Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The USPA Professional - Jump Pilot Section

Starting today we will be re-posting some interesting articles found in the Jump Pilot section of the USPA newsletter titled The USPA Professional. For those of you that have not read any of the articles, we are going to jump back to the March 5th 2020 article titled "Safety Day with Jump Pilots". 

We thought that would be a good place to start because some of you were hired after Safety Day and need to know what's involved with it and the importance of it. As us pilots know, safety is paramount!

Safety Day with Jump Pilots

Safety Day presents the perfect opportunity to strengthen the relationship between jump pilots and skydivers. Your pilots can participate in DZ safety culture by presenting a “skydiving from a pilot’s perspective” seminar, which will likely include segments on aircraft weight and balance and aircraft emergencies. Most jump pilots have scouted and planned alternate landing areas near the airport that they would use in the event of a forced landing at low altitude. Have them describe what emergencies would require the use of an off-airport landing area.

Aircraft like the Cessna 182 and Cessna 206 have Federal Aviation Administration approvals that require the jump pilot to wear a pilot emergency parachute while flying skydivers. If your pilot isn’t a skydiver, consider teaching your pilot how to egress and clear the aircraft, then use the parachute. Experienced skydivers and instructors should ensure that the pilot is wearing their parachute properly. Though skydivers seldom ride down with the plane, remind pilots of turbine aircraft that there is a risk of automatic activation device activation during a rapid descent. And have a plan to escort skydivers or observers to the rear of the aircraft, away from propellers, in the event they land with the aircraft.

Jump pilots and skydivers should communicate prior to beginning a flight. That conversation—or DZ policy—may address minimum exit altitude in emergencies for tandems or for skydivers with low experience. The goal of good dialogue between skydivers and jump pilots is to brief the essentials before action becomes necessary during an in-flight emergency.

Friday, February 14, 2020

All Hail the Pratt & Whitney PT6 Turboprop Engine!

All Hail the Pratt & Whitney PT6!

Below you will see one of the first photos of the famous Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop aircraft engine and its designers. This engine is THE rockstar of the turboprop engine world! 

Important Dates:

  • 1958 - Design started
  • 1960 Feb. - First ran
  • 1961 May - First flew
  • 1964 - Entered service
  • 2011 - 50th Anniversary 
On its first flight it was mounted as a third engine on the nose of a Beech 18. That would have been an interesting sight! The test aircraft was switched to a Beech King Air in 1980. The first production model was the PT6A-6 and used on the Beech Queen Air.

The original designers of the PT6

According to the manufacturer over 51,000 units have been produced (as of 2015) and the engine has flown over 400 million hours! Considering that it only has an in-flight engine shut-down once every 651,126 hours, it is one of the most reliable aircraft engines ever. There have been over 69 different versions built. Not all of the versions have been for aircraft, some variants have been used for helicopters, boats, hovercraft, land vehicles and auxiliary power units.

TBO (time between overhauls) ranges between 3600 to 9000 hours and hot section inspections are done between 1800 and 2000 hours.

The PT6-114A in the Cessna Caravan only weighs 350lbs and yet puts out almost 700hp! The PT6 engine is found in most of the turbo-prop airplanes in the United States, including the Cessna Caravan, de Havilland Twin Otter, Air Tractor, Beech 1900, Beech King Air, Beech 99, PAC 750, Quest Kodiak, Pilatus PC-12, Piaggio Avanti, Shorts 360, AgustaWestland AW139 and many more. ALL great aircraft mainly because of their heart.... the PT6. Keep up the great work Pratt & Whitney!

Be sure and check out our friends at

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Drop Zone for Sale

Drop Zone for Sale

Turn key year-round drop zone in Northern California for sale. 


  • Up to 2 Cessna 182s
  • Up to 9 tandem containers
  • Student gear
  • Website
  • Furniture/Computers/Software
  • Extra aircraft parts
  • Extra parachute parts
The drop zone has huge landing areas, a 6,000 ft paved runway with many airport improvement opportunities. Currently leasing office space with grass packing area plus hangar and indoor packing area and aircraft storage.

Owner financing is available to the right buyer. Serious inquiries only please.

Contact: Chris Rosenfelt

Thursday, January 30, 2020

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 inform 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 much 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!