Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
Queen Air as jump plane

 


Basejumperjeff  (D 1034)

Sep 2, 2008, 6:42 AM
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Queen Air as jump plane Can't Post

Looking for anyone with info on pros and cons of using a Queen Air as a jump plane. Any DZO out there using one right now, I would like to speak to you.
Thanks for any and all info.
Jeff


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Sep 2, 2008, 6:46 AM
Post #2 of 23 (7619 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Looking for anyone with info on pros and cons of using a Queen Air as a jump plane. Any DZO out there using one right now, I would like to speak to you.
Thanks for any and all info.
Jeff

Those are rare birds in the sport. I've only jumped out of one. I think Skydive Atlanta used to have it in their old location in Covington, but I jumped it once or twice when it was at Skydive North Georgia.

Probably one of the worst birds to be in if an engine quits, but that's about all I know of it.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Sep 2, 2008, 7:00 AM
Post #3 of 23 (7597 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydive Atlanta had one in Thomaston as late as 2000. Basically a Kingair with piston engines.It would be hard to find any pros over the Kingair except maybe the purchase price. The cons would be that you would not what just any Joe Blow operating those supercharged engines,they are older then Kingairs,the wing bladders leak. Good entry level plane if you can do some of the maintenance yourself.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Sep 2, 2008, 8:02 AM
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

I called the three Beeches, King Airs, Queen Airs, and Jack Airs . . .

The Jack Air being the Beech D or S18 that most called a Twin Beech.

We had a Queen Air at Elsinore they were turning into a jump plane but I never saw it actually fly. But over the years I've jumped a few of them here and there. At a DZ where all you had was a Cessna they were a step up but like most older cabin class piston twins you need a sharp stick in the left seat if things go south . . .

NickD Smile
Attachments: Queenie.jpg (98.1 KB)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 2, 2008, 8:03 AM
Post #5 of 23 (7550 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.
I wrote a column on Queen Airs (for Skydiving Magazine) about twenty years ago, when a few DZs were operating them.
I even made a few jumps out of QA during the 1990s. From the inside, QA are pretty much the same as KA.
QA is basically a King Air with piston engines. In fact the last few pressurized QA shared exactly the same air frame as the first few King Airs.
The stock piston engines are maintenance-intensive and require a smooth hand on the throttles, mixture, boost, prop governor, etc.
They also require a highly-experienced mechanic looking them over every Monday morning.

The other disadvantage of QA is that the stock engines are just barely powerful enough to climb if one quits. ... and you should start praying that god's gift-to-aviation is at the throttle.
Don't feel bad QA-lovers, because I will make the same sarcastic comments about most other piston-powered twins.
The solution is after-market Excalibur conversions with huge, 720-ish cubic inch, eight cylinder Lycomings. They climb much better, but if you have to ask about the maintenance bill, you cannot afford it!
Engine maintenance is a "pay me now or pay me later" thing. You can pay a small sum every month to maintain a QA or you can pay large sums every few years to maintain the turbine engines on a KA.


wrightskyguy  (D 19665)

Sep 2, 2008, 8:36 AM
Post #6 of 23 (7526 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Used to have a pretty nasty one at the old Keystone DZ in Fl. It was ok if you could keep it from catching on fire.


3331  (D 3331)

Sep 2, 2008, 9:53 AM
Post #7 of 23 (7470 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In September 1995 at West Point Virginia a Queen Air crashed after losing the right engine on take off. It could not climb.

Their were no survivors.


stratostar  (Student)

Sep 2, 2008, 10:09 AM
Post #8 of 23 (7455 views)
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Re: [3331] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.cnn.com/.../virginia/index.html


SWATcop  (B 17052)

Sep 2, 2008, 10:29 AM
Post #9 of 23 (7440 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

I used to jump one at Titusville, FL in the mid 90's. It was slow, spit oil and seemed to have a lot of mechanical problems as I recall. They did fly it over to the Bahmas to jump once in a while though.


piper17  (D 3362)

Sep 2, 2008, 10:41 AM
Post #10 of 23 (7422 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

You could always contact Gene Paul Thacker at Raeford. He operated one (or more) for several years and could probably give you a lot of good advice.

Raeford uses turbines now.


upndownshop  (D 23924)

Sep 2, 2008, 10:43 AM
Post #11 of 23 (7418 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Agreed.
I wrote a column on Queen Airs (for Skydiving Magazine) about twenty years ago, when a few DZs were operating them.
I even made a few jumps out of QA during the 1990s. From the inside, QA are pretty much the same as KA.
QA is basically a King Air with piston engines. In fact the last few pressurized QA shared exactly the same air frame as the first few King Airs.
The stock piston engines are maintenance-intensive and require a smooth hand on the throttles, mixture, boost, prop governor, etc.
They also require a highly-experienced mechanic looking them over every Monday morning.

