PULL - When this signal is given you should immediatly deploy your
LEGS OUT - Extend the legs at the knees, 4 to 6 inches. This signal is
repeated when further movement is necessary
LEGS IN - Bend the legs at the knees 4 to 6 inches. This signal is repeated
when further movement is necessary
CIRCLE OF AWARENESS - When this signal is given, observe your
heading, read your altimiter and check with your jumpmaster for any hand signals
PRACTICE PILOT CHUTE THROW
1-Arch and look straight ahead.
2-While positioning your left hand in front of your head toward the horizon, place
your right hand on the pilot chute handle.
3-After locating the pilot chute handle, sumilate deployment by extending your
right arm directly into the clear airstream.
4-Recover into the box position.
PELVIS DOWN - Push your pelvis toward the earth. This will increase the
arch of your body.
Remember to prevent your knees from spreading too far apart. This decreases
your ability to achieve comfortable stability in freefall.
KNEES TOGETHER - Bring your knees closer together. Many students
have the tendency to spread thier legs apart during freefall. This results in a large
flat area across the pelvis and consequently, instability. Bringing the knees closer
together will allow you to arch more effectively.
TOE TAPS - Perform taps. While in the neutral box position, bring both feet
together. The feet should meet parallel to each other, emphasizing contact at the
balls of the feet. This maneuver helps the student to assure that the legs are
Correct Body Position
Do this and all your skydives will be great.
- Toes are pointed
- Feet are flat and parallel to each other
- Thighs are higher than pelvis
Incorrect Body Position
Don't show up here looking like this!!!
- Arms are level with ears
- Feet and legs are not symmetrical.
- Thighs are below pelvis.
- Arms are dropped.
- No arch at all, bad, bad, bad...
HOW TO FLAT PACK YOUR PARACHUTE
Packing Student Rig with a 9-Cell Main
(NOTE: ALL STUDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO PACK PRIOR TO THEIR OFFICIAL GRADUATION.
(NOTE:)While packing, inspect for wear and tear on the canopy, lines, bag, grommets, links, velcro, etc. Pack out of the
sun if possible. Reserve repack is due every 120 days by a licensed rigger.
1. Drop parachute and lines on mat.
2. Walk backwards with rig on until lines are straight.
3. Lay rig down flat as if you are wearing it and lying on your stomach, being sure not to flip rig.
4. Bring slider all the way down to top of risers.
5. Place the lines of the front riser in one hand and the rear risers in the other. With the slider behind you, walk up the
lines to the canopy and untwist as necessary. Fling the canopy in front and lay it on the ground.
6. Count out 9 packing tabs by the nose and 9 by the tail.
7. Check the lines: From the canopy tail, put control line groups in each hand and walk to container. Make sure they are
clear and untwisted.
8. Pick the nose.
Repeat steps 1 through 8 until proficient.
9. Fold the nose in.
10. Take 'B' lines and put on top of 'A' lines. Then the 'C' lines on top, and finally the 'D' lines on top of these.
Remember to keep the lines taut.
11. Set the brakes.
12.Clear stabilizers (Note: there are 3 panels for each stabilizer). Remember to keep lines in middle.
13. Flake the tail to one side, keeping the seams in the center and the lines taut.
14. Split tail in center.
15. Bring the slider up to the canopy, don't force it.
16. Fold stabilizers on top of slider.
17. Pull the center of the tail down, wrap it around the slider and rest of the parachute.
Repeat 1 through 17 until proficient.
18. Make two 'S'-folds and stuff the canopy in the bag.
19. Pull the bridle out more if needed. Make sure that there is no material sticking through the grommet or pinched
between the grommet and metal ring on the bridle.
20. Stow the lines, keeping them taut, and do not turn the bag.
Repeat 1 through 20 until proficient.
21. Place bag into the container, with stows at the bottom of the container.
22. Stow the risers.
23. Close according to manufacturer's instructions
24. Remove pull-up cord. To increase the life of the closing loop, remember to make sure the pull up cord is removed
from under the closing pin.
Congratulations!!! You packed it, now go jump it!
Who ME????? AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
HOW TO PRO PACK YOUR PARACHUTE
The photos on this page are reduced to thumbnail images, you can click on them to increase
the size for better detail or to print out. Use your browser's back button to return to this page.
The authors of this page do not accept any liability for the information provided. The following
instructions are provided for use as a reference only.
So, you've just landed from your first skydive. Now what?
Look around and make sure no other skydivers are about to swoop you in the landing
Remove your helmet and goggles and clip them to your chest strap so you look cool!!
Untangle yourself from your lines and place the brake toggles on the velcro at the
Coil the lines into your hand while walking toward the parachute, (not dragging it
Pick up the parachute close to the line attachment points.
Locate the pilot chute, bridle and deployment bag, (attached to center point, top skin
of parachute). be sure to pick up these parts as well to prevent dragging the pilot
chute and effectively shortening the overall length of material over your shoulder.
Flip the whole package over your shoulder and start walking.
Remember to watch out for other landing skydivers!!!
When you arrive at the packing area, drop the parachute at one end and walk
backward away from the pile. Remove your cheststrap, loosen your legstraps and
place the container on the ground
Pull the brake line till the loop in the line comes through the ring. Place the hard end
of the toggle through the loop making sure the end of the toggle lies over the ring.
Mate the velcro to the riser. Open the pouch that holds the excess brake line. S-fold
the excess line, place it into the pouch and cover it with the velcro flap. Check the
entire toggle/brake line assembly for security. Do this for both left and right
After the brakes have been set, perform the line check. Make sure there are no twists
in the risers. Isolate the steering lines (on rear riser), the "C"&"D" Lines (also on rear
riser) and the "A"&"D" (on the front riser) on each hand as shown. Walk forward to
the canopy making sure the steering lines are free and clear of all other lines, from
the tail all the way down to the riser, (both right and left sides).
Combine the line groups, remove any slack in the lines and place them over one
shoulder. Locate the nose and count out the nine cells, placing them all together as a
group. Grab all nine cells in one hand giving the entire nose a firm shake to arrange
the lines inside the canopy.
Place the nine nose cells between your knees.
1/4 the slider.
Fold the stabilizers over the slider.
Pick up the tail of the center cell and place over the stabilizers.
Roll the tail (about 3 or 4 twists).
Carefully lay the canopy down. Place your knees on the center cell and get the air out
of the canopy.
S-Fold the canopy from the bottom.
S-Fold the canopy from the top.
Open the deployment bag.
Place the canopy into the deployment bag. Use your knees to control the canopy. Put
part of the canopy into the lower corner then the other.
Close the deployment bag. Start with the locking stows, stow the lines in the rubber
Leave about a foot of line between the risers and the last stow
Open main pack tray and remove temporary packing weight if used.
Stow bag in the pack tray with the lines down.
The bridle should come out of the top of the main pack tray.
Close container. Bottom-Top-Right-Left.
Insert closing pin. Make sure that the bridle has slack above the closing pin (mate
Lay pilot-chute out flat, bottom facing up. Fold in half towards the bridle.
Fold the sides of the pilot chute in to form a rectangle.
Fold the pilot chute up from the bottom and S-fold the excess bridle on top.
Insert the pilot-chute into the BOC
"Bottom of Container" pouch.
Tuck in excess bridle. WALAAA !!!
Now go see if it works
Spotting skydivers is as much intuition as it is manipulation. What this
means is that even though you know where the jumpers need to be
dropped, you still need to fly the aircraft over that path. And you will
need enough situational awareness to time it so they climb out and
leave right where you want them to. That's the trick. You're a VFR
pilot making up your own instrument approach over the airport, and if
you go too far you'll have to do a missed approach and go around.
Plus, the FAA never tested you on ground reference maneuvers from
13,000 feet. Heck, eights on pylons at 800 feet AGL seems like a
piece of cake after you've flown jumpers for awhile.
Lots of jumpers say, "I don't want no damn pilot spotting for me.
What do they know? I'm the one looking down out the door." Au
contraire, mon frere. You may be looking out the door, but you may
not be looking exactly straight down, and you may not be thinking
about everyone on the load, and you may not know exactly what the
ground speed is, and you might not know how the winds have shifted
through the day, and you may not know how much of a crab angle
I am flying, and oh just get off your high horse! :-)
Over the years I think I've heard it all. But my little hand held Garmin
III GPS and I work magic on the spot. I can count the number of
people I have put off the airport on two hands for a whole year of
flying at Skydive Chicago and other DZs I have visited. I know, it
sounds like my ego has reached celestial proportions. But once you
understand where jumpers need to open up in order to be able to fly
and land in the designated landing area with consideration for freefall
drift from your drop altitude, spotting really isn't that hard. So, I will
try to explain in as much detail as I can on how I spot jumpers and
maybe it will help you out.
Spotting is built from the ground up. Literally. First, you need to
consider the shape of the landing area. Is it square or rectangular? If
it's rectangular, which way is the long axis? What obstacles are near
the airport (meaning if you have to miss, which side do I want to
miss on)? Then, get your winds aloft forecast from "800-Dial-A-Lie"
and start from there. Winds aloft forecasts have to be taken for what
they are--a general forecast. Your local winds can be affected by any
number of things like topography, large bodies of water and asphalt
(read as cities). So don't totally dismiss the forecast just because it
isn't exact. It's just a tool.
Figure out where the canopies are capable of opening up with regards
to the shape of your landing area. Look at the surface winds to three
thousand feet. Generally, canopies are capable of forward speeds of
15-30 mph. This is a pretty wide range, and it needs to be considered.
Hopefully a jumper that weighs 100 lbs. and is jumping a Manta 288,
which will have a very slow forward speed at that weight, will give you
a hint about where they need to be as they board the aircraft. If the
winds are 15-20 kts at three thousand then the jumper will need to
open directly above or just beyond the landing area upwind. Consider
any obstacles. Can they be short and still land ok? If not, an extra
margin will need to be put in to make sure their drift isn't greater than
expected. I'll explain how to figure drift later.
Picture in your mind where they need to open over the ground
considering the winds at 3,000 feet. If the winds are forecast at 0-10
knots, you can put them pretty much anywhere within a half-mile,
including short of the landing area, and they will still make it in OK.
