Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

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UglyBuzzard
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by UglyBuzzard »

I just retired from American Airlines recently - so this is not a commercial. :) And I was not employed there as a pilot so there are things I don't know.

But depending on his ambitions I would strongly encourage you to check out the American Airlines Cadet Acadamy. It might be a great choice / investment as far as having a clear career path forward. Basically it is an 18 month training program from Private Pilot through instrument, multi-engine, CFI, CFII. Then a 24 month experience phase towards your ATP, to a regional carrier, and then AA First Officer. Payments for training are deferred, so I say let him pay for his own. :)

Regardless, I would just mention that while any excuse to buy an airplane is great - hours earned in a single like a DA40 will only take him part of the way to a lot of (most?) pilot careers. Also FWIW for your own training - though I did have some young instructors for my PPL, I sure valued what I learned from some really experienced ones I met along the way.
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TimS
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by TimS »

About four years ago my wife the accountant did the number crunch. At the time, buying a roughly 10 year old used DA-40 versus renting the break even was just around 75 hours a year considering all costs we could estimate. She used my old accounting data from when I had an SR20 to ferret out all potential charges. The general rule of thumb is somewhere between seventy five and hundred twenty five hours a year is the break even point between owning and renting for most single engine piston planes. Since it is both you and your son, you should easily pass this metric.

In terms of leaseback, if you are in the right market, you can make money. e.g. at a flight school which is a pilot mill with a lot of airline students year around. These are mostly located in the south (e.g. FL) or where there is no weather (e.g. AZ). Otherwise, leaseback may lower your operating costs.

I know it did for me, I flew an SR20 G1 I bought used for two years and roughly 300 hours, plus plus another 400ish hours by renters. Including the leaseback revenue, I only spent about $50K in operating costs, and another $100K in asset depreciation and an engine (case cracked). Considering the rental rate at the time was over $200 an hour, I would say leaseback can be a good deal.

In terms of steam gauge, C172 mentioned in this thread. You can and should fly the DA-40 as slow as the C172,it can go faster it does NOT have too. In addition, age and environment play a huge factor of which avionics (six pack vs PFD) will be easier for you to process information. I am old enough to grow up in an analog and digital world. My kids did not, they are purely digital. All my kids are much slower to read dials, especially my youngest. I have seen this play out with a number of other pilots and prospective pilots. Younger generations just do NOT have the training and experience to quickly read and process analog dials. The result, I have seen it much easier to older individuals to adjust to reading a number since this is a skill they already perform than a younger pilot to read the dials.

The reason this matters, when flying, you are going to be task saturated as you learn, taking one second to read a dial when in this environment will make life significantly harder to learn basic skills.

Tim
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hifiaudio2
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by hifiaudio2 »

Thanks a ton for the replies so far. Very helpful. And yes we've looked into a few of the aviation programs but he is trying to get a college degree started and finished at around the same time so he can't necessarily start one of the programs that is designed to do nothing but fly for a full 12 months. But we are still considering... Some of them do seem like really good options.

And yes since he has been in c172s with steam gauges so far he should have a good mix of understanding how to fly both. We've really been in only one plane that had newer glass.
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Boatguy
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by Boatguy »

UglyBuzzard wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:24 pm But depending on his ambitions I would strongly encourage you to check out the American Airlines Cadet Acadamy. It might be a great choice / investment as far as having a clear career path forward. Basically it is an 18 month training program from Private Pilot through instrument, multi-engine, CFI, CFII. Then a 24 month experience phase towards your ATP, to a regional carrier, and then AA First Officer. Payments for training are deferred, so I say let him pay for his own. :)
United just launched a similar program: https://unitedaviate.com

Since the bankruptcy, AA is now run by the US Air team who came from America West and took over US Air when it went bankrupt. The "new" AA management team is very very frugal. Where your son starts is where he will build seniority and for the most part where he will stay.

I have friends who are active 787 captains at both United and AA. The United pilot is much happier.

I was always an AA flier, with over 4M Aadvantage miles, but since the bankruptcy, it's a completely different company.

