Friday, January 27, 2023

How to Properly Fly Skydivers in the Cessna 182


How to Properly Fly Skydivers in the Cessna 182

by Chris Rosenfelt

Introduced in 1956 and built in the U.S., France and Argentina, it is by far the most common jump plane in the world. It is the second most common Cessna that is still in production. The average C-182 is powered by the Continental 230hp O-470 engine (models A-R, years 1956-95) and can take 4 skydivers to 10,000ft in about 20 mins. They usually have a modified exit door that swings up like a garage door instead of forward like a car door. They also usually have a small platform or step over the right main landing gear. Operators love the relatively low operating cost and skydivers like the high wing design.

The Numbers  

(Models A-R)

    Skydiver Capacity: 4 skydivers

    Empty Weight: 1610 lbs - 1734 lbs.

    Maximum Take Off Weight:

  • C-182A-D - 2650 lbs.

  • C-182E-M - 2800 lbs.

  • C-182N-Q - 2950 lbs.

  • C-182R - 3100 lbs.

*Many C-182A-M models have been modified with Wing-X wing  extensions which increase the MTOW for those models to 2950 lbs.

    Useful Load: Varies based on empty wt, gross wt, fuel wt.

    Fuel Capacity: 65 gallons (390 lbs) - 80 gallons (480 lbs)

    Powerplant: Continental O-470-L, R, S or U (230hp)

    TBO: 1500 hrs.

    Time to Climb: Approx. 20 mins.

The numbers above are the most common, but there are 23 different Cessna 182 models. Always refer to your aircraft POH for the most accurate information. When you are hired at a drop zone, ask them for their aircraft checklist and for the weight and balance sheet for that specific airplane and ALWAYS verify their numbers. If they do not have checklists or W&B sheets available, download them from our website.

While drinking your coffee in the morning, always check the Aviation Weather site, including the Winds Aloft forecast, and keep checking that throughout the day. When determining your Jump Run direction and distance, don’t forget to convert from AGL to MSL. Also, most jump plane accidents were caused by the pilot not having enough fuel onboard. Stick the tanks before the start of the day and before and after EVERY refueling.

Before Take-Off

Flying skydivers is very challenging and weight and balance is one of the most challenging parts of it. You should already know not to take-off with an airplane that is heavier than its maximum take-off weight limit. Most drop zones want you to fuel for 3 loads, some prefer 2 loads worth plus 30 minutes of reserve during the day.

Cessna 182 jump planes have all of the seats removed except for the pilot’s seat. The arrangement of how the skydivers sit on the floor is dependent on which STC your airplane has, which determines where the seatbelt anchors are located. In ALL types a TI will sit with their back (rig) up against the passenger panel (Always verify that their rig did not get snagged on the lip of the panel etc) with a student between their legs facing the rear of the airplane. In ALL types a TI will be sitting with their back against the back of the pilot’s seat. The variance is where the second student sits. Depending on which STC your airplane has (location of seatbelts), they will either sit facing the rear of the airplane in between the TI’s legs that have their back against the seat or they will sit with their back against the rear bulkhead facing forward.

You will normally have two tandem instructors and two tandem students on every load. Whenever I had a larger than average instructor or student, I had them sit in the most forward slot. Periodically check to make sure that no one has accidentally bumped the fuel tank selector knob. 

Every person on-board needs to be seat belted for taxi and take-off. Always keep a hook-knife on you and another stored in the airplane within easy reach. There have been many instances when a skydiver jumped or fell out of the airplane with the seat belt still attached to their leg strap or a part of their rig or suit got caught on the step or main landing gear. If that were to happen, someone, if not you will need to try to cut them free. 

A couple more important reminders are to never get caught up in a “rush mode”, that can lead to you forgetting important items on your checklist. Which segues to my next important reminder, ALWAYS double check that the trim is set to “take-off”. I remember, right after I started flying skydivers in 2008 I heard about a C182 jump pilot that forgot to set the trim to “takeoff” from nose-up and right after rotation the airplane nosed up sharply, stalled and crashed. No one survived. AGAIN… DON’T RUSH! READ and DO WHAT’S ON YOUR CHECKLISTS! 

