DA40 new or used

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Am thinking of purchasing a DA40 to begin training. What are
thoughts re a recent used version versus new. Looks like 100k give
ot take is involved.

-- tim gleeson, October 10, 2007


If you are going to use the plane for a lot of serious IFR/IMC trips, the new ones might be worth the extra $$ for the Garmin autopilot. If you are mostly going to train and then get a higher performance airplane after your IFR rating, the used one (G1000-equipped) will be just as good. The best way to save money is to enter into a 50/50 partnership with another pilot/owner.

-- Philip Greenspun, October 11, 2007

I would think that a 172 and a DA40 would be similar in terms of depreciation. Maybe the 172 would depreciate faster since there are so many available used (and actually the Skyhawk XP from 1979 is probably a better plane than a new Skyhawk since the XP has the Cirrus SR20 engine (smooth 6 cyl) and tremendous payload; the old XP plus a retrofit Garmin panel would be better than the latest and greatest from Cessna I think).

-- Philip Greenspun, October 11, 2007

How difficult to master the glass panel? (question below) You won't really master it until you're halfway through your instrument training, but the same can be said for most GPS units by themselves. As far as learning the G1000 well enough to pass a Private checkride, it might add 5 extra hours to your training (but you won't care since it will be your own airplane).

-- Philip Greenspun, October 17, 2007

Safety record question below: Why is the DA40 so safe? It is pretty slow, so it gets a safety boost from people not wanting to use it for long trips through a lot of weather systems (opposite end of the spectrum is a Piper Malibu where it has huge range and enough capability to challenge some serious weather and therefore people end up challenging serious weather and beyond). Mostly, though, I think it is the handling. The plane gives you a lot of feedback so you can fly it almost without thinking. If you do fly it incompetently, the consequences are mushy rather than stall/spinny.

There is almost nothing that you can say bad about the DA40 except for the comfort level (seats, brutal heat, and interior noise).

-- Philip Greenspun, October 18, 2007

Thanks for the quick reply. Any thoughts on how the resale market/depreciation is working for the DA40 vs. the 172. Is a recent 172 a better "investment"? Hard to see how it could be. I won't be planning serious IFR IMC for a while.

-- tim gleeson, October 11, 2007

Thanks again. I am considering A DA40 2 to 3 years old. Any guess what I can assume for depreciation. I'm thinking hull value more than engine time.

-- tim gleeson, October 11, 2007

Philip my analysis seems to agree with your suggestion that if able a DA40 is a good choice to purchase and learn to fly in. I'm in the investment industry, age 50 , how difficult is it really to master the glass avionics in particular? Thanks

-- tim gleeson, October 17, 2007

One more question on the DA40. The safety record is very good-what do you think are the factors behind this?

-- tim gleeson, October 18, 2007

Why the DA40 has such a good record? Obviously it has docile handling, outstanding visibility and good ergonomics. But I am convinced that a comparatively low stall speed also plays a role. Mission profile may also contribute: the DA40 is probably seen in a trainer role more often than the competition.

-- Henrik Vaeroe, October 18, 2007

I find something realy realy realy bad about the DA40 and the DA42, and i heard it from owners who also hate it alot!!!!

There is no armrest!!! That means while you are in the air you have to put your arm on your lap like a schoolboy and that is very very annoying!!! That argument makes me NOT buy a DA40 or DA42!!

-- yves soete, October 19, 2007

Philip the deed is done--purchased 06 DA40---thanks for the help.

-- tim gleeson, November 15, 2007

Response to DA40 new or used...there is an armrest!

There is an armrest built in to the front canopy. When closed, there is a nice sill upon which to rest your outboard arm (the left one if you are in the left hand seat). Your remaining arm is used for other tasks, like twisting knobs on the G1000 or handling the control stick. I am 5' 10" and 210 lbs and find the front seats very comfortable. I own a 2006 DA40 180.

-- Frank Ervin, December 1, 2007