May 20, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Cirrus Design is now offering its top-of-the-line SR22 and turbo models with a panic button.
The customized $48,000 Garmin Perspective integrated cockpit option includes a bright blue emergency switch called LVL to return the airplane to straight-and-level flight. The LVL button can recover the aircraft from an attitude of 75 degrees of roll and 50 degrees of pitch, even if they occur simultaneously.
The Avidyne glass-cockpit system is still being offered.
Reaction from Cirrus owners to the new model ranged from “fantastic,” “brilliant,” and “tremendous,” to expressing a few minor concerns. The cost of the option offers “...a real moment of consideration,” said one owner. Cirrus owners were pleased when the G3 airplane model included a 50-pound increase in useful load, compared to the G2 model. But now the Perspective model comes with a weight increase of 40 pounds, negating the earlier gain.
While almost all Cirrus airplanes have carried Garmin nav/coms, this is the first all-Garmin panel for Cirrus. AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines got an early look last week at the Perspective panel during a visit to the Cirrus plant in Duluth, Minn. See his blog entry.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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