Before You Fly 9ES…

Pre-/Postflight

  • Please be careful with all static wicks sticking out from trailing edges before and after flight – accidentally striking or bending may break them, which will cause the aircraft to be deemed VFR-only or even entirely grounded until it gets fixed!
  • The pitot heat cover is important to be installed any time the aircraft is parked.
    It should always be the first item to remove when you get to the plane for a flight, and the last item to be installed after completing all other postflight tasks so that the cover cannot be melted by the pitot heat – yes, that has happened…
    • Please also install the engine inlet plugs as well as the sun shields (at least the big one for the font canopy) after your flights (see this page for more information).
      It’s a good idea to always assume that the next scheduled flight may be cancelled, and you always want the aircraft to be protected as much as possible. 

General familiarization

  • Read the manuals (top menu under Twin Star 919ES > POH / Product Guides)
  • Understanding ME dynamics and complications in one-engine-INOP scenarios is obviously the main challenge with any twin engine airplane, but a thorough understanding of the systems like FADEC, AP and TKS is very important, too – again, read the POH (AFM & Supplements) provided on this website.
  • If you have some 15 min. – watch this Diamond factory tour:

G1000

The G1000 system may appear deceivingly simple to use at first, but it’s a complex integrated system. The learning curve is much cheaper on the ground:

  • Read the manuals (top menu under Twin Star 919ES > POH / Product Guides)
  • Watch free G1000 instructional videos
  • Use simulators
    • At home,
    • Use the real-world cockpit FTD with 160° immersive experience
  • SVT (Synthetic Vision Technology)
    • It is highly recommended to make use of the provided Synthetic Vision feature on the PFD – it helps keep and improve situational awareness (especially in MVFR/IMC), can show traffic and obstacles in your way, and helps with aircraft attitude fine-tuning by using the “green dumpling” which shows exactly where the aircraft is going – just keep it on the white horizon line during level flight, and point it at the numbers as you approach a runway.
      The “highway in the sky” represented by boxes you want to fly through may appear distracting at first, but you will come to realize how it makes navigation easier by providing those big visual clues that are easier to keep in your peripheral vision – which allows for more eye time outside.   
    • All that said, SVT can be partly or fully turned off anytime if you wish.
  • MFD Page Group contents
    • G1000 systems come in a variety of configurations depending on aircraft type and specific equipment.
      9ES’s MFD page groups contain the following pages:
      • MAP group
        1. Navigation
        2. Traffic
        3. Terrain-SVS
      • WPT (Waypoint) group
        1. Airport
          • CHRT | INFO | DP | STAR | APR
        2. Intersection
        3. NDB
        4. VOR
        5. User Waypoints
      • AUX (Auxiliary) group
        1. Trip Planning
        2. Utility
        3. GPS Status
        4. System Setup
        5. System Status
      • NRST (Nearest) group
        1. Airports
        2. Intersections
        3. NDB
        4. VOR
        5. User Waypoints
        6. Frequencies
          • ARTCC | FSS | WX
        7. Airspaces

           

    • Additional MFD features
      • FPL (Flight Plan) – Separate page group
        1. Active Flight plan
        2. Stored Flight plans
      • CHRT
        • FAA charts (Taxi diagrams, Approaches, Arrivals) 
      • CHKLIST
        • Diamond’s default checklist 

VNAV

Even though there is currently no integrated AP that would support it, VNAV is supported by the G1000, and that feature can make your in-flight planning of descents much easier by letting you define the BOD (bottom of descent), i.e. the altitude you want to be at in the not so distant future (e.g. TPA 3nm before an airport), and at what descent rate you’d like to get there (typically a comfi 500 fpm) from where you are, and the system helps you out by giving you a TOD (top of descent) and displaying a VDI that you can conveniently follow just like you’d follow a GS/GP indicator on an approach.

The following video is very useful to help you understand it, and how to set things up in the context of using a VNAV-capable AP (which this plane does not have), but you can obviously still take advantage of it and fill in the role of the AP manually. 

GPS approaches limitations

The GIA63 units in this plane are not (yet) upgradeable to the WAAS version. Until such an upgrade is available and installed you cannot legally fly approaches requiring WAAS, i.e. LP, LPV, and LNAV/VNAV approaches.

You can, however, fly LNAV and LNAV+V

Hardware considerations

CAUTION: The PFD and MFD displays use a lens coated with a special anti-reflective coating that is very sensitive to skin oils, waxes, and abrasive cleaners. CLEANERS CONTAINING AMMONIA WILL HARM THE ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATING. It is very important to clean the lens using a clean, lint-free cloth and an eyeglass lens cleaner that is specified as safe for anti-reflective coatings.

Use of polarized eyewear may cause the flight displays to appear dim or blank.

Autopilot

Even if you are not planning on using or even turning on the AP, it‘s important to understand that its Altitude Alerter feature will issue Altitude (within 1,000’) and Leaving Altitude (within 200’) alerts with alert tones – those can be quite distracting when you e.g. do pattern work. An easy way to address that is to use the KAP140’s Altitude Select knob and turn it way up to an altitude you‘re unlikely going to be at during your training day, e.g. 10,000‘.

