Lands In Honolulu After 15.5-Hour Trip
Ferry pilot Fred Sorenson has successfully delivered the first
Diamond Star aircraft to the 50th state, following a 15-and-a-half
hour flight in a single-engine DA40 over the Pacific Ocean from
Sorenson -- no stranger to long trans-pacific flights, with 400
under his belt -- reported no problems during the flight, and in
fact said the DA40 performed flawlessly. "This was the first
experience we have had with a DA40 so we didn't know what to expect
operating the airplane 25% above its maximum certified gross
weight," he said. "The aircraft was very stable, climbed well, and
was able to maintain excellent true airspeeds throughout the
"The DA40's outstanding performance and excellent handling
characteristics made this one of the most enjoyable Pacific
crossings we have made," said Sorenson.
Owners Steve and Lori Baker kept in contact with Sorenson
through occasional satellite phone calls, according to a Diamond
press release, and monitored the flight from their home in
Honolulu. Baker, an ocean marine pilot, purchased his DA40 from
Galvin Flying Services in Seattle, WA.
"I thoroughly researched all the new airplanes available and
concluded that the DA40 equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass
cockpit was best choice," said Baker. "I wanted a safe, proven and
reliable airplane that had good performance as we do a lot of open
water flying in the islands."
"I took delivery at the factory in Canada and attended the
factory G1000 transition training course, for confidence with the
new avionics system," continued Baker, "before flying the airplane
to Nevada for installation of the ferry tanks."
To handle enough fuel for the long flight across the Pacific,
Baker's DA40 was fitted with two temporary fuel tanks able to hold
138 gallons of avgas between them -- in addition to the standard
40-gallon fuel capacity of a standard DA40.
According to Sorenson, the plane averaged 136 knots and 6,000
ft. MSL, and landed with 50 gallons of fuel remaining after the
2,118 nm trip. Average fuel burn was a fairly miserly 8.9 gph.