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Cirrus SR20 info

Good day,

A friend of mine is looking at a few SR20’s, the earlier models obviously due to price of them.

If any Cirrus owners here can give some advice please/opinions on pro’s and con’s id appreciate it!

He found an SR20 in Germany with over 2200HR TT but running on condition. Price is within his budget, but the engine hours are his worry, etc future maintenance!
The owner says engine is on condition and it can remain like that, but as far as I knew Cirrus had 2400/12yr TBO.

Chute and liners were done so good for another 8 years or so. Its a G1 model on planecheck..

Any info appreciated!


Don’t know if it is relevant, but is it intended to remain D- registered? Or would it become EI- or even G- or whatever?

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

At the moment the aircraft is German based but on F reg. F reg is fine for us, or possible transfer to G reg.


Hi Evo,

First off, I think you should consider D-reg., since they allow operating your engine and prop “on condition”, i.e. beyond recommended TBO. They also allow disregarding the recommended TBOs (non chapter 2) of many other components of the Cirrus aircraft. I would definitely do more due dilligence on that.

On the engine, I wouldn’t worry too much (as long as the price reflects the very used engine). Did it have a top overhaul some time along the way? Even if not, if it has been taken care of, it might be good for many more years, at least the bottom end. Have the ancilliaries (fuel injection system, suction, alternators, magnetos, etc) been overhauled?

I operated an early SR20 (sn 1092) for 5 years. A lot can be said about it, but trying to cut it short

-wonderful, modern airframe
-good fun to fly
-not cheap to run
-forget it if you want to use it on the typical Irish grass strip
-SR20s are mostly useless for IFR touring

Last Edited by boscomantico at 06 Sep 11:57
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany
Thank you Boscomantico,

You summed it up nice! Great information.



if it is the one I think it is, I’d have quite a few questionmarks.

This is a very first generation Cirrus with conventional instrumentation. It is ok equipped for a plane of those days but it does not give you the “modern” feel of the dual screen variants. The GNS430’s will need to be upgraded to WAAS sooner or later, which will add about 10 k Euros for the mod including the certification for LPV approaches.

The 2nd major questionmark would be the engine. Yes, it is absolutely true that you can fly it on condition (unless you import it to Switzerland) but it is still an engine which has legally 200 hours left to TBO (nobody but Switzerland cares about the Calendar) and which has the potential of requiring an overhaul in the forseeable future. Even on condition, not many engines will finally run more than maybe 2500 hours or so, so this is a factor you have to figure into this airplane. The formulation “running strong” with a on condition engine is always one which rings alarm bells with me, it appears to me that this may well be one airframe where the owner tries to get rid of it because he knows that this engine WILL cost him a fortune relatively soon. Add to that the Cirrus planes are not very cheap to maintain.

Looking at that, while you have a relatively low cost airframe (112 k is still quite a bit of money) you will need to keep at least 10k for the Avionicupgrade and 40k for the engine overhaul in mind. With that, you’d end up with a 150-160k airframe.

If your friend sais it is “just” within budget, the next alarm bell rings. If that means, he can just about afford to buy the plane, he will run into problems the first time something out of the ordinary happens. My own rule has always been that I will not spend more than about 50-60% of my budget to buy the plane and then use the rest for upgrades and to maintain and fly it.

If it HAS to be a Cirrus, you might want to guide him to a plane which definitly has the full glass panel and maybe a half time engine.
This one here,

pretty much fits the bill. D-Reg, 200 hour engine and prop, full Avidyne suite, WAAS and recent parashute overhaul. And if you add up the potential the other one will have, you get near the same price.

If you want to play it a bit safer in terms of budget, you can find airplanes which will give you more speed, performance at considerably less cost for asking prices which would allow either upgrades or a massive reserve towards flying, engine fund and so on.

