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Jumping from History: The Skydiving DC-9 Hot Rod Flies Again

It’s been over a decade since a former SAS Scandinavian Airlines DC-9 took to the skies over southern California for a skydiving mission. It finally made its return to the skies last week! ( More...

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George Lane 6
This line in the article puzzled me:
"Although this aircraft is a privately owned skydiving jet, it still bears an FAA registration."
Don't all aircraft in the US, regardless of ownership, have to be FAA-registered in order to fly?
dee9bee 6
You are correct, sir.
John Taylor 1
I think what it means is that it's a Scandinavian jet but still has a US FAA registered N number.
Jim Nasby 0
The article is quoting the video at the bottom of the article where the pilot says "FAA registered aircraft". Clearly that's not accurate terminology here. I'm not sure what regulation (if any) actually applies regarding the safety briefing - I've certainly never had one on a jump plane.
Part 91.519 requires the PIC to ensure passengers are given a safety briefing.
Rick D 3
Not to be too picky, but it isn't the DC-9 that is skydiving.
John Taylor 1
Or maybe not...
John Taylor 2
I hate that one can't edit or delete a post here.
Jim Nasby 1
Jumping the jet is more about being able to say you've done it than anything else, because the exit on the plane is about as bad as you could possibly make it. (The only worse ones are narrow side door exits, though at least some of those aircraft have places you can hang on externally so you can still do a group exit.) The high jump-run speed doesn't help either. You can see this in how hard it was for the speed-star to build (including the jumpers that ended up going low, missing the formation).

It'd be interesting if they were able to get a waiver on O2 requirements given the climb speed of the aircraft. Spending another minute or two to get up to 15k wouldn't make much of a difference from a hypoxia standpoint but would add a significant amount of freefall time.
chugheset 1
At what altitude do jumps become "HALO"?
Kairho Carroll 2
AI Overview from Google: "A military HALO jump typically takes place at an altitude of 15,000–35,000 feet (4,600–10,700 m). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires skydivers to use supplemental oxygen after 15,000 feet, so most skydivers exit from 12,500 feet or higher. For example, Skydive Perris has a HALO jump that starts at 16,500 feet, which gives the jumper 90 seconds of freefall at speeds of up to 120 mph."

HALO = High Altitude Low Oxygen
Randy Brown 2
High Altitude Low OPENING.
Kairho Carroll 2
Oops ... my bad on the Opening. (brain check)
Jim Nasby -1
Aha... I knew I was remembering O2 requirements for skydiving incorrectly!

Also, that 90 second number is bogus. The rule of thumb is 5 seconds per 1000 feet at 120MPH *except* the first 1000 feet takes 10 seconds. If you do the math you get 87.5 seconds for 16,500 feet *all the way to the ground*. So technically you can get almost 90 seconds of freefall, as long as you're willing to make it your last jump!

BTW, I've never heard of High Altitude Low Oxygen... the only acronym I've heard is Low Opening. As opposed to HAHO (high altitude high opening) and LALO (low altitude, low opening... think static line jumps like they did in WW2.
Keith Brown 4
They still do static line jumps in the U.S. Army as far as I know. I spent plenty of time kicking them out at the Ft. Benning school, and elsewhere. 1500' AGL was the altitude.
Our jump altitude for standard jumps was 1250. We had lower jumps for combat jumps, and choppers were 2-3000 feet because of slower exit speeds. I remember being drilled that our exit speed was 162 mph, but was told later 150 mph. C-123, C-130 and C-141's, along with Hueys. I was manifested for C-47 and C-119 but they were scratched for mechanical problems and then were put on display at the 82nd Airborne Division. It's more fun with a full combat
Keith Brown 2
Yup, you're correct, can't delete or correct comments here. It WAS 1250'. I'm 60 now, so that was a looong time ago :-) But I was just the guy in back as a loadmaster. I couldn't tell you the airspeed either with authority, but I'm pretty sure 130 knots rings a bell, 50% flaps (again, I think) and door deflectors open. I must have dropped thousands of troops in the 101st and 82nd Airborne and the 75th Rangers, SF, and SEALs. Never a malfunction, though maybe a couple of times someone broke an ankle on PLF. My hats off to you guys that did that for a living! I always stayed with a perfectly good airplane. :-)
Karl Scribner 1
Jim Nasby 0
Wikipedia claims 15k. I'd say you could argue that any jump that requires supplemental O2 (which I believe means 14k) would qualify.


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