Softie Seat Pack Parachute

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by freerangequark, May 24, 2013.

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  1. May 24, 2013 #1

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

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    Hi,

    Does anyone in the Chicago / So. WI area have a Softie Seatpack that I could try on for me and my plane? I want to make sure I'm pleased with the fit before I order them.

    I could fly to you this weekend and would be happy to give a ride :)

    Thanks,
    Glenn
     

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  2. May 24, 2013 #2

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Nice looking Charger!
     
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  3. May 25, 2013 #3

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

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    Thanks :)

    Glenn
     
  4. May 25, 2013 #4

    Dana

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    I wish I had one so I could take you up on the offer of a ride... :)

    Dana
     
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  5. May 26, 2013 #5

    Southron

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    Years ago I purchased a surplus military T-10 backpack chute. Took the padding material out of the back of my airplane seat and usually left the T-10 in the airplane. Then, when getting in the airplane and sitting down in the seat, it was then a simple matter of buckling on the chute and cranking up the airplane. I didn't have to lug that parachute around with me and that made it very convenient.
     
  6. May 26, 2013 #6

    Matt G.

    Matt G.

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    Are you aware that the Softie chutes have a 20-year life limit? If you take care of your parachute and don't want to have to throw it away in 20 years regardless of condition, you may want to look at some other brands.
     
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  7. May 28, 2013 #7

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

    freerangequark

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Here is what I have been able to learn since I started shopping for chutes.

    All of the major brands of emergency chute, Softie, Strong, National, and Butler are manufactured to TSO-C23. (I think they're up to Rev."d" now).

    TSO-C23 states that any parachute certified under this standard does not have a maximum service life. Furthermore, if a parachute manufacturer wants to establish a maximum service life after receiving their TSO under C-23, they must submit their request with corresponding supporting data to the FAA for review and request that an Airworthiness Directive be issued by the FAA for that model. This has not happened.

    That said, the manufacturers still tend to recommend a 20 year service life as do many certified riggers. Here is an example on page 12 of the National Parachute manual:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...CV61CmQVx0EmcuPtA&sig2=jXH9625XF8mTaonl68eNIQ

    Some parachute riggers will simply refuse to recertify a chute simply because of its age. Others will conduct nondestructive pull tests to determine the airworthiness of the chute.

    Bulter Parachute Systems won't even look at anything over 20 years old regardless of the manufacturer:

    "Age Limits: Because most aging effects in nylon textile products cannot
    be detected without destructive testing, BPS will not pack a parachute that is
    over twenty years old at the time of repacking. "


    Here is an Allen Silver articles on the subject :

    http://silverparachutes.com/app/download/6404239204/2008-04.pdf



    If anyone knows of a chute whose manufacturer recommended service life is more than 20 years, please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Glenn
     
  8. Jun 26, 2013 #8

    holger

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    Softies are known for their strongly worded service life limitation. A lot of riggers will still pack a >20y Strong, but not touch a Softie. Keeps things on the safe side for Para-Phernalia. Talk to your local rigger.
     
  9. Jun 26, 2013 #9

    SVSUSteve

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    I was thinking the same thing!
     
  10. Aug 20, 2015 #10

    Hugh Lorimer

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  11. Jun 1, 2016 #11

    Riggerrob

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    National and Security mandate 15 year life for thier chutes.
    Softie and Butler say maximum 20 years.
    Meanwhile Strong does not set a specific life limit.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2016 #12

    TMann

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    Having deployed a Strong reserve I can say two things:
    1) They land you real soft (zero porosity).
    2) They are real pretty when you look up at them.
     
  13. Jun 2, 2016 #13

    Riggerrob

    Riggerrob

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    Agreed!
    I have deployed a (square tandem) Strong reserve and rather enjoyed the view!

    When considering the "life span" of an emergency parachute, also consider maintenance. Since they have to be inspected and repack "in a mad rush the week before the Reno Air Races" .... er .... every 180 days, it helps if you pick a model that your local parachute rigger likes.
    Since skydiving schools quit using round mains circa 1990, few instructors remember how to teach pilots how to land round parachutes.
    Since round reserves disappeared by the turn of the century, fewer and fewer young riggers learn how to pack round chutes.

    So pilots' options are:
    A: find a grumpy, old grey-bearded rigger who see to jump rounds,
    Or B: buy a square emergency parachute that young riggers know how to pack.

    When sizing parachutes, keep in mind that container size is determined by canopy volume. For example any seat-pack containing a modern, 26 foot diameter conical canopy will measure 16 inches wide by 14 inches long (front to back) by about 2.5 inches thick. The harness will only delete an inch of leg room. Butler, Softie and Strong seat-packs occupy the same volume. Then the debate shifts to colour and harness options.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016

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