This is especially useful when flying larger aircraft that hold 12-30
jumpers and they are all two-ways. The jump run line will stretch out
and the first jumpers out will always try to get you to put them out
past the landing area upwind. But for the last jumpers this could
mean a guaranteed "Para-hike" or landing off. Depending on how
many groups you have and how many jumpers are on board, this
could be OK--then again, it could be bad for the last jumpers to get
Discuss with your jumpers where you plan to make your jump run
before you take off. This can save you a lot of workload on jump run.
They can give you corrections for their individual needs before the
door is open and it's noisy. While people are hanging on the outside of
the aircraft is not the time to have deep philosophical discussions
about spotting. Plus determining the exact jump run you want to run
and what the jumpers can expect will help you time your climb to
altitude. You won't have extra time wasted trying to get back over the
Now consider tandems. They will usually go last because they open
the highest and have a pretty slow descent rate in normal flight. Their
opening altitude is about 4,000 AGL or higher. That means you need
to account for winds that are possibly stronger than the 3,000-foot
wind forecast. This usually takes care of itself because they will be
open further from the DZ and will have enough wind to push them
back. In general, if I put tandems within 1.2 miles of the DZ in no
wind conditions they should be able to make it with no trouble. As the
winds increase you will want them out farther. I have personally flown
loads where the tandems exited three miles away and had to hold for
part of the canopy ride because the winds were so high at three
thousand feet. In that example the winds were 70 knots at 13,000
feet and 40 knots at 3,000 feet. Surface winds were 25 knots. It may
seem freaky to some jumpers the first time they do it but you need to
inform your jumpers of the strong winds aloft.
Figuring freefall drift takes some practice and needs a little precision
to make the first part of your plan work. Sometimes when you do a
crosswind jump run it's like nailing a bank shot in billiards every time.
You'll have forward throw and side drift. Then you'll have times when
you are directly lined into the upper winds. They come off the plane
and just stop and fall straight down. Then other times they will start
drifting back to the landing area (or away from the landing area if you
put them out short).
Now don't get faked out though. I've had days where the upper winds
were 60 knots out of the northwest at 13,000 but that layer only
lasted for the first one or two thousand feet. So don't try to take them
out too far. Remember, the winds have to remain strong all the way
down through the freefall portion to get the big drifts. You need to
take the average from top to bottom.
Here are a few basics:
If the jumper has about one minute of freefall and the
prevailing winds aloft start out at 60 knots or higher, then the
jumpers will drift about one mile.
If the winds prevail at 30 knots they will drift half a mile, and if
they prevail at 15 knots then it will be a quarter mile.
Now add in some extra freefall time because someone on
board was nice enough to earn extra altitude for the load.
You'll need to consider the extra drift.
Fly the plan. Be precise. Two-tenths of a mile off left or right on a
non-precision VOR (VHF omnidirectional ranging) approach will still
get you into the airport in IFR (instrument flight rules) conditions, but
two-tenths is 1200 feet, and that could make all the difference in the
world for a non-powered glider that can't go around on a bad
approach which is what a canopy is.
As you descend, watch where the canopies open (if you can) from
altitude. This will give you a good idea of how effective your jump run
was. Did they open where you expected them? Yes? Then your
correction for drift was correct. Now, as you get lower, how are they
landing? They're landing in the landing area, but they are running
back all the way and turning low to face the wind. Then maybe the
winds at 3,000 feet aren't as strong as you thought. Are they facing
the wind the whole time until they land? Then maybe you have
stronger winds under canopy.
If you can, get someone to let you know how the spot worked
out. Use someone you trust, and ask where they went out on the exit
order if it's a larger aircraft. Remember, their opinion is only from one
perspective. If they landed in the landing area it couldn't have been
too bad of a spot for them, right? But consider how everyone was
doing on the load. The rapport you build when you communicate with
the jumpers on how things went only helps you. They will
communicate better with you so you can have all the information
possible for knowing exactly what the winds are doing to you (and
Crosswind Jump Run
Sometimes a crosswind jump run is beneficial if the landing area is
a long, narrow rectangle and one side has a real "no-no" of a hazard.
This would be a crosswind jump run with an "offset." Say your landing
area is a long rectangle running north and south. The whole load is
experienced jumpers (meaning they want to pull at 2,000 to 2,500)
and they are all solos or two-ways. Uppers at 3K are light and variable
and winds at 12k are 270 at 45 knots. A jump run directly into the
uppers would be possible, but if the first group delays getting out
because they haven't gotten directly over the landing area, then the
last people out might have difficulty getting back because there is
really no wind to push them back. So, make a run so that
everyone ends up the same distance west of the landing area by
running due north or south offset three-tenths west. Ground speed
will be slightly less than if there was no wind at altitude, but it will still
be high--so very little delay between groups is necessary for good
separation. As always, discuss the spacing before the door comes
open. Have a plan--this should prevent many costly go-arounds. Be
When you do a crosswind jump run you will also give any gear that is
cutaway a chance at landing on the airport also. If you just ran into
the winds aloft over the top and the first group out had a cutaway
then the gear or the jumper may land in the obstacle we discussed.
By using the crosswind jump run you are utilizing most of the usable
landing area instead of coming across the small axis.
As the winds change through the day or the types of loads you are
flying change then adjustments will be needed to the offset. Say you
have a load that is all going out as one group. Depending on how big
it is will determine how far to offset. If it's a four-way then you won't
need to offset very much because the break off will not be that wide.
But if it's a big-way (40 or more) then you really will need to consider
the break off spread in the offset. Remember, the canopy fliers on
big-ways usually will have pretty good forward drive so if they are a
little downwind of the target they should be fine in our calm surface
winds example. Discuss it with your jumpers before hand.
Hook Pattern Jump Run
The hook pattern run is partly a crosswind jump run, partly into the
wind and possibly, a downwind run. This type of jump run is good
when you start out on a crosswind jump run but you start to get long
for one reason or another. Try to plan your hook before you get
totally long. Jumpers will be more apt to try it if they know to expect
it. Let them know that it is OK to exit while the aircraft is banked.
SOME DROP ZONES TEACH PEOPLE TO STAY IN WHEN THE AIRCRAFT
BANKS. Make sure you know what the jumpers expect. If you plan to
use this technique then you need to tell the jumpers. I learned to use
it almost all the time, and then I visited a DZ that told jumpers to stay
in if the aircraft was banking. This was the signal for a go-around.
When they stopped exiting, I was quite surprised and kept yelling,
"GO, Go!" It's a good example for good communication. Make sure
everyone knows what the plan is.
However, banking while large groups climb out is not a very good
thing, so it's not appropriate all the time. The times I used it were
mostly when you got down to the solos and tandems leaving at the
end of the line. Turning into the upper winds also slowed the ground
speed so that we didn't cover so much ground. I also used it when I
had a full boat of 23 jumpers in the Twin Otter and they were all two
ways and tandems. In a no wind day I would actually fly a circular
pattern around the whole DZ. 13,000 foot turns about a point. But it
worked. Start you entry just offset to the downwind side of the
landing area or over the top if there is a little breeze. As you come
abeam the center just bank a little and hold it. Let the aircraft pivot
around and draw a perfect circle around the landing area. No one was
more than a half-mile a way and everyone landed in. And there was
no need for a go-around, which always helps on the turn times.
Admittedly, I have not tried this type of jump run on anything other
than a Twin Otter, so make sure you know how your type of aircraft
will do at altitude and banking in thin air with people rolling out. Look
at the aircraft section for specific information about jump run in
Flying the C-206 is very nice as a jump aircraft. To be honest, I only
ever flew the "U" models. The U-206 has the cargo doors. The "P"
model has the door in the front over the step like the C-182. So I'm
sort of biased for the U-206. I like it when the CG shift goes forward
after jumpers leave. The P-206 and Cessna 205 have the CG shift aft
after jumper exit.
Pilots will find most 206s with fuel injection. No more Carburetor ice!
Yeah!! But the drawback is that it can get a little tricky starting the
engine if not done properly or the fuel injection system isn't working
correctly. Remember, flying jumpers in Cessnas usually means
shutting down the engine a lot. So when the engine is still hot and
restarted it can get tricky. Check your POH for proper starting
procedures. I don't know how many times I've watched a pilot crank
and crank until the battery was worn down. It had to be recharged
before trying again. It's comical and frustrating at the same time.
Make sure to check your weight and balance for your particular 206
very closely and measure exactly to where you will have jumpers sit.
With all the seats out it is possible to put too much weight in the aft
loading area where bags or cargo usually goes. To overcome this
problem it is common to have all jumpers face aft during takeoff and
climb. This should keep your balance well forward of the aft cg
The 206 may also have something you are not used to while flying
jumpers: cowl flaps. They need to open for ground ops, takeoff, and
climb. They will be closed for descent and landing. Make sure you
incorporate them into your procedures. You will be flying a more
powerful engine that requires more care and thought about its cooling
Takeoff and Climb
Takeoff and Climb should be done right by the book. It's nice to care
for the engine and bring in the power smoothly but don't let it roll
down the runway while you baby it. A new gauge you may need to
incorporate in your scan will be the fuel flow indicator. It's nice to
check it to see if you are truly producing the correct power on the
engine but also you want to make sure that you aren't running too
lean. Some of that fuel is actually being used for cooling during high
There are not a lot of things the jumpers can do to mess you up in
this aircraft. The controls and fuel selector seem to be in better
positions than the 182. There's less chance (not zero but less chance)
that the fuel selector can be turned off.
Warning! Most 206s have a fuel selector that is either left or right fuel
selected. There is NO "BOTH"!! And if you stall a fuel-injected engine
it could get tricky at 400 feet trying to restart it. Make sure you have
enough fuel for that load with reserve!! My typical fueling would be for
three loads (about 40 gallons). Remember, fuel usage is based on
many atmospheric conditions and how high you climb. Check your
POH and compare it to your actual fuel usage. I would run the first
load on the left tank. This would create and imbalance to the right
that would help counteract the need for right rudder during climb.
Most 206s have a nice rudder trim. Always trim the aircraft for hands
off flying. I would take off on the second load with the fuel selected to
the left and then half way up I would switch to the right. If you are
ever unsure of your fuel status then shut down and stick the dang
tanks or add fuel! There's no excuse.
