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Jeff Nielsen

I learned about flying from that - DA40 with G1000's at KCI and 737's missing approaches in VFR!

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I got a chance today to fly a Diamond 40 with Garmin 1000's. http://www.diamondaircraft.com/aircraft/da...ning/index.html I'd love to show you the pictures but I had my camera in the wrong mode and they all came out white. Never give a pilot a camera.The flight lasted an hour from Kansas City Downtown (KMKC) eastward to south of the Clay County Airport area (KGPH) then back west to Kansas City International (KMCI) and back south to KMKC. More on the flight later.Let me first say this: In FS you can easily fly a glass cockpit. In the real world you CANNOT without at least a couple of good days memorizing all the pages. It's a whole different ball game.I pretty much just jumped in this airplane with no familiarization, but with an instructor of course, as I've never flown this type before.The Garmin 1000 is an amazing avionics package to say the least. I felt like a fighter pilot chasing TCAS targets all over the airspace. The G1000's have all the modern day conveniences as any airliner out there it seems. "V" Speeds are bugged, weather radar, TCAS, comms, engine readouts, flight planning, even fuel. I could go on and on. Some of you have probably already checked out the Garmin web site.Now on to the aircraft: The wing is a mile long on each side. It obviously retains it's glider heritage. It's advertised at 140 KIAS. Very fast. There are no rivets and the whole walk around takes about 1 minute if that. The cockpit manual consists of only the G1000 manual...lol. It's fuel injected of course so there is no jockeying of the throttle before hand. You just start and go.For reference I'm 5'7". This will come into play here in a bit. The DA 40 has a center stick that comes out from the seat. The stick has the autopilot dicso, electric trim, and the PTT of course all right on it. The rudder pedals are adjustable fore and aft. The seats DO NOT move at all. I hated this. They were comfortable and reclined but you cannot place yourself above the rudder pedals. The pedals felt like they were above my head. Couple that with the fact that the nose wheel is not linked to the rudder (or castered) means you have to constantly tap the differential braking to keep the nose wheel centered. This is very hard to do when the pedals are on the same level as the seat...lol. taxiing was abit difficult. To make matters worse the glareshield was just over eye level. In the Lear Jet I was over the glare shield by a good 2 inches or better.Now the plane itself was very nice but I would not fly it again because of not having height adjust on the seat. The controls feel good and it even slows down ok for not having any rivets so it flies very well as expected.Now for the really fun stuff! The flight: You all will love this. KC downtown is all torn up expect for the first 3000 feet of the new runway. This means there is about 3500 of dirt beyond the new part of runway 1/19. the crosswind runway is completely torn up. To get to RWY 19 we had to taxi out then back taxi to the end and turn around for takeoff. Takeoff clearance is given while holding short of the runway. So when you get the clearance you actually have to taxi up the runway, back taxi, then turn around, and then takeoff. Not having the whole runway wasn't so bad on takeoff but just looks really weird on final...haha. Plenty of room for small planes still, but all the jets are moved up to KCI.So we takeoff. The DA 40 lifts off by itself at its prescribed speeds. It launches! You use flaps for Takeoff, btw., that's recommended for that airplane. Anyways we depart off RWY 19 and I turn immediately before the buildings over the river. KC downtown is loads of fun to fly in and out of because of the close proximity to the buildings and having the river on 3 sides (3 runways). We fly east to Clay County and TCAS is going crazy with all kinds of targets that are inbound from the east coming back to KC. It will remind you of the movie Top Gun. They're all zipping past you and I was having a field day chasing all those targets as they past me...ROFL. I told the instructor, "this is great, we got radar" - LOL.So I put the plane through its paces as best I could with just a sliver of reference to the horizon because of the glareshield. It was not my best flying in my eye as I was +/- 200' feet of where I wanted to be. Granted it was hot and a little bumpy, but nothing you couldn't handle. I felt like I had to chase the PFD around too much because of not having that nose/horizon reference. I usually use that when flying VFR then bounce what I see outside of the aircraft off the instruments to double check everything is in fact in check.After a few turns and yee haws lookie there I decided to go up to KCI and have some fun where I'm most comfortable. The controllers love me and they love having GA up there to break up the same old jets flying the same old speeds. I let them spin me around all the time for practice.Well, this time it was to be the airliners that were to provide all the excitement. Again, we're in south ops so KCI is landing and departing 19L and 19R. Now if you've ever seen an aerial or flown in there, or even flown in on the sim, you