Friday, October 13, 2017

Jump Flying, the Rotary Version! by Dan Rose

Jump Flying, the Rotary Version! 
By Dan Rose 



This article is in no way a guide to being a jump pilot, this is written to show the rotary side of jump flying for both pilots and jumpers as the helicopter is a rare visitor to the drop zone. In this article I've tried to guide the reader through the various stages of arrangements, phases of the flight and the individual problems and pitfalls of helicopter jump flying. If you want to learn to become a jump pilot go ahead and contact your local parachute authority as they'll have the relevant material to cover for jump pilot training. I hope the below helps both pilots and jumpers understand the principles of helicopter parachute operations as I've found there's a severe lack of resources and training material for the helicopter jump pilot!

First of all, a little bit about the helicopter and why the appeal to use it as a jump platform? Most fixed wing guys would describe them as 'the dark side of aviation', 'a million bolts flying in lose formation', and I've even been told by the guy who taught me jump flying that by flying rotary I'd be going straight to hell! Joking aside if you ask any rotary pilot they'll explain to you the attraction of the helicopter, the ability to lift vertically, hover and maneuver laterally. But the appeal of the helicopter as a jump platform isn't about what the pilot likes, it's the jumper! From the jumpers point of view it's a toss-up between the appeal of jumping an unusual aircraft, and the unique exit experience a helicopter gives. With the low airspeed on the run-in, this gives the jumper the subterminal exit more commonly experienced from a base jump.

To make a start we've all heard the saying 'the weight of the paperwork has to match the weight of the aircraft before you can go', this applies just as much here! Before any jumping has even been thought of, it’s important to make sure the relevant paperwork and authorisations are in place before you carry out helicopter parachute operations. What's needed may vary from country to country depending on your Civilian Aviation and Parachute authority. I'd advise researching heavily into what applies to you the pilot, the aircraft and the parachutist before you think about carrying out any kind of drops. For a pilot in the UK he/she must hold the appropriate licence/rating to operate and to be in command of the aircraft, be a BPA approved jump pilot and cleared on the aircraft he/she is going to be operating for the parachuting role. With reference to the helicopter or any aircraft carrying out parachuting it must be approved to carry out such operations, normally in the form of a flight supplement which has been prior approved by your relevant civilian aviation authority. This supplement may state any modifications made to the aircraft, door removals, and thus any airspeed or flight conditions that must be adhered to during the jump role. Finally for the jumper most drop zones put a licence and jump limit on anyone taking part in helicopter jumping, this is quite rightly so due to the complexity and the extra skill needed to carry out a helicopter jump. After the above has been said I'd just like to again emphasise that you must research the exact requirements needed for your particular location and operation, I've deliberately kept away from exact details as this article is more about an insight into helicopter parachute operations rather than definitive rules and regulations.

One final thing to be said about paperwork is the all-important weight & balance, look closely into the weight limits and envelope of your particular helicopter and any changes that'll occur through all phases of the flight. I'm not suggesting W&B is more important in the rotary world compared to fixed wing as it's vitally important in both roles, but in the rotary role the limits are very much more restricted and envelopes very much smaller. Thus 4 jumpers exiting from a Jet Ranger will have a larger effect on C of G and control forces needed to counter it, than it would in a fixed wing aircraft. The other aspect to think about in rotary operations is lateral C of G, this is where smooth jumper exit and exit order come into play. For example on a B206 with the pilot sat right seat and 2 jumpers exiting on the right side might be within C of G limits but would cause severe control inputs while they're at the door and upon exit, unable to guarantee a smooth and stable jump run. To put simply the helicopter pilot really gets to feel the difference between a light and heavy jumper and the control inputs needed on exit! It's important to sit down prior to jumping and work out suitable exit orders to ensure the safest and most stable way for all jumpers to exit the aircraft, this will vary on type, number of jumpers and pilot judgment. Also with some helicopter types there will be C of G and airspeed limits when the doors are removed. This is due to the way the air flows around the fuselage with the doors off, the rearward C of G, the effect on the directional stability of the airframe, the compensatory effect then needed from the tail rotor and cyclic inputs needed. As a result directional control may not be possible above certain air speeds and at certain C of G positions! With all this said I'd recommend running up w&b schedules for all possible jumper/fuel configurations through the day, this way you'll know what you can and can't do as things will typically change throughout the jumping day.


