First New DA40 NG Delivered in the Caribbean Region

The DA40 NG delivered to Virgin Islands flight school UFLYVI. Diamond Aircraft

Premier Aircraft Sales, the Diamond Aircraft dealer for much of the eastern US and the Caribbean said in a news release that it recently delivered the first Diamond DA40 NG with a brand new jet-fuel-powered Austro engine (at 168 hp) to UFLYVI, based in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The news release said, “UFLYVI is a growing flight school based in USVI with a diverse fleet.”

Additional of an airplane that burns jet-A rather than 100LL should translate into a reduction in operational fuel costs for UFLYVI, since jet-A is normally much less expensive than avgas. The diesel-powered DA40 NG will also solve the problem of flying to islands that may not offer avgas at all. The four-place DA40 NG comes standard with Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics that includes synthetic vision. The aircraft boasts a top speed at 14,000 feet and a 154-knot TAS while sipping a miserly 5.1 gallons of fuel per hour.

Matthew R. Stewart, owner and instructor at UFLYVI, said, “We recently partnered with a new local FBO, Standard Aviation, and plan to advertise the most modern and safest flight training aircraft in our area through our combined network. The DA40 NG is sure to attract new students seeking the safety and comfort of this aircraft.”

DA40 Suffers Powerplant Failure

This delivery announcement comes amidst an ongoing investigation focused on the failure of an Austro diesel powerplant in a different DA40 NG just after takeoff from Orange County Airport in Montgomery (KMGJ), New York, on October 24, 2020. The aircraft was on a training flight and operating on an IFR flight plan above a solid cloud deck when the failure occurred. Because the engine failed while the aircraft was still relatively near KMGJ, some help from a fast-thinking New York TRACON air traffic controller, as well as some expert airmanship by instructor Adam Pottok with help from the student pilot aboard, resulted in a safe landing back at Montgomery.

Pottok told Flying the airplane was at approximately 5,000 feet and climbing when the engine suddenly died with no warning. The engine simply would not restart. Pottok said, “I assumed control of the airplane and issued the Mayday call. We were on top of a deck of clouds about 2,000 feet beneath us at the time.” Almost immediately following the Mayday call, the TRACON controller gave the pilots a heading to prepare them for the ILS approach to Runway 4 at KMGJ as the aircraft continued descending. Pottok said he pretty quickly realized “we were already south of the field and needed to turn directly for the airport or we wouldn’t make it.” The controller aimed them directly toward the airport and the Diamond broke out of a 1,000 overcast ceiling about half a mile south of the airport. “We made a quick 270-degree turn to lose some altitude and touched down smoothly,” Pottok said. Neither the instructor or the student pilot were injured in the landing. He added that his student, who was preparing for his private checkride, was very helpful and engaged during the emergency and knew enough to let Pottok take command.

The reason for the powerplant failure has yet to be determined according to Pottok. What they do know is that, “the Diamond would not even start,” when a maintenance technician began their initial inspection.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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