First off, the pilot chute was absolutely cocked when I packed it, so the ring must have come off inside the plane or on deployment. I always check the pilot chute twice before completing the pack job.
As I stated in the original post, I should have looked over my shoulder, and I also stated that I was very concerned about having two outs. We are definately going over the gear thoroughly next time I'm at my home dz.
So in answer to your question, I absolutely make sure the pilot chute is cocked before I jump it. So I can guarantee the ring was in tact when I packed it. What I believe I need is some more detailed instructions on gear maintenance.
But it certainly couldn't hurt to get some additional packing instructions. There's always room for improvement there.
P.S. No, I had the reserve handle out of the velcro when my main FULLY inflated. I would have pulled the reserve completely out had the main only started to inflate.
(This post was edited by skydivermom on Oct 16, 2007, 2:33 PM)