With the paperwork in order and your weight and balance figured out, what now? A very important source of information for both the pilot and the jumper is a proper briefing. This is an excellent opportunity to pass your requirements ascertained from your weight & balance calculations as to jumper numbers and types of exit. This is also a chance to run down the all-important safety briefing, what the jumpers do in an emergency may vary greatly between fixed wing and rotary and they must be completely clear as to what they should and shouldn't do. The briefing should include both what to do in an emergency and normal operations, for example how jumpers enter the aircraft during rotors running boarding, sounds simple but it's all too easy to walk into a tail rotor which is conveniently placed at head height! This is also a good opportunity for a question & answer session between the pilot and jumper, you'll more than likely get the typical questions like 'can we hang off this?', 'can we hang off that?', it's essential that you make everybody clear as to what they can and can't do as you don't want questions being asked while the pilots busy on the jump run. Typically with a helicopter a jump light system may not be installed so a system to notify the jumpers as to when they're on the jump run, when to climb out and exit the helicopter needs to be agreed on. With the pilot normally sat in close proximity to the jumpers verbal warnings usually work, but everybody needs to be clear exactly what the verbal warnings will be and when they'll be given to save any confusion once airborne.

Before the jumper gets into a helicopter to do a jump, it's probably a good idea to look over the aircraft while it's on the ground and shutdown. This will give them a chance to appreciate the major differences between rotary and fixed wing. The first thing a jumper may notice is the severe lack of space! Unless you happen to be really lucky and get jump a chinook, you're more than likely to be jumping a 4-5 seat light helicopter, maybe a B206 Jet Ranger or R44. I'd recommend sitting in the helicopter prior to jumping with a rig on to get used to your sitting position and how to operate the seat belts. Once you've figured out the basics think about where the handholds are and how you'll transfer yourself from sat in the door to your exit position, this might sound easy but when the time comes to exit it'll be the difference between a smooth exit and what's technically known as a cluster f**k! Ruining the experience for yourself, your fellow jumpers and not to mention making the pilots job a whole lot harder as you faff about in the door! A very important point to note are the additional snag-up points with a helicopter, door fixings, earthing points, skid supports and skid wheel attaching points are to name but a few! This emphasises the point about looking over the helicopter before the jump, chat with the pilot as he'll be able to point out the most obvious hangup points and the parts of the helicopter you should be looking for and avoid during the exit.

Once you're familiar with the seating, seatbelt usage and snag points it's time to think about the exit. Once again sit in the helicopter beforehand and plan the exit strategy and order. Will it be a single jumper exit, multiple exits, in what order and what type of exit? This will vary hugely on the type of helicopter you're jumping for reasons I'll explain later. My best advice for this is to speak to the pilot, he'll know the limits of the helicopter type and the preferred exit type and in what order to maintain a balanced and controlled exit for yourself and the aircraft. During the exit for smaller helicopter types it's vitally important jumpers are aware not to 'push-off' from any part of the airframe, it must be a 'fall away' exit. This is due to the fact the helicopters fuselage is supported under the rotor disc just like a pendulum and any outside force pushing on the fuselage will create a swinging motion and control problems for the pilot and an uncomfortable exit for following jumpers. Smooth exits are the order of the day when it comes to helicopter jumping!



Having dedicated ground crew may also be a good idea as invariably jumper loading will be done rotors running, having someone to guide them on and get them strapped in helps greatly. Due to the smaller fuel capacity and likely weight restrictions hot refuels may be needed, a ground crew will help with this and save valuable turnaround time. Whatever your ground handlers job he/she needs to be briefed just as much as the jumpers, particularly in emergencies and any relevant hand signals used during the ground handling phase.