know that there is actually quite a bit of real estate between the 2 parallels (again, this will come into play here in a second).I came in from the east/south east so I'm pretty much on a 45 degree intercept to the downwind. It usually ends up perfect that way. Ok...we've contacted approach and asked for a touch and go and they've said common up. They usually tell you what runway before hand then back themselves up and tell you that the tower controller will give you your runways assignment. No biggie, I expect that if there's other landing traffic. So I'm now on the downwind (east of field flying north) for RWY 19L and I can tell I'll be sandwiched between 2 arriving SouthWest Airlines 737's. Not a big deal, got 'em on TCAS and got 'em visually...As I'm at the midfield point, I see the landing traffic on RWY 19R (west side) and the controller issues me a right 360 and spins me. No big deal again, I don't mind because I'm never in a hurry. The controller then asks the SWA 737 that is on SHORT FINAL to RWY 19R if he can side step to the 19L now that I've turned out. Notice I said SHORT FINAL above. To my amazement he ACCEPTS the clearance. Keep in mind that he is now stabilized and committed to the landing. Well, I see him side step as I'm now in the upwind part of my right 360 coming around, We notice he's too high and probably too fast to boot. I see him PITCH UP and GO AROUND. That's right, he missed. I almost jumped out of the #### airplane...LOL. Talk about a 10 thousand dollar mistake.Now to be fair to the 737 pilot, there could be other factors at play here, but it's not every day that I see a perfectly good approach by experienced pilots go hay wire. So I'll still give the benefit of the doubt to the crew of the 737 for doing what they thought was safe, and I'm sure this happens a lot more than I see, but it sure was a sight none the less. I'm sure it may even be fairly routine. On to the landing...By this time the KCI air space looks pretty much like a hornets nest with all of us flying all over the friggin place. Between me flying 360's in the pattern, aircraft landing and taking off on the right side, and 737's missing visual approaches, I can't believe all the aircraft and the controllers managed to maintain great situational awareness during this whole ordeal.Now, I'm still on downwind and this guy is now coming right up my behind and fast. I can visually see that he's cleaned up so he's probably doing every bit of 200 KIAS or better. That's when I got yet another right 360. This time I see it coming so I repeat the instruction, start the turn, and add "BTW, we have the traffic". They reply exactly: "well, in that case, cleared for the option RWY 19L". I then wrench the airplane back towards the runway with 3 other departures waiting for me...hehe.I still notice this guy is coming fast, so on short final I punch my airspeed up to higher than 100 KIAS then when I got over the approach lights I dump all the power and make a perfect crosswind landing. During the roll out they ask me if I'd like to remain in the pattern for more touch and go's. Our Class B airport asking me for another round around the patch during rush hour, peak time! I took that as a compliment. Maybe they like my flying better than the airlines, who knows...haha. Joking of course. I told them we'd depart the airspace back for downtown. They gave me the usual "when altitude and airspeed permits, turn left heading 090 maintain 3000' or below and remain this freq". I lifted off and when I got over the crosswind runway, 9/27 I started my turn and headed back for downtown.I get handed off back to the downtown tower and was already lined up on long final. TCAS came in handy because you don't usually want to just jump onto the extended center line like that. Usually I like to come in at a little bit of an angle so I can see any jets (usually at that time of day) on the ILS and give the controllers a chance to sequence me in before I've changed back over to their freq. KCI and MKC are really close together. MKC actually is a Class D airport underlying the KCI CLASS B. My landing there wasn't as good as I almost stalled over the approach lights coming in over the river from the north landing south. Again not being familiar with this type and not having the greatest visual reference I didn't notice the RED arc on the PFD creeping up at me...LOL. I recovered just fine by adding some power and made the landing turning off the active just before the new short runway turned into dirt.It was quite the fun flight folks. I haven't flown in about a year so it was really good to get out. More importantly I learned not only from myself but other more experienced pilots and crews flying in the same airspace. Remember: Every landing is a crosswind landing!I hope you enjoyed the story. :-)Edit: Mike E: I also heard you checked out in this aircraft by the same instructor I had. Was it hard going from the Lear to the DA 40? LOL. Hope the flight tonight went good to Wisconsin. We're back in the slight risk for SVR TRSA's tomm, so please check the WX. Thanks for the call today. I can't believe you didn't see my landing and the SWA missed appr. since we all did it right in front of you!...haha. Maybe next time. You were probably preflighting the jet in the AA hangar I guess.I'll call you tomm if I don't hear from you tonight. :-)

