Published: April 8, 2016
If you're dreaming of skydiving, you probably haven't given too much thought of an important detail that's worth thinking about: the plane.
The kind of plane you jump from definitely affects the overall skydiving experience both in comfort and in altitude.
The backbone for skydiving has always been the Cessna 182 because of its reliability, efficiency and relatively low maintenance costs versus other bigger and more powerful planes. We own two of them and built up our business with them. Though they play an instrumental role in our sport, the truth is skydivers don't enjoy jumping from them because of three main factors: 1. space. 2. limits on altitude 3. time in the aircraft.
While completely practical, the Cessna only holds four passengers and a pilot. This equates to either two tandem pairs (without a videographer) or one tandem student with a videographer. Skydivers like jumping with their friends and the space limitation is... limiting. Between jumping and not jumping, the Cessna wins every time - it's a great airplane, but between a larger airplane and a Cessna 182, the 182 loses every time.
2. Limits on Altitude.
In skydiving, the higher the better! More altitude means longer free fall time which equates to more fun. Most skydiving operations flying Cessna 182's drop jumpers between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. While that's still a blast (we offer a 9,000 foot tandem option from our Cessna 182's) dropping from 14,000 feet is nearly 30 seconds more! That's significant and makes the experience so much better.
3. Time In The Aircraft
Sitting in a small aircraft like a Cessna is fine until you do it over and over again. Not so bad if you're a first time skydiver, but most licensed skydivers tire of the tedious 15 minute climb to 10,000 feet. Everyone likes getting up to jump altitude faster if they could.
Our Point of Difference
Since we opened our doors, it was always our intention to grow our business so that we could afford a plane that our customers would love. That plane is our Beechcraft King Air.
As described on our aircraft page, it's a limousine with a Ferrari engine! She's spacious, comfortably holding 14 skydivers, and can race up to 14,000 feet in a blistering 9 minutes!
It's more expensive to operate but it really enhances the skydiving experience dramatically. Of all the skydiving Kansas City area drop zones, we are the only one that offers a full time turbine aircraft that allows you to jump with friends from the highest allowable altitude without the need for oxygen support systems.
If you're dreaming of skydiving, we invite you to experience it the best way possible from our beautiful King Air!