Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
FlyMKG
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:49 am

Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:38 am

What are your opinions on the Cirrus family of single engine planes being used as trainers for those desiring to get PPL and Instrument Ratings? On one hand they hand like an excellent trainer because they have all the newest technology incorporated into them such as avionics and ice protection. Their range is also superior to what most people train in now. This would allow students to fly further away for cross country flights to experience different terrains and weather conditions. On the other hand they are relatively fast compared to the Cessnas and Pipers most have received training in. This could prove to be difficult for the beginning student to handle. Can the composite frame also handle some of the absolutely horrible landings that student pilots have? I'd like to hear your thoughts on Cirrus as trainers.

FlyMKG

[Edited 2005-02-15 02:09:43]
 
citation501sp
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 10:19 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:03 am

I think there are two major schools of thought in General aviation training. The bare bones learn to fly with your brain and the gadget for everything way. Personally I think the Cirrus is a great aircraft for what it was designed to do, and that is to fly people where they need to go fast and as cheap as possible.. Most of the people I see flying them are people that would have owned a Cessna 182 or a Beech Bonanza.

However I think the Cirrus may be too much for the beginning pilot to transition to, or for flight instructors to feel comfortable letting a student go all out in it. Things that come to my mind are basic air maneuvers. Steep turns, slow flight and stalls. These present a problem in an aircraft that was designed for speed. From most reports the Cirrus doesn't like to practice those all the time. Hence the "oh crap!" handle that fires the parachute. You can't spin a Cirrus, well you can but the results aren't going to be good.

Plus a lot of older instructors believe in the use you brain method. Sure the Cirrus has a lot of avionics and bells and whistles, but as Murphy's law dictates what can go wrong will go wrong and its best to learn the basics on the basics.

A fine airplane but I don't think it could stand up to the rigors of intensive flight training.

501SP
Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
 
ShyFlyer
Posts: 4698
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:38 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:29 am

...all the newest technology incorporated into them such as avionics...

The good ol' Skyhawk will be offered with Garmin's G1000 avionics pretty soon, giving the best of both worlds (friendly trainer, gee wiz gadets). And if you just have to have a stick, the Diamond Star already has the G1000 avionics.

http://skyhawk.cessna.com/
http://www.diamondair.com/default.htm

But I got to admit, having your first solo in a Cirrus would be pretty cool!
I lift things up and put them down.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:36 am

The bare bones learn to fly with your brain and the gadget for everything way.

Damm straight.

Try to find somebody that does initial training on a Citabria or a cub.

From most reports the Cirrus doesn't like to practice those all the time. Hence the "oh crap!" handle that fires the parachute.

Correct, my understanding is that Cirrus got a wavier from some of the stall/spin testing due to the BPS system.

I suppose the theory is that get into a stall or a spin you blow the chute and destroy your quarter of a million dollar airplane.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:56 am

I learned alot of my initial stuff on Cubs and Stearmans....man what a difference it made to learn how to taildrag it first...something about yellow aircraft, I tell ya.

Sure it's nice to have a glass cockpit and a GPS and comfy seats, but sometimes you have to start out elementary...save the glass for when you make it on the 738...till then, I say have fun with it. Sometimes the best fun you can have is having only 4 instruments and an open cockpit Big grin

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
meister808
Posts: 924
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2000 11:45 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:11 pm

From experience at UND, Cirrus aircraft just aren't really good training airplanes. The high-cycle life that a training aircraft goes through just tears the shit out of the one SR-20 that we use, and it doesn't get used even close to as much as the rest of the Pipers that make up the fleet. We only use it for CFI and CFII students, and it still is one hell of a hangar queen. If CFI applicants are tearing it up, I cannot imagine that it would hold up well to the demands of a private pilot learning to fly.

In addition, things just happen too fast when you are rolling along on downwind at 120 knots. You have to have some aircraft management skills built up before you can effectively manage an airplane that is happy cruising at 170 knots.

Not that I want to paint a bad picture of the Cirrus Design Corp. or the SR20 or SR22. They are awesome airplanes that represent the cutting edge of general aviation. These are airplanes that will wipe your ass for you when you poop if you really ask them to. They are great cruising airplanes and I love them to death - they just aren't trainers.

