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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Share a Diamond?

Diamond Flyers is the overall name for a group of foundations which each own a different type of Diamond Aircraft aircraft.
It all started out with the foundation "Dimona Flyers", which operates a Touring Motor Glider (TMG) Diamond HK36 Dimona. A TMG is a crossbreed of a glider and a sports aircraft. Because of the success of this foundation, another one was formed around a DA-20 (single engine two-seater): "Katana Flyers". Nowadays, this foundation runs 2 DA-20s. After that, Another foundation was built around a Diamond Star: "DA-40 Flyers". This foundation is so successful, that it runs three aircraft at this time. Finally, there is a new foundation based on the same principle in the making, to operate the 4-seater, twin engine DA-42.

After my PPL, I would like to fly a 4-seater every now and then, so that I can take the wife, friends, and occasionally perhaps the dog, along with some luggage on a longer trip. With Diamond Flyers, that would mean a DA-40 share. But since that requires an initial payment of some €14.000,= (and that's before you can even consider starting the course), this is not a realistic possibility.
What is a realistic possiblility, is a DA-20 share. The DA-20 is a two-seater, which is of cause enough for the course. And after getting my PPL, I can gain my experience with the DA-20 with one passenger. Should I want to fly a 4-seater flight, I could simply rent a DA-40 with Wings over Holland. For as far as systems and operations, the DA-20 and DA-40 are pretty similar. So with a couple of hours with instructor, it shouldn't be a problem to rent one.
Because the Katana Flyers started out with a young secand-hand airplane, the initial fee is somewhat below €4000,=, after which she flies for only €60,= per hour. That saves some €70,= to €90,= per hour. With an estimated 50 hours of training for the PPL course, the initial fee just about saves itself back during the course already. Therewith, the hourly rate becomes about just as "cheap" as with the AT-3 share (and therewith considerably cheaper than regular renting from a renting agency).

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