Upon climbing into the pilot’s seat for the first time, I was greeted by the smell of new leather. It reminded me of sitting in a brand new sports car.
We settled in, I was immediately aware of how comfortable and roomy the aircraft is. I got the impression that the seats would still be comfortable during a long trip. Also, the side yokes give you an unimpeded view of the instrument panel and adjusting was second nature. Cliff gave me a quick rundown of the aircraft and its redundancies: dual Attitude Heading Reference Systems (AHRS), dual Air Data Computers (ADC), dual alternators, and dual batteries.
After Cliff ran through the engine start checklist, I was impressed with the quality of sound insulation in the cockpit. With the engine at idle, even without wearing a headset, it was easy to hold a conversation with Cliff. The large windows give you plenty of visibility during ground operations. Taxiing is a different experience for people used to steerable nose gear. The nose gear on Cirrus aircraft is free castering, meaning you must use differential braking during taxi. Its maneuvering is incredible; you can spin right around in the aircraft’s footprint.
We made our way out to runway 29, completed the run-up and before takeoff checks. Soon, we were rolling down the runway. The aircraft accelerated quickly and we were climbing well in excess of 1500 feet per minute. Even with the occasional moderate turbulence, the SR22T seemed quite stable.
The aircraft is trim intensive. The controls have spring tension on them to help bring them back to neutral. If the aircraft is not trimmed properly, you can quickly get tired trying to maintain attitude. When it is trimmed, however, the SR22T can be flown quite easily hands off.
The controls are very responsive. For such a stable aircraft, the roll rate is impressive. There is also plenty of rudder authority. Cliff had me slow the aircraft to minimum controllable airspeed. There was plenty of control response all the way to the stall buffet. Stalls were benign, giving plenty of warning. Even when I held the aircraft in a stall, it was very easy to maintain wings level.
Another impressive feature of the SR22T, also found in the other Cirrus models with Perspective, (Cirrus Aircraft’s adaptation of the G1000 system) is envelope protection. Cliff had me roll into a 60 degree bank. As I rolled past 50 degrees, I could feel the aircraft applying persistent pressure toward wings level. Additionally, Cliff showed me that the plane would actually pitch down during an approach to stall with the autopilot engaged.
Far too soon, we were heading back to Hanscom for some work in the traffic pattern. Because of the speed at which the aircraft travels, it is necessary to plan descents properly. It is important to allow enough time to get the aircraft down to traffic pattern altitude and slowed down. In the latest generation of SR22, the first notch of flaps (50%) is available below 150KIAS. This certainly helps to slow the aircraft down.
Normal approaches are done with full flaps (33.5 degrees) at 85KIAS. It is important to fly the proper speed on approach. If you come in too fast, the aircraft may float, using up too much runway. If you come in too slow, the aircraft may sink rapidly, resulting in a hard landing. The flare is relatively flat compared to a Cessna. If there is a bounce or balloon, the best course of action is a go-around. I enjoyed the challenge. There’s nothing like making that perfect landing.
Overall, I am very impressed with the SR22T. I look forward to introducing many of our clients to the capabilities of this exciting aircraft. Contact me to be among the first to try the Generation 5 Cirrus SR20 or SR22 for yourself!
Dan, Bob and Bill each achieved major milestones this week.
Dan is one of the most driven students we know. He’s only satisfied with “great” and that attitude is turning him into a fantastic pilot. He flew solo for the first time this week. Dan, we are so proud to congratulate you on the first of many unforgettable milestones.
Bob is an active member of our flying community. He’s discovered pilot camaraderie and we enjoy talking with him between flights. He is now an official Private Pilot and we look forward to watching him take full advantage of his new privileges. Great work, Bob!
Bill has been flying with Sean for some time now. His enthusiasm and hard work have earned him an Instrument Rating, allowing him to fly even when most other pilots are grounded. Instrument is a fun challenge, and Bill, we’re proud of you.
Our recent “Inside Cirrus” event celebrating EFA’s training partnership with Cirrus Design brought together dozens of passionate pilots. They learned about Stratosphere, EFA’s new, exclusive community of Cirrus owners, renters, students, and CFIs. Guests also got a close-up look at a pair of Generation 5 SR-series airplanes.
Cirrus Executives Impress
EFA Announces Even More Services
Call Dispatch at 781-274-7227 to schedule your first Cirrus experience.
Chris Gantner is a valuable member of our team. He works with clients from both our Bedford base and our Lawrence base. After a lot of hard work, we are thrilled to announce that Chris is now a fully qualified flight instructor for multi-engine aircraft!