Monday, August 28, 2017

10 Things You (probably) Did Not Know About the Caravan



The Cessna Caravan is THE most popular turbine powered Jump Plane in the World. Now and then our readers will share with us interesting facts that we did not know about the Caravan or facts that we do not believe that our average reader would know. This inspired the creation of this article. We hope that you enjoy and share with us any other not-so-commonly known facts that you know about the Caravan!

1. Accidentally hitting the Start switch will illuminate the "Generator Off" light.

2. The most common turbo-prop airplane used for skydiving in the world is the Caravan.

3. The Caravan's firewall was tested to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. The Cessna logo can be seen in the pattern of rivets in front of the co-pilot's door.

5. The Caravan cruises 10 knots faster and 50nm further without the cargo pod installed.

6. If the Torque gauge fails, you can use the Fuel Flow gauge to set power settings: Climb = 400, Cruise = 300 and Approach = 200

7. Single point fuel system is available for the Caravan.

8. You only have 90 seconds of fuel remaining if the red reservoir low light illuminates.

9. Boot activation increases the stall speed by 10 knots.

10. If you accidentally drop your pen in the hole between the rudder pedal and power column, be sure and get it out because it can cause a rudder jam.

    Please share your not-so-commonly known facts about the Caravan with us by sending them to chris@caravannation.com

    Information compiled for this article is from the archives of CaravanNation.com and Caravan: Cessna's Swiss Army Knife with Wings.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Anderson Cooper Skydives for a Thrill and for a Cause


    As first reported by the Virginian-Pilot - The CNN journalist and author was in town over the weekend and jumped out of a plane high above the Skydive Suffolk facility on Saturday, said Johnny Abbitt, who also went skydiving.
    Abbitt said he talked briefly with the star of “Anderson Cooper 360.”
    “I went up on the plane after his,” Abbitt said. “I was just there and he was there with a group of several people. It was my first time jumping and he said it was his first time.
    “I talked to him and got a picture.”
    Skydive Suffolk co-owner Laura Manthey said Cooper is the place's biggest celebrity since they took over the operation four years ago.
    "This was kind of a big deal for us," she said. "We had one of the back-up singers for Toby Keith once. We try to keep it on the down-low until they've left so that they can enjoy their time.
    "We just love to take people up to our playground."
    Cooper has been in town before for a speaking engagement in Norfolk. He donated his fee from that event to retired SEAL Jimmy Hatch, who runs the Spike’s K9 Fund that has purchased $2,500 ballistic vests for most of South Hampton Roads police dogs.
    A Facebook post for the fund said that Cooper was in town for a Spike’s K9 event and some skydiving.

    Friday, April 14, 2017

    History - Jump Pilot George Quick and Skydiver Bert White - May 1930

    If you love history, aviation or skydiving you will appreciate this picture. 

    This is a classic picture of Jump Pilot George Quick (left) and Skydiver Bert White standing next to their airplane in California before their altitude record breaking skydive of 24,800ft.


    The record was successfully made over the Mojave Desert, California USA May 25, 1930.

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

    The USPA Safety Day is March 11th

    The United States Parachute Association (USPA) designates the second Saturday in March of every year to be its Safety Day and this year that happens to be on March 11th.  Many of the skydivers are a little rusty from not jumping much (if at all) during the Winter months and is why it is held at this time of the year.  Started in 1997, it is the day that all of the USPA drop zones around the country gather up their employees and skydivers to review safety issues in a group setting.



    If this will be your first Safety Day at your DZ as a Jump Pilot, be sure and ask your DZO if it will be okay if you can speak at the general meeting.  Be sure and write down at least an outline of items that you want to speak about. Things that you want your Skydivers, Manifest and Ground Crew to know or be reminded of.  

    As pilots we are taught that safety is priority #1, so do not simply stand up and say a couple words.  Take advantage of the fact that you have everyone's attention on the topic of safety.  Personally, the main topics that I always talk about are: Weight & BalanceSafety BeltsEmergency Procedures and Prop Awareness during hot fueling, just to name a few.

    Remind the skydivers of the various emergencies than can happen IN an airplane. Explain what your actions as PIC will be in response to each emergency and what you want them to do (or not to do) ie. If there is an engine failure at 500ft AGL, they are not to be tapping you on the shoulder asking if they can jump out. Also, insure that the Aircraft Emergency Procedures are posted at your DZ so that all skydivers are aware of them.

    The only problem with Safety Day is that it's only one day a year.  If I owned a drop zone, we would have safety meetings once a month. Even if it was simply a 15 minute safety review on a Saturday morning.  But I don't plan on owning a DZ.... I'm not a good babysitter.

    My fellow Jump Pilots, please remember to review often and fly safe, so that you can continue to have fun!

    As always, if you have any questions or comments please email me chris@caravannation.com and please visit our sites  skydiverdriver.com and caravannation.com

    ~ Chris Rosenfelt

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Flying for Skydiving Operations - Important Jump Pilot Information



    A video released by the FAA and USPA to help educate pilots that are interested in flying skydivers. There is a lot of great information in this video.

    If you are a new Jump Pilot, this is a must watch for you. If you are a Jump Pilot that has been flying skydivers for many years, this is good review for you.

