Yesterday I got 7654T, an SR20 Model C w/ leather, Serial #1019, back from the mechanics who gave it its first annual physical and thought it might be a good time to report in on a few things…
The plane checked out A-OK. Compressions were 80/78/80/79/78/80. They scratched the windscreen with what I assume was the top cowling, but they say theyÂ’ll fix it (cost of the annualÂ—not known yetÂ— probably just went up a commensurate amount).
I picked up the plane in Duluth last February 25th and had the same experiences many have recounted: bad weather delaying the flight home, smoke in the cockpit from scat tubing oils burning off, ice on the wings three times, and draining the battery trying to start in 25 degrees in the middle of Nebraska.
IÂ’m based in Santa Monica, CA. The plane has no stripes, and I still like it that way. In a year IÂ’ve put 176 hours on the plane. I started out as a student pilot and got my VFR ticket in July. We had some early problems that, once debugged, have not reappeared. Despite the engine starting problems that have been mentioned here and the engine temperature problems in the summer, neither of which are anything more than annoying, she runs like a champ. I average about 11 gallons per hour and about 150 knots indicated. I’ve replaced one landing light and had no brake wear issues that anyone’s told me about. The tires lose air pressure and are hard-as-heck to fill, but systems have been developed with practice to make it bearable. I can’t imagine what I’ll do when I move out of my hangar someday and lose handy electrical power.
The plane is incredibly easy to fly and land. I love the BIG Arnav and the awareness it effortlessly allows me of my location over land and, in particular, in relation to various airspace issues. Here in the LA thereÂ’s lots of airspace, including the Class B, and lots of Restricted too, so itÂ’s great to be able to see where it all is. Coupled with the S-Tec 55 autopilot getting around couldnÂ’t be any easier. Just last week I had breakfast at home, flew up the Owens Valley to Mammoth for 5 hours of snowboarding with a friend, and then flew home in time for dinner. With the rear seats folded down itÂ’s like an SUV with wings. I can fit two mountain bikes or snowboards in back with baggage and still have plenty of room up front for us. The visibility never ceases to amaze me. The comfort, too. I bought 4 of the Lightspeed headsets (excessive) and havenÂ’t needed to change the batteries yet. The ability to plug a CD player into the system is sweet.
My nose wheels cover is scratched up pretty good, but IÂ’ve come to accept that as normal wear and tear. The rest of the plane is spotless. SheÂ’s stunning to look at after a wash. I went for the 3-blade and never regret it. Yes, it just looks betterÂ—and I figured if I was spending $200,000 for a plane it should look smoking good. It does. I still enjoy the attention it brings and talking to people about Cirrus and explaining to ATC what it is, although my spiel has gotten refined over the year.
My initial insurance policy (as a student only Avemco would write me) cost $7,688 for a hull value of $225,000 and dropped to $5,311 in July after getting my license. IÂ’ve just researched the second year and AvemcoÂ’s renewal price was $5,225. However AOPA quoted me a policy from USAIG for only $2,513 so I took it. ThatÂ’s quite a drop in one year.
I love it when Cirrus raises their prices, as it only makes my plane more valuable, but one of the many things that drew me to put down my deposit ($2,500) in August 1995 was the planeÂ’s VALUE. Cirrus would, in my opinion, be making a big mistake if they pushed the limits of what they could get for them only to lose one of the big advantages they have over their competition.
IÂ’m surely forgetting many things IÂ’ve been meaning to mention over the year but, in closing, just want to reiterate that I LOVE MY CIRRUS, love being an early owner, wish the company the best of luck, and hope that all of you waiting get your plane as quickly as possible so that you can feel the same emotions. IÂ’ve been a daily reader of this board since its inception many years and moderators ago. My heartfelt thanks to Clyde and all who participate.