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Richard MacCrone

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Bargain Price too. [email protected] I was too late! lol
That is what they go for on the used market. There are a few for sale at about the same price on various venues. I'd have preferred a ram-air canopy (they open faster and are much more maneuverable) but a 26' conical will save your bacon just as well. I will say that RV6ejguy did take EXTREMELY good care of this rig, it's 18 years old and looks brand new!
 

BJC

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I would fly with an emergency parachute that has been well maintained with a canopy over 20 years old, but some riggers will refuse to pack such a canopy.

From National's manual:

The formal determination of “Time / Life” or service life of a non-military personnel parachute is still open ended and non specific. Someone must take the initiative and make a judgment call to ground it. By comparison: “Personnel (military) parachutes have a determined service life (a maximum shelf life) without use of 16.5 years, and every personnel parachute is stamped with a manufacturing date that starts its life-cycle clock. A personnel parachute is also stamped with the date that it is first placed in service (PIS). From that point on, a parachute’s service life cannot exceed 12 years. The longer the unit sits on the shelf the less service life it has once placed in service.” The Parachute Industry Association (PIA) has visited this issue without conclusion to date. Until the PIA specifies or recommends otherwise, it is the opinion of the current management at National Parachute that the maximum service life is 20 years from date of manufacture.

BJC
 

Richard MacCrone

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Feb 8, 2020
Messages
45
Good on ya BJC!!!! In the US there is no service life for parachute systems, they are "on condition". When I went to USAF riggers school in the early 70's we watched videos of deployments (at various airspeeds) of parachute systems that had been stored for over 20 years!!! there was no degradation of performance or materials. There was a failure (blown panels) of a C-9 28' canopy deployed at 275 knots with a 250 lb test dummy! Interestingly, the comment from National does not specify what component of the system that is life limited (I suspect the canopy) .

Fortunately I am a rigger (for over 50 years now) and have no problem placing this system back in service.
 

BJC

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Fortunately I am a rigger (for over 50 years now) and have no problem placing this system back in service.
My comment may have been too subtle. More succinctly: If you have an emergency parachute that is over 20 years old, ask the rigger if he would automatically declare it unairworthy before you take it to him for an inspection-repack. Some will.


BJC
 

rv6ejguy

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Jun 26, 2012
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
My comment may have been too subtle. More succinctly: If you have an emergency parachute that is over 20 years old, ask the rigger if he would automatically declare it unairworthy before you take it to him for an inspection-repack. Some will.


BJC
Yup, 2 others offered to buy but backed out because of this.
 

Riggerrob

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Sep 9, 2014
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That is what they go for on the used market. There are a few for sale at about the same price on various venues. I'd have preferred a ram-air canopy (they open faster and are much more maneuverable) but a 26' conical will save your bacon just as well. I will say that RV6ejguy did take EXTREMELY good care of this rig, it's 18 years old and looks brand new!
Minor correction: square parachutes are certified to the same standards as rounds. They must open within the same 3 seconds or 300 feet with the same G-limitations.

OTOH, I agree with your comment about squares being far more maneuverable. I am currently putting the finishing touches on an article for KITPLANES Magazine entitled "Round or Square Parachute?" Hint: I made up my mind 25 years ago while test-jumping to P124A/Aviator Pilot emergency Parachute.
Rigging Innovations will cheerfully sell you an Aviator containing a 280 square foot, square parachute and Para-Phernalia will cheerfully sell you a Softie back PEP containing a PD 253 square.

The difference is that few young parachute riggers have seen - much less care about - round parachutes. Few of them have the 40 foot long tables needed to pack round parachutes.
 

Richard MacCrone

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Feb 8, 2020
Messages
45
Minor correction: square parachutes are certified to the same standards as rounds. They must open within the same 3 seconds or 300 feet with the same G-limitations.

You are correct. However, as a rigger you know a square can be made to open MUCH faster by several means (pro-pack with nose cell spread open, etc.) A round opening sequence cannot be changed, the pressure bubble at the apex fills pushing the skirt outboard to the limits of the lateral band. That is why I prefer conicals over flat circulars, the area of the top of the canopy is smaller so it fills faster.

The difference is that few young parachute riggers have seen - much less care about - round parachutes. Few of them have the 40 foot long tables needed to pack round parachutes.
You are correct there!!! Since the transition to squares in sport parachuting riggers familiar with rounds come almost exclusively from the military where it is still the preferred canopy for personnel use. I only used a packing table in the military. I pack round canopies on a cotton duck mat 48" wide and 32' long, it has served me well for many years! I pack squares on a 16' square tarp although I only use a narrow section of it for packing, the rest is used for inspection of the canopy

I have hundreds of jumps on both rounds and squares. Other than the maneuverability the squares biggest appeal to my aging frame is the ability to make a "tip-toe" landing, the 26' conical landing is hard on the body!!!!
 

Richard MacCrone

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Feb 8, 2020
Messages
45
My comment may have been too subtle. More succinctly: If you have an emergency parachute that is over 20 years old, ask the rigger if he would automatically declare it unairworthy before you take it to him for an inspection-repack. Some will.
BJC
I understood you Sir, just not an issue for me.
 
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Riggerrob

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I knew that you understood; probably better than I.

My comment was for other readers who may never have run into a rigger who will not pack a parachute over 20 years old.


BJC
Many of the younger riggers refuse to pack anything older than themselves. Most of them have never seen a round parachute in the air. The other factor is that it is difficult to find manuals and service bulletins that were printed before the internet became fashionable.

Yes, I have packed parachutes more than 20 years old, but I have been a rigger since 1984 - 37 years. I also have about 70 jumps on round parachutes, but that all changed circa 1980 when Crown Assets Disposal (Canada) and the US military quit selling surplus parachutes with suspension lines intact or harnesses with leg straps un-cut.

A few civilian manufacturers continued making round parachutes, but they were soon eclipsed by more reliable square parachutes for the same price. By 1990, 80 percent of civilian sales included square reserves and both the Canadian Sports Parachuting Association and the United States Parachute Association insisted on large, docile squares for students.
 
Last edited:

Richard MacCrone

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Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
45
Yes, I have packed parachutes more than 20 years old, but I have been a rigger since 1984 - 37 years. I also have about 70 jumps on round parachutes, but that all changed circa 1980 when Crown Assets Disposal (Canada) and the US military quit selling surplus parachutes with suspension lines intact or harnesses with leg straps un-cut.
It's great to see another "Old School" rigger on the site!!!! I guess now there's two of us!
 

Yellowhammer

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Feb 21, 2020
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556
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Born In Alabama, reside: Louisiana (unfortunately)
That is what they go for on the used market. There are a few for sale at about the same price on various venues. I'd have preferred a ram-air canopy (they open faster and are much more maneuverable) but a 26' conical will save your bacon just as well. I will say that RV6ejguy did take EXTREMELY good care of this rig, it's 18 years old and looks brand new!

I failed to read the conical part and for some reason was thinking it was a ram air. Are the Softies a ram air chute?
 

BJC

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Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Question for you riggers.

Any departure from an airplane doing competition or airshow aerobatics is likely to be at such a low level that the pilot will not have time to stabilize before opening the parachute. Is there a difference in the probability of a successful opening between a round canopy and a ram air canopy? Even if there has been no statical study or testing, I would like to read your opinion.

Thanks.

BJC
 
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