Plan to level off a couple of miles early to set up properly for your
jump run. Reduce power to maintain altitude at about 80 knots. Leave
the cowl flaps open for a bit. This will begin the cooling of the
cylinders but not at a fast rate. The reduced airflow in the thin air will
not cool the engine too quickly. Keeping reduce power on will keep
the engine pleasantly toasty. I typically saw the CHT (cylinder head
temperature) stay at 300 the entire jump run and descent. When you
give the command or permission to exit should be your clue to close
the cowl flaps. Tying these events together will help you remember to
close the cowl. Power to the bottom of the green arc on the Manifold
Pressure. This will still allow the jumpers to climb out if necessary.
In the U-206 the jumpers will climb out further back than the 182.
Make sure you keep flying speed. Don't shove the stick forward. Just
apply forward pressure as needed to maintain a steady floor. If you
float someone off the tail because you shoved the stick forward you
will run the risk of having a jumper hit the horizontal stabilizer. Keep
it steady and you won't have a problem.
Some U-206s have a forward step. The jumpers will pull themselves
forward from the rear door to the step. I've had four on the step, one
on rear float, and one in the door. Not hard to do at all. They
launched a six-way.
After the last jumper is out, ensure the cowl flaps are closed and bring
the MP (manifold pressure) to the bottom of the green arc. Typically
this will be 15" of MP. I let the pressure build up a couple of inches
before retarding it again. Bring the prop RPM back to the bottom of
the green arc also. This will help reduce all the rotations the engine
will do during the descent and will keep it from back lashing too
much. Back lashing is where the airspeed starts driving the engine
instead of the engine driving the propeller. Airspeed can be at or just
below the top of the green arc. Fuel flow should be reduced to a point
just above engine cut out. This will help keep the engine toasty. You
don't want to run the engine too rich also because you don't want
carbon fouling or buildup. Too lean or too rich are bad things. Find the
You will now be landing a nose heavy aircraft empty. Use of flaps
should be limited to what is required for the conditions. If you are on
a real short runway you will want to use full flaps anyway. You may
need to learn a technique that will bring you at power off or near
power off and just before touchdown you will add a touch of power.
This will give the elevator more authority and can raise the nose so
that the touchdown is on the main landing gear first and only and
then you can lower the nose gear. Many nose struts have been bent
or broken off on 206 jump aircraft. Be kind to your aircraft and it will
be kind to you. The 206 is a real truck. But that doesn't mean you can
beat it up and expect it to last forever.
Also with landing, the 206 will have the possibility of catching any
high pullers (tandems, students) under canopy. DO NOT FLY OVER
THE AREA YOU JUST DROPPED! Be on the look out for other canopies.
The 206 will descend faster than the 182 typically.
Just like the Twin Otter, the Shorts Skyvan is a very purpose built
aircraft! Ruggedly built to haul bulky loads out of short unimproved
strips. Affectionally called "the shed" by pilots and crew the Skyvan
is a strut braced high wing aircraft with a fixed landing gear. It
features a 18ft 7in long and 6ft 6in high by 6ft 6in wide cargo hold
with an equal size in-flight opening cargo door.
OE-FDE The PINK Skyvan rests after a day at work.
Photo by www.pinkskyvan.com
Most Skyvans are SC7 3 Variant 100 Aircraft with a MTOW of
12.500lbs, other Variants like the 3M sport up to 13.700lbs MTOW.
There is also 2 different versions of Engines on the Skyvan. The
original engine is the single shaft Garret TPE 331-2-201A. Some
Skydiving Skyvans have the -201A Super or -6 Engines that feature
a larger Compressor which greatly enhance hot-and-high
performance of the A/C, as well as climb rate.
The Weight and stability of the A/C, as well as the incredible low
speed performance (Stallspeed@8500lbs and Flaps 50 is as low as
49Kts) make it a pretty easy to fly aircraft. However to fly the
Skyvan efficiently there are a few things that differ from other
Without cargo the Skyvans C of G is very far forward! This means
the less jumpers that are on the plane the closer to the door you
want them, to ensure that the C/G is not too far forward and thus
your climb performance suffers. In a no seats/sidewallbench
configuration, seating 3 abreast looking aft you will not be able to
physically put too many people too far aft (unless they sit on top of
eachother) so there is no need to worry exceeding the aft C/G limit.
The Step into the cockpit is a favorit seat for a lot of skydivers, but
remember it's a two man cockpit and you really don't want anybody
sitting there. Aside from the lack of a seatbelt, a person sitting there
can reduce your rate of climb by 200ft/min!
The Engines have very nice handling qualities being single shaft. But
you have to take extra caution not to exceed EGT limits on takeoff
due to the lag in indication. As a rule of thumb above 15°C OAT you
will most likely be limited by EGT and not MAX Torque.
Speed Speed Speed! Like any big aircraft it takes a while for a
Skyvan to accelerate from unstick speed which should be never
lower than Vmca, to take-off safety speed. Depending on Weight
and flap setting on departure KNOW YOUR SPEEDS ! We have made
a placard that fits into the recess of the instrument panel just
forward of the control collumn that contains all the necessary
speeds at 8, 10 and 12.500lbs. At MTOW your performance margins
are pretty slim when you loose an engine.
Another area where pilots mess up is that they climb at the wrong
airspeed for Best Rate Vy. Not too fast and not too slow.
Coordinated flying is extremely important as the huge sidearea of
the "Shed" will produce tremendous ammounts of drag with any slip
or skid. Climb performance is better if you keep your bank angles
low, apart from making it a more comfortable ride for your
passengers. If you can stay away from built up areas as much as
possible, because a Skyvan with 100% RPM produces quite some
Depending on Weight the jump run can be flown at an indicated
airspeed of 95-75knots. Normally i fly at 85Kts clean. Slower than
that i usually go to Flaps 18. I also prefer Flaps 18 for jumpruns that
involve any kind of manouvering, like a circling jumprun.
Also if You arrive a bit low at your spot, you can get some 500ft
extra by popping flaps to Takeoff, but be carefull, as you will have
the jumpers standing up in the airplane and sudden decceleration
can easily topple them.
The Cessna 182 has to be hands down the workhorse of the
skydiving community. It has been in production for a long time and
has excellent support from Cessna. It can carry a pilot, four jumpers
and enough fuel typically for two loads to 10,000 feet, and is a
"high-performance" aircraft with the reliable O-470 engine. It is a
non-complex aircraft with "spring steel" landing gear. Very early
182s (1956-1958) have very tall landing gear and sit high off the
ground with a long nose strut. The tall gear also allows four jumpers
to be out on the step with plenty of room under the wing. Later
years saw a shorter, more "squat" landing gear and a wider body by
Weight and Balance
Check your weight and balance carefully for every load even if you
hear "that's how we've been doing it for years." Well, "they" may
have been doing it wrong for years. Get the book out and do some
sample balance problems. Figure exactly how much useful load you
have after you have put yourself and two loads of fuel PLUS reserve
fuel of 30 minutes during the day and 45 minutes at night.
Remember, it is YOUR certificate that gets affected if something
Seating arrangements can really affect your balance. Usually you
have one jumper sitting with his back to dashboard. Make sure his
reserve and main pin flaps don't get caught on anything under the
dash. Many DZs have put up back boards from the floor to the panel
to prevent this from happening. Also make sure that the area around
the fuel selector and flap handle stay clear. Early model 182s have a
"parking brake" type of manual flap extension handle. Loose leg
straps and handles have found their way around or under these
handles and have been snagged.
The next jumper can sit on his knees in between the legs of the front
jumper or can sit facing aft. It always makes me chuckle when
someone insists on sitting on their knees facing forward and then
leans forward for the takeoff roll for the "balance problem." In an
accident this person will flop around inside the cabin as they will
have a pretty loose strap tying them down. I prefer people to sit
facing aft in between the forward jumper's legs as this provides the
best tight restraint in case of a forced landing or crash.
Another jumper sits back to pilot with his legs stretched straight
back to the tail, and the last jumper sits with his back to the back
bulkhead facing forward (with his legs in between the the other two
aft facing jumpers' legs). Go and measure the actual "arm" from the
zero point on your aircraft (typically the firewall) and then compute
their "moment." Tally up the weights and moments and compute the
final center of gravity (CG). I believe you find that the CG is much
further forward than you might first think. It surprised a couple of
FAA inspectors when I did it for them during a ramp check. They had
been sure that I was running over max gross weight and aft CG
because I had five people in there when typically with seats you
would only have four. For grins, you can compute the CG for four
people (pilot plus three) with seats and the CG will probably be
further aft than a typical jump setup.
But most importantly, do the math for yourself! Don't go on just
what someone told you would be acceptable. Know for yourself that
you are running legally.
Plan to be at altitude at least two miles prior to drop. Power for level
flight at that altitude and keep the mixture on the rich side. This will
help cool the engine slowly without shock cooling. Your cylinder head
temperature (CHT) should be around 300 degrees or thereabouts. I
fly jump run at about 75-80 knots with NO CUT! If you power back
to idle this will certainly start the shock cooling process and the
cylinder heads will shrink on the still hot pistons inside. OUCH!!
Typically this power setting will be about 15 inches of manifold
pressure and the prop speed at the maximum. Make sure you have
good communication as to when the door can be opened. Most in-
flight doors have a speed limitation on them of 100 kts. If for some
reason you were above that speed and a jumper let loose the door,
it could do damage to the hinge and eventually you may have the
door leave the aircraft altogether. This would be bad.
During climbout monitor your airspeed. DO NOT GET SLOW!! The
more people that climb out on the step, the more airflow is being
blocked from going over your elevator. If you stall on jump run, you
will have a good chance of a jumper hitting your horizontal stabilizer.
It's an extreme case, but you don't want to go there.
Be ready for the increased load leaning to the right. Make sure you
fly ball centered and aren't slipping the aircraft. If you feel the
aircraft buffeting into a stall, ADD POWER. Try to be smooth with it
but just don't sit there and let the aircraft stall. Remember, it would
be bad. Also, you can trade altitude for airspeed. The commercial
ticket ride does not include having four fat boys with 20-pound rigs
riding in the slip stream hanging off your wing strut. This is a
different type of flying.