Takeoff and Climb

If it’s the first load of the day, be sure and do a run-up and systems check. Add 10 degrees of flaps for takeoff and make sure that your cowl flaps are open. Make the appropriate call on CTAF. Takeoff with full power. Remember that if you lose your engine soon after takeoff and are fully loaded, you are to land straight ahead, do not attempt to turn back to the airport if you are below 500 ft AGL. Climb at 2500 RPM and 25 inches MP, with an airspeed of 85-90 initially. 

Check in with ATC as soon as practical. Lower the nose to keep the CHTs below 390. Start leaning between 4000 - 5000 feet. Always stay within gliding distance to the DZ, in case you lose an engine. This can be done by flying a racetrack or spiral climbing pattern, using shallow banking, that gets wider as you climb.

Jump Run

Get to jump altitude about 2 miles before the jump spot. Your settings for jump run should be 15 inches MP, 2200 RPM and 80-85 knots airspeed. (Do NOT flirt with the stall speed! Stalling with skydivers on the step or in the door is one of the worst case scenarios.) Close the cowl flaps. Your jump run direction and length will be determined by the Winds Aloft forecast for your area. Spotting will take some practice, but you will learn it quickly. ATC will usually want you to give them a “2 minutes until jumpers away” call. Also give a “Jumpers away in 1 minute over XYZ airport” call on CTAF. 

Depending on what the winds are doing, you will call “Door” at the appropriate time. Remember that they require some time to get into position to jump and even longer if they have a nervous student jumper. Also, when calculating your jump run direction and distance, remember to give more “weight” or consideration for the wind direction and speeds at altitudes when the skydivers will be under canopy, because they will be at those altitudes longer and sometimes the canopy can act as a sail if the wind is strong enough. Most TI’s deploy around 5000 Feet, Fun Jumpers around 3000 feet and Student Skydivers much higher. 

You will notice that the airplane will require a lot of left aileron because of the weight shift and drag caused by the skydivers being outside of the airplane on the step and/or hanging onto the wing strut.


We Jump Pilots are basically doing an emergency descent on every flight. As soon as the skydivers drop away, it’s neutral control wheel and full left rudder to get the door to drop down enough for you to grab and latch it. Tell ATC, "Jumpers away" and make a “Skydivers over XYZ airport 10,000 feet and below” call, while simultaneously raising the wing flaps, closing the cowl flaps and adding carb heat. 

Your engine settings should be the same on descent, 15 inches MP and 2200 RPM. Put the airplane in a left bank, keep an eye on the skydivers as long as you can to see if anyone deployed high. If they did, ATC needs to know this information so that they can keep air traffic above that altitude. Also, keep your circle wide in case you did not see that someone deployed their parachute high.

Keep the airspeed within the yellow arc only if in smooth air. As you get lower and closer to the airfield, turn your landing light on and keep your eyes on the skydivers while scanning for other traffic, especially if it is a very windy day and/or you had an AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) skydiver on that load. I’ve had them float across my final or land right on my touchdown zone MANY times. Continuously scan for skydivers from the beginning of descent until parking. Do not fly near the skydiver's landing pattern. Also, don't forget to tell ATC, "Jumpers on the ground", they usually appreciate that. Do them favors whenever you can, they help us every single day and I believe that most pilots take them for granted.

In Conclusion

If you are a newly hired Jump Pilot, get familiar with the FARs that govern skydiving, you will find them listed on our Resources page. Ask your DZO if they have a Training Syllabus, if they do not, you can find that as well on our Resources Page. While on that page, be sure and watch the video "Flying for Skydiving Operations". Also, be sure and join our Jump Pilot group on Facebook here. It's another great resource. Finally, if you have ANY questions at all feel free to email us. We love helping our fellow pilots. Like I always say, Remember to… Never Stop Learning, Review Often and Fly Safe, so that you can continue to… Have Fun!

Friday, March 11, 2022

USPA Saftey Day is March 12th

 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 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!

For more information about Safety Day from the USPA's own site, visit their designated page on that topic here.

