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Nov
15

Diamond DA42-VI flying the Austrian Alps

GlassPilotPilot Reports

Nov
8

Don’t miss the chance to acquire your dream plane and enjoy amazing 2013 tax savings

GlassPilotGeneral

Many pilots don’t know this little secret…

The majority of rental aircraft they fly at their local flight schools are actually owned by pilot investors who placed the plane on “leaseback” with the school as an investment and potential tax savings strategy.

What is a Leaseback?

A leaseback is a common practice in the flight training business whereby an independent investor, typically a pilot or student pilot, acquires an aircraft and provides that aircraft for rental through their local flight school who acts as a marketing partner. This business arrangement has many advantages, some disadvantages and numerous things to know about regarding setup, tax savings, compliance and how to move to the next aircraft when the time comes. With all things considered it can be an ideal way for pilots to obtain all their ratings and do lots of flying with a very economically advantaged approach. It’s not for everyone, but if you have not yet explored the potential and you are considering or dreaming of aircraft ownership, you are trying to find a way to build lots of time, or you could really use some potential tax relief, this approach may be for you.

Why do pilots consider this approach?

There are some very simple motivations that support the industry system of leasebacks for flight schools.

1.)  The pilot plans to do a lot of training or flying and they are motivated to find reduce their cost of access to a plane.

2.) The pilot discovers the unique tax advantages of leasebacks and is motivated by the opportunity to reduce their taxable income while obtaining their aircraft and having others pay for it. This potential is extremely significant in many cases, especially in 2013.

3.) Often times they want to have access to a plane that is not available for rent in the local area. For example, say the pilot is getting involved with aviation and has already decided he wants to fly a modern glass panel aircraft, but there are not any at his local flight school. He buys one and leases it back, thus getting the plane he Read the rest of this entry »

Nov
8

Optimists vs Pessimists

GlassPilotFor Fun

A bit of aviation humor from our friends at Diamond in Austria

Oct
28

Plane & Pilot Review of Diamond DA42-VI

GlassPilotGeneral, News, Pilot Reports

This excellent review of the new high performance version of Diamond’s jet fuel burning twin, the Diamond DA42-VI (aka the Version 6), was recently posted by Bill Cox of Plane&Pilot. Bill’s extensive experience provides a valuable perspective on this fully refined high tech twin. We hope you enjoy the read. Read the full article.

Sep
19

Diamond DA40 Tops The Best Of Luxury List For Piston Engine Aircraft.

mmGeneral, News

The judges at Best of Luxury, the authorities guide to affluent living (www.bestofluxury.com) sure know a good thing when they see it. That’s why they recently selected the Diamond DA40 XLS and Diamond Aircraft as the number one private aircraft provider for August 2013.

According to the company, the five benchmarks used to compare piston aircraft companies include safety, comfort, handling, reliability and performance. The Diamond DA40 came out on top in all five categories.

In the market for a new aircraft? Make sure you check out the DiamondShare Program. Learn about the popular, new approach to ownership combining the best in luxury with solid economics before you buy!

Jun
20

DA42-VI…The Making of a Star

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports

In May 2013 Dominion Aircraft Sales imported the first Diamond DA42-VI sold to the US and documented the process on GlassPilot.com . From the birthing of the aircraft in Austria, including the European Delivery Experience for the new owners Sue and Dave Passmore, to the ferry flight to the London Ontario plant for equipment additions, this plane was destined to be a star when it arrived in the US.

To cement this particular aircraft into the wall of fame, John Armstrong, President of Dominion Aircraft, arranged for the plane to be featured as the front cover story in AOPA Pilot Magazine for the Oshkosh 2013 issue. Though the DA42 has been on the market for some time and many folks think they know the plane, this new enhanced version is truly amazing.

Upon arrive of the plane into the United State Armstrong coordinated with Dave and Sue Passmore, the planes new owners, to conduct the aircraft flight review and air to air photo shoot with the professional team from AOPA in Frederick Maryland including Ian Twombly, Editor and Writer, Mark Evans as photo platform pilot and Mike Fizer AOPA Staff Photographer. The following video was shot as a behind the scenes sneak preview of this all new version of the aircraft and the amazing work of these media professionals.

All images were shot using only an iPhone 5 and are not professional quality. When the story hits the news stands you will see some of the most impressive professional images you’ve ever seen. Make sure to be on the lookout for your copy of AOPA Pilot for this special story. We hope you enjoy this preview teaser and the view from behind the scenes.

Enjoy the whole story of this special aircraft.

