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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Southern Sailplanes sees DA42 as ideal trainer
When Aeros Flight Training found itself short of a DA42, Southern Sailplanes provided a replacement. The type is simple to operate and has been running smoothly since the Hungerford company replaced the engines.
Read this story in our December 2018 printed issue.

Southern Sailplanes, based at Hungerford in the UK, has taken delivery of a Diamond DA42 twin for flight training. The company has been working closely with Aeros Flight Training, which needed to replace another aircraft that was moved north to Scotland. "A suitable aircraft came up for sale, which needed new engines," says Southern Sailplanes' Steve Jones. "This allowed us to buy it at a realistic price and carry out the engine upgrade ourselves. The basic aircraft was quite low hours but the engine calendar life had expired. The new engines can run an extra 600 hrs TBO (from 1,500 up to 2,100), so this makes a difference to the numbers.

“The engine swap process took some time due to parts supply, but now the aircraft is operating almost every day. We have no complaints."

Aeros will operate the DA42, which Jones considers to be an excellent flight school machine. "Anyone that has trained in the DA42 knows it is much simpler to operate than the old, legacy, tin twins out there," he continues. "The school pass rates reflect that, I would imagine. I would be happy to operate it personally except for the engine calendar life."

Southern Sailplanes operates an EASA Part 145 maintenance company and Diamond service centre as Flight Composites. It is currently recovering the Air Cadet glider fleet and is responsible for 10 aircraft including a Dragon Rapide.

“We are all holding our breath until the aviation-related fallout from Brexit is a little clearer," explains Jones. "Only then can we begin to work on the future.
"The Rapide is the only aircraft that we operate commercially, and even then only a few days a year. It is full airways IFR and operates on an A to A AOC. It's not really a money spinner, but keeps us amused."

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