First time here, need advice!


This is my first time here and I heard a lot of positive things about this site from Pilots of America. I’m considering on purchasing a pre-owned Cirrus SR22. I was really impressed with them at OSH, I’ve seen SR22’s before but never that up close and personal. I’m new to GA and I have a very limited amount of flight time. What I want to accomplish in flying is to take the Cirrus on business trips throughout Florida and Georgia and also some pleasure trips (1200 hrs a year minimum), I understand the costs involved . Is it possible to learn in a Cirrus SR22? I was told to learn how to fly first in a Cessna 172 but a lot of the flight schools here in my area of Florida have dumpy planes. I’m a tech guy, I love gadgets and I understand I would be paying a premium to learn in a Cirrus. My home airfield is KSPG!


Is it possible to learn in the airplane you want to fly?

On average, how long does it take to be well versed in a Cirrus?

Are there any flight schools in Florida, (Tampa, Saint Petersburg area!) that you can learn in a Cirrus SR22?

Thank you for your time!

Is it possible to learn in the airplane you want to fly? Yes it is!

On average, how long does it take to be well versed in a Cirrus? It depends on you and how much time and effort you invest.

1200 hours a year sounds unrealistic… If you put in 300 hours you are a very busy flying business man. Best of luck!


(Edited because I had misspelled your name, sorry)

Welcome on board!

Are you sure you didnt meat 120 H per year? 1200 is more than 4 hour per working day!

Yes, you can learn in the Cirrus.

To fly reliably for business it is better to be IFR rated, I personally started flying the plane on business trips at around 200 hours total time… But I am a slow guy.

I am on the other side of the States but I am sure you will find a lot of suggestions for schools there.

Good luck and keep us posted.


Assume 300 flying days a year. That means you would fly 4 hrs every one of those days. You would probably be flying 3-4 times more than the next ‘most hrs flown’ pilot on COPA. Yes you could learn to fly in a Cirrus. It will take a normal person much longer to do so, and even detract from the experience/process. Your brain can process just so many inputs at a given speed. Doing the pilot training in steps, in a simple slower plane, reduces those inputs & will let you progress much faster. I wouldn’t be concerned how dumpy the planes are, but rather how well they are maintained mechanicaly. The most important factor of all is the quality of the primary flight instructor. Do some research and talk to local pilots as to who the best instructor is.

Welcome to COPA & good luck to you !

Yes! 120 a year Minimum!

100 Hours a month to travel is a bit long [:$] . I do about 10 hours a month minimum. Flying back and forth to the Panhandle and Macon GA. It’s difficult to get there by commercial so I’m considering on flying myself weather permitting.

The best decision you can make in flying is to join COPA and get over on the member’s side. It is the best $65 you will ever spend. I am a1,200 IR pilot and I think I have learned more on COPA forums than flying my plane. So join and you can learn more about the Cirrus and what vintage plane to buy and more.

And if you really want to immerse yourself in COPA’s Culture of Safelty, sign up for Migration 13 in Addison Texas from September10th-13th and come drink from the COPA firehose.


120 hrs/yr is about what I fly as well. I learned in a 172 (about 50 hrs) and then bought my plane before I had my private license. I ended up getting about another 40 hours transition/training in my Cirrus before taking the private check ride. As a result of the additional training I felt very comfortable in the Cirrus when I took the check ride. I think you definitely could learn from the beginning in the Cirrus (several Universities which offer aviation degrees have adopted the Cirrus for training including Purdue and Western Michigan). However, I also think that there is some value in doing it the way I did it (which wasn’t planned, it just turned out that way). First, I learned on the old fashioned gauges, which are called steam gauges. These instruments are the back up gauges in the glass paneled planes we fly. Therefore, when it comes to partial panel procedures (glass panel goes out), I feel pretty comfortable reverting back to these.

I would investigate the options available to you, but I wouldn’t rule out learning the basics in a Cessna trainer And then going from there. Good Luck! By the way, the mission you described sounds perfect for our type plane.

I’m doing my primary training right now at PIE with V1 aeronautical. They are a cirrus certified training center and my CSIP is Caitlyn Farley. They have 152/172s and a couple of SR22s. You can look her up on COPA or go to their website.

I grew up in Macon – two really good airports - I use Macon Downtown when I visit now…10 minutes from downtown and next to interstate…the main airport is really nice with long runways and little traffic, complicated only by Warner Robbins a mere 5 miles to the south and less convenient to most of Macon, unless your business is south of town…

Best barbecue in America - Fresh Air – on Riverside Dr. on north side of town.

I would personally love a G5 with the newest avionics and an additional 200 lbs payload…I was seriously considering it until my son said “Dad, thats a lot of money for 200 lbs…your plane seems more than adequate to me”…out of the voice of babes…(31 y.o. mind you) saved me $300k!

