A Retractable Cirrus, Sort Of

Cirrus also announced the availability of its "retractable gear simulator" on new aircraft or for retrofit on existing Cirrus models. The accessory comes with a pilot interface panel (replicating a gear handle) and an "instructor fault select panel" allowing the instructor to simulate emergencies such as a "gear unsafe" indication. The system also includes a warning horn and a separate circuit breaker. A quick query of Flying editors reveals that less sophisticated "gear simulators" were introduced by manufacturers decades ago (and some individual owners installed their own dummy gear handles), but the idea apparently never caught on. Cirrus vice president of international sales Ian Bentley said, "Across the world more and more flight schools are accelerating the pilot learning process using Multi-Pilot Licensing and similar programs … The Cirrus Landing Gear Simulator can add this experience to a training curriculum without the added expense of a dedicated aircraft for this specific training."

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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