Tips IFR in Europe w SR20

Hello everyone

I was wondering whether anyone had some good tips regarding IFR ops with an SR20 in Europe. I’m asking mainly because I remember there were some issues regarding ADFs and DMEs.

I will be able to fly a US registered SR20 in Europe from June and would appreciate any comments.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Chris.
About the argument you are asking,
I think you should pay COPA fee (the best G.A., and not only, money that you could spend) and submit this post in the member forum.

Kind regards

Dear Chris,

The issues are simple;
DME and ADF are (still, and will be in the forseable future) required in a lot (all ?) of European countries.

Since both Cirrus and the European representative did nothing to install or certify, but did offer them earlier, you don’t have the required equipment.


SR20 - 220 N262CD
The Netherlands EU

With the 2 GNS430 (one alone would do also), you are legal to fly RNAV routes. This means that there is no issue enroute. With the ILS, VOR and GPS portion of the 430s, you can fly ILS, VOR, GPS and GPS overlay approaches. Until here it looks good. However, the legal problem starts here: Many approaches are ILS-DME, VOR-DME or NDB without overlay. Although you can switch your second 430 to the DME station, legally this trick is no substitute. In addition, some countries (not all) require DME as a standard equipment - however this is a grey area between registration country and country you are flying in. Cirrus is not taking this issue on with the necessary speed - we have the problem now since 3 years!

Now, what do I do? a) I’ll try to retrofit my plane with a DME asap. b) Meanwhile I fly IFR by picking approaches which do not require DME, and I avoid NDB approaches (if not overlayed). So far no problems encountered in 400 + hours.


Timm Preuser N747TG

Jaap, Cataman

Thanks for your replys.
With respect to the minimum requirements. It was my understanding that IFR ops should be ok in the N-reg airplane, even if it doesn’t meet the requirements for IFR certification in the country through whose airspace I am flying (e.g. second altimeter is often required here). Then again, I might be wrong here. For example, concerning the DME: Since the 430 will be ok for RNAV, I thought it would be fine for enroute.
On the other hand, it seems clear that an ILS approach won’t be possible if a DME is required.

So, is the conclusion that IFR in Europe is simply not possible with the SR20 or is it rather that it is possible but only severely restricted (since NDB approaches and approaches with DME etc. can’t be flown)?

As for COPA, I might eventually join provided that I can actually make use of the SR20, which in my case means fly IFR in Europe. Since the aircraft is not mine (I only have access to it), I won’t fly it if I can’t fly IFR with it. Hence, I would really appreciate any help on this issue.

On a side note, I think that this issue appeared already when this site was still Then again, I hear that Cirrus is planning on JAR certification eventually which would suggest that they’d have to come up with a solution, sooner or later.

Thanks again, Chris

Maybe we should put the Cirrus - IFR - Europe issue on the agenda for the Cirrus representatives at the European Fly-in at EHGG, as it is outright ILLEGAL to file IFR in all the countries that I know of in Europe without DME. Many approaches require DME and ADF capability as IAF or Locator beacon.
This is a BIG issue (and has been for some time…)!

Han Klinkspoor
N144CD (the classic SR20)

Great idea,

Maybe noise certification, before the JAA certification could be another, cause landing fees are outragous without (and with [blink] in Europe. At EHEH I payed € 90, more than on fuel for this business trip !!!


SR20 - 220 N262CD (the Magic All Electric)

I’d be looking forward to get some feedback from the meeting.

Enjoy the trip, Chris


I hope to see you in EHGG next weekend.

This might be a silly question, but do you have the proper FAA IR? Or are you flying on your JAR IR?

I know I’m not an expert or a professional, but I was under the following understanding:

When I am flying in Europe, (i.e. Outside UK airspace) it is my FAA licence that I am using not my JAR licence, in a N reg plane, this then means that FAA rules apply totally. (Imagine a visiting plane from the states)

Since the FAA recognise the use of a RAIM equipped GPS as a DME subsitute, then I fly ILS/DME approaches legally.

It would be interesting to discuss this with the experts though.


The delivery of my SR 20 2.2 is still postponed since October 2002 because the standard navigation equipment installation of this aircraft does not meet the minimum required installation for entering the Dutch FIR on an IFR flight plan. This is regardless the registration of the aircraft.

The official regulation in the Netherlands requires DME and ADF, and a second VOR above FL100 on top of all the other stuff like transponder mode C etc. (Mode S soon)

The regulation allows an individual assessment and exemption from this rule, however my application to fly with DME but without ADF was rejected based on the fact that almost all SIDÂ’s and STARÂ’s in the Netherlands are based on NDBÂ’s and that there is no schedule in place when RNAV overlays will be ready. It is expected that these overlays for the Netherlands will be available in the next few years.

