Quite often after an accident in a Cirrus, aviation forums discuss the safety aspects of flying a Cirrus. One canard often appears, meaning a common misconception about the pilot experience when flying a Cirrus. This is the "more money than brains" sobriquet. Often, it applies to ab initio pilots should not training in a Cirrus.

When you look at the details, the pilot history shows a quite different pattern. Yes, low time-in-type appears quite often in Cirrus fatal accidents, but no, low total time does not. In fact, about half of the pilots, for whom we know their flight experience have more than 800 hours of total flight experience.

Only 4 pilots had less than 200 hours total time reported. Note, that accident investigations sometimes do not report pilot experience at all or not until the investigation is complete, which is the situation in 29 of the fatal accidents included here.

if ab initio training was a big problem, then one would expect accidents involving the training fleets at university aviation departments or the military training academies. Cirrus has succeeded in growing this part of their fleet sales, yet we do not see any of those pilots in these statistics.

However, low time-in-type experience does show up. Here's the frequency of accidents by time in type for the Cirrus SR2X:

Now, any pilot starting out in a Cirrus begins with zero time in type. And that low level of experience does contribute to worry about their envelope of safety and experience.

But the data does not support the idea that it is newbie pilots who are the predominant group of pilots who crash a Cirrus aircraft.

 

Cheers
Rick