Are you aware you might be taking off with less than full power and not know it?

If you fly the SR22T or TN then this post does not apply to you. Your turbo checklist instructs you to lean for taxi, however, checklists for the SR20 and SR22 do NOT. In fact, the starting engine and before taxi checklists make no mention of leaning at all after instructing us to advance to full rich for engine start.

‘Mixture Control’ is a little known section in the Systems chapter of the POH for both the SR20 and SR22 normally aspirated models. This often overlooked section instructs us to “lean for taxi to prevent spark plug fouling and to ensure smooth engine operation”. Basically this means ensuring full power is available for a safe takeoff and initial climb in your SR20 and 22.

For those of you who say, duh, I already lean my Cirrus—then good on you for disregarding the checklist in this case. You likely transitioned from another normally aspirated make and model where leaning was SOP, and naturally do so now in your Cirrus.

Takeaway: sooo, should you disregard your long standing adherence to the before taxi checklist and start leaning for taxi? Well, probably yes particularly if you expect a prolonged taxi or takeoff delay BUT remember that taxiing with a lean mixture could pose a problem when cleared for takeoff—like forgetting to enrichen it, particularly when the runup was completed prior to taxi. The caveat here is to always ‘Be My Friend’ (BOOST ON - MIXTURE AS REQUIRED - FLAPS T/O) when cleared for takeoff.

Knowledge = Safety

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