Prop strikes and tail strikes ?

Why is that I see many Cirrus planes for sale that have prop or tail strikes ? Do they require allot of instruction to be safe or are they exteremly difficult for the average PP to get check out ? We arelooking for a older SR20 and are now wondering perhaps we should stick with a 172 or 182 ?


G1/2 SR20’s are closer to the ground, and used for more flight training, hence more strikes. I don’t think they are more difficult to land than a cessna. Can’t tell you what is better for instruction.

Ross - Thanks for quick response. Being a low time PP what could one expect to take in a good check out as far as time also my wife flys a 150 new PP is this something she can get checkout in or are we going to see 40 hrs plus to get her up to speed. Seems like some of the SR 20 - 2001 - 2003 are coming into the market at a price that makes one have to take a look at them - any year better than others and panels - what should one shot for ?


Hi Ross.
I was in the same boat as you a few months ago and did look at a few Pipers before deciding on a Cirrus. I have never flown a Cirrus prior to starting my transition training, which is around 10 hours, but I took the opportunity to do a IFR currently as well so it took me longer.

First of all, the Cirrus is very easy to land, especially in crosswind. It is also easy to fly in all aspects but its a little faster than your normal 172.

A few important items to make your purchase successfully.

1: Join COPA, for $65 you get a ton of information and access to very helpful people.

2: get a very detailed pre buy inspection and contract Savvy to manage it for you. (Worth every cent)

3: Get training form a Cirrus instructor. (CSIP). This is very important for your success and safety.

Part two, for some reason I hit post to early.

But the Cirrus sight picture is very different from a Cessna or Piper when you land so it will feel different. It took me a few really bad landings before I got it down. (With a Cirrus instructor)

I started to look at the “steam gauge” version when I was looking but spent a little extra to get a 2004 with the first gen “glass cockpit”. It was worth it to me.

Bet of luck with your search.


Matt is pretty much spot on. Training from a qualified CSIP is so very important. You will hear a lot of good information here about vintages, etc. Your budget and mission will help you settle on the right plane for you. The most important thing is to be thoroughly trained in the plane. Invest in recurrent training as well. It is well spent money!
Good luck and safe flying!

I always went by the notion that taking lessons is just cheap insurance but I am concerned with so many SR20 for sale with prop strikes and tail strikes that it will be 50 hrs of dual ? What is typical check out 10 - 15 - 20 hrs and what can I expect to pay for insurance on say $120k SR20 ?

Also what can one expect fo rfuel burn ? Most i see have had the chute repacked is there anything else that will be coming up that is major expense on such a plane ? I know other mfer’s have 1000 hr checks and a costly check o fthe lightening arresting /wiring on them ? Any big suprizes ? Cock pit steam gauges is fine for my budget but what about the various displays I see they installed - any to avoid ?

When I bought my 20, I had 60 hrs and just passed my PPL. I felt comfortable after about 12-15 hrs. of instruction.As I went through the IR process I really learned a lot more about the true workings of the plane. If you have 430s, there are some great on line tutorials, landings had me psyched out for a while…It took a while to get comfortable with the side yoke. Like anything else, the more you do the more comfortable you will be. Many prop strikes are from porpoising, some are from ramp mishaps…they all count. Chute repacks are prox. 12k, I pay $2250 prox. for insurance…training is more than cheap insurance. Its your life. Get some CSIP references here based in where you live. The quality of instruction you get makes all the difference in the world.,and your safety!

You will also find lots of 182’s with prop strikes…

Indeed, this COPA community rocks! However, we can help more effectively when you fill in the profile with your real name and location.

As for flying a Cirrus as a low-time pilot, two key things to consider:

  • Are you willing to admit what you don’t know and plan your flights and fly your plans with discipline to stay within your envelope of safety?
  • Are you willing to invest in yourself to get excellent flight training?
    If you do both, then I believe anyone like you can be a safe and proficient pilot in a Cirrus.
    If you one but not the other, then you may have problems.
    And if you do neither, then you may join the unfortunate statistics of pilots who end up in accident reports.

It can be that important to get right.

For example, an excellent training facility can take zero-time pilots and get them to private pilot and instrument ratings in a Cirrus, even latest and greatest new SR22 from the factory, let alone the great deals available. Several university aviation departments do it. The Flight Academy has done it with over 100 pilots. Choose your instructor carefully.


I pay $1,600 annually for my 2004 SR20.

I believe a large component of insurance cost is hull value, based on the value of the plane.
Rick is so so right on this matter…as usual! Train with someone who knows this unique aircraft. Train with someone who understands and is committed to the red handle. Know that your instructor knows much more than you, and be willing and committed to listen and learn!

i literally finished working with a client coming off a landing accident in that vintage SR20 last week. tail strikes are VERY rare and can only occur with no flap landings. prop strikes become a non issue over time as the engine builds history.

Any instructors from the CPPP program are known good quantities. I have the exact same vintage aircraft you are considering.

give me a call with questions. and join Copa

Alexander Wolf

Thanks for the replies folks and as a result I don’t think a Sr 20 will be making its way to our hanger . Perhaps we will go take a lesson in one before we strike it off but from the repies it sounds like it is will require a higher time pilot than we are.

I earned my PPL in 1998 then stopped flying with only 80 hours in 2001. Last year I started flying 2006 SR20 rental plane. I transitioned in less than 15 hours. I had not been in a plane for 10 years.
Do your self a favor and fly a Cirrus before you make a final decision. Much better plane to fly than a 172 or 182.
Hope this helps.

First of all: No, it doesn’t require that.

Second: Yes, absolutely do try it out.

Third: I’m going to be very frank here. IMHO, if you as a pilot are not willing to live/fly/train by the two conditions Rick mentioned, you’re an accident waiting to happen - regardless of aircraft type. Apologies for putting it like this, but I have seen so many know-it-alls and hey-it’s-just-another-airplane types come to serious grief and leave their loved ones in a world of hurt that I am beyond pleasantries in this matter.

You should definitely take a lesson. Or two. Or more. Here is what you will find:

  1. Compared to some other aircraft, a Cirrus is more sensitive if you land too fast. It is slippery. It wants to keep flying. If you goof and come in too fast and bounce more than once, go around. That is all there is to it.

  2. A tailstrike is virtually impossible if you land with full flaps the way you are supposed to. To have a tailstrike at full flaps, you would have to drop it in with such force that almost any similar plane would be damaged.

I bought a Cirrus before I had my Private. Now, I have 2,300 Cirrus hours. I have had good landings and bad landings, but I have never even come close to a prop strike or tail strike.


I support your decision because it’s your money and your preferences. You and your wife should get something you feel comfortable in.

Now, I’m professionally interested in how folks process data and arrive at decisions. Thus a certain curiosity. I have read the chain of replies to your questions. What brought you to the conclusion that you should not get an SR20?

Fly it before you rule it out. Any aviation pursuit deserves and requires diligent training. You’ll come to the decision that is right for you!