If you’ve ever loved a vehicle in your life, you understand our need to opine about ours. We love her. We really, really do. She’s our Cessna Blackhawk Caravan, and she is the light of our lives–the very center of what we do here, which is (quite naturally) to take super-freakin’-excited skydivers up to altitude and rain down their pretty parachutes into the blue Texas sky.
There’s a reason we’re so puffy-chested and proud of our airplane. She’s unique! As a matter of fact, Skydive San Marcos is the only dropzone in the area around Austin and San Antonio that’s able to operate such a beautiful, capacious, zippy beast, every day of the week: a turbine skydiving aircraft, which is known among skydivers to be the gold standard. She holds a whopping 18 jumpers and gets up to a skydiving altitude of 13,500 feet in a scant 20 minutes. From her impressive lift capacity to her lickety-split load times to her sterling safety standards, she is uh-MAY-zing.
The Blackhawk is a turbo-charged modification on the original aircraft model: the venerable Cessna Caravan. The Cessna Caravan came to prominence many years ago for its long list of fine attributes: a roomy interior, with a higher ceiling than most skydiving aircraft. She was originally built to carry a surprisingly large amount of both passengers and cargo (14 people, seated in the original configuration, with plenty of room to stuff a duffel). And she was purpose-built to take off from stubby little safari runways that don’t allow much room for dawdling on the tarmac on the way up. Any skydiver who has crunched into the back end of a 182 can appreciate a plane like that–and we most definitely do.
The Blackhawk conversion–the modification that makes our baby a Cessna BLACKHAWK Caravan–gives this workhorse superpowers. The conversion bestows almost 200 shaft horsepower to the propellor, and that extra power boost gives her rockin’ performance in pretty much every phase of flight: takeoff, climb, cruise and the magical moments when she has to slow down so her parachute-wearing occupants can bid her adieu.
Speaking of the propellor–it gets an upgrade with the Blackhawk conversion, as well. First of all, it gets supersized, its three-blade system growing to a downright enormous 106 inches in diameter, which makes this baby purr like a happy kitten all the way up to any given skydive.
You might be nodding off right now. After all, if you’re not an aircraft aficionado or a keen skydiver, what do you care what propellor-parachute combination gets you up and down? It’s all the same, right?
We ardently disagree. From comfort to safety to aesthetics and everything in-between, the skydive plane makes all the difference to a skydive. And, at Skydive San Marcos, our job is to make sure you have the very best skydiving experience possible. So we invite you to come say hello to our beloved Blackhawk! We’re sure you’re going to love her. Don’t be a stranger–she’s here all day, every day, and she’s looking forward to meeting you.