It is the first DA42-VI model sold and delivered to the United States. The story includes the pick up at the Diamond Austrian factory with the European Delivery Experience for the new owners plus the pilot log of the ferry of the aircraft to North America to the Diamond plant in Canada. To top it off the video above shows the plane going through its paces for an AOPA feature story and flight review.

High Speed Diamond DA42-VI Comes to America

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part I

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part II

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part III

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part IV

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part V

DA42-VI Video of new features and enhancements

May
31

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part V

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports

Flight 5: Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada (CYYR) to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (CYQB)

The first of our two flights on Day 3, westward across Canada to Quebec City — 584 nm and 3 hours 54 minutes — began with beautifully clear weather at Goose Bay. Since we no longer needed an HF radio, prior to departure Fritz disconnected the unit and many of the wires he had installed underneath the right side instrument panel:
Image
Read the rest of this entry »

May
31

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part IV

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports
Flight 4: Narsarsuaq, Greenland (BGBW) to Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada (CYYR)

After about an hour on the ground at Narsarsuaq — where the only hot food obtainable for lunch was a microwaved hot dog — it was time to take off for Canada. Our second flight of Day 2 was 679 nm and what should have been about 4 hours of flying. But that was not to be.

In checking the weather forecast maps at Narsarsuaq, we could see that we were going to have some weather issues that would worsen as we got closer to Goose Bay. In particular, while winds early in the flight would be relatively light, they were predicted to increase to at least 50 knots headwind off the coast of Labrador. And at least 2 frontal boundaries near Goose Bay caused a forecast for “severe” icing between 12,000 and 14,000 feet — the altitudes we had been flying. (I’d never before seen an icing symbol on a weather chart with THREE vertical lines intersecting the letter “U”.) But even with some headwinds we felt confident we would make it.

Here’s the takeoff and departure over the fiords and bare rocks found along the southwestern coast of Greenland. Communications between the aircraft and Narsarsuaq tower (and then back to “Thunderstorm” Greenland approach) can be heard:


Embarrassing note: Both Fritz and I were so distracted by the scenery with our heads outside the cockpit that we forgot to raise the landing gear until immediately after this video recording terminated. Despite operating near max gross weight, the DA42-VI was climbing so well that neither pilot noticed the gear was still down until after the aircraft had climbed to 8000 feet! :oops: Read the rest of this entry »

May
30

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part III

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports

Flight 3: Reykjavik, Iceland (BIRK) to Narsarsuaq, Greenland (BGBW)

The first flight of Day 2: 679 nm and 3 hours 56 minutes from Iceland to Greenland was definitely the most spectacular, thrilling, and just plain amazing. It’s what made the whole trip so memorable.

We had “severe clear” good visibility weather for our flight out of Reykjavik, with departure after takeoff passing right over the city:

After we turned southwest towards our destination in Greenland, we flew at 14,000 feet above a broken cloud layer with little to see. But it was fun to look at the G1000 MFD display (be sure to click on the photo for an expanded view): Read the rest of this entry »

May
29

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part II

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports

This post is the continuation of the North Atlantic Crossing of the First Diamond DA42-VI sold for delivery to the US. The aircraft was sold by Dominion Aircraft Sales and the new owner made the flight with the ferry pilot and provided these reports.

Flight 2: Wick, Scotland (EGPC) to Reykjavik, Iceland (BIRK)

The second flight of the trip was shorter than the first, 3 hours 44 minutes while covering 652 nm of mostly open water. After about a one-hour stop at Wick to refuel and file another flight plan, we prepared to launch towards Iceland.

While at Wick the FBO handling agent at Far North Aviation offered to rent us immersion suits, personal rafts, and personal locator beacons, at a cost of something like 50 GBP for a suit, and more for a raft and beacon — one-way rental to Goose Bay, Ontario, Canada. But before any money could change hands, he asked if we had any room onboard the aircraft to carry additional suits, rafts, and beacons to Goose Bay. Apparently there had been an imbalance of too many aircraft being ferried eastbound to Europe and not enough going westbound in our direction, so Goose Bay had run out of gear, and Wick had accumulated too much.

Since there were just 2 of us onboard the DA42 and the nose baggage compartment was completely empty, we loaded the plane with a set of 6 rafts, 2 suits, and 6 beacons. The total weight about equalled carrying a 3rd adult passenger, spread between the nose compartment and the back seat. With all of our fuel tanks (including the auxiliary tanks behind the engines) topped off, were were probably overweight, but not by too much. The irony of carrying this gear was that Fritz and I decided not to wear the very uncomfortable immersion suits, so all the survival gear probably wouldn’t have done us much good if we had to ditch in the icy-cold water.

