DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

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MackAttack
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by MackAttack »

If you want all the statistics about chute pulls in a Cirrus, just spend $65 and join COPA. One thing I learned in my two years of Cirrus ownership is that those guys don’t shy away from any of the facts surrounding chute pulls. Rick Beach is the COPA safety coordinator and he’s got all the details on the chute pulls. If that’s a consideration for anyone on a Cirrus, spend a few bucks and get the info; attend a CPPP and ask all the questions you want. You will get straight answers from the owners in my experience (although like any other aircraft type club they love their planes).

For me, the chute is a safety tool like any other, nothing more or less. Nice to have, but not essential from my perspective in an aircraft, even a piston aircraft. I have purchased a Tecnam LSA and recently completed a CubCrafters FX3 build - could have gotten a chute in either of those but did not. Considered both sufficiently safe that the trade off in useful load wasn’t worth it to me. My FX3 has similar “falling leaf” stall characteristics to the DA40 - you can’t even get a break with an idling or windmilling engine, you just come down in a controllable way and because of the Tundra tires, there are way more places I can put her down here in Texas than where I can’t. So I just don’t lose sleep over that stuff and my stall speeds in both the LSA and Cub are so low that the aircraft were/are very benign in the pattern.

I do see the value of either a chute, a second piston engine or turbine reliability in a high performance, long-range, all-weather traveling machine, however, because it’s all about risk mitigation not risk elimination. The ADM involved in those all-weather missions is just different from the ADM generally involved in shorter range, daytime VFR cross country flying. So it is important to consider your missions.

For me, the DA40 and SR20 are very comparable - if I was going to use the aircraft for long trips into hard IMC, I would probably go with a Cirrus just to have that extra tool in the chute. I very much enjoyed flying my Cirrus - although I didn’t like the side yoke much; I much prefer a stick but it’s ok when you’re mostly on autopilot anyway. Cabin is super comfortable, great air conditioning, really handles bumps and crosswinds well. I had a lot of confidence landing that airplane in adverse conditions. And the post-sale, used aircraft customer support is really superb from Cirrus.

I’ve not flown a DA40 but I just love flying aircraft with a stick. So much more fun to fly, as noted above. That’s why the DA62 appeals to me as a possible step-down aircraft from my SETP when the time comes for me to abandon turbine costs of ownership and/or the flight levels. But there is also no question that Diamond just doesn’t have the same chops as Cirrus for customer support. But in fairness to Diamond, neither manufacturer is all that great about upgrades - you can’t yet upgrade a Cirrus G1000 to G1000 NXi for example - but Cirrus at least continues to roll out the software updates.

Good discussion on this thread and good luck to the OP. My best advice is to fly the planes you’re considering, be honest with yourself about your missions and your capabilities and pick a plane that best suits them.
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mbitran
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Re: DA40 vs. Cirrus SR20

Post by mbitran »

Thank you!
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