Katana DA-20


New Member
Anyone here fly the DA-20, this is the aircraft I fly at my local FBO. 2 seater low wing single engine ground, T-tail, with the canopy. pretty fun a/c to fly.
Of course, how could you not, i have 43TT in the -20 spins are very fun, yet safe due to how easy the air craft is to control. it's no cessna. you have that type of TOP GUN feel, yet it has pretty slow flight speeds.
Hey everyone,

I flew the DA-20 once and I must say, big difference from the 172. What impressed me the most was the GPS and the digital engine instruments. It was a cool plane to fly!
whoa, LCD's on your DA-20? iv seen it in magazines but we just use the plain old main six analogue at my FBO. would be pretty cool to fly with the a/c equipped with that though.
Yeah I've flown it... tons of fun!

One of the local schools has got a DA-40 now... looks like a blast!
Anyone know of one and how much to rent in the Salt Lake area? I see one flying around Ogden every now and then (I live right under the final for one of the runways). I'd love to take my wife up sometime!
I have about 80tt in DA-20's. I have to say I grew up in my dad's old 172, great plane, but old. The DA-20's stick, awesome instrument layout, and visibility made flying them lots of fun. And as far as speed, it was much faster than a 172 with cruise at 135-140tks and rate of climb at about 1000-11000, not bad!!! Note that those stats are for the continental 120hp engine (rotax 90hp models are pigs).

Watch out our fuel pump problems. Some of the planes in my former FBO had many problems, engine quitting after throttle back, very hard starts, etc. And oh yea, there very hot in the summer from sun in the bubble canopy!

I miss them, it's been about 2 years since I flew one.
I checked out Great Western Aviation at the Ogden airport. They're charging $79.00 an hour for theirs. Is this competetive?

One of their instructors took me out to look at one of them- looks like fun! This particular one rolled out of the factory in October.

I think I'll wrastle up some extra cash and get checked out. . maybe in the fall when it gets cooler! Don't want to be in that bubble in this 95-degree weather we're having!
A Katana from my flight school crashed killing the pilot. The passenger was hurt but survived. That plane had the Rotax engine and the ystarted to lose power. Tried to make it back to the airport and ended up crash landing on a residential street.

Since then, it hasn't been that popular. Hopefully people will feel ok with it after some time passes, I've heard it is a great plane to fly though I'v never flown it.

Yeah 79 is a good price... totally worth it considering the older 152s and 172s are usually right around there.

I also had fuel problems in it... the engine quit on the runway after landing in San Diego (MYF).... it wasn't even all that hot, maybe 70 degrees or so.

If you fly it in hot areas be aware that the fuselage loses it's strength above around 120*F I believe; there is a color indicator that you can check as part of the preflight.

Also it's not too hard to start, even on hot days... the starting procedure is something like

-fuel pump on
-mixutre rich
-throttle full 3-5 sec, then back
-mags start

I've had great results by priming it for 10 full seconds with the throttle.

One more thing... It dosen't descend like your average Cessna... you have to plan way ahead; you can't really slow down and descend at the same time, it's either or... and Vfe is only 78 which is a pain to get down to when the thing easily indicates 130 in the pattern if you let it.
If you fly it in hot areas be aware that the fuselage loses it's strength above around 120*F I believe; there is a color indicator that you can check as part of the preflight

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There is an indicator found behind the seat cushions and it normally appears as a small colored dot. If you see the number 55 (centigrade) appear, then indeed it is too hot to fly. The composite material will loose strength. That's why almost all composite aircraft are white!! You don't want them to heat up...
Would I be unpopular if I said that I hate those things?? I've flown them...they're just weird!! The stall horn is way too sensitive (IMHO), and they really don't like to slow down. I find myself making really steep, fast final approaches unless I really concentrate on power management. Just a cessna guy here....they're what I love!!

I haven't flown the DA-40 yet, but I'd like to, so that I can see if it's any different. Since I only fly IFR, the 20 is pretty much out of the question for me!!
I fly the DA40. Our school was the first in all of North America to get! Now, the USAF and ERAU use it, and MTSU and several other schools are ordering them.

I train in London, Canada, and the Diamond Factory is right next door to my training school. The instructors from my school ferry them throughout the USA all the time.

The DA40 is an AWESOME plane! My only beef with it is the canopy... it gets smoking hot in their during the summer time! I will be doing my 300 nm XC for my CPL in it in the next few weeks.
The Katana is definetly is a different bird to land!!

I rememeber the first time I flew it (just having finished my CFI) I thought it was going to be a piece of cake to fly this thing. Well, having come from the Piper/Cessna/Beech world I was humbled on my first flight.

After rotation, there is little need to pitch up more than a few degrees to get your Vy pitch attitude. THe plane sort of levitates out....

During landing, it's important to get that first notch of "Take-off" flaps down, otherwise you'll just build speed and not decend at all!! In the DA20-A I usually fly the pattern with 23'' MP and begin my decent by reducing power to 15-17''MP, any more power than that and you'll be about to turn base realizing that the plane has descended a whopping 46 feet in the last minute!

While I fly a high glipe path in, the last notch of flaps come in handy. The landing flaps REALLY add alot of drag and unless you are high, plan on carrying alot of power in. IF you're flying a VASI with full flaps....may the aviation gods help you! But if you're on a high glipe path in, add the landing flaps and hold the nose down (it feels uncomfortable). Don't flare too high as the speed bleeds off FAST with full flaps.

One last note, people in the Katanas have a notorious time doing short field landings. My best piece of advise is AIRSPEED AIRSPEED AIRSPEED!! The -A model POH has 57 kts. as the approach speed. Slow it to 55ish and you won't float nor will you have to fight so much on the approach.

Many many many people will see that they're coming in high, lower the nose and build speed up to 65-70 kts. Then they find themselves fighting to hold the nose down with little rate of descent. At this point just bite the bullet, bring the nose up and slow it to around 55kts, then the plane will seem to magically decend.

I know I've gone on a bit, but....The Katana is fun but can be a pain in the arse if you don't get to fly it that often.
I've found that keeping back pressure in throughout the takeoff roll helps the plane 'unstick', keeps the weight off the nosewheel, and gets it off the ground much easier.

I agree that the stall horn is overly enthusiastic.

And when landing you really need to get the stick back... unlike the Cessnas, getting the stick halfway back will give you a nice big bounce... full back will give you a smooth landing
(found that one out the hard way - pun intended haha)