Cirrus Aircraft

The Aviation Insurance Landscape


This is a re-post from Assured Partners Aerospace’s 2nd quarter Newsletter. The full newsletter can be found on Assured Partners website.

Until the war in Ukraine, the aviation insurance market could be described as “stabilizing” after a couple years of volatility with higher premiums and tighter underwriting. However, and hopefully perhaps only for the short-term, the Ukrainian war immediately brought uncertainty back into the worldwide aviation insurance market. 

According to Business Insurance, “the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represents the biggest potential loss to the aviation war market since 9/11.” One leasing firm alone has reportedly already filed a claim of approximately $3.5B for aircraft and engines they say have effectively been seized by Russia. And, because the aviation insurance arena is so small, what happens around the world at this magnitude can have cascading, detrimental effects on the US aviation insurance market.

In addition, the well-publicized spike in fuel prices could have another cooling effect on aviation operations. Generally, less air activity combined with higher operating costs equates to more frequent requests for reduced coverage, taking premium dollars away from an already-small market.

Aviation insurance buyers should therefore remain on the alert throughout 2022 for potentially quick changes to the aviation insurance marketplace that might affect either their current insurance program or their next renewal.

See our recommended insurance agencies on our Aircraft Acquisitions page.

Avidyne Vantage


For years, Cirrus owners who have the Avidyne Entegra PFD and MFD have been clamoring for Avidyne to come up with some sort of upgrade. The Entegra, or EX 5000 system, is late ’90s technology and, though it still works, there will be a certain point in the future when it gives up the ghost. Avidyne still supports the Entegra system, but it’s hard for a Cirrus owner to see all this new technology coming on the market while not being able to upgrade the original Avidyne screens.

Avidyne gave it a go in the late 2000s with a panel upgrade known as the R9. The R9 was a good system, but Avidyne was very slow on the release (rumors were the company wanted it to be absolutely perfect before releasing it, which frustrated Cirrus, who then switched to the Garmin Perspective panel, leaving Avidyne behind) which led to the R9 only being available as a very expensive retrofit to the Entegra system ($80,000-$90,000 for the system and install). Needless to say, there weren’t that many takers.

Late in 2020, Garmin announced it had received certification to retrofit Avidyne Entegra equipped Cirrus Aircraft with the company’s G500 TXi displays, which gave new hope to G1, G2, and G3 Cirrus owners. The price tag wasn’t outrageous, coming in at $16,000 apiece for each display. The G500 TXi works with any possible GPS that can be installed in a Cirrus (GNS 430Ws, GTN 650s, GTN750, or the Avidyne IFD 540/440) and with the DFC 90 Autopilot (if the Cirrus is still equipped with an STEC 55x, the Autopilot would need to be changed to either a DFC 90 or a Garmin GFC 500).

Fast forward to June of 2021 and Avidyne re-enters the game with the Avidyne Vantage. After the R9 debacle, Avidyne has opted this time to go for a more simple approach. The Avidyne Vantage system changes out the Entegra PFD and MFD with bigger screens (12″; Garmin’s TXi units are only 10.6″) with high quality pixelation, synthetic vision, engine gauges, checklists, charts, a hybrid touch interface, and all the other information that was offered on the Entegra system, just all more modern and updated. The best news is that the system provides redundant reversionary mode, which was one of the biggest complaints about the Entegra system.

The price tag comes in lower than Garmin, with each screen being priced at $12,500. The units will work seamlessly with the Avidyne IFD Series GPS units, though, as of this writing, it isn’t clear if the Avidyne Vantage will work with Garmin GTN 430Ws or the GTN 750/650. I would assume that the integration would be there, but I haven’t found any documentation stating that yet. DFC 90 Autopilot integration would be seamless, but not sure the integration with the STEC 55x or Garmin GFC 500.

Avidyne says the Vantage will be fully certified in early 2022, but the company is taking orders now. Visit the Avidyne Website for more information.

