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.