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this topic or any others relating to flying skydivers and/or our sites, please email me and please visit our sites and

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Application Advice for Pilots

When Applying for a Pilot Job

By Steve Alsobrook

This was originally posted in our Jump Pilot group on Facebook. Occasionally I will post a statement or conversation from one of our social media pages or groups here that I think will help some of our readers. 

One of our contributors Steve Alsobrook has been a pilot for 50 years. He started his flying career as a Jump Pilot for the Auburn University Skydiving Club in the 1980s at Tuskegee airport. He then went on to be a Corporate and Fractional pilot, attaining many Type Ratings including BE400, CE-500, CE-680, LR-Jet, LR-60 and ATR 42/72. Steve will be ending his flying career the way it started, flying skydivers. He is currently the Chief Pilot for Skydive Key West in the Lower Florida Keys.

To our readers Steve says: I am a crusty old guy that’s been around the block a few times and I’d like to pass on a little advice to up and coming pilots.

We receive inquiries from pilots often inquiring about job openings, which is great! However, most don’t seem to know how to properly ask about a job or write a resume. We get things like “ Hey I am a pilot, y’all hiring?” No resume, no information about qualifications.

Then, we get resumes that don’t focus on aviation experience.  Looking at the resume, you can’t tell if they are applying for a truck driver job or a car parts salesman.

These are some general guidelines.

Please, develop an aviation oriented resume! State the job you are pursuing near the top, just after your full contact information. Then list the aircraft you have flown. List all your hours. Show how you got those hours.

List all flight schools and flight training you have received and dates you received training. Any education you have received such as high school or college is generally appropriate.

Don’t include inappropriate personal information, such as, “In my spare time I enjoy sampling beers from around the world“.  Please use some common sense in this department.

Early on in my flying career I found a professional aviation resume I liked and used it and expanded on it as the years went by.  I encourage you to do the same. I have about 50 years of aviation experience, many years working in flight department management. I started my career flying skydivers and that’s the way I am finishing it up.

One day back in the 1980s I was flying skydivers at a small dropzone. A corporate Falcon Jet landed at our field. The Captain graciously gave me a tour of the plane. I told him it was really awesome!

He said, "To me, flying for a living is one of the finest professions someone can have“

It was certainly true for me.

Good Luck to you all!

An Air Nation Group website

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Are Electric Airplanes the Destiny of Skydiving?

Are Electric Airplanes the Destiny of Skydiving?

By Augusto Bartelle 

As reported on

Over the years, there have been teams working to create electric powered airplanes. Eco-friendly initiatives are present in many facets of our daily lives. Having the opportunity to choose energy sustainable options is becoming more and more popular. And for a good reason! Many of us are aware of our unique carbon footprint. If given the choice of more energy sustainable options, we can take the responsibility onto ourselves to make more environmentally friendly decisions.

Electric airplanes are the next significant movement in eco-friendly transportation options. Although not quite around the corner, this initiative is progressing along. So what can this mean for the skydiving industry? Can we use electric airplanes in skydiving?

Environmental Impact of Aviation

I never really thought about the impact of an airplane on our environment. Skydiving for me was about fun until I watched Pete Allum and Roei Ganzarski discussing the Electric Caravan. All regular aircraft emit greenhouse gases in different stages of flight. It creates a unique form of distribution of those gases directly into the higher levels of the atmosphere. These gases contribute to climate change.

Noise is also a form of pollution. All unwanted sound is considered noise pollution. If the noise is causing any adverse human reaction, we can consider it noise pollution. We can find noise impact analysis on areas close to airports and drop zones. Average noise level maps are known as noise counter maps.

The air quality is another point that we can think about when talking about the difference that an electric airplane has over the ordinary plane we use today. Airports have different obligations for monitoring and reporting air quality. The primary pollutants monitored are Nitrogen Dioxide (No2), Nitric Oxides (NOx), and Particulate Matter (PM). Heathrow airport has an air quality dedicated resource to allow us to access data on local air quality.

airplane twin otter skydivers clouds blue sky carbon free
Skydive Empuriabrava – The Land of the Sky – has Carbon Footprint Compensation

Eco-friendly airplanes and skydiving

As skydivers, we may or may not be aware of our skydiving activity’s impact on the environment. Each time the skydiving plane brings a load up, there are emissions released into the environment. In fact, some have figured out the math. Depending on the skydiving aircraft, they can calculate each jumper’s carbon emissions for that individual jump. When I heard this, I felt some guilt for my impact on the environment due to my skydiving. Although this knowledge does not mean that we need to stop jumping.

