Pilots who own Diamond aircraft have come together to create a group focused on pilot education and training, manufacturing feedback opportunities, and social engagement.
Modeling its website and product after type clubs with similar goals, like the Beech Aero Club and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association, the Diamond Pilots Association hopes to reach Diamond owners both in the United States and abroad.
The two parties have already sat down for several meetings regarding the partnership, both virtually and in person. “We’re developing a formal line of communication with Diamond Aircraft,” said McDonald, who confirmed that Diamond Austria and Canada have been supportive of the efforts to create a feedback loop between owners and the manufacturer.
There are approximately 3,000 private Diamond aircraft owners in the world—a number that excludes the aircraft within large fleets or at flight schools. “That represents a large group of the total Diamond fleet,” said McDonald. “The idea is to have a voice, among those 3,000 owners, at the table with Diamond Aircraft.”
Another way the club is taking a seat at the table is by joining the Type Club Coalition put together by the Experimental Aircraft Association, which, according to the EAA website, “is an organization of owners and builders groups brought together for the common purpose of increasing the level of safety in the general aviation community.”
The group is already off the ground, with a steering committee of 17 pilots—a mix of veteran owners and new Diamond owners—and plans to formally launch the club and a website by March 1. Dues for members will be $50 annually. “We are an all-volunteer operation right now,” said McDonald. “All the dues we collect are going back into our program.”
Part of that programing is social events. McDonald confirms the group plans to have a presence at several summer fly-ins, including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin, but the first informal meeting will happen at the AOPA Fly-In at the Buckeye Air Fair February 17 to 19 at Buckeye Municipal Airport in Arizona.