A look inside a skydiving airplane

A Look Inside a Skydiving Plane

Friday, June 14, 2019

Guess what? The aircraft a dropzone uses as has a pivotal effect on your overall experience. Choosing the best one is like choosing to go to your wedding in a limousine or your aunt’s old Datsun. Sure, it’s just the conveyance — but it really sets the stage, n’est-ce pas? We rock a Caravan, Otter, Skyvans and Casas in our fleet — the finest skydiving planes in the business — and we’d love to tell you just why.

Caravan Skydiving Plane

Speed to Altitude

Most smaller dropzones use the most common skydiving aircraft in the world: the venerable little Cessna 182, the workhorse of the skydiving industry. However: As a single-engine plane, the C-182 a little underpowered, so it can only realistically go up to 10,000 feet before it starts taking an unsustainable amount of time and fuel to go any higher. Turbine aircraft, on the other hand, go up to 13,500 for breakfast, happily hopping up to 18k when it’s called for. At Paraclete XP, we have a big ol’ fleet of turbine aircraft churning up the feet between the ground and the top o’ the sky: and speed to altitude plays a big role in skydiving, particularly if you’re a staff member jumping a dozen times a day.

The Door

Most non-skydivers have no idea how finicky sport jumpers are about the door of the plane — and, at Skydive Paraclete XP, we have some pretty awesome doors. Our fleet of skydiving planes have nice, wide doors that have been kitted out with special handles that sport skydivers can use to launch complicated formations they’d never pull off if they didn’t have a solid place outside the plane to hang on tight. Sport skydivers love these unique exits! It gets specific, too: some skydivers will even have a preference for a door type depending on whether they’re a videographer or tandem instructor. At Paraclete, there’s a nice spot for everybody on the way to the sky.

skydiving airplane door

The Tailgate

Even want to take a running leap out the back of a plane in flight? At most dropzones, you won’t get that chance, because they’re usually used for military training and tend to be a novelty for civilian skydivers; at Skydive Paraclete XP, you heckin’ do. There’s no question why tailgate exits are so beloved (Running leaps! Gainers! Hanging from the bar under the door!). Most skydivers don’t even mind that planes with tailgates have a slower climb rate than planes with doors on the sides.

tailgate skydiving plane

The Seating

In the most common plane used worldwide for skydiving — the tiny Cessna 182 — seating is simple It’s a spot on the floor. In a big skydiving plane, like the ones we proudly fly in, we have the luxury of bench seating in every single one. Depending on the plane, you’ll see different seating configurations: normal bench-sittin’, straddle benches, slins seats that pull down from the walls — but the one common theme is that you’ll be sittin’ pretty on your way to altitude.

seating in skydiving plane

Finally, our big planes offer jumpers some serious lift capacity! With more seats, there’s significantly more fun to be had — with friends, big ways and happy-happy-funtime groups. We’d love to see you on that manifest and give you a skydiving plane tour of your very own! Don’t be a stranger. Contact us now to get it on your calendar.

woman dancing in freefall with ballet slippers

I went on my first tandem skydive yesterday and I couldn't ask for a better experience! If you're looking for a fun experience with welcoming people you need to come check this place out. I look forward to going back for my second jump soon!

Sara Lynn