    Click image above to watch video.

    Unfortunately they do not mention the most popular Turbine Jump Plane in the world, the Cessna Caravan. To find out more about it, please visit CaravanNation.com

    *Note - They mention Advisory Circular 105-2, that has since been updated to AC 105-2E. For more information please visit our site SkyDiverDriver.com

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Tip - Stay Sharp this Winter

    There's usually not as much flying for us Jump Pilots during this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. But there IS plenty of other aviation related things that you can do to keep your head in the game.
    Here are a few suggestions: 1. Read an aviation textbook that your eyes haven't seen since you were in pilot school. 2. Network with other pilots, online or in person. Networking has helped me numerous times over the years, professionally and personally. 3. Go flying! Split the cost on an airplane rental with a pilot friend. If possible try and plan it to where you get some Actual Instrument and Cross Country time, columns in your logbook that might be getting neglected. 4. Go to a free aviation seminar. A place where you can learn AND meet new pilot friends (see networking above). 

    Read a book that your eyes haven't seen since pilot school, network with other pilots, go "split" some time with a pilot friend and add to your Actual Instrument and Cross Country time or go to a free aviation seminar.  Check out some interesting FAA seminar topics such as "Avoiding Winter Weather Hazards" or "Trivia Night". You can find their Events List here. As you may know, AOPA also has some very interesting seminars, find those listed here.

    If you personally have any other ideas that you would like to pass along, feel free to share them below in the comments section.

    Monday, October 3, 2016

    Site News: 10,000 Instagram Followers!



    A cool day here at SkyDiverDriver.com!  Today the 10,000th person started following us (@jumppilot) on Instagram! I think that it's extra special that 95% of those followers came organically, NOT from advertising.

    I want to personally thank everyone for their continued interest and constant feedback!  Your interest let's us know that we are doing something right and your feedback let's us know what you want added, so keep it coming! The more interest that there is, the more features and pages we will be adding. Within the next couple months the site will be redesigned, a newsletter and numerous pages added.

    Instagram is just one of our many Social Media outlets. Some of them are used to deliver News, some are used to deliver Entertainment and ALL of them are to used maximize the reach of SkyDiverDriver.com 

    If you're interested here are the links to the others! Enjoy!

    - Facebook Page

    - Facebook Group

    - Google+ Group

    - Pinterest Page

    - Sky Diver Driver Blog

    - Instagram Page


    Also, check out our affiliate site CaravanPilot.com AND all of it's Social Media outlets! Thank you all again for your continued interest and support!

    ~ Chris Rosenfelt

    For advertising inquiries or to post a job ad, email chris@caravanpilot.com

    Saturday, September 17, 2016

    Skydive airplane crashes into house in Gilbert Arizona



    As first reported by ABC News - A pilot is being treated and four skydivers escaped uninjured after a small plane crashed into a Gilbert home Saturday night.
    The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night near Ray and Gilbert roads.
    An FAA spokesperson says the Cessna 182 plane crashed in the neighborhood during parachute operations.
    Gilbert police say the small plane was carrying skydivers for the annual Constitution Fair. 
    The pilot is hospitalized with burns after landing half a mile away from where the plane went down, Gilbert fire officials said. Four skydivers ejected from the plane and landed safely.
    According to officials, the pilot noticed flames on the wing before the plane went down. An FAA spokesperson said circumstances surrounding the crash are unclear at this time.
    Two people inside the Gilbert home were able to get out unhurt after the plane crashed toward the back of the house.
    An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Jump Plane for Sale: 1997 Grand Caravan with Blackhawk Conversion

    Listed for sale is this Skydive ready 1997 Cessna Grand Caravan with Blackhawk Modifications engine conversion.







    View Spec sheet and pricing here or email Chris Rosenfelt chris@caravanpilot.com


    - CaravanSpecialists.com

    Saturday, July 9, 2016

    A Drop Zone near Miami is looking for a C182 pilot



    Drop Zone in Miami, FL is looking for a PART TIME C-182 jump pilot for the summer season (July through November).  Must be available to work 1-3 days per week.  Commercial certificate, 2nd class medical, and high-performance endorsement required.  If interested, please send resume to skydivepilotmiami@gmail.com and include the following:
    1. Availability (how soon can you start and min. days you can work)
    2. Total time
    3. Total time in a C-182
    4. Weight

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Skydive Paraclete XP (NC) is looking for a CASA 212 Captain

    To have your Ad Placed here and linked to all of our Social Media outlets email chris@caravanpilot.com


    Skydive Paraclete XP is looking for an experienced CASA 212 Captain or high time turbine pilot able to get type rating. Pay with type certification $65,000 per year. Rate for high time twin turbine $45,000 and then to $65,000 once type rated. We offer health insurance. Will also consider typed captains for part time at a day rate. Also looking for full time A&P or IA. Contact tim@flyxp.com or john@flyxp.com

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    New Job Available: Paragon Skydive (AZ)

    To have your ad placed here and linked to all of our Social Media outlets email chris@caravanpilot.com


    3/27/16  Paragon Skydive (AZ) is looking for an experienced Jump Pilot. Flying their C206, leading to a Caravan over the Summer. Good package available for the right person. Send resumes to aoifesmurphy@gmail.com

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016

    For Sale - 1988 Cessna 208B Grand Caravan


    Cessna Grand Caravan 208B - 1988

    - Newly off Part 135

    - Modified for skydiving
    - Completely refurbished and ready to work
    - Tail Number: N9634B
    - Serial number: S/N 208B0141
    To inquire about any of the aircraft for sale or to have your aircraft listed, please contact Chris Rosenfelt at chris@caravanpilot.com
    CaravanNation.com

    Sunday, February 14, 2016

    The USPA Safety Day is March 12th, good Jump Pilots speak at these meetings.