Be ready to use hard right rudder if you see a premature
deployment. This may be your only shot at avoiding structural
damage to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. It has to be an
almost instantaneous response.
After everyone is gone, let's go down. Using left rudder you can get
the door closed and then trim for about 140 kts. with cowl flaps (if
installed) closed. Set power at a minimum of 15 inches (bottom of
the green arc). As you descend the manifold pressure will rise. Let it
rise to about 17" and then reduce to 15 again. CHT should not drop
below 200 degrees (bottom of the green). Realistically, I always had
the CHT at 300 degrees or just under during the entire decent. If
this is not happening with your aircraft then investigate why. If you
are beating the jumpers to the ground you may be pushing the
aircraft too hard. Be careful. The small damage you do to the engine
on each flight will catch up to you later down the road or may catch
up to your buddy who didn't know what you were doing to the
aircraft. Going just a little beyond the rules won't pop cylinders this
flight or maybe not even the next. But it will wear on it over time.
DeHavilland Twin Otter
The Twin Otter is probably the most versatile jump aircraft in the
turbine world. It's a
fixed gear aircraft A Skydive Chicago Super Otter prepares to take off at
the 1998 world record attempts. Photo by Christy West.
This makes it one of
the safest aircraft for new turbine pilot flying skydivers.
You will find most Twin Otters used for skydiving are of the "Super
Otter" variety. This means they have the Pratt and Whitney PT6A-27
engines. The airframe itself may be a -100, -200, or -300. The 300
series came with -27s as standard. Several 100 and 200 series
airframes have been converted to the -27 engines. Check with your
aircraft's AFM for specific operating limitations on the engines. Some
aircraft are limited to how much torque (Tq) they can pull for take-
off due to airframe limitations.
The trick to flying Twin Otters with jumpers is that you always take-
off heavy and land empty. Landing empty and having a heavy
crosswind can be very tricky. The Otter pilot really needs three
hands in this situation. Cross wind technique cannot be stressed
enough. Sideslip into the crosswind and with one wheel down pull
the engines into as much Beta as you can and let go. Transfer the
right hand to the yoke and roll the ailerons into the wind. Even light
crosswinds (5-10 knots) will require full aileron deflection in the end.
Once the right hand is on the yoke then the left can grab the tiller
bar for nose wheel steering. With good crosswind technique the pilot
should be able to run the aircraft down the runway as though the
tiller bar was not even there until it is necessary to turn off the
Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIOs) with the nose steering are very
common in new Twin Otter pilots. I haven't spoken to a one of them
that hasn't been there once or twice. It can be a hard transfer from
aircraft that steer the nose with the rudder pedals to one that only
has nose steering with a "Tiller Bar". After take-off, if the pilot does
not center the tiller (putting the nose fork into the notch) then it can
drift full deflection to one side or the other. If it is not caught before
landing your "fixed gear" aircraft will have a gear up landing. And
who knows what else you will bend in the process.
Climbing in the Twin Otter can really blow you away in the
beginning. Coming from light single and twin-engine aircraft it's
quite a change. Four years after checking out in the Twin Otter I'm
still impressed with how short the take off run is and how stable it is
at slow speeds. Warning! The Twin Otter will fly well below Red Line
Vmc! Be Careful not to get airborne before Red Line Vmc.
Another area where pilots mess up is that they climb at the wrong
airspeed for Best Rate Vy. In the old PT6A-20 Otters the Vy speed is
87 KIAS. But with the –27s Super Otters it is listed at 100 KIAS. My
conjecture on this change is that the engines put out more thrust
with some ram effect at 100 KIAS. The wing is the same on both
aircraft. Only the engines are different. Personally, I use between
90-95 knots for the initial climb and end up at 90 knots by the time
I'm at 14k. The proof is in the turn time. It's not how you descend
after the last jumper is out that changes your turn time. It's all in
Another consideration for new turbine pilots is that they now have
the capability of going to some very high altitudes. BE CAREFUL
ABOUT OXYGEN! You're not used to this yet and you will get tired
going to 14k all day long. It will affect your judgment. Don't be a
statistic. When you get cranking and used to the altitude then you
can bang out 42 loads in one day like Mark Lamberson. It's the most
loads to full altitude in one day during daylight hours that I know of
in Twin Otters. I've done 37 and it hurts at the end of the day. Know
Typically jump run can be flown at an indicated airspeed of 80 knots.
Higher airspeeds will be needed with more "floaters" on the outside
and more weight placed in the tail. 95 knots is a good airspeed for
floating more than seven jumpers outside. As stable as Otters are,
they can stall on jump run. The results can be a collision with a
floating jumper and the horizontal stabilizer. In one incident a
jumper was caught square on his backpack and drug down three
thousand feet before rolling off. Not a fun place to be.
At 13,000 feet and indicating 85–90 knots your True Airspeed (TAS)
will be about 100-105. So, if your ground speed is 100-105 you
know that you don't have any wind on the nose. This can be useful
in determining any last minute adjustments to freefall drift
Depending on how big the groups are will affect the flight
characteristics. Large groups will have a large shift in CG to the aft. I
recommend that you DO NOT trim the aircraft nose down during
jump run to take away the pitch up force. Moving the trim tab
towards nose down will decrease the effective length of the elevator.
Just muscle the force. It's what you're getting paid to do, right? Plus,
when they leave, you won't have to muscle the elevator the other
direction towards you. This will keep a steady floor for the final
divers and they won't get pinned to the floor or smack the door
frame while running out.
If you have many small groups the CG shift will not be as great but
the jump run length will really string out. As you get lighter you will
be able to fly slower with no problem thus reducing your
groundspeed especially during the downwind leg of a hook pattern
jump run. Refer to the spotting section to learn more on how this is
Jump run power settings are typically 20 lbs. Tq. I give a cut on the
left engine to about 10 lbs. or a little less. With large groups
climbing out I will leave both engines at 20 lbs. Tq. Airspeed will be
about 80 knots indicated. Having the engines at these power
settings will also help during the hook pattern jump run. Just let the
right engine drag you around in the turn. It is an uncoordinated turn
but it will be more desirable for the jumpers instead of a heavy
banking floor. When you're ready to roll out just put in rudder. Takes
practice, but works great.
Warning! Modern day jumpers have discovered that some Otters
have extra handles on the roof for larger groups to float out. They
will use these to climb on the roof and slide back to the tail. Doing
this can cause airflow disruptions on the horizontal stabilizer and if
they have a premature deployment it could very likely take out the
tail. Remember, you do not have to wear an emergency bail out rig
while flying Twin Otters. A crash of a Cessna Caravan was caused by
a premature deployment over the tail (the jumper was NOT on top
of the tail). It ripped the tail off, killed the jumper, and the pilot was
finally able to bail out at an estimated 500 feet AGL! In the world of
aviation the name of the game is PREVENTION. Before letting
jumpers use your aircraft as their personal jungle gym think it
through as to the consequences.
Hang on to your hats cause we're going for a ride! Probably the most
fun for observers and the most tiring aspect of flying jumpers is the
descent. The Twin Otter was not certified to do barrel rolls after the
last jumper leaves so don't do it. Just nose over and start a turn if
you need to. Just remember that you may feel only two Gs in your
seat but the engines are outboard a ways and may be experiencing
a lot more stress with your banking and yanking. Those PT6s are
running in the neighborhood of 25-30,000 RPM with tight tolerances.
Be kind to them.
Lastly, PROCEDURES, PROCEDURES, PROCEDURES!! Know your
procedures for all emergencies and malfunctions. Use a checklist. If
you can't handle knowing this aircraft inside and out then you don't
belong in it. It's a relatively simple and docile aircraft but if you don't
know your procedures then this aircraft will bite you. Use proper
crosswind correction for all take-offs and landings. It's got a big tail
and will weather-vane easily when empty.
Planning. Planning. Planning. It's the best way to describe formation
flying. Whether you are flying two C-182s in formation or doing a 12-
aircraft formation for a world record makes no difference. The same
Planning. Planning. Planning.
First, determine what aircraft is going to be in the lead and who is
going to fly it. I recommend that if this is your first formation flight
that you fly lead. Your wingman should have several formation loads
under their belt. They can coach you if necessary, but all planning
should be done on the ground.
Ground Planning should include:
1. Altitude for jump run.
2. Direction of jump run.
3. Climb and descent pattern.
4. Rally point (if it's not together by this point it's an abort).
5. Radio frequencies and communications.
6. ATC notification of multi-plane formation.
8. Extra fueling (it will take longer to do a formation load so you
better have the fuel).
9. Aircraft positioning.
10. Lead assignment.
11. Transfer of Lead procedure should it become necessary.
12. Emergency procedures (how to break formation quickly).
13. Tight procedures. (How tight? When?).
14. Power settings, airspeeds, and climb out procedures.
15. Countdown calls to jumpers.
16. Oxygen if required.
17. Loading areas (with multiple whirling propellers you
want jumpers to know exactly where to go, and you should
know exactly how to park to prevent someone from accidentally
walking into a prop going to another aircraft).
Just to name a few things to plan for. Plan everything and then stick
to the plan. When you go off the plan you will create radio chatter.
You want to reduce that as much as possible.
The best formation load I've ever flown on was the final load during
the World Record 246-way in 1998. We had one aircraft way out of
position with 5 minutes to drop and there was no radio chatter other
than what was necessary to get that one aircraft in. There have been
loads where everything that wasn't important was being talked about.
There were a lot of "Can you see me?" "You got me?" calls. This
should never happen unless absolutely necessary. Each aircraft should
be ready to take off in an order so that they can keep the aircraft
ahead in sight at all times.
Now, if you are using aircraft of different climb performance you will
need a rally point to get the formation together in the air. What is the
number one guarantee to avoid a collision? Answer: Altitude
separation. Make sure that you have at least 500 feet between you
until you have the other aircraft positively identified. Be specific with
position reports. And I can't stress enough to have a climb pattern
that will allow all aircraft to easily join in without a lot of radio chatter.
You really should be able to do this without any calls other than your
take off call and the calls for countdown to drop. If you are flying lead
it is best to fly a wide box pattern so that the trailing aircraft can cut
the corners and catch up as necessary.
