After a long delay (somewhere between 1 and 20 years, depending on how you count) I finalized my Ourplane fractional '22 deal today and demo’d the PFD equiped plane as well. I have flown nearly two dozen types of aircraft in 25 years of flying (incl’d steam gauge '22’s) and cannot describe how absolutely incredible an aircraft this is. I personally have always been a Bonanza lover - great to fly and built like brick outhouses - and they are still a great plane, but I had one of those “I am never going back” life-altering epiphanies. I will never be able to set in another aircraft without a slight look down my nose at these mere “airplanes”. (disclaimer-- certain models are excluded from this snobish perspective, e.g. Warbirds/classics, T-28, Pitts Special, anything that burns kerosene, etc.) In any event, I have seen the future, just as surely as it was presented to me in some hallucinatory vision, and it is good! All things (read as price/application/utility) being equal, why would anyone in their right mind EVER purchase anything else!
We flew two incredible GPS approaches to two different airports, the second in the clag with the M/PFD’s displaying, like heavenly beacons, in wonderously intuitive fashion, the information so vital to airmen. Is it complex? Yes and no: you are much more a systems manager. I can see that once you become competent and comfortable with the various data systems, stick and rudder skills could degrade. And not to scare anyone, but an instrument rating seems like it is a very important part of flying this machine - It is fast, slippery, busy while in the clouds, and, ironically, so easy to fly that it could lull you into a comfort zone that would result in death. I am awed by its design brilliance and “complex simplicity”, and it remains an aircraft, like all machines of its kind, that demands your full attention and respect. Does this mean Cirri are less safe? Absolutely not! The boys (and girls) of Duluth have raised the GA safety bar to such an extreme, that there is nothing in serious production that can match it. But you cannot just let the plane be safe for you. My impression is of incredible safety potential that still requires the catalyst of a safe-minded pilot for the results to be as the designers intended. To paraphrase that old saw, “Flying is not inherently dangerous, but to an even greater extent than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity, or neglect” . (I would add that I am of the opinion that flying is “inherently dangerous”, as is driving a car and many other such activities.)
Finally, I am drawn to “how can one afford a Cirrus?”, as asked in an earlier thread. To those in the market for this cat and class, all I can say is “how can one not?”