Wednesday, May 9, 2007

DA40 differences training (JAR)

This post presents what you can expect from a DA40 (plastic engine) differences training under JAA rules. I talk here of a DA40, with classical instruments, not G1000.

The theory part will focus on diesel operations, but that's easy, and on electrical system, which is of paramount importance when a plastic engine is part of the game (see my post about the DA42 double engine failure...).

Then comes the practical flight. As I already told, the DA40 is really a forgiving plane, thanks to its good wing desing. You will go through various but all uneventful stalls, and manoeuvers like steep turns.

As always, you will have the landings practice then. Normal, engine off, and so on. Some changes here about the fuel and FADEC system. The typical drill for engine failure is:

1) Maintain speed (as always)
2) Try force FADEC B
3) Activate fuel transfer in case you pumped all of the main tank

If you've enough altitude, you can try an engine restart, but before doing so you have to switch engine master to OFF and back to ON, to activate the glow plug for pre-heating.

Depending on the lift / drag ratio of the plane you flew before, your first landings can be really floooooooooaaaaaaaaty. Remind to come with the correct speed, corresponding to your weight, and you'll land ok.

The final stage of your differences training should include flapless landings. This is because the flaps are electrically driven, so JAR make that mandatory (quite smart on this topic...). As you can imagine, flapless landing in a floaty plane is not exactly the easiest part of the training.

In my very particular case, the differences trainig took 4h03 of block time, including a solo nav of 30 minutes, and dual flight to another airport than base which were needed because I was checked-out by the new club at the same time. The exercices part took something like 2h45.