You are the base. Without the base there is no formation. You need to
be smooth on the controls because any little deviation you have will
ripple across the formation. You will be the one in charge of radios.
You don't want closely trailing aircraft looking down at radios switches,
taking their attention away from your actions. It is your job to spot the
load and it is your job to have clear communication with the jumpers
on board as the countdown starts. I recommend a five-minute, two-
minute, door open, 3-2-1 climb out call to the jumpers and over the
radio to the other aircraft. You will need two radios to do this. The
others can all have one tuned to company frequency. Keep the radio
chatter to a minimum so that others can tell you if they are having a
problem. Don't talk about how pretty it is until you're on the ground
with the engines turned off. Be professional.
On jump run: Be very, very smooth. Can I say that enough? Anticipate
the pitch up or pitch down tendencies associated with climb out.
Maintain your flying speed but for God's sake DO NOT DESCEND TO
MAINTAIN SPEED!!!! You will need too much of a descent to maintain
speed. Once the first jumper is out they will be blocking the wind for
the others. So put the power in and hold altitude. If you blow one
off…oh well. You can talk about it later. But if you make a radical move
in formation and the trail aircraft lose sight of you, there could be
great carnage. This is serious. If you have an engine failure, that's
different. You should initiate the emergency escape procedure and
transmit to the fleet that it is an abort due to...whatever. You might
want to use a term other than "Abort" because people might try to
keep the jumpers in. Work it out with your group. It will be situational
and I cannot go through every scenario here.
If you are flying lead with different types of aircraft, you will need to
understand the flight characteristics of the other planes during jump
run. A Twin Otter in the lead has the ability to slow down
tremendously without stalling while a Casa does not. Plus, a Casa
doesn't have anyone hanging on the outside providing drag. They
could go shooting by. If this situation occurs, there needs to be a radio
transmission that a transfer of lead has taken place and the old lead
needs to make sure they pick up the new lead aircraft. If you don't,
you could drift right into the path of the exiting jumpers. This would
Flying trail can be pretty easy and at the same time very challenging
to do it right. It's easy in the respect that you have only one thing to
do--hold position relative to the lead aircraft. It is hard in that it will
take all of your concentration to keep very "still" in position. Your job
is to never, ever let your lead aircraft out of your sight.
If you ever lose sight and can't figure out how it happened, you should
be grounded. There are no excuses like, "The sun was in my eyes." So
what, you should have planned for that. If jump run is in such a way
that the sun is a factor, I like to fly in a slot using the lead aircraft as a
sunscreen. Be careful to not fly so far out of position that you become
a collision hazard, but it's a little trick you can use.
Be very keen about power adjustments from the lead aircraft. If the
lead is not flying smoothly, then it is your job to tell them so. Let them
know what you need especially if your aircraft is a different type than
the lead aircraft. Don't just sit there and be a bump on a log. If you
are new to formation flying, then you will certainly want to give
yourself a little extra room, but don't be so far away that you can't tell
if the lead aircraft is slowing down or speeding up. I find it much
easier to fly formation once I've gotten within 100 feet of the other
aircraft. When the other aircraft is filling much of my windscreen I
know that I will see the smallest speed or altitude changes. Small,
smooth power adjustments will keep you parked. On a twin-engine
aircraft I just use one engine lever at a time. This will smooth out the
power changes and you won't be chasing the airspeed.
As the saying goes "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. So hit it with da
Smoove." Be conservative. Plan everything out. Be safe.
Let ATC know that you are a multi-plane group. If you are using more
than three aircraft in one formation, you might want to make a phone
call to the controlling agency before you take off and let them know
that you will have reduced maneuverability when it comes to track
calls. Usually they will have no trouble giving you a wider margin, but
as a courtesy it's nice to give them a heads up with a phone call. Make
sure that when you take off you fly in formation and do not spread out
across the countryside. ATC will usually have only one aircraft
squawking a code--that means the others will be invisible to RADAR.
This will make the controller's job more difficult and you will have
created a greater hazard. Give longer calls to ATC than you normally
would. Unless they are extremely busy, it is a good thing to give them
a five-minute call so they can check for conflicts early. Prevent as
many chances for an abort as you can. Check that all jumpers have
left before descending. Then stay as a group as you descend. It's the
same theory as during the initial climb. Don't spread out miles apart.
After ATC has cleared you off frequency there will be time to get
separation. Not to mention it looks sharp to stay in formation all the
way up and down. This will show great discipline.
Training is the key to safe jump operations. And it is one of the things that is neglected in the
skydiving community. We have strict training manuals for training first time jumpers. We have
weeklong courses in training prospective jumpmasters. Want to learn how to pack reserve
parachutes? You have to take a written, oral and practical to get your Senior Rigger's
Certificate from the FAA. But there is absolutely no standardization for jump pilots.
Hopefully the pilot checking you out to fly jumpers will recognize this lack of standardization
and will give you the necessary training and testing to keep you and your passengers safe in
normal and abnormal procedures. If not, you're rolling the dice when that motor pukes or you
get a jumper in tow and you have damage to the aircraft. What are you going to do? When
you received your commercial certificate you had to demonstrate emergency procedures.
There was no comment about how to fly a dead stick when your passengers are crawling all
over you trying to save their lives and screwing you in the process.
This section will have comments about training for flying jumpers. It is by no means all of the
information needed to safely fly jumpers. It is a starting point. You should have a good
working knowledge of Part 1,61, and 91 already. You need to read and know Part 105. It has
information that can directly mess up your flying career for not knowing it.
Weight and Balance
Weight and balance can be so important in small Cessna aircraft flying jumpers. But it can also
be super critical in large tailgate aircraft. But no matter what you are using to fly jumpers you
can stall on jump run and what you do during the event could determine whether you live or
die. It's that simple.
Proper loading of jumpers for take off should be discussed for your aircraft. In a Cessna, there
are a lot of misconceptions. Check your particular aircraft's current empty weight and CG. If
you are unsure of how to compute it, take people out to the aircraft and measure from the
datum to where they are actually sitting to compute the balance. Many FAA inspectors are
surprised when you demonstrate how a pilot and four jumpers have a more centered CG than
having normal seats and four people including the pilot. CHECK YOUR PARTICULAR AIRCRAFT
TO DETERMINE YOUR BALANCE.
Don't take off over gross!! You are jeopardizing your career, your aircraft, your life, and the
lives of your passengers. Flying over gross means that you could over stress the airframe in a
sharp maneuver. Your stall speed is also higher than the book for any given configuration. Best
glide speed will change. Basically, you have become a test pilot. Plus, when you do it once,
everyone will think it's ok and it'll be harder to say no the next time.
I know, it's hard to have any fuel and carry jumpers in a C-182. Do what you have to do to
stay legal. When your jumpers see you concerned for their safety they will respect you more in
the long run.
This is when everything is great. You're cranking loads. The spots are perfect. The skies are
clear. This is when complacency can creep up and bite you in the ass. When are the majority
of mid-air collisions happening? It happens within 5 miles of the airport and on clear VMC day.
Keep your guard up. Every load is a new flight and needs to be prepared for. Sure, certain
things can be shortened like you don't need to do a full preflight if you are loading with the
engine running. But all radio calls, all traffic rules, all loading procedures need to be followed
strictly every time. Deviate from protocol and you can have someone walk into a prop. You
could taxi into another parked aircraft. Or you could pull onto a runway just as someone is on
short final. Lot's of "problems" on a so-called "normal day" huh? Your situational awareness is
what is going to keep you safe and violation free.
There are so many causes for engine failures that I can only touch on certain topics. But does
it really matter? Are you a mechanic? Can you fix it in flight? Then don't worry about what you
are going to tell the boss about what the cause was. Just be prepared to get down as safely as
possible and talk about it later. During an engine failure, all bets are off for a normal jump run.
It might still happen but be prepared. I always told my jumpers that if I was below a thousand
feet that I wanted them to stay. They said that they could still get out at that point. But with
people crawling around and the door flying open that doesn't leave you a lot of time to
concentrate on getting the aircraft and yourself down safely. Make sure there is an
understanding of what exactly is going to happen at different points when the engine pukes.
Cessna 182s are notorious for having the fuel shut off by the jumper sitting back to dash. That
might be something to check right away. Turbine aircraft are a little different. It's less likely to
be a jumper induced engine failure. How long is your runway? What fields lay ahead? Can the
aircraft really climb on one engine? How much altitude is necessary for a return to the runway
downwind? Can the jumpers really leave the aircraft below 1,000 feet and live? These are all
questions that should have some sort of certain answer before rolling down the runway.
Keep your cool. Know your procedures. You'll do no one any good if you just start throwing
switches and handles in random order. Keep it simple and KNOW YOUR AIRCRAFT MANUAL!
Here are some links to articles on engine operation. It has specifics about running them at high
power settings and hard descents. It even uses Skydiving Ops as examples of why we get full
life out of the engines yet other weekend warriors don't. Read them thoroughly as there is a
lot of good information here. You may have to register to read the articles and make the links
work but it's free and there is a ton of good information the rest of the site.
The collum is called the Pelican's Perch:
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 1)
In his many columns about how to lean, whether to use full power after takeoff, oversquare
operation and so on, AVweb's John Deakin has left many of the details up to the pilot/owner.
Yet many readers would just as soon have him tell them exactly how to set up and run an
engine. In this month's column he does just that, with a step-by-step guide to smarter engine
operation. Fair warning: his advice may not always agree with the POH.
Full story: www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182179-1.html
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 2 — The Climb)
Last month, AVweb's John Deakin started a discussion of where to run an engine during a
typical flight. With so much detail needed, he ended the column just as we took off! Now he's
back to talk about the climb, and as usual he has real-world data to back up his explanation.
Full story: www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182176-1.html
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 3 -- Cruise)
Cruise -- Time to sit back and enjoy the flight. But wait...did you leave the mixture set where
it was during the climb? Or do you just set it where it...
Full story: www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182583-1.html
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 4 -- Descent)
After a short discussion about whether running engines the factory way or the skydiving way
will hurt or help engines, AVweb's John Deakin settles in for the descent. And, yes, there are
more old wives tales to be debunked, and better control settings to use.
Full story: www.avweb.com/news/pelican/183094-1.html
Commercial License or Not?
