SR20 And Ice

How does the SR20 compare to, say, the C182 in terms of handling ice?

I am super extra paranoid when it comes to ice, but unfortunately there is always a risk. For example last year I launched with the temps well below -10C, only to hit a completely unforecast temperature inversion. There were no AIRMETS for ice. I picked up a trace of ice during the climb. The ice sublimated within a couple of minutes as I out-climbed the temperature inversion.

So, in a situation like this, which would you rather be in - a SR20 or a C182? Anyone have any thoughts?

No question that the C182 will handle ice better than an SR20.

It has a larger radius leading edge and a higher lift wing as well as more power. The Cirrus wings are finer and are more affected by disturbances to the (relatively) laminar flow.

Speaking from personal experience, the SR-20 when it gets ice does not ablate it quickly, and the performance drop is scary. At 10K, I got caught in rain that quickly was discovered to be freezing - my IAS went from downhill from 130 to 105 faster then a redneck stuffed inside a Goodyear. But the problem compounded with the 20 and potential icing, is you simply do not have the extra power available to climb your way out of it - if you have known tops.

The other problem that you can run into, and I speak from experience with this - is at high AOA, your controls can get frozen up. When I did exit this encounter, I soon discovered that I had no elevator control authority. Looking back, I wish I had taken a photo - but ice had covered over the gap region where the elevator and the horizontal stab meet. The long short of it - ICE in a SR-20 or any plastic aircraft for that matter will not be a pleasant experience.
I’ll link a few photos to that exact encounter.


Judging from comparative ramp icing, I think the Aluminum frames shed ice better than Cirrus composite.

Thank you all for the feedback.