As promised in my last post, this post will be about the Diamond DA42.
The DA42 is a sleek carbon composite aircraft from the Canadian / Austrian company Diamond Aircraft.
OSM Aviation Academy started operating the Diamond DA42 in 2013 when it replaced the flight school's previous twin-engine aircraft, the Beechcraft Duchess. Today, all of the students who are training to become a pilot at OSMAA finalize their training in the DA42.
Just like the school's Skyhawks the Diamond is also equipped with the Garmin G1000, this makes the transition from the single-engine Cessna to the twin-engined Diamond really smooth. When jumping into the seat of the Diamond you are already familiar with the buttons and displays from all the hours spent in the Cessna, which is great!
While there are some similarities between the Cessna and the Diamond there are a bunch of things that differ between the two aircraft, below I have listed some of the most important ones.
5 things that differ the Diamond from the Cessna Skyhawk:
1. Double engines
The biggest difference between the Cessna and the Diamond is the fact that the Diamond has two engines. With two engines you will always have a backup engine in case one of the engines would fail in flight.
Despite what some might think, all passenger aircraft are fully capable of flying with one engine down, and that is also the case with the DA42.
2. The joystick
The Diamond is operated with a joystick, this is something that brings a different feeling compared to the Cessna - it is important to be calm in your movements when flying the Diamond as the joystick makes the aircraft more sensitive.
3. The Canopy
The canopy might be one of the main reasons why I have glanced at the DA42 since the start of my flight training. Entering the cockpit and closing the canopy just like Tom Cruise in Top Gun is something I have always wanted to try ;)
Jokes aside, the canopy is great when flying visually, but it is not ideal for rainy conditions, when entering or exiting the aircraft you need to be quick so that the interior and instruments do not soak with water.
4. The autopilot
The autopilot is a great tool for optimizing your capacity in the cockpit. However one should be cautious - the artificial pilot is only a computer and will only do what you command it to do.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, it's extremely important to know exactly what you have entered into the system before you engage the autopilot.
5. The retractable gear
Not all small aircraft has retractable gear but the Diamond DA42 does. The gear is retracted and extended on command.
When the three indication lights in the cockpit turn green (one for each part of the gear), you can safely land the aircraft.
In addition to the manual checkups performed before landing, the system also has an integrated warning system that notifies the pilot in case the aircraft is flown in landing configuration without the gear extended.
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