plane climbs above 11k but up to that point it performs very well.

When you become a member you will see posts regarding the Embark program offered by Cirrus. This provides you with up to 3 days of transition training. That will provide much of what you need to get “up to speed” on Avidyne.

Feel free to reach out if you wish to discuss. Good luck.


Alan thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me… feel much better about my decision. Looking forward to meeting you at a migration some time.

Welcome to the family! We need to meet up sometime for lunch!

Tailwinds and safe flying!


Jerrold, If I complete the purchase I will certainly join - and thanks for the info…

Thanks for the input…

I would absolutely join BEFORE any Cirrus purchase. There’s a bazillion dollars worth of wisdom on the COPA forums. You could save yourself a fortune. I read posts for 6 months before I bought a Cirrus. I also joined the Mooney and Cessna groups when I was shopping for a plane. It is a huge advantage to see what everybody is bitching about before you write that big check…which is then followed by a few more big checks until you get the squawks out.

You will Lose manifold pressure immediately as with any NA aircraft. You will lose about 1" on MP for every 1000 feet of attitude above sea level up to 10,000 ffet. So at 10,000feet you will have approximately 20" of MP (10 psi), instead of 29.92" which is sea level pressure on a standard day. At 18,000 feet, 1/2 the atmospheric pressure is above you and 1/2 below you so you will have 7.5 psi and 15" of MP. 18,000 feet is very high for NA, you need a turbo if that’s where you plan to fly!

I also Joined months before purchasing! Well worth the small fee.

Cirrus has issued service bulletins for every flaw.

These are listed on the Cirrus aircraft website. You can input a airplane model and serial number and get all the service bulletins that apply. They are all pdf files that can be downloaded and printed.

Most are optional and some owners have not done them. You can read the maintenance logbook for the plane and see which service bulletins have been done.

Many of the issues that owners still bitch about have already been solved, if they would just do the SB.

I had 272 hours in Cessna planes (172, 182) before buying a Cirrus SR22. The Cirrus has a totally different view when landing. It will take 100 hours to completely transition.

Good luck…

IMO # of hours to adjust to the SE sight picture is probably more a function of his time in type (182).

However, I agree with you to the point of beyond transition training expect many hours of pattern work in various condition and old configurations to be full proficient.

Again IMO - It’s not a hard airplane to fly but compared to a 182 it floats and floats and floats if proper approach speeds are not managed closely.

Lots of threads on this…

As others have said - before you even consider purchasing a Cirrus Join COPA and do the research. You might decide not to buy one?!?! Not sure why not but you never know?

The other thing I’d do is find someone on COPA in your area and go fly one. You may not like the ride or site picture - it’s about as different as you could get from a 182?!??

The transition for me was much quicker. I had approx 150 hrs in 172s and 182s prior to buying into my first Cirrus. The Cessna time was all G1000 and my Cirrus is Avidyne. It took only one flight for me to be comfortable with the Avidyne. It is muc h simpler and more intuitive than G1000. My second day ever in the Cirrus was 2 hrs hand flying approaches in solid IMC. I soloed the Cirrus after my third flight with my CSIP and was fairly comfortable in the plane after about 15-20 hrs. I had a great transition instructor who is a CSIP and very long time Cirrus owner.

This is a good point.

My experience was with round gauges, not a display with a speed tape. Another factor was my home field was 3500’ with trees at both ends. It was a lot more difficult - at first I would do a go around twice before I successfully landed. After a month, it was just one go around. It took a year or more to get it right.

Back then (2004), we were taught the wrong landing speeds (too fast). Cirrus later corrected that and created the Cirrus CFI (CSIP) program. That helped reduce the landing accidents.

Kevin’s recommendation to get a CSIP is definitely a good idea. There have been many accidents and even fatals with instructors (that did not have much Cirrus experience).

No offense, but this (in the public part of the forum) is one of those statements that irks me to no end. Whatever “completely transition” is supposed to be, statements like these are what gives the make/model (and its pilots) a bad rap.

Yes, there is a clear correlation between time in type and accident risk (in all aircraft, not Cirrus-specific). Yes, the type-rating-like transition training syllabus developed by Cirrus has increased safety tremendously. It requires a minimum of 6 hours flight time for VFR transition training, with an average of 10 hours.

Stating an amount ten times higher than that is, IMHO, needlessly off-putting and, frankly, totally overboard. What you would spend those extra 90 hours with is beyond me. Heck, even I can fly the thing. It can’t be that hard.

To the OP: First, I’d strongly recommend investing 65 dollars to get into COPA before making this kind of investment decision. As for speeds vs altitude, useful loads, climb rates and such, the POH can be found online - it contains all those numbers and compares well to real life. Regarding changes made over time, an excellent and extensive model history can be found in the member section of COPA for download.

10 hours in type by Most standards is not enough time in a Cirrus to feel completely comfortable, e.g master the aircraft and the avionics. I think “completely transitioned” Means mastering the aircraft in all phases of flight with various weather conditions, mastering the nuances of the avionics and being able to program the FMS, amend flight plans, etc, while solo in IMC. Plus deal with unexpected system failures which requires knowledge of how the aircraft is designed, electrical systems, etc. I have multiple jet type ratings and yes I can jump into any SEP and fly like the Repo man, however, it’s not wise and I prefer high quality type specific training until I feel like I’m “wearing” the plane instead of just into the seat, that’s closer to 100 hours than 10 hours! YMMV

True. For basic safe skills it does not take 100 hours. Like you, if I can do it…

I was flying my plane home from the factory at around 6 hours in type from Duluth to Phoenix. No challenging aspects permitted, no strong crosswinds and CAVU. And I was a bit in a fog about how to use all that stuff in the panel. But I was minimally safe. Nowhere near where I am today but I am not ashamed of it either.

Mastery probably takes all of that and then some more. Depends on your yardstick and the experience or capabilities of the pilot. Importantly, we should aspire to better than basic skills.

Fully agree. But we should also not build up artificial barriers and pretend you need a magic decoder ring and super-powers to ever master flying a Cirrus.

I just picked up my '02 SR22 in Portland this past Saturday. We were lightly loaded and it took 15 minutes to get to 15’500 from essentially sea level. We cruised 50 degrees LOP, ~11gph and right at 168-170 KTAS. 8.1 hours for the 1500 nm trip to the Dallas area with around 10-15 kts of tailwind help for the majority of the trip.

After 8.1 hours and a couple take-offs, I’m pretty comfortable with the avionics (Aspen Pro 1000, Garmin 430’s, Avidyne), climb/cruise/descent flying, and Cirrus’ standard practices. Landing will take a bit of my local training as our main goal was to get the plane home, with training secondary. Hardest thing so far is taxiing a castoring nosewheel plane with 310hp [:)].