Cirrus aircraft are now available with "flight into known icing" (FIKI) capability. That’s a great feature. I’ve written before, however, that Cirrus is asking for trouble with its marketing. Cirrus sells the feature as one that both enhances safety and increases the aircraft’s utility. But Cirrus can’t have it both ways. If a pilot uses the FIKI capability by, for example, flying in conditions that would otherwise keep him on the ground, he necessarily undermines that feature’s safety benefits. I discuss why Cirrus’ marketing is a problem here.
Steve Wilson, who is an air safety investigator (among other things), now slams Cirrus’ marketing even harder. According to Wilson, some aspects of Cirrus’ marketing encourage pilots to use the FIKI capability to take risks that are simply foolish.
Some say that Wilson’s criticisms should be discounted because he sells Cessna aircraft and Cessna competes with Cirrus. But Wilson isn’t criticizing Cirrus’ product, just its marketing. It seems hard to argue with him.