SR22 NA suitable?

Hey all,

I’ve been reading in here for a while now and now decided to sign up, so first of all hello to all and thanks for all the useful information I already got from here.

So here’s my first question:
I think of buying a plane as soon as I got my IR which might take roughly a year from now on.
My mission is most of the time one of the two following:
A) flying to my wife’s family in Munich (300nm) together with wife and child.
B) flying to business appointments in various cities within Germany and sometimes the surrounding countries. But rather not more than 500nm of distance. The problem here is that many of these appointments will take place in rural areas with most likely relatively short gras strips between 2000ft and 3000ft. Density altitude is not that big deal around here with the highest field elevation around 2500ft. Most will be below 1500ft.

So as I like to use the plane for business appointments I need to fly IFR and then fly above the weather → de ice is a must. Is the turbo necessary or useful for these distances (time saving not the big issue) or would a NA plane do fine? What about adding the supercharger for the „high“ fields?

Thanks in advance,
Frederik

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Do these rural grass trips have instrument approaches?

I would be pretty nervous about committing to business appointments at a certain time and relying on a single-engine piston airplane, and even more so if your destination has to be VFR, and even more if you didn’t have a reliable fall back plan to get there on a commercial flight.

How comfortable are you and any pax with using oxygen cannulas? Basically if you’re not going to fly at altitudes that require oxygen then there is not much point in getting a turbo.

Frederik, I’ve had my NA since the day it was built. I’ve been on two long range trips where it would have been nice to have TN, but then I get to annual and am thrilled not to have it. This shot was taken at 17,500’ during the solar eclipse a few years back…it’s been 16 years and 1130 hours….I wouldn’t change a thing.
image

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As a lower-time pilot myself (got my IR 20 years ago but returned to flying a couple years ago) I would be extremely conservative about planning business trips with my plane generally, and especially in winter (I’m in northeast US so we can have clouds with ice 4-6 months a year). For me part of my plan is to minimize the pressure to attempt any trip.

I bought an NA because I can fly from Boston to Florida and back without going above 7000ft. I bought FIKI because it is known to work well but I treat it as a backup if my plan to avoid ice fails. I know some consider it adequate for penetrating limited ice but I don’t feel I know my weather well enough to make that call.

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It’s very subjective, but if u need to fly through ice and above the weather I would definitely go with a turbo FIKI. Your climb rate stays constant all the way to your altitude specifically in the teens where NA loses steam on the climb.

Whe I was looking at buying my first cirrus I thought NA would be fine and probably would have but I now realize the TN I ended up with serves the way I like to fly way more, I like going high and fast (I find myself no lower than 13-17k on 300 mile legs) and I have no problem using oxygen ull luv seeing 190+ true and 215 ground speed with some decent tail wind ;).

I’m the same with my sports cars I always find myself getting the fastest version of the cars I have, turbo S, performante, g63… my point of view is if they offer it I’m buying it lol, rather have it and not need than need it and not have it!

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Thanks guys.
I should probably add that I don’t need to fly to the appointments. Distances in Europe are shorter than in the US and I can always drive. It’s just not as convenient andvery timeconsuming to drive 7 hours for a 2h meeting and then back.

Alex: the strips don’t offer IFR approaches but if the weather forces me to, there are always IFR capable airports within reach. I don’t mind oxygen cannulas but so don’t like the masks. So that forces me to stay below FL180 on Europe. That was one of the reasons I questioned the benefits the turbo offeres.

Jim: Beautiful picture. Would love to see this in real.

Colin: As I’m not experienced with ice I would avoid flying through for a longer time. But right now for example we have icing conditions between 3000 and 6000ft. So I hope getting above the weather with a FIKI SR22 NA would be possible?

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Frederik, I am curious, do your trips involve crossing the Alps? I owned my 22 for 4.5 years, in California, and traveled across the country several times. I had built in Oxygen, and used it quite a bit. I think the 22 NA is perfectly suited for missions not involving crossing the mountains regularly. And, if necessary, it will easily make it across, it just won’t climb as readily as the T.

The ability to run LOP and burn ~13GPH at 170ktas seems very attractive to me in the context of flying in Europe, and given your gas prices.

Have fun looking and deciding. It’s a really fun phase.

Cheers,
Jorge

I personally would be more concerned about the grass runways. But I know that is much more common in Europe; while in the USA we have a lot more small payed airports.
In terms of the turbo, you need to talk to local pilots and find the weather you will be dealing with. In the north east of the USA where I live a turbo provides very little value in terms of icing. Our icing layers tend to either be severe enough that you are not flying, or low enough that you can climb/descend through them (note, even a FIKI Cirrus cannot handle freezing or mixed precip).
While out west in Rocky mountains, the turbo will get a lot more utility due to where the icing layers are.

