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Welcome to Skydive Arizona!

Aircraft Fleet Introduction and Aircraft Policies

Welcome to sunny Skydive Arizona, where the Otters are flying all year round!
On this page, you will find information about our expansive fleet of jump aircraft and our aircraft policies.

Skydive Arizona’s active jump fleet includes 5 Twin Otters and 7 Skyvans. Our DC-3 flies jumpers on boogie weekends. We also have a Pilatus Porter which flies at specialty events at other airports a few times each year. Our Otters and Skyvans each carry 23 jumpers. The DC-3 carries 43, and the Porter takes 9.

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Getting to and onto the plane:

We will tram you out from the tram loading area near the manifest hangar to the aircraft boarding area closer to the runway. Please remain behind the fence/off the tarmac at the boarding area until the plane has come to a complete stop. Once the plane has stopped, please board quickly and efficiently in the reverse of your exit order.

Group of skydivers on the tram


Exit Order: 

1. skyboards
2. belly groups, largest to smallest
3. flat-trackers
4. 
freefly groups, largest to smallest
5. 
angle-flyers
6. 
students
7. 
tandems
8. 
wingsuits

If you are making a hop-and-pop, you are exiting first, so board last.

If you are pulling high, discuss exit order with the wingsuits; some prefer that high-pulls go before and some prefer after. If there are no wingsuits on the load, you will exit last. If there are wingsuits and it is decided that you will exit after them, watch them after they exit and do not jump until all the wingsuits have turned completely off the jump-run.

Remember: if you are intending anything other than a standard, straight-down belly or freefly freefall jump, and/or intend on pulling above 4000 feet, you MUST inform Manifest when you turn in your ticket. If you are making a high-pull, please also inform the Ground Safety Officer.


Loading:

Otter: first to board needs to put up the ladder. Last person to board needs to kick the ladder away from the plane after sitting down. If it is warm, you may leave the Otter door open while the plane is taxiing. The door must be fully closed before the plane begins its take-off roll.

Skyvan: first to board should move the steps up to the tailgate. Last person to board needs to first pull the steps back all the way back to the gravel; other jumpers may then assist this person into the plane. The Skyvan door needs to be fully closed and latched (including the Lexan flap) before the pilot can start taxiing. The two people seated closest to the tailgate should handle the door. Ask for help if you don’t know how to manage the door!

DC-3: this plane flies only at boogies. Each DC-3 flight will have a load master (typically a highly-experienced local jumper) who will determine exit order and which groups will go out on which pass. The load master will manage the ladder, board (and exit) last, and will sit closest to the door of the plane, where s/he will be in communication with the pilot via headset. The load master will spot for each pass and tell each group when to exit to ensure proper exit separation.

Skydivers Board a Twin Otter airplane


General Aircraft Rules:

· Seatbelts MUST be worn from the time you take your seat until the plane has climbed through 1500 feet. Once the plane has reached 1500 feet, all jumpers MUST unfasten their seatbelts. This is to expedite exit in the case of an aircraft emergency. If for some reason you will be riding the plane down, refasten your seatbelt once the plane begins its descent and keep it fastened until the plane has come to a complete stop up by the hangar.

· Helmets MUST be secured from takeoff until 1500 feet. “Secured” means worn and fastened on your head, fastened to your chest strap, or fastened via seatbelt thread-through in your lap.

· The aircraft door MUST remain completely closed from takeoff until 1500 feet. The Skyvan door (including the Lexan flap) MUST remain closed for the duration of ascent, until the yellow light goes on. Once the Skyvan door has been opened, it must remain open, even if there are multiple passes at different altitudes. The Otter door may be opened all the way at 1500 feet, after all jumpers near the door have removed their seatbelts. The Otter door must always be all the way open or all the way closed.

· Exit lights: are above the camera bench on the Otter and above the tailgate on the Skyvan. Open the door on the yellow light (yes, even if it’s cold). Exit on the green (do not self-spot for location). If the light turns red, it is for spot or for traffic. Do not exit on the red light unless part of your group is already outside the aircraft.

· Check the jump-run direction and ground speed on the Daily Conditions board before boarding the tram so that you know how much exit separation to give. Note that ground speed may vary from what is posted. Whoever is closest to the pilot can check the ground speed on the GPS and call it down to the rest of the load AFTER the green light goes on. Ground speed is not fixed until the aircraft is entirely set up for exit.

· If your group’s exit requires a more extensive setup time in the door, factor this into your exit separation count and start your climb-out sooner. If your group is going to be the first to exit, tell the GSO before you board the tram; the GSO will tell the pilot.


Aircraft Specific Rules:
Twin Otter at Skydive Arizona
Twin Otter:

The people seated closest to the top and bottom edges of the door should work together to open and close the door.

Before you open the door, make sure the people near the back of the door’s track have their heads and rigs out of the way.

Before opening or closing the door, make sure no one has their fingers around the floater bar.

Be gentle when closing the door! Do NOT slam the door. The Lexan is very durable but slamming it can still warp or otherwise damage a panel and possibly trap the door in a sealed position. It’s a good idea to use your foot to help cushion the door as you pull it closed.

At 1500 feet, make more room for the people seated closest to the pilot, where the sardine factor is highest. This is especially important when the load is full, or when there are students (tandem or AFF) on the load. There should be three people seated on the camera bench, and two seated on the floor. Once jumpers have moved to the floor, everyone else needs to shift down closer to the end of the bench. Those now on the ends of the benches should swivel around to face the tail and scoot to the ends of the benches. If some people are getting out on a hop-and-pop pass, please readjust the seating arrangements after the low pass is complete to give everyone more room.

