Second hand DA20

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I am looking at buying a second hand DA20 mostly for puddle jumping.
It seems a good time to buy one as quite a few are on the market at
present. For about $80k I can get a low time +-600 hour 2000 model
or a 2005 high time model with 1,800 hours on the clock. It would be
exported out of the US. Where I live it's mandatory to do an
overhaul on the engine when its done +-2,200 hours. I would not
anticipate doing more than 50 hours a year. Any down sides to the
older composite assuming both have been properly looked after?

-- Cyril Shand, April 3, 2012


Our flight school got rid of its Rotax-powered DA20s because the engines were too hard to maintain (parts and spares not very available for the certified Rotax powerplants). The models you are talking about have the Continental engine and therefore wouldn't have that issue.

The 600-hour 2000 airplane needs an immediate engine overhaul, unfortunately, since Continental and Lycoming recommend a 12-year limit regardless of hours (and people who ignored this have definitely suffered engine failures). So I would choose the 2005 model with the higher time engine.

-- Philip Greenspun, April 5, 2012

Thanks Philip, That is really useful info. Also just found out to get an export C of A the prop needs a 5 year overhaul in addition to the 12 year engine overhaul you pointed out.

-- Cyril Shand, April 6, 2012