AVmail: May 29, 2003

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Reader mail this week about Cirrus as the Best of the Best, students in Class B and more.

Cirrus Robb's "Best Of Best"

As a Cirrus SR22 owner, I understand and appreciate the Robb Report's selection of the SR22 as one of the "Best of the Best." It truly is a great airplane.

People know me as an advocate for aviation and aviation safety. Therefore, I am disappointed by AVweb's allusion to the Cirrus' safety record. As you well know, pilot performance has the greatest impact on safety, not the aircraft. An analysis of all the Cirrus accidents that have occurred since its certification indicates these aircraft are just as prone to poor piloting as any others. In fact, Lionel Morrison will tell you how glad he is that Cirrus has gone to lengths that they have. He's the Texas architect who used the BRS system about six months ago.

The difference about Cirrus that should be noted? Cirrus is quietly and aggressively seeking ways to understand and influence how their pilots can fly even more safely. Why not celebrate success and good efforts rather than sow seeds of anxiety. Especially when our industry needs all the positive press it can stand?

Pete Agur

AVweb Responds:

While we're all for Cirrus or any other manufacturer being recognized in the popular press for producing a terrific product, we also don't feel compelled to sugar coat the other side of the story. The fact is, on a rate basis, the Cirrus accident rate is substantially higher than other brands and models we've examined. And while it's true that most of these accidents were due to pilot error, it may also be true that having sophisticated safety systems available changes the way some pilots look at risk. Or has Cirrus simply had a run of bad luck? The airplane is simply too new to know. In the meantime, we think it's fair to report factually on the accident record.

Paul Bertorelli
Editorial Director

Short Final - Class B Students

I am a student pilot, learning to fly in Class B airspace. Like your Short Final author, I was very nervous, as there is a lot to do and a lot to say while inside the sacred domain of Class B, and I was sure I would screw it up somehow. And I have made mistakes. But for the most part, flying in B hasn't been the negative thing I was making it out to be, and the controllers, while very busy, have been nothing but real pros. Bottom line is to listen and do what they tell you, and it's a walk in the park! Now if I can just overcome that pesky landing stuff ...

Stewart Hunsaker

LightSPEED Thirty 3G ANR Headset

Read your review with interest. Thought I would let you know that I have been using Lightspeed ANR sets in everyday airline flying for over six years, in piston twins, turboprop EMB 110 Banderaintes, and now Beech 1900Ds.

Durability is not a problem. Our company 1900Ds (16 of them) come with David Clark ANR sets permanently wired into the aircraft power source. The DC is no match for the Lightspeed Thirty 3G, so I always use my own Thirty 3G.

Phil Jones
New Zealand