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  1. One of the best, and a true "master of the sky," has flown West. I always thought it was awesome that he made 60 jumps on his 60th birthday - to say FU to the FAA for forced airline retirement.
  2. Burt will always be my "brotha' from anotha' motha". Skydiving lost some cool yesterday.
  3. Turbine airplanes must have a approved terrain awarness and warning system. Other turbine aircraft are not mentioned in 91.233. Bob Correct
  4. That's the whole point of an Air Carrier Certificate!!! It provides for a known level of safety and performance for the general public. The FAA has determined (with the dedicated help of constantly crashing jump planes) that flying in jump planes should be limited to local flights. Take a look at accidents in turbine jump planes. Most happened on cross-country repositioning flights!!!!! It took the skydiving industry to turn the King Air from one of the safest turbine airplanes in the sky to one of the most dangerous.
  5. 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command. (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft. (b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency. (c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator. Deviation from the FAR's, as required, is approved. However, a person may be required to explain the deviation. One would expect the emergency authority to be used for such, and not a carte blanc attempt to deviate from the regulations.
  6. Tom Buchanan brings up some very good points. I have, for many years, attempted to educate skydivers and jump pilots on the FAR's. One regulation that seems to be frequently misunderstood is FAR 119.1(e)(6). It states that for a commercial skydiving flight to be an exception to Air Carrier Regulations (FAR Part 135 or 121), the flight must be nonstop and conducted within a 25-statute-mile radius of the airport of takeoff. Nearly all skydiving flights are commercial, even those in a "club" environment. Additionally, FAR Part 91.107(a)(3) states that each person on board a U.S.-registered civil aircraft must occupy an approved seat or berth with a safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness, properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing. An exception is provided in FAR Part 91.107(a)(3)(ii). It states that a person may use the floor of the aircraft as a seat, provided that the person is on board for the purpose of engaging in sport parachuting. Is it legal to fly more than 25 miles from the departure airport with skydivers on board? Yes, but only if the operation is not commercial, or the operator holds an Air Carrier Certificate and is approved for the operation. Is it legal to land at an airport other than the airport of departure with skydivers on board? Yes, but only if the operation is not commercial AND the skydivers are occupying approved seats, or the operator holds an Air Carrier Certificate and is approved for the operation (seat requirement still exists). Is it legal to fly 30 miles from the departure airport with skydivers and paying Tandems on board to make a jump into a neighboring airport? No, even if the jump is aborted and the plane returns to the departure airport, or the operator holds an Air Carrier Certificate and is approved for the operation. Is it legal to land at an airport other than the airport of departure with a paid demo team on board? No, even if the jumpers occupied approved seats, unless the operator holds an Air Carrier Certificate and is approved for the operation. If the operation is commercial, all flights must be within 25 miles of the airport of departure and must be non-stop, or an Air Carrier Certificate is required. The approved seating requirement only comes into play for non- jumping flights, and then, the flight must be non-commercial, or the operator must hold an Air Carrier Certificate and be approved for the operation. Additionally, FAR Part 91.223 requires turbine aircraft to have approved Terrain Awarness instrumentation. An exception to this requirement exists for parachuting operations when conducted entirely within a 50 nautical mile radius of the airport from which such local flight operations began. Interesting to note are the different mileage restrictions (25 statute miles for FAR Part 119.1 vs 50 nautical miles for FAR Part 91.223).
  7. The increase in performance is only partly due to a decrease in induced drag (and lets try to avoid an induced drag discussion). The increased performance is, accurately, from less total aerodynamic weight. I respect your pilots observations; however, I don't believe they would qualify as scientific data. The skydiving community is the only one that believes in this theory. Let's stop this misinformation about CG once and for all.
  8. "Isnt' a lower stall speed a bad thing?" No way dude. Would you rather have a canopy that stalled at 3 mph or 23 mph? Regarding CG during takeoff, I believe that any skydiving airplane that is loaded to capacity is within it's CG envelope. It may be overweight but by virtue of fully loading the plane, there will be weight both in the front and in the back - a balanced aircraft.
  9. King Airs must fly jump run with the flaps set in "Approach". This flap setting lowers the nose/raises the tail, and greatly reduces the chances of a tail strike. Nearly every King Air tail strike has been because the flaps were not extended. The King Air flaps are powered by an electric motor which occasioally fails. Beware the operator who tries to get thru the weekend with inoperative flaps. Expect a tail strike. Also, dont forget about the "low pass" guys. The "Approach" flap setting, which is an inconvienient re-configuration during the climb, is way more important than a power reduction or the jump run speed. Lastly, regarding Center of Gravity. I continue to be amazed at the lack of knowledge regarding the relationship between CG and performance. Airplanes with aft CG's (within limits) have shorter takeoff rolls, climb faster and have lower stall speeds!! It's true; consult any accurate reference on aerodynamics. Airplanes stalling on jump run is generally not a CG issue. It is a pilot training and proficiency isssue. Granted, there are exceptions but if the plane "gets too slow" that is a result of pilot action - or inaction!! Be safe.
  10. Yes Bill, the relative wind, which is the wind opposite the direction of flight!
  11. You are correct that one cannot determine ground track. That's the whole point to my imaginary "above the clouds" parachute jump. One could use the sun as a heading reference, or a compass, as suggested by a subsequent post. I recall a night 8 stack I was on a few years back. The pilot of the stack used the moon as a heading reference as we were above an undercast. He made timed turns to maintain orientation to the DZ. Yes we all landed on the DZ after descending thru the clouds at 2500 feet. Remember, for the sake of our discusion, it's all about the flight of the canopy in the air.
  12. Will a canopy (or airplane) turn in turbulence? Sure it will. We see that all the time. However, the reason the canopy turns is not because of "wind." The canopy turns because the amount of drag or lift on the airfoil is not symetrical over it's entire span. Sounds like what happens during a toggle input? Rising airmasses (thermals) and orographic turbulence (from trees, terrain, buildings) may affect only a part of the airfoil. If the change in drag or lift on that segment of the parachute is significant enough, it will manifest as a turn. Additionally, our semi-rigid airfoils may change shape over a portion of the airfoil, thus changing the flight characteristics of the entire canopy and possibly causing a turn.
  13. Ahhhhh, and the confusion continues. In an effort to avoid a technical discusion I used my previous post as an example. I thought it would be adequate. Dave, sorry dude, but you are confusing wind (caused by Mother Nature) with relative wind which is a term used to describe the airflow which is opposite the direction of flight. And now don't confuse flight with ground track
  14. Arrgghhhh. OK enough about this old aviation myth. The "downwind turn" in flying was dispelled many, many years ago. Imagine this scenario and you will see that the wind direction relative to flight in an airmass doesn't mean squat. Envision that you've opened at 14,000 feet above a solid undercast at 2,000. You have no reference to the ground so will not be confused by ground speed or ground track. Now point your canopy in any direction. It will fly straight (excluding rigging or jumper induced inputs) regardless of the wind direction. Feel free to toggle turn as many degrees in any direction as desired and stop the turn. Once again, the canopy will fly straight. Canopy airspeed, rate of turn, rate of descent and stability are NOT affected by the wind direction. However, ground speed and ground track are affected by the wind. This common misunderstanding is proven wrong by accurate observation and calculation. TSO-d Chris, please give it up dude. Major flaws in your analysis.