The other disadvantage of QA is that the stock engines are just barely powerful enough to climb if one quits. ... and you should start praying that god's gift-to-aviation is at the throttle.
Don't feel bad QA-lovers, because I will make the same sarcastic comments about most other piston-powered twins.
The solution is after-market Excalibur conversions with huge, 720-ish cubic inch, eight cylinder Lycomings. They climb much better, but if you have to ask about the maintenance bill, you cannot afford it!
Engine maintenance is a "pay me now or pay me later" thing. You can pay a small sum every month to maintain a QA or you can pay large sums every few years to maintain the turbine engines on a KA.

Why do I keep thinking the CG was a major or a more sensitive factor for skydiving. Are they not known to stall easily? At least thats what my old memory is telling me.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Sep 2, 2008, 11:11 AM
Post #12 of 23 (7403 views)
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Re: [upndownshop] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Agreed.
I wrote a column on Queen Airs (for Skydiving Magazine) about twenty years ago, when a few DZs were operating them.
I even made a few jumps out of QA during the 1990s. From the inside, QA are pretty much the same as KA.
QA is basically a King Air with piston engines. In fact the last few pressurized QA shared exactly the same air frame as the first few King Airs.
The stock piston engines are maintenance-intensive and require a smooth hand on the throttles, mixture, boost, prop governor, etc.
They also require a highly-experienced mechanic looking them over every Monday morning.

The other disadvantage of QA is that the stock engines are just barely powerful enough to climb if one quits. ... and you should start praying that god's gift-to-aviation is at the throttle.
Don't feel bad QA-lovers, because I will make the same sarcastic comments about most other piston-powered twins.
The solution is after-market Excalibur conversions with huge, 720-ish cubic inch, eight cylinder Lycomings. They climb much better, but if you have to ask about the maintenance bill, you cannot afford it!
Engine maintenance is a "pay me now or pay me later" thing. You can pay a small sum every month to maintain a QA or you can pay large sums every few years to maintain the turbine engines on a KA.

Why do I keep thinking the CG was a major or a more sensitive factor for skydiving. Are they not known to stall easily? At least thats what my old memory is telling me.

I thought I remembered something about that too. At least I remember the twin engine Cessna 411 having that problem too, and it was even more of a bitch to get out in case of an emergency.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Sep 2, 2008, 11:46 AM
Post #13 of 23 (7378 views)
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Re: [BillyVance] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Those Cessna 411s are death capsules. Or at least they seemed so. I don't know the numbers but over the last thirty years I've heard of bagfuls of them crashing in the GA setting. And there was just one a month or two ago.

We had one for awhile. They are very ground hungry and it always seemed to me we stayed on the runway way too long - going way too fast. So I always made it a point to glance at the condition of the tires on that bird.

And, if your student was anything but tiny, it was almost impossible to do two Instructor AFF out of its small door. Finally we gave up trying after a while and reserve side would take normal grips in the door and throughout the count, but then they'd let go on the actual exit. Then just follow and come down and dock. It was actually safer for all that way. The horizontal stab is low and close in this plane and an open rig in the door would suck balls . . .

This of course, is quasi-illegal, but it was better than a premature opening and/or the whirling derbies we got handed trying to do it any other way. At first, before doing it that way, I briefed the students to expect a tumble on the exit but it was cheating them out of the good exit I knew we could do just being alone with them.

We finally got rid of that aircraft and I was glad of it . . .

NickD Smile


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Sep 2, 2008, 1:14 PM
Post #14 of 23 (7333 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped a C-411 one day when the Rome, GA DZ sent it over to my home DZ way back in the mid 90's. I didn't know what it was until later. It looked well-kept and maintained so I didn't have a problem jumping it. But man, was that door small. It crashed a few years later though.


TFFTM  (D 29333)

Sep 2, 2008, 1:45 PM
Post #15 of 23 (7309 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Our DZ looked at buying a very nice Queen Air recently and at a great price. The deal killer was the insurance rate.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Sep 2, 2008, 1:55 PM
Post #16 of 23 (7296 views)
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Re: [TFFTM] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Our DZ looked at buying a very nice Queen Air recently and at a great price. The deal killer was the insurance rate.

No surprise there. Besides, its cheaper to run a King Air than a Queen Air, maintenance-wise, as has been stated earlier. Not exactly something a small DZ can really afford.


billokeefe  (D 7953)

Sep 2, 2008, 10:31 PM
Post #17 of 23 (7166 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Talk to Larry Pennington at Skydive Suffolk. He
operated a Queen Air for a long time and never had
a problem. Of course he maintained it very well and
had only one pilot (or very few) who flew it and that
pilot was a very good pilot who WAS NOT a hot dog.
If you want your aircraft to remain in nice condition
part of the answer is PAY THE PILOT A FAIR WAGE. If
you do that you might actually get a pilot that has
some experience, wouldn't kill your aircraft and most
probably wouldn't kill you if something goes down.
By the By, at Raeford they operated Twin-Bo's not
Queen Airs. Speaking of which (Twin-Bo's), if you
are not dead set on a Queen Air the Twin-Bo is a
very good jump plane for a small DZ that doesn't
HAVE to have a turbine. There are the T-Bo's with
and without the supercharged engines. If you do not
need a real fast climber you will be much better off
without the Super Bo. It's the superchargers which
have a lot of the maintenance issues (all Queen Airs
have the supercharged engines). Again talk to
Larry Pennington. I've only met him a few times but
he came across a super guy who would be willing to
talk to you about these issues - he's really got the
experience on this issue. Good luck.


airgord  (D 15258)

Sep 2, 2008, 11:14 PM
Post #18 of 23 (7156 views)
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Re: [billokeefe] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

A good pilot, that REALLY understands the systems, and lots of fire extinguishers. They sound cool though.

