Potential New DA62 Owner

Any DA62 related topics

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neptune2528
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Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by neptune2528 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:35 am

I am currently a rotorcraft pilot transitioning to fixed wing. Not that it matters for these questions, but by way of backround I currently fly an Airbus H130. Anyhow, in looking at the next stop, I am fortunate to have a good range of options. The Turboprops are terrific, but I think taking it slow is better and coming from helis, I am accustomed to 1,000 AGL far more than FL280.

What has led me to the DA62 is mission. Moving from the heli has allowed me to take a good look at what I do and match accordingly. I have 3 kids which leads to a capacity of 5 being critical. I also love going to the Bahamas and, while I never took the helicopter there, have that as a primary destination.

Anyhow, having removed the turboprops for now (love the Pilatus and maybe someday...), I am primarily looking at the SR22 (not really a 5 pax machine) and DA62. Yes there are others, but those are the two at the top of the list. Kids and kid's moms love the idea of parachutes and second engines. I am comfortable with all of the above as, after all, managing helicopter engine failures is a hell of a lot more exciting than managing potential stalls and engine failures in an airplane (stuff hapopens fast!) and a single doesn't concern me...putting down on ground or ocean all sucks - I am comfortable getting all of the above to the surface, from there not so sure :). Regardless, the non-pilot influencers and opinions matter, as we all know.

So ultimately, there are a couple things about the DA62 that are interesting to me but raise questions that I would very much welcome input from those that know better than I:

1) One engine inoperable: I have seen all the videos and everything seems docile. However, those demos (at least those recorded) are always straight and level without a whole lot going on. Does anybody have any real/simulated experience with engine failure while in manuevers/unnatural attitudes and how does the machine respond? Not interested in the single vs. twin debate here...I understand the hidden dangers of a twin; more curious about whether those dangers are muted or otherwise mitigated in the 62...for example, left turn and then left engine out?
2) Support/maintenance: I was super lucky with the Airbus in that my tech rep was in Indianapolis and a terrific guy. Can anybody weigh in on the midwest (indianapolis in particular) coverage of support/maintenance for Diamond? How have things been better/worse/changed after the acquisition?
3) I think I know the answer to this one, but have to ask anyway: This looks like a 2 pilot and 3 pax w/bags, or 2 pilot and 5 pax for a day trip kinda machine. The baggage areas look really limited. Any real-life input?
4) Probably another no-brainer, but I see lots of talk about air conditioning...yesterday it was a high of -13 here. While not normal, sometimes greenhouse just doesn't get it done. I have to assume there is heat in this thing, but haven't been able to find mention of it?

Thank you very much for your experience and input!
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rdrobson
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by rdrobson » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:00 pm

I've had my DA62 for almost a year now and I can give some feedback.

First, one thought on the lack of a parachute. If your wife is so inclined, you can create an emergency checklist and have her learn how to use the autopilot and FMS. Being able to engage the autopilot, contact ATC and then program an RNAV approach in the FMS can be done especially with the aid of a checklist. From there, it is managing the throttle primarily and the airplane can put itself on the runway. I'm not saying it would be a pretty landing, but it would be very manageable and the autopilot would do all the stick work. At least that takes care of the situation where the only pilot is incapacitated for some reason.

Next, regarding a family of five, make sure you all get a chance to climb in and see how you fit. The 7 seater can easily handle 5 people unless the kids are really small and then you could have 6. I've flown mine with a guy that was 6'4" in the very rear seats and he didn't complain about being cramped. (He was the only one in the rear and he had a broken leg which was resting on the folded down middle row of seats.) Three across the middle also works but best if the kids are small.

As far as capacity goes, you can run your own numbers. Mine is 3722 lbs empty, max is 5071. It's typically equipped but lacks a radar (~20 lbs I think).

I don't have enough experience in other twins to address how the 62 handles OEI vs. others models. I'll let someone with more experience address that.

