Transitioning from Cessna 172sp to Cirrus SR22


Im new to the forum and have been a fan of the Cirrus SR22 for some time now. I currently own and fly a 2000 Cessna 172sp, and have about 300 hours total time. I was considering selling my Cessna and getting an SR22 (G2 or G3) but I had two questions. (1) When I land in my C172 i usually pull the power over the numbers, level off, and land it…is this similar in a SR22? (2) Currently right now I can pull my aircraft out of my hangar by myself with a tow bar, will I still be able to do this with an SR22?

If I decide to go the Cirrus route I plan on having at least 10 hours of dual with an instructor, before flying it myself. I just would like to find an instructor in the DFW area that is proficient and knowledgeable about the Cirrus SR22. Is there anyone that is recommended?

Thanks in advance

Hi Emil, welcome to the forum. I will do my best to answer your questions. I also have some landing videos on my website that may give you a better idea. For your first question, the Cirrus will land a bit differently. What you will find with almost any heavier plane (Baron, Bonanza, Cirrus) flying the correct speed on approach makes your life much easier. What you will find , with any of those planes, quickly cutting the power is going to cause the aircraft to sink much faster than you are used to in the 172. The 172 will float down to the runway while these other aircraft , if flown at the proper approach speeds, will be much happier if you slowly reduce power. This will allow you to offset some of the sink with a little bit of back pressure for the perfect landing. You will still be landing with the throttle at idle, it’s just a smoother transition. What you will find in the Cirrus is that small, intentional, and controlled power and control inputs will allow you to stay farther ahead of the plane. When it comes to landings, don’t worry, the Cirrus instructor you work with will spend a lot of time on landings and I think you will find that the Cirrus is actually easier to land than the 172 especially in high wind situations. It’s a heavier aircraft with great control reactions and a lot of power. Once you learn to harness it you will never go back. The key is just learning the tricks. I would also say don’t just look local for a Cirrus instructor. Spend a little extra and get someone who you mesh with and is highly qualified. You may pay a little more but you will learn much more about the aircraft , both flying and ownership and you will be dry happy you made the investment. There are quite a few of us instructors in the cirrus community that travel around the world providing Cirrus specialized instruction. Myself, Alex Wolf, and Trip Taylor are just a few that you will see on the forums. (Sorry for anyone I missed)
Your second question “just how big are you” lol. This will make more sense when you start to get more comments. Pulling out of the hangar or pushing back, I don’t have any issue if it’s flat. 1. Uphill forget it. 2. Pushing back tougher, 3 uphill pushing back See number one. If you are going to be pushing by yourself invest in an electric tug. Although this won’t build the bulging muscles that your friends will talk about, it will keep you from looking ridiculous as you hang from the prop, tow bar in hand, and sweat running down your forehead. Again welcome, prepare to get lots of input. This is a great and very active community of Cirrus pilots.

I bought my G2 about 18 months ago. I started my flying in a Cessna 172 (though there was a Bonanza in the middle). To address your questions.

Landing: The Cirrus lands differently than the Cessna, but generally it is easier. The low wing gives a bit more ground effect, so after you round out and bring the power back, it will pretty much lands itself unless there is a wind problem. As previously mentioned, it is essential to get the right approach speeds. The controls are more sensitive than the Cessna, and sight picture in the flair is less pronounced. Get a good instructor with lots of experience in Cirrus, since the higher landing speeds make the risks involved with a bad landing outcome more serious. I worked with Alex Wolf on landings. It was definitely worth it.

The Cirrus is quite a bit faster, and when you push the nose down for descent, it gains speed quickly. So an important part of the transition to the Cirrus is staying ahead of the airplane, and planning for descents.