During the stop at Wick I had neglected to completely shut down my GoPro camera and killed the battery, so here’s the takeoff video captured with my iPhone:

Check out all the black cows (or are they sheep?) in the fields below.

We flew at 15,000 feet mostly above the overcast cloud layer, but would occasionally be in the cloud tops. As a result of flying through the tops, even at the cold temperatures below -20degC, we started picking up ice Read the rest of this entry »

May
29

Flying the New Tundra Star

GlassPilotGeneral, Pilot Reports

During our trip to the Diamond Austrian Factory to pick up the first DA42-VI bound for the US, we had the opportunity to see up close all the projects and new products coming from the Diamond development team. The Diamond Tundra Stars were rolling off the line in volume with most headed to Russia for a large order there.

Christian Dries the owner of Diamond provided me the opportunity to fly this new DA40 variant and since I had flown the DA40 NG in the last year I was keen to compare and see what the new bird was all about.

The plane was designed to be the ideal training and personal aircraft for countries and areas where they need to operate from grass and unimproved runways routinely. The combination of that focus with the miserly JET-A burning Austro engine is what has made this an instant hit with large orders from such countries as Russia.

The stance of the plane is what catches one’s attention immediately. The gear is significantly higher and the large tundra tires with their anodized wheels really pop and look sharp.  It could easily win a DA40 Pimp My Ride Competition.

Entry in from the rear of the wing as they moved the step behind the wing. I presume this is to make the entry easier as the trailing edge is definitely lower than the top of the leading edge.

The now famous Diamond test pilot Fritz (aka Cowboy) provided me my intro flight and of course had fun showing off the plane. The first thing he had to do was show off the easy start operations…turn the key and go simplicity. To make  the point he turned it off and on 4 times quickly on the ramp just to stress that its really that easy with the smooth running diesels. Read the rest of this entry »

May
28

First DA42-VI Makes the Crossing Part I

GlassPilotNews, Pilot Reports

In December 2012 my pilot wife and I put down a deposit on a brand new DA42 “dash six” with our Diamond Distributor Dominion Aircraft Sales. At the current time Diamond currently produces DA42s only in its Wiener Neustadt, Austria factory about 30 miles south of Vienna.

For awhile Diamond was also producing DA42s in the London, Ontario, Canada factory back when they had a huge order backlog for hundreds of DA42s. Back then major components (painted fuselages, wings, etc.) were being sent in “kit” form from Austria, with final assembly being performed in Canada for North American customers.

With the switch from Thielert to Austro engines — Diamond stopped producing new DA42s in Canada except for a small number of avgas Lycoming-powered DA42-L360 aircraft. So to get a new DA42-VI, the aircraft is produced in Austria and ferried to North America.

We opted for the European Delivery Experience offered by our distributor as we thought it would be a chance of a lifetime. Our Diamond distributor John Armstrong and his wife Mary Margaret hosted us for a week in Vienna and coordinated our factory visits, tours, intro flights and excursions. It was an amazing week and an experience we will never forget. To make things even more interesting I requested to accompany the plane for the ferry flight over the Northern Route of the Atlantic and John was also able to coordinate this special request as well.

We arrived on a Monday and enjoyed an afternoon of sightseeing in Vienna. Day two was our first day at the factory and they wasted no time in wowing us. After the cerimonial handing over the the keys by Christian Dries himself we loaded up in our new plane with another DA42 in tow and headed to Salzburg.
Read the rest of this entry »

May
27

High Speed Diamond DA42-VI Comes to US

GlassPilotNews

High tech performance with twin diesel propulsion makes the new Diamond DA42-VI high-speed version stand out as the capable modern mobility solution

Diamond Regional Distributor, Dominion Aircraft Sales, announced they traveled in May to the Diamond Aircraft headquarters in Austria accompanying proud new owners, Dave and Sue Passmore, to take delivery of the first US-bound DA42-VI twin turbo diesel aircraft. The most technologically advanced twin aircraft today, the new enhanced DA42-VI high speed version represents the latest in carbon composite airframe design, advanced avionics capabilities, FADEC diesel engine technology and unprecedented performance.

This latest enhanced version, referred to as –VI (“dash 6”), is the culmination of over 10 years of refinement of the Diamond twin diesel design and includes the latest Diamond built Austro Engines. Diamond incorporated an additional 21 aerodynamic changes, weight reductions, performance enhancements and refinements that have resulted in the ultimate DA42 aircraft.

