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Anyone have an opinion as to the quality and reliability of a new
DA40.I'mm looking at Cirrus and Diamond, like Diamond's safety
record but am concerned about reliability and warranty issues.
-- Philip Thomas, December 30, 2004
Both the Cirrus and Diamond are fairly simple airplanes. I would expect your maintenance experience to be similar with either airplane. Diamond has authorized service centers now, which should simplify the warranty paperwork. Either plane will be a lot more of a hassle than a Toyota minivan and both planes will be a lot less of a hassle than a turbocharged retractable monster of complexity.
-- Philip Greenspun, January 24, 2005
I've had a DA40/G1000 since July 2004. Compared with the other planes I've spent a lot of time in, it's been reliable without an single missed excursion. While there have been a few squawks fixed, none have been anything like what I've seen with other planes.
I also say that I've found Diamond to be terrific in dealing with issues; everything is shipped out overnight (from Canada) and there has been no hesitation in dealing with any issue. Of course, this is under warranty...but compared with some of the other manufacturers (ever try dealing with Cessna or Garmin?), Diamond is fantastic. I think they've probably learned from Philip's experiences in the past (he bought an early one and found some issues as described herein).
The part that should be noted is that the Diamond tends to have better fit and finish over the Cessnas and Cirruses. My avionics guy claimed that he had never seen electrical work as good as that in the DA40 -- after having worked in commercial and military systems for 25 years.
-- Peter Marx, January 7, 2005
Phillip: I have also had a DA40/G1000 since July of 04 and have absolutely no regrets about choosing it over the SR20. The decision was based on several things: quality of construction, sales presentation and demo flight, lower insurance costs, the G1000, etc. I am fortunate to be based where there is a Diamond Service Center (Airways) as well as an excellent avionics shop (Lancaster Avionics) so service is not a problem. There have been very few unscheduled maintenance items. Airways also services Cirrus and it seems there hangar is always full of them in what seems to be a disproportionate ratio to their numbers. Owners will almost always love the plane they bought so its hard to rely on their opinion alone. I would suggest you talk to A&Ps experienced with both aircraft - the ones I have talked to have very good things to say about the DA40.
-- Jeff Dewey, February 3, 2005
What do you prefer about the G1000 over the Avidyne? Having used both I prefer the Avidyne. Even after 15 hours in the G1000, I was hitting the wrong knob, or messing up the frequency changing cursor. I had these problems much less frequently with the Avidyne.
As far as Cirrus reliability, it's best to base on some facts, such as fleet hours, before reaching conclusions on number of planes at one maintenance facility.
-- David Wihl, February 3, 2005
We picked up our new DA-40 / G1000 in August of last year. I wish I could say that it's been as trouble free as the others who have posted here, but it hasn't. We've had three trips to the Garmin shop before they replaced the Comm unit. Two trips to the Garmin shop before a new transponder unit was installed. Four trips to the Honeywell shop to repair/replace the autopilot and finally returned the plane to the factory where they determined that the root cause of the autopilot failures was a faulty turn coordinator, not the KAP140 unit. And recently had to replace both tires well before their rated useful life (diagnosis: imperfect alignment of the landing gear assembly which will require a shim kit being sent by the factory.) In all fairness to Diamond (the factory, not the local sales agent) they have been responsive and helpful each time we've contacted them. And in fairness to the aircraft, the first two repairs (Comm and transponder) were Garmin quality control issues not Diamond issues. My thoughts about this plane remind me of a bumper sticker I once saw on an old Jaguar which said, "Ah, but when it works..." With all the mechanical bugs resolved the plane flies like a charm. It's simple, forgiving, responsive, and a heck of a lot of fun to fly. Visibility is unsurpassed. It's great for the two or three hour flight. A six hour trek can be a little bit rough on the back. As for the G1000, there's no question there's a learning curve. But once you climb that hill you'll never want to go back. The integration of systems and data on the G1000 is superb and IMHO superior to the Avidyne, at least the early versions with which I am familiar.
-- Jeff Markel, February 13, 2005
I have friends that have owned both the Diamond and Cirrus. It seems that the Cirrus holds up better overtime and has a better resale value. Also, the owners of the Cirrus's were more happy with it. Both seem to be good airplanes, but the above is my opinion of what I've heard and seen in the market.
-- dan klobe, February 20, 2005
We had a DA40 rear hatch blow off on downwind due to a cracked rear hinge. We've found a crack in the rear hinge on a second airplane. Have you heard of this, if so what is being done about it to your knowledge.
-- Wayne Pratt, June 18, 2008