Operating Costs

I am a private pilot, instrument rated, with approximately 550 hours. I am toying with the idea of buying a SR22 but I am very concerned about its operating costs. I have owned for now 4 years a 2000 C172SP, which is doing very well and I can comfortably afford. Of course the purchase price and the annual insurance of a SR22 are much greater. But what about all other costs? Any thoughts? Thanks,

The Cessna will clearly be to operate. Lower fuel burn, less sophisticated avionics and less redundancy which means less to break. So the Cessna is a better deal from a cost perspective.
But, it is also true that you get what you pay for as well.

In reply to:


I am a private pilot, instrument rated, with approximately 550 hours. I am toying with the idea of buying a SR22 but I am very concerned about its operating costs. I have owned for now 4 years a 2000 C172SP, which is doing very well and I can comfortably afford. Of course the purchase price and the annual insurance of a SR22 are much greater. But what about all other costs? Any thoughts? Thanks,


If you are serious about your prospective investment, join the forum. This notion has been discussed ad nausium.
The SR22 has a 300 hp fuel injected engine burning more gas than a C-172, but moves along at 180 kts, with a very sophisticated electronics package.
Insurance is largely based upon hull value. You can buy a used Cirrus or a new one. The insurance cost will be reflected in your choice.
After that, all planes must be maintained with their related expenses.

Hi Fabrizio,

I’d suspect the annualized cost to operate an SR22 will be about double that of a 2000 C172.

Fuel is the cheapest thing you will have to think about.

The Cirrus, despite it’s industry standard parts and seemingly simple airframe has proven to me to be disproportionately expensive to inspect and maintain. A fellow member here Osama who flies a SR22 used to have a late model turbo C182. His SR22 is in the shop on a regualr basis, athousand bucks here, five hundred there all adds up. In his first two years of the Turbo 182 the plane was never in the shop except for the annual and even they were routine.

He also owned a 2000 C172 so hopefully he will pop in and give you some comparisions.

The Cirrus is also more expensive to insure than your C172 however others want to slice the baloney. Whether you look at the hull RATE or the total premium it is way more expensive.

Having said all that, the SR22 is way more airplane than a C172 in many ways. Going faster, farther and with more toys and capabilites simply costs more money.

My advice is really think what your mission really is. If it is jsut buzzing around with a few hundred miles and you enjoy the 172 then keep it and spend your money flying more.

If you have a couple of hundred thousand dollars of capital and another maybe ten thousand a year in operating costs available and you want some more excitement of flying a faster plane or the speed, climb and toys of the SR22 will really make a difference in your life, then go for it!

Hope this is helpful.

Have you considered an SR20? The fuel burn will be 10-11 GPH and insurance will be less. You will still cruise at 150kts to 156 kts. You will also save a ton of money versus the SR22.

Just my two cents worth.

Randy

Tax Advocates used $168 per hour dry for calculating my personal use of the plane this past year. I do not know how they derive that number but I think it is from average lease cost across the company. If they are leasing for that, I assume actual operating cost is less or they would not be making money.

What’s your mission? Serious travel or fun flying?
The SR22 will be significantly more expensive to operate than the 172SP. I agree with another member who said, “about double.” If you operate the '22 lean of peak, fuel per hour will be 30-40% more that the 172SP but on a per mile basis it will actually be less as Eddie pointed out. I have seen 173-175 KTAS at 11,500 feet on just under 13 gph in the '22.
But fuel is only 25% or less of overall ownership cost. In all other respects the '22 will be quite a bit more to operate: capital cost, insurance, maintenance, reserves.
An SR20 might be a good compromise: 30 kt faster than the 172 on about the same fuel burn but with all of the gizmos and cachet of the '22.
From my own experience I can advise that it’s way more fun to own a plane that you can fly as often as you want without worrying about the cost, than to own a plane that is a “trophy” but makes you grimace about cost every time you want to go flying for the pleasure of it. Acquisition cost is only the beginning. If you’re really concerned about whether you can afford the operating costs, that’s a sign that you might want to consider another plane.

I just want to thank you all for the quick and constructive input to my question. With the C172SP I am taking 2-3 hours trip each way. I would like to get more speed so that I can go further and I would probably be very happy with the speeds (and the cost :-)) of a SR20. However, a must for me is the deicing system, since I want to have max utility. I do not think the SR20 comes with that option. Am I wrong?

Is anyone on this board familiar with the VistaNav product that’s been advertising in AOPA mag lately. It’s a portable yoke mount 5"X 8" EFB, that shows final approach HITS, 3D terrain, solid state gyro, GPS and weather, all-in-one. It seems like the dream upgrade for a yoke-mounted portable nav system. Since I can’t afford a real glass panel, this seems like a great second choice. Any thoughts?