    The United States Parachute Association (USPA) designates the second Saturday in March of every year to be its Safety Day and this year that happens to be on March 12th.  Many of the skydivers are a little rusty from not jumping much (if at all) during the Winter months and is why it is held at this time of the year.  Started in 1997, it is the day that all of the USPA drop zones around the country gather up their employees and skydivers to review safety issues in a group setting.




    If this will be your first Safety Day at your DZ as a Jump Pilot, be sure and ask your DZO if it will be okay if you can speak at the general meeting.  Be sure and write down at least an outline of items that you want to speak about. Things that you want your Skydivers, Manifest and Ground Crew to know or be reminded of.  

    As pilots we are taught that safety is priority #1, so do not simply stand up and say a couple words.  Take advantage of the fact that you have everyone's attention on the topic of safety.  Personally, the main topics that I always talk about are: Weight & Balance, Safety Belts, Emergency Procedures and Prop Awareness during hot fueling, just to name a few.

    Remind the skydivers of the various emergencies than can happen IN an airplane. Explain what your actions as PIC will be in response to each emergency and what you want them to do (or not to do) ie. If there is an engine failure at 500ft AGL, they are not to be tapping you on the shoulder asking if they can jump out. Also, insure that the Aircraft Emergency Procedures are posted at your DZ so that all skydivers are aware of them.

    The only problem with Safety Day is that it's only one day a year.  If I owned a drop zone, we would have safety meetings once a month. Even if it was simply a 15 minute safety review on a Saturday morning.  But I don't plan on owning a DZ.... I'm not a good babysitter.

    My fellow Jump Pilots, please remember to review often and fly safe, so that you can continue to have fun!

    As always, if you have any questions or comments please email me chris@caravannation.com and please visit our sites  skydiverdriver.com and caravannation.com

    ~ Chris Rosenfelt

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    Review - AIM 3-5-4 Parachute Jump Aircraft Operations


    A good Jump Pilot is always reviewing and never gets complacent. I've flown at drop zones that are located at public airports and at some that are located at private airports. Although there may be less air traffic at private airports, that does not mean that there isn't any. At private airport DZs I always had more enroute aircraft nearby, most of which are not talking to ATC. Always look and listen for any traffic that might be in the area. When you do see or hear any traffic, expect them to not pay attention and to make a mistake. The day that you don't expect them to make a mistake, they will!

    It is also a good idea to (in a friendly manner) remind FBOs at nearby airports with a phone call or visit that you are conducting skydiving operations, your location and your normal operating hours. Anytime that I have done this it was appreciated and even led to a few tandems being sold. Now let's review AIM Chapter 3, Section 5, Paragraph 4, Sub-Chapter C.

    3−5−4. Parachute Jump Aircraft Operations

    c. Parachute operations in the vicinity of an airport without an operating control tower − there is no substitute for alertness while in the vicinity of an airport. It is essential that pilots conducting parachute operations be alert, look for other traffic, and exchange traffic information as recommended in paragraph 4−1−9, Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports Without Operating Control Towers. In addition, pilots should avoid releasing parachutes while in an airport traffic pattern when there are other aircraft in that pattern. Pilots should make appropriate broadcasts on the designated Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), and monitor that CTAF until all parachute activity has terminated or the aircraft has left the area. Prior to commencing a jump operation, the pilot should broadcast the aircraft’s altitude and position in relation to the airport, the approximate relative time when the jump will commence and terminate, and listen to the position reports of other aircraft in the area.

    My fellow Jump Pilots, please remember to review often and fly safe so that you can continue to have fun!


    - skydiverdriver.com

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Review (with video) - Less Altitude, Less Options


    In the video below a fellow Jump Pilot on short final correctly executes a go-around after a skydiver lands on the runway. Humans landing right in front of us while we're on short final is not something that they teach us pilots at flight schools.


    Based on the windsock that you can see in the video it is obvious that the pilot had a strong wind coming from his left. That same strong wind is one reason why the skydiver landed near his runway and is also why that skydiver might have been dragged onto the runway after he landed.

    This video should serve as a reminder to us Jump Pilots to:

    • Always scan the skies for aircraft and skydivers, especially while on short final (Less altitude, less options).
    • Always try to leave yourself an out.
    • Do not feel pressured to land the aircraft if you're not comfortable with the landing environment.

    My fellow Jump Pilots, please remember to review often and fly safe so that you can continue to have fun!

    - SkyDiverDriver.com