LifeStyle Aviation has announced that North Carolina-based FLT Academy signed a firm order for 10 Diamond DA20 trainers, with an option to add 20 more of the single-engine piston aircraft. The academy’s long-term planning could call for “increasing the commitment to as many as 40 new DA20s in the next three years,” according to LifeStyle Aviation.
The new Diamond singles will supplement FLT Academy’s existing fleet of 50 training aircraft at its locations in Woods Cross and Spanish Fork, Utah. The current fleet consists of a mix of DA20s, DA40s, twin-engine DA42s and two-seat Sport Cruisers.
Jason Clark, founder and CEO of FLT Academy, said, “We are always looking for ways to improve and provide our students with the best possible learning experience. The DA20 is a perfect fit for our needs, and we are confident that it will help us continue to make flight training more accessible and affordable for our students.”
John Armstrong, founder and president of LifeStyle Aviation, said, “The Diamond DA20’s combination of safety, efficiency, performance, and comfort make it an ideal aircraft for the flight training market.”
Looks like as with most European designs that aircraft will be broiling hot inside during North American summers.
Great point. The little Cessnas and Pipers we used to rent at the FBO in Vero Beach were always cool and comfy sitting out on the ramp in the middle of summer.
Interesting, my experience is the Piper is nearly as hot as the DA20 while the Cessna will cook you slightly slower.
Given how soft we have all become after decades of air conditioning, I’d look for a school that parks the planes in the shade if I were starting now.
Making flight training more affordable. That remains to be seen. When a 172 goes for around $175 an hour, what’s this going to rent for? And those airplane have been around since the 1950’s.
Got my ticket in a DA20. Awesome, docile trainer with a center stick (where it should be). Can’t remember the per hour price but there were Cessnas on the ramp I chose not to rent. And if you really screw the pooch in a DA20 you almost certainly won’t die in a fire. Can’t say the same for 172s. That’s worth a few $ wouldn’t you agree ?
I haven’t flown a DA20. So I don’t know how much they cost to rent. But if they have a G1000 and or any other upgrades, I am sure that the rental rates would be more than what a 172 goes for with steam Guages. And costs are a major factor here, especially when it comes to flight training. I really was hoping that the 162 Cessna 2 seater would fill the bill with an entry level trainer. But sadly, that didn’t happen.
I wouldn’t let anyone I love learn to fly in a 172. The Diamonds have a fraction of the accidents and fatalities. Cessna made the best trainer of the 20th century, but they need to improve or quit.
People researching the cost a a PPL know that it’ll cost them at least $10k, so why not go with something modern? Kids learning to fly today will always go with modern flat screens versus a steam gage equipped 150/172 with small GPS tacked onto the panel. Flight schools know their customers and most students aren’t over 30.