Cirrus Braking Systems: A Hot Topic


You just bought your Cirrus SR22. You do some flying, and soon find yourself with a brake temp sticker that isn’t white anymore. You remember from your transition training that any color other than white is a no go. You now ponder…. I don’t remember getting on the brakes hard, or riding the brakes while taxiing, but sure enough they aren’t white anymore. You now start thinking that all the horrible rumors of Cirrus brakes are true. They overheat so fast!

I would like to share some little-known facts about the Cirrus factory equipped braking system. Following the procedures below can help make the brakes last a little longer. There is also a very popular STC that allows upgraded brakes to be installed on all SR series aircraft. More to come on that.

Notice the Top Yellow sticker is far darker than the Bottom. The Yellow temperature indicator turns at 300 Degrees, while the bottom Blue indicator turns at 330 Degrees. This is an indication to the pilot that if the bottom sticker has turned colors, that the braking system has exceeded 330 degrees and is in need of servicing.

Above is a photograph of an SR22 G1 braking system with turned brake temp stickers. The first things you may notice is that there are in fact two brake temperature stickers. We can only see the bottom blue sticker from the inspection port on the wheel pants. The other is higher on the caliper; in order to see it, the wheel pant must be removed. This isn’t common knowledge because there is no mention of this additional indicator in the POH.

Now you may be asking yourself, what can I do to extend the service life of my factory equipped Cirrus brakes? Here are some tips. First, always taxi at 1000 RPM and use the rudder as much as you can while only tapping the brakes. This is not fool proof, since sometimes, depending on the grade, you will have no choice but to utilize brake tapping to keep the aircraft going straight. Taxiing is not typically where the brakes get overheated, though, but this is still a good practice to follow.

What we tend to see is that the Cleveland brakes are generally overheated on landing. We always recommend to make sure your final approach speed is not excessive, land in the first 1/3 of the runway, and let the aircraft rollout to a smooth stop. What tends to happen is that the aircraft is too fast, and the pilot tries to exit at a certain taxi way, or brakes hard and continues to ride the brakes after landing during taxi. If you do your best to avoid these habits, it will serve you well.

This braking system remained unchanged all the way until the 2016 G5 Cirrus SR series. Starting in 2016, the factory equipped G5 and G6 Cirrus SR series all now come standard with a single piston hydraulic braking system from Beringer. The Cirrus Beringer brakes far exceed the braking power and durability of the old system. The new system is more robust, withstands heat better, and is is very well built. There is also an option for an upgraded dual caliper system to increase durability and stopping power. A braking system STC for the older Cirrus G1 through early G5 models was created to upgrade those airplanes to the better stopping power and cooling of the Cirrus Beringer brakes.

Seen above is a page from a Beringer catalog highlighting the Cirrus SR series STC kits. Your local Cirrus service center will be able to quote prices for the kits. We have over 1000Hrs spent behind Beringer equipped Cirrus aircraft and the difference is quite apparent. The pilot has better control of the aircraft, no spongy pedal, and the confidence to get the plane stopped without possibly overheating the braking system. This, in our opinion, is one of the best upgrades you can do to your Cirrus.
Above is what an STC upgraded braking kit from Beringer looks like, as well as the new temperature indicator for the pre/post flight inspection. Notice the black spot on the left hand picture. These brakes have been overheated.

One other difference for a pilot to note is that once upgraded to the Cirrus Beringer brakes, there is only one temperature indicator and it changes color at a whopping 450 Degrees Fahrenheit! Needless to say, it can handle some heat! The new temperature indicator is now Orange in color and turns grey/black when overheated.

On the left are the original Cirrus factory brakes. On the right is the caliper to the new Beringer brakes for a Cirrus.
Dual Caliper Cirrus Beringer Brakes

The Cirrus Beringer brakes upgrade is quite a step up in the world of slowing down. However, this doesn’t mean that they are completely issue free. There is one little-known problem with Beringer brakes that is not that big of a deal and can be fixed with relative ease.

The rotor on the Beringer braking systems is “free floating,” meaning it is not necessarily “fixed” in position when secured down to the spindle. It is “keyed” into the wheel rim with the male and female side interlocking.

