People always say “why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane,” and the usual response is “there’s no such thing as a perfectly good airplane!” Ha! And don’t get us wrong, skydiving is a life-altering experience no matter what type of plane you’re jumping out of … HOWEVER, some airplanes are definitely better than other airplanes.
We loved our Cessna 182, but we’ve recently switched to a C208B Cessna Grand Caravan, and we could not be happier with the upgrade. For those who don’t geek out on planes (which is probably most of you), we’ll let you know why the Cessna 208 is so much better than the 182.
All About the Cessna 182
The Cessna 182 is the workhorse of skydiving planes. In fact, it’s the most common jump plane in the entire skydiving industry. There are a bunch of good reasons why most dropzones in the country fly this particular plane.
A typical Cessna 182 can fit a maximum of four skydivers in addition to the pilot, which means that two tandem instructors and two tandem passengers can fit in the plane at one time.
The 182 can climb to exit altitude in about 20 minutes, which is a standard amount of time for the ride up to altitude at most skydiving dropzones.
The Cessna 182 has a door that is easily modified into one conducive for skydiving.
The landing gear is great for skydivers to step on to get outside of the plane and exit.
Probably the biggest reason why Cessna 182s are so common in our sport is because they are a powerful and capable high-performance aircraft compared to their price to operate, which makes them very cost effective.
Meet the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan
We did love our Cessna 182, but the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan is a huge upgrade. While the 182 is the most commonly used plane in skydiving, the Grand Caravan is the world’s most popular skydiving plane that’s widely loved by skydivers. Peep these differences –
Grand Caravans can typically carry between 15-21 skydivers, which is a whole lot of skydivers! Bring on the group jumps!
The 208 climbs to exit altitude in less than 10 minutes. A 10-minute plane ride is a very fast climb to altitude compared to the other planes in the skydiving industry.
A lot of Grand Caravans have benches inside to sit on, which is an underrated benefit. It is so much easier and more comfortable to move through the plane from a bench compared to a floor-level boot scoot.
This plane also has a high wing and big door which is a really nice setup for skydiving. It allows a lot of space for skydivers to position themselves in the door for seamless exit.
The 208 is a turbine aircraft, making it easy to fly and operate at a relatively low cost.
Benefits of the Upgrade
Switching to a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan from a Cessna 182 has a ton of awesome benefits for every person who has the opportunity to skydive out of our plane. If it had a theme song, it just might be Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.
The Grand Caravan is a much, much bigger plane than the 182. Compared to a commercial plane, the 208 will look super small to the non-skydiver … but for a jump plane, it is large and in charge. Holding up to five times as many skydivers in one load, it packs in about five times the fun! And the mega increase in capacity means we can accommodate groups that want to jump together far easier.
Even with additional people on board, the Grand Caravan can get to the skydiving altitude in half of the time that the 182 can – which immediately translates into reduced wait times for those waiting to jump and increases the number of loads we can send soaring through the sunny skies of New York in a single day!
We are uber excited about our upgrade to the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan – can you tell?! Come see our new baby for yourself! Jump with us! Blue skies!