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Thread: Parachute question (technicality)

  1. #1

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    Parachute question (technicality)

    Question. If one is flying an airplane, and is doing aerobatics, then one needs to wear a "current" parachute. However, if one is flying an airplane, and is not conducting any flight that would require a parachute, can a person wear a parachute that is NOT current? Thanks.

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    If you're solo you don't need a parachute by the way. Parachutes are only needed when flying passengers.

    91.307 says: (a) No pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a parachute that is available for emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is an approved type and has been packed by a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger—

    So if you have an emergency parachute available, it has to be current. It matters not whether you're required to have the parachute. Your out of date parachute needs to be removed from the aircraft (or some other way to make it unavailable for use ... placarded and deactivated?).

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    Technically, you have to throw your out of date parachute in the baggage compartment. You can not sit on it legally.

    The other reg that was not quoted above says that if you fly solo, no parachute need be worn, but if you carry a passenger, the pilot and all of the passengers must wear parachutes.

    Interesting, the British tradition, where the rules are different, is to not wear parachutes. Hardly sporting to give yourself an easy out if you break the airplane.

    Fly safe,

    Wes
    N78PS
    Senior Parachute Rigger

  4. #4

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    The rule is ridiculous, an out of date chute is better than none if your wing fails in flight, pfft! It's always about the money and control. pathetic absolutely pathetic! Reminds me of when a senior electrical engineer at my work place intercepted electrically insulated gloves that I had production order me (maint/engineering wouldn't) because I wasn't trained how to use and check them, I threw him my safety glasses and said better keep these too I've never recieved training on them either. Same kind of people.
    I say wear the chute if you want and first chnace you get go to a skydiving club and ask a rigger to check and re-pack it for you, but I wouldn't let the "REGS" keep me from wearing it.

  5. #5

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    As a skydiver I used to question the short time between repacks of reserves. It used to be three months here in OZ but has now been extended to 6 months. On my old rig that had a round reserve i would often let it run to 12 months and do what we called a pencil pack. just had the packing card signed of by a mate in exchange for a beer. gasp horror i hear. A lot of us did it and it was based on experience and knowledge. i also took precautions in how i treated my rig. I never left it in the sun or exposed it to heat like leaving it in the boot of the car. i also used good quality elastic bands that are used to stow the lines so they did not perish and stick to the lines. I also never left it on the ground so ants etc could find there way in. When it was repacked it received a good long airing and a closer inspection and the rubber stows replaced. I had a couple of reserve deployments at each end of the yearly repack both opening times where about the same in time and hardness. The federation here did some tests on jumping rigs that had been packed for up to 2 years. It was found that after around 12 months there were problems in deployment times especially with the newer square reserves. If you are using a emergency rig that you sit on, leave in the aircraft that sits in the sun or just toss it in the cupboard etc i recommend that it be repacked on the due date. Times for me have now changed, i now use a square reserve that is fitted very tightly into the container and is also fitted with an electronic AAD ( auto opener) and i now have it repacked on or shortly after the due date. There is more to check and they some of the components like the closing loops are not as rugged as they used to be and need to be replaced on each repack. You should treat it as an insurance policy. When you need it you really need it and last thing you need is a big pilot chute hesitation or the canopy to snivvel if you are really low. i aslo recommend doing a jump ( not a tandem) and maybe doing a packers course if you don't want to pay someone. You could then pack all your friends and get some money back. I'm getting lazy these days and pay some one else 8 bucks to pack my main.
    ozzie

  6. #6
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Hardly sporting to give yourself an easy out if you break the airplane.
    LOL You're kidding right?

    The rule is ridiculous, an out of date chute is better than none if your wing fails in flight, pfft!
    Assuming that it opens or opens correctly. As our Aussie friend points out, there are some serious technical issues with a chute left to sit for years.

    Speaking from experience as a skydiver, I've had a chute fail to open and when it was investigated, the rigger was found to have not repacked it when he said they did based on a discrepancy between the label my friend (the owner of the chute) had installed on the chute for his own quick verification and the paperwork the rigger filled out. Luckily, the reserve had been repacked by someone else who actually did it or there's a decent chance I might not be alive today. To this day, that remains the only time I've had to rely on a reserve to get down safely. Also to this day, the guy who did his job and repacked that reserve doesn't pay for his own meals whenever I am around.

    I'm getting lazy these days and pay some one else 8 bucks to pack my main.
    LOL Exactly, a repack if you have skydiving friends isn't that much.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  7. #7

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    Not kidding. The apocryphal story from the other side of the pond is the famous story of how British test pilot Neil Williams came up with a brilliant recovery after breaking the wing of his Zlin. In upright flight the wing wanted to fold upwards and he quickly discovered that in iverted flight the wing stayed in its normal position and the airplane flew normally. He flew down final inverted and rolled upright so low that the wingtip scraped the sod runway. The wing folded just as he reached upright flight, he pancaked onto the runway, and walked away. I am not creative enough to make this up.

    Having a pilot emergency parachute sitting in its pack for months or years has little affect on proper function. If you had a problem I suspect that there was more going on than just the time since repack. I am regularly surprised by rigs that come into my shop and when I open them it is obvious that the last rigger did not have, or follow, the correct instructions. I have seen a total malfunction on my packing table. Your friend the skydiver may not be the best choice to repack your round pilot emergency parachute for $8. I can tell every pilot that I have 100 jumps on a round parachute and several reserve rides on a parachute just like the one that they sit on. Age has its advantages some days.

    I once watched a bad friend have a total malfunction of his main parachute and deploy a reserve that had been packed for 18months. He had taken good care of the rig in the meantime and my unscientific observation was that the deployment time was the same, or less, then what a freshly repacked rig would do.

    The military vacuum packs their ejection seat parachutes and I believe that they can be installed for a couple of years or so before their next inspection. Not the same as what civilians do, but an example that time in the pack is a less important parameter.

    Oh, a quality repack costs something like $50 - $70 these days. What is your life worth anyway?

    Fly safe,

    Wes
    N78PS
    1680 parachute jumps
    FAA Senior Parachute Rigger

  8. #8
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    I am constantly amazed at how some folks apparently want to save money on safety equipment..
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  9. #9
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Not kidding.
    I knew it was a historical attitude (the same attitude that led them to believe that parachutes degraded pilot skill and that it was better to issue pilots a pistol with which to shoot themselves). I just wasn't certain if you were we trying to argue against against a parachute or not. Given how rational you have always come across, it just led me to inquire further. Thank you for clarifying what you were getting at.

    Your friend the skydiver may not be the best choice to repack your round pilot emergency parachute for $8
    I was actually referring to the fact that anyone who knows skydivers in any number probably has at least one or two riggers in their circle as well.

    Oh, a quality repack costs something like $50 - $70 these days. What is your life worth anyway?
    Exactly.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  10. #10

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    I have a friend who made a career out of auto racing and working on British engines and cars. His advice is "There is no British Engineering. It is all tradition.".

    I have no idea as to whether British and Commonwealth pilots are more inclined to wear a parachute when they fly aerobatics these days. A quick look at the British Aerobatic Association web site and its link to their equivalent of an advisory circular suggests that their regs do not require that parachutes be worn at all.

    IAC requires parachutes and since they can help make a spartan seat more comfortable while doing snap rolls, you just get used to them.

    Fly safe,

    Wes
    N78PS

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