DA40 in Las Vegas in July

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I'm thinking about a trip to Las Vegas in mid july from San
Francisco (KSQL). I'm worried the DA40 may be a little uncomfortable
(hot & bumpy). Any comments? My other option for the same price is a
G1000 172SP.


-- Ray Letulle, June 3, 2007


A C172 isn't exactly a paragon of stability due to its low wing loading. You will want to depart KSQL at sunrise to be assured of getting over the mountains before the winds build up. And you will want to depart Las Vegas at sunrise for the same reason (should be beautiful with the sun at your back). I'd say that the trip will be similar in the two planes.

-- Philip Greenspun, June 4, 2007

It has been hot out there lately. I just returned from helping my sister move out from there and the midday temp was averaging 108 and peaked at 111 F. I drove this time, but flew in two times last month to North Las Vegas Airport. I approached from the West to stay clear and then go under the McCarren Class B airspace. The approach from the west has you going over some very jagged terrain which produces some sharp turbulence. I was rolled about 50 degrees at one point. The locals say to avoid flying near the western mountains due to violent turbulence if the wind is blowing hard, (over 22kts). If the wind is mellow and you aren't flying during the midday thermals, then you should be fine. If you land in the late afternoon, early evening, it should be a nice experience.

-- mike masterson, June 4, 2007

The DA 40 will be smoother overall, and hotter on the ramp.

You may seem to get more chop in the Diamond because the longer wing will catch more little bumps, but the wing loading is much higher in the DA40, so the ride will still be smoother.

I believe, but you might check, that the DA40 will climb better in high density altitudes. That may be a real factor in that part of the country in summer.

Better to sweat a little than not be able to climb out!

-- Eric Warren, June 14, 2007