As far as heat goes, read the next post in this forum. I write up my experience flying last week in bitterly cold weather. I have yet to take a flight where anyone was complaining of being too cold. Don't pass on the A/C though.

Last thought on mx, you don't sound like you're too far from London. You could always take it there.

--Ron
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by jb642DA » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:39 am

Hi Jason -

Size-wise, the DA62 is (I may be off a little) 8" wider than an SR22 as well as "taller" in cabin height. Definitely put your family in a SR22 and see how they "fit".....and take into account "growth"! I've had 5 adults in our 62 very comfortably - 2 up front, 2 in the middle row and one in the "3rd row". Even though the DA62 has 5 or 7 seats, its passenger "capacity" is still limited, depending on the weight of those seat occupants, fuel, TKS fluid onboard and luggage. Our DA62 has a 1340# useful load - the best I've seen for most SR22s is a little over 1100# "loaded" with options. Right now the SR22T G6 is "advertised" as a 1249# useful load plane, BUT that doesn't include TKS, AC or a few other options. The DA62 has an advertised 1610# useful load, before "options"!! (We have 270# of options.)

Ron has a great PIREP on cold WX flying in the 62 - my experience is the same, although Ron definitely wins the cold temp award!! I've only started out at -18 deg F actual, not Ron's -37 day!!??

I won't get into the one engine versus two "discussion", so let's just talk "parachute" versus 2 engines.
I'd take the second engine any day crossing Lake Michigan versus having to swim to the other side. Cirrus is very good at marketing the "anyone can just pull the chute" stuff........
I see that as a plausible scenario in the event of pilot incapacitation with no other pilot onboard. OTHERWISE, I'll take the second engine and land on "land" versus parachuting (uncontrollably) to wherever the wind is blowing. If your wife is willing to learn, take Ron's advice for pilot incapacitation!

I've own(ed) both a DA42 (2.0 TDi) and a DA62. Both airplanes are very "easy" to fly and FUN.
I've flown many simulated OEI departures and arrivals in both planes -
As far as OEI takeoffs go, you MUST have a good plan for takeoff aborts versus continuing flying! Know the Go/Stop distances for the conditions - ie: when you will continue to fly versus aborting the takeoff (even if already airborne) in the event of a OEI takeoff scenario. If you continue flying, get rid of the drag and DON'T GET SLOW!
Arrivals OEI are "easier" than takeoff OEIs - just remember rudder trim is your friend and DON'T GET SLOW!
(On a side note, I always recommend getting some practice recognizing and dealing with OEI "under the hood" with an instructor)
Maybe CFIDave and others will also jump into this OEI subject?!

Have you flown either the DA42 or 62?

Feel free to give me a call or PM anytime.

John
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neptune2528
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by neptune2528 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:53 pm

Ron/John - thank you very much for the replies.

Ron - the checklist is a good idea. She has flown with me quite a bit in the 130 and takes a fair amount of inflight navigation and some radio work as it is, so she would be very capable of working a checklist through a descent. As for checking the 'fit', we are currently waiting on a couple places around the midwest to get one in to go check it out. Your commentary lines up with what I would have guessed from inspecting pictures/videos. Lastly re: heat, I checked out your other post - it was very helpful.

John - I agree completely on the SR22. While advertising 5, it is a four-spot. It is good to see both you and Ron agreeing that 5 is a comfortable fit. Truthfully, that is what our need will be. The kids are small now (all girls 6-14)...they will get bigger of course, but they are also getting older and not far from approaching college age (except the 6 yr old) and then our passenger need will start going down. As an aside, your mention of Lake Michigan made me take a look at your airport bases on your profile and see you are in Michigan - I grew up in Greenville (outside of Grand Rapids) and was in Michigan up until 22 yrs old or so. Fellow Michigander! Lastly, I have not had the chance to fly a 62 yet. I mentioned above in my response to Ron that I am waiting for one to make its way through the area...I very much look forward to checking it out.

