Flight Training in a Cirrus (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

I’m interested in beginning my flight school training in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. I’m writing to determine if anyone knows of any flight schools, or even individual CFIs, in my area who fly Cirrus aircraft. I would be interested in training in a Cirrus as I suspect that within a year or so I might be interested in purchasing a Cirrus either individually or in some sort of fractional arrangement. I realize this is a bit of an off-the-wall request, but so far I’ve not been overly impressed with the fleet of 172s and the like I see at area flight schools and I would welcome the chance to train in a Cirrus. Do you have any ideas for me? Is anyone comfortable providing me with the names and contact information of several Cirrus owners in the Minneapolis area? Thank you for your help.

Peter Bridges
Global Director of Business Development
Watson Wyatt Worldwide

Orginally, I asked this question of Mike Radomsky in an email earlier today. Here’s his reply:

Hi Peter,

No discomfort - but no capability, either! I don’t know of any CFIs or Flight Schools in the MSP area… suggest you post this request on our Public Discussion forum.

www.cirruspilots.org, and click on Public Discussion.

The Cirrus is awesome compared with almost anything, but ESPECIALLY a 172! Have fun…


Mike Radomsky
Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

Check the Market Place and use the search function to find Matt McDaniel / Progressive Aviation Services. I don’t know if he has a cirrus to teach in, but he has a good reputation which I will be able to test in early March


Good luck on your flight training! For me, the impetus to finally get my license was the Cirrus airplane. Waited for years, but never did it, until I saw the future coming alive in the Cirrus airplane.

I am a local Cirrus pilot, based at Lakeville, and to my knowledge there are no Cirrus aircraft in a rental fleet around here (anyone out there please correct me if I am wrong). My personal recommendation would be to at least start your private training at a local airport, decide whether you truly like it, and then maybe look for a course somewhere in the US that has rental/instruction in a Cirrus to complete your training in a condensed time frame. Mike is right that the Cirrus is a great airplane, its just so new right now that there really aren’t that many out there in the rental fleet. It’s my understanding that Cirrus is trying sell aircraft to some of the larger training schools, but this is only word of mouth, and I haven’t seen anything come of it.

Once again, good luck!

Try Knowlton Flight Service in Blaine at the Anoka County Airport (KANE). Their web site is at http://www.knowltonflight.com/ The phone number is 763-780-4375.

They have a few instructors with substantial time in both the SR20 and SR22 and are right next to a Cirrus Authorized Service Center. KANE is a beautiful towered field on the North side of Mpls. Class B. The controllers are great and you can get out of Class B for maneuvers quite quickly. Duluth is less than 45 minutes away if you need to visit the factory by air.

Try talking to Al Knowlton (owner) or Dave Stepp and they’ll get you set up with the right person.

Good luck,

Rich Fink

I have flown with Matt McDaniel several times (in Cirrus and others) and I highly recommend Matt. He is very professional with an emphasis on fun. Which I think that most of us started flying for anyway. He also has a web site at www.progaviation.com Check him out and I think you wont be disappointed.

I have taken training in my SR22 from Progressive Aviation & their instructor in Mpls. Mike Lanenberg. He/they are excellent. Mike can be reached @ 612-386-5047. The only catch, you need your own SR22.

You could try Windy City Flyers in Chicago. Their web site and numbers are windycityflyers.com. I have my Sr22 in the club for gas discount, hangaring, and instructors. There are two other SR22’s and two SR20’s (brand new) for rent. You could come to Chicago for training or they probably would send the plane with an instructor if you wanted intensive training. Conceivably, Matt at Progressive could maybe bring one of these planes to you for intensive training.