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Take a Tour of the Diamond Aircraft Factory

GlassPilotGeneral, Pilot Reports

Diamond has achieved the most remarkable and enviable safety rating of any aircraft. This video reveals how these amazing aircraft are produced. Enjoy this brief tour of the Diamond Aircraft Factory


How a “GlassPlane” is Built


Composite materials are the “secret ingredients” that make it possible for manufacturers to make modern aircraft stronger, safer and uniquely efficient and ergonomic in their design.

The way these planes are produced with this “magic material” is fascinating. This video shows how the process works at the Diamond Aircraft factory. Any one considering the purchase of an aircraft will usually come to the logical conclusion that glass is the only way to go once they understand all its unique advantages of safety, durability, economy and usability.


Plane & Pilot Magazine: Diamond DA40 XLS Premier Edition

LifeStyle FlyerGeneral, News

Plane and Pilot MagazinePlane & Pilot Magazine: Diamond DA40 XLS: Premier Edition

Diamond DA40 Premier EditionPremier Aircraft of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has created its own ultra version of the Diamond DA40 XLS

By Bill Cox, Photos By James Lawrence

Those of us in the aviation press privileged to review new aircraft are sometimes taken to task for not being appropriately critical. The sentiment often seems to be, “If you’re not finding things to dislike, you’re not doing your job.” That’s more of a challenge with some airplanes than others. True, there are a few marginal designs, but some models are just too adorable to dislike. Think a husky puppy in a dog bowl or a kitten with a ball of string.

Read Full Article


Is Synthetic Vision a “Game Changer”?


Having now flown the G1000 with SVT system over a hundred hours with the chance to put pilots of all different levels at the controls, I can provide some initial impressions from my experience.

The best example to illustrate the power of SVT is my brother-in-law who has never flown an airplane before. As an experiment I had him fly two precision approaches perfectly his first try with 5 minutes of direction… at NIGHT! Don’t let anyone try to tell you SVT is not a “game changing technology.” It is simply a better mousetrap by many magnitudes. The question is how exactly will it change the game, how will it impact training and will it statistically improve safety?

G1000 SVT Pathways

The name Synthetic Vision is somehow naturally connected with terrain viewing. Though this is true terrain is beautifully depicted in the system, the real value for most of us on most flights is the way the system directs the flight with the Pathways (Garmin’s name for the Highway In The Sky – HITS) boxes along the course. In the case of a new pilot it makes following the course and approach as simple job that can be learned in minutes. The flight marker (the green circle with wings) is the invention that makes flying SVT so amazing. It is completely intuitive and is what allows a non-pilot to figure out how to direct the aircraft to end of the runway down the approach with the needles nailed. you simply put the green marker where the plane is supposed to go that that is where it ends up. No wind correction, needle chasing or glide slope slipping…no fuss, no mess… Read the rest of this entry »


Garmin SVT Video Interview


Here is an interview that includes flying the Garmin SVT prepared by Aero News that is worth watching.


Introducing… GlassPilot.com Mobile Edition

GlassPilotGeneral, News

GlassPilot.com Mobile Edition!

The objective of glasspilot.com is to educate and enable pilots into modern technology that makes flying safer, more efficient and more fun. With some of the more advanced smart phones available today, access to weather and flying-related information on the go has never been better. To help pilots see the potential and to make using these new devices we have implemented an iPhone version of our website!

While viewing the site on your desktop or laptop computer, you will notice no difference. However, if you view the website on an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, you will see that the content has been optimized for your device and is much faster while on the go.

Coming Next: GlassPilot.Mobi… a free mobile phone portal for access to pilot weather services! Stay tuned.

Happy Landings,



XM Radio is “Refreshing”

GlassPilotGallery, General, Pilot Reports

XM Radio Logo
One of the most amazing things about our new digital glass panels we lucky pilots get to enjoy is their connection to the satellites. We not only use the GPS satellites for easy advanced navigation but we also obtain our current weather radar, Metar, Sigmet, Airmet, TFRs, Freezing levels, winds and more via satellites.

This wonder of technology is made possible through the delivery of the data from the XM Radio (nasdaq: XMSR) satellite network. Yes, this is the same network that many of you use to entertain yourself in the cockpit of your Chevy or Lexus as the case may be.

We can also enjoy the many channels of audio while we fly too. Don’t underestimate the enhanced enjoyment this little addition brings. I’ve enjoyed many a sunset evening coming in to land with just the right tune playing in the background and a smile on my face…it is the perfect crowning touch to our new digital cockpits and it’s quite refreshing.

Speaking of refreshing… Read the rest of this entry »


Flying Magazine Article: Flying the Diamond Star XLS

GlassPilotGeneral, News

Flying MagazineFlying the Diamond Star XLS

By Robert Goyer


Diamond Star XLS“While it’s fun to fly, the XLS is about as technologically advanced as a small airplane can get these days. The GFC 700 in the XLS is an excellent autopilot, and with the addition of WAAS navigators, it can now fly WAAS approaches automatically, flying from the en route phase of flight, to the initial approach fix, through a course reversal and down the “glideslope,” descending and automatically capturing the altitudes along the way. These are remarkable times we live in, when a basic four-seat single could be equipped with such a phenomenally sophisticated autoflight/navigation system.”


Read Full Article


Synthetic Vision Press from AIN


AIN evaluates Synthetic Vision in the Diamond DA40 XLS

Garmin G1000 software upgrade
offers low-cost SVT

AIN evaluates Synthetic Vision in the Diamond DA40 XLS. Critical acclaim continues to pile up for the Garmin G1000 Synthetic Vision System.