The brakes occasionally will get noisy, causing a “knocking” noise when brakes are applied. This noise is caused by the small metal tabs that tighten up the space between the wheel and the brake rotor. This is so the small tabs wear with use instead of the aluminum rim that they are fixed to. So, if your Beringers are making a knocking noise when brakes applied, this is most likely your culprit.

These gaps above are the “keyed” position where the rotor finds home in the rim. Without these tabs that wear with use, we would be replacing the rim more often than the much cheaper replaceable tabs.

It is highly recommended to upgrade your original Cirrus factory brakes to the new Beringer braking system. You will deal with less maintenance, less chance of a brake overheat, and less confusion on whether or not your brakes are airworthy. For more info, you can check out the Cirrus website for the single or dual caliper Beringer brakes.

Zach Anderson is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) for Texas Top Aviation. Zach comes from a auto mechanic background and is very familiar with the ins and outs of maintenance. He started working for Texas Top Aviation in December 2020.

The Avidyne Equipped Cirrus Upgrade

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A History Lesson

11 years ago, in April of 2009, the Avidyne Corporation unveiled the much bally-hooed Release 9, or R9 as it is commonly known, as a hardware replacement for the Avidyne EX5000 Entegra system in Cirrus Aircraft. The Entegra system was way outdated by that point. Even though Avidyne was the first company to put together a glass PFD in a single engine piston airplane, the company had quickly fallen behind Garmin in keeping up with the ever changing technology landscape.

Rewind to 2008. Cirrus had been going strong with the Avidyne Entegra since the SR20 and SR22 went to full glass in 2003 (a PFD and an MFD; prior to that, Cirrus aircraft only had an MFD with steam gauges and a Sandel Electronic HSI). Cessna, on the other hand, vaulted past the Avidyne Entegra and went straight to the Garmin G1000 in it’s aircraft, starting in 2004 with the 182 G1000 and 2005 with the 172 G1000. Beechcraft and Columbia went to the G1000 (Columbia started with the Avidyne as well) in 2005.

Garmin’s technology in 2007 was so much better than Avidyne’s technology that Cirrus decided to switch. I’m sure there were many promises made by Avidyne to Cirrus about what Avidyne was working on (the R9), but the G1000 was out there, available, and being used in a lot of different airplanes with very good results.

So, in 2008, Cirrus made the switch from the Avidyne Entegra to the Garmin G1000, dubbing it the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics package. Avidyne finally got the R9 to market in 2009, but by that time, Piper was the only airplane manufacturer left putting factory Avidyne panels in their airplanes, and they switched to G1000 later that year.

The R9 is a fabulous product. It’s fully integrated, has great graphics, has fully redundant displays, a QWERTY keypad (which, by the way, Garmin didn’t do for another 8 years), and a lot of other neat features. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a really good product for what it is.

Avidyne, though, was late to the game with their technology. By the time it debuted in 2009, all the GA aircraft manufacturers had long since switched to the Garmin G1000 and weren’t looking back. That left Avidyne with the retrofit market for the many different Avidyne Entegra Cirrus aircraft out there. The only problem was, the retrofit was $80,000 ($95,000 if you wanted to throw in the DFC 100 Autopilot, which is a must have) and not many owners were up for paying that much money, then or now.

To sum up our brief history lesson, Avidyne knew the Entegra needed to go, but couldn’t get the R9 out quickly enough to convince anyone to stick with Avidyne products. The retrofit market didn’t amount to many sales, so Avidyne doesn’t even make the R9 anymore.

As a side note, I really, really like the Avidyne R9 and am sad that it didn’t make it into more airplanes.

So, when the Avidyne Entegra starts to have issues, what’s an owner to do? Keep reading!

There is Hope

There are thousands of Cirrus aircraft out there flying with the Avidyne Entegra instrumentation, which is basically 20 year old technology (I’ve had a computer engineer tell me the programming in an Entegra is Windows 98 tech). These things are going to start having problems at some point (many already have), but what solution do owners have that is cost effective and get’s them new technology?