An autopilot is invaluable during longer flights and IFR. Read the AFM Supplement and the KAP 140 Pilot’s Guide to ease your cockpit workload.

To properly pre-fly and use the full potential of this AP to your advantage and ease your workload in the cockpit please familiarize yourself with the AFMS and this guide published by Honeywell – and of course follow the advice of your CFI.

Even more important than knowing how to use the autopilot before using it is to know how to disconnect / turn it off in case it does something you don’t expect so that you have time to figure out what happened before getting into a dangerous attitude.

NEVER FIGHT AN AUTOPILOT. If it’s not doing what you want – especially vertically -, disengage it and set the airplane up by hand.

The most common way to disconnect the autopilot is to press and release the red AP DISC button located on the control stick. An autopilot disconnect tone will sound.

Three other ways to disconnect the autopilot include:

  • Pressing the AP Key on the KAP140
  • Operating the Electric Pitch Trim Switch (located on the control stick)
  • Pulling the AUTO PILOT circuit breaker (know where it is!)

In the event of unexpected autopilot behavior, press and holding the red AP DISC button will disconnect the autopilot and remove all power to the servos.

Here is another good article talking about APs in general, definitely worth reading.

ADS-B In / Bluetooth

This plane is equipped with ADS-B In (Traffic, WX) information to both the G1000 (Traffic only) and also available to your EFB app (ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot) via Bluetooth.

To connect:

  • First time:
    The GTX345R unit providing the ADS-B In data can be connected to shortly after you turn on the Electrical Master. Look for the N919ES Bluetooth network and connect to it. (Should you not see that network, recycling Bluetooth on your device is known to usually fix that.)
  • Next time you fly your device should connect automatically, no need for the above procedure.

Connecting that way will also provide WAAS-accurate GPS location, AHRS info and FPL synchronization between the GTN units and your EFB app.
Verify in your ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot app that you are connected to N919ES, and you’re good to go.

ICAO Filing

Flight plans now have to be filed in ICAO format which asks for more aircraft equipment and capability details than the good ol’ FAA flight plan.

To help with setting up your flight plans we have created a page (find it in the dropdown menu above under > Equipment) which should do the trick – use those bits and pieces to fill out the aircraft profile in your EFB.

Weight & Balance

Adding ADS-B and the two USB charging ports in Sep 2018 had a minimal effect on W&B. After that we replaced the nav lights and strobes with LED versions (which removed some weight), and added sun visors (which added a little weight).

N919ES | W&B 1/17/2019    
Weight (lbs) 2,919.66    
CG (in. aft of datum)   95.00    
Moment 277,360.83    

Compass deviation card as of 6/26/2017:

FOR
N 30 60 E 120 150
STEER
002 32 61 90 120 150
FOR
S 210 240 W 300 330
STEER
180 210 240 269 301 334

Aircraft Handling

Keys to the airplane

  • Yellow: Baggage front
    • Always lock both sides before flying!
  • Red: Ignition
  • Black: Aux Tanks – upon request only
    • The aux tanks are normally not in use for all training and normal X/C flights
    • The key to the aux tanks is only attached to the spare keys kept at the front desk. If you want to use the aux tanks for a longer X/C flight you can have the key to those handed to you upon request.
      NOTE that there are procedures and limitations with regard to using the aux tanks (imbalance aspects, operation of the fuel transfer switches) that you need to know!  

Canopy notes

On windy / gusty days it is very important for pilot and passengers to have a good grip on both the forward swinging canopy and rear door to make sure it gets opened and closed in a controlled fashion – the hinges connected to the carbon composite airframe can otherwise crack, leading to the need for a costly and very avoidable repair. 

Pilot and copilot have sun visors available – these can be secured to the canopy with a center button. Please be sure to pull in the center area near that button so as to not bend and potentially break the sun visors.
The visors can be turned and swiveled in many ways, but there are limitations – please always move them gently so as to understand and not exceed those limitations.

Wind alert

  • Always close the canopies before you walk around / move the plane to protect them from wind gusts.
  • Please always install the control lock between rudder pedals and the pilot stick after every flight. It’s part of the checklist and a required step. It may not be gusty when you come back, but wind conditions can change quickly, and the ailerons and elevator control surfaces need to be protected from sudden movements.

Adjustable pedals

When you pull the handle between the pedals to adjust aft/forward movement please be sure to pull parallel to the floor – if you pull at an angle towards you here is a chance to break the handle cable, which would have to be repaired and ground the plane.

Easy on the brakes please!

The Twin Star’s brakes are quite effective!

Unless there is a good reason to come to a halt ASAP please be cautious and apply the brakes gently upon rollout so as to not cause flat spots and/or even a tire blowout.
When you practice a short field landing, simulate maximum braking by simply announcing so to your CFI or DPE while braking normally (i.e. gently).

You don’t want to have a tire blowout happen to you, yet alone away from KBFI.