“Pilots won’t want to go without once they’ve seen the system firsthand…”



Pilot Report: Simply Amazing!

GlassPilotGeneral, Pilot Reports

“Simply Amazing” is the first thought that came to mind when checking out the SVT on board my wife and I’s new DA40 XLS. Having just upgraded from a 2007 DA40 XL, we were excited to check out the new features provided by the G1000 – SafeTaxi, WAAS, HITS, Charts and SVT.

My wife and I own a graphic design studio called King-Searls Designs (www.ksdport.com) currently in Greenville, SC. Based at GMU, we operate at one of South Carolina’s busiest airports. GMU is home to flight schools, corporate flight departments, air taxi operators, and numerous transient aircraft, and as such, one must constantly “See and Avoid.” And let me tell you, this is done much easier with the SVT option on board. Traffic, terrain, obstacles, and even airports are much more visible from inside the aircraft on your PFD versus trying to see the same picture looking outside on a hot/hazy summer day.

The amount of information actually provided by the G1000 w/SVT is more than one can appreciate for some time. The 3-D representation depicted on the PFD of what is outside the aircraft provides a tremendous amount of additional awareness, efficiency, proficiency, and most importantly, safety to the pilot. Any good pilot will constantly be thinking of the “what if’s” while flying. Yes, listening to the XM radio on board your DA40 is also fun while in cruise flight, but what if that highly unlikely engine failure occurred? Could you make your nearest airport or off airport landing site? This question, along with many others, is answered instantly on the SVT equipped G1000 through the Flight Path Marker (FPM). Your FPM depicts the projected path of the aircraft accounting for wind and aircraft direction. So if you are at your glide speed and headed toward your landing site, and the FPM is on or beyond your intended landing spot, then you will make it to that site.Final Approach using SVT in the DA40 XLS

The substitution of “brown” below the PFD horizon to represent ground with an actual
3-D depiction of terrain is another obvious enhancement in safety and awareness provided by the G1000 w/SVT. You will be alerted both visually and audibly of any dangerous proximities to terrain, obstacles, or traffic (better if TAS equipped). This added awareness became obvious on a recent flight into Asheville, NC. With mountainous terrain below, in and out of clouds, a 1,000ft ceiling, and on a heading to intercept the LOC for the ILS34, my mind was completely at ease as I saw the 3-D terrain on the PFD move safely below. The flight path marker showed my descent would clear all terrain and obstacles, and the “highway in the sky” (HITS) boxes presented a picture of my future flight path descending on the ILS (all of which cleared terrain and obstacles) all the way down to the runway (which I could see on the PFD as well!). However, looking outside the canopy, I could only see portions of terrain, limited visibility due to haze, no runway, and occasional IMC. Can you now see the added safety?

Display of terrain in 3-D with SVTHaving flown a wide range of aircraft from small single-engine props to corporate jets to the 50 passenger ERJ145, I can honestly say the avionics provided by the G1000 w/SVT blows them all out of the water. No matter how fancy the glass cockpits in today’s airliners look, they do not provide the kind of information available in your Diamond – simply amazing!

From the weekend flyer, to the flight instructor, and right up into the corporate pilot/airline pilot skill level, the SVT has applications beneficial to all. Can you remember first learning to fly using an NDB as your navigation source? Whether it was intercepting a bearing, flying an NDB approach, or holding over an NDB, it first took a few drawings on the back of your flight log to get that “mental picture.” And while you flew that NDB approach, your focus may have been solely on “pushing the head”, or “pulling the tail,” and nothing else. Dependent on levels of experience, our mental capacities are only so big. The G1000 w/SVT relieves the pilot of any tendencies to fixate, allowing that pilot to have the full picture during any task – normal or abnormal. Since you now have the HITS easily showing you where to point the airplane during that NDB/GPS approach, your mind is free to monitor other items as well. Not to mention, in an abnormal or emergency scenario, having these added features will reduce a pilot’s workload, increase your awareness, and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

These are only a few of the many examples of how technology, SVT in particular, has significantly increased a pilot’s level of awareness, and thus has also increased the safety of our industry.

Another important aspect of owning any aircraft is properly maintaining and caring for your investment. Our DA40XLS is currently managed and maintained by Special Services Corporation out of Greenville, SC (www.specialservicescorp.com). They have a professional team of mechanics and pilots that are trained on the Diamond aircraft and attend to the various needs of our aircraft so we can keep our focus on the fun part – flying! So if you plan on purchasing a new or used Diamond aircraft, take the time to familiarize yourself with the nearest Diamond service facility.

We have also received outstanding customer support from the team at Premier Aircraft Sales from day one. From the purchase of our DA40XL in 2006 and right through our newest purchase of the DA40XLS a month ago, Premier’s dedication to meeting our needs, answering our questions and dedication to keeping us happy has kept this customer smiling. We would like to give a special thanks to John Armstrong for always taking our numerous phone calls, for his professionalism, for his fun spirit and great customer service. Thanks for an outstanding product.

Safe Flying,
Brad Searls

ATP, CE500

King-Searls Designs, LLC

Greenville, SC


GlassPilot Video: SVT

GlassPilotGallery, General, News, Pilot Reports

SVT Video

SVT First Look Video

Thanks to our friends at AOPA
you can watch the
Synthetic Vision First Look Video.