What’s the coolest plane to skydive from? The Shark Air Super Otter at Perris, of course!
We have lots of planes, but our shark airplanes are skydiver favorites for lots of reasons–not just because of their dashing good looks, either. Here’s the story of our two gorgeous tiburones: Shark Air and Super Blue.
Our original Shark Air–N125SA–isn’t a California baby. This beautiful beast was purchased from a fella named Jim Perry up in Washington State. Jim’s company, called Shark Air Aviation, made sure that all onlookers could immediately tell where those planes originated: the nose of every one of them was painted with shark teeth and stripes down the sides. That Shark Air was the perfect choice for us, as Jim had already converted it into a skydiving jumpship a couple years prior to the purchase. In fact, it was already flying jumpers around the country, and its toothy grin already graced loads of gorgeous skydiving videos.
Shark Air made the move to Perris back in 1990. When it arrived at Perris, we immediately put it to work flying jumpers, full-time, and the skydiving community fell head-over-heels for its quick ride to altitude, comfortable interior and rakish grin.
By the mid-1990’s, Shark Air’s tireless service was starting to show, and it needed a new paint job. With the expert help of Reggie Eastaugh–a local skydiver, and very talented artist–we developed a fresh shark design and gave the airplane its signature look. Over the passing years, we’ve invested heavily into our beloved Shark Air, completing oodles of upgrades, including side seating and the larger engines that make it a “Super Otter.”
In 1994 the need for an additional airplane arose. After a careful search, we found N708PV in Hawaii. Despite its island home, N708PV wasn’t a shark plane yet. Instead, it was being used as an inter-island airline service by Aloha Airlines and wasn’t yet configured for skydiving. We knew it was going to take some work to bring N708PV to Perris, but we knew it’d be worth it. In order to become a skydiving jumpship, N708PV had to go into surgery. We built a jump door and configured the interior of the airplane with side seating for skydiving. Finally, it was almost ready–but not quite. She needed to be painted. We knew exactly what look we were going for, because N708PV was destined to become Shark Air’s sibling.
We wanted to make sure that, in adding the additional plane, we didn’t confuse the jumpers by presenting them with two gray sharks. To differentiate the shark planes, we gave the new N708PV a blue body with its shiny new teeth. We dubbed it “Super Blue.” Shark Air and Super Blue have been some of the world’s most beloved skydiving planes ever since, and are widely hailed as a couple of the coolest planes to jump from. We’re so proud of our sharks.
Guess what? Our shark planes aren’t the only aircraft going on at Skydive Perris. We’re currently operating three Twin Otters and four Skyvans (with two more in the works). We’re currently renovating a gorgeous DC9–and we have our beautiful, very lovingly updated DC3, which the dropzone’s original owners purchased back in 1978.
So: if you like to jump out of cool aircraft, don’t stop at our shark planes! Skydive Perris has a groaning smorgasbord of jumpships for your skydiving pleasure, and we just keep getting more. Come and snag a seat!