- 13 Jul 2022
- Patrick Ryan
- GA Buyer Europe
What are the capabilities required in a good airplane for skydiving activities? The ability to carry a full stick of skydivers and fly them to the jump altitude as quickly as possible – followed by a rapid return to base for another load.Back to Articles
The Kodiak 100 is perfectly tailored for this mission, with its large cabin capacity and a short time-to-climb for deployment over the drop zone.
As a modern, fast, reliable and economical turboprop-powered aircraft, the Kodiak 100 can be easily converted into a skydiving platform that accommodates up to 14 jumpers. A conversion kit, installed at an authorized service center, includes such recommended features as double benches, a wide sliding door, a wind deflector and strategically located handlebars.
The Kodiak 100’s performance is truly impressive: with its short takeoff and landing capabilities, the aircraft has a 1,200-plus ft./min. climb and a descent rate of 6,000 ft./min. at the 183-kt. maximum operating speed (VMO). Carrying a full load of comfortably installed parachutists, the aircraft reaches a jump altitude of 12,000 ft. (3,600 meters) in 9 minutes, 30 seconds – enabling up to four rotations per hour.
Feedback from a survey of utilizers underscores the Kodiak 100’s key advantages for skydiving operations:
• Short takeoff and landing capabilities: Excellent for everything from airports to airstrips. With the standard 29-inch tires, the Kodiak 100 can land at its maximum takeoff weight;
• Operator-friendly turboprop engine: The rugged and reliable PT6A-34 does not require cooling off between rotations. Its starting modes (Hi & low start) provide more control over engine starts;
• Self-sufficient: Large fuel tanks and high cruise speeds enable quick rotations as well as deployments to remote locations;
• Autonomy: A ground power unit is never required to start a Kodiak (while it is mandatory for the first engine start of the day with other turboproppowered aircraft types); and
• Practicality: Inner and outer handlebars are located at the large rear sliding door. The sliding door can be closed in flight from the cockpit once all skydivers have jumped from the aircraft.
In addition to the Kodiak 100’s designed-in ease of maintenance, the aircraft is supported by Daher’s international network of Kodiak Care service centers.
Today, Kodiak 100s are flown for skydiving operations on four continents:
• The first skydivers to use the Kodiak 100 were members of the Rhine Army Parachute Association – a British parachute club operating in Germany;
• The Kodiak 100 is utilized by Horizon Aero Sports at Abbotsford, near Vancouver, Canada, which was one of the first skydiving facilities established in North America.
• In South America, Queda Libre Paraquedismo operates a Kodiak 100 at Boituva, Brazil, which is home to the country’s national skydiving team and several parachute clubs;
• DropZone Thailand at Klaeng, Rayong Province is the largest skydiving center in Southeast Asia, operating a Kodiak 100 with a custom paint job;
• Héli-Béarn – the initial French customer for the Kodiak 100 – operates two aircraft, primarily for skydiving operations. One of them currently is rented to skydiving sport centers, while the other is operated for France’s DGA defense procurement agency to perform paratroop drops in testing and validating parachute systems for the French armed forces.