Loving my SR22

I took delivery of my SR22, N916LJ, on August 23. I have logged about 110 hours on her already. What a great plane! And what a great traveling machine. I am based in Syracuse (Upstate NY) and in the 7 weeks I’ve had the plane I’ve flown trips to Miami, Boston, Vermont, N. Carolina, New York City, Philidelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, and as far west as Wyoming. And of course, Duluth. Twice.
The performance is unbelieveable. The situational awareness and safety is incredible. And the build quality is fantastic. My Garmin 430’s tell me my AVERAGE ground speed in the 110 hours is 170 knots. High ground speed over 250 knots.
TAS 183 at 12000 feet burning 16 gph 75 ROP.
I’ve done many coupled approaches now in hard IMC and am 100% confident and comfortable in this plane.
So far the only real problem was a flap relay failure.
What a great plane. Thanks to all of the dedicated people at Cirrus!


Ditto with ours… SR22 N747SJ now has about 85 hours after delivery on Sept 18. The plane is fast and comfortable. Just returned from a long trip from San Francisco to New Orleans. Getting similar TAS and fuel burns (I’ve also run 50 LOP at 12.5 GPH at 65% 8,000). We had a bit of a nose wheel shimmy which has gone away and the mode C on the transponder quit two days go. Otherwise, a nearly perfect airplane.


Did you self teach transitioning from hand flying to fully coupled approaches? Just curious. My instructor “never navigates with GPS, I just use it for backup and situational awareness” , he says.

I am in the process of taking an Instrument Proficiency Check. After day 1 (2.3 hrs under the hood practicing holds and approaches) I was exhausted, frustrated, and humbled, and am thinking that my personal minimums will be 2000 and 3. ;-]

I am expecting delivery of our SR22 in June and am trying to develop a plan to get where you are, i.e. using the plane to its fullest extent, but I am not sure how to train for it, with the typical instructor suggesting to “not use GPS for navigation”.

Beat up and bruised,


Paul: I agree with your instructor 99%. It is essential that you are proficient, comfortable and capable hand fling the approaches. However, you should also be the same using the auto-pilot.

Refusing to use and become equally skilled in the A/P usage is almost as bad as not maintaining your hand flying proficiency. Refusing to use the A/P is as ridiculous as it would be for a boxer not to use all of his skill when fighting a lesser opponent.

the A/P will help with the workload, allow you to concentrate more on situational awareness and think even further in front of the airplane.

Once you fly the SR22, you will find that long periods of stick flying are tiring on your left forearm. I’m sure that this would pass with more practice, but I spend at least 75% of my time on cross country trips on the A/P and sometimes as much as 95%.

Don’t be a slave to the technology, but don’t pretend it’s not there either. That won’t increase your safety either.


PS: Enjoy your SR22!

My instructor “never navigates with GPS, I just use it for backup and situational awareness” , he says.


This seems like an excessively hard-line position. A case in point: Here at Santa Barbara, CA, the VOR Rwy 25 approach (based on a VOR located 14.3 nm from the airport) has some scalloping in the final approach course in the vicinity of the FAF. Every local instrument pilot has heard Approach call them “1 mile off course” even when the VOR needle is centered and the nav radio has zero error. But since I’ve been doing the approach as the GPS Rwy 25, I haven’t heard a word of complaint from the controllers.

I wonder whether the 1955 version of this instructor might have said “You should use the A-N ranges for navigation, not ‘omni’ (VOR) — I just use ‘omni’ for backup and situational awareness. Now, let’s see you orient yourself on the south leg of the beacon using fade parallel orientation…”


If you don’t have access to a Garmin 430 get their CDROM simulator and practice on that. You can also download the Sandel and STEC manuals. I haven’t yet read a accident report where someone was killed flying a coupled approach. Lots of “hand flyers” manage to do it. I think most pilots are better at hand flying than using the electronics in a SR22. Right now you will not find many instuctors, especially those who fly different planes all the time, who are knowledgeable about the Sandel and all the things you can do with a Garmin. There is a lot to know about the Sandel and about how all the instruments in the SR22 interface with each other. The more you can read in advance of picking up your plane the better.