In the warmer months, open the door at 1500 feet, and leave it open up to at least 7000 feet. It does get chilly in “the cold seat,” on the camera bench in the corner farthest from the door. However, the tandems and wingsuits up at the front of the plane are stifling. The longer you leave the door open, the more enjoyable their experience will be.

In the coldest months, morning flights can be frigid. During this time of year, there will be a wool blanket in the “hole” behind the camera bench. This blanket can be stuffed between the fuselage and the top of the door to dramatically cut the draft; this keeps the whole load warmer. If you don’t know how to stuff the blanket, ask a local for help. You can also check out the video below.

If you are in the group exiting first, make sure you know which direction jump-run is, and pay attention not just to your altitude but to your location relative to the drop zone. Be ready to open the door on the yellow light. This means getting people off the floor and getting the camera bench stowed before the pilot gives you the yellow! A good guideline is when the pilot reaches 12,500 feet, or when he makes his pattern turn from base to final/jump-run, whichever comes first.

The seatbelts for the camera bench need to be stowed in the hole, rather than left flapping below the stowed-away bench. Flapping belts are snag and trip hazards (and they bang up the plane). Please make sure the seatbelts are properly stowed and that the bench is fastened securely with the attached cord or bungee if you are the one stowing the camera bench.

Skydivers Exit a Skyvan Airplane

 Skyvan

· The group seated closest to the tailgate is typically in charge of the door. If you are not comfortable managing the door, ask for help before you board the plane! There will almost always be at least one experienced local jumper who can help you with the door.

· Do NOT open the Skyvan door until the yellow light goes on. The entire door (including the clear Lexan flap) must remain closed for the duration of your ascent. When the light comes on, open and securely fasten the door in a timely manner. If you are having trouble with the door, ask for help right away. The Skyvan flies faster on jump-run than the Otter and it’s all too easy to run into green-light time messing with the door.

· If the Skyvan you are in has the clear Lexan flap, you MUST open the flap all the way before unlatching and opening the door. 

· Do not kick the door handle; do not stomp on the door.

· When the Skyvan is full (23 jumpers), one jumper will need to sit on the floor up at the front of the plane. There is one seatbelt on the floor in the front of the plane for this person. Plan for this seating arrangement before loading so that groups are seated in the correct order on the first try.

· At 1500 feet, reduce the sardine factor by having two people from each side sit on the floor.

· If you are seated at the end of one of the benches closest to the tailgate, or on the floor closest to the tailgate, please be careful not to rest your feet directly on the clear Lexan panel. If you want/need to stretch your legs out for space reasons, rest your feet on the metal of the door itself beyond the Lexan flap.

· The benches closest to the tailgate need to be stowed away before the yellow light goes on. A good guideline is when the pilot reaches 12,500 feet, or when he starts to make his pattern turn onto jump-run, whichever comes first. When you stow the benches, make sure no seatbelts are sticking out across the floor; they are trip hazards. By the time the yellow light comes on, everyone needs to be ready to exit.

· No more than 10 people aft (tailward) of the red center cabin line on jump-run! This is extremely important for balance reasons. If there are more than 10 people on the tailgate, the plane will stall. It’s best not to have the aircraft decide to join your skydive.

 · Once the yellow light goes on, everyone other than the first ten people to exit needs to back up until they are forward (closer to the pilot) of the red cabin line.

· If your group is larger than 10, some of the group will need to wait behind the red line and start moving toward the tailgate only when the chunk is partway through the exit count.

· As groups start to exit, attempt to maintain a roughly equal number of jumpers to either side of the red line.

· Let the pilot know if you are planning on making a “specialty” exit such as running from the front of the plane, or hanging from the bar.

EXPERIENCED SKYDIVER PRICES

We accept cash or card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AMEX).


LIFT FARE: $26 USD


TEAM TICKET: $21 USD (PER PERSON)

Team Requirements: 4-Way & 8-Way FS that make a minimum of 30 jumps per week together. 
OR
Freefly teams that make at least 50 team jumps per week together. 


BLOCK TICKET RATES:

12 Tickets in 12 consecutive days: $286
50 Tickets in 1 week: $1050
50 Tickets for 30 consecutive days: $1175
100 tickets for 45 consecutive days: $2225

Block tickets are individual use and cannot be shared. Special rate tickets are non-refundable.

EXPERIENCED SKYDIVER PRICES

We accept cash or card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AMEX).


LIFT FARE: $26 USD


TEAM TICKET: $21 USD (PER PERSON)

Team Requirements: 4-Way & 8-Way FS that make a minimum of 30 jumps per week together. 
OR
Freefly teams that make at least 50 team jumps per week together. 


BLOCK TICKET RATES:

12 Tickets in 12 consecutive days: $286
50 Tickets in 1 week: $1050
50 Tickets for 30 consecutive days: $1175
100 tickets for 45 consecutive days: $2225

Block tickets are individual use and cannot be shared. Special rate tickets are non-refundable.

EXPERIENCED SKYDIVER PRICES

We accept cash or card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AMEX).


LIFT FARE: $26 USD


TEAM TICKET: $21 USD (PER PERSON)

Team Requirements: 4-Way & 8-Way FS that make a minimum of 30 jumps per week together. 
OR
Freefly teams that make at least 50 team jumps per week together. 


BLOCK TICKET RATES:

12 Tickets in 12 consecutive days: $286
50 Tickets in 1 week: $1050
50 Tickets for 30 consecutive days: $1175
100 tickets for 45 consecutive days: $2225

Block tickets are individual use and cannot be shared. Special rate tickets are non-refundable.

Fleet of aircraft over Skydive Arizona
Photo By: Bruce Griffith