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Ground breaking Ceremony SAFA

Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH has been invited by the Saudi Aviation Flight Academy (SAFA) in order to take part in the 1st Saudi Aviation Forum and SAFA’s ground breaking ceremony at Thumamah airport. This airport is located 60 km north of central Riyadh the capital of Saudi Arabia.

SAFA purchased a fleet of 20 Diamond aircraft and 12 flight training devices last November 2009 and it has been confirmed that the academy will commence limited operations in December 2010 while the permanent facility is being constructed.

Diamond highly appreciated this invitation and on Monday 19th April 2010, a new generation DA42, equipped with Austro Engines’ AE300 (170 hp, 4 cylinder 2 liter piston engine), took off from Wiener Neustadt en route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During a period of time when airlines and Jet-aircraft remained grounded due to the volcanic ash concentration in European airspace, the DA42 NG accomplished its’ flight inbound to Thumamah within 15 flight hours at stops in Iraklion, Greece and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt averaging a true airspeed between 155 kts and 165 kts and burning 690 liters of JET-A1 fuel in total.

The event took place on Thursday 22nd April 2010. During the festivities, Diamond performed demonstration and display flights for VVIPs selected by SAFA.  During which, the prevailing weather conditions were 44 degrees OAT with blowing dust and sand.  The DA42 performed flawlessly and demonstrated that even in adverse conditions, it possesses the performance required for this challenging location.
“Having the aircraft available was extremely important to SAFA and made the event truly special while providing Diamond Aircraft valuable exposure. The Diamond team did an excellent job sharing the aircraft and its’ capabilities with a number of VVIPs. It was also rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of all individuals who were able to fly the aircraft; as most of which had never seen a DA42 before.” says Captain William Roe, SAFA Managing Director.
In the late afternoon a huge sandstorm reached the event. Within minutes the sand and very strong winds turned daylight into nighttime. The storm lasted about one hour and despite damage to some other aircraft, the DA42NG survived this natural spectacle without any issues whatsoever.

On Sunday 25th April 2010, the DA42 NG arrived safely back to its home base in Austria. “We are extremely pleased that we were able to support our customer during this very important promotional event according to their expectations - it´s all about good relationships and teamwork,” says Anita Gradwohl, Area Sales Manager of Diamond Aircraft Industries.

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