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MarkAfrika

BN2A Islander for Skydive operation?

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Hello,

Wanted to see if anyone out there had some real and meaningful feedback as to why the BN2A Islander aircraft isn't employed more for medium sized tandem (and fun jumper)DZs.
Before all the trolls wake up and "AH poo poo" this airplane, I would like someone to explain to me why this wouldn't be a reasonable step between a C182 and a Turbine. Seems to me to be the difference of $100s of thousand of dollars.
What am I missing here?
Thanks for the feedback

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Twin engine=double dollars+pilot issues=stick with a single engine.

They are great fun to jump out of. We use the military one in Belize once in a while. However it is a Defender model. A good climber with 6 or 7 on board to about 10,ooo feet, but then it is a very slow boat to 12.5.

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Islanders use to be popular jump-planes in the UK, but I suspect that most are worn-out now.
Britten-Norman Islanders are basically twin-engined versions of Cessna U206 with a big cargo door, room for 10 or 12 jumpers and a pair of flat-6 engines. The door is popular with TIs, but a it awkward for AFF. Like 206s, some Islanders have turbo-charged engines and a few have even been converted to turbo-props.
Lower maintenance and insurance costs - compared to other light twins - because they have fixed undercarriage.

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I have looked into the Islander in the past for jump operations.
I learned that the airframe has some time and cycle components that need to be replaced at certain intervals and you want the 300 hp normally asperated engines, Lycoming IO-540's. Besides that they will do a good job of hauling tandems.
When I was looking at them in the 80's and 90's, they weren't priced much lower than a Porter or King Air and you could buy 2 or 3 Twin Bo's, Queen Airs, or Beech 18's for the price of an Islander. Although I think it is a much better airplane, the purchase price usually wins when there is a small profit margin.
Although I am not in the skydiving business any longer, I still would like to have an Islander for trips with family and friends and fun jumping at my short private strip. They have better stol performance than the Beech family of piston twins.
A better choice would be Van Prey's PT6-20 Cessna 206, I think it is the perfect airplane to transistion a 2 Cessna DZ to it's first turbine.

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