-Meister
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:57 pm

Primary students have enough problems keeping their eyes outside the cockpit. They also get behind the aircraft pretty quickly. Training aircraft should have one com, one nav, and a mag compass. That's it.

I would even go as far as saying that you should be doing your initial instrument training in a relatively simple system. Save the fast movers until you know what to do when.
DMI
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:33 pm

My impression of the Cirrus is that it's a plane you drive, while a Cessna is a plane you fly. Landing the Cirrus in a crosswind felt very numb and unrewarding. You point it toward the runway, lift the nose a bit, and simply drive it on. A Cessna, on the other hand, requires you to work it to the ground with your whole body and ease it to the concrete using lots of rudder and personal technique.

The Cirrus may very well be the perfect plane for many people, and superior to the Cessna in many ways, but the creature comforts and advantages it offers an owner/pilot flying cross-countries are hinderances to primary flight students, and crutches to instrument students.

Also, I think too many schools use the EFIS to attract and mislead students into thinking that they will graduate and walk straight into a job flying modern jets. While this may well be the case for certain folks, the reality is, most will graduate and get a job flying old Barons, Navajos, and Lances.

All the EFIS skills in the world are useless when flying a fleet of beat-up recips with mismatched steam-gauge panels by yourself in weather.


2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:17 pm

My impression of the Cirrus is that it's a plane you drive, while a Cessna is a plane you fly

Wasn't what they said when they took the tailwheel off the Cessna 170 and put it on the nose of the 172?
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30114
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:19 pm

L-188.......Whats a BPS system. [Reply #3].
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:43 pm

Ballistic Parachute System-BPS

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
lapa_saab340
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:42 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:03 am

My impression of the Cirrus is that it's a plane you drive, while a Cessna is a plane you fly

Actually that is how trike gear Cessnas (and any trikes in general) are looked at by most of the tailwheel community  Smile

I too agree that more 'basic' aircraft make much better training platforms for students than a cross country rocket loaded with gadgets. You can always move on to more advanced machines until eventually you reach the glass cockpit if that's what you're aiming for. But I can't imaging training on a Cirrus to be as much fun as a bare-bones plane like an Aeronca Champ or a Cub!
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:40 am



Wasn't what they said when they took the tailwheel off the Cessna 170 and put it on the nose of the 172?


It was, but that was solely in reference to landing and ground handling characteristics. Although I used landing as an example, I found the differences between a 172 or 182 and a Cirrus extend to flight characteristics, as well.

2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
MD-90
Posts: 7836
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:22 pm

I didn't know what a BPS was either. They're usually referred to by the brand name that most of them are built under, BRS Parachutes.

I would think that the Cirrus aircraft would be too expensive for training. A 172 or Warrior is going to be less expensive, and you know for sure that they hold up well to student abuse.

2H4, the same designer who did the control system for the Cirrus planes also did it for the T303 and Caravan, two of the most well-regarded airplanes for handling. I've never even flown in a Cirrus, but Aviation Consumer, AOPA, Flying, etc all consider it to be a very nice flying plane, darn near the equal of a Bonanza.
 
LeanOfPeak
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:18 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:39 pm

There's good handling and there's forgiving handling. For experienced pilots, responsiveness is important. For beginners, stability is a more significant factor. Everyone likes control harmony.

The Grumman Tiger is said to handle magnificently by most I've heard. But you wouldn't want it as a trainer because it has a reputation for spinning when mishandled. If there is any truth to the suggestion that Cirrus took the BRS shortcut through spin certification, the same is likely true of it.
 
FlyMKG
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:49 am

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:08 pm

The school that I attend will most likely use the Cirrus aircraft for instrument training. This way students can get a little glass time along with the conventional time they get in the 172s. As far as cost goes my school will be one of the first if not the first to order a large number of Cirrus. The rumor is that we are going to be leasing them for 10 years and having Cirrus pay for all maintenance costs and retrofitting them with the most current avionics suite. Basically we will just be an advertisement in a effort to get other large flight school to buy fleets of Cirrus. Getting planes on the cutting edge of design for almost free is something my school can't pass up.

