Friday, June 01, 2012

Diamond Star

Last night I had a chance to fly with Mike in the Diamond Star DA40CS.  First off  it's a sweet looking aircraft and second, it hauls the mail.  Mike wanted to do some approach work and I was lucky enough to safety pilot for him.
When the aileron is "up" position this scoop opens under the wing.
aileron "up" or banking/turning right
We planned for a short hop to Chester County (KMQS) for dinner and then back to Wilmington (KILG) for a few more approaches.  I got to feel the castering nose wheel when we taxied and it's different from my Sundowner but not to hard to adapt to.  Mike went through the run up and we were cleared for the VFR departure to the north west.
The plane does require a bit more of right rudder than my beech, but the climb difference sure is noticeable. The view is amazing, the windscreen gives you the feeling of an open cockpit sans the wind and noise. Mike let me fly for a bit and while the glass panel is intimidating I was able to follow vectors (role played with Mike as ATC) and shoot the ILS RWY 29 into Chester County.  It was a great experience!!
GPS RWY 9 Final
Mike and I had dinner at Flying Machine Cafe' and scooted out soon after for some night time instrument approaches.  Mike contacted Philly and got the GPS RWY 9 approach for our first go. The only traffic I had to spot was an Army Blackhawk heading into Wilmington for approaches. Mike nailed the GPS 9 and departed runway heading as directed by the tower.

We got handed back to Philly for vectors for the ILS RWY 1 approach for round two. This time Mike worked with the autopilot and as hard as it was not to keep looking in at the panel I managed a few sneak peeks. The Diamond really clips along at a nice rate and does seem responsive to controls.  If I had one gripe it would only be the need to remove the stick for the right seat if they are not or do not fly. Of course I miss the extra width in the cabin but hey, it's a trade off for the speed.

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