“Not to use a GPS”? You’ve got to be kidding! The big problem here is that most instructors are used to flying ancient spam cans and have little or no experience with a GPS. I’m not suggesting a pilot shouldn’t be able to do things the old fashioned way too, but “not to use the GPS” is simply ludicrous.
I got used to the Garmin 430 before I got me 22 because my Tobago had one. I also took 2 additional days of training in Duluth, and brought my CFII with me. I am fortunate in that I have a great CFII that is very passionate about flying and instructing, and has taken the time to learn the avionics in my Cirrus inside and out.
The 22 is an amazingly capable plane. When you see how easy it is to fly, and how much your work load is reduced by using the autopilot, you’ll love it too.
Try to get some 430 experience if you can before you go to Duluth.
Best of luck,

Just got my instrument rating with PIC in my SR-22. The instructor was very pro GPS appreciating all the benefits and had the knowlege to back it up. He also had some experience with the sandel hsi as well . He had 6000 hours instruction, I hear that is typical for their instructors. The moral is find a good instructor… dont settle.

Thanks to all who responded.

I understand the importance of proficiency in hand flying, and I don’t think there is any shortage of instructors willing to test your skills at that.

But that is not really what I was inquiring about. What I really want to know is how you guys have transitioned to flying coupled approaches, in addition to using GPS for primary navigation, since it doesn’t appear to be widely taught by CFII’s. Did everyone here just experiment with the gear, the 430 simulators, etc., and are you all pretty much self taught.

Can you pretty much fly an entire flight plan with the autopilot? Can you fly holds with the GPS coupled to the A/P?

I am guessing that the factory training will address most of these questions, but I would like to be familiar with the operation before the training. Has anyone gotten a copy of the training sylabus/manual before they went to Duluth?

My CFII taught me how to us the 430 on my Tobago, so I was familiar with it before I took delivery of my 22. He had to learn about it first, though, and read the owners manual thoroughly. Then we simply used it, and like anything else, the more you practice the better you get.
All of the avionics are covered in the training in Duluth, but if you are unfamiliar with GPS and advanced autopilots I’d recommend buying a few additional days training while you are there.
On the 22 “B” you can lay in an entire flight plane, preselect final altitude and rate of climb, and the GPS and autopilot will take you there. It will also fly arrival and departure procedures as well as approaches. Its all very intuitive once you get the hang of it.
Where are you based? Maybe you can find a Cirrus owner close to you that would take you up for a flight and show it all to you.

The Wings Aloft instructors have alot of experience teaching the Cirrus setup. I took my IFR course with them; they were very good at showing different ways to use the various systems in the plane to back each other up. And since Cirrus cancelled their contract, they probably have time available and would be happy to travel…


I am picking up my SR22 at the end of November. About a week ago I received the training manual which includes a copy of the POH. The manual seems very complete. However, the section on the 430 is limited to some helpful suggestions, but no real “how to” information. For that the manual suggests downloading the 430 simulator from the Garmin web site.

I am now working my way through the manual and the exercises at the end of many of the sections (completion of the exercises is required before the actual training sections) and working with the 430 simulator. I now feel a lot more comfortable. This is the right time to be digging into the material, from my perspective. I just wish I had known that it was coming.

I’m based in Indianapolis. No Cirri here.

Can you do coupled holds with the 430 and the Stec A/P?


Does a bear sh-- in the woods?

Just pick up my 22. Holds are shown on the Garmin/Arnav. Turns are accomplished using the HDG button on the AP and turning the bug on the Sandel then continuing with the bug to fly the outbound leg and second turn followed by the NAV button to fly inbound. It is really Great.

Loving it after a long trip home to Northern CA all flown using the GPSS function including altitude preselect for climbs and descents. So much fun to fly.

Bob SR22 96Sy