Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Drop Zone

Another company that's right on target is Perris Valley Skydiving. They've uniquely placed themselves as California's only resort skydiving center.

Driving to work, I saw a large plane on its approach. I get excited when I see jets because our airport is small, and the only flights are on a Beechcraft 1900D to Kansas City International. The airport is located in the middle of the United States, and one runway is long enough for the Space Shuttle to land on. Piloted by Steve Fosset, Virgin's longest flight around the world started and ended here. The airport is also a testing area for aircraft companies, training for the military, and a semi-frequent refueling stop for private jets and props. Back to the story. Driving 75 on the Interstate, I quickly glanced up a few times at the large jet. It couldn't be private; it was too big and didn't look like a Gulfstream or Learjet. My eyes only saw "Skydive", which immediately made me question if I needed my eyes checked. Skydive out of a jet? No way.

After further investigation, Skydive Perris is not only the sole skydiving center with a resort in California, but it also uses the only jet in the world that is certified (just last year) for skydiving. It's nicknamed the "pocket rocket", as it can take off on reasonably short runways. The McDonnell Douglas DC-9-21 is commissioned once again. (It may sound a little scary to use an old aircraft, but as long as the maintenance is kept up, you're good to go.) What used to be a commercial airliner for Scandinavian Airlines in the 60's, is now flying to drop people off who hardly ever land. There are only three of these planes left in service. Even better, the jet can take 80 experienced jumpers up to 15,000 feet, going 220 MPH -- at the price of $85 a person. Amazing.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.