It's an old question that seems to get people into trouble (or at least a letter of investigation
with the FAA) constantly. Basically, if you are receiving money for the flying you are doing
then you HAVE to have a Commercial Pilot's License. But then I hear the argument "Well, if
they don't pay me then it isn't commercial flying." Well, yes, it very well can be. If the
company, or operation, you are flying for takes money from jumpers before they get on the
plane then a lot of the time that is considered a commercial operation. There are only a few
(and I can't even name them) operations called "Clubs" that are still truly clubs and are not
required to have commercial pilots. So, if you want to avoid A LOT of hassle and headache
then I suggest that you just go out and get a Commercial License and don't fly jumpers until
you do. If you want to walk the fine line then that's your choice. But the Feds aren't going
along with the old "club" exemption much anymore and very, very few operations can actually
qualify for the exemption. BE CAREFUL. Get the license.
FAR Part 119
Photo by Ron Olson
FAA Part 105: Parachute FAA Part 91: General
Jumping Operations and Flight Rules
Subpart A -- General Subpart A General
105.1 Applicability. 91.1 Applicability
105.3 Definitions. 91.3 Responsibility and Authority
105.5 General. of the Pilot in Command
105.7 use of alcohol and drugs. 91.7 Civil Aircraft Worthiness
105.9 Inspections. 91.11 Prohibition Against
Interference With Crew Members
Subpart B -- Operating Rules 91.13 Careless or Reckless
105.13 FEDERAL REGISTER Operation
Radio equipment and use 91.15 Dropping Objects
requirements. 91.17 Alcohol or Drugs
105.15 Information required and 91.19 Carriage Of Narcotic Drugs,
notice of cancellation or Marihuana, And Depressant Or
postponement of a parachute Stimulant Drugs Or Substances
operation. 91.25 Aviation Safety Reporting
105.17 Flight visibility and Program: Prohibition Against Use
clearance from cloud requirements. Of Reports For Enforcement
105.19 Parachute operations Purposes
between sunset and sunrise. 91.119 Minimum Safe Altitudes:
105.21 Parachute operations General.
over or into a congested area or an 91.127 Operating on or in the
open-air assembly of persons. Vicinity of an Airport in Class E
105.23 Parachute operations Airspace
over or onto airports. 91.151 Fuel Requirements for
105.25 Parachute operations in Flight in VFR Conditions
SUBPART B— Flight Rules
Subpart C -- Parachute General
Equipment and Packing 91.101 Applicability
91.103 Preflight Action
105.41 Applicability. 91.107 Use of Safety Belts,
105.43 Use of single-harness, Shoulder Harnesses, and Child
dual-parachute systems. Restraint Systems
105.45 Use of tandem parachute 91.111 Operating Near Other
105.47 Use of static lines. 91.113 Right-of-Way Rules:
105.49 Foreign parachutists and Except Water Operations
equipment. 91.119 Minimum Safe Altitudes:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 91.127 Operating on or in the
40113-40114, 44701-44702, Vicinity of an Airport in Class E
91.151 Fuel Requirements for
Source: Doc. No. FAA-1999-5483, Flight in VFR Conditions
66 FR 23553, May 9, 2001,
unless otherwise noted. SUBPART C— Equipment,
Instrument, and Certificate
91.211 Supplemental Oxygen
SUBPART D— Special Flight
91.307 Parachutes and
FAA PART 91: GENERAL OPERATION AND FLIGHT
Subpart A General
SEC. 91.1 Applicability
A. Except as provided in paragraph B of this section and Section
91.703, this part prescribes rules governing the operation of aircraft
(other than moored balloons, kites, unmanned rockets, and unmanned
free balloons, which are governed by part 101 of this chapter, and
ultralight vehicles operated in accordance with part 103 of this chap-
ter) within the United States, including the waters within 3 nautical
miles of the U.S. coast.
B. Each person operating an aircraft in the airspace overlying the
waters between 3 and 12 nautical miles from the coast of the United
States shall comply with Secs. 91.1 through 91.21; Secs. 91.101
through 91.143; Secs. 91.151 through 91.159; Secs. 91.167 through
91.193; Sec. 91.203; Sec. 91.205; Secs. 91.209 through 91.217; Sec.
91.221; Secs. 91.303 through 91.319; Sec. 91.323; Sec. 91.605; Sec.
91.609; Secs. 91.703 through 91.715; and 91.903.
SEC. 91.3 Responsibility and Authority of the Pilot in Command
A. The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is
the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
B. In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in
command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent
required to meet that emergency.
C. Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph B
of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a
written report of that deviation to the Administrator.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under OMB control
SEC. 91.7 Civil Aircraft Airworthiness
A. No person may operate a civil aircraft unless it is in an air-worthy
B. The pilot in command of a civil aircraft is responsible for
determining whether that aircraft is in condition for safe flight. The
pilot in command shall discontinue the flight when unairworthy
mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur.
SEC. 91.11 Prohibition Against Interference with Crew
No person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a
crewmember in the performance of the crewmembers duties aboard an
aircraft being operated.
SEC. 91.13 Careless or Reckless Operation
A. Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may
operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger
the life or property of another.
B. Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation.
No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air
navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for
air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or
discharging persons or cargo), in a careless or reckless manner so as
to endanger the life or property of another.
SEC. 91.15 Dropping Objects
No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be
dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or
property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any
object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage
to persons or property.
SEC. 91.17 Alcohol or Drugs
A. No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil
1. Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alco-holic
2. While under the influence of alcohol;
3. While using any drug that affects the persons facul-ties in
any way contrary to safety; or
4. While having .04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the
B. Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a
person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner
or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of
drugs (except a med-ical patient under proper care) to be carried in
C. A crewmember shall do the following:
1. On request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a test to
indicate the percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood, when
a. The law enforcement officer is authorized under State
or local law to conduct the test or to have the test
b. The law enforcement officer is requesting sub-mission
to the test to investigate a suspected violation of State
or local law governing the same or substantially similar
conduct prohibited by paragraph A.1, A.2, or A.4 of this
2. Whenever the Administrator has a reasonable basis to
believe that a person may have violated paragraph A.1, A.2, or
A.4 of this section, that person shall, upon request by the
Administrator, furnish the Administrator, or authorize any
clinic, hospital, doc-tor, or other person to release to the
Administrator, the results of each test taken within 4 hours
after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that
indicates percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood.
D. Whenever the Administrator has a reasonable basis to believe that
a person may have violated paragraph A.3 of this section, that person
shall, upon request by the Administrator, furnish the Administrator, or
authorize any clinic, hospital, doctor, or other person to release to the
Administrator, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after
acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates the
presence of any drugs in the body.
E. Any test information obtained by the Administrator under paragraph
C or D of this section may be evaluated in determining a person's
qualifications for any airman cer-tificate or possible violations of this
chapter and may be used as evidence in any legal proceeding under
section 602, 609, or 901 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.
SEC. 91.19 Carriage of Narcotic Drugs, Marijuana, and
Depressant or Stimulant Drugs or Substances
A. Except as provided in paragraph B of this section, no per-son may
operate a civil aircraft within the United States with knowledge that
narcotic drugs, marijuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or
substances as defined in Federal or State statutes are carried in the
B. Paragraph A of this section does not apply to any carriage of
narcotic drugs, marijuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or
substances authorized by or under any Federal or State statute or by
any Federal or State agency.
SEC. 91.25 Aviation Safety Reporting Program Prohibition
Against Use of Reports for Enforcement Purposes
The Administrator of the FAA will not use reports submitted to the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Aviation
Safety Reporting Program (or information derived there from) in any
enforcement action except information concerning accidents or
criminal offenses which are wholly excluded from the Program.
SUBPART B—Flight Rules General
SEC. 91.101 Applicability
This subpart prescribes flight rules governing the operation of aircraft
within the United States and within 12 nautical miles from the coast of
the United States.
SEC. 91.103 Preflight Action
Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar
with all available information concerning that flight. This information
A. For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport,
weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives
available if the planned flight cannot be com-pleted, and any known
traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;
B. For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the
following takeoff and landing distance information:
1. For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft
Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is
required, the takeoff and landing distance data contained
2. For civil aircraft other than those specified in para-graph B.1.
of this section, other reliable information appropriate to the
aircraft, relating to aircraft perfor-mance under expected values
of airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and
wind and temperature.
SEC. 91.107 Use of Safety Belts, Shoulder Harnesses, and Child
A. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator—
1. No pilot may take off a U.S.-registered civil aircraft (except a
free balloon that incorporates a basket or gondola, or an airship
type certificated before November 2, 1987) unless the pilot in
command of that aircraft ensures that each person on board is
briefed on how to fasten and unfasten that person's safety belt
and, if installed, shoulder harness.
2. No pilot may cause to be moved on the surface, take off, or
land a U.S.-registered civil aircraft (except a free balloon that
incorporates a basket or gondola, or an airship type certificated
before November 2, 1987) unless the pilot in command of that
aircraft ensures that each person on board has been notified to
fasten his or her safety belt and, if installed, his or her shoulder
3. Except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board a
U.S. registered civil aircraft (except a free balloon that
incorporates a basket or gondola or an airship type certificated
before November 2, 1987) must occupy an approved seat or
berth with a safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness,
properly secured about him or her during movement on the
surface, takeoff, and landing. For seaplane and float equipped
rotorcraft operations during movement on the surface, the
person pushing off the seaplane or rotorcraft from the dock and
the person mooring the seaplane or rotorcraft at the dock are
excepted from the preceding seating and safety belt require-
Notwithstanding the preceding requirements of this paragraph,
a person may:
a. Be held by an adult who is occupying a seat or berth if
that person has not reached his or her second birthday;
b. Use the floor of the aircraft as a seat, provided that
the person is on board for the purpose of engaging in
sport parachuting; or
SEC. 91.111 Operating Near Other Aircraft
A. No person may operate an aircraft so close to another air-craft as to
create a collision hazard.
B. No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by
arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the
C. No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in
SEC. 91.113 Right-of-Way Rules: Except Water Operations
A. Inapplicability: This section does not apply to the opera-tion of an
aircraft on water.
