In an effort to improve the safety record among pilots buying used Cirrus aircraft, the company has launched a new "Cirrus Embark" training program.
Cirrus Embark provides up to three days of free flight training for pilots who buy used airplanes, access to the company's online training resources, and a one-year membership in the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA).
"One of our goals is to drive down the accident rate among airplanes that change hands outside of our network," said Jill "Ivy" McIver, manager of the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 product lines. "Buyers of used airplanes will get access to the same standardized training curriculum as buyers of new aircraft. We want everyone flying our airplanes to feel safe and confident, and their families to feel safe and confident."
Used aircraft buyers will be paired online with the 400-plus Cirrus-approved flight instructors through a "matchmaker" at the company's facility in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Pilots must enroll online in the embark program within 30 days of the time they take delivery of their used Cirrus aircraft, and they must complete their flight training within 60 days of enrollment.
Cirrus has long described itself as the creator of the most technologically advanced and capable single-engine aircraft on the market with the most innovative safety features. But the company's accident rate was persistently higher than the broader general aviation fleet until the company created the Cirrus Approach curriculum, which, among other things, emphasized timely use of the airframe parachute system during emergencies. The result has been a precipitous drop in fatal accidents and a dramatic improvement in the overall Cirrus safety record during the last five years.
The Cirrus Embark program also aims to connect new owners to the wider Cirrus pilot community through COPA membership. The company also plans to direct owners of used Cirrus aircraft to factory-approved maintenance facilities, and answer specific questions via telephone and email.
"We're reaching out to our entire ownership population," McIver said. "All Cirrus owners should get the training they deserve."