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Making the high-performance piston aircraft switch

Why a 12-year Cirrus owner chose the Cessna TTx

In eastern Kentucky, attorney Billy Johnson helps families find justice. Handling personal injury claims—from vehicle accidents and explosions to product liability and pharmaceutical litigation—requires a lot of travel. With Cincinnati and Louisville airports a three-and-a-half-hour drive away, flying commercial airlines isn’t an option.

“The type of law we practice and at the level we practice takes us all over the country. Having our own aircraft is critical. We’ve used aircraft since 1998 when I first worked with my uncle,” said Johnson, who has practiced law for 20 years.

Johnson saves travel time with aircraft

  • Pikeville, KY to Louisville, KY
    Cessna TTx – 40 min.
    Car – 3.5 hrs.
  • Pikeville, KY to Syracuse, NY
    Cessna TTx – 2.5 hrs.
    Car – 10.5 hrs.
    Airlines – 12.5 hrs.*
  • Pikeville, KY to Jacksonville, FL
    Cessna TTx – 2 hrs.
    Car – 9.5 hrs.
    Airlines – 7 hrs.**

*Includes 3.5-hr. drive to the airport and 9 hrs. of total flight time

**Includes 3.5-hr. drive to the airport and 3.5 hrs. of total flight time

Johnson took delivery of his brand new Cessna® TTx® in December 2014 after switching from a Cirrus G3 Turbo.

“I switched to the TTx because my Cirrus spent five months in the shop, rendering it absolutely useless to me. It was plagued with issues that put it in the shop. Then, when it was in the shop, they couldn’t get the parts. Even my previous aircraft, a Cirrus G2, had terrible problems with the paint,” said Johnson, who has owned three Cirrus aircraft in 12 years.

Before making the switch, Johnson took his time, looking closer at the Cessna TTx, a Mooney and the latest Cirrus while at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

“As soon as I sat in the Mooney, it was a no-go. I’m 5-foot, 9-inches, 220 pounds. I didn’t fit,” said Johnson. “I fit fine in the TTx and the Cirrus. The TTx is faster than the Cirrus. Both planes handle well, but the TTx handles better.”

“The TTx won out, because it allowed me to have 235 knots, air conditioning and a FIKI system. Plus, I didn’t want to take a chance on another Cirrus.”

Johnson appreciates the fit and finish of the aircraft, “The paint work on the TTx is exquisite. The leather interior rivals a Bentley or Mercedes. I love the looks of the TTx. It’s gorgeous.”

One of the biggest changes during Johnson’s transition was upgrading to the Garmin G2000 avionics.

“There is so much it can do. It’s so much more technologically advanced. Sometimes while flying the Cirrus, I would think it would be neat if it could do this or that. Anything I could imagine, the TTx does with the G2000,” he said. “Plus, the G2000’s built-in redundancy is awesome.”

Johnson considered his decision to give up having a parachute on board when moving to the Cessna TTx.

“I originally bought the Cirrus because I liked the idea of the parachute. I live in the mountains, and an off-field landing in our area would be dangerous if not impossible. Before buying the TTx, I gave it a great deal of thought and discussed it with my instrument instructor as well as my wife, Cody, who flies with me a lot,” said Johnson, who has logged some 900 flight hours. “I ultimately decided to go with Cessna. I won’t need a parachute because of the aircraft’s quality and dependability.”

Why a Cessna TTx?

Attorney Billy Johnson shares his reasons.

  • Dependability and reliability
  • Speed — it’s less expensive than a twin but almost as fast as one
  • Fit and finish of the aircraft resembles a Bentley
  • Garmin G2000 avionics have built-in redundancy
  • Certified for Flight Into Known Icing
  • Equipped with air conditioning
  • Built by a U.S.-owned company
  • Better resale value