Parachutes Incorporated operated the largest civilian jump plane fleet in the then "free world".

It's 15 aircraft consisted of a Twin Beech, a Piper, 5 Cessna's, 3 DC-3's and 5 Norseman.  The Norseman fleet alone was the largest in the Continental United States, let alone jump planes.

Quick Summery
N69795 Originally Red & White, (nicknamed "Red Lead", it was used to open Lakewood, Hemet, Crawfordsville and Elsinore.  The AC was featured in a Flying Magazine (June 1976) article on the Norseman including 2 page spread.  Crashed at Orange in July 79
N1207 Used to open Lakewood, was written off and used for parts after flipping on the Lakewood runway in Oct. 1970.
N79902 Used at the world meet then Lakewood where it suffered a flip in bad cross winds.  It disappeared for over 7 years then suddenly reappeared registered as N7990K
N7990K Sold to Canadians after being damaged in a forced landing at Orange.
N61853 Sold when Orange closed where it spent most of it's life.  Still flying in Michigan
N13340 Sold when PI was closed to an airline pilot in New Hampshire.   Sold again to a pilot in NM and last seen in UC-64a colors with "D-Day Invasion Strips" at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Texas.
Original PI jump plane and still owned and flown by the Pond Family
Lakewood, still flying
Orange, still flying
182 First PI owned aircraft, worked at Orange only
195 We recently learned that PI had a 195 in the later days,  We are investigating.
205 We recently learned that PI had a 205 in the later days,  We are investigating.
207 Used briefly at Lakewood to replace the Norseman that had been grounded by the city. in May 197?
SNB-5/Twin Beech
Blt in 1954 it was used mostly at Orange.  It was sold in 1984.  Is current flying with the BARRON THOMAS AVIATION INC, Willmington, Del.
N80341 Used at Lakewood.
N16625 Used at Orange, Lakewood and Elsinore, sold when PI was closed.  It is currently owned by a party in Wildomar, California
N  (Leased) Leased, not currently on FAA registry
Leased, not currently on FAA registry
Unknown Leased for a brief time in 1963
OTHER Corporate
21Up was used mostly by Jasques Istel to fly to the various PI operations and interests.

In 1971 Istel was just recovering from a serious illness involving his pancreas. The doctors gave him 'not to long' to live but he fought it and when he finally started to feel better, he decided to do something "special'. He and (wife) Felecia told the PI Orange staff that they would fly 21UP across 'the pond' to
France to help the FAI (he was on the board) award the current medals.

He left on a miserable fall day bound for Europe packed with survival gear, as well
as personal luggage for the hostile November Atlantic. 

Orange received a simple telegram saying "we are continuing on our journey".  He was flying around the world!  They arrived in India during their 1971 War and 21UP was impounded.  They also had problems arriving in Communist countries without visas! 

They crossed the Pacific via  Guam, then Hawaii, but discovered that the next leg was beyond the Commanches' range. Had  to gut the airplane out and build two fuel tanks for the back, as well as building two seats that were fuel tanks.  They then proceeded to sit for 12 hours to make our mainland. 

[ Home ] [ 1962 World Meet ] [ Good Hill Farm ] [ Orange ] [ Hemet ] [ The INN ]
[ Lakewood ] [ Crawfordsville ] [ Elsinore ] [ People Page ] [ Aircraft Page ]

Project PI is an online collaborative effort to document the first commercial parachute company, Parachutes Incorporated, its 6 DZ's, it's 15 aircraft and as many of the personalities that worked or jumped there that we can find.  Anyone may contribute with stories, information and photographs and are encouraged to do so. Click on the logo above to send e-mail to Thom Lyons, Project coordinator in Melbourne, Australia