I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree.
I think the Cirrus is a much safer aircraft than others. However, statistics can always be used to paint a different picture. I don’t think there are any statistics that say an SR20 in particular is a dangerous airplane compared to others.
However the Lexington accident and the squawks on this board do indicate there is an instrument failure issue.
Many failures of vaccuum pumps, transponders, autopilots, turn coordinators, etc do SEEM to be more prevalent than other aircraft. Are they in reality? I don’t know. Certainly MY airplane has had a tremendous number of instrument failures (the TC and autopilot and transponder)
Instrument failures are a proven element in other IMC crashes. We cannot assume that our planes are safe until we can make sure our instruments work reliably.
On the flip side of this, the Cirrus undoubtedly has many safety features (assuming the instruments work of course.)
For example, my SR20 B model with a Sandel and Stormscope upgrades provide a greater level of safety to a trained pilot. Ah, but that’s the key. I feel very confident in my abilities to pilot this aircraft and its systems.
For example, dual vacuum pumps. This is excellent. This is a very important safety feature that i don’t think anyone can argue against.
Battery backup TC. Another important safety feature, not present in other similar aircraft.
In my case, a Sandel EHSI. I find this device a fabulous safety feature. Why?
- Features. It has the features that I think are important, moving map for situational awareness, stormscope information, RMIs, great HSI presentation, color coding of source input, numerical values for heading, track, waypoint, etc.
- Scan. All of those features are right where you need them – in your scan.
- Electrically driven. This is a great feature. If I lose electical power, this device goes down, but I still have my TC (with the flip of a switch) and a compass. If the vacuums fail, I still have this instrument and the others.
Dual alternators. Nice to have option for redudancy.
Garmins. The garmins are a safety feature in my opinion, but ONLY if you are good with them. Why? Pull up any approach to the nearest airport, quickly. Shoot an approach more comfortably and easily in turbulent IMC. I could go on. There is NO substitute for lots of practice and pushing yourself to the limit. You need to be able to handle all of the scenarios that I and others have posted on this forum quickly without fumbling in order to have this device be a safety issue.
Flyability. The plane flies very nice with a nice high wing loading keeping it stable. BUT this is also a liability. The speed at which the plane lands especially in an off airport landing, will have considerably more kinetic energy to dissipate than a 172. In that regard, this plane is far more dangerous.
Stall handling. The plane stalls nicely with aileron control. However, that’s probably not our big killer. The stall spin on base to final is and the characteristics of this plane aren’t going to be any more forgiving in this regard compared to another aircraft.
Stormscope. A great safety feature. Or is it? Will people fly where the area forecast has predicted T storms? Yes. Is that OK? Probably, but will it cause more accidents? Unknown.
In commenting on the specific question. Is this plane more dangerous. Only YOU can answer that question. As a personal example, I have no plans to become multi engine rated and purchase a twin. Why? I know that I will not be able to maintain the proficiency required to make me SAFER in a twin than in a single. Statisitcally, you’re more likely to die in a twin from an engine failure than a single. Those that are proficient, have no problem. Those that aren’t will.
I am staying current in the Cirrus, but I also want technology to help me where it can. If Mr. Itzak Jacoby (Bonaza instructor, CFII, ex-military pilot) can die in a plane crash because of spatial disorientation, then certainly I can too.
As such, for my money, the Cirrus is the BEST choice to give me a hand when I need it most. But only if you respect it.