This is where eco-friendly airplanes come in. Electric planes help reduce carbon emissions. Now it seems the future of our sport may be a place with more eco-friendly options. Electric airplanes can be clean, low-cost choices of skydiving aircraft. And so in regards to skydiving, the idea is that electric airplanes would end up saving drop zone money in fuel costs. As a result, jump tickets could potentially be cheaper. As well as the aircraft would produce less noise, less vibration, and no fuel smell.

Roei Ganzarski and the first electric airplane for skydiving carbon free
MagniX and AeroTEC put all-electric Cessna airplane into the air.

Transformation Carbon by C-Quest Capital

Transformation Carbon has been established by C-Quest Capital, a social impact project developer, to make it easy for anyone, and any entity, to neutralize the climate impact of their lifestyle while helping families in the most impoverished communities the world live healthier happier lives.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Carbon Footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted due to fossil fuels’ consumption by a particular person, group, or activity. A Twin Otter aircraft consumes -86 gallons of jet fuel/hr. One gallon of burned jet fuel emits -19 lbs CO2 into the atmosphere. Using 20 minutes as an approximate flight time for one load of skydivers, one load would emit -545lbs CO2.

What is a Carbon Offset Package?

A Carbon Offset package is a way to compensate for your greenhouse gas emissions by funding equivalent carbon dioxide savings elsewhere. It both helps to combat global climate change as well as to care for local communities around the world. Whatever your carbon footprint is, you can offset it by supporting projects anywhere in the world that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To offset your carbon footprint, your carbon offsets’ purchase is supporting our Transformation Carbon project portfolio and not one specific project. You can find more about Transformation Carbon and how to buy a Carbon Offset Package at

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The DC-9 at Skydive Perris will take to the skies!

The DC-9 at Skydive Perris will take to the skies!

As reported by Airways Magazine
Perris, California is a small town just 71 miles from Los Angeles. Many residents of the metroplex move there for the additional space and the relaxed atmosphere.

However, it is well-known as a city famous for its skydiving operations. Skydive Perris is the main skydive company in the area, using their own airport, Perris Valley Airport (L65), for their jumps. With its proximity to Hollywood, Skydive Perris has had a number of celebrity clients, like Tom Cruise, James Corden, magician David Blaine, and Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace.

Skydive Perris has many aircraft in its fleet, including traditional jump planes, like the Cessna 182 and DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter. They also have the rare Shorts SC7 Skyvan (only 149 ever made) as well as a Douglas DC-3.

All of these aircraft are used throughout the world for skydiving operations, but there is one aircraft that is extremely unique to Skydive Perris: the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-21. The aircraft, N127NK, has been with Skydive Perris since 2003, but it has not flown since 2013. However, it is now being prepared to be returned to regular service.

A Historic Past

The DC-9-21 was initially requested by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) for use on short runways in Northern Europe. The -21 model combined the large wing and slats from the -30 with the small body of the -10. The order was only for 10 aircraft, but McDonnell Douglas obliged in its creation.

The final DC-9-21, line number 488, rolled out of the McDonnell Douglas factory in Long Beach, CA in April of 1969, registered as SE-DBO. It made its first flight on April 15th and flew east to Stockholm, Sweden on May 1 to begin its career with SAS with the name “Siger Viking” SAS had its first 3 DC-9-21s registered in Denmark with “OY” registration prefixes, its next 3 in Norway with “LN” registration prefixes, and its final 4 in Sweden with “SE” registration prefixes.

The aircraft spent 26 years flying throughout northern Europe. In October 1990, all of SAS’s DC-9-21s were re-registered as aircraft based in Denmark. The registration of SE-DBO was changed to OY-KIC. However, while the rest remained in Denmark, this aircraft was taken back to Sweden and re-registered back to SE-DBO in June of 1991.