“This high performance aircraft is designed for pilots who want to go anywhere in the world in style without compromising speed, fuel economy, weather capabilities, or safety” states John Armstrong, Dominion Aircraft Sales President, who accompanied the new owners for this special delivery.

Speaking about Diamond Aircraft’s long-standing commitment to innovation, safety and performance, Armstrong remarked, “Diamond continues to exceed the industry by coupling sleek state of the art, ultra strong carbon fiber designs with high-performance super fuel-efficient FADEC controlled diesel engines. Our customers are seeking alternatives to the uncertainty associated with AV-gas, which compels them to look at Diamonds. After doing their research, they are amazed by the unmatched capability, performance and economy that Diamond engineering provides. Diamond has been delivering this amazing aircraft to many parts of the world and we are excited to now bring it to our US-based customers.”

This latest DA42 version can cruise at 190+ knots burning roughly half what traditional twins use. Pilots can also choose to burn an incredibly low 10 gallons per hour in 155 knot super long range cruise mode, all using Jet Fuel rather than 100LL AV-Gas. The combination of the ultra safe design of the airframe, the redundancy of the twin engines, the advantage of the full Flight Into Known Ice certification (FIKI), the flexibility of not having to worry about future AV-Gas price or availability, and the comfort of air conditioning make this aircraft a serious modern world-wide personal transportation solution.

Left to Right: John & Mary Margaret Armstrong Diamond Distributors, Johan Wahlander of Diamond, Sue and Dave Passmore proud new owners, Christian Dries Chairman of Diamond.

Both Dave and Sue Passmore are pilots and have enjoyed their Diamond DA40 XLS based at Leesburg VA. After thoroughly enjoying the DA40, they decided they were ready for a next level higher-performance aircraft. Dave Passmore, an MIT graduate and technology research analyst, studied multiple options once he made the decision to purchase a new aircraft. “The high tech nature and performance of the DA42-VI is like no other machine in its class among piston 4-place singles or twins” stated Mr. Passmore. “It comes with features such as FIKI certification, amazing turbo diesel economy, worldwide fuel availability, the most desired avionics, and the comfort of factory air conditioning. After reviewing all the single engine and twin engine options available and doing extensive comparison, there was no question that this aircraft best meets our needs.” Read the rest of this entry »

May
24

Cirrus Chute Deployment Fails Over Texas, Pilot Still Makes Safe Landing

GlassPilotNews

As reported by ANN


A 2001 SR22, With A REPACKED CAPS Chute, Experiences Rocket Firing But NO Chute Deploy

You know you’re having a bad day when a flight goes so bad that you feel you must resort to using a parachute to see you safely through the flight… but the day is TRULY bad when that chute fails and leaves you to battle the emergency that you thought you had escaped from.

Earlier Thursday, Cirrus Pilot Tim Valentine, flying near Addison Texas aboard N715CD, experienced some mode of instrument failure while IFR in a 12 year old Cirrus SR22, serial number 16. According to Valentine, who spoke to ANN extensively Thursday within hours of the incident, he was IFR from Addison TX to Kansas at 7000 feet when he noticed the first signs of some instrumentation issues while avoiding the back side of a major thunderstorm cell. Later, Valentine experienced more serious issues when the HSI went down, the autopilot followed and he began to suspect problems with his Attitude Indicator. The trend was not encouraging.

Realizing that he was in the soup, and that the situation seemed to be escalating — and while flying an SR22 with an airframe parachute attached, Valentine elected to deploy the CAPS… a system that had been repacked the year before in accordance with the lifetime limits established by Cirrus when the system was developed based on technology pioneered by BRS over a decade before, starting with installations built for the Cessna 150 and 152 (for which ANN’s Jim Campbell was one of the test pilots through a number of deployments).

Valentine described the non-deployment simply as, “I pulled the chute… heard the pop, smelled a burning smell, kept smelling the burning smell… and waited for the jerk of the chute deployment… which never came.” Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
11

AOPA News: DiamondShare offers new take on sharing an airplane at Sun ‘n Fun

GlassPilotGeneral, News

Three Diamond Aircraft dealers have devised a program that may put a brand-new, four-seat aircraft within reach of many pilots who, for now, can only dream of owning a 2013 DA40 XLT (or XLS).

DiamondShare has been quietly working for about five years to refine Diamond dealer John Armstrong’s ownership-membership concept into a turn-key package that eases the burden of buying a $420,000 machine, by sharing ownership costs but not the equity.

“The difference between members and equity is night and day,” Armstrong said
Read more….