I was watching one of those real video-type programs a couple of days ago. One video was a skydive gone wrong. What really blew me away was theat they jumped out of a 727. How the heck can a skydive club afford that? Even if it was a short-term lease, the fuel cost has to be outrageous. What’s the story on that? Where do jump clubs get bad-ass planes like 727s and Pilatus Turbo-Porters?? Even that single turbine ain’t cheap.
It appears (from a Google search for “skydive 727”) that they use a 727 at least some of the time at the World Skydive Competition. I’m sure there’s some big money in that, a little more than just a local skydiving club.
Actually, it might make sense, you can load a lot of people up on that one plane, not having multiple smaller planes or repeated trips.
Probably a charter. It wouldn’t cost much more than a regular trip would it? And like D.B. Cooper found out, that lower stair would make jumping much easier.
I don’t know the numbers on how much a 727 rents for per hour, but given what I know of airplane economics (being a renter pilot) under some circumstances renting one huge plane could be less expensive than renting a fleet of smaller ones.
Another factor to consider is that the airplane in question only needs to carry enough fuel for the job at hand. We’re not talking about a 3 hour trip here, more like 10-15 minutes (skydivers please adjust that figure if I’m off base) plus another 10 -15 to return to the runway. That’s what, a 30 minutes total? (Plus mandatory FAA minimums for reserve) That’s gotta be less jet fuel than the airlines tank up with for a typical trip. Plus, no need for meal service. That’ll save some money (and indigestion).
Not to mention that, by having one airplane instead of a dozen aloft you dramatically cut the possibility of mid-air collisions, so arguably it’s safer, too.
Makes sense to me. I wonder how much it does cost to rent a 727 per hour…
Would they have to hire the 727’s crew as well?
Exactly. The 727 is probably the biggest readily available airplane than you can easily jump out of because of that rear airstair. Handles shortish fields well, and doesn’t require much ground support equipment. The cost probably isn’t that bad when you divide it by >130 people. I’m sure you can really pack em in there with no seats.
Yes. Who knows, they may like to jump themselves and would do it for free.
That sounds like a bad idea to me.
Yeah, that didn’t come out quite right.
How slow can you fly a 727?
And if it were the World Skydiving Championships, then they may well have got some financial help from Boeing or the operator as it would be good advertising.
If I were out at the airport I could give you an exact number. Skydiving exit speed is 155 knots.