Airplanes are a lot like people–individual (sometimes ridiculously so) in their needs and tolerances. For example, you can safely get away with sitting far back in the cabin of the Super Otter, but not so much in the Super Caravan. This is the reason for a recent policy change in how we load the Super Caravan here at Spaceland (seating arrangement).
Compared to the Otter, it’s much easier to overload the tail of the Caravan when boarding because the airplane is already more tail-heavy even when empty. As a result, putting too much weight in the tail, or even the right amount of weight too far back in the cabin, can actually tip the airplane backward, crashing the tail to the ground and taking the airplane out of service until the tail is repaired. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! We want to fly the plane and you want to jump it!
In our Super Caravans, everyone should sit facing aft when boarding, whether you’re on a bench, in the copilot seat turned to face aft, or on the floor. This puts the heaviest part of your body (torso and rig) further forward, which is a better balance for the weight. No more than three people may sit on the floor for taxi, takeoff, and landing. No one may sit on the cargo shelf aft of the door at this time).
Above 1500 feet, no more than four people may sit on the floor and one person, maximum, may move to the cargo shelf.
Please see the seating diagrams below for a visual of how the aircraft should be loaded:
Also, when loading, don’t crowd into the area aft of the benches while one or two jumpers make their way up to the pilot. Balance is just as important as total weight, so let several people get seated on the forward benches before piling into the back. This will also help reduce the risk of tipping the plane.
So to recap:
- 18 jumpers max, 17 if the copilot seat is facing forward.
- All jumpers face aft for taxi, takeoff, and landing.
- Up to 7 jumpers per bench, 3 jumpers max on the floor for taxi, takeoff, and landing. 4 jumpers max on the floor above 1500 feet.
- No sitting on the cargo shelf until above 1500 feet, then ONE jumper may sit here
Please help us spread the word! If you see people sitting in the wrong place in the Caravan, help educate them about this policy.
Side note: You will notice there are no longer seat belts on the cargo shelf. It’s a good rule of thumb when getting into any jump plane to note that if there’s not a belt there, you’re probably not supposed to sit there.