For months I have read posts about first experiences with new planes while my partner and I waited anxiously for our SR22 to arrive. Well, it arrived, and now I get to share a few notes with those waiting. Pardon the simplistic presentation, but I do not have the talent for prose previously displayed by so many others. Besides, Jim Fallows is probably watching.
- We took the option of having the factory deliver our plane to us and do the instruction at our home airport. Now that it is over, I am really glad we did it that way. I could go on about the pros and cons, but for us, it was far better than factory delivery in Duluth, even though I was really looking forward to seeing the factory and meeting several people.
*First flight in the plane with Regis (our instructor) was awesome. Neither my partner nor I had ever flown a -20 or -22. Climb rate was unlike anything I had ever flown, and it went right up to the published cruise speed almost immediately after levelling off.
*I have read a lot of critical posts regarding the Arnav display. The fact is that it does what it was intended to do exceedingly well. In four days of VFR flying all over the Southeast, we referred to the sectionals only a few times. Most of the data required was right there on the Arnav or the Garmin 430s. Both of us are currently working on Instrument tickets, so we may develop a desire for more info, but right now I like it. Also, it is obvious the software is upgradeable to provide some pretty neat things in the near future (like weather info).
*In four days of flying, my partner and I switched seating positions in and out of the coveted left seat numerous times while the other observed from the back seat. I can say that the rear seat comfort was beyond my expectations. There is generous legroom and you just don’t get that closed in feeling like you get in the back of a high wing Cessna. I watched my partner do stalls, steep turns, and plenty of different touch and gos without ever feeling queasy.
*Regis and I happened to be by ourselves in the plane with half fuel when it was time to perform short field takeoffs. We were probably at least 500 lbs. under gross. Air temp was quite cool, about 45 degrees. You can only imagine what the climb rate was like. The nose attitude to maintain best angle of climb was incredible. What was the VSI indicating, you ask? Don’t know. My scan consisted of sky-airspeed-sky-airspeed…until we blew 300 feet past pattern altitude which is when I caught up with the plane.
*The 55X autopilot is totally cool. Having the ability to preselect altitude and vertical speed, follow a multi leg course to intercept and fly a coupled ILS approach to decision height hands off is something I had never experienced before.
*We had 15-25kts of wind all four days of our instruction. Regis made the most of it by seeking out airports with the opportunity for crosswind landings. I can say with authority, this plane can handle those dicey, turbulent, crosswind approaches passengers hate. Just keep some extra airspeed down to the runway.
*As far as squawks go, we had a few. We are now having the third turn coordinator installed. The first two were intermittent and unreliable. We became curious as to why we had the second failure and asked the service center to check it out on the test bench before replacement. Sure enough, they were able to duplicate the failure. Both turn coordinators displayed the same malfunctions. Sometimes worked properly to the left, but sluggish to the right, and sometimes providing no turn indication at all in either direction.
There were a few very minor paint/cosmetic issues.
*Overall, this is very fast, comfortable, transportation for four people who want to go places in all but the worst weather.