Delivery Experience (Long)

I flew from Indianapolis to Duluth yesterday, took about 6hrs door to door. I figure about 3 1/2hrs on the trip home, with an additional benefit of NO SCREAMING BABIES!

ACAR car rental will pick you up in front of the terminal and you can leave your car at Cirrus when you take the plane home. $29/day Cirrus rate if you don’t mind a Cavalier, but great service.

Stopped by Cirrus at about 6pm to try to get a glimpse of N84PD. No luck, but there was at least 20 Cirrus on the ramp, I’m guessing. What a sight. Proceeded on down to the shores of Lake Superior, very impressive vistas as you make your way down to the Canal Park area. Checked into Hawthorn Suites with a 1 bedroom suite, CAT5 internet connection included, with the Cirrus rate of $80 per nite. Pretty nice place, very close to a lot of good eating establishments and some sightseeing.

Arrived this morning at Cirrus, greeted by 2 F-16s taking off on Rwy 27 as I was getting out of my car. Very cool.

After the cheerful greeting by Michelle Faucett and the front desk crew, I was introduced to Shane, my instructor. Top notch guy with a lot of experience, who is between airline jobs at the moment because of the recent cutbacks. I arrived probably 45 minutes early, so I watched as N84PD’s cleaning was being completed on the ramp, while finishing up on one of the work sheets from the training manual.

A couple of minutes later a downpour pretty much un-did all of the exterior cleaning that had just been completed. Shawn had the wet plane pulled in and proceded to dry the entire plane himself, while I got started on the inspection checklists. The plane was better than my expectations, less than a handful of paint imperfections, and some very minor details, except that the carpet was wet in the baggage compartment. Looked to me like the baggage door not sealing. Oh well, at least I found out about it while I was here.

Shane then took me on the acceptance flight which consisted of a departure on 27 with extended vectors to ILS 9 and a circle to land on 27. Auto pilot coupling to ILS and Glideslope is fantastic. And the Avidyne was very impressive, I should say the entire plane was impressive. More vibration than the 182 and Archers that I have been flying, but in the short amount of time that we were in the air, it felt pretty good.

We got back and documented the squawks, and Michelle informed me that the check that was wired had not made it to Cirrus, no check no fly. Oh well, time for ground school.

At about 4:30pm, the check cleared and Shane and I were off to the ramp to start my flight training. It felt great being in the left seat of MY PLANE. Preflight, boarding, engine start, everything going well until…

Avidyne shut off, Garmin #2 shut off, engine gauges quit, chattering noise, clock shut off, faint burning smell, ALT 1 light on. Switched off BAT1 and ALT1 and chattering quit, but still pretty much everything that wasn’t on the Essential Bus powered down.

Shut the engine down and squawked it to Customer service and went back to the training room for weight and balance calcs and more ground school.

Shane and I called it quits about 6pm, and as we were leaving Steve (head of custmer service) stopped us and said preliminary troubleshooting was pointing to a bad BAT1. He told us he would try to have it ready for us tomorrow morning to fly.

Thanks for the post - it’s good
I’m interested in your comment about vibrations compared to a C182 or Archer. Is your plane a SR20 or SR22?
Cheers Tony


I had less than an hour in flight, so it’s a pretty limited observation, and pretty subjective, as well. In a nutshell, the vibration felt like 310 horsepower compared to 230 or 180. Nothing rhythmic or intermittant. Just a lot of power up front with the associated feel. To me it was kinda like 1/3 more horsepower with 1/3 more vibration.


Returned to Cirrus the next morning (Saturday) to find the plane sitting on the ramp, clean inside and out, with all of the previous days squawks fixed. Flew 5.7 hrs Saturday with 25 landings, 2.7 hrs Sunday IFR with 5 landings, 4 hrs Monday IFR with 12 landings. Got IPC signed off and flew home Tuesday morning (DLH to MSN to MQJ). Plane performed beautifully.

Tuesday’s trip home was pretty interesting. Ceilings less than 100 feet in Duluth with thunderstorms all over the place in Illinois and Indiana. Ceiling finally got up to about 500ft by 2pm and I filed IFR at 7000ft and departed. Filed direct and got clearance direct DLH to MSN. Enroute out of Minnesota was between cloud layers, on top for a while and then above scattered to broken layers to Madison, WI. While enroute to Madison, cells started appearing on the Avidyne south of Madison, confirming what Flightwatch was telling me they were seeing on their radar. Shot the ILS 36 into Madison to take a break and check radar. About 1.5 hrs Duluth to Madison.

