DPA President’s Message Winter 2023

Looking back on our Inaugural Year and into the next!

        The Diamond Pilot’s Association (DPA) is up and running!  Through the dedicated efforts of its volunteer Steering Committee DPA went live in early May with the launch of our website.  As of early December, we have approximately 130 members and growing.

        The website is a critical part of our organization as it forms the communication hub.  This is particularly important as the intent of DPA is to be a worldwide organization serving Diamond aircraft owners, pilots and interested parties.  Chris and Dan lead the project to develop the website and many thanks to them for their efforts in creating it.

        Thanks to efforts of our volunteers, more and more content is being added, content that DPA members will find helpful in maximizing their ownership experience.  Rich and Dave have been prolific contributors of articles which can be found on the Diamond Pilots Association website under Articles+Resources.  Topics include using the Bose A30 headsets in Diamond aircraft, the emergency battery system and installing an Aspen E5 in a DA40.  New content is constantly being added.

        Key DPA executive attended EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh in July.  While there we were able to meet in person (many of us had never met each other in person but virtually instead) as well as share a few “frosties” in the heat and humidity of Oshkosh.

        We also met with Diamond Aircraft Industries and some of their key personnel.  It was a cordial and productive meeting and it further cemented our relationship.  DPA is probably unique among “Type Clubs” in its relationship with the manufacturer in that we have an official status with Diamond and a clear line of communication between the organizations.  We have been working on this relationship since its inception and we are grateful and pleased that Diamond Aircraft Industries wants to work with the owner/operator community to further enhance the experience in these wonderful aircraft.

Our meeting with Diamond Aircraft was productive and yielded several issues that I can report:

  • Upgrading your Diamond aircraft – this is probably one of the most important issues for owners as the technology, particularly avionics, has evolved. DPA is conducting a survey which includes questions on this topic.  Paul, a DPA founder and expert on the Diamond aircraft variants, is managing the survey. This survey includes interest in G1000 to G1000 NXi, WAAS, radar and other upgrades.  You might ask “Why doesn’t Diamond do this survey”?  The fact-of-the-matter is that Diamond has lost track of the owners of the aircraft as many have subsequently changed hands between and via third parties. (More information on the survey can be found below.)
  • Diamond Aircraft will be involved in Dealers Annual Meeting – it is an honour (honor) that DPA is being “brought into the tent” with the manufacturer and is being offered a place at the table. As President of DPA I attend Diamond’s annual dealer conference at their headquarters in Weiner-Neustadt, Austria and gave a one-hour presentation about DPA to the attendees at this year’s events.  (For the record, DPA did not pay anything towards my attendance at this conference.)
  • Parts Pricing – DPA has raised its concern over some of the parts pricing that seems to be a little unrealistic. While we don’t begrudge Diamond for making a buck (and staying in business) some of the prices are eye-watering.  Diamond has committed to review certain parts.

        Scott, DPA’s Social Chairman, was busy this year organizing and hosting DPA events across North America.  While turnout was slow at the first event at Buckeye, Texas, the numbers have been increasing with our increasing membership.

       DPA has expanded its worldwide reach.  A couple of our friends from “Down Under” have agreed to form the South Asia DPA division.  While Diamond aircraft numbers are few in that region they are growing nonetheless.  In Oshkosh we met a couple of DA42 pilots from the Netherlands (the last GA holdouts at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport they proudly tell us) who flew their DA42 to Oshkosh.  These gentlemen will be key in our desire to form a European DPA division.

        Looking forward into 2024, DPA has several initiatives.  You might have seen or heard already that DPA is conducting its own survey of Diamond aircraft owners.  The objective of this survey is to understand the ownership experience of aircraft owners so we may communicate that to Diamond aircraft as well as gauging interest in upgrading the aircraft to reflect changes in the avionics that are available.  The survey is open to all Diamond aircraft owners and can be found on the DPA website in English, French and German.  The survey closes January 14th and takes less than 15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is important for DPA to understand all aspects of the ownership experience but particularly the interest in owners upgrading their aircraft.

        While participation in the survey is open all owners, results of this survey will be available to DPA members only.

        Social events where Diamond aircraft owners are a key part of the both the ownership experience and DPA’s mandate.  Seven social events are planned for North American next year in the US, Canada, and the Bahamas.  With our European and Australian partners, we will be announcing events in those regions soon.  This reinforces our desire to make DPA a worldwide organization, not North American centric.  Details of the social events can be found on the DPA website under “Events”.

        With the website as our communications medium, further upgrades are planned for 2024.  This includes more articles of interest to Diamond owners, an area where DPA members can ask Diamond Aircraft questions and find sponsor benefits.

        Early in 2024 we will be unveiling sponsors to the DPA website.  A critical component of a vendor participating with DPA is to provide discounts to their services to DPA members.  Watch for these vendors coming aboard throughout next year.

        With DPA up and running now, we are looking for volunteers to help in our objective to continuously improve our organization.  If you have a penchant for writing, we are always interest in content for the website; if you would like to assist in organizing events, we can use you; if you have a specialized knowledge such as maintenance, we can always use your wisdom.

        Creating and managing websites, mailing out postcards, conducting surveys and hosting social events all cost money.  Our only source of funds currently is our modest $50 USD annual membership fee, a bargain for the information you get and a small some in comparison to what it costs to purchase and operate an aircraft.  The Diamond Pilots Association is a volunteer organization with no one receiving any compensation, just reimbursement of any expenses incurred.  Your participation in DPA is what will make DPA financially strong but also a strong voice in our dealings and interaction with Diamond Aircraft.  Please consider joining the Diamond Pilots Association now.

    Ed McDonald, President

Copyright (c) Diamond Pilots Association, 2024. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reproduce, distribute, or republish without written permission of the author.

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