It’s been a pitiful year for many reasons. COVID-19 laid a painful blow on the airline industry. As avgeeks, we’ve seen the mass retirement of the MD-80, MD-90, most Boeing 747-400s and A380s, along with a host of 757s, 767s, and A330s in just the past 9 months. That’s why when we came across this story, we shouted for joy…yes, really! A rare DC-9-20 is returning to service–in 2020! And it’s not a joke. Here’s video of the jet taxiing in September.
Skydive Perris is preparing to return their lone DC-9-20 back in service. For a number of years, Skydive Perris operated one of the only jet skydive service in the nation for civilian jumpers. Their service operated much like an airline in that passengers would board the jet and sit in an airline seat. Passengers even received a safety briefing. The one notable difference was that once the jet reached altitude, the exit at in the tail would open and the skydivers would jump out in an orderly fashion.
Here’s a video from a flight and jump back in 2007 that we found on Youtube.
DC-9 Modified for a special mission
Their DC-9 last flew in 2013. Prior to service for Perris Skydive, the jet operated for SAS and Allegiant Air. According to their website, the DC-9 can “take 80 jumpers in full airline comfort to 13500′ AGL in a well-appointed cabin with normal airline seats in 4 minutes!”
Some avgeeks have asked Skydive Perris whether they could ride on the classic jet without jumping out. According to Skydive Perris’ Facebook page, the admin responded to ask once it starts flying again. We wish the best for Skydive Perris. Maybe there’s a bit of hope for 2020!