Photo by Josiah Rich
Are you ready to meet the plane of your dreams? Let us introduce you to a few of the aircraft you might end up swooning over during the course of your skydiving career. This might be the year you meet the plane you want to jump out of for the rest of your life!
If you’re bounding up to a Cessna with a big grin on your face, you can be assured of one thing: You’re just falling all over yourself to get into the sky, and you’re glad that there’s any plane whatsoever headed to jumpable altitude.
A Cessna, after all, is no limousine. These little guys are the workhorses of the skydiving industry, as they’re cheap to run and don’t need much in the way of an airfield. They’re cramped, they’re slow and they don’t go up as high as their posher counterparts, but y’know what? When you need a jump, you need a jump, and they get the job done.
Golly, the SuperVan is almost perfectly perfect. It’s got the benefit of a big door, it’s cost-efficient for operators, it’s comfortable inside and it’s an efficient ride–it just isn’t quite big enough to compete with its burlier cousin, the Twin Otter. That said, its many benefits outweigh that one little nitpick. As a matter of fact, the SuperVan is currently overcoming its very slight runtiness to become one of the most popular planes in skydiving.
The Twin Otter is the undisputed golden child of skydiving aircraft. This handsome fella has it all: a great big door (for launching complicated formations), a comfy interior (for compulsory skydiver snuggles), a speedy ride to altitude (for packing more jumps into the day), and comparably short requirements for takeoffs and landings (for safety). Bonus: Double turbines provide security in case one of them is having a bad day. The drawback is that these guys are expensive to operate–heck, anything this yummy has got to be high-maintenance–but they can crank out some serious jumps when you treat ‘em right (like we do ours).
The Casa is a skydiver’s dream–just check out that sweet tailgate! With a door this big, you can strategize some mindblowing formations…and that leaves open all kinds of opportunities for wacky exit hijinks. (See also: coordinated gainers, hanging and dropping off the back, twelve-jumper cannonballs, “magic carpets,” inflatable raft jumps, etc.) Maybe it takes a little while for a Casa to make it up to 13,500 feet, but y’know what? When you’re jumping ten people, two rafts and a hula hoop, it takes time to work out the details. Casas are also spendy to maintain, but when you’ve got one, you show it you love it by providing lots of tender loving care. (Ours is downright spoiled!)
At Skydive Paraclete XP, we are proud of our fleet of skydiving planes which include a Cessna Super Grand Caravan, CASA 212, Twin Otter and PAC 750. So: whaddaya say? Can we make the introduction so you can get to know them yourself? With any luck, your budding relationship will have lots of ups and downs!
Tags: skydiving planes
Without a doubt my absolute favorite place to be when I'm out of school and off work. I came here after I made a tandem skydive and decided I wanted to learn and did my AFF. The instructors and coaches are wonderful. You WILL learn here. Loved jumping with Michael, Randy and Mike so much. Even if the drive is 2 1/2 hours and I'm licensed now, I'll keep coming back.