You'll understand if I address each of these individually. I read of each of these arguments prior to forming my _opinion_ and the letter.
It results in less wear on gear, meaning that a given rig/reserve combination will be safe to jump for a longer time
We still have rigs & reserves from the 70's that were under a shorter inspection cycle. In fact, we have rigs & reserves that have been around so long that some riggers refuse to inspect & repack anything over 20 years old.
Countries that have a 180 day repack cycle have seen no significant problems with it
I read the list. I hate to go all Kallend on you, but there's more countries on the list that I think are great examples not to emulate. For me, "Because they do it..." is a reference; not a reason. And, if we're going to do it _like_ they do... some of the countries on the list don't require the same standard of certification to pack the reserves, nor even a seal.
Manufacturers have left reserves packed for several years and drop-tested them with no problems
Again, it's not about _just_ the reserve repack, but the system as a whole - and on that note: see below.
No inspection cycle can catch gross neglect of gear;
a reserve will mildew in a month if left wet
Manufacturers generally know more about their gear than you or I, and most are in favor of the 180 day cycle (PD actually recommends a 360 day cycle in the absence of other rules).
In my dissention, I also refer to the number of field riggers that have found issues in the field, which have resulted in manufacturer testing and Service Bulletins.
Bill, you know that I respect your opinion in many areas and as of my letter to the FAA did not see one from you. I ask you as an engineer and probably fellow in the science of Quality Management; What does it really hurt to leave the 120 day inspection cycle? Are we to consider it the as just an inspection cycle or view it as preventative maintenance? I also ask, if it saves one life; is it worth it to leave it at 120 days? Conversely, which is more likely to save one life; 120 or 180 days? IMO this is about the extra $50.00 per annum, which every DZ with numerous rigs would find advantageous as would the average _on the bandwagon_ skydiver. I look forward to reviewing your letter to the FAA.
EDIT: I encourage any/everyone to write their papers with compelling enough arguments, evidence, information... I can still add an addendum to the list reversing my position. I've been thinking about this for awhile - and it's going to take more than cheerleading "I support the 180 day cycle."
(This post was edited by BIGUN on Aug 11, 2007, 6:33 AM)