Upon checking the radar at Madison, one group of storms had already passed through Indy, another large cell(mass) was in Illinois and was moving west at 30kts approaching Indiana state line, effectively blocking what would have been my normal route around the west side of Ohare Int.

Decided to file due east from Madison out over Lake Michigan to clear Ohare’s airspace to the east then straight south to Indy. My plan was to monitor the storms on the Avidyne and keep them at least 40 miles to the west of my route. Before during taxiing and takeoff, the storms to the south were clearly lit on the Avidyne, so it seems to work even on the ground.

Immediately after departure, I got a route change to intersection BRAVE, then as filed. No sweat entering the fix on the Garmin. From Brave I flew south, monitoring the storms on the Avidyne. The stormscope CLEARLY exceeded my expectations. I had previously flown with a Strikefinder in a Piper Dakota. The Stormscope, as installed on the Cirrus, is far superior to the Strikefinder of old. Accurate in distance as well as azimuth. I monitored 122.0 throughout the flight to keep tabs on where Flightwatch was showing the storms on their radar. Stormscope confirmed verbal reports every time, very comforting. Very impressed.

Kept the storms to my west, got vectors from Indy to ILS25 at MQJ, descended through layer at 3 to 4 thousand feet, airport in sight, cancelled IFR (uncontrolled field), taxied to hanger.

While I was impressed with the operation of the Stormscope, I was equally impressed with the Skywatch. While being vectored through Milwaukee airspace, Skywatch reported aircraft 1000ft above and 1000 ft below, multiple times, with accuracy in altitude and azimuth, far exceeding expectations.

I know it probably sounds like I work for Cirrus or am a major stockholder (neither of which would be all bad), but this airplane is a dream.

23.8 hrs on the Hobbs. Everything has been going beautifully with N84PD. Until today. Start up normal. Taxi normal. Runup normal until RPM reduced to 1000 after mag checks. Buzzing sound in radios, ALT1 and ALT2 lights come on, everything not on Essential Bus turns off. Bat1 is totally inoperative. Bat2 brings up the essential bus but turning on Bat1 has absolutely no effect. Like Bat1 is completely dead. Back to the hanger and glad it didn’t happen on a trip somewhere and in IMC.

This is exactly what happened on the day the plane was delivered. Exact same symtoms. I called the “Cirrus hotline” and left a message today, hoping someone might get back to me, but accepting the fact that it’s Saturday and probably won’t hear from anyone until Monday.

After going home and reading the Cirrus Maintenace chapter on the Electrical system, I decided to go back to the hanger and take a few voltage measurements. I removed the top cowling and proceeded to check the battery voltage (24.5v) and noticed the battery was really hot. This was after about 5 hours sitting in a cool hanger. I decided to remove the battery cables, thinking that possiblly the MCU was draining the battery. With the battery cables removed for at least 15 minutes, the battery was still producing a LOT of heat. Got the battery out of the plane and withing 15 or 20 more minutes the voltage was down to 10.5 volts. It appears the battery possibly had an internal short, and possibly took out the MCU.

Will wait for Cirrus and my service center to get together on this, but I can’t move the plane, so I guess they will have to ship out the parts and have my AP (not on the same field) make a hanger call.

Certainly sounds like an internal failure of the battery. Isn’t it lucky we have FAA-certified batteries to put in these things - imagine what would happen if we had to use parts that were merely automotive or industrial grade.

I am, of course, being facetious.

More seriously, do you know whether Cirrus replaced the original battery that exhibited the same fault?

Paul, really sorry you’re going through all this, especially at a time where you surely would want to be flying the heck out of your new plane.

If it’s any consolation, for the most part, the incidence of problems in this initial shake-out period significantly subside.

Worth it in the long run, not to diminish the frustration you must be experiencing.

Good luck.



I don’t know if they replaced the battery, but I sure hope they didn’t. That would make me feel a whole lot better about two MCU failures (don’t know for sure if the MCU failed this time yet, but if you have 24V at the battery, whether it’s dying or not, I would think it would power up the non-essential buses until it did die). At least then I could rest assured that the problem wasn’t intermittant, and probably caused by the battery and not the other way around.


Starter relay was stuck closed, starter was fried, mcu was fried. Replaced those three items along with switch bolster and battery for the second time in two weeks. This time also replaced starter/mag key switch. Cirrus thinks starter relay remained closed and caused all the failures.

While test flying the airplane, heading indicator on Sandel got a red line through it, then invalid gyro message. Back in the shop for troubleshooting. Cirrus suspects remote gyro.

27 hours on the plane so far, it’s a dream to fly, when I can fly it.