In March 2011, Cirrus owner Giuseppe Caltabiano took delivery of his second Cirrus. He generously decided to journal his experience and share it on Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association’s (COPA) forums. We reproduce it here, along with his fantastic photos, by permission. We’re so glad Giuseppe has enjoyed his experiences with Cirrus both in the air and at our World Headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota. Thank you Giuseppe!
I write this because many new owners have asked me questions on how the delivery of our new baby went, so I have decided to put it down in journal form as an "expectation setting" to new owners.
I am going to use people's first names since, while they deserve recognition, I am not sure about how best to protect their privacy on this forum.
We already had a 2005 SR22 (# 1739) with which we were very pleased, and which was saving our company around $30K per year compared to what the cost of our T&E would have been without the plane, but between needing turbo and FIKI, and the bonus depreciation, we went ahead and ordered our SR22T for delivery on November 30, 2010.
Ivy from Salt Lake City is our trusted Cirrus Sales Director and has done an amazing job from the get go. She helped us coordinate through other great people, Chris out of Portland, the sale of our old bird which was executed on Dec 2, 2010.
I joke about "having a fleet" for two days!
We purchased our plane N88XG, our company logo is NXG, under the demo leaseback program, which resulted to be an amazing winner of a deal (I think a true win-win.)
Beth from Cirrus, out of Livermore, CA, has taken great care of our bird till our delivery date on March 28; she even kept me up to date with photos and comments, and was always available with any question I might have.
At Cirrus Finance, Cathy had to deal with our convoluted (we are a credit card transaction acquiring company!) finances, and managed to procure our financing at amazing rates.
Marilyn, also in Duluth, hand held us, together with the ever present Ivy, through the pre-delivery process, coordinating our transitions training preparation and plans with Justin the Ace, from Duluth.
Melissa, from Regal Aviation, got me all set with our new insurance.
Jason (our corporate pilot, a Navy NFO and my friend) and I got ready for the trip. We scheduled training for both of us, to be delivered by Nick.
Note: train as much as you can on the PC trainer if this is your first Perspective! Try to fly a lot in reversionary mode (someone will switch your PFD off! Hint, hint).
We arrived on Sunday night, the 27th in Duluth at stayed at the Country Inn’s and Suites near the airport.
On Monday the 28th, at 8:30 we were received by a smiling Mike at Cirrus, and we were given one of the offices near the lobby which was to become our ground school room for our time there.
We were given name badges and I rushed to the delivery bay were I saw N88XG, what a beauty!
Cathy, Marilyn and Justin came down to shake hands and congratulate us, and while I was restlessly wandering around the Cirrus Connection Store, giving Ashley (and her baby to come) a tease for not having "squishy planes", Chad got ready to take us through the acceptance.
On the way into the bay, we bumped into Gary, of the Vision team, and had a nice visit about our "next plane" !
Now I can smell our baby, and I can finally touch her!
WOW! So many manuals and logbooks all neatly lined up on the hangar's desk, with Chad taking us through his (and ours) checklist of items to go through.
Nice new style key rings as well!
Marilyn came down for the mandatory "delivery shot".
And we were ready for our acceptance flight: this is when your plane is CIRRUS 004 (if Chad is flying it) and when you go through a number of checks.
During our walk-around we found few areas where some buffeting was needed, and during the flight we
had the takeoff RPMs 10 or 20 below 2500.
All went well, and I was dying to fly her!
Came back and gave the plane back to service for those minor adjustments.
At that point lunch was ready (provided by Cirrus) and we enjoyed it with Nick.
By then we had been given a number of other gracious gifts/perks thanks to our great Ivy, and Cirrus generosity!
The afternoon flew by (!) with ground school, THE MORE YOU STUDY AHEAD OF TIME, THE SOONER YOU GET TO FLY!, and simulator time... PULL EARLY PULL OFTEN!
Marilyn helped us with all the subscriptions (Jeppesen, XM, etc.) and we finished the day with our heads full of "switchology" and slightly motion sick from the simulator.
Not sure on how to show our appreciation best, we invited the people who most worked with us to dinner. Unfortunately Nick and Justin could not make it, but we managed to have my first transition instructor, Heather from Duluth, join us!
Here I will show just the "pre-Sake" picture!
Ivy attended virtually, managing to buy us a great bottle of Cab all the way from Salt Lake City.
I was impressed by the differences from two years ago... Carbon spars, standardized processes, cross trained staff, build to order optimization. Having worked in an environment demanding high process optimization and accurate forecasting I was impressed by where the company is on this front.
We first had some more ground school, and then "Coffee with the Execs". This is when the very senior staff present at the company on that day come and meet you.
I had the pleasure to see Don, Owen, Jon (with the unpronounceable French last name), Cirrus HR goddess and, again, Pat.
We talked about many aspects of our businesses, and about moving "from Middle Eastern to Chinese", and COPA, and family, and we had really a great time!
One personal note to this is that I am convinced that, even with Alan not in the company anymore, CIRRUS still has her SOUL in place. There are many, many, good people there from "the old times" and I believe that they carry very well the CIRRUS Spirit, while adapting to the new times and circumstances.
After this pleasant meeting, it was my turn to be in the hot seat! On the left seat of our new baby, with Nick on the right seat and Jason in the back, we started what ended up to be my most sweaty, and fulfilling, seven hours of training!
We managed to cover the whole program, and even shoot approaches under the hood, and climb to level 210 and don our blue masks!
As Nick said, we can assure you all that we have big grins!
This is when I realized how nice it is to be sitting in the back of our plane while the pressure is on another pilot!
Jason's flying became perfect in the few hours he trained on that day plus the day after, Thursday, which was to be our last day in Duluth.
That night we had the pleasure of having dinner at the Sheraton with Andy, COPA's Board Member, and Comjam for Navy fellows! We enjoyed that a lot too!
Thursday it took Jason very little to demonstrate to Nick and me that he is a very accomplished pilot!
By 10:30-ish we were done, heading back to Duluth for lunch, dropping the car off, checking out of the hotel while Nick coordinated our plane's top off, TKS, O2, and, after a lot of good byes and high fives, Jason and I were on our way home in our 1000 NM first trip without our Cirrus instructor!
This is when we fully realized how blessed we are! This machine is AMAZING! We felt safe the whole time, in and out of IMC, in and out of ICE!
We were feeling so safe that here you can see how our CRM ended up! I CAN ASSURE I AM AWAKE AND FLYING THE PLANE! Or watching Gerta, who has taken over from our good old Guido, flying the bird!:
After a midway stop in KISN (Kilo India Sierra Nevada as renamed by Jason ) It was great to touch down in Glacier Park International with light to spare, and to head home and share the story with our families.
Thank you, Cirrus!