Thanks again to both of you!
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by CFIDave » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:02 pm

As one who instructs in and owns a DA62, let me try to answer your questions:

1) OEI behavior: As you noted, the DA62 is really docile when it comes to handling, and this includes single engine flight. I conduct a lot of DA62 sales demo flights where I routinely shut down an engine in flight, and feel confident enough to let the sales prospect pilot (if multi qualified) to continue to fly the plane OEI. Despite the DA62 having a "critical engine" (since both Mercedes-derived engines turn in the same direction), I can't tell much difference in flying characteristics when shutting down the left vs. right engine. This includes very little difference between making left vs. right turns in the traffic pattern when flying simulated OEI (bringing power back to around 11% simulates a shut-down engine with a feathered prop). I suspect this is because the relatively long wingspan creates a more laterally-stable flying platform. But like the DA42, the DA62 does require a lot of rudder pressure to hold a course OEI -- until you dial in the rudder trim.

I've also practiced simulated single-engine instrument approaches to minimums while "under the hood" that included flying a single-engine missed approach (with another MEI as safety pilot). This turns out to be much easier to fly than expected, particularly because of the ability of the G1000 NXi to automatically sequence to the missed approach after pushing the "go-around" switch on the throttles, combined with the ability to "see" where the runway is using synthetic vision (SVT). With just 2 people in the plane it's not too hard to obtain a 500 fpm climb rate away from the runway on one (simulated) engine.

2) Support/maintenance: From Indianapolis, Tom Wood Aviation at KUMP is an authorized Diamond service center for the DA42, which means they should be able to service DA62s as well. You're also close enough to fly directly to the Diamond factory in London for anything that might require more-specialized expertise.

3) Most of the time we use the 3rd row as a baggage compartment for longer trips, not bothering to fold down the seatback. It turns out that you can fit one or two rollaboard bags vertically into the footwells between the 2nd and 3rd row. And unlike with a Cirrus, you can actually fit 3 people in the 2nd row of seats. We've also found that by folding down the 2nd and 3rd row seatbacks, my wife and I can fly with 2 full-size road bikes without removing any of the wheels. We tend to use the limited space behind the 3rd row seatback for storage of our aircraft travel cover.

4) And yes, the DA62 has heat/defrost that works quite well, although it does seem that most of the floor heat goes to the 2nd row. It's nice to fly a twin that doesn't require a gasoline-fired Janitrol heater in the nose that has the potential for fire or may not always work.
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by Colin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:19 am

a gasoline-fired Janitrol heater in the nose
I looked at a Twin Bonanza with a friend and I asked about the heater, which was one of those. The owner said, "It's up there, but I don't turn it on. I lost two good friends in separate planes to those damn heaters and now I just wear an extra sweater."
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by Tommy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:20 am

There’s nothing wrong with a Janitrol heater as long as it is maintained properly. Kind of like everything else on airplanes.
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by CFIDave » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:03 pm

Tommy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:20 am
There’s nothing wrong with a Janitrol heater as long as it is maintained properly. Kind of like everything else on airplanes.
Agreed, but I still remember flying with a friend in his beautiful well-maintained BE58 Baron that we discovered (as we taxied out to the run-up area) had an inoperable Janitrol heater -- on a cloudy winter day going to Teterboro, NJ. I still remember that as the coldest flight I've ever experienced -- not at all pleasant.

Fortunately we don't have to be concerned with this in a Diamond twin.
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Re: Potential New DA62 Owner

Post by NDCDA62 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:00 pm

Hi Jason -

As a rotorcraft pilot you may like to watch the video of Michel Drucker who transitioned from helicopter to DA 62, wishing he had switched to fixed wing years before. Link is below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwW6MSNWq20


I undertook a great deal of research on MEP aircraft before ordering my DA 62 which will be handed over to me in 17 days time and, from my perspective, this is the most technologically advanced and SAFEST twin in the world today. Go and visit Diamond and I am sure you will be absolutely impressed with what this aircraft has to offer.

Good luck and happy landings!
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