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Presently flying a 77 172XP and so far its been a good fit. Like
most older planes it forces me to have a close relationship with my
local airplane mechanic. I have been considering upgrading to either
a Cirrus 20 or Diamond XL, both appear to be good planes. Having
flown them both the Diamond seemed to be closer to my comfort leval.
From your experience will I find the Diamond to be a long term
performer or should I go for the Cirrus and aditional training? I
about 200 hours with most of my flights under 600 miles and some
trips over the Colorado mountains
-- Tim Mahoney, February 6, 2008
The Skyhawk XP is supposed to be a great airplane; fill the seats and the tanks and go, right?
If you want a plane that spends less time in the shop, the Diamond is the better choice. A Cirrus is doomed to be a hangar queen, I think, by two factors: (1) Avidyne avionics (not serviceable in the field like Garmin), and (2) flurry of mandatory SBs and ADs.
Make sure that you get your Diamond with the new Garmin autopilot, not the old King KAP140 (an annoying source of maintenance in my old plane).
-- Philip Greenspun, February 6, 2008