Okay, so the paperwork, weight & balance and briefing are all complete and everybody is clear as to what do to and when. Time to start up, as with all jump flying you're more than likely be departing close to the helicopters MTOW. Careful thought needs to be taken as to the type of departure you'll be making depending on the conditions at the time, wind, temp, a/c weight, local obstacles and noise abatement need to be taken account of. Check your flight manual and make sure you're aware of your machines torque/power limits at all phases of flight, this is especially important for the helicopter when lifting/maneuvering at low level on the airfield. This is due to the power required to keep a heavily laden helicopter hovering at slow speed, and the additional power requirements needed to make turns with the tail rotors requirement of engine power. I personally try to ensure the pickup point is into wind and clear of obstacles for a straight out departure, thus easing the workload on the engine and making my job a whole lot easier! For a rotary departure it's important to try and remain clear of certain parts of the Height/Velocity curve. Any helicopter pilot will explain to you that during single engine operations, certain Height and Airspeed combinations will give unfavourable conditions for an autorotation in the event of an engine failure. Remain clear of these combinations as much as you can giving yourself the maximum possible chance to recover in the event of an engine failure, I'd also recommend scouting the airfield surroundings for ideal set down points if you have an engine failure or other technical problems on the departure phase.




When airborne and climbing it's important to have a predetermined pattern to follow to reach the jump run and exit point, this will hopefully keep you clear of other air traffic and possibly other jump ships and drops running alongside your rotary parachute operations. After all parachutists under canopy and helicopters don't mix! This is best arranged with a prior briefing amongst yourself, your fellow jump pilots and the DZ controller so you all work efficiently together through the day. On the climb-out and the doors off it's tempting for the jumpers to dangle legs, cameras etc out of the door, this should be discourage wherever possible, this is to avoid anything departing the aircraft and hitting the tail rotor with obvious serious consequences such as tail rotor failure! It's also worth mentioning that parachutist line checks must be strictly adhered to before climbing into the helicopter for the very fact doors are open during flight and thus the increased danger of premature canopy deployment and hang ups. Although a premature deployment and hang up is a serious situation in both fixed and rotary I'd argue that it's more likely to lead to an incident when on a helicopter with the additional rotating aerofoils and the proximity to these and the jumpers. In this situation the helicopter then has the reduced ability to maintain aircraft stability compared to fixed wing and should a canopy be cut away you then pose the risk of a main/tail rotor strike and failure. In this event it's important that any remaining jumpers smother the pre-deployed canopy to reduce the chance of any part of the canopy exiting the aircraft, leaving anything hanging outside the aircraft is strongly discouraged for the above mentioned reasons. Simply said with hang ups and premature deployment prevention is better than cure, parachutists check your gear before boarding and pilots ensure everybody is properly briefed on airframe snag hazards!


As with both fixed and rotary, both types face the chances of an engine failure, this can happen at any phase of flight and the pilot must be happy he can deal with this as per his emergency drills at all times. While most fixed wing pilots might think that when the helicopter experiences an engine failure it just drops out of the sky like a brick.....fortunately for rotary pilots and their passengers this isn't so! While the procedures for engine failure on rotary aircraft differ to fixed wing the basic principles remain the same, maintaining control of the aircraft and find a suitable place to land the aircraft safely. In this fact helicopters have an easier time than fixed wing with the ability to set down in relatively small and confined areas. With an engine failure in a helicopter the procedure is called an Autorotation, a short explanation of this is where the helicopter uses the airflow from the decent to maintain rotor RPM, thus it's the airflow rotating the rotors rather than the engine. This is completed at the end with a flare and a hopeful smooth set down, with the pilot keeping careful control of the rotor RPM throughout all phases of the Autorotation. Another situation unfamiliar to fixed wing pilot is a tail rotor failure, which at some phases of flight can be worse than an engine failure! The purpose of the tail rotor on a helicopter is to counter the engine/rotor torque and give directional control, with this said I'm sure you can understand how serious is can be should it fail. Depending on the phase of flight this can be dealt with in a variety of ways, one of which is to enter an autorotation. All of the above can be complicated even further by the fact you may have jumpers inside/outside of the aircraft so make sure you're comfortable with you emergency procedures.

