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The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:09 pm
by TwinStarScott
The letter below, with full names and addresses, was sent to Diamond Aircraft CEO Scott MacFadzean via FedEx on Monday, July 15th.

Scott McFadzean - CEO
Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc.
1560 Crumlin Sideroad
London, ON N5V 1S2
Canada


Scott:

We are writing you to request that Diamond Aircraft Industries address the issue of G1000 and G1000 NXi hardware and software upgrades for airplanes whose certification is dependent upon these integrated avionics. This includes virtually all Diamond airplanes delivered in the last 15 years, including those being delivered in 2019.

The purpose of this letter is to describe the problems as we see them and extend an offer to assist in the near term and long-term resolution to the benefit of all concerned.

Problem
Diamond airplanes with G1000/GIA63 avionics are unable to fly RNAV (GPS/GNSS) LP instrument approaches or those with vertical guidance (LPV). Global regulatory authorities are adding new RNAV (GPS/GNSS) procedures every year and are de-commissioning both ILS approaches (especially in France) and VORs/NDBs and their related approaches. An airplane without a WAAS/SBAS receiver finds itself more operationally limited with each passing year and is at a safety and logistical disadvantage when flying IFR. With aircraft certified only for GIA63Ws (no longer in production), owners can’t upgrade to WAAS.

Airplanes with G1000 avionics are frozen in time. They do not receive software updates providing new features or enabling new hardware products or services. While avionics technology moves forward, Diamond owners are left on the sidelines with airplanes on a faster track to the bone yard than “legacy” airplanes that can be upgraded with a broad array of avionics products.

Airplanes with G1000 NXi systems are also frozen in time. Diamond owners ranging from a 2017 DA62 to a 2019 DA42-VI or DA40NG have no access to new software that was introduced after delivery of their airplanes, and in some cases even to services that existed when they took delivery. DA62 owners are forced to use third party ADS-B receivers to gain access to weather and traffic services. A 1955 C180 with a GTN750 or G3X gains almost immediate access to new products or services such as FIS-B icing levels and cloud tops when Garmin releases software updates, making them more capable than a new Diamond “modern” airplane.

We could expand upon all the variants and nuances of the problems but we are confident that Diamond is well-versed with respect to the details. The overarching point is that owners of Diamond airplanes are unable to keep their airplane current with respect to rapidly changing regulatory requirements, new avionics products and new services, without the active assistance of Diamond Aircraft Industries; such assistance has not been forthcoming.

Status
Frustration on the part of Diamond airplane owners led to the creation in November of 2018 of a petition to measure the depth of this problem among the limited group of owners who participate in the DiamondAviators.Net (DAN) forums. To date over 150 owners have signed the petition. The original discussion thread now runs to over 47 pages and a second discussion has subsequently been created. The petition signatories and discussion participants include owners from around the world.

Owners are frustrated, and in some cases angry, that there has been no response to the petition from Diamond Aircraft. Owners who have contacted Garmin have been told that Garmin has nothing to announce regarding Diamond, yet they see announcements regarding Cessna, Beechcraft, etc.

There is extensive speculation regarding the problems, solutions and motivations of Diamond and Garmin. None of this speculation is good for any of the parties and provides a wealth of mis-information to potential customers and existing owners considering a new Diamond airplane.

What owners want
• The ability to fly LPV RNAV GPS/GNSS procedures, i.e., WAAS/SBAS hardware.
• A path to replacing KAP140 autopilots with more modern autopilots (e.g., GFC700).
• An upgrade path to future G1000 hardware products (e.g., NXi, and its successors).
• Software updates enabling all current and future G1000 and G1000NXi features.
• A commitment from Diamond to supply, in a timely manner, what owners cannot do or purchase for themselves, and cannot be supplied by Garmin.

What owners will do
Owners are aware of changing business models and the economic realities of owning an airplane. Owners gladly pay annual subscription fees for EFB’s such as Foreflight and Garmin Pilot because of the benefits that accrue from those subscriptions. Owners understand that increasing amounts of technology in the cockpit mean that they must budget for avionics upgrades in the same manner that they budget for engine overhauls. Owners are not looking for a free ride.

