Steady now…

This blog carries some of my flying adventures. Regular readers will remember my recent adoption of the Cirrus S20 as the cross-country flying machine of choice. It’s a steady ship, capable of 135 knots cruising. The control yoke is mounted to the side, which actually works very nicely as the pilot can rest an arm on the molded door panel and be quite comfortable. Here’s a shot of me at the helm.

The Garmin G1000 avionics suite is impressive, too. Plenty of situational awareness, an excellent autopilot, and clear graphical representations of what’s going on with the airplane. Of course, take note to the old magnetic compass in the upper part of the photo. You have to have one of those to go flying. Even your commercial airliners have them. If all else fails, pick a heading and go for it.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cruising in the Cirrus

Recently, I had the privilege of getting checked out in a different aircraft, namely the Cirrus G20. This is not your grandfather’s Cessna, but rather a completely different machine. In the first place, it is a composite airplane, made of fiberglass-like materials as opposed to aluminum. Secondly, this one is equipped with a “glass” avionics panel, meaning the instrumentation is presented on display screens as opposed to individual “gauges.” Take a look at the panel during my recent flight.

There’s plenty of eye candy there. The panel on the left is the primary flight display and gives the pilot all the essentials such as airspeed, altitude, heading, and so forth. On the right, is the multi-function display, through which can be accessed engine operational info, a moving map, and much, much more. It takes some practice to make the most of these panels, but once you are familiar, they prove invaluable in terms of situational awareness, ease of navigation, and generally enhance the flying experience. So, let’s take a look out the window.

You can see this is a low-wing aircraft. Beyond the leading edge, looking generally north, are the rolling green hills of Pennsylvania, which are quite nice to fly over during much of the year, especially in autumn. Naturally, I’m looking forward to continued improvement in my flying skills and stretching out my cross-country trips to new and farther destinations. The Cirrus makes that a more comfortable and enjoyable proposition.