Tug: The Cirrus weighs quite a bit more than the Cessna when empty. I can move the Cirrus by myself on absolutely flat ground, but it is work. I used to move my Cessna around by myself. With the Cirrus, even the slightest incline, or a small depression, and I need help. So I recommend a tug. The electric ones are quieter, but I got a good deal on a gas powered tow, and it works just fine. It will run on avgas, so I can replenish it when I sump the tanks. I wear hearing protection when I use it.


welcome! In Addition to what has been said, let me add that both Cirrus and COPA are very active with regard to pilot training. Cirrus has developed extensive transition training programs detailing exactly what a pilot should learn to become proficient in flying a Cirrus VFR or IFR. If this sounds a little like a type rating, well, it is. Not so much because a Cirrus is hard to fly - it isn’t (although there are a lot of systems to manage if you are new to glass cockpits). More because when you look at the portion of flying where type ratings are the norm, you are also looking at vastly better safety records. So it seems to make a lot of sense to properly learn a new aircraft. Hence Cirrus’s involvement in developing these programs. They are also very much liked by the insurance industry: whoever has passed the formal Cirrus transition training has pretty much shown he can fly a Cirrus.

More importantly, Cirrus has developed a program called Cirrus Standardized Instructor Program or CSIP. An instructor vetted by Cirrus as a CSIP, or a flight school designated a Cirrus Training Center (CTC) pretty much guarantees you a high level of instructional quality and an instructor that actually knows the specifics of the aircraft. In principle, all CSIPs should teach you to fly the Cirrus in the exact same way (as laid down in the Cirrus Flight Operations Manual or FOM, which can be found online, e.g. at, IIRC. Of course there will still be instructors that are more standardized than others, and there will be good ones and great ones.

but, and that’s what I’m trying to say, it pays hugely to invest in learning properly to fly a Cirrus.

Emil, I’m located just south of you (in Georgetown) and I’d be happy to talk to you by phone or email about the “differences” and the training. I’ve transitioned lots of Cessna drivers to Cirrus. Feel free to contact me

at or 512-966-7887.

Emil you will find that pushing a Cirrus with a tow bar is pretty difficult. It would definitely add a lot of work to every flight and, thanks to the free nosewheel you have to use the bar. Might as well attach a tug!

Landing is easy, but technique matters. Very easy to do right if you learn the right way from day one. I echo the advice given to use a really proficient instructor. You say you plan on 10 hours, which is reasonable for VFR if you get really familiar with the panel in advance. With an SR22 you will no doubt go a lot of places you wouldn’t have in the Cessna and will get some new experiences with new airports, WX etc. so use that instructor often! The SR22 also requires a much more thorough understanding of engine management than the Cessna, and you’ll want an instructor who can teach this plainly. Not an obstacle but important. Enjoy!

I would not get hung up on how long it takes you to become proficient on the aircraft because it’s going to take what it takes. You could not have more dissimilar airframes. The 22 flies on a critical wing vs the 172, and what that means in English is speed and energy management is extremely important, even more important then on 172. Mark eluded to the importance of systems knowledge and that cannot be under emphasized. Anything you’ve been taught about engines in the 172 you can pretty much throw out the window at this point. If you stay local, Carol is your girl. Everyone here in the owners group is also your support system so the most important thing for you right now is to ask as many questions as you have. There are no questions to inane or basic. Good luck.

“Currently right now I can pull my aircraft out of my hangar by myself with a tow bar, will I still be able to do this with an SR22?”

Of course it CAN be moved by hand but let’s put some data around this. A sort of typical G2/3 Cirrus empty weight is 2400 lbs, some a a fair bit more, some a little less depending on installed equipment. The G2 can carry 81 gallons of fuel, the G3 92 gallons. That means typical weight when full fuel in the hangar is 2800 minimum, easily more - depending on the plane.

So, sort of a small car weight wise. With a slight grade it can be nearly impossible without help. And if you have a lip at the entrance to the hangar that can be a real bear. Some living in wet or icy areas report slipping. Realistically, expect to buy a tug.

Welcome to the world of Cirrus and good luck.

+1 on the tug. Good used ones seem to go for about $800.

I expected the Cirrus to be about 50% more difficult to fly than the 172SP that I used to get my PPL. I found it to only be about 25% more difficult. The difficulties for me were taxiing, being much more accurate on speed on short final than I was before and not flaring too soon due to the very different sight picture.

Wow…Many thanks to everyone that replied, very informative. Carol I will be contacting you in the near future when I make up my mind 100%, still contemplating. Much appreciated