Cirrus Aircraft, which builds the SR22—the world’s top-selling personal airplane, known for its full-airframe parachute and comfortable cabin—has joined the OpenAirplane network, making it easier for pilots to rent Cirrus airplanes while traveling. Pilots have long complained that anytime they try to rent an aircraft while away from their home base, the checkout process is too long and complex, making the option to fly less convenient than it should be. OpenAirplane aims to solve that problem by creating a standardized checkout procedure accepted by aircraft-rental operators across the country. In October, Cirrus Aircraft said pilots who complete factory-approved training will be able to rent the same model of Cirrus they trained on at all OpenAirplane sites without needing another checkout for six months.
OpenAirplane now operates at more than 70 airports around the United States, with more than 250 airplanes in the network, and it continues to expand. About 8,500 pilots have signed up to use the service. Some of the operators participating in the Cirrus program are Executive Flyers Aviation, near Boston; Sawyer Aviation, in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Aspen Flying Club, near Denver; and Skybound Aviation, in Atlanta. OpenAirplane also provides online listings and reservations, and says its program can save pilots money on their renter’s insurance policies. (cirrusaircraft.com, openairplane.com)