The SR20 is a nice traveller but it is not the fastest for it’s horsepower, nor the one which likes short grass runways or has a very high service ceiling. It is a 140-150 kt 600 NM range plane which is in most cases a 2-3 seater. Of course it has the advantage of the CAPS System, which we have done to death in here.

For 25-40% less you can get airplanes in full EASA IFR with may deliver up to 20 kts more speed, more efficiency at a lot less cost and purchase price.

The Mooney M20J will deliver 160 kts at 10 gph or 150 kts at 8 gph with a range of 850-900 NM. A M20K (turbo) will deliver up to 190 kts with a similar range. A Piper Arrow III (which can be had under 50k) will deliver 140 kts and 800 NM range. There are also Bonanzas and Debonairs which will deliver solid cruise and range figures superior to the SR20 for a lot less money.

If your friend insists on Cirrus, then he might be well advised to either save up for a full EFIS variant with lower engine hours like the one I pointed out above or to wait until he can go for an SR22.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

but it is still an engine which has legally 200 hours left to TBO

1. engine TBO is in most cases not a legal limit
2. it doesn’t have 200 hours left to TBO. It is 200 hours past TBO.

Even on condition, not many engines will finally run more than maybe 2500 hours or so

On what basis do you say so?

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany
I have now helped three people find and buy their own Cirrus, and working on two other consultations. I am just trying to forward what i have learned since i first flew an SR20 (#1) in 1996 and after owning a SR22 for 2.5 years. I was checked out by bosco, by the way, a great experience!

In short:

- if financially possible i would always buy a 22, not a 20
- it is only the aquisition that is more expensive, the cost per mile is about the same
- per mile the fuel consumption is almost exactly the same, of course depending on how you fly. It is true for LOP operations
- the 20 is a good trainer or 2-seat light IFR plane, the 22’ can be an almost professional IFR tool, if in the right hands
- in the summer the 20 can be the “UPDT” (underpowered death trap) it is called in COPA many times. High density altitudes and full fuel… and you’ll fly alone from shorter runways. The 20 is rarely a 4-seater in the summer
- The CAPS system is good for another 10 years after replacement, not 8

- The engine has no legal limit if flown privately, i have heard about several Cirruses that flew 3000 hours.
- the WAAS upgrade is $ 3300 plus VAT per unit, but in a 20 i wouldn’t bother to upgrade it. I’d just fly LNAV or ILS
- if i did the upgrade i certainly wouldn’t care about the LPV certification
- G- reg allows running the engine on condition too, but not the prop

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 06 Sep 16:57

It depends if you want a fancy Cessna – then the SR20 G1 is fine. However, it costs more to maintain than G2/3/5 models as maintenance was simplified in later models. Buying one where the engine and chute are coming due and is also a G1 is going to be a very expensive couple of years…better make sure the group is well funded or large.

I second the opinion that the SR20 is not an IFR airplane, it’s fine for going through a cloud or two but nothing serious. Do not think a Cirrus is cheap to run, the parts are overpriced and if you want to maintain it properly, it has to go to select service centers who have the equipment for the aircraft type.

I would buy a G2 at minimum and one well within chute and engine limits – it will help hold the group together by avoiding large(r) annual bills. Flyer59 is very accurate in his comments.

Last Edited by DMEarc at 06 Sep 16:50

I have a G2 SR22. It is really the best compromise – very much the same as a G3 in reality, especially after # 1663 which marks the electrical upgrade (“glove box” model) although some people also prefer the versions before which still have the mechanical engine instruments.

The biggest problem at the moment is to find a good SR22. Prices have gone up steeply in tbe last two years (i could sell my 22 for + 50K € at the moment since i bought it in 2013). New 22s are almost 1 million dollars now if well equipped … and that has an effect on used prices. Although a G5 SR22 has many more features than a G2 and a much higher load – for most mission profiles there’s not much difference.

G3s without turbo are increasingly hard to find now, most are turbos. And 22 T really has MUCH higher maintenance cost than a SR20.

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