The Skydive Experience Aircraft:
1963 Cessna 182 Wide Body
1957 Cessna 182
The Cessna 182 has to be hands down the workhorse of the skydiving community. It can carry a pilot, four jumpers and enough fuel typically for two loads to 10,000 feet, and is a "high-performance" aircraft. It is a non-complex aircraft with "spring steel" landing gear. Very early 182s (1956-1958) have very tall landing gear and sit high off the ground with a long nose strut. The tall gear also allows four jumpers to be out on the step with plenty of room under the wing. Later years saw a shorter, more "squat" landing gear and a wider body by four inches.
Seating arrangements can really affect your balance. Usually you have one jumper sitting with his back to dashboard. Make sure his reserve and main pin flaps don't get caught on anything under the dash. We have put up back boards from the floor to the panel to prevent this from happening. Also make sure that the area around the fuel selector and flap handle stay clear.
The next jumper can sit on his knees in between the legs of the front jumper or can sit facing aft. We prefer people to sit facing aft in between the forward jumper's legs as this provides the best tight restraint.Another jumper sits back to pilot with his legs stretched straight back to the tail, and the last jumper sits with his back to the back bulkhead facing forward (with his legs in between the the other two aft facing jumpers' legs).