Both companies will give your son a faster path to the cockpit, but I suggest he chose carefully.
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hifiaudio2
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by hifiaudio2 »

Boatguy wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 12:29 am
UglyBuzzard wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:24 pm But depending on his ambitions I would strongly encourage you to check out the American Airlines Cadet Acadamy. It might be a great choice / investment as far as having a clear career path forward. Basically it is an 18 month training program from Private Pilot through instrument, multi-engine, CFI, CFII. Then a 24 month experience phase towards your ATP, to a regional carrier, and then AA First Officer. Payments for training are deferred, so I say let him pay for his own. :)
United just launched a similar program: https://unitedaviate.com

Since the bankruptcy, AA is now run by the US Air team who came from America West and took over US Air when it went bankrupt. The "new" AA management team is very very frugal. Where your son starts is where he will build seniority and for the most part where he will stay.

I have friends who are active 787 captains at both United and AA. The United pilot is much happier.

I was always an AA flier, with over 4M Aadvantage miles, but since the bankruptcy, it's a completely different company.

Both companies will give your son a faster path to the cockpit, but I suggest he chose carefully.
Yes thank you... We are looking hard at all programs. One of those companies is extremely "woke" though, so it gives him pause. But who knows he is his own man and can make his own decisions when that time comes! :)
Last edited by hifiaudio2 on Wed Apr 20, 2022 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lou
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by Lou »

“ You don’t need TAWS in the U.S. as you’ll get traffic through ADSB and the GTX345R.”

Just a small clarification, TAWS is Terrain Awareness and Warning System. I like SVT too but I find TAWS makes for a simple decision interface when you are near terrain.
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hifiaudio2
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by hifiaudio2 »

In a decently large market, like the Nashville area, how easy, generally, is it to find good partners for a one or two member dry lease agreement (like a "DIY" DiamondShare)? Does that market change drastically for something like a DA40 vs a DA62? Would I be able to safely "assume" that I could find a couple of willing partners for either?

Let's say I get the DA40 and want to flip it for a DA62 after 2-3 yeas of ownership and time building? Is selling a plane like selling a car, or is significantly more involved? I see comments on the web about having a "broker" to sell your plane. Is this needed, and what is the major purpose? How much do they usually take?
Last edited by hifiaudio2 on Thu Apr 21, 2022 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Boatguy
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by Boatguy »

hifiaudio2 wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 3:43 pm In a decently large market, like the Nashville area, how easy, generally, is it to find good partners for a one or two member dry lease agreement (like a "DIY" DiamondShare)? Does that market change drastically for something like a DA40 vs a DA62? Would I be able to safely "assume" that I could find a couple of willing partners for either?

Let's say I get the DA40 and want to flip it for a DA62 after 2-3 yeas of ownership and time building? Is selling a plane like selling a car, or is significantly more involved? I see comments on the web about having a "broker" to sell your plane. Is this needed, and what is the major purpose? How much do they usually take?
1) To seek partners for sharing, I posted on Craigslist, and fliers at my local airport at the time which was in a city of 60,000. I got many responses. Of course the economy and local demand will determine, but Nashville seems like a pretty good sized market from which to draw two partners.

2) DA62 is a very different market, probably about 3x the cost to your partners. Insurance will also be more restrictive on partners in the DA62. That said, pilots share M600's, jets, King Air, TBM's, PC12's, etc.

3) Brokers find customers and help manage the inspections and paperwork, similar to selling a house. "Normal" sales commissions are in the 4% - 5% range depending how well you negotiate with the broker. The sale is a little more complicated than selling a car, but can be managed by an individual. Like selling a house, there are "title" companies and attorneys that can assist in the transaction. In the current market very few are using broker as there is enormous demand and little supply, particularly for Diamonds. If you are trading up to a DA62 Lifestyle or Premier will probably offer you a painless path to selling your DA40. Current backlog on DA62 orders is about two years.
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jwx96
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Re: Do I know what I am getting into / Should I buy a Diamond?

Post by jwx96 »

It sounds like you are looking at something newer but I’m very happy with my 2003 steam gauge DA40. It’s all electric, has 2 WAAS navigators,
digital engine instrumentation and the autopilot will fly ILS and LPV approaches. You probably would save enough vs a new DA 40 that your flying would be “free” for the rest of your life. I wrote a review for Aviation Consumer Magazine earlier this year. Other DA40 versions were reviewed in that article too so it might be worth a
look. DA40s are great planes! Good luck!
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