Once on the jump run the helicopter needs to be set up ready for the jumpers to climb out and exit, for the rotary pilot this is normally speed and power adjustments as the doors are normally already open/removed and flap configurations don't apply. As with the departure, power limits and requirements need to be carefully monitored due to the helicopter slowing and needing more power to maintain this flight configuration. It's also worth mentioning at this phase of flight pilots need to be aware of the condition known as LTE or Loss of Tail Rotor effectiveness, this occurs when the helicopters tail rotor is unable to counteract the main rotors torque effect, LTE is commonly experienced during low-airspeed high-power conditions which are both experienced during the jump run. As with most aerodynamic effects the chances of LTE will change depending on atmospheric conditions, most helicopter jumps in the UK will be done anywhere between 5000-6000ft AMSL and conditions similar to standard atmospheric conditions. Should you be operating anywhere Hot & High check your flight manual to ensure you're operating within performance limitations. With reference to the run in speed on the helicopter unless you're flying/jumping a large twin turbine you won't be hovering (much to the jumpers disgust!) and this is due to the fact high hovers require large amounts of engine power and should the engine fail at this point it would drastically reduce the chances of recovery. For this reason the run in will be done at a speed suitable for autorotation should the engine fail, with most light singles this is typically around the 50kt mark. I've been told that at 50kts and the combination of the rotor down wash the exit experience is as if you're making a still air exit from a building or as in a hover.

When the helicopter is configured, stable and you've received the 'clear-drop' from the DZ controller it's time to notify the jumpers it's time to climb out. Hopefully with the practice they've had on the ground and knowing the hand holds the jumpers will climb outside as smoothly as possible, as previously discussed the exit order and movement around the helicopter needs to be carefully rehearsed due to the pendulum effect of having the fuselage hung under the main rotor disc. As the jumpers exit (making sure they 'fall off' rather than 'push off') be prepared for shifts in CofG and the cyclic movements needed to adjust for this, after my first few lifts I soon became able to pre-empt the cyclic inputs needed as the jumpers exit the aircraft. Also be cautious with the sudden reduction in helicopter weight as they exit, unless you're quick with the collective this may lead to a sudden climb and if you're sat just below cloud level a chance of inadvertent IMC. Take your time of the first few jump runs to get used to the feel of the aircraft as they exit, it may also be a good idea to sit with an experienced helicopter jump pilot while doing a light load before you chuck yourself in at the deep end with a 20 lift cycle first time around!



 Once the jumpers have exited the helicopter it's time to descend and pick up the next load, as with all helicopter control inputs try to make this as smooth as possible. On two bladed teetering hinge rotor heads you have to be careful not to cause 'mast bumping', which may occur during the descent or when arresting an inadvertent climb after the jumpers have exited. This is where in low G conditions (typically arising from excessive forward cyclic inputs during a descent) the fuselage and rotor hub exceed angle limits causing the hub hitting the rotor mast resulting in damage and potential main rotor separation! For this reason use the collective to initiate the descent and the cyclic to control pitch and airspeed, this brings me to my next point. With some types you'll have airspeed limitations when the doors have been removed, adhere to these strictly as it's all too easy to forget this when trying to hurry the descent and pick up the next load. Ignoring these airspeed limits can lead to directional control problems as previously mentioned. As with the climb out make sure your descent and airfield joining pattern doesn’t clash with local air traffic, other jump ships on jump runs and jumpers under canopy. Keep the lookout going all the way through the descent as you're more than likely operating with a lot of activity happening in a small amount of airspace. Once you're on finals and positioning to pick up the next load be cautious of ground obstructions and personnel, this is where it's a good idea to have a designated loading area for rotors run refuels and loading jumpers under the safe control of a ground handler.

With all the above said, helicopter jumps are novel and challenging for both the parachutist and pilot. As with all types of flying, caution and a professional attitude are needed from all parties involved. I’m hoping from the information in this article it’ll allow the fixed wing pilot more information into what a rotary pilot goes through, the rotary pilot more information and a starting point on helicopter jump piloting, and the parachutist an insight as what he/she will experience on a helicopter jump. I encourage any pilot to research the above further before he/she takes up helicopter jump flying as I’m in no means an expert.....but this should give you an idea where to start and what to expect! Fly Safe!!


*Thanks to John O’Connell & Alex Law for their Technical Input!


SkyDiverDriver.com

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