Jeff, you don’t post your background but you typify a guy new to aviation. What you say is largely true, conceptually, but hey - welcome to aviation where we pay more, enjoy less and have poor reliability to make up for those shortcomings. No one can afford to develop a new engine, a new fuel system or even be on the bleeding edge of electronics in aviation. The FAA works hard to ensure that through over regulation. Actually that is not their stated reason, but it is the result of arcane rules. Move on over to experimental if you want true leading edge stuff. There are no production aircraft that give you what you aspire to. Cirrus does not develop engines or avionics, they rely on industry products and regardless of what you fly, if its certified, that’s the way it is. That is the state of the industry.

Only a 5 year delay? I typically expect almost a 10 year delay in consumer tech capabilities to make it into aviation. Even then it will cost 10X (at least) a consumer product.

You have not even hit on the biggies, only the user interface. We still use magnetos, why not electronic ignition? We have been dealing with a red knob for a long time, I predict we will for quite a while longer and the cost of retrofitting the current fleet virtually ensures we will have them for many, many decades. An alternative to 100LL will be found lest the majority of aircraft that actually buy the majority of fuel will be grounded. Think of this, if we get full FEDAC controls similar to our cars, who will fix them? Today’s cars demand highly specialized test equipment that gets allocated over many units that can be plugged in to diagnose problems. Guaranteed, due to high cost and low demand, to not be available in the central midwest when flying across country and you need service. Be careful what you wish for.

No, it is not dangerous. No more so than other planes. The real danger of flying low and slow is getting distracted and stalling the aircraft with no recovery time. It has happened to many a pilot in the past in many types. As others have said, it is not the side yoke that you are not liking. It is the spring cartridges. After many Cirrus hours I still think the artificial feel they impart was a poor decision. But we learn to adapt and all Cirrus pilots learn to or leave the type.

Interesting thought but did you know that aircraft of that size and type use boosted controls and you don’t feel them any more than you feel feedback in a FBW configuration. Interestingly, the Thunderbirds can fly a FBW system damn well. Anything can be mastered.

Good luck, you have much to consider.

And I dare anyone to argue that flying with VORs and ADFs and without a moving map display is easier or a better user interface than anything any glass cockpit could offer… The fallacy here is to think “oh, it will take long before I completely master this glass cockpit”. True. But the basic functions needed for everyday (VFR) flying are easy-peasy.

Loved this post. So amusing to see a fresh pair of eyes that remind me of the very same impressions.

I maintain currency in all sorts of aircraft…172, 182, DA40, PA28, PA32, AND SR20 / 22, so I have a somewhat unique perspective.

I HATE the side yoke. It removes all “feel” from the experience and makes (IMHO) loss of control more likely. Feedback feels the same near a stall as in normal flight. The Cirrus feels fine, dandy, and happy as all get-out in a too-steep bank, deceptively so. There’s near zero tactical feedback. The spring “yoke” is oblivious to the AOA and wind flow over the wing.

I have adapted because I love the Cirrus especially the 'chute, the ergonomics (everything right where you need it), and the interior, which is passenger-friendly. My landings, even with the lack of feel are now spot on through visual cues only, since the Cirrus doesn’t talk to me through the controls.

But when I go back to other planes as I do frequently, I’m reminded how much more I have to be on my game in a Cirrus. Be careful in the pattern. Watch your speed like a hawk on final, lest you float or porpoise. Don’t climb too fast or you’ll burn up the engine. And trim? More difficult…to just get it right. And when you do, continue to watch it, lest you bust your altitude assignment. Better yet, use the AP more.

I suspect that pilots who find the Cirrus “easy to fly” have just adapted to its quirks and no longer notice them.

Yes, with training I’ve learned to deal with these idiosyncracies. I love Cirrus for its beauty, comfort, and innovation. But every time I switch to other planes I’m reminded: This is one quirky bird that requires full attention and more training to avoid making mistakes with serious consequences.

I wonder what the problem with the side yoke should be. I have never flown with two hands and so the side yoke feels (more or less) like the left side of a normal yoke. Strangely i even like handflying the SR22. The trick is to always have it trimmed out, because even a light fuel imbalance will stress your wrist. But the trim is so effective that after some practicing there was no problem. RG: I wonder what you need RG for. But whatever - the fixed composite (!) main landing gear is an INTEGRAL part of the CAPS system and it serves as a shock absorber in case of a parachute landing. I have flown about 1500 hrs in my Piper before i bought the SR22 but after one year of Cirrus the Piper (which i kept for nostalgic reasons :-)) feels like a very old design. And i hate the DA40’s design. A glass cockpit can (for a long time) not have a user interface as intuitive as an iPhone. I fly the Entegra+DFC90, and i think it was very easy to learn. The Perspective (with more features) is a bit more complex, but although it first looks “complicated” it will be mastered quickly - if you fly enough. I would say 10 h per month is a minimum if you want to get good at it. About engines: all has been said.