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I would like to add an amendment to this post that Mike E has pointed out to me in an email I just received.Since we're learning from this I think I should post his comments:"With reference to the SWA go-around I would suspect the following scenario: relatively new copilot at the wheel, when opportunity for sidestep is presented, captain calmly asks copilot if he is game at which point he says sure. Maneuver progresses to a point where captain quietly assures the new guy that perhaps they have pressed a bit too far and that a second attempt would be a good decision and not to worry. After the landing, if the captain is worth his salt, he quietly and calmly debriefs the copilot on the events of the landing. If this actually happened then the $10K was money well spent in the long run. The next time you fly SWA, you and a hundred of your seat mates may be the beneficiaries of judgement gained from that maneuver. As these comments may reveal, I am a big proponent of mentoring. Mike"Folks,What Mike says is correct.It should be clear I wrote the story from my own perspective of the flight itself not realizing that it may seem cavalier to other readers.As fun of a flight as it was, by no means were any of us out of control during all the fun. Please don't get the idea that the KCI airspace is a place for doing loopty loops, etc. We all still maintain our professionalism and our bearings at all times. This is why we're able to fly into our Class B airports without them being our final destinations. I consider it to be a privilage regardless if it's technically legal or our right to do so because it's a public airport.

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>I got a chance today to fly a Diamond 40 with Garmin 1000's. >http://www.diamondaircraft.com/aircraft/da...ning/index.html>Let me first say this: In FS you can easily fly a glass>cockpit. In the real world you CANNOT without at least a>couple of good days memorizing all the pages. It's a whole>different ball game.>>I pretty much just jumped in this airplane with no>familiarization, but with an instructor of course, as I've>never flown this type before.>>The Garmin 1000 is an amazing avionics package to say the>least. I felt like a fighter pilot chasing TCAS targets all>over the airspace. The G1000's have all the modern day>conveniences as any airliner out there it seems. "V" Speeds>are bugged, weather radar, TCAS, comms, engine readouts,>flight planning, even fuel. I could go on and on. Some of>you have probably already checked out the Garmin web site.>King Schools has a very detailed Garmin 1000 course for $249.00This is what they say about it....The Garmin G1000 is absolutely magical when you know how to operate it, but can turn into a dangerous nightmare if you dont have command of its 108 knobs and buttons before you get into the air.If I owned a Garmin 1000, I'd certainly invest in the training videos. In the meantime, it's going to be a while before we see a full working model for flight simulators. The Garmin 430 & 530 can be ported to flight simulators, but Garmin has not released a working 1000 model to practice with. Apparently, it's also very memory intensive, and can bring a good system to a crawl.Since I've got a bit of Garmin 1000 time myself, as well as the Avidyne, I purchased the $30.00 DVD from Sporty's, but it's more of an simplified overview of the product. The King DVD's consist of five or six.Personally, I'm all in favor of these glass panels, since I'm a fanatic for situational awareness. We'll just have to learn to use them by habit, and MSFS at home, could be an excellent place to learn. I'd even use 2D panels once and a while.... again! :D L.Adamson

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A highly enjoyable excellent read. Not often I read the whole of a longer post without wanting to skip bits.I have to say, I'm pretty hot on the DA42 and longing for test flight.Thanks :D

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Thanks for the great post Jeff! Now that I've had some stick time in three different aircraft during my training, I love reading pilot reports knowing how each aircraft has a distinct character. My last flight, last weekend, was in a Zenith XL with a glass cockpit. I really didn't care for it (the glass cockpit), to be honest. Not in a Sport Pilot class aircraft, anyway. But I imagine it's something one learns to like.Hope to see more posts like yours. There's a lot of experienced pilots here, who can offer a lot of great threads like this one on various r/w aircraft...Regards,John

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Yes, there's a good reason why they call it "type training". I would spend a little more time then what's on the DVD though.If I was actually going to type out in the plane, I would actually spend a few hours with the ground power hooked up to the plane.I do that even with a new panel that is analog.

