What is Parachute Repacking, and How to Do it?

Skydivers and parachutists use emergency parachutes for decent in emergencies. They need proper maintenance and inspection so that they can open timely in emergency cases. Repacking is also a part of the routine examination of parachutes. In this article, we provide you with information regarding parachute repacking and a brief methodology.

What is Parachute Repacking?

Parachute repacking is a process that provides an opportunity to closely examine the entire parachute system and inspection for general viability and wear and tear.

Why Does the Parachute Need to be Repacked?

It is essential to repack your parachute to make sure it works properly. FAA prescribes that a reserve parachute must be inspected and repacked every 180 days to ensure it fulfills all the safety guidelines.

Repacking a parachute also allows faster, smoother, and more time to open when needed. Parachute repacking is essential because small particles of sand/stone collect in the parachute, causing damage through abrasion, moisture, and wet grass. It can enter into a parachute and cause mildew and hamper opening time.

Also, fiber can be compressed, which impedes the parachute’s opening and prolongs the opening time. So the plastic loses its average quality, loops can tangle, and pins can also be damaged.

All materials undergo degradation as time passes, even when not in use. We highly recommend you visit repack stations for inspecting and repacking parachutes. Several organizations, such as Ifly Indoor Skydiving, Innovative parachute technologies, Skydive Phoenix Inc, etc., are available in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, that provide you the opportunity for inspection and repacking of a parachute.

How to Repack a Parachute? STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Before repacking, you must carefully check each line from the canopy to the riser. Keep the parachute in the air for at least 12 hours. Check the fabric for any damage. Inspect the pod and parachute pocket. Inspect the elastic loop. Following is the procedure for parachute repacking,

  • Keep the parachute aligned with the lines running from the harness to the canopy
  • Provide tension to all the lines from the riser
  • Push the string with the buckle
  • Control both upper and lower lines
  • Overlap all the red panels to the right
  • Also, overlap the whiteboards to the left
  • Make sure to have an equal panel count on each side
  • Lift the upper line to keep folds tidied up along the length of the panel
  • Fold the fabric in S-shape
  • Place the pod at the top
  • Flip it upside down along the s-shaped packed parachute
  • Close three flaps of the container
  • Fold the lines
  • Close the fourth flap
  • Fold the coil

Do Skydivers Pack Parachutes on their own?

Yes, skydivers can pack parachutes on their own. Repacking the parachute is not much difficult, but it requires a systematic and precise folding procedure. If you are not feeling it easy to repack a parachute, many organizations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provide parachute repacking services. If you notice something unusual during parachute repacking, send it to a professional inspection and repack center.

Final Verdict

Parachute repacking is a part of a routine examination. It is not a very difficult process, you can do it independently, but it requires the proper method above.

All about FAA Certified Rigger

Rigging is a part of the routine examination of parachute maintenance which is done by certified FAA riggers or under their supervision. Here is all the information regarding an FAA certified rigger and how to get an FAA certificate.

What is an FAA Certified Rigger?

An FAA certified rigger is a person who has received certification from the federal aviation administration to repair, repack, and service parachutes related to other instruments. The Federal Aviation Administration is a governmental institution that regulates civil aviation. An FAA rigger has received special training to maintain an emergency parachute.

General Requirements for an FAA Certification

FAR section 65.113

  • The minimum age to apply for the certificate is 18 years.
  • A person must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language.

FAR section 65.115

To apply for a senior parachute rigger certificate, you must have packed at least 20 parachutes of each type following the manufacturers’ instructions under the supervision of a certified parachute rigger. They are required to take a written test, and after passing, they must take oral and practical tests.

To apply for a master parachute rigger certificate, you must have experience packing 100 parachutes following the manufacturer’s instructions for three years as a rigger. You must take a written, oral and practical test unless you hold a senior parachute rigger certificate.

Privileges of an FAA Rigger Certificate

An FAA-certified rigger may pack or maintain any parachute. Emergency parachutes are only packed by FAA-certified riggers, whereas the main parachute can be packed by a non-certified person of the persons who want to use a parachute. An FAA-certified parachute rigger may supervise other persons in maintaining, packing, repacking or repairing any parachute.

How to Apply for an FAA Rigger Certificate?

Suppose you want to apply for an FAA rigger certificate. In that case, you have to visit the nearest General Aviation District Office (GADO), Flight Standard District Office (FSDO), or International Field Office (IFO).

An FAA inspector will evaluate whether you are eligible for a test or not. You need to bring your records and evidence of packing experience with you. The packing proof must contain the name of a person, the type and number of parachutes packed, the packing date, and statements that show you have packed parachutes under the supervision of a certified person.

After this, you have to take written, oral and practical tests. The written test is taken at FSDO, GADO, and IFO.

To pass the written test, you need to correct 50 multiple-choice questions, while military riggers are just required to correct 25 multiple-choice questions. If you cannot get through a written test, you must wait 30 days to retake the test.

In Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, institutions like CICB Crane & Rigging inspector, Turner crane & rigging school, and TLL & TSS certifications will assist you in training and getting a certificate from the federal aviation administration.

Types of FAA Certificates

There are two types of FAA rigger certificates: temporary rigger certificates expire after four months, and permanent rigger certificates are mailed to the applicant within two months.

Final Verdict

FAA certified riggers specialize in packing emergency parachutes and may supervise non-certified riggers. To become an FAA certified rigger, you must have vast experience in parachute packing and take written, oral and practical tests.