The plane is currently with a Cirrus Service Center for the mandatory repack of the CAPS system. The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain and parts are very hard to obtain. Cirrus is no longer making predictions for shipping dates and the last I heard from them was “you’ll get the parts when you get them”. Not very encouraging, but really not a situation that offers any alternatives. I trust that the Service Center staff has prepared the plane as far as they can, meaning that everything has been removed and prepared. So as soon as the parts show up, the installation should complete in a matter of days and the plane should be returned to service.
We are using the downtime to also do a couple of other maintenance actions. A 50-hour oil change with oil analysis has been ordered and we are evaluating the feasibility to add two additional sensors to the JPI EDM-711. The oil temperature sensor would monitor (and log) oil temperature and give a more granular indication compared to the original analog instrument. This may be helpful especially in hot weather operation, especially when on the ground. We are also planning to add the RPM sensor. That will allow for better monitoring of cruise power settings throughout the flights. We have also ordered a dynamic propeller balancing to minimize vibration at certain power settings.
As of June 2020, the rental rate will increase to $235.00 per hour (hobbs). This increase is to account for the increased operating cost, primarily insurance premiums.
The rate discount plan will remain valid for all current members.
Unfortunately, this step is necessary to ensure the viability of N173CD as a club airplane. The rental revenue over the last 3 months has decreased by 70%. At the same time, we have invested closer to $60,000 into the aircraft over the last 12 months. By my estimate, most SR20 pilots have lapsed make/model currency. We need to adjust our forecast for the rest of 2020 and make the necessary adjustments. The intention is for this rate increase to be temporary and to lower the rate as soon as the financials allow for it.
We are currently working on deploying a customized cleaning/sanitization kit that will include products and chemicals that do the job without harming the surfaces and displays. The kit will be stored in the baggage compartment. Always let us know if you run out of supplies – and please don’t use your own chemicals.
With completing the CAPS repack, we are also wrapping up a fairly extensive upgrade/restoration cycle. Over the last two years, we have also installed new avionics (TAA), cockpit connectivity, ADS-B in/out, GPSS steering and much more. Outside of annual inspections, there shouldn’t be any extensive downtime for the next 3-5 years.
Looking ahead, I am pretty confident that N173CD will have high dispatch availability and be a reliable and economical option for you and your families. I think it’s a great option for everyone who doesn’t want to drive 9 hours to Lake Tahoe but isn’t ready to get on a commercial plane yet either.
Book your schedule today!