Short Field Operations

I’d sure like to hear from anyone using their SR-22 from a grass field. Here’s the issue. I recently had my regional director demo an SR-22 with me, and I like everything about it (except the very heavy aileron forces), but I’m very concerned whether that airplane and my strip are compatible. My field is 2,100 feet long, elevation 350, clear approaches (but no overruns so that’s like a 20 ft. obstacle), and relatively smooth. Summer density altitude could be 3,000 feet. My impression was the SR-22 used about 1,600 feet to take-off and land, with three on board and 40 gallons. But what if I’m not right on approach speed, or the grass is wet? Unlike some, even my wife is “sold” on the Cirrus, but if it won’t work safely I’ll have to look for another solution. I welcome others experiences or thoughts. The SR-22 is a remarkable airplane, but it likely wasn’t designed for my type operation.

My caution to you stems from the small amount of clearance one has on the SR-22 wheel fairings. Related to this is the tendency of the nosewheel to shimmy. I’ve already left one nosewheel fairing sitting on the centerline of the runway on landing due to a violent shimmy. The replacement fairing has already developed a small crack. The fairings on the mains have been fine on my plane, but I’ve always used well paved strips.

The SR-22 is a remarkable aircraft, but somehow it doesn’t seem like a regular user of grass strips. Maybe others have actual experience with grass and can comment on the performance of the fairings on a soft field.


My advice would be to consider one of two options:

  • Move to an area with a paved strip with approaches

  • Move to an area with a paved strip without approaches

Of course buy the Cirrus - you will be very happy - just not at that strip on a daily basis. Of course - keeping your wife happy is very important - so call that realtor right away.

Best of luck,


Something else to consider is the fact that the SR22 has only 7 inches of clearance between the prop and the ground. I know many pilots have used the -22 on grass strips with no problem but I haven’t heard of one that bases it at a grass strip. You will have many more chances for a prop strike.

I also agree with Scott’s advice.

My $.02


I was on a grass strip for the second time today in my 22. While not a problem, I would not do it on a regular basis. If the ground is wet and/or your tires are low or you are tired or heavy, etc. (the possiblities are endless) you will be replacing your fairings pretty often. It’s really not worth it. As someone else suggested drive further or move. You’ll be a much happier camper.

Bob, we base our SR22 off of a 3500’ grass strip and fly to our lake place 2500’ grass strip and have 275 hours on this plane after owning an Sr20 for two years. Both of our strips are well established but you always have to consider conditions at the time. We have flown off of both at gross with the SR22 and have had no problem. Prop clearance is also no problem. The only complaint I have is the damn bugs!

The front fairings have a tendency to fall apart on any surface.

In reply to:

The front fairings have a tendency to fall apart on any surface.


I know that some have done so; on the other hand, I’ve had N84MR for 2.5 years and 900+ hours, and the nose wheel pant is still pristine. I wonder what differs from one airplane to the next?

  • Mike.

Daniel: I have operated my SR22 from a grass field for 18 months

As most owners will tell you, the grass figures in the POH are very conservative. I regularly land on the shortest runway at Goodwood/Chichester (EGHR) which is 613 metres long and I have hardly every used more than 2/3 of that. Certainly I have never needed the full length.
My rule of thumb is that I will not land on an unknown grass strip of less than 1,800 ft (unless I really know it is in good condition; short grass; wind is gentle etc etc).

This assumes you are using short field landing techniques (in particular, using the full length available and keeping approach speed down to c75 knots).