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 money to complete the training. A typical initial training event in a Meridian will be four to five days and cost more than $6k. Cirrus has one of the most envied training pro- grams in the new airplane indus- try, with Cirrus Standardization Instructor Pilots (CSIPs) all over the country. Initial training in a SR22T will certainly cost less and take less time. The systems on a SR22T-G6 are simply less complex and take less time to learn.
Age & Experience
I frequently f ly with pilots with more money than flight experience. I’ve seen 300-hour pilots attempt to move up to a Meridian. Sometimes this does not go well. The insurance underwriter will often add huge training requirements to the policy and make the premiums gargantuan to buoy their risk. Last year I had a client who had a training requirement of 100 hours of dual instruction and a first-year premium of $35k. We were able to complete the training require- ment, but the cost to that owner was substantial. We see 50-hour initial training requirements in the Merid- ian quite regularly.
On the flip side of this equation, I’ve trained a 300-hour pilot in a Me- ridian and had it go extremely well. This pilot had an instrument rating, tailwheel experience, a commercial pilot license, and he wrote a well- worded letter to the aviation under- writers to explain his need, training desires and commitment to opera- tional safety. The insurance provider helped this pilot and offered a really good policy at a reasonable rate. My point? A pilot needs to be able to look introspectively and determine if the pilot ability exists. An early jump to a turbine might be very doable for you with minimal experience, but most cannot easily make the jump. If you are a low-time pilot, a year or two in the Cirrus SR22T-G6 might be the right answer.
There’s another demographic that might want to consider the Cirrus SR22T-G6 over the Meridian: pilots over 70 years of age. It is no secret that the pendulum has swung
from the good ole days of insurance being available and cheap to the place we are today, where insurance is ex- pensive, hard to bind, and not for the marginalized. The marginalized are those who have a previous claim or accident, those with limited experi- ence, and those over 70 years of age. Insurance companies are thinning their portfolios in an effort to curtail losses, removing those who have the greatest potential of a claim.
The biggest loser in this magic trick is the pilot who has been an excellent pilot for decades but has tripped over the age of 70, and now insurance com- panies are shunning providing insur- ance. Simply put, it is easier to get insurance in the Cirrus, and it could be the better platform for the pilot who is entering the twilight years of piloting. I don’t mean to offend any- one with this point, but I think I’m right. The pendulum will swing back to affordable and available insurance someday, but for now, it is just hard on anyone over 70 years of age.
The good news for potential own- ers of either of these airplanes is that they are both super-sweet airplanes. They are both still being made today (which means parts and support are excellent), they have stunning good looks, and they both have a proven track record of safety. If I were to open my hangar door to either of these airplanes, there’d be a big smile on my face. So, consider closely your station in life, your mission, your budget, and your desire to fly a best- of-breed airplane.
 Joe Casey is an FAA-DPE and an ATP, CFI, CFII (A/H), MEI, CFIG, CFIH, as well as a retired U.S. Army UH60 standardization instruc-tor/ examiner. An active instructor in the PA46 and King Air markets, he has accumulated 14,300-plus hours of flight time, with more than 5,200 dual-given as a flight instructor. Contact Joe at or 903.721.9549.
January 2021 / TWIN & TURBINE • 15

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