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  1. scdrnr

    Laser 250

    Anyone have any experience jumping a Laser 250 at wingloadings between .7 and 1:1? Any comparison in construction and flight characteristics vs a Raven 3 would be particularly helpful. I am assembling a demo/flag rig and am trying to determine which would be a better option for the reserve. I already own both, am familiar with the Raven, but I noticed that the Laser is certified C23c Cat C 175kts vs the Ravens Cat B 150kts. So is it better/stronger? I could test jump them myself, but if anyone out there has experience and a strong opinion one way or the other to share it would save me some hassle....
  2. While its obviously optimal to make a continous poweroff descent to landing, its not possible at all airports. A lot DZ's exist on busy airports or have noise abatement procedures that preclude doing the normal jump plane landing.
  3. I may not have analyzed all the accidents as thoroughly as you have, but to me, it looks like a large percentage of the accidents aren't the result of a lack of jump specific training. For instance, are we really to believe that these pilots, in the course of their training for commercial licenses, were never told not to run out of fuel, use carb heat on descent, fly into IMC with inop equipment, fly out of W&B? This is basic pilot shit that should have been covered thoroughly before they ever soloed! Frankly there will always be some elevated risk to jump operations. Its a bottom end aviation job filled mostly by fresh 300-700 hr pilots, which is statistically the most dangerous group of pilots. Its the whole skill and ego come faster than experience and judgement thing. And new CFI's or other stepping stone jobs aren't exposed to the same edge of the envelope type operations, and probably have more supervision, and less negative influence - lets face it, the typical skydiving culture and attitude doesn't always reward conservative behavior. Obviously the best solution is for dropzones to have an experienced chief pilot around. Not all dropzones can afford that. So how about expanding the role of S&TA to include aircraft ops? They don't have to be pilots to learn the regs, know about fuel consumption and W&B, and basic procedures for their DZ's aircraft, and how to read maintenance logs. Maybe the USPA can forward aircraft AD's and SB's to S&TA's too. SO i guess my solution is not more pilot training, but S&TA training. Why not use the safety system we already have to keep an eye out for the really basic errors that keep causing alot of the accidents. Would that not bring our accident rate a little more in line with the rest of GA? Edited too add: The more I think about it why can't more a/c knowledge be required for C and D license? Couldn't the USPA add an appendix to the SIM containing the basic weight and balance, and fuel consumption info for common jump planes? Shouldn't a "Master Parachutist" be able to determine basic airworthiness, configuration, and fuel requirements for a given flight?
  4. The rule restricting parachute flights to 25nm (119.1) pertains to commercial operations. If the parachutists are not paying for the flight or only the pro-rata share then there is no limitation. Part 91.107 allows parachutists to use the floor, but doesn't contain any radius restriction.
  5. The problem may not be lack of jump pilot training but a systemic problem in pilot training in general. A commercial pilot ticket should mean that a pilot is very competent at stall recovery from a variety of attitudes, configurations, at the full range of the weight and balance envelope. But many flight schools, especially the "Airline Academy" types only train their pilots to recover from the first sign of a stall, usually the horn, and they've never had more than two people and a couple of flight bags in the plane. And then they pass the in house checkride and go off into the world unprepared for anything other than riding around with a babysitter, making radio calls and working the gear lever. Yup, there are a whole lot of pilots out there who have been trained by instructors whose only spin training consisted of a couple of recoveries from a 1 turn spin in a 172, who've never flown in a cloud, planned a flight longer than half their fuel endurance, operated at gross weight, etc, etc...... If the airlines have their way with user-fees and all that BS its only going to get worse. Imagine the situation when the only flight training available is airline style ab-initio programs whose curriculums are designed for lowest cost, lowest risk. My two cents - avoid pilots who wore epaulets during their training.
  6. . When you compare 135 vs. 91 for like operations, 135 has a worse record. The during the recent tightening of part 91 scenic tour operators the FAA used a series of accidents that occurred under part 135 to make their case that the rules were needed. The only logical explanation I can think of is that the 135 operators convinced the FAA that they wouldn't be under such pressure to cut corners and break rules if they didn't have to compete with the part 91 "loophole" operators.
  7. Furthermore, a commercial pilot may be paid to fly a privately operated flight. A private party that owns, rents, or leases an aircraft may hire a pilot to fly them anywhere part 91 so long as they have operational control and it is not the pilot himself who is leasing the aircraft. And a DZO may certainly fill the plane with his staff/good customers and fly them to a boogie while paying the pilot to do so. No different than a bunch of fortune 500 execs/clients hopping on the company jet to go to a business meeting.
  8. Really hard to pin down without knowing a lot of other things such as - your operating experience level, how you plan to do maintenance, purchase price, condition of the plane, time on engines, how much is financed, insurance, etc. But here are some ballpark numbers off the top of my head. Payments - 100k per year Insurance - 30k per year Maintenance - 10-20k per year For -20 engines, your hourly operating costs will depend greatly on what you start with, how you plan to maintain them, and how you operate them. It costs about 150K to exchange for a fresh overhauled -20 if you have a good core. Middle of the road estimate to hang a mid-time exchange engine with a fresh hot section - 100K bottom end estimate to hang a mid to high time exchange engine with a pretty variable hot section status - 60K Figure on doing hot sections every 2,000 hrs. -20's eat ct vane rings so figure minimum per engine of 15-20k, you might get away with less, but 30-40k is also not out of the question, it depends on what you start with You may get 3 or so hot section runs this way on a mid-cycle engine. Fuel burn - 75 gal/hr Pilot - 30-60/hr
  9. 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. 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. *** The rule applies to aircraft configured with 6 or more passenger seats. So I'd argue that if jumpers are using the floor, then the airplane is not subject to 91.223 at all- they are exempt before the exemption.