This reminds about the old adage; "How do you make a small fortune in the skydive business..... start with a large one".

I worked for a Beech dealer in the late 80's, we were maintaining 4 of them when I started, down from 12 the year before, all were stock geared motors but one that had the IO-720 conversion, the "stockers" were lucky to get 6 to 8 hours with out some kind of failure that required a in flight shut down.

The sad thing is these aircraft are going for really fucking cheap, there is a reason, they are beyond obsolete for what we are doing. They were designed for for hauling some asshole and his asshole friends to Palmsprings and then hauling his asshole buddies to meet some other assholes for some kind of business meetings, aka, keep it altitude for a long while, chop the throttles shock cool it, then try to impress the line boys as you taxi in and hope your not on fire.

Get a Cessna Caravan, climbs as fast, uses less fuel, hauls as many bodies and pilots are easier to find, OR, look up parts prices for a IGSO-380.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Sep 3, 2008, 5:09 AM
Post #19 of 23 (7117 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Also call John at ,I think it's, Finger Lakes Skydiving. Up in New York. He had a couple of them. Not sure if he still does but he knows all there is to know about them.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Sep 3, 2008, 5:18 AM
Post #20 of 23 (7109 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I will not jump from a Queen Air. I had thought there were no more operating in skydiving. I had thought they'd all either crashed or had their engines give up.

A few years ago there were a ton of old King Airs on the market. Isn't that still the case? Seems to me like a much better choice. I'd take an old King Air over a Queen any day.

-Am


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Sep 3, 2008, 5:32 AM
Post #21 of 23 (7102 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Also call John at ,I think it's, Finger Lakes Skydiving. Up in New York. He had a couple of them. Not sure if he still does but he knows all there is to know about them.

Exactly...
john King ( Kinger) first began operating a Queen Air in the early 90's...when his DZ was maybe 10 years old.... HE flew it himself, and had MAYBE 2 other pilots, to whom he would entrust the controls,,,when needed...
There was a real good following of RW types then, who would enjoy getting together there, and making a bunch of jumps ...
Kinger is a long time 'wrench' man, ( also and A & P, and an inspector ) and was very diligent in his care of the plane...i don't recall any emergencies with it,, but i could be
wrong,,, Unimpressed
( my kids were little then, and my jumping was slightly curtailed during those years ) but i made many dozens of jumps out of it..... the running joke,,, during boarding procedures, was for some smart ass to ask loudly,,, " Ok who is carrying the fire extinquisher"???/..... (apparently) the engines were said to be succeptible to flashing a bit,,, at start up...ShockedLaughCoolUnimpressed

as stated,,, the left seat in that aircraft is Not for the novices, or those unaccustomed to "taking care of business" should it be needed...
kinger would be a good source of Honest and accurate assessment of that aircraft as a jumpship....
P s he doesn't have one, on line anymore....so that might tell you something...

jmy


gjhdiver  (D 7731)

Sep 3, 2008, 6:45 PM
Post #22 of 23 (6985 views)
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Re: [Basejumperjeff] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

Call Ray Ferrell up at Skydance at Davis. He ran one there for years, He'll talk you out of any foolishness on that score. I've jumped one a few times. Basically, they have what's called a GITSO setup on the motors, or at least the ones I've seen have. They are supercharged piston engines with a huge satellite gear in them. Even with all that extra power being wrung out of the engines, they are still underpowered for a skydiving application, and like most motors that are run blown, they generate a lot of maintenance. The development of the King Air was essentially fix for this problem for the short haul commuter market.

If you plan to operate it near any residential areas, expect to get complaints every time you use it. It's the only plane I have still been able to hear in freefall after I've left it. The one they had at Davis was ridiculously loud.

Someone somewhere has a great picture of Ray's Queen Air upside down on jump run, spitting jumpers in every direction after a stall. Hopefully, they'll post it here.


TomSpoon  (D 20967)

Sep 4, 2008, 9:41 AM
Post #23 of 23 (6900 views)
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Re: [3331] Queen Air as jump plane [In reply to] Can't Post

One issue that was brought up by the NTSB after the West Point crash is that their was no FAA authorization for flight with the cabin door removed for that model of queen air.

http://www.ntsb.gov/...1207X04585&key=1

Apparently their are two versions. A straight tail and a swept tail.

I hope I don't get it reversed but if I remember right only the swept tail version is authorized for flight with the door removed.


(This post was edited by TomSpoon on Sep 4, 2008, 9:58 AM)



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