Before You Fly 2RD…

If you have flown a DA42 – or one of ours – with KAP140 AP, you should revisit this page for sure, as there are a number of important and interesting differences you want to know about!

There is also a document focused on the most important differences between this plane and our KAP140-based DA42, be it aircraft or simulator.
Please be sure to take a look at that document, and download it to your EFB.

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 after your flights 
      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. 
    • In the colder season or whenever there is bad WX expected while the aircraft is parked, please help protect it by putting on the aircraft cover. Start with the nose, and work your way towards the rear.
  • Measuring oil correctly: For each engine, …
    1. If you have a hard time looking into the access area where the oil stick is, use the provided foldable step stool (should be in the nose compartment)
    2. Pull out the measuring stick and wipe it clean with a paper towel sheet (provided in the nose baggage compartment)
    3. Screw it in back in all the way – this is important, because if you don’t, then the subsequent reading will show a lower oil level than there actually is – meaning you may end up adding oil when you don’t actually need to – and over-fill it
    4. Pull it back out and read the oil level. Everytime it’s clearly less than half it makes sense to add a half quart of the provided Diesel (!) oil. If the other engine does not need oil then keep the closed bottle with the second half of the quart inside the nose compartment.   

General familiarization

  • Read the manuals (top menu under Twin Star 972RD > 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 972RD > 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.
      The MFD page groups contain the following pages:
      • MAP group
        1. Navigation (incl. Profile View)
        2. Traffic
        3. Weather Data Link (XM)
        4. Terrain-SVS
      • WPT (Waypoint) group
        1. Airport
          • CHRT | INFO | DP | STAR | APR | WX
        2. Intersection
        3. NDB
        4. VOR
        5. VRP (Visual Reporting Point)
        6. User Waypoints
      • AUX (Auxiliary) group
        1. Trip Planning
        2. Utility
        3. GPS Status
        4. System Setup
        5. XM Satellite
          • RADIO | INFO
        6. System Status
      • NRST (Nearest) group
        1. Airports
        2. Intersections
        3. NDB
        4. VOR
        5. VRP (Visual Reporting Point)
        6. User Waypoints
        7. Frequencies
          • ARTCC | FSS | WX
        8. 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

Vertical navigation is supported by the G1000 and its integrated GFC700 AP via the VNV button.  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 like the GFC700 on this plane, but you can obviously also follow the FD manually. 

GPS approaches

The GIA63W units in this plane support LP, LPVLNAV/VNAV,  LNAV+V, and LNAV approaches. Approach types that are not supported because of additional equipment requirements not met by this aircraft will not be offered by the FMS, so it’s a good idea to always check the FMS/PROC first before choosing your approach.


Hardware considerations

CAUTION: The PFD and MFD displays us 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.

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 Bluetooth network and connect to it. (Should you not see that network, recycling Bluetooth on your device is known to usually fix that. Once connected, you should also be able to rename the connection on your device to the plane’s tail number if you want.)
  • Next time you fly your device should connect automatically – if not: wash, rinse, repeat 🙂

Connecting that way will also provide WAAS-accurate GPS location and AHRS info to your EFB app.
Verify in your ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot app that you are connected, 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

N972RD | W&B 11/25/2016    
Weight (lbs)    2,957.5     
CG (in. aft of datum)       95.33     
Moment 281,933.7    

Compass deviation card as of 11/01/07:

FOR
N 30 60 E 120 150
STEER
359 29 60 89 119 151
FOR
S 210 240 W 300 330
STEER
182 211 241 271 300 330

Aircraft Handling

Keys to the airplane

  • Yellow: Baggage front
    • Always lock both sides before flying!
  • Red: Ignition
  • Black: Aux Tanks and Canopy locks – upon request only!
    • The aux tanks provide up to 50% longer range, and are normally empty and not in use for all training and local 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 and avoid having to fill up at your destination you can have the key to those upon request.
      NOTE that there are procedures and limitations with regard to using the aux tanks (W&B aspects, proper operation of the fuel transfer switches) that you need to know!
    • The black keys can also lock the canopy doors. Since the door handles can be pulled even when the doors are locked, it’s unfortunately very easy to break the lock mechanism, leading to costly repairs – therefore we generally don’t use those locks.

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. 

One additional note on the pilot/co-pilot windows: Unlike in other DA42s where the window locks open in both directions, these only unlock in one (away from you), while turning them towards you will close them – please do not force the lock past the CLOSE stop!

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.
    In order to install it the pedals must be moved all the way aft towards the seat.

Easy on the brakes, please!

The Twin Star’s brakes are quite effective – unless there is a very good reason to come to a halt ASAP please always be cautious and apply the brakes gently upon rollout so as to not cause flat spots and/or even a tire blowout. Below 50 KTS you can apply more braking if necessary.

The upgraded Beringer brakes on this aircraft provide strong braking while being less likely to lock up because of floating brake rotors (which are also better equipped to handle sudden changes in temperature, thanks to the fact that they can move around their mounting point) – but they’re not ABS brakes.

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 =:()

The tires on this aircraft, by the way, are tubeless – making them lighter and also more resistant, but not immune to blow-outs.