So, if money is no object, def a G5; alternatively, plenty of G3 Perspectives with excellent avionics and better values…I am sur you are studying Controller…

Roshard - First welcome to COPA and the Cirrus experience. You are spending the best and safest money possible and you will have a blast. I would encourage you to be patient and take all the time it takes. None of us can really know what the extent of your training needs are but you and your CSIP. You say you are a Techy so, unlike me, you will probably “get” the Garmin “buttonology” pretty quickly and learn Garmin speak. A Cirrus is highly advanced and you will be learning long after you get current and signed off. As others have suggested, go to every Cirrus training event you can and keep one eye on this forum as the Cirrus experts are always helping and the information is invaluable to safe Cirrus operation. All of this is to say, I chose to spend the money and train (transition) in a Cirrus like I knew I would soon purchase and I studied this forum for about a year or so before I made that decision. Best money and time I ever spent. Have fun and keep posting your experiences, good or bad. We all keep learning. I think you can see that from the current “tight and close pattern” discussion currently raging on !!!

Mr. Jones,

Glad to hear about your inquiry and I would be happy to assist you in any way possible.

Also, I completely agree with Bill Myers that a COPA membership would be an extremely beneficial investment for you, given the mission you’re setting out to accomplish.

I own the school at KPIE. We have two SR-22’s, a Cessna 172 and a 150 and I can assure you they are not dumpy. :slight_smile:

We have a small operation, all the instruction is done by myself, the other owner, and one other contract CSIP instructor. I’d love for you to stop by, check out the planes, and the operation and talk a little more about your specific needs.

Please feel free to call or email me anytime.


Caitlin Farley

You couldn’t find a better instructor then Caitlin.

Thank you Giuseppe,

I planned to work my way to IFR from VFR. I know, I have a LOT of work to do. I’m budgeting about 100 Hours because I don’t have any flying experience, (Except for a few discovery flights) and I don’t know how fast I’m going to pick up what I need to learn. When you said "The other side of the states did you mean Florida?


Thank You for your post!

How would I know maintenance is up to date on the training airplanes? What could I look for that could tell?

When I said dumpy planes, I will give you an example! I went to check out a flight school in the Sarasota area and I wanted to go up for an intro flight. The Cessna that was available looked old on the outside, (It was a 2000) we did a pre-flight check and I noticed fresh oil on the floor next to the airplane. I asked the CFI where did the oil come from (It didn’t look like the plane was leaking but the oil was there). I didn’t get a definite answer. I decided to just look around and not take the intro flight.

This will probably be a slow process for me because I’m not yet experienced enough to jump in a Cirrus nor do I personally know any pilots. I will become a member here and work my way toward owning that Cirrus SR22.

Thank you to all who posted! I will see you in the paid members forum!


I like Macon Georgia and I also frequent Duluth Georgia as well. We both know that it is fairly difficult to get flights there last min so purchasing a Cirrus would fit that need rather nicely. I wanted to be a pilot as a kid but I never realized that dream until now. (70 Hour work weeks made it happen) Not going to go with a G5. SR22’s depreciate rather nicely and you could get a good pre-owned at a nice price.

Thanks for your post and keep in touch!

R., no, I live in Montana!


Been there many times, love it there!

Re: Maintenance, ask for references of students, current & past. Discuss this and other issues with them. They may not be knowledgeable, but you may luck on to someone who has looked into the school & planes. Ask to see logs, something you will have to learn about & demonstrate to examiner. Spend time looking these over, ask questions. At your position, there are no dumb questions. How they respond will give you some insight ( like the oil question did ). Talk to the mechanics, not just the office staff/CFI. How they deal with this request will give you some insight.

Re: Oil on floor, good move re: not getting definite answer. If it doesn’t smell right, listen to that little voice in your head.

I have spilled oil doing a change, no big deal & easily explained, (should be). The 172s I trained in (3), were very dumpy cosmetically, but very well maintained mechanically & flown regularly.

Remember, no such thing as a dumb question !

Good Luck!

On training, I did my primary instruction in a dumpy 152 and my instrument in a dumpy Cherokee 140 with no gps or autopilot. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it, but I think it made me a better pilot. In a Cirrus, you have so much automation, you have to work at keeping your stick-and-rudder skills sharp. That said, many excellent pilots have learned in a Cirrus.

As for business flying, I suggest seriously analyzing your planned trips. How flexible is your schedule? What is the weather like where you will be flying? In particular, how much of a concern is icing? Can you drive or go commercial at the last minute if the weather or maintenance issues don’t cooperate? I do most of my flying for business, and dispatch reliability is why I bought a turbo FIKI plane.

Good luck and welcome!


I learned to fly 2 1/2 years ago in a G5 SR22T because I wanted to learn in what I was going to fly. I trained straight through to get my IFR and now I have 372 hours all in a Cirrus and it was the perfect way for me to learn. I use mine for business and bcease I wanted a very high dispatch rate I chose a FIKI turbo and wouldn’t have anything different. For me, this was the best choice. Good luck!