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.

What Is Parachute Rigging?

To understand parachute rigging, we first must understand what a rig is. A rig is a system of ropes and pulleys to support or move something. In the case of a parachute, the rig is what keeps the parachute canopy open and controls its descent.

Parachute rigs come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. They need to be solid enough to support the person’s weight (or persons) using the parachute. It means that riggers must be very careful when selecting the materials for a rig. The parachute rig consists of the main canopy, reserve canopy, harness, container system, and AAD.

1- Assembling The Rig

Once the materials for a rig have been selected, the next step is to assemble the rig. This process can vary depending on the parachute, but some general steps are followed.

  • Attach the ropes to the canopy.
  • Attach the risers (the straps that hold the canopy in place) to the harness
  • Install the Pilot chute (a small explosive device that deploys the canopy)

2- Testing The Rig

After the rig has been assembled, it needs to be tested. Riggers often drop test rigs from high places to ensure they work correctly in real-life situations. Only after a rig has passed all these tests will it be safe for use. Now that you understand the rig, here’s the time to see the rigging!

What is Parachute Rigging?

Parachute rigging is a system of ropes, chains, or cables employed to support the parachute structure. Parachute rigging is a technical job performed by a specialized person known as a “parachute rigger.”

What does a Parachute Rigger do?

A parachute rigger is a specialized person who can maintain and repair parachutes, webbings, and fabrics to ensure safe and effective jumps. Parachute rigger ensures the safety of every paratrooper.

Parachute rigger performs rigging jobs, including inspection, testing, packing, and unpacking of parachutes and their release systems and all associated components of the parachute system.

The parachute rigger is required to understand webbings, fabrics, cables, packing, sewing, and all other related aspects such as repair, repacking, and maintenance of parachutes.

Does Parachute Rigging Require Specific Tools?

Yes, parachute rigging requires some specific tools present below:

  • A pull-up closing hook
  • patch canopy patching template kit
  • Welded wire finger trapping fids
  • Parachute rigger compact positive leverage device
  • Parachute labs rigger closing plate
  • Parachute labs Y tapered closing plate paddle
  • Wood packing paddle
  • Parachute rigger temporary pin
  • Screw top T-bodkins
  • Bendable steel pilot chute threading tool
  • Thread nippers
  • Thread snips
  • Rigger hemostats
  • Tweezer forceps
  • Duck bill pliers
  • Molar strap
  • Pull-up cord
  • Spring clamp
  • Round canopy compact line separator and many other things

The Best Parachute Rigging Services in Phoenix, Arizona

If you are looking for a reliable parachute rigging shop in Phoenix, Arizona, you should consider Western Parachute Services. They are the most famous and trusted parachute sales and service company serving its customers since the 1990s. You can contact them if you need assistance regarding parachute rigging or related services.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there’s much more to parachutes than meets the eye! The next time you see someone jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, take a moment to appreciate the work that ensured their rigging was safe and effective.

Ways of Emergency Parachutes Repair | Inspection Checklist

When a parachute is new, it is expected to function as designed. As time passes and it is used, again and again, it begins to undergo wear and tear, which results in malfunction. So it is necessary to maintain the parachute according to guidelines provided by the manufacturer. The rigger must identify any condition that might result in the parachute being dangerous.

What is an Emergency Parachute?

An emergency parachute is a second parachute that a parachutist or skydiver carries for the descent. It is also known as a reserve parachute. It is designed to be used by a person in case of a main parachute malfunction. It must be approved under an FAA “Technical standard order,” which prescribes specific basic design, manufacturing, and testing standards. The emergency parachutes must be in exercise and packed by FAA certified parachute rigger.

How Do You Inspect an Emergency Parachute?

As recommended by FAR 91.307 and 105.43,

  • The emergency parachute mustp08obe inspected and repacked every 180 days.
  • Rigging of emergency parachutes must be performed per a manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always carry out the repair and maintenance by a parachute manufacturer or organization authorized by the manufacturer.

Checklist for inspection of the parachute

  • Canopy check (inspection of fabric for cuts and tears)
  • Pilot chute (review of pilot chute for burns or scrapes and also checking of springs for damage)
  • Harness (Checking of harness for cuts, abrasions, or excessive wear)
  • Container (Inspection for the holes in the container)
  • Slider
  • Rapid links
  • Suspension lines
  • Line attachments
  • Ripcord housing
  • Ripcord assembly

Ways of Emergency Parachutes Repair

According to FAA, emergency parachute repair is of two types; major and minor repair!

Major repair

If not done correctly, it leads to cause disturbance in weight, strength, balance, and flight characteristics. It is not done according to accepted practices.

Minor repair

It is about the repair other than a major repair. It is allowed by the FAA.

Contamination conditions can be critical to repair. There are two types of contamination conditions which include acid contamination & saltwater contamination. There are some methods to remove contamination. These methods are the removal of water, removal of mildew, removal of oily substances, removal of stains, drying of the parachute, and cleaning of the parachute.

In Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, many organizations like Western Parachute Services focus on every type of repair and make every effort to ensure your emergency parachute works properly.

Final Words

Emergency parachutes are suitable to ensure the safety of skydivers, so they must be adequately maintained. In case of any damage, they need repair, which is to be done by authorized bodies. Many cracks can appear in an emergency parachute, affecting its performance. Many organizations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provide you with the facility of emergency parachute repair, like Western Parachutes Repair!