Remember that little company named Garmin? Well, they have come through again. Announced this summer, the Garmin G500 TXi is now certified as a replacement in the Cirrus Avidyne Entegra equipped aircraft. This means pulling out both the PFD and MFD and replacing them with the G500 TXi on both sides. Engine data is also displayed on the G500TXi MFD, including the percent power and TIT indications, if equipped.

Cirrus SR22 Equipped with Dual G500 TXi Screens and Dual Garmin GTN 650Xi GPS Units

The cost for the panel? Two 10.6″ G500 TXi’s run about $16,000 apiece for the units, not including labor. $32,000 for a brand new panel isn’t terrible. Plus, the G500 TXi’s work with the DFC90 autopilot if the Cirrus is already equipped with it. If not, the Garmin GFC 500 autopilot is now approved for the Cirrus at a relatively low price of $7,000, including the servos.

Still have the original Garmin 430s in your Cirrus? Upgraded to the Avidyne IFD 540/440 stack? Put in dual GTN 650Xi’s? Put in a GTN 750Xi? All are compatible with the G500 TXi panel.

Want to upgrade everything? It does get kind of pricey at that point, but for just equipment, the cost for a complete panel conversion is somewhere in the area of $65,000 plus labor, still below what the R9 cost, but not cheap either. That would include 2 G500 TXi’s, 2 GTN 650Xi’s, a GFC 500 Autopilot, and all the engine monitoring equipment that the G500 TXi would need.

Cirrus SR22 Equipped with Dual G500 TXi Screens, a GTN 750Xi, and a GTN 650Xi

Thankfully, some new technology has finally come to the Generation 1-3 Cirrus. Oh, and by the way, your steam gauge Cirrus is fully upgradable as well.

Want to read more? Check out Garmin’s website.

Garmin Perspective Tips & Tricks


The Garmin Perspective and Perspective + are awesome pieces of equipment.  There is so much a pilot can do with this system that it can sometimes get overwhelming. There are two very important features of the Garmin Perspective that all IFR pilots need to know, but are tricky to do if the correct buttons aren’t pushed.

The two features of the Garmin Perspective I want to focus on today are the “Load Airway” feature and the “Hold at Waypoint” feature.  The “Load Airway” feature is especially handy when flying IFR long distances with several airways as part of the clearance.  Here’s how to utilize both on the Garmin Perspective.

Load Airway

  • On your flight plan page, insert the waypoint where you will be joining the airway, or, if your clearance was radar vectors to join an airway, then insert the waypoint on the airway that begins the leg you will be joining on
  • Press the Menu key on the keypad
  • A menu will pop up. Scroll down to highlight Load Airway
  • Highlight the Airway you want from the next menu that pops up then press Enter
  • Then, a list of waypoints will display to exit the airway. Highlight the waypoint where you will be exiting the airway and Press Enter
  • The cursor will then move down to Load at the bottom of the menu. Press Enter to load the airway
  • The Airway and all the waypoints in between your entry and exit waypoints appear in your flight plan
  • If you are getting vectors to join the airway, you’ll need to use the Activate Leg function to activate the leg you will be joining the airway on
    • On the Flight Plan page, highlight the waypoint that ends the leg you want to activate
    • Look for the ACT LEG soft key on the lower right hand side of the MFD and press
    • This Activates the leg on the airway. Then, just simply fly the heading assigned by ATC until the CDI needle centers showing you are on the airway

Hold At Waypoint

The Garmin Perspective allows pilots to place a holding pattern at any waypoint that is in the Nav Database (or any user created waypoint).  Here’s how to do it.

  • On the Flight Plan page, highlight the Waypoint that you want to hold over and press Menu on the keypad
  • On the menu that pops up, highlight Hold At Waypoint and press Enter
  • On the next menu that pops up, input either the inbound or outbound course, right or left turns, leg time or distance, and the EFC time, then highlight Load and press Enter
  • You will see the hold now as a Waypoint in your flight plan