As of March 2016, our primary plane is a 2007 Diamond Twinstar (DA42). It has two diesel engines, three-bladed MT propellers, and a Garmin G1000 avionics suite. We took delivery of it when one of the engines had 950 hours and the other had just 50 hours. The asymmetry was because the right engine had been replaced, under warranty, when the block warped. That made it a bit of an odd duck on the market. John Armstrong at Lifestyle Aviation was the dealer and made a rather daunting process simple and easy.
Moving up to multi-engine flying has been a great adventure.
We flew it for two hundred hours and then brought it to the factory in October 2016 where over three months they did some major upgrades:
- a new autopilot
- WAAS radios for the GPS
- reclining seats in the front, a huge improvement for long flights
- all new interior
- installation of powered headset ports (compliments the USB ports we put in)
- removal of the right seat’s control stick
- addition of inspection ports to check the pushrod rollers
And, from the week we took delivery, we continue to nudge it along toward being the perfect machine to take us into the sky and across the country. This has included some simple things, including:
- a proper cover and engine cowl plugs
- learning about fuel cards, since we are now JetA fueled
- a circuit breaker cover (and new kneeboard pads, updated safety book, and checklist in progress)
- much better brakes