Considering lots of people get killed these days while under fully functioning main canopies (ie low turns under a high performance canopy), that 16 year old one is probably safer on that front...... on stability, openings, acid-mesh, rats eating holes in it: who knows!! Is a 16 year old Delta 88 safer then a 16 year old Ferrari?
Hey Yarik In 1975 I was jumping a round canopy that was made in 1962. I sold it in 1976 and it was still being jumped then. I can't say the one your looking at is ok. But from my experience they can stay safe a long time if cared for. The newer canopies have to be built better then them old rounds, so if it looks like something you might want make a deal with the seller to refund your money if its not airworthy, and have it checked by a rigger. All that said if you can afford it buy a newer one, but I'm sure you already considered that. Good luck
My previous post on reserve life mainly referred to "service life." Nylon parachutes have very long "shelf lifes", probably exceeding 40 years. Assuming this canopy has been carefully stored in a plastic bag, in a cool, dry, dark closet, it is in "like new" condition. Expect to make 600 to 800 jumps on an F-111 canopy from that era. There is a safety advantage to older canopies. Since no one in their right mind jumps these canopies at wing-loadings much more than 1 pound per square foot, you limp away from landing errors that kill people flying tiny Icarus Extremely Extremes!
Ahhhh, the Clipper 196. I remember being just off student status jumping Raiders, and being elated that I could now try the *exciting* rental gear that consisted of a Clipper 196, and a PD 190. I do believe that the pilot chute that used to be on the Clipper is still in use on another rig, and still has my bloodstain on it from an unfortunate runway landing. You kiddies listen to your jumpmaster when he tells you that maybe you should have more than 19 jumps before you decide to be cool jumping in those Teva's!! I'll tell you what, I'm looking for a Crossfire or FX to load at 1.9 to 2.2, but thinking back, those old worn out trucks used to offer a lot of excitement. And I don't remember complaining about lack of flare or whining about penetration!
Mike I ponder this dangerous, but irresistible pastime- Pink Floyd