B. General: When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an
operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight
rules, vigilance shall be main-tained by each person operating an
aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft. When a rule of this
section gives another aircraft the right-of-way, the pilot shall give way
to that aircraft and may not pass over, under, or ahead of it unless
C. In distress: An aircraft in distress has the right-of-way over all other
D. Converging: When aircraft of the same category are con-verging at
approximately the same altitude (except head-on, or nearly so), the
aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way. If the aircraft are of
1. A balloon has the right-of-way over any other cate-gory of
2. A glider has the right-of-way over an airship, air-plane,or
3. An airship has the right-of-way over an airplane or rotorcraft.
However, an aircraft towing or refueling other aircraft has the
right-of- way over all other engine-driven aircraft.
E. Approaching head-on: When aircraft are approaching each other
head-on, or nearly so, each pilot of each aircraft shall alter course to
F. Overtaking: Each aircraft that is being overtaken has the right-of-
way and each pilot of an overtaking aircraft shall alter course to the
right to pass well clear.
G. Landing: Aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing,
have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the
surface, except that they shall not take advantage of this rule to force
an aircraft off the runway surface which has already landed and is
attempting to make way for an aircraft on final approach. When two or
more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing,
the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not
take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final
approach to land or to overtake that aircraft.
SEC. 91.119 Minimum Safe Altitudes: General
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate
an aircraft below the following altitudes:
A. Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency
landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
B. Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or
settlement, or over any open air assembly of per-sons, an altitude of
1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of
2,000 feet of the aircraft.
C. Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the
surface, except over open water or sparsely populat-ed areas. In those
cases, the aircraft may not be operated clos-er than 500 feet to any
person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
SEC. 91.127 Operating on or in the Vicinity of an Airport in
Class E Airspace
A. Unless otherwise required by part 93 of this chapter or unless
otherwise authorized or required by the ATC facili-ty having
jurisdiction over the Class E airspace area, each person operating an
aircraft on or in the vicinity of an air-port in a Class E airspace area
must comply with the requirements of section 91.126.
B. Departures: Each pilot of an aircraft must comply with any traffic
patterns established for that airport in part 93 of this chapter.
C. Communications with control towers: Unless otherwise authorized
or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft to, from,
through, or on an airport having an oper-ational control tower unless
two-way radio communica-tions are maintained between that aircraft
and the control tower. Communications must be established prior to 4
nautical miles from the airport, up to and including 2,500 feet AGL.
However, if the aircraft radio fails in flight, the pilot in command may
operate that aircraft and land if weather conditions are at or above
basic Visual Flight Rules (VFR) weather minimums, visual contact with
the tower is maintained, and a clearance to land is received. If the
aircraft radio fails while in flight under IFR, the pilot must comply with
SEC. 91.151 Fuel Requirements for Flight in VFR Conditions
A. No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions
unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is
enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming
normal cruising speed:
1. During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 min-utes; or
2. At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.
SUBPART C— Equipment, Instrument, and Certificate
SEC. 91.211 Supplemental Oxygen
A. General: No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry:
1. At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to
and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum
flight crew is provided with and uses supple-mental oxygen for
that part of the flight at those alti-tudes that is of more than 30
2. At cabin pressure altitudes above 14,000 feet (MSL) unless
the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses
supplemental oxygen during the entire flight time at those
3. At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet (MSL) unless
each occupant of the aircraft is provided with supplemental
B. Pressurized cabin aircraft:
1. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. reg-istry with a
a. At flight altitudes above flight level 250 unless at least a 10-
minute supply of supplemental oxygen, in addition to any
oxygen required to satisfy paragraph A of this section, is
available for each occupant of the aircraft for use in the event
that a descent is necessitated by loss of cabin pressurization;
b. At flight altitudes above flight level 350 unless one pilot at
the controls of the airplane is wear-ing and using an oxygen
mask that is secured and sealed and that either supplies
oxygen at all times or automatically supplies oxygen when-ever
the cabin pressure altitude of the airplane exceeds 14,000 feet
(MSL), except that the one pilot need not wear and use an
oxygen mask while at or below flight level 410 if there are two
pilots at the controls and each pilot has a quick-donning type
of oxygen mask that can be placed on the face with one hand
from the ready position within 5 seconds, supplying oxygen and
properly secured and sealed.
2. Notwithstanding paragraph B.1.b of this section, if for any reason at
any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave the controls of the
aircraft when oper-ating at flight altitudes above flight level 350, the
remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use an oxygen mask
until the other pilot has returned to that crewmember's station.
SUBPART D— Special Flight Operations
SEC. 91.307 Parachutes and Parachuting
A. No pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a parachute that is available for
emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is an approved
1. If a chair type (canopy in back), it has been packed by a
certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger within the
preceding 120 days; or
2. If any other type, it has been packed by a certificated and
appropriately rated parachute rigger—
a. Within the preceding 120 days, if its canopy, shrouds,
and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon,
or other similar synthetic fiber or materials that are
substantially resistant to damage from mold, mildew, or
other fungi and other rotting agents propagated in a
moist environment; or
b. Within the preceding 60 days, if any part of the
parachute is composed of silk, pongee, or other natural
fiber, or materials not specified in paragraph A.2.a of
B. Except in an emergency, no pilot in command may allow, and no
person may make, a parachute jump from an aircraft within the United
States except in accordance with Part 105.
C. Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved
parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a
crewmember) may execute any inten-tional maneuver that exceeds:
1. A bank of 60 o relative to the horizon; or
2. A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 o relative to the
D. Paragraph C of this section does not apply to—
1. Flight tests for pilot certification or rating; or
2. Spins and other flight maneuvers required by the reg-
ulations for any certificate or rating when given by:
a. A certificated flight instructor; or
b. An airline transport pilot instructing in accor-dance
with Section 61.169 of this chapter.
E. For the purposes of this section, "approved parachute" means:
1. A parachute manufactured under a type certificate or a
technical standard order (C-23 series); or
2. A personnel-carrying military parachute identified by an NAF,
AAF, or AN drawing number, an AAF
PART 105--PARACHUTE JUMPING
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, this
part prescribes rules governing parachute operations conducted in the
(b) This part does not apply to a parachute operation conducted --
(1) In response to an in-flight emergency, or
(2) To meet an emergency on the surface when it is conducted
at the direction or with the approval of an agency of the United
States, or of a State, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, or a
possession of the United States, or an agency or political
(c) Sections 105.5, 105.9, 105.13, 105.15, 105.17, 105.19 through
105.23, 105.25(a)(1) and 105.27 of this part do not apply to a
parachute operation conducted by a member of an Armed Force --
(1) Over or within a restricted area when that area is under the
control of an Armed Force.
(2) During military operations in uncontrolled airspace.
For the purposes of this part --
Approved parachute means a parachute manufactured under a type
certificate or a Technical Standard Order (C-23 series), or a personnel-
carrying U.S. military parachute (other than a high altitude, high
speed, or ejection type) identified by a Navy Air Facility, an Army Air
Field, and Air Force-Navy drawing number, an Army Air Field order
number, or any other military designation or specification number.
Automatic Activation Device means a self-contained mechanical or
electro-mechanical device that is attached to the interior of the reserve
parachute container, which automatically initiates parachute
deployment of the reserve parachute at a pre-set altitude, time,
percentage of terminal velocity, or combination thereof.
Direct Supervision means that a certificated rigger personally observes
a non-certificated person packing a main parachute to the extent
necessary to ensure that it is being done properly, and takes
responsibility for that packing.
Drop Zone means any pre-determined area upon which parachutists or
objects land after making an intentional parachute jump or drop. The
center-point target of a drop zone is expressed in nautical miles from
the nearest VOR facility when 30 nautical miles or less; or from the
nearest airport, town, or city depicted on the appropriate Coast and
Geodetic Survey World Aeronautical Chart or Sectional Aeronautical
Chart, when the nearest VOR facility is more than 30 nautical miles
from the drop zone.
Foreign parachutist means a parachutist who is neither a U.S. citizen
or a resident alien and is participating in parachute operations within
the United States using parachute equipment not manufctured in the
Freefall means the portion of a parachute jump or drop between
aircraft exit and parachute deployment in which the parachute is
activated manually by the parachutist at the parachutist's discretion or
automatically, or, in the case of an object, is activated automatically.
Main parachute means a parachute worn as the primary parachute
used or intended to be used in conjunction with a reserve parachute.
Object means any item other than a person that descends to the
surface from an aircraft in flight when a parachute is used or is
intended to be used during all or part of the descent.
Parachute drop means the descent of an object to the surface from an
aircraft in flight when a parachute is used or intended to be used
during all or part of that descent.
Parachute jump means a parachute operation that involves the
descent of one or more persons to the surface from an aircraft in flight
when a aircraft is used or intended to be used during all or part of that
Parachute operation means the performance of all activity for the
purpose of, or in support of, a parachute jump or a parachute drop.
This parachute operation can involve, but is not limited to, the
following persons: parachutist, parachutist in command and passenger
in tandem parachute operations, drop zone or owner or operator, jump
master, certificated parachute rigger, or pilot.
Parachutist means a person who intends to exit an aircraft while in
flight using a single-harness, dual parachute system to descend to the
Parachutist in command means the person responsible fro the
operation and safety of a tandem parachute operation.
Passenger parachutist means a person who boards an aircraft, acting
as other than the parachutist in command of a tandem parachute
operation, with the intent of existing the aircraft while in-flight using
the forward harness of a dual harness tandem parachute system to
descend to the surface.
Pilot chute means a small parachute used to initiate and/or accelerate
deployment of a main or reserve parachute.
Ram-air parachute means a parachute with a canopy consisting of an
upper and lower surface that is inflated by ram air entering through
specially designed openings in the front of the canopy to form a gliding
Reserve parachute means an approved parachute worn for emergency
use to be activated only upon failure of the main parachute or in any
other emergency where use of the main parachute is impractical or
use of the main parachute would increase risk.
Single-harness, dual parachute system: means the combination of a
main parachute, approved reserve parachute, and approved single
person harness and dual-parachute container. This parachute system
may have an operational automatic activation device installed.
