Quest Delivers First Kodiak For Jump Operations

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Quest Aircraft Co., of Sandpoint, Idaho, said on Tuesday that their Kodiak model -- a fixed-gear, STOL, single-engine turboprop -- has received FAA type certification for parachute jump operations. Quest said this is the first aircraft that has been certified for skydiving use straight from the factory, without the need for any modifications. Quest designed and installed a roll-down door which allows for easy exits, which can be closed by the pilot without having to leave his or her seat. Other jump-specific equipment includes a wing-mounted camera, a 14-inch photographer step, wind deflector, jump lights, and internal and external grab rails that run the full length of the door. The first Kodiak skydiving aircraft has been delivered to a parachute club in Germany, and flew in a jump competition last week. Paul Schaller, Quest president, said he decided that Quest would develop its own jump package after talking with potential customers about what features they would like.

"We decided to develop and certify the jump package ourselves so we could deliver a certified Kodiak directly to the customer," he said. "We've had inquiries from both the private and military sectors for parachute operations, so we are really pleased to now have a Kodiak in the field performing this mission. We anticipate more customers ordering this option." The all-aluminum Kodiak flies with a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine, can work off floats without structural upgrades, can take off in less than 700 feet, and can land on unimproved surfaces.