Common misconception. Of all of the 46 CAPS saves, only 2 have involved the landing gear going “boing.” Two. The easy mental picture of the airplane floating sweetly straight down onto a nice piece of flat terrain rarely, if ever, happens. This is a messy event, with the airplane typically swinging from side to side and rarely encountering a flat piece of land, primarily because there isn’t much such terrain out there. Just look out the window as you’re driving around. Lots of “stuff” and not very many “no stuff” places.

Nevertheless, CAPS is successful, because hitting almost anything at a mere 17 knots is survivable, gear or no gear.

Thanks VWGhiaBob and others for your feedback,

I indeed don’t have any problem with the side control yoke (though it reminds me a glider air brake handle), I just have a problem with the springs, as I detailed. It is really too bad Cirrus chose that design as it seems many of you don’t like it but cope with it. A friend offered me to try his Columbia in two months (“true side stick with pivots on a gimbal, not a side yoke, plus pushrods to the ailerons and elevator instead of the cables they have in the Cirrus”) so I will report on that. It does not seem my fears about slow flights have been removed though and there seems to be wide agreement that this plane is best flown fast and with its A/P on.

Regarding the engine I am wondering when someone is going to do something about them because if I hear you all it seems we will be stuck with the IO360 for another century. I don’t know why nobody has experimented putting two Rotax 912is one behind the other (for a total of 200HP and 2.7 liter), which still would be lighter than the IO360 (5.9 liter) and would suck 20-30% less and cheaper fuel… Those Rotax are selling like hotcakes and appear very reliable (beside the “burping” I don’t know many drawbacks). The Jet-A diesels are promising though it might too early to speak of them.

As far the G1000 is concerned, I have not contested its role in the cockpit, just its user interface (and the displays too that have awful resolutions compared to the high DPI devices we have been accustomed in the last few years). The user interface is horrible, outdated and most pilots bring their iPad and Foreflight into the cockpit because there are easier to use, which is ironic -or sad- considering the G1000 costs tens of thousands while the iPad costs a refuel. I don’t contest the fact that anyone can master and love the G1000 after appropriate training. Anyone can master anything after appropriate training (visit a 1940 cruiser or submarine and ask yourself how could anyone operate those ships…). The problem is that I have been spoiled too much by modern and sleek user interfaces and I feel going back to the 1990s or 2000s in front of a G1000… So pardon me.

I could cope with the IO360 or the G1000. I am just worried, still, about the side yoke springs.

Well, that the landing gear is part of the CAPS system and that this is one of the reasons for FG was told to me by … Alan Klappmeier in 1995 when i flew the very first SR20. But maybe he didn’t know :wink:

Please fly a 22 before or after flying the Columbia. They are more similar. Here is a thread from a year ago which discusses the pros and cons of the SR22 vs the Cessna TTx. Lots of good info in both sides.

This again goes back to the certification process. It’s not like you can go out and buy the new Samsung flight system swap it out. It would be nice if we could, but we can’t so there is no use dwelling on it. We deal with what is certified for our planes and hope that someday things will change. Before glass panels came out, all the panels looked the same with the classic 6 packs, If you wanted a spiffy new attitude indicator you could get one that was STC’d and swap it into the same hole. Perhaps one day all of the aviation electronics companies will come up with system that is plug and play for easy upgrades. We may have to wait a while…


When I had an SR20 with a 6 pack I did plenty of sightseeing flying low and slow. What’s important here is that the Cirrus is very different than what you usually fly. PLEASE fly one for a few hours before you condemn the yoke system. After years of flying 172’s and PA28’s, it took me 6 hours (over two days) of flight time before I was comfortable with the controls.

I guess I am in the minority here. I feel that the side yoke makes the pilot “One with the Airplane”.

(Of course IF you land in a tree you don’t need the LG as a damper - but if you land on a flat surface this concept certainly works.)

The worst part of G1000 user interface is its inconsistency. Web browsers nailed that part. You only have to have a way select things, get in and get out. With G1000 the “get in” part is different in different places. Sometimes you have to press the same button to “get in” and “get out”. Other times one button is for getting in and another one is to get out. It is a mess. It is unnecessary complex due to crappy design. It is not intuitive.

The side stick I like though. It requires some precision trimming but I like it.

Indeed Alan didn’t know back then, nor did anyone, how CAPS would really work in the field. As I said, it turned out that the gear simply were not involved in the great majority of actual CAPS events, proving that it is not required for successful CAPS outcomes. This is more a function of the actual terrain encountered. IOW, sure, the gear have been designed to help absorb energy, but it very frequently turns out they don’t need to and they don’t. Trees and bushes were not part of the design, and it turns out they work very well in assisting CAPS!

And a good thing too, having to haul those around would really cut into cruise speed and useful load. [:P]

Gordon, nobody could have known in advance where the CAPS planes would land - it’s still a fact that the LG will dampen the shock IF the plane lands on a flat surface. And that was the idea. You don’t agree?

Sorry, Gordon, didn’t read your reply well enough (tired, waiting for flihht at EWR) - of course you agree.

