Wings Aloft

Who has used Wings Aloft to deliver your new SRXX to your home base vs/ taking delivery in Duluth?

As I understand the program they will provide “Acceptance Services” 7-8 hrs. test flight , test all systems and visual inspection. Approx. cost $595. Then deliver to my home base and provide pilot training in my area. Other fees include the instructor “Duty Time” , daily expenses, and travel time back to Duluth. A portion of the cost would be offset by my wife and I not incurring the transportation expenses. I would avoid the weather in Duluth during late November and be able to train in my “home area”

Any thoughts?

I recently did a very unsophisticated study itemizing all of the expected costs involved for my partner and I to go to Duluth versus having the plane delivered by W/A. Delivery by W/A and training at our home airport turned out to be the least expensive, partly because there are two of us that would need the training and both of us would have travel expenses. We have not taken delivery yet (about 3 weeks out), but I ran all of my numbers by Nancy Zella at W/A and she said my cost estimates were not far off.

It seems that by having the aircraft delivered that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to perform a thorough inspection and test flight of the aircraft and have the factory immediately take care of things before you took possession. Almost all the stories of Deluth pickups include a list of items that the buyer has Cirrus fix right then and there. I’m sure Cirrus will take care of any problems but this may require logistics and inconvenience that you may want to factor into your decision.

We did a cost comparison like Jerry for two of us and it seems more economical to have them come to Tampa, assuming I figured in all of the real costs. I/m awaiting the Wings Aloft contract and make a final decision then. One of the wild cards in going to Duluth is the weather and the expense involved in remaining there during a winter storm – your costs could skyrocket. We are almost guaranteed perfect weather in Florida during November and December for training. No snow, no ice, and maybe a cold front or two. However, if your ferry pilot gets stranded on the way down, you have to pay for him or her to sit it out. Isn’t life always a gamble? I still think an airplane factory in the upper midwest is a mistake.

The other downside is that you miss the Pilgrimage. Eating three meals a day at Grandmas (until you hope you never see steak and potatoes again), sipping on a chocolate malt from the Portland Malt Shop while freezing your tail watching an ore carrier come through beneath the lift bridge, the list is endless! :wink:

Actually, I’ve been to Duluth three times (twice to pick up planes) and I’ve always enjoyed seeing the Cirrus folks again and getting a Midwest Fix (I’m an old Michigan boy.) Lake Superior is spectacular, and there’s no better way to get to know your new toy than to fly it halfway across the country. A forced adventure, darn!

I did it in April of this year. Had WA do the acceptance and fly the aircraft to GFL (upstate NY), train and send the instructor back to Duluth. Total cost $2,380.00. Airline ticket was in the $650 range if I remember. Hope that helps.

We had the Wings Aloft instructor come to NJ. Commercial airline ticket, hotel, and extra day (there were two pilots to train) came in at just under $3000. Still, considering both of our schedules, well worth it.

Gordon, with regard to not being able to have Cirrus fix stuff, Wings Aloft is of the option that they see every plane that comes off the line and know what to look for and are very detailed with their inspection. They also stated they work very close so repairs may fit with their delivery schedule. Thanks for your input and I hope to here from someone that has actually completed the process. I look forward to Nov. 28 delivery date to 5R3, close to Austin Texas.

I forgot to mention in my reply that I gave an extensive list of items to check off and verify before Kara (WA) accepted the aircraft. Items out of specification were fixed for Kara before she departed just like if I was there in person. The downside is that you are trusting a young instructor to make the same decisions as you would about an expensive aircraft. Make a thorough checklist and instruct WA the pilot must verify each and every item on the factory acceptance checklist and yours. If the plane gets there and the instructor didn’t do the job, don’t pay the invoice when it comes.

Gordon makes a good point about not being able to inspect your own plane. This is by far the single biggest negative about not going yourself, just a little bigger than missing the factory tour. This was heavily considered by my partner and I. Regarding the possibility of getting weathered in, we figured the worst case would be a day or so delay for a highly qualified instructor to get the plane down to the southeast whereas WE might have been stuck much longer. We concluded we had a better chance of sticking to our time frame letting W/A handle it. Besides, our club has an SR22 now and our experience is the Greenville Service Center is pretty outstanding for taking care of squawks.

This is all food for thought. What are the numbers being played with in these scenarios? And would they weigh as much for a one person situation? I have no love to be in Duluth in cold weather ( Florida resident here :slight_smile: ) but I would like to see the factory and have the experience of flying cross-country. So what kind of costs are being estimated?

Real men enjoy preflighting in -15F blowing snow!

I figured our costs based on two persons traveling to Duluth. One person would obviously be less expensive, depending on whether or not you are a big spender with caviar and champagne every night at the best hotels, and a chauffeur at the wheel of your stretch limousine. But, seriously, I agree that the experience you would gain would be valuable in a X-country flight.

Gordon, I would appreciate a copy of your extended checklist. I am scheduled to pick up my SR22 on November 27. I suspect that I will be into the serious weather in Northern MN. Seems to make the trip a bit less appealing for me, even though I would love to visit the factory.


I would like to second that request for an extended check list. I have a late Jan pick up for the SR22 and the weather factor is making me nervous. I would like to have any opinions on what to check. Please respond on post.

By my reading It looks like the checklist was prepared by David Bullman, see above, not Gordon.