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Thanks guys.The plane itself flies very well and they've really done a great job in making this type an affordable production type aircraft.It's like anything else though, you have to get to know it. It wouldn't be a big deal if I was going to actually get instruciton in the aircraft instead of just going flying like I did on this flight.This plane is a lot more than just a kit plane. It's a regular plane with all good stuff. It even has an option for O2. The only thing it didn't have was AC.I would still like to fly a Commander though. It's a little bigger and probably more my style. G1000's in a 114TC with about 50 hours of practice would be just the ticket for me.Of course the DA 40 is about half the price though. Maybe I just need a new left seat in the DA 40 and I'd bbe good to go.Oh well, some day maybe I'll be bale to afford it :-)

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I have actually used software that allows you to not only program a GPS/FMS but conduct a flight using a map display. It allowed change of waypoints, programming a holding pattern and selecting upcoming approaches. It was complete enough to develop confidence before approaching the aircraft.

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An interesting read, thanks. I'm a low hours (100 or so) PPL in the UK. I've got about 15 hours logged on the regular DA40-180 (Lycoming avgas engine, steam gauges) so it was interesting to get a comparison.Most of my ab initio training was done on a Katana (the smaller 2 seat Diamond sibling) DA20-C1, so I was quite used to the back-breakingly uncomfortable fixed seats (a thin cloth-covered cushion gives the illusion of comfort), and the rudder pedal adjustment (why is it, on a rental aircraft the pilot that has it before you always has really long legs and pushes the pedals back to the end stop?). Eventually you develop a 'knack' for getting hold of the lever down between your feet and pulling it. Steering by differential braking on a castoring nosewheel takes a bit of getting used to, but again once you have the hang of it, it seems second nature.Moving on to the Star was relatively straightforward. The seats are now leather, giving the illusion of richer comfort. Worse, they are 'ergonomically contoured', meaning if you don't have the exact body shape they were designed for (a 120 lb skinny giant by the feel of it), you'll be spending quality time with your chiropractor. As an aside, they've started doing this with trains, and boy are they uncomfortable!The VP prop required differenced training, but once I'd got used to 3 levers on the quadrant (and been slapped a few times for forgetting to push the prop lever fully forward on final!) it was fine. More interesting though was the panel. The Katana I'd trained on had a basic VFR panel, with just a single VOR. The 40 had a full IFR fit, with two VORs, DME, slaved HSI, ADF, GPS... Okay I'd been used to such fits in FS, but this was the first time I'd used most of this stuff for real, and when you're bumping around in the air you can't pause or pull up the radio stack window!Flying it was a breeze. The engine management meant it always started first time (the Katana, being fuel injected was a total sod to start when hot!). Being heavier, the ground steering was also more positive - and easier - than the Katana. In flight the handling was much the same. Slightly heavier wing loading so it rode the bumps a bit better, but still with enough lightness of control to throw it around the sky.I have to say I'm quite envious of the kind of access you have to major airports in the US. Here, once an airport gets big enough to start attracting jet traffic (first bizjets, then the smaller 'budget airlines'), regular GA just gets pushed out. First they make it phenominally expensive to land, with compulsory 'handling' charges on top, then they require you to book slots way in advance... No way would we be permitted to turn up at say Luton or Stansted and do a bunck of touch and gos, even if we could afford the fees (

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We are lucky, that's for sure. KC also has landing fees but are based on the gross weight of the aircraft. Most small/medium sized aircraft do not get effected.I'm sure there are some busier Class B airports here in the US that may turn you away for just doing touch and go's, but if it's your final destination or you are on a filed flight plan then they cannot if they airport is public use.I still, always ask, just to be courteous no matter what the situation is unless I'm on a filed flight plan.

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