Humans have made great leaps in aviation since the Wright brothers first took flight. From the first personal aircraft to commercial jetliners, aircraft have become essential to regional and long-distance commutes. For business or personal travel needs, journeying through the sky confers a sense of exhilaration unfound in conventional forms of transport like taking a train, driving or sailing on a ship. The idea of freedom commonly associated with air travel draws people to explore the blue skies.
To help aviation enthusiasts with their quest to conquer the sky, companies like Cirrus Aircraft have created the best-selling personal aircraft and robust training programs to teach people how to fly. Starting with the VK-30 in 1984, Cirrus Aircraft has since grown to focus on manufacturing the SR Series piston aircraft and the SF-50 Vision Jet the world’s first Personal Jet™. The SR Series comes in three models, each being a single-engine, piston composite aircraft – touted to be a game-changer in the personal aviation industry. This year marks the delivery of the 9,000th SR Series aircraft. Worldwide flight time on Cirrus Aircraft has passed 15 million hours, and 240 people have returned home safely because of advanced safety systems such as the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
With nearly 40 years of experience in the personal aviation industry, Cirrus Aircraft has consistently ranked at the top for customer satisfaction. Jan Ralph is a Cirrus Aircraft customer who owns a 2018 G6 SR22 aircraft with a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, Garmin’s Perspective+ and is fully air-conditioned. Jan is the father of two children and has been interested in aviation since he was young. He started with Airfix models and then onto remote control aircraft.
Visiting the Biggin Hill airshow in the UK was an annual pilgrimage for Jan when he was a child. At 11 years old, his father paid for a trial flying lesson that eventually paved the way for him to obtain a Private Pilot License in 2018 and a subsequent Instrument Rating in 2019.
Jan selected the Cirrus SR22 for its unique and advanced flying qualities.
“It’s a real ‘get there’ aircraft with long-distance capabilities and amazing avionics, which helps lessen the workload for the types of flying we do in Asia,” shares Jan. “The CAPS also provides great comfort in flying with my family over the jungles and palm plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia, serving as an additional safety feature. Additionally, the comfort of the cabin is really the best choice for my missions.”
Jan further adds that regionally, in Southeast Asia, the Cirrus SR22 is best suited for private travel. Its superb range makes flying across the region a breeze and a comfortable ride. Experiencing all of this first-hand was Jan, who had since flown to many nearby places like Langkawi, Tioman Islands and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The trip was done during the tail-end of Covid-19 restrictions in Singapore and vaccinated travel was the only way out of the country.
“Toward the end of Covid when borders were opening a little, and vaccinated travel lanes were very expensive and hard to secure, we were able to fly direct to Langkawi and other parts of Malaysia while many others were not. I was the first international flight into Tioman Island at the beginning of April and have been there 17 times since borders opened up,” said Jan. “Getting from Singapore to Tioman would usually take over seven hours via driving and ferry, but with the Cirrus SR22 we can reach the amazing island of Tioman in 37 mins.”
Most recently, Ralph had just completed his trip from Singapore to Australia and clocked over 54 flying hours while covering over 10,000 miles.
“Our mission was to fly and collect another Cirrus aircraft which had its annual maintenance check at Air Gold Coast but was stranded due to Covid-19,” said Jan. “I flew with a friend/Chief Flight Instructor and two-time earth rounder to collect the G3 SR22 and then flew back in convoy.”
Along the way, Jan stopped at several stunning places like Karumba and Shute Harbour. As with all journeys, there will be times when skills are tested and that happened to be over the long water crossings from Timor to Darwin and across Indonesia.
“This trip really tested my pilot skills, and I got to know how capable the aircraft is. I plan to make this a yearly trip now to Australia and next year. I am also looking to fly from Singapore to the UK.”
Leonardo da Vinci said, “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
For those fortunate to experience flying, the desire to return to the skies will only grow stronger as is the case for Jan. Cirrus Aircraft’s range of models, flight training programme and emphasis on safety makes it one of the industry-leading companies for aviation enthusiasts.
Learn how to fly a Cirrus by contacting, Wings Over Asia at (+65) 6659 6225.
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