  10. PVC is not an approved material under FAR 23 for distribution plenum's. This is why PVC is probably not a good material for this purpose. FAR 23 is very clear that whether approved or not, the pilot must be able to readily turn off the high pressure source. This means either the bottle is within his reach or he can activate a remote valve.
  11. We do this regularly for demo's, or to ferry staff to another location where they will be jumping. But in these instances the jumpers are either being paid to jump or riding for free, making it private carriage- no different than company employees riding the company jet. Except, unless the seats are installed, everyone has to at least have the "intention" of jumping at the destination. I strongly disagree. In fact there is data to suggest that certain 135 ops are more dangerous than their 91 counterparts. An operator that is saddled with burdensome, unnecessary, overhead is more likely to bend the rules where they can. Not saying all 135's are like that, its just that when times are tough, margins are slim, you've got astronomical insurance premiums premiums to pay for, parts costs are tripled or more, all your key senior people are too busy with paperwork to even look at the flight line, thats when its likely that airplanes will be overloaded, marginal weather pushed, maintenance deferred........ But don't confuse the FAA with logic. The recent NPRM regarding scenic flights is a good example. Their data pool suggests that the 135 operators are crashing at a rate of 10 to 1 compared to the 91 operators, usually after violating operating rules. The FAA solution: force 91 operators into 135 rules.
  12. Oxygen systems are not TSO'd. They are certified with the aircraft under FAR Part 23 (23.1441) requirements. Part 23 DOES ALLOW portable oxygen systems to be used in lieu of original equipment as long as the portable systems meet the applicable requirements and are properly secured in the cabin (in accordance with 23.561). It doesn't require the O2 system to be installed in any particular place. Currently only cannulas or masks are approved as dispensing devices, with cannulas being limited to 18000 MSL and requiring certain placards about their use. I believe the system in question here does not meet that requirement, even though it is probably more practical for the type of use. As long as the distribution lines are made of medical or gas industry standard parts then they are approved in accordance with 21.303. Nonmetallic tubing may only be used from outlets to the dispensing units. I believe the system in question does comply here. Here's the big get out of jail free card. These specific requirements only apply to aircraft certified with supplemental oxygen or approved for operations above supplemental oxygen altitudes. So if the aircraft never had an oxygen system, or it was properly removed, and has no "approved" altitude - by this I mean an actual FAA Approved max altitude in its Limitations Section, or TCDS, (mostly only applicable to pressurised aircraft) then the only requirements are (paraphrased): 1. That the system not pose a hazard in itself or upon other components. 2. That the pilot can determine the quantity in flight 3. That the pilot can turn off the supply at the high pressure source (tank) I do believe that this is typical arbitrary FAA bullshit. Going out of their way to nitpick over the letter of the law when there is no safety issue, even when practicality and common sense would dicate otherwise. Exactly how did they ground the system? What paperwork did they issue? The FAA has very limited authority here when it comes to part 91 ops. Even a Condition Notice is not really a grounding. Until they have actually succesfully processed a violation on this, which takes time and resources, they don't have anything. I have dealt with inspectors who have attempted to "ground" aircraft and it turns out they were full of shit.
  13. Most of the older cessna 182s come with normally aspirated carburated continentals. There are numerous STC's giving them power up to 300hp with or without fuel injection by either modifying or replacing the engine/prop. There are a few factory turbo'd 182's out there, most are retracts, but a few straight legs too, they all had a carburated lycoming 0-540 engine rated at 235hp. I don't know of any STC to add a turbo to continental powered cessna 182/206/207's but there are several to remove it from 206's/207's. There is one for adding a turbo to the 185 and several companies put turbos on 206's for export. I'm sure there are a handful of one-time only field conversions flying around which may or may not be legal. New Cessna's (beginning somewhere around 1990) are all Lycoming powered, fuel injected, and the 182/206 are available with optional turbo's as of 5-6 years ago. Turbos on smaller GA aircraft are generally for maintaining sea-level power at altitude instead of adding power, most are rated for continous operation at 30-35 in. hg. manifold pressure. normal sea level pressure is about 30" and without a turbo you lose approx 1" per 1000 feet. Because turbos are heavier, heat the induction air, and normally use lower compression pistons (to increase detonation margin) they are somewhat less efficient at low altitudes, but really shine above 10,000msl. From the outside the best way to tell if a 182 is turbo'd or not is the location of the air intake. Its center front on most, and on the turbo's (lycoming version) there is a scoop on the left side of the cowling, just forward of the firewall. For 206/207's look at the exhaust configuration. The turbos have a vertical pipe coming down out of the right side of the cowling just forward of the cowl flap.
  14. ***Then possibly the AOPA could assist in your circumstance?*** Possibly, yes. Its an interesting idea.