The man is being prudent in asking what to expect, not to go around in repetitive unhelpful circles.
“It all depends” is not a useful answer. There is nothing to hide here. He made a choice to buy a recent C172, based on investigation of relevant facts, hopefully without people biting his head off for asking relevant questions. “If you have to ask it is too much” is nonsense! Did you ask how much the house you live in is worth before you bought it? (did anyone say…“if you have to ask…?”) Did you haggle with the car salesperson before you bought the car you drive?
How much do you think a used a Rolls Royce car is? “If you have to ask…?”, nonsense, …look at EBAY motors, many are for sale for around $30k (Surprised?, I was!, thank goodness I asked, and then I bought one, and have enjoyed every moment of ownership!). We are not all Bill Gates; I ask the price of whatever I buy, even a candy bar!
So, if you already own a C172, you know about cost of capital, fuel, hangerage, insurance etc. As far as a Cirrus is concerned, the cost after acquisition is about $300 per hour, soup to nuts, give or take, depending on age of airplane, how often you fly etc.
Now this is a useful response to his question. I gave it without badgering the guy to join COPA, which he should join only because he wants to, not because we will not be useful to him unless he does. It is his $50, he is asking a question at a free public forum. Let us encourage these people, not show off our superior knowledge that may only be revealed for $50. If you want to see what a useful free public forum is, check out the “Bayliner Owners Club” (BOC)for boat owners. Tons of useful and encouraging info, and most likely you will feel welcome enough and join on your own (I did).
Many pilots die each year; not all from icing problems encountered in a Cirrus. You may say one death is too many, and I agree, but you can get killed in a Piper cub. So let us not fly?
Let us not get “angry”, but rational, and help each other instead of grandstanding. I am more worried about brake fires during taxi/landing! A ridiculous design deficiency in a Cirrus in my humble opinion,as I am more often taxiing and landing using brakes, than in icing at 12K feet.
One last thing; think about Air Shares; a really useful and relatively inexpensive way to own an SR22. I have recently become a fractional owner, and am very happy. Good training, management, fixed expense in ownership. You will be amazed how easy it is to own a $400K airplane for a fraction of its cost.
Nuf said?

I think the per hour costs cited here, related to hours flown per year, are pretty accurate.

Another data point might be helpful: West Valley Flying Club here in the bay area rents SR22s to members. These planes probably fly at least 500-700 hr/year. The per-hour wet rate ranges from $216 for a 2003 PFD-equipped model, to $220-226 for a couple of Centennials, to $236-246 for several G2’s. As we discussed below, this is close to double the rates for 172SP’s of the same vintage.

As the club is not-for-profit (intentionally), I think these hourly costs are likely an accurate reflection of what total hourly costs you can expect if you fly your plane at least 200-250 hr/year.

Perhaps like yourself, I sometimes find the built-in forums’ search function inadequate and a bit frustrating to use. I have heard that the board is working on better alternatives, so we’ll look forward to searches becoming easier and more informative.

If you decide to buy a '20 or '22, I know you’ll enjoy it so much that the high costs will on all but infrequent occasions seem quite worthwhile. I know I’m wincing less at the $200+/hr rental rates because flying the Cirrus is so much fun.

I and the other members look forward to your contributions to the members’ forum!

Thanks for the quick response. Where should I look for some information about operating costs to get a sense of whether or not I can afford a SR22?

In reply to:


…lower fuel burn…


Per hour flown, undoubtedly.

Per distance flown, maybe not.

Comparing my Tiger with my Cirrus from S FL to N GA

Tiger @ 132k- 4:45 @ 10 gph = 44.5 gal
Cirrus @ 168k - 3:30 @ 12.5 gph = 43.75 gal

That assumes LOP in the Cirrus of course. Plus the Cirrus can get much higher to take advantage of tailwinds and the possibility of less than 10 gph.

The Cessna will probably burn in the vicinity of, or just under, 10 gph but be going MUCH slower.

That said, of course the 172 would be cheaper to run overall.

In reply to:


If you are serious about your prospective investment, join the forum. This notion has been discussed ad nausium.
The SR22 has a 300 hp fuel injected engine burning more gas than a C-172, but moves along at 180 kts, with a very sophisticated electronics package.
Insurance is largely based upon hull value. You can buy a used Cirrus or a new one. The insurance cost will be reflected in your choice.
After that, all planes must be maintained with their related expenses.


If you pony up just a little more cash, you can get the 310hp model. [:)]

In reply to:


Thanks for the quick response. Where should I look for some information about operating costs to get a sense of whether or not I can afford a SR22?


I think the adage goes, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”, but only you know the answer to that.
In all fairness, when considering the purchase of a $400,000+ airplane, why not spring for $50 and join. Then you have access to “search” this extensivly discussed issues. We have over 2000 members that can answer you question, and BTW, already have, with thousands of posts on the members forum.
Like I said, your question has been extensivly discussed, and I would just be repeating hundreds of posts. There is no one simple answer.

In reply to:


If you pony up just a little more cash, you can get the 310hp model.


In reply to:


I think the adage goes, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”, but only you know the answer to that.
In all fairness, when considering the purchase of a $400,000+ airplane, why not spring for $50 and join. Then you have access to “search” this extensivly discussed issues. We have over 2000 members that can answer you question, and BTW, already have, with thousands of posts on the members forum.
Like I said, your question has been extensivly discussed, and I would just be repeating hundreds of posts. There is no one simple answer.


Dennis,

I think a lot of potential COPA members may not join after reading many of the sarcastic, idiotic, childish, condescending and patronizing responses that i have read after being a member for just a few days now. For a bunch of guys and gals that own “half a million dollar” airplanes, many of you seem to have forgotten where you came from. I think there are many members that disgrace what COPA represents and belittle those that just want answers to legitimate questions.

The SR20 does not have the deice option. But the general feeling and experience is that having a non-certified deice system does not really increase your utility either.
There is no trip that you should make with the deice system that you would not make without it.

In reply to:


…a must for me is the deicing system, since I want to have max utility. I do not think the SR20 comes with that option. Am I wrong?


Be careful where you go with this reasoning. Much ground is fertilized with the remains of those who relied on an “escape” de-ice system to “increase the utility” of their GA single. I agree with Brian, if you can’t safely make the trip without it, you shouldn’t launch.

In reply to:


I would like to get more speed so that I can go further. . .


Uh oh!!!
More speed does not help you go further. It only help you get there faster

In reply to:


. . .a must for me is the deicing system, since I want to have max utility.


Uh oh!!! Not again.
Do you mean deicing FIKI or anti-icing?

How about flying safe? What do you think about safe, or is it just about how fast, through ice that concerns you?
You wouldn’t happen to be a real estate developer, would you?