For years, it has been an accepted axiom of aviation that you never jump out of a perfectly good airplane. But thousands do it every year, and safely, albeit with parachutes. They cram themselves into aging Caravans and Otters and joyfully leap into the clear, clean air thousands of feet above the ground.
Now The Drake Group, an engineering services provider, has taken skydiving to a new heights, so to speak, by winning a supplemental type certificate (STC) for deploying parachutists and cargo under parachute from a Gulfstream G550 and its older sister the GV.
In addition to single and tandem sport parachuting, the STC allows the delivery of emergency medical supplies, survival equipment and specialized critical replacement components by static line at great distances from the aircraft departure point.
The STC was awarded this past summer and is a multiple certificate applicable to any GV or G550. And it can be added to any serial number aircraft in a matter of a day, according to the Las Vegas-based Drake Group (Booth No. C11226, adjacent to the HondaJet exhibit). The STC requires no changes to the aircraft and consists of copyrighted AFM supplements.