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Torquay skydive ops

Old 1st Mar 2021, 09:51
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Torquay skydive ops

Genuine question....

They were dropping through solid 8/8ís which is as far as I know legit, but what about the 208? I heard plenty of CTAF calls and drop and descent clearances, but no talk of IFR clearance. Cloud was solid 8/8 at 4,000ft and at least 500ft thick.

Am I missing something about how the operation works with regards to clearances?
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 10:06
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Give 'em a break. They're a tourism business who are going through covid.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 10:11
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Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
Give 'em a break. They're a tourism business who are going through covid.
LOL, Iíll remember that next time Iím speeding in my car, flying at 100ft over the cbd or flying IFR under the VFR. Covid made me do it!
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 10:20
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No idea on specifics of their operation, however I have seen a number of skydiving companies (using 208s) wanting instrument ratings within their application criteria... so it's quite possible that they do operate under the IFR.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 11:33
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Surprised to hear they're jumping at all - we're grounded until 29th...
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 19:17
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Originally Posted by MostlyHarmless View Post
Surprised to hear they're jumping at all - we're grounded until 29th...
Maybe itís members only at this time. Lilydale were also jumping.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 00:46
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Airspace class? No clearance required if G
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 01:38
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Originally Posted by Vag277 View Post
Airspace class? No clearance required if G
Class G IMC.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 03:24
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One was dropping from FL140 at Barwon Heads so required a clearance to climb, drop & descend. The other was dropping from FL120 and FL110 at Torquay so no clearance required as it was all OCTA. They were operating IFR and receiving an IFR service.

Last edited by le Pingouin; 2nd Mar 2021 at 04:08.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 03:33
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They do the same at Point Ormond........Climb and descend to FL’s through cloud and they haven’t nominated IFR. They have a ATC clearance obviously.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 04:05
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I think the main point of the question which was asked, is it legal for a parachutist to go through complete cloud cover ? somewhere without any holes for visibility ?

I could be dawdling along in my new plastic fantastic 1000 feet below the cloud base and all the sudden some parachutist breaks out of cloud and splatters across my windscreen.

I think this is the purpose of the question, are parachutists allowed to jump through complete cloud cover with no visibility of the ground or what is beneath them and would it be legal for the drop aircraft to fly up and down through this cloud layer knowing that his passengers cannot see the ground as soon as they depart be aircraft ?
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 04:25
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"They were dropping through solid 8/8’s which is as far as I know legit" would indicate Squawk wasn't questioning that.

But to answer your question, yes it's legal if you have written permission from CASA.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 04:38
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I could be dawdling along in my new plastic fantastic 1000 feet below the cloud base and all the sudden some parachutist breaks out of cloud and splatters across my windscreen.
Even ​​​​if there was no cloud, you still wouldn't see them and the result would be the same!
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 04:59
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I could be dawdling along in my new plastic fantastic 1000 feet below the cloud base and all the sudden some parachutist breaks out of cloud and splatters across my windscreen
The first question to raise is why are you bumbling through a piece of airspace where drops are being made? NOTAMS, para ops depicted on charts, radio coms with drop aircraft/ATC.

From the relevant manual,
CASA and the APF have developed procedures that will allow parachuting through cloud under certain prescribed procedures, at site-specific locations. See APF Regulatory Schedule 60.

These procedures are contained in a Cloud Jumping Procedures Manual (CJPM) and the Club you are flying with may have such an approval. If so, you must ensure you are familiar with all the requirements contained within that Manual and that you have the approval of the Senior Pilot to conduct operations in accordance with the provisions in the Manual.

Cloud Jumping Manuals are specific to each Club. These manuals provide exemptions to APF Operational Regulations regarding cloud and visibility, specifying procedures that enable the Club to legally drop parachutists through cloud.

The pilot must have a comprehensive understanding of this manual, as by operating under these conditions, the parachutists are relying heavily on the pilot to accurately spot the aircraft and make the required radio calls to local traffic.

Important: Even though the skydivers may be able to descend through cloud, a VFR pilot must still be able to operate safely and legally, so ensure you can operate the aircraft in metrological conditions suitable to your licence and aircraft restrictions. Consider having an alternate airport available should conditions unexpectedly deteriorate.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 05:23
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At the time I was there I was 99% certain that the aircraft was not operating under the IFR, hence my question.

If they sometimes do, then fair enough, I now know that and I guess thatís good for safety, however on this occasion, conditions were IMC and clearances for IFR were not being issued as far as I could ascertain.

This all comes down to the pilot as to whether or not they decide at the time that conditions are VMC and or if they will punch through because itís ďnot that thick.Ē

As for the suggestion that at Point Ormond they are climbing and descending through IMC under VFR does sound somewhat concerning, if that is in fact taking place.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 05:42
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Why do they need a clearance? See post #9
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 06:46
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Well, if allowed it would scare the hell out of me parachuting through solid cloud not knowing when you will be visual again?
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 07:25
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It is way to expensive to keep it certified for IFR ops. Sometimes it looks like 8/8 from the ground but in the air you may have ground sight. To drop a full load in IMC conditions would not be responsible. Iíve never jumped in IMC conditions.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 09:05
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From my authorised vantage point of riding my bicycle on weekends through the distractions on St Kilda beach, I have observed that the Point Ormond parachute ops are pretty slick. The drop zone is NOTAMed and some poor buggers in their flying contraptions get caught out however ATC is pretty good at getting things moving efficiently. Often when Melbourne is overcast it often doesn't extend over the bay for reasons meteorological, and with a bailout at around FL100 you can often see the plane and the parachutist's drogue chutes - it's all rather benign really. I once asked one of the parachutist if they ever punch through cloud and the answer was yes providing that the cloud base was high enough.

I've been fortunate not to have been delayed flying around the bay but then I haven't flown on weekends for a while which is when Point Ormond parachute ops is going full pelt of around 1 jump every 50 minutes from my observations.

Interesting side note is that Point Ormond is the location of one of Melbourne's very first cemeteries, I know they've relocated some of the graves to St Kilda Cemetery (from the quarantine ship Glen Huntly), but there still could be ghosts around.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 09:34
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I think the main point of the question which was asked, is it legal for a parachutist to go through complete cloud cover?
100% legal, and safe for that matter. Some of those caravans are very nicely equipped. Most of the pilots are top notch operators.
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