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How to avoid maintenance surprises?

Thanks for that John, I presume you have an A&P/IA here in the UK that you work with as well….how does that work?

EGPD / OMDW / YPJT, United Kingdom

Yes, Mike Busch, who runs Savvy, is the best expert about engines on the market. I am not with Savvy, but I read all his columns i flight magazines and learned a lot from him.

Among the most important rules for Cirrus pilots are:

- never let the CHT rise above 380°F, if at all possible
- make sure that the full power fuel flow at take-off and in the initial climb is 28 GPH, not less
- fly LOP (lean of peak in cruise) for max. engine life and cost saving. I do and it results in 170 KTAS at FL110 and 12.5 GPH
- do NOT let your shop pull a cylinder because it didn’t reach 80/60 compression. Not even a 80/50 compression does necessarily mean that anything is wrong with the engine.
- Be sure that compression tests are made with the right tools and always insist on borescope inspections and oil analysis

The above rules are really the bottom line of the experience of several thousand Cirrus pilots and the best experts in the field. If your shop insists of pulling/repairing/changing a cylinder because it had a lower compression reading – change the SHOP NOT THE CYLINDER

And: Get yourself a Cirrus Maintenace manual (i have a PDF which anybody can have via Dropbox) and study it. There’s really a lot of interesting information in it.

(I’ll now start a Cirrus thread an copy the above into it). Afterwards Peter can delete the stuff here!

The point is: if you

  • have read and understood the MM
  • know and understand the applicable FARs
  • have read all publications by Mike Busch
  • have a very good shop

then you don’t need Savvy. If one of the above conditions is not met, then Savvy makes sense.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany


Savvy work using a ticket system on their web site so there is a written record of everything. You post details of what you need to it and they reply. When the shop becomes involved, they post messages to the ticket in the same way. There is an option to keep the posts confidential to you and Savvy or to make them visible to the technicians as well.

In effect, whilst you can still have a good direct relationship with the shop as I do with all three shops I work with, you have Savvy advising you at each decision point.

My annuals are all done by RGV at Gloucestershire and my 50 hr / oil changes (Savvy has a 50 hr schedule that they recommend) either by Marshalls at Cambridge which is my home base or Falcon at Biggin Hill where I often visit.

If you, or anyone else, would like to know more about this or any other aspect of Cirrus ownership, please let me know and we can speak on the phone.



What I find interesting is that the three maintenance shops you recommend are not capable of composite repair of anything past the very basic, what do they do if you get some damage ? Is it an instant component replacement ?

To return to the subject of the thread I am of the opinion that it matters not if the aircraft is EASA or FAA it is how much the owner is prepared to spend on preventative maintenance in the early years of an aircraft’s life, what usually happens is owners go around looking for cheap maintenance and get a cheap annual for on the first visit and then as the company identifys issues move the maintenance to another shop……..this process goes on until there is no one who is prepared to release the aircraft to service…………. Usually that is when the writs start flying !

Marshalls can not do composite work, I don’t know about Falcon but I have to say that I always thought that RGV can. Do you know that to be wrong?


Yes, RGV does composite work. I have asked this spring, they can do composite work (they a have a small shop for that) and they do paint aswell. I am thinking about letting them do a respray of the SR22 in 2012 colors, maybe next year …

Jonnarzno / alexisvc

According to the CAA 145 approval list RGV and Falcon DONT have structural repair approval, what they do have is a maintenance approval so the tasks they can perform are limited to those in the maintenance manual, anything beyond that has to go to a company with a C20 rating for that component/ aircraft.

In practical terms it limits work to minor bump & scratch repair as well as repair of non critical parts, the repair of landing gear spats would be a good example of non critical work.

With a Diamond aircraft it is clearly defines in the maintenance manual any class 1 damage RGV & Falcon can repair, any class 2 damage they can’t.

Last Edited by A_and_C at 22 Dec 10:08
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