Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Extreme air for professional snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker at Skydive Lake Wanaka NZ!

Professional snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker recently caught some extreme air after jumping out of Skydive Lake Wanaka's infamous Orange PAC!  

Jamie Anderson is one of the best snowboarders in the world and has won more X-Games medals than I can count and Ty Walker is about to become the youngest member on the U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team in Sochi Russia.  Start watching and cheering for our team starting February 7, 2014 on NBC and their affiliates.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Should December be Aviation Month?

December is a significant month in aviation history.  On December 17th, 110 years ago, the "Wright Flyer" became the first heavier than air powered machine to achieve controlled sustained flight at Kitty Hawk North Carolina USA.  

On the 5th day in December 1879 an aviation pioneer Clyde Cessna was born in Iowa USA.  

Also, on December 22nd 1964 the "Blackbird" prototype SR-71A-LO first flew from Air Force Plant 42 Palmdale California USA at more than 1000 miles per hour up to higher than 45,000 feet and landed at Edwards Air Force Base.  

Yet again in December, and for all my Caravan C208 fans, don't forget that the first Caravan prototype (N208LP) flight happened on December 9th 1982! This is a short list of numerous milestones that occurred in the 12th month and my reason for nominating December, even though it normally does not have good flying weather, as Aviation Month.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quest Kodiak about to start its life as a Jump Plane

On a ferry flight to Dekalb Illinois, I parked the airplane that I had just delivered next to this beautiful red Quest Kodiak.  It was about to be converted into a Jump Plane. 

There's not all that many of these aircraft in the air compared to its competition, however that fact is changing quickly with every year that goes by.  These aircraft are very comparable to the industry's beloved Cessna Caravan, one of the most popular and reliable Jump Planes in the world.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Red Bull Air Race Returns for 2014

The Red Bull Air Race is returning to the skies starting February 28 - March 1 2014 in Abu Dhabi UAE.  I haven't personally seen them since 2007 in San Diego, a stop that has been removed from the schedule for 2014.  I will catch up to them in Las Vegas in October.  You can purchase tickets on the Red Bull Air Race site now.  General admission tickets are only $39 and Reserved seat tickets are $59 and include a Hangar Pass.  I hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blue Angels announce 2014 airshow schedule

The Blue Angels have just announced their 2014 airshow schedule! They will be flying from March through November. I'm going to try and make the San Francisco CA or Houston TX show. Hopefully I'll see you there!

Diving Porter at Skydive Dubai

A new season at Skydive Dubai started September 2nd!  If you're on the other side of the globe, be sure and check them out.  One of the nicest, if not THE nicest drop zones in the world!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reno Air Races 50th year 2013

This Saturday and Sunday is the 50th year of the world famous Reno Air Races! I wish I could be there. "Keep 'em flying!"

Saturday, April 13, 2013

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 infamous 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! This 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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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chasing the Sun in the Caravan!

I took this photo of the sun going down while ferrying a Caravan from Illinois to Colorado.  I was flying over Iowa at 8,500 feet at the time.  Had to fight a headwind the entire 5 hour flight.

But the aircraft was successfully delivered! Another happy customer in the books! #pilotperks

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Don't miss the 39th Annual Sun 'n Fun International Fly In & Expo 2013

If you're anywhere near Florida April 9-14 , try and make it out to the 39th Annual Sun 'n Fun International Fly In and Expo in Lakeland Florida!  It's the second biggest "fly in" in the country. If I'm not flying skydivers that weekend I will be there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fueling up the Twin Otter aka "Shark One"

A funny picture of Heather teasing me while I was refueling the Twin Otter aka "Shark One" in between flying loads of skydivers at Skydive Taft in Southern California.  The DHC-6 Twin Otter is the most common twin turbine jump airplane in North America. It holds up to 23 skydivers. They love it for its large exit door and high wings that make "spotting" easier. This aircraft was leased by us from Skydive Perris.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ferrying a Caravan from Georgia to Illinois

I flew this C208 Caravan on a ferry flight from warm Atlanta Georgia to the snowy Chicago Illinois area. It will be undergoing modifications so that it can start its new life as a jump aircraft.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Louisiana Rainbow

I caught a picture of a nice rainbow over Louisiana after throwing out some skydivers in the Grand Caravan.  Constant beautiful views, yet another perk to my job!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The New Grand Caravan EX!

The new Grand Caravan EX has received FAA type certification. Its new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 has improved its rate of climb performance by 38%! That's almost twice as much as its projected 20% increase!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DC-3 sunset fly by!

A cool photo of a DC3 sunset fly by at Skydive Arizona.  The largest drop zone in the world and the only one that I'm aware of that flies the classic DC3.  You can also see their wind tunnel in the background. Taken at Eloy, Arizona USA

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clouds parting over the Grand Van

The strangest thing happened.  I rubbed her belly and the clouds parted!  I had been waiting for the clouds to clear up and decided to give "the girl" a little wash.  I happened to look up and see the pretty sun rays shining through the clouds and decided to take this nice pic!  Taken at Eagle Lake Airport, Eagle Lake Texas USA

Croft And Barrow 2-Pk. Airplane Woven Boxers (Google Affiliate Ad)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My corner office with a view!

My corner office with a view.  The new one after the last one... but not the last one :)  This almost 700 horse power C208B Grand Caravan will take up to 17 skydivers up to our normal drop altitude of 13,000 feet in about 12 minutes!  The Caravan is the most common turbine powered aircraft used to haul skydivers in the U.S. and it is the second most common jump plane in the U.S. overall, after the C182 Skylane.  Read more about ALL of the jump planes that are flown around the world in on our "Skydive Aircraft" page!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What would DB Cooper do?

I found this funny sign on the wall of a drop zone that I visited.  What would DB Cooper do?  Well... he would jump out of the plane of course!  The most infamous skydiver ever on November 24th 1971 hijacked a Northwest Orient Boeing 727-100 (tail number N467US), extorted $200,000 and jumped out of the back of it never to be seen or heard from again.  Did you know that he actually gave the alias "Dan Cooper" not "DB Cooper"?  Somewhere during the initial media reports it was mis-reported as DB instead of Dan and it stuck.... and now you know ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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 before their altitude record breaking skydive of 24,800ft.

The record was made over the Mojave Desert (CA) May 25, 1930.