Last point, again check with local pilots about what levels you can fly around in Germany. I have a read a posts that IR in many parts of Europe are restricted to low altitudes for piston planes, or in the high teens.

Tim

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Paging Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association - Best aviation community ever!

I have a SR22 G5 NA with FIKI and live in the Great Lakes region of the U.S where the winter overcast layer is regularly 3000-6000.
I fly 350 hrs a year for personal trips and business meetings too and I almost never have a problem punching through the icing layer and getting on top.
I fly 2-3 times a week and I can count on one hand the number of scheduled flights that I cancel each year for weather. (Postpone or move up a few hours or route plan around cells I don’t like occasionally, but rarely cancel)
It’s a very robust and capable plane.
Respect the weather and the limitations of the aircraft but don’t underestimate the world or amazing opportunities it affords either.

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I am in Germany and I have owned a 22NA for 9 years now. I would say that a Turbo is not necessary for flights within Germany. Of course it’s nice to fly higher and faster but I never felt it was necessary for my missions.

2-3000 ft grass are no problem at all if you only practice short field approaches a bit. I fly to a 2000 ft grass strip next to my company in the Czech republic on a regular basis and it’s really no big deal.

I also cross the Alps to the Mediterranean, The lowest IFR Flight Levels are 120 and 130 to get to Croatia, for example, and I sometimes fly up to 160. I don’t cross the Alps in bad weather and in IMC

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That’s not correct. You fly IFR in small planes from the MVA up in all levels. Flight levels start in 5000 ft here, so FL50.

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@ShainBuerk and many others with a lot more experience than I would answer “yes” to this question.

The only caveat I’m going to toss out there is that as a newer pilot, you may find that after a few hours in a complex IFR environment, the only thing you are ready for is a long hot shower and a tall cold drink. Others may feel differently and I think it reduces significantly with experience, but if a big part of the plan is to reduce the time you spend away from home, I’d be conservative about that.

Where I’m at right now, if I was going to take the plane on a business trip I would be planning to stay overnight and fly back the next morning so I was at peak freshness, whereas I wouldn’t think twice about driving 7 hours after a 2-hour meeting.

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Love this discussion and many of the points being made here. The ones that stand out, to me are:

  • as a newly minted IR pilot, err on the side of caution
  • the turbo will climb at a consistent rate to higher altitudes (extremely useful in mountain flying if this is consistently part of your missions)
  • know the icing conditions well on each flight (what type of icing, what is the level of expected severity and can you confidently climb through it? In short - is this a flight I can safely make?)
  • talk to local pilots about their experiences (such a great suggestion!)
  • lower fuel burn + lower maintenance costs (spot on)
  • grass runways without instrument approaches raise red flags for me in this discussion. You mention that there are nearby (likely larger) airports that do have approaches- I would focus any winter flying on those as better options.

I’ve owned a 2012 SR22 NA with FIKI since new and have logged 2,100 hours up and down the west coast (+ a number of trips to the midwest) with a lot of mountain flying. I find that the key for making this work safely for me, my business and my family is to remain humble in the face of the pressure or desire to get there. The plane is an incredibly capable machine, but that capability can also provide a false sense of security that can lead to situations where you’d much rather be on the ground.

I know my plane very well and fly year round 200-250 hours annually. I love all of the ease of movement that comes with ownership, but i don’t assume a hard instrument flight through icing conditions in the mountains is a given. I reschedule or cancel about 5-8 flights a year due to weather and I regularly will shift my schedule a couple of hours up or down to pick the better window for the flight. I also do an IPC every 12 months with additional training to touch up anything I’m feeling less than commercial level proficiency at.

I really appreciate your inquiry- it’s a big step for you, for your family and potentially for your business. After lots of time in the seat, Given the type of flying that I know that I consistently want to do, my next plane will definitely be a turbo to give me the ability to fly through different conditions and to confidently get above winter storms with greater frequency.

The number one thing I would recommend is to find a great instructor (or two) who value safety and safe practices above the desire to get there. Introduce your family to them so they know what’s at stake. Then ask them to set the expectations for your instrument ticket at commercial level proficiency. I believe that this piece will set you up for great success. Number two is to have your plane meticulously maintained by a team that you trust.

I’m excited for your journey. Happy and safe flying!

Glen

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