This was in anticipation of it being wet-leased to the Swedish start-up charter airline, Nordic East Airlines, based in Stockholm. The aircraft flew with Nordic East from August of 1991 to May of 1992, when it was replaced with MD-82s, also wet-leased from SAS.

SE-DBO continued its journey with SAS until March of 1995, when it was retired from its fleet. Shortly after, it was acquired by Spirit Airlines in May of 1995, and flown to its new base in Detroit (DTW). Two other DC-9-21s from SAS also joined Spirit at the same time. Once the aircraft came to the US, it was re-registered as N127NK, the same one which it wears today. It flew passengers from Detroit to various destinations Florida and the northeast for just six months, when it was sold to ValuJet Airlines out of Atlanta (ATL) in December of 1995 along with Spirit’s other two DC-9-21s.

ValuJet connected ATL and Orlando (MCO) with the entire Eastern Coast of the USA. From 1995, ValuJet had been the focus of many FAA investigations into aircraft safety. Many accused the airline of not properly maintaining their aircraft, including the Atlanta FAA office, when they  sent an official report to their headquarters to force the airline to recertify themselves as an airline. They had 57 emergency landings in both 1995 and 1996, a scaled rate that was 14x more than legacy airlines of the time. This all built up to the famous ValuJet 592 crash on May 11, 1996. The investigation into the crash revealed many safety issues with the fleet that were not being addressed.

A month after the crash, the FAA grounded the entire airline. At this time, N127NK was stored in Lake City, FL and never flew again for ValuJet. The airline later merged with AirTran Airways, but ValuJet’s CEO, Maurice Gallagher, left to build a new airline, Allegiant Air, out of Las Vegas (LAS).

The airline only had two scheduled routes, from Fresno (FAT) and Colorado Springs (COS) to LAS, but was regularly doing casino charters to LAS and various other cities like Reno (RNO), South Lake Tahoe (TVL), and Laughlin (IFP). N127NK was the first aircraft in Allegiant’s fleet, and flew with them until the end of 2002, when it was stored in Victorville (VCV). It spent one year in VCV before Skydive Perris’ owner Ben Conaster had a wild idea. He wanted to use a commercial jetliner for skydiving.

Skydiving from an Airliner

Jumping from large aircraft isn’t necessarily a new idea. The military has been deploying paratroopers for many years. However, the most famous case of this happened on November 24, 1971, when a man going by the alias “D.B. Cooper” boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines Boeing 727-100 from Portland (PDX) to Seattle (SEA). He demanded that he receive $200,000 upon landing in SEA, and that he would like to flee to Mexico City via Reno (RNO).

He also requested that the aircraft remain at 10,000 ft. with the landing gear down, the flaps set at 15°, and the cabin to remain unpressurized. D.B. Cooper jumped from the aircraft via the rear airstairs commonly found on large T-tail aircraft while the they flew over the Washington-Oregon border. The case was never solved, but not for a lack of trying. Now, Skydive Perris is giving the everyday person the opportunity to experience the same thrill that D.B. Cooper had, without the large payout.

The DC-9-21 was destined for the scrapper when it was purchased in 2003 for just $50,000. It took three years to get the aircraft back to flying conditions and get it prepared for skydiving operations. The FAA made Skydive Perris go through many legal and safety-oriented hurdles to make sure that the aircraft would be fit for its new missions. While they were waiting for approval, the aircraft carried supplies to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and evacuated people to Houston as well.

Finally, on December 30, 2006, N127NK took to the skies to drop people from the rear air-stairs, thus becoming the only former commercial jet certified for skydiving operations in the world, a title it still holds today. It can carry divers up to 13,000 ft. in just four minutes, a quarter of the time needed for a Twin Otter to do it. To accommodate the large aircraft, Perris Valley Airport’s runway was lengthened from 3,000 ft. to 5,100 ft. Of all commercial jets, the DC-9-21 is likely to be the best possible one due to its short field performance and the ability to jump out of a pre-existing rear door on the back of the aircraft.

