Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

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curts63
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by curts63 »

I wrote to the Diamond CEO. Here is his response;

Dear Mr. Stein,

Thank you for your email and for reaching out directly. First of all, let me tell you that I am very sorry to hear that we are losing a Diamond customer. I agree with several points you have raised below, but also wanted to take the opportunity to explain what actions are being taken and correct some misconceptions with regards to support for legacy aircraft. We have recognized the need for improved support and service (parts, technical and legacy) and began making changes to this effect, after changes to ownership and management were completed post-acquisition of Diamond Aircraft globally. As of November 2019, we began initiating several internal restructuring changes to our after sales, customer support, parts and warranty departments and added additional people to new roles to improve our support and service in North America. We are in the process of restructuring our external support efforts as well, with newly appointed service center contracts, training, additional Austro qualified centers and appointments beginning in November 2020, with plans to be finalized by Q1 2021. We have also successfully implemented a new customer resource management software tool to be used by our customer support and service center network globally and built a more robust “knowledge database” with predictive planning tools to help the group overall. We are also in the process of redefining parts distribution globally and have made changes to parts distribution associated with the modification to the service center network. This has already been implemented in other regions of the world and we have seen good, albeit early success in these areas. We plan to continue to improve our sales and service network across the United States (and globally) over the coming years – this , admittedly, has been Diamond’s biggest weakness in the past and something we are committing to changing!

I have also personally engaged with the DAN network over the past year and have committed to further engagement with Diamond owners / operators and working together to find solutions to some of the lagging issues. That being said, please see points below with respect to the aircraft specific issues identified:

• ADS-B options were / are not limited to WAAS enabled aircraft. As per the Garmin STC SA01714WI, the units can be purchased with or without an external GPS drive.
o Diamond also incorporated OSB 40-084 – to install a dual comm / GPS antenna to be able to facilitate a non-WAAS enabled G1000 installation , to function with the ADS-B installation in STC SA01741WI
• WAAS units have started being delivered in to the field, as a result of our refurb program, and customers are starting the process of having these units installed.
• We continue to work with the DAN Group, to improve issues with our “Legacy Fleet”. While some of the issues we are looking to resolve are not in the price point that most people would prefer, we are making attempts to determine solutions, so that owners can maintain their aircraft in a configuration suited to their required mission profile.
• With respect to all Garmin issues, as you can well imagine, Garmin and Diamond have a long history working in partnership. There are details of the certification process that are not known or understood by those not in the discussions and details. This is a long term project to maintain software, improve software, create new software, and certify and implement this software in the field. This process is by no means short, and we have to balance, along with Garmin, how these projects are incorporated, and how they affect current production aircraft , and Legacy Aircraft. It’s a delicate balance, to ensure we are meeting the needs of legacy issues, while still continuing our development of new production aircraft.

I appreciate your reaching out and hope you can understand that we are attempting to implement real change, not just a band-aide approach. It is not a quick fix and will take time to meet the overall Diamond support that I envision. That being said, we remain committing to fixing and improving this for all Diamond customers, both current and future.

Should you wish to discuss further, I can make myself available for a discussion.

Sincerely,

Scott McFadzean
Chief Executive Officer

Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc.
1560 Crumlin Sideroad ▪ London, Ontario ▪ Canada
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by Boatguy »

curts63 wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:19 pm
I wrote to the Diamond CEO. Here is his response;
Would you please also post your letter?
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by curts63 »

Hi,
I was asked to email you. I wanted to let you know that I’m buying a new Pipistrel Panthera. I’ve owned a 2012 Diamond DA40 for a few years. I’ve decided to sell the DA40 due to what appears to be a lack of support and finding a true 4 seat single engine airplane.

I’ve watched the Forums, talked to current and past owners, there is a general disgust with Diamond’s lack of support for legacy aircraft. In the last few months, there is some movement, but it appears to be at a high cost. Upgrades are cost prohibitive and discourage owners from doing the changes. Availability of some items is poor. Case is the GIA63W radios. The not being able to get a software upgrade for ADS-B compliance was more than frustrating. A simple software change would have avoided thousands of dollars for owners who already have the WAAS units. It was promised verbally on the phone, but then never happened. Garmin wasn’t much help either, but they said it was Diamond’s fault.

I love the way the airplane flies, handles, and the insurance costs. I’m just done with it, especially paying hundreds of dollars for a pack of AA batteries to power my emergency backup every 2 years. I’m sure you’ve followed the diamondaviators.net forum, you need to pay attention to the owners of your aircraft. Selling new airplanes requires happy owners.

Sincerely,
Curt Stein
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by neema »

DaveS1900 wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:33 pm
I recently worked on an airworthiness certificate with our local FSDO for an "experimental exhibition" airplane. Operating Limitations they use are from a matrix and they check off what applies to you. But they are written in stone, no flexibility. Among the list of pesky operating limitations is that you will need to notify the local FSDO when you fly the airplane unless you are training or going for maintenance. True exhibition aircraft operators will send a letter to the local FSDO in the spring listing all the events and dates they will fly to. If I remember correctly you can notify at least 72 hours and still be legal. But no getting up and spontaneously flying one morning to a breakfast 200 miles away. Once the airplane gets designated as Exp-Exhibition I don't know if you could switch it to Standard Category if/when the manufacturer gets a US type certificate. Reselling experimental exhibition will have its own troubles explaining it to a potential buyer.