Other European countries like Germany have more overlays available, so that it is well possible that the German Authorities would honor a similar request for their FIR.

As long as we donÂ’t have a single FIR in Europe with one set of rules and requirement, one has to adhere to the most severe regulation if the plane has to be available to fly in all of Europe.

In the mean time I am working with an independent FAA approved avionics maintenance organization to a solution and have received their financial quotation to install DME and ADF a few days ago.

IÂ’ll be in Groningen next week and hope that I can finalize the last obstacles with Cirrus so that a fixed delivery date can be scheduled.

Hein de Groot

In reply to:

I hope to see you in EHGG next weekend.

Ian, Jaap, Han, Hein, Timm and all…

With luck I will there to join in the celebration, and to do some work to facilitate COPA activities in Europe. I arrive at Schiphol on Thursday, and Han has very kindly agreed to give me a ride to EHGG in his SR20. See you all there!

  • Mike.

Dear Ian,

I have a full FAA CPL/IR.

But the rules of the countries airspace still prevail I was told.

Things like Mode S, 8,33 kHz etc, are no rules you can bend.

Mr. Hein de Groot told me the Dutch Aviation Authority has indeed nothing to say about me, flying an N-registered plane.

But the Dutch Air Control (Nederlandse LuchtVaart Leiding) does. They require ADF / DME and one VOR for filing IFR. So there is the catch.

The other thing is how the insurance company looks at you if you break anything. They might find some small print. So getting away with it, and being legal is different stuff.

Simple solution, let Cirrus tell us if we are legal ! They promised an IFR plane (and DME/ADF in 1999), let them proof it, or come with a solution There are now almost 100 planes flying in Europe, some 15 % of all planes sold.

No replies to my questions at Eurocontrol (is the Garmin 430 a P-RNAV box ?)

See you at EHGG


SR20 - 220 N262CD #1310

very sorry, but here you are mistaken.

You are allowed to fly any plane within the territory your license is valid in. This means, with a UK license you can fly a Russian registered airplane in the UK.

With a FAA license, you can fly a N registerd plane in all countries, however, according to the local laws only. You may not assume that there is Class A airspace in Germany or UK only because your airplane and your license are American. 1200 is not the adequate VFR squawk in Europe. etc etc. Same with minimum requirements for the aircraft itself, which must be fulfilled, which brings us to DME and ADF and second altimeter etc.

In the FAA rule which allows to substitute GPS for DME and NDB, it is clearly stated that this exception is only valid in the 50 United States. Not in Canada, not on the Bahamas, not in Europe!

See you soon in Groningen,

best regards,

Timm Preusser N747TG


I’m Glad you are coming.

I for one can vouch for Cirrus’s commitment to the European market.

I flew my plane to the North Weald AeroFair in England a few weekend’s ago. Its the biggest GA event in the UK (I think).

I was very happy and suprised to find 3 staff from Cirrus HQ there, including Alan and Ian, as well as the whole troup from General Enterprises BV, and two wonderful Airplanes.

Alan spent quite a bit of time with us (when I could stop myself demoing the planes to people!) and commented on the potential size of the european market.

People complain about the landing fees, weather, cramped airspace, and fuel costs in Europe compared with the US, however its still true that there is loads of GA activity in the UK market, and the Cirrus planes are still the best equipment on the market.

I for one would like to do everything I can to help them suceed here.

I am looking forward to meeting you all again at the EHGG fly-in, which will be spectacular.

I’ve flown in and out of Schiphol myself quite a few times, considering its so big (a rival to Heathrow!) very busy IFR but its friendly to VFR GA traffic, with its own GA runway, and easy VFR arrivals and departures (“not above 500’ in the zone please”). You will have fun!

(BTW you can fly at 500’ and obey the 500’ rule in Holland i guess as most of the country is below sea level!) [;)]

Anyway. I’m sure you will have fun! It will be good to meet you again!


Great news !

Looking forward meeting you.



Last week I was informed by Rob van Doorn from General Enterprises that an ADF / DME is expected in the second half of this year.

I am training for my IR rating and I am aware of this problem mentioned in the forum.

It’s a pity that I can not join the event in Eelde, I fly that weekend to Biarritz with my spouse.

I regret to miss this opportunity to see you all.


Henk Oudshoorn

From that same source - Cor actually! I think the ADF/DME kit will need a Sandel installation rather than the HSI.



I stand corrected!

As I said, I am a beginner at all this!

See you there!


My understanding is that we cannot fly on airways in the UK (because they are Class A, and for Class A in the UK you must have DME).