Stephen - looks like a great value propostion. Couple questions:
- Can you be more specific on how scheduling works? Is it informal? Does the owner have priority? How about overnights or extended trips?
-What happens if the plane is down for an extended period of time for maintenance?
-Are you able to go over your 100 hours?
Hi bc, great questions. As I noted in the blog post, each DiamondShare agreement can be different, but here's how it works in my case:
- We do all scheduling using Google Calendar. Each of us has agreed to make no more than three reservations simultaneously to keep the schedule open. (This is how many flying clubs do it as well.) Overnights and extended trips are perfectly acceptable, and the owner, per the lease agreement, does not have scheduling priority over members.
- If the airplane is down for one month or more for maintenance, the lease period is extended by the actual number of days the airplane was unavailable. An annual inspection, however, would not count toward this time.
- In my case, members can go over the 100 hours. Per the lease agreement, additional hours are charged at $140 (dry) each, although the owner has told me he wouldn't enforce this if I were to go over by a few hours. Of course, if I come in short of 100 hours, he won't be giving me any money back.
Hope this answered all your questions. If anybody has other questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to answer them as best I can.
Here's how the numbers crunch out, using Stephen's figures assuming 100 hours per year for all three options.
The cheapest of the Skyhawks will set you back $10,090 the first year and $9340 for the second year, a total of $19,430. The pricier 172 will cost $13,590 for the first year and $11,840 for the next year, adding up to$25,430. At $995 a month times 12 months the Diamond costs $11,940 dry. At 65% power the DA40 has about 5 hours of endurance from its 50 usable gallons, so that's 20 fill-ups per 100 hours. At current prices, that's about $5000 for fuel. So total cost for the DiamondShare option is $16,940 for one year, $33,880 for 24 months.
For those with deeper pockets the Diamond lets you fly in style and go 2500 nautical miles farther in 100 hours; that's more than a full coast-to-coast trip. For me, an airplane is an airplane so I'd probably opt for the cheapest option, be content to fly behind steam gauges and dog leg from VOR to VOR if the cheap 172 doesn't have GPS. Either way you end up with 100 hrs worth of log entries, but the cheapest option leaves you with well over $14000 in the bank after two years to save, invest, spend or gamble away in Vegas.
So if you want to fly in style 25 knots faster behind flat panel avionics you're going to pay a lot more for the privilege. Another option is to save the $16,940 for five years. With $84,700 you can buy a decent Cardinal RG, or be more sporty and fly your own RV-7A.
It's all about what works for a given individual. No wrong answers here.
Douglas, your analysis is spot on. These are exactly the choices I was facing when I made the decision to sign up with DiamondShare. And you're right that there are no wrong answers. I'd be happy with any of these options you outline. For now, I'm really enjoying flying that new DA40. It's a nice airplane! :-)
I am interested in a Diamond 20. Any program for it?