FlyMKG
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:37 am



Quoting MD-90 (reply 13):
2H4, the same designer who did the control system for the Cirrus planes also did it for the T303 and Caravan, two of the most well-regarded airplanes for handling. I've never even flown in a Cirrus, but Aviation Consumer, AOPA, Flying, etc all consider it to be a very nice flying plane, darn near the equal of a Bonanza.


That's a good point, MD-90. The Cirrus does handle well, and is very stable. The point I was trying to make has to do with tactle feedback from the flight controls. Compared to most other GA planes I've flown, I found it to isolate me a little too well from the control surfaces. As a result, it felt numb...almost as if you were operating the aircraft remotely. In the crosswind conditions I flew in, I also felt as if I was running out of aileron authority. The sidestick seemed to hit the stops too soon relative to their effectiveness at the time. This, by the way, had absolutely nothing to do with the sidestick itself. I found it to be very intuitive and ergonomic.

I also believe primary trainers should not have a rudder/aileron interconnect. When the 172 came out (with it's Friese ailerons), instructors complained that students no longer had to think about using the rudder to make coordinated turns. Glider pilots know what I'm talking about. Well, to me, the Cirrus, with it's interconnect, seemed to be a step of the same magnitude in the same direction.



Quoting FlyMKG (reply 15):
Getting planes on the cutting edge of design for almost free is something my school can't pass up.


That's what they said about the Extras...at well over $200/hr, I never saw the cost savings.  Big grin

Do you have any idea what will be done to address partial-panel work?


2H4



[Edited 2005-02-18 17:43:04]
Intentionally Left Blank
 
AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:29 am

First time I saw a cirrus I was surprised at how much bigger it was than I thought. Reading some of the responses, I had no idea that a cirrus flys that fast. I've also seen the new skyhawk with LCD displays and I prefer it much better than the cirrus.
 
wagz
Posts: 481
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:32 pm

Who needs all those fancy gadgets?

I'm a student pilot getting closer (allbeit slowly) to earning the PPL. My flight school is owned by a CO B772 FO. Our primary trainers are 6 (soon to be 7) Grumman AA-1s. I'm based at KPNE.

http://phlairline.crosswinds.net/112/N9739U.jpg

That's one of your birds, thanks to fellow Philly photog Paul Kanagie.

I've finished my first solo X-Country. Got 3 more to do and some stage checks and I'll be set for the big test. I learned to fly with the standard "6 pack" and if I'm lucky a VOR to track. No fancy Garmin GPS (although I did fly a Tiger AA-5 once with one) or anything else. I think its best for students to learn how to do things the old fashioned way first, as one won't always have the luxury of renting a fancy new Cirrus or whatnot later on. Do it the classic way first, then move on to the complex stuff later on.

And yes, the seats in the AA-1 can be quite uncomfortable at times. In fact one of ours has these really low "F-16" seats that make it damn near impossible to see the nose.

LeanOfPeak: The AA-1 is the little brother to the Tiger, having only 2 seats. They are essentially the same, except for larger wings and powerplant on the Tiger. They do handle quite well, in fact most people from what I hear have to be warned not to be over-zealous with the stick before flying one. I haven't heard or noticed anything about it being bad with spins. They seem to be quite friendly in the stall area as well (too friendly maybe?).

Joe Wagner
I think Big Foot is blurry... It's not the photographer's fault. There's a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside.
 
MD-90
Posts: 7836
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:28 pm

LeanOfPeak, my mother always said that her favorite two aircraft to fly were the Tiger and the 182. The Tiger for its flying qualities and the 182 for its hauling capability. She never was much for single-doored Pipers.

The Cirrus has an aileron/rudder interconnect? I was unaware of that.
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Cirrus Aircraft As Viable Trainers

Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:45 pm

Quoting MD-90 (reply 19):
The Cirrus has an aileron/rudder interconnect? I was unaware of that.



The instructor I was with described it as a relatively weak, bungee-style connection between the ailerons and rudder. Whatever style it was, it sure gave it an odd feel.


2H4
Intentionally Left Blank

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: flyDTW1992, jjairbus, thepinkmachine and 17 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos