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6 Answers

Skydiving: Can I let my friend skydive out of my airplane?

Asked by: 9907 views
Airspace, Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations, Private Pilot

What are the requirements for me to allow someone to skydive out of my airplane?  Can anyone help me dig up the qualifications and point me to what, if any paperwork I'd have to file for the operation?

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6 Answers



  1. Scott Kanlyn on Feb 13, 2011

    Ryan,
    If they are paying you then you have a Commercial certificate. If they are not paying then you have to take into consideration Weight and Balance shifts, opening and closing the door,  tailstrike (by the guy jumping). Refer to AC105-2D which talks about Parachute Activity. I would also strongly recommend you call your local FSDO and ask them about what you intend on doing. 

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  2. Kent Shook on Feb 14, 2011

    It’s also not quite so simple as just opening the door and jumping out. In most airplanes, the doors open forward like a car door. If you open the door latch, they’ll trail open an inch or two… But if you push as hard as you can, they’ll only open 4-6 inches, which will not be enough for your buddy to go out the door. (That’s why the C182’s popular at skydiving drop zones are equipped with a door which opens upward instead of forward.) In addition, some aircraft doors that don’t open forward, depending on their shape, may simply depart the aircraft – The Columbia/Cessna Corvalis is one example. 
     
    I seem to recall that there is a requirement for the pilot of a skydiving operation to wear their own chute, but I can’t find that reg right now. It’s a good idea either way, since the chances of a skydiver or something they’re carrying getting stuck in your tail feathers is relatively high. 
     
    Read part 91 (again) and Part 105 of the FAR’s. Also, visit diverdriver.com, which is a web site dedicated to skydive pilots. There are forums there, you might want to ask your question there too.

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  3. James MacGregor CFI on Feb 14, 2011

    More important then the regs, what kind of plane do you have, ever work at a DZ? 
    You might want to ask the opinion of your local DZ, remember skin, tin and ticket, and you have plenty ways to get you or your jumper hurt, damage your AC, however I think the only way the FAA would hear about this is if you were to go down.
     
     So FIRSTLY make sure you are SAFE, maybe ask if you can go up on a jump right seat (though they tend to remove the right seat lol) on a jump. Your first concern should be saftey then the regs.

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  4. Thomas Vaillencourt on Feb 15, 2011

    I wonder if this falls (no pun intended) under 14CFR 91.15? LOL!

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  5. Eric Hawicz on Dec 22, 2011

    Yes, 91.15 is definitely relevant for this, but it basically boils down to “don’t break things on the ground”.There are a number of things you need to do, such as make sure your friend doesn’t jump through/near clouds (good way for *you* to lose your license), communication with ATC depending on the airspace you’re in, etc… 
    Part 105 has a lot of information about this and you should definitely read through that, but I think there are other rules somewhere (sorry, I don’t know exactly where) about which planes are ok to operate with an open (or removed!) door.Even if you follow all the FAA regs, you can *still* run into issues if your jumper lands in Farmer McNasty’s field and he gets upset about trespassing, or even if someone see a person apparently “falling to their death” and calls the cops.  That said, assuming the jumper is reasonably competent and capable of spotting a good landing area (100 jumps minimum) and you’re not kicking him out the door in a heavily populated area, you’ll probably be fine.Finally, there are a number of skydiving resources available on the web, such as the forums over at http://www.dropzone.com, or even the official US Parachute Association website at http://www.uspa.org.  If you ask there you’ll find a lot of experts able to help you out

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  6. Stephen on May 14, 2012

    I know this is an old question, but I flew for a DZ and did a flew contract (demo) jump flights so here’s what I do. File a NOTAM for parchute activity for the time, alt and location you’re doing it. Talk to ATC and get a flight following for the jump. Make sure you are planning on dropping them onto property they can legally land on. Check their reserve and make sure it’s current, it is considered an emergency parachute which means it’s your responsibilty to make sure it hasn’t expired. The best thing to do would probably be remove the door, but if you want to do a door dive: get SLOW for the jump run and be ready to FLOOR the right rudder – if you see bridle lines, the pilot chute might have snagged (hence why I’m not a fan of door dives) and your best remedy is swinging it clear of the tail.
    Other than that, have fun! Seeing people leave the airplane you are flying is indescribably exhilarating. 🙂

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