Looking to Purchase

I am a former 172 owner and in the market for a fast 4 place. I was considering: Mooney 201; A36; and the Cirrus 22. The mission is from Atlanta, GA and I travel to Richmond, Va and Orlando FL. Both about 500 Miles and 8.5 hrs if I taxi :slight_smile: and about 2.25 by 170 Kt airplane.

I took a demo flight, very impressed but at $450K their is a lot of competition. I was considering a used A36, a late model can be had for 1/2 the new cirrus. Ruled out the B35 and F33 because of Aft CG problems. The Bonanzas really can’t haul 4 people for very long, as the fuel burns it aggravates the aft CG. The Mooney’s are very small inside and I’m 6’5" and 225lbs. Really can’t four people in a 201.

I have heard of problems with the IO550 wearing out too soon. Checking trade-a-plane, I see a lot of engines not making it to TBO. Driver error or design problem?

Also, looked at the used 22’s. Looks like these can be had for about 225K but they don’t have the PFD. The PFD is really cool and where the industry is headed.

Since I’ll be learning instruments and flying single pilot IFR I want as much help as possible.

So is a used 22 the way to go or does an A36 make more sense?

Also, where is the baggage compartment on the 22?



I was also a 172 owner about 15 months ago and going through the same thought processes you are right now. I spent the $50 to join COPA and got a wealth of information on the members side of the forum. If you are even thinking about an SR-22, I would join and learn from some very smart, talented people.

I love my SR-22 and can’t imagine flying anything else at this point. I would be happy to share my experiences with you if you would like to chat. I don’t know what specific questions you have so a phone call may be a better way to communicate.

Call me if you want to talk. 435-703-4145.

Good Luck,

Hi Mark and welcome.

You’ve narrowed it dow to the A36 and the SR22.

Both are good planes and you won’t be unhappy with either.

Both are reliable 170 KTAS aircraft, one with fixed, the other with retractable gear.

Given you stated experience and mission I would say that a used SR22 would be a better airplane overall for you than a used A36.

The biggest reason in your situation is the SR22 is an easier airplane to transition from a 172 than is a retractable A36.

I would not worry about the PFD as the six pack is very capable and the PFD continues to have some reliability and uncertain long term cost of ownership issues. The huge MFD provides the lions share of the excellent situtional awareness you won’t find an an A36 with 430’s or even 530’s. You would have to go to a 480 (nee UPS MX20) to get even close. THe value of the big moving map on the MFD cannot be ovverstated in IFR situational awareness.

The SR22 is less complex in many regards than the A36 and is less expensive to maintain IMO.

The A36 has greater internal volume and versatility in how you might want to use that volume but it is not a particularly comfortable 6 place aircraft. If you have a couple or three kids than the A36 is the choice.

However if it is just you and up to three adults, the SR22 cabin is far more comfortable, especially for the front seaters.

A great value is to be found in earlier SR22’s without the PFD and TKS. There are a lot of guys moving up to new SR22’s and the big depreciation hit on the non-PFD/TKS birds has already been taken. Buy one and see if you like it. If you do and want to move up to the next generation Cirrus then you won’t take nearly the hit you would have otherwise.

As to the IO-550 longevity. Both the Cirrus and Bonanza use essentially the same TCM IO-550 engines with differing accessories etc. So it is a draw. As for the apparent lack of correlation between TBO and airframe time… hey TCM’s have always been that way.

So, my recommendation is a used SR22 without PFD/TKS for around $225,000 +/-.

Mark, I have been flying SR22’s through AirShares at PDK since 2002. Richmond and Chesterfield County are my most frequent missions. Unfortunately, I’ve never flown an A36, but you are welcome to call with questions.

Cel - 770-329-4697


My partner and I also considered the A36 (used) before we bought the SR22. I suggest you contact your insurance agent about insuring both aircraft and see if the retractable gear on the A36 is going to add to the premium. I am certain you can expect a higher cost annual every year. Our -22 costs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 for an annual depending on how many wearable items need to be replaced like tires, brakes, etc. and the usual list of minor repairs, SBs, and such that add up.

Regarding payload with full fuel, we can put about 650 lbs. in the cabin and CG issues have never been a problem. The cabin is about 5" wider than the A36, too. As far as I am concerned, this factor really enhances the comfort level, and I am nowhere near your size.

Our plane has a six pack, no PFD. I have been flying with the standard instruments for so long, I just don’t see a problem with them. Yea, sure, the PFD is ‘where things are headed’, but the SR22 is already an advanced aircraft with the six pack. As mentioned before, the MFD is really the key to situational awareness. Also, the pre-PFD planes have a second VOR/Glideslope head that you don’t get with the PFD. It is tied to the #2 Garmin and allows you to have a backup for any approach including an ILS. This has been a nice feature to me. Others may feel differently.

Finally, I regularly see cruise speeds over 180 kts. I think most will agree the typical SR22 has no trouble meeting or beating the POH numbers. I don’t know if you can say that about the A36 or not.


Roberts comments are right on! The six-pack 22’s are an excellent value, and your transition will be much simpler (and safer IMHO). My 22G2 is at PDK, drop me a line if you want to chat or see the airplane. Also, spend the 50 bucks and join the members side, best $50 investment you’ll ever make. Even if you don’t buy a Cirrus, I’ve been flyin 30 years and I learn something every time I log on!

Excellent analysis Robert. Right on the money …

Thanks for the reply. I don’t have my IFR ticket yet, was thinking about getting the rating then purchasing something. Would you do it that way or would you buy the plane and train in it? Do you know if Flight Safety or some other good training center has a simulator for the SR’s?

In reply to:

Do you know if Flight Safety or some other good training center has a simulator for the SR’s?


Follow this link to SimTrain. [:)]

In reply to:

Thanks for the reply. I don’t have my IFR ticket yet, was thinking about getting the rating then purchasing something. Would you do it that way or would you buy the plane and train in it? Do you know if Flight Safety or some other good training center has a simulator for the SR’s?

I see you have an answer about the simulator, so I will comment on the insurance cost vs. ‘train in your own plane plan’. You will find insurance on any of the aircraft you mentioned much cheaper and less challenging to acquire if you have 200-300 hours TT and an IFR rating. That being said, I did my training in the SR22 and found it very valuable. Also, when you get your Cirrus, you will need some additional IFR instruction to really be competent and safe to fly IFR in it. If you get a PFD equipped Cirrus and you did your training in a steam guage plane, plan on another ten hours or so of instruction just to get proficient with the PFD in IFR conditions.
My $.02.