The next step
Diamond owners, and especially the undersigned, are extending an offer to meet with Diamond Aircraft to develop mutually acceptable solutions to the challenges of keeping integrated avionics current today, and tomorrow. We look forward to your reply and to working together in a manner that will benefit all parties.


Best regards,


TwinStarScott, CFIDave, enemic99, colin, hkavasch, ssb, haykinson & Eric Lynn (Director of Operations, Galvin Flying).


cc:
Mark Baker: AOPA - President & CEO
Jim Coon: AOPA - Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Advocacy
Carol Dodds: AOPA - VP Advertising and Partnerships
Dave Oord: AOPA - Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs
Mike Collins: AOPA - Technical Editor

Phil Straub: Garmin - Executive Vice President – Aviation
Carl Wolf: Garmin - VP Aviation Sales & Marketing
Patrick: Garmin - Manager After Market Sales
Zach: Garmin - Aviation OEM Sales Manager

Enrique Baresch: Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH
Amila Spiegel: Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH

Diamond Aviators Network (DAN)

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:44 pm
by curts63
Very well put. Hopefully this wont fall on deaf ears. Thank you for all your efforts on this matter.

Curt

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:19 pm
by AndrewM
Well done Scott. I will be bringing this up with Diamond at Osh, and making it clear that for my next plane I am not sure it will be a Diamond, with this issue being one of the primary concerns. If people are spending big money on a new plane (especially), this lack of upgrade pathway is absolutely not acceptable.

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:27 pm
by LTek1
[removed note about press release, as I see in the other thread that press involvement has been part of the strategy. Good work!]

I purchased my plane knowing it was abandoned - I have an Avidyne flight deck - and I at least received a nice letter from an Avidyne executive apologizing about being an orphan when I tried to figure out if I could at least get WAAS radios put in. So: I can't jump in with you guys on the petition and letters, but you have my moral support!

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:36 am
by TwinStarScott
Thanks very much gentlemen, but let’s see if we get any results.

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:22 pm
by ememic99
I was flying this weekend without paying much attention to my mailbox but I received no reaction or replies to previous communication with DAI on this topic. Let's see if anything will happen at Oshkosh.

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:49 pm
by Antoine
Folks I am fortunate to look at this frustrating situation from the sidelines. You certainly have my empathy and support.
I have met Phil Straub at EBACE 2 years ago and he seemed to me very customer driven and willing to help.
Maybe you could ask him for help in lobbying Diamond on the basis of Diamond G1000 owners being also Garmin customers. It is obviously good for Garmin's business on the long term to preserve customer satisfaction (just rephrased this in a positive way).
I find this situation outrageous. I was seriously considering buying a DA40 again so that my girlfriend can get her PPL and some experience. This is a painful and very compelling reason not to do it. A Robin it will be.

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:02 pm
by hkavasch
Would wish, that we could read such messages also for our birds... Garmin seems to have figured out how to upgrade.. and Textron is supporting...

https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/articl ... TzI2yWbElQ

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:40 pm
by vontresc
After talking to Garmin, it would appear that the "upgrade" path for the non-WAAS G1000 owners does not exist at this time. While GIA63W owners can buy new screens for a mere $28k (whenever Garmin provides the software), us GIA63 owners are pretty much hosed. The Gamrin rep said that there is no path right now for non WAAS owners to go to the GIA64. So even if we wanted to spend $28k for the NXi screens we can't do so until we can scrounge a pair of GIA63W

<Sigh>

Re: The G1000 project - "The next step"

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:54 pm
by Diamond_Dan
vontresc wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:40 pm
After talking to Garmin, it would appear that the "upgrade" path for the non-WAAS G1000 owners does not exist at this time. While GIA63W owners can buy new screens for a mere $28k (whenever Garmin provides the software), us GIA63 owners are pretty much hosed. The Gamrin rep said that there is no path right now for non WAAS owners to go to the GIA64. So even if we wanted to spend $28k for the NXi screens we can't do so until we can scrounge a pair of GIA63W

<Sigh>
Did you ask if it would ever support the KAP 140 Autopilot? I have my doubts there will be a path for our 2004 WAAS upgraded bird.