Tandem parachute operation: means a parachute operation in which
more than one person simultaneously uses the same tandem
parachute system while descending to the surface from an aircraft in
Tandem parachute system: means the combination of a main
parachute, approved reserve parachute, and approved harness and
dual parachute container, and a separate approved forward harness
for a passenger parachutist. This parachute system must have an
operational automatic activation device installed.
No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be
conducted from an aircraft, if that operation creates a hazard to air
traffic or to persons or property on the surface.
105.7 Use of alcohol and drugs.
No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a person to conduct a parachute
operation from that aircraft, if that person is or appears to be under
the influence of --
(a) Alcohol, or
(b) Any drug that affects that person's faculties in any way contrary to
The Administrator may inspect any parachute operation to which this
part applies (including inspections at the site where the parachute
operation is being conducted) to determine compliance with the
regulations of this part.
Subpart B -- Operating Rules
§105.13 Radio equipment and use requirements.
(a) Except when otherwise authorized by air traffic control --
(1) No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot
in command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to
be conducted from that aircraft, in or into controlled airspace
unless, during that flight --
(i) The aircraft is equipped with a functioning two-way
radio communication system appropriate to the air traffic
control facilities being used; and
(ii) Radio communications have been established
between the aircraft and the air traffic control facility
having jurisdiction over the affected airspace of the first
intended exit altitude at least 5 minutes before the
parachute operation begins. The pilot in command must
establish radio communications to receive information
regarding air traffic activity in the vicinity of the
(2) The pilot in command of an aircraft used for any parachute
operation in or into controlled airspace must, during each flight
(i) Continuously monitor the appropriate frequency of
the aircraft's radio communications system from the
time radio communications are first established between
the aircraft and air traffic control, until the pilot advises
air traffic control that the parachute operation has ended
for that flight.
(ii) Advise air traffic control when the last parachutist or
object leaves the aircraft.
(b) Parachute operations must be aborted if, prior to receipt of a
required air traffic control authorization, or during any parachute
operation in or into controlled airspace, the required radio
communications system is or becomes inoperative.
§105.15 Information required and notice of cancellation or
postponement of a parachute operation.
(a) Each person requesting an authorization under §§105.21(b) and
105.25(a)(2) of this part and each person submitting a notification
under §105.25(a)(3) of this part must provide the following
information (on an individual or group basis):
(1) The date and time the parachute operation will begin.
(2) The radius of the drop zone around the target expressed in
(3) The location of the center of the drop zone in relation to --
(i) The nearest VOR facility in terms of the VOR radial on
which it is located and its distance in nautical miles from
the VOR facility when that facility is 30 nautical miles or
less from the drop zone target; or
(ii) the nearest airport, town, or city depicted on the
appropriate Coast and Geodetic Survey World
Aeronautical Chart or Sectional Aeronautical Chart, when
the nearest VOR facility is more than 30 nautical miles
from the drop zone target.
(4) Each altitude above mean sea level at which the aircraft will
be operated when parachutists or objects exist the aircraft.
(5) The duration of the intended parachute operation.
(6) The name, address, and telephone number of the person
who requests the authorization or gives notice of the parachute
(7) The registration number of the aircraft to be used.
(8) The name of the air traffic control facility with jurisdiction of
the airspace at the first intended exit altitude to be used for the
(b) Each holder of a certificate of authorization issued under
§§105.21(b) and 105.25(b) of this part must present that certificate
for inspection upon the request of the Administrator or any Federal,
State, or local official.
(c) Each person requesting an authorization under §§105.21(b) and
105.25(a)(2) of this part and each person submitting a notice under
§105.25(a)(3) of this part must promptly notify the air traffic control
facility having jurisdiction over the affected airspace if the proposed or
scheduled parachute operation is canceled or postponed.
§105.17 Flight visibility and clearance from cloud
No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be
conducted from that aircraft --
(a) Into or through a cloud, or
(b) When the flight visibility or the distance from any cloud is less than
that prescribed in the following table:
Altitude (statute miles) Flight Distance from clouds
1,200 feet or less above
500 feet below, 1,000
the surface regardless of
3 feet above, 2,000 feet
the MSL altitude.
More than 1,200 feet 500 feet below, 1,000
above the surface but less 3 feet above, 2,000
than 10,000 feet MSL. feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet
above the surface and at 1,000 feet below, 1,000 feet
or above 10,000 feet above, 1 mile horizontal.
§105.19 Parachute operations between sunset and sunrise.
(a) No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a person to conduct a parachute
operation from an aircraft between sunset and sunrise, unless the
person or object descending from the aircraft displays a light that is
visible for at least 3 statute miles.
(b) The light required by paragraph (a) of this section must be
displayed from the time that the person or object is under a properly
functioning open parachute until that person or object reaches the
§105.21 Parachute operations over or into a congested area
or an open-air assembly of persons.
(a) No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be
conducted from that aircraft, over or into a congested area of a city,
town, or settlement, or an open-air assembly of persons unless a
certificate of authorization for that parachute operation has been
issued under this section. However, a parachutist may drift over a
congested area or an open-air assembly of persons with a fully
deployed and properly functioning parachute if that parachutist is at a
sufficient altitude to avoid creating a hazard to persons or property on
(b) An application for a certificate of authorization issued under this
section must --
(1) Be made in the form and manner prescribed by the
(2) Contain the information required in §105.15(a) of this part.
(c) Each holder of, and each person named as a participant in a
certificate of authorization issued under this section must comply with
all requirements contained in the certificate of authorization.
(d) Each holder of a certificate of authorization issued under this
section must present that certificate for inspection upon the request of
the Administrator, or any Federal, State, or local official.
§105.23 Parachute operations over or onto airports.
No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in
command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be
conducted from that aircraft, over or onto any airport unless --
(a) For airports with an operating control tower:
(1) Prior approval has been obtained from the management of
the airport to conduct parachute operations over or on that
(2) Approval has been obtained from the control tower to
conduct parachute operations over or onto that airport.
(3) Two-way radio communications are maintained between the
pilot of the aircraft involved in the parachute operation and the
control tower of the airport over or onto which the parachute
operation is being conducted.
This sample syllabus should be incorporated into your pilot training, but not solely limited to
this list. Add questions and sections necessary to your operation. This is a general guide to
start your training.
Jump Operations Familiarization
Jump Pilot Written Test
1. POH (AFM)
1.1. Check with your specific Pilot Operating Handbook or Aircraft Flight Manual. Make sure
you have it on board for all flight operations. Ensure that each pilot is familiar with ALL
chapters and supplements for the aircraft to be used.
2. Normal Procedures
2.1. Be familiar with all normal procedures and limitations.
3. Emergency Procedures
3.1. Be able to recite verbatim all emergency procedures and abnormal procedures.
4. Fuel Requirements
4.1. Max capacity, max useful with load of jumpers, reserve requirements.
5. Preflight (Normal)
6. Preflight (Jump Plane Attachments)
7. Certificates Required (Pilot/Aircraft/Jumper)
Jump Operations Familiarization
1. Starting Procedures
2. Loading Procedures
3. Seating Arrangements
4. Departure Procedures (Traffic Pattern)
4.1. This can be so important. Poor planning and execution coupled with poor radio skills will
cast doubt in the controller's mind as to your professional ability. Use only standard
phraseology. Set standard climb and descent profiles in stead of wandering all over the sky
5. Climb Profile
6. Radio Procedures with ATC notification
7. Winds Aloft
8. Jump run Selection and Application
8.1. Talk with jumpers or jumpmaster before takeoff as to what run is expected and distance
from landing area to commence dropping.
9. Descent Profile
10. Weather for Jumping
10.1. Know what wind and cloud restrictions are best suited for skydiving operations. Know
what hazardous weather can do to jumpers under canopy and in freefall.
11. Emergency Procedures for Jump Operation
11.1. Have a plan for every contingency at your airport. Are you flying a single/twin? Know
what you'll do and where you'll go at every moment should you have a catastrophic failure.
Discuss at what minimum altitudes you will release jumpers in an emergency and when you
will have everyone stay seated.
12. Drug and alcohol policy.
Jump Pilot Written Test
1. What is Vy? What number?
2. What is Vr? What number?
3. What is Blue Line (Twin Engine Aircraft)? What number?
4. Max Temp. for start? (Turbine engine)
5. Min. oil temp. for start (Piston)
6. Max fuel load allowed with full jumpers?
7. Min and Max oil required for flight?
8. Max Gross Take Off Weight (MGTOW)?
9. Normal Battery Voltage?
10. Normal System Voltage?
11. Max door open speed?
12. Power settings for jump run?
13. Min KIAS for jump run?
14. Write down the Emergency Procedure for engine failure before rotation verbatim
15. Write down the Emergency Procedure for engine failure AFTER rotation verbatim
16. How do you identify an electrical failure?
17. Is an emergency bailout rig required for your aircraft type? (Check all 337
documents for your aircraft)
18. If an emergency bailout rig is required, how often must the parachute be
inspected by an FAA Senior Rigger?
19. What FARs govern Skydiving?
20. What frequencies are required to be used at this airport and airspace?
21. Are jumpers allowed to jump over a congested area? Define congested area.
22. What is hypoxia?
23. What are the oxygen requirements of Part 91?
24. How can you get winds aloft?
25. How do you determine freefall drift?
26. How do you determine jump run?
27. What is the average descent rate of a Tandem Canopy? Student Canopy? Sport
Canopy? Extreme Canopy?
28. What are you going to do during an engine failure at your airport and for your
aircraft at rotation? 500 ft. AGL? 1,000 ft. AGL? 2,000 ft. AGL? Above 4,000 ft. AGL?
29. Why is it advantageous to climb into the prevailing wind during the early part of
30. What do you do if there is a premature deployment outside of your aircraft and it
goes across or over your tail?
31. A jumper is riding the aircraft down. At what altitude and descent rate will an
AAD fire for an Expert Cypres? Student Cypres? FXC 12000? ASTRA? Sentinel?
32. You are climbing to altitude for jump operation but can't get a hold of the
appropriate ATC facility. Can you continue and drop?
33. What is the minimum time required before dropping that you need to be in radio
contact with ATC?
34. How often must an aircraft used for hire be inspected?
35. What is required for skydiving operations at night? Does there need to be any
extra NOTAM filed?