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ManagingPrime

When will we have jets again?

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I've been looking at the Dornier 328 Jet this morning (god it's sexy) and thinking how awesome it would be as a jumpship.

If I understand things correctly jets were a little more viable in the "golden years" of skydiving and the Peris Jet has not been in operation for quite some time.

Ideas on what the future holds? What would it take for Peris to get their jet back in operation or for another DZ to take the plunge and purchase a jet?

I don't really understand the finances, but I'm just wondering if jets are a thing of the past that us baby jumpers are unlikely to have the joy of jumping.

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Essentially once the paperwork for the removal of the air stair door is filed and approved that is all you need to do. Getting the paperwork is a multi year ordeal that is not cheap. Oh you need to find someone willing to lease the plane and that is impossible anymore. Perris's Jet needs two new engines if I understood correctly.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

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Based on what I read regarding the costs, that's about $300K in work to get the Perris Jet flying again. Should i take that as another probably not going to be seeing jet loads anytime soon vote?

As noted previously, I really don't know these numbers, but I did some rough back of the envelope math....

I came up with an operating cost of about $2,000 pre hour. At a DZ with the ability to sell 5,700 tickets per month at $30 a jet seems financially viable.

Obviously, these numbers have been looked at for probably longer than I've been alive and by people with actual qualifications.... what am I missing here?

Caveat: The initial capital investment I came up with was close to $1MM

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Dormier 328? no thanks.. I'll stick to An-72's.... ;) http://www.espace-boogie.com/2000/planche1.html

But yeah, It's hard to justify large planes when the trend has been to smaller ways (due a lot to freeflying being more popular I would guess).

Also, keep in mind, jets were never popular. the 727 did a few loads most for a few years at Quincy / Rantoul, Perris has their DC9 that seems to be a magnificent white elephant, and Espace had the An-72 for their boogies in the late 90s early 00s.
Remster

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The An-72 is nice...got to love the tailgate.

Could the popularity be a function of the price? WFFC and the Peris DC9 is before my time, but if I heard correctly all of those tickets where in the $100 range.

It seems there has never been an attempt to incorporate a jet into normal operations. Obviously, financial viability I'm sure would be the major consideration.

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>Could the popularity be a function of the price?

And the runway required; most jets would not be able to handle your typical indifferently-maintained skydiving-only runway. The Perris runway needed a lot of work; the plane actually sank into the runway the first time they taxied it out on a hot day.

And the loads required. Most DZ's aren't going to be able to supply the 100+ jumpers needed to run the thing, much less turn it. Even if you tried to make a go at it with tandems, who is going to have the 25 tandem rigs + 25 on staff TM's to even fill half of one load with tandems?

And the maintenance schedule. Most jets run on a part-121 maintenance schedule which would rapidly bankrupt most DZ's. A very big part of the effort needed to get the Perris jet in the air was adapting the maintenance schedule to a small DZ effort. (And Perris is unusually well equipped for a DZ.)

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Based on what I read regarding the costs, that's about $300K in work to get the Perris Jet flying again. Should i take that as another probably not going to be seeing jet loads anytime soon vote?

As noted previously, I really don't know these numbers, but I did some rough back of the envelope math....

I came up with an operating cost of about $2,000 pre hour. At a DZ with the ability to sell 5,700 tickets per month at $30 a jet seems financially viable.


Obviously, these numbers have been looked at for probably longer than I've been alive and by people with actual qualifications.... what am I missing here?

Caveat: The initial capital investment I came up with was close to $1MM




Not quite on operating cost. Fuel alone would be around 400 gallons per hour per engine. @ $4 per gallon, JetA, that's $1600 per hour per engine. And that's just fuel, which is in simplest terms, 1/2 the operating cost per hour.
Irony: "the History and Trivia section hijacked by the D.B. Cooper thread"

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Points one and two were why I was thinking something smaller like the 328, but I would guess even with that size jet the runway may still be an issue.

Regarding maintence, I figured about $300/hr for maintence and engine reserves. Is that about right?

EDIT:
For apples to apples comparison I was running numbers based of the 328 which has a fuel burn rate of (best I can ascertain) 230 GPH total.

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[QUOTE]
I came up with an operating cost of about $2,000 pre hour. At a DZ with the ability to sell 5,700 tickets per month at $30 a jet seems financially viable.

Obviously, these numbers have been looked at for probably longer than I've been alive and by people with actual qualifications.... what am I missing here?
[/QUOTE]

Big jets suck for skydiving. The door is small, jump run speed high so people get all strung out, and really long jump runs (IIRC it was about 90 people a pass at Quincy) mean people are going to be landing out.

People jump them as an occasional fun novelty like WW2 bombers and biplanes with inverted exits.

They're not going to buy 5700 tickets a month.

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Big jets suck for skydiving. The door is small, jump run speed high so people get all strung out, and really long jump runs (IIRC it was about 90 people a pass at Quincy) mean people are going to be landing out.



I had read the 328's door was the same size as the twin otter. Could not find numbers on what jump run speed would be, but I was thinking it might be difficult/immpossible to unload 30 on the same run when we have go arounds with 20 on a twin otter sometimes.[:/]

Ohh well. It was a fun exercise...no jets.

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Caveat: The initial capital investment I came up with was close to $1MM



Ok, so that is just under the cost of a Caravan (1.1-1.3mil) and about 1/2's the investment needed for an Otter (1.7-2Mil). I've seen "As is" parts worthy DC9's going for $325k in TradeAPlane and DC9's at $2+ million when they are about timed out or lots more $ in good flying condition. For the investment an Otter is a sure money maker.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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I cant deny the practicality of the otter and carvan in jump operations. What I'm trying to figure out is how a jet can be fit in. IMHO a DC9 is overkill and there is just no way to incorporate it into day-to-day operations... Hence the current state of things.

I don't know all the factors that teams take into consideration when training, but I would think that 5 to altitude and an otter size door would be a big draw to some of the more competitive teams that do a lot of training. Could they support the operation? No. But I'm thinking an operational jet would be a draw and raise the profile of the DZ.

But, I digress. If it doesn't make dollars it doesn't make sense.

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At a DZ with the ability to sell 5,700 tickets per month at $30 a jet seems financially viable.



You are never going to sell 5700 jet tickets in a mth.

Jets were/are a one off jump. You do it once to be able to say you did it and then you get on the next otter load.

Plus as others have correctly pointed out... The MX costs are through the roof.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I don't know all the factors that teams take into consideration when training, but I would think that 5 to altitude and an otter size door would be a big draw to some of the more competitive teams that do a lot of training.



The top teams can already do 15+ jumps per day using existing aircraft. For training value, it's more important to have an aircraft that is the same or similar to that which will be used in competition. 5 minutes to altitude also likely means that the jump run speed will need to be a lot higher to avoid a stall. I doubt that many, if any jets could safely fly as slowly as typical jump ships do on jump run.

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