Jeff: Great write up. The Cirrus is a different bird. Some like it, some don’t. Sort of like iPhone vs Android vs. Windows Phone…or Mercedes vs. BMW. They all will get you there, but certainly have their differences.

I have owned and flown many types of aircraft from various manufactures, and have found that I enjoy the side-yoke and performance of the SR22. Nearly all of my flying is cross country on multi-hour trips, so I have not been using the various singles/twins for local sight seeing / slow flight as you plan to do.

I have never owned nor flown an SR20, so I really can’t compare it to the others. However, when comparing the SR22 to Cirrus’ main competitors that are in production, as well as tail draggers, twins, etc (some with push rods, some with cables/pulleys), I just don’t find any downside to the side yoke over other configurations. I never minded it from the first time I flew an SR22, and don’t even think about it when switching from plane to plane these days.

A comment regarding the springs: There used to be a study published by GASCo (sort of the British version of the Air Safety Foundation) which compared having LOWER stick forces when getting near a stall vs having GREATER stick forces when getting near a stall. They found that having to use greater forces near a stall (such as the Cirrus setup) was better as a stall alerter (you have to pull harder and harder when getting near a stall) than waiting for controls to get mushy, at which point you must notice they are more mushy, and then reverse the controls to prevent the stall.

In other words, the Cirrus is very different from traditional “get too slow…and controls get mushy” feeling that we all learned in with traditional tail draggers / trainers / etc. However, the way that a Cirrus forces you to pull HARDER to induce the stall seemed to be proven to be a better stall alerter by GASCo.

The link to the GASCo document used to be this link, but it appears to be broken.

Yes, the Cirrus feels different, but after a lot of flying in the SR22, I enjoy hand flying it, and don’t even think about it vs. other aircraft I have been flying in recently. Of course, to each, their own.

I would suggest trying the SR22. I never have heat problems, climbs like a champ, and is more comparable to the TTx, Mooney, etc. than the SR20 would be, in my opinion.


This is not true. If you truly master it, you realize it is inherently, intrinsically intuitive and simple. I don’t believe you fully know - or know how to use - the system. Or, you weren’t properly trained, and the primacy effect doomed your continued experience. That being said, I have never flown a basic G1000; I’ve only flown Perspective, for a couple thousand hours. Maybe there are glaring differences of which I’m not aware.

Truly, no offense, but what could be simpler than Chapters and Pages? What is more obvious than being told in plain text what Chapter and Page you are in/on at all times? I have a little R9 time, and I found it unintuitive, at first. After a while, I started to really like it, too. Perhaps one man’s intuition is another man’s mystery. Perhaps everything becomes intuitive one it’s mastered.

Here’s why I love Perspective/G1000: it is rock solid. It is obvious. I know exactly where I am and what I’m looking at at all times. It has a BACK BUTTON in case your fingers accidentally pull up an incorrect box, letter, or digit (Perspective experts: can anyone share where this magical “back button” is? I never, ever, ever use the CLEAR button…it’s totally uneccesary). The reason it became an industry standard isn’t because Garmin strong-armed the competition; it’s because the product was so damned good.

Is it the end all-be all of avionics? Of course not. I suspect Cirrus will be moving on to the next iteration within a couple of years (not necessarily the standard G2000, either, knowing Cirrus).

Okay, thank you for allowing me to get that off of my chest. I really have no idea why I feel a need to defend G1000/Perspective. Maybe because it’s served me so well…

Thanks! Couldn’t agree more. Although, yes, I found the G3000 with its GTN-style touch screens control more elegant to use, I also fail to see what is supposed to be so difficult to use about a Perspective (or an Entegra). But I have come to accept the reality that it is indeed hard for many people.

While I only have experience with G1 & G2 Avidyne Entegra systems I too doubt that G1000 is hard to use once the learning curve is surmounted. However, I completely understand that many pilots, accustomed to modern technology interfaces, have the initial reaction, “Why is this so unnecessarily complicated?”

When I was introduced to Entegra in 2004 I already had good familiarity with the GNS430. I spent about 2 hr browsing the Entegra manual and was good to go, even for IFR–it was that transparent. In contrast, a decade later, even with >1500 hr GNS430 and ~400 hr G500 experience, my first reaction to Perspective when sitting in a demo plane was, “Huh?” I seriously doubt that with but 2 hr study I could approach the competence necessary for even light IFR with this system. However, with sufficient study and practice I’m sure I would be fine.

You are properly trained and and you have used it for couple thousand hours. You cannot seriously say it is intuitive.
If you could study for couple of hours, use it for an hour or two and then remember how to use it a month later then you could call it intuitive.

Here’s a story (I’ll preface it by saying that I am no smarter than the average bear). I once worked for a successful aviation company. My FIRST day on the job I was told to ferry an airplane across the country, and bring another one home. I had zero time with the avionics. Over the following four days, I had approximately 16 hours alone in the airplane learning the buttonology. When I landed back at HQ, I was an expert. No one trained me, but I was an expert. That is the definition of intuitive.