Dave S.
Ohio
I don't want to speak on his behalf, but I'd have to imagine Mike Patey with his crazy modified Wilga (Draco, using E-Exhibition) did not get authorization before each and every flight. Maybe there are different flavors of E-E authorization. I definitely know there are better/worse FSDOs out there to work with, that may have played into your experience.
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by curts63 »

From what I've seen in the operating limitations so far and from an FAA person (carefully choosing his words), the limitations allow for "proficiency" flights. Anytime you're flying the airplane outside of exhibition purposes, you are on a proficiency flight. The range area is not always limited, but from what I've seen, it's usually the range of a full set of tanks. They also tell you to avoid areas of "densely populated areas or in congested airways". Good luck finding the FAA definition of those. While you have to list the events you plan to attend, there are no requirements that you make them all.

So, there are some small hoops to jump through, it's not the end of the world. Now, insurance and resale value, these could be a different story. Time will tell....
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by DaveS1900 »

neema wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:25 pm
DaveS1900 wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:33 pm
I recently worked on an airworthiness certificate with our local FSDO for an "experimental exhibition" airplane. Operating Limitations they use are from a matrix and they check off what applies to you. But they are written in stone, no flexibility. Among the list of pesky operating limitations is that you will need to notify the local FSDO when you fly the airplane unless you are training or going for maintenance. True exhibition aircraft operators will send a letter to the local FSDO in the spring listing all the events and dates they will fly to. If I remember correctly you can notify at least 72 hours and still be legal. But no getting up and spontaneously flying one morning to a breakfast 200 miles away. Once the airplane gets designated as Exp-Exhibition I don't know if you could switch it to Standard Category if/when the manufacturer gets a US type certificate. Reselling experimental exhibition will have its own troubles explaining it to a potential buyer.

Dave S.
Ohio
I don't want to speak on his behalf, but I'd have to imagine Mike Patey with his crazy modified Wilga (Draco, using E-Exhibition) did not get authorization before each and every flight. Maybe there are different flavors of E-E authorization. I definitely know there are better/worse FSDOs out there to work with, that may have played into your experience.
I am certainly not trying to discourage anyone from Exp-Exhibition. But, an owner must know the limitations and how to stay compliant. As for as your comment about Mike Patey and Draco here is a quote right out of Flying Magazine:
"Patey says since he couldn’t get a standard experimental amateur build certificate, he applied for an experimental exhibition certificate, which allows him to exhibit at airshows but comes with another set of limitations. He had to build his own in-depth service manual, for example, and have it approved by the FAA. Not an easy task when you consider all of the individual modifications the airplane underwent. And an experimental exhibition certificate means that Patey is limited to what type of flying he can do. The exhibition certificate allows for the obvious air show flights, and it allows for training and proficiency flight, but it doesn’t necessarily allow him to fly Draco whenever he wants or without reason."

Dave S.
Ohio
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by Boatguy »

Isn't this mostly an "early adopter" issue? If we assume the Panthera will eventually be certified by EASA, is the certification retroactive to just effective for a plane purchased prior to certification?
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by TimS »

Boatguy wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:51 pm
Isn't this mostly an "early adopter" issue? If we assume the Panthera will eventually be certified by EASA, is the certification retroactive to just effective for a plane purchased prior to certification?
Tecnam shipped the P2006T as experimental with the intent of using paperwork to convert to certified once it was granted.
Per the sales guy I dealt with; Tecnam had only sold a dozen planes under this premise. It was cheaper for Tecnam to give the plane owners new planes and bring the dozen back to the factory to be used for other projects.

So, since this was from a plane broker trying to sell me a plane. Take it with a large grain of salt.

Tim
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by curts63 »

it's my understanding that this will not be retroactive. I was also told, they're still working on a few minor tweaks. They really wanted to get to that 200kt / 10 gph goal (a lofty goal). There is consideration now for taller pilots, which may mean seat changes. And of course, FIKI, A/C, and oxygen systems.
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Re: Has anyone already placed an order for a Panthera?

Post by smoss »

I had the opportunity to personally check out the Panthera today. I didn't get to fly it, but I did get to sit in it. A few things particularly stood out for me, making it a no-go. First, compared to the DA40, the luggage compartment is tiny, and it all needs to be loaded from a tiny rectangular door (just forward of N# in pic). I was told it was sized to accommodate a "standard" aircraft carry-on bag (for commercial flights, the ones that must fit in the sized box at the gate). Just empirically guessing, I'd say maybe you could squeeze 3 "standard" sized bags in there, probably more like 1+ or 2, as compared to our huge cargo "zone" where large duffels and irregular shaped things can easily be filled in, and overflowed into the passenger zone if needed. I really was amazed how small the opening was, it definitely would not be a plane to routinely go on trips with, more of a commuter Corvette with no trunk. Next, being spoiled with our great unobstructed view for the past 10 years, the large vertical pillar in the center of the forward canopy was quite obtrusive--I don't think I could ever get used to that. The pilot/rep was commenting what a great view it had, particularly above. The view straight up was "more", as it didn't have the filled in white part on the top or our canopy, and I was thinking... wow, this must get even hotter than my plane. The general forward visibility, at least in the on the ground attitude, was much diminished compared to the DA40. I was told that the in-flight attitude was a bit more forward tilting, and better visibility over the panel. Last thing on my list was the seat position. While the seat was incredibly comfortable compared to mine, it was very reclining, which could not be adjusted. There is a forward/backward adjustment, but the seatback position is fixed. It would be great for a passenger napping, but not a position I personally like. I imaging they did this position to accommodate taller people. Overall, it looks sexy, but the central canopy pillar and small baggage zone are killers for me.
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