No, it isn't scary at all. I was nervous on my first solo approach out of "the pattern", but otherwise it's not really more difficult than driving, there's just more to pay attention to.
It's such a fun little plane to fly, makes Cessna and Beech craft feel like boat anchors. Diamonds are like the sports cars of private aircraft, they aren't extremely powerful, but they don't need to be, due to being so light and low-drag. They really climb like the business, @1200fpm, and they're 40% more efficient than their nearest competitor.
This one wasn't a former trainer, either. It was built and optioned for private travel from the factory, so it has a leather interior, softer seats, and the full Garmin Synthetic Vision package. So it looks like this:
not this (Cessna 172):
For enjoyment, a stick kicks the poop out of a yoke, too. I looked at it a bit skeptically at first, but after just a few minutes I saw the light. Also the fact a small hopper like this has a fully-integrated autopilot is wild, too. Oh, and there's Flight Guide WiFi integration, that with an iPad allows for new worlds of instrument flexibility. Terrain, weather, traffic, satnav, real-time messaging, and flightpath all at a glance, plus there's somewhat useable internet access for passengers, but it's not quite as good as 3G (but they are working on that) due to bandwidth constraints. I do want to get a turbo-prop twin or small jet later, but for now this completely meets my needs. We can fly from here to NYC, with baby and weekend luggage, in a little over 3 hours, on 35 gallons of fuel. That's Epic. Seriously, screw airlines.
No check ins, waiting, delays, aircrew with attitude. If you can afford it a private aircraft is the way to go.
I thought there was a turboprop version of the Diamond at some point. Is there an upgrade available (although I think it would kill fuel efficiency).
Aircraft like this and the Europa changed the game in a very good way. Putting low wing monoplane performance in the hands of the private pilot at an accessible price. The volkswagons with wings Cessna and Beach have been hawking for far too long really show their age in comparison.
Oh If anyone needs to scrub the absolute Stupidity that is Thor out of their heads. I would highly recommend Enders Game. Not perfect by far but more than likely the best Sci Fi you'll get this year.
Edited by Hutnicks - 11/12/13 at 2:58pm