Piloting an aircraft, if skydivers cannot jump on a flight, what should I take care of when landing?

Are there any special recommendations which should be taken into account?


2 Answers 2


You should descend in a controlled way, taking into account that your descent rate should be ≤ 29 mph (less than 13 m/s), once below 2,500 feet.

If the descent rate is higher than that, then there is a risk of the AAD popping the skydiver's reserve parachute, mid-flight.

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    $\begingroup$ If I've done the conversion properly, 13m/s = 2559.1ft/min. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2013 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ Pilots do not typically have a vertical speed indicator other than feet per minute... $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Dec 21, 2013 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ There was actually an incident in Germany in 2009, where the parachute opened and the guy (who never intended to jump, and was only along for the ride) was actually pulled from the plane. The BFU published the report last month. Very scary stuff, have a look at the picture of how he had ripped through the fuselage on his way out (page 7). $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Dec 21, 2013 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ That is to say, he didn't actually go through the fuselage, he did, however put a considerable dent in the door frame. Luckily, under the circumstances, it held together and the pilot was able to land. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Dec 21, 2013 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ @inafziger in the US maybe ;) $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2013 at 18:05

Perhaps trivial, but your landing weight will be higher than during a standard run sans skydivers, which will have an impact on stall speed, landing distance etc.


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