Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Any DA40 related topics

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Pascal
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by Pascal »

Teenagers not wanting to go on family trips anymore are not uncommon. Also, I have witnessed quite a few pilot owners who have upgraded airplanes only to become tight financially, not flying much for a couple of years, then selling the airplane and quit flying altogether. If/when I upgrade I will probably be looking for a partner to share the expenses.
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by Sandy »

It's all about your "mission". When I lived in central NJ I had a Piper Warrior. It got me around, I got my instrument rating in it, and it was even adequate for family trips which were generally limited to about 200 nm. We could strap the three kids together in the back seat, with the (then) little guy in a car seat that was strapped in place between the two older siblings. When we moved to Atlanta the mission changed, as my mom lived in NY and my mother-in-law lived in South FL. Also, the "little" guy got bigger, so I got a Piper Lance with club seating and adequate range to go non-stop to either mom (around 650 nm). It was also about 50 kts faster than the Warrior, so the trip to upstate NY was under 5 hours, while the trip to South FL was under 3 hours. Then, we lost both moms, and the older ones started driving and no longer wanted to go on family trips when they could be with their friends, and then they went off to college. As the Lance was no longer needed for its range and load capability, and as I was getting older, I got an LSA. After the LSA (another story, entirely) I decided to go back to instrument flying, and I got my current DA40. It's about 10 kts slower than the Lance, and it doesn't have the load capacity (with club seating and baggage in the nose as well as behind the rear seats) or range that the Lance had, but it meets my current needs, I like the modern avionics, and its fuel burn is quite reasonable. From Atlanta, I've flown it to South FL, Detroit, Oshkosh, NJ, and places in between, usually limiting my legs to about 400 nm (about 3 hours).

If your mission involves a family of four, along with a reasonable amount of luggage, then I really don't think that your best choice would be a DA40, and I'd suggest a Piper Archer or a Cessna Skylane (C-182). If you don't mind looking at older planes, then you might consider a Cessna Cardinal (C-177) or a Piper Comanche. If you really want to carry a load comfortably, particularly if you are going a reasonable distance, then a Saratoga, with club seating, would be my choice. As I see it, the DA40 is limited to two adults, with plenty of luggage, or maybe three with less, and with the center stick (and my own "range" limits), there's no need to have the long range tanks (as I certainly don't).

Sandy
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Lou
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by Lou »

I have four adult daughters now. I laughed when I read this part of the post " ...using it to travel with my wife and two daughters, including a reasonable amount of luggage (around 20 kg or 45 lbs) ..." I wish! If I want to travel with my whole family, boyfriends and luggage, I'll be needing to find a reasonably priced c-130 on Controller.

It may be a $$$ stretch, but G1000 M350's are getting cheaper and cheaper. Maybe worth a look.
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by TimS »

Lou wrote:I have four adult daughters now. I laughed when I read this part of the post " ...using it to travel with my wife and two daughters, including a reasonable amount of luggage (around 20 kg or 45 lbs) ..." I wish! If I want to travel with my whole family, boyfriends and luggage, I'll be needing to find a reasonably priced c-130 on Controller.

It may be a $$$ stretch, but G1000 M350's are getting cheaper and cheaper. Maybe worth a look.
In college I was on the speech team, and it is where I met my first wife. The coach started the year with a rule, two bags per person for the weekend competitions. She then included purses, backpacks.... as the second bag. Then started limiting the size of the bags. The final one was funny, each person has to carry their own luggage, no one is allowed to help others.

So my first wife and I trained our kids to pack light. It has served me well, I can mandate what size bag we need to have and they make it work.

Good luck on the M350, they are nice!

Tim
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by gordsh »

OK guys stop it!! You have e looking at M350's on Controller!!
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by TimS »

gordsh wrote:OK guys stop it!! You have e looking at M350's on Controller!!
What is the phrase? Go big or go home.
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by Thomas »

TimS wrote:
gordsh wrote:OK guys stop it!! You have e looking at M350's on Controller!!
What is the phrase? Go big or go home.
The first who is updrading from Diamond to BBJ will get a free landing and handling at our Airport: :) Go big and go to...
Thomas Bienz DA40-180 40.337 D-ENMA
Home Airport LSZC Buochs Switzerland
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by jprhode »

Set up a typical W&B in Foreflight and just play with it. It's an awesome airplane, but what you can do with 4 people and any bags is so limited that it seems a very poor fit to me. I'm not an expert, but from observing my friends with children, kids grow fast.
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Re: Contemplating long-term suitability of a DA40 for family of 4

Post by Rich »

Pascal wrote:Also, I have witnessed quite a few pilot owners who have upgraded airplanes only to become tight financially, not flying much for a couple of years, then selling the airplane and quit flying altogether.
Over the 16 years I've owned the plane, I've done this and that to my plane, incorporating various mods either available from Diamond or third parties. They totaled about 30 K. Just 3 mods constituted half (15 K) of that total, and all were required or desirable for improving load carrying capacity. In sequence they were:

(2004) Extended baggage compartment added (more room for stuff).
(2007) Powerflow exhaust (enhanced climb capability when carrying lots of stuff)
(2016) MTOW/MLW OSBs (able to carrying 111 lb. more stuff on TO, 128 lb. on landing)

All these particular items came to be standard on the subsequent offerings. But in the case of older craft like mine, they made it a pretty good load hauler for this class of aircraft. Unfortunately for the later model DA40's other changes to the plane have come to make any material improvement in this area pretty much impossible.
2002 DA40: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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