Trying to decide on platform to purchase. Any SR20 owners in KCHO?

I am getting mixed feedback from my instructor, friends and, of course, brokers on various platforms. The ones I am looking at are the Diamond DA40, Piper Archer iii and the SR20. Looking for used, ~2000-2003, steam gage is ok but I’d like WAAS and a decent autopilot. I plan on flying for business but stick to east coast and probably light travel. All in all, maybe 4-6 hours a month. I am a low-time pilot – 180 hours to date, just got my instrument in a Cessna 182 in April.

The thing I need to know more about is how I cut through the noise re: safety and costs (maintenance and insurance). I am sure this is a topic that has come up here 100 times! SO sorry for bringing it up again. :slight_smile:

Anyone in Charlottesville I can buy coffee for and talk about the platform? And, any good info on costs would also go a long way. Again, thank you for your time!


There is a great article in “The Aviation Consumer” December 2013 issue on the Cirrus SR20 if you can find a copy that talks extensively about the SR20.

I had an SR20 (I loved that plane) as a low time pilot and found the plane fit well with my capabilities. I took the plane to Colorado, landed at Leadville, took a trip to Alaska, etc. The SR20 is a very useful plane that can do a lot for less costs. You will sacrifice speed vs. an SR22----but for a low time pilot that might not be so bad, you just need to know how to manage and operate the plane and know its capabilities and limitations. Training and studying over the POH will accomplish that.

Costs were fairly reasonable, my most expensive annual was $4200. I usually averaged a fuel burn of just over 8GPH.

If you have any questions you would like to discuss PM me your phone number and we can talk on the phone.

I owned a 99 Archer 3 prior to my 22. It was a great plane with AC and I added 430Ws, STEC 55x and a Garmin mfd with XM. Basically same equipment as a steam 20/22. It was a great plane inexpensive and reliable. I still keep in contact with the buyer and after 7 yrs he’s thrilled. No major issues … Cheap and cheerful flying. The negatives are about 120k cruise and 460# load with full fuel. Good for 3-400 mile trips.
The 20 is faster and perhaps safer with the chute. No AC (I believe) in the early years which I would have missed. Cirrus seem to be more costly to maintain given similar stuff. DA40 is a great plane but didn’t for in standard T hanger which took it off the list for me.
Why not a 22?

Since you want to sue the plane for business, I presume you want to get places as soon as you can. Of the 3 planes the SR20 is the fastest and has the chute fro added safety. I think that makes the Cirrus the winner for you hands down; all other factors being equal.

I noticed the 4-6 hours a month .
If you own a cirrus, you might want to budget 10 hrs a month as you will have too much fun and you most likely won’t fly only 4 hours given the speed and capabilities of a cirrus .

I’m a happy 20 driver. Please feel free to PM me. I’ll be glad to help in any way!

Thanks for the response! I have that issue of Aviation Consumer and will re-read it!

I also appreciate the feedback. I will PM you to catch up.


Boothkc – I am trying to purchase something I think I can manage as well as costs. There seems to be pretty descent prices on earlier SR20’s… why I am not looking at an SR22 at the moment. Thanks! MJP

Thank you all for the comments. Appreciate it!


Hands down the safest plane on your list is the DA40. While it’s true safety comes down to the pilot, you can survive more mistakes in a DA40 than you can in the other planes on your list. Personally, I think it’s the most fun to fly as well but that’s a matter of taste. I also think it’s the least complicated to fly which is worth considering if you are only going to fly 4-6 hours a month. If you end up considering a DA40, look for one with the Powerflow exhaust as that will give you performance similar to an SR20. An SR22 is in a completely different league from a performance and capability standpoint.