Monday, December 17, 2012

Put the plane on the ground!

By Donald Sensing

Pilot drops some parachutists from free-fall altitude, points the plane straight down, levels off just above the treetops and then screams in for a landing a carrier pilot would blanch at.

Why fly like that? Maybe he was showing off for the camera, but more likely it is for the same reasons the pilots at the skydive center I used in college flew like that - well, okay, not really just like that! But they did drop down to land very quickly after we'd jumped.

The reason is that commercial skydive centers make money only when their customers make a jump. Empty, descending airplanes don't make money, only full, ascending planes do. The financial imperative is to make each flight's turnaround as short as possible.

But this seems a bit extreme!

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