Skydive Perris operated the DC-9 from 2006 to 2013. However, they had issues with its reliability and the ability to find spare parts. This was especially trying with the largest DC-9 operator in the world, Delta Air Lines, retiring their fleet in early 2013. The DC-9 sat derelict with hope for it to take to the skies again, but without a clear-cut plan.

However, in September, after seven years, Skydive Perris announced that the aircraft was undergoing its final repairs, and would take to the skies once again. Engine checks have been completed, and the aircraft has even done taxing tests at L65. Earlier this week, Skydive Perris opened up a job opportunity for some lucky pilots to have the chance to fly the aircraft for them, truly marking the fact that the aircraft will soon take to the skies.

The DC-9 was a stalwart in the aviation industry for many years, but has now been almost completely removed from passenger operations. Only 35 of the 976 DC-9s that have been produced are currently flying, with just one aircraft still flying civilian passengers.

Enthusiasts have requested that Skydive Perris offer flights to aviation enthusiasts without requiring them to jump out of the aircraft. The company has not been accepting to such an idea in the past, but do seem to be a bit more open to the idea this time around. This would truly be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience a small part of history, whether you land on the DC-9 or you jump out of it during the flight. Either way, it will be great to see this old bird fly once again.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

New AD Proposal for Continental Engines

New AD Proposal for Continental Engines

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Continental Aerospace Technologies, Inc. model GTSIO-520-C, GTSIO-520-D, GTSIO-520-H, GTSIO-520-K, GTSIO-520-L, GTSIO-520-M, GTSIO-520-N, IO-550-G, IO-550-N, IO-550-P, IO-550-R, IOF-550-N, IOF-550-P, IOF-550-R, TSIO-520-BE, TSIO-550-A, TSIO-550-B, TSIO-550-C, TSIO-550-E, TSIO-550-G, TSIO-550-K, TSIO-550-N, TSIOF-550-D, TSIOF-550-J, TSIOF-550-K, and TSIOF-550-P reciprocating aviation gasoline (AvGas) engines with a certain cross-flow cylinder assembly installed. 

This proposed AD was prompted by reports of in-flight engine failures due to fractured cross-flow cylinder assemblies. This proposed AD would require visual inspection and, depending on the results of the inspection, modification or replacement of the cross-flow cylinder assembly. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Required Actions

If the engine has fewer than 500 engine operating hours on the effective date of this AD, no later than the next scheduled 100-hour/annual inspection after the effective date of this AD, perform a visual inspection of the cross-flow cylinder assembly in accordance with paragraphs III.1 through III.3, Action Required, of Continental Aerospace Technologies, Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) 18-08, Revision B, dated January 13, 2020 (“Continental Aerospace Technologies MSB18-08B”).

If the radius corner angle of the cross-flow cylinder assembly shows casting flash build-up or a sharp radius edge, modify the cross-flow cylinder assembly in accordance with paragraphs III.4 through III.8, Action Required, of Continental Aerospace Technologies MSB 18-08B; or

If a fissure, crack or physical damage is identified, remove the cross-flow cylinder assembly and replace with a part eligible for installation.

If the engine has 500 engine operating hours or greater on the effective date of this AD, at the next maintenance event after the effective date of this AD, not to exceed 50 engine operating hours after the effective date of this AD, perform a visual inspection of the cross-flow cylinder assembly in accordance with paragraphs III.1 through III.3, Action Required, of Continental Aerospace Technologies MSB18-08B.

If the radius corner angle of the cross-flow cylinder assembly shows casting flash build-up or a sharp radius edge, modify the cross-flow cylinder assembly in accordance with paragraphs III.4 through III.8, Action Required, of Continental Aerospace Technologies MSB 18-08B; or

If a fissure, crack or physical damage is identified, remove the cross-flow cylinder assembly and replace with a part eligible for installation.

More Information

For more information about this AD, contact Boyce Jones, Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: 404-474-5535; fax: 404-474-5606; email:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Continental Aerospace Technologies, Inc., 2039 South Broad Street, Mobile, Alabama, 36615, United States; phone: 251-436-8299; website: You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

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!

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