Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
How long can you leave a main packed?

 

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WooHoo  (A 48391)

Feb 5, 2006, 2:49 PM
Post #1 of 33 (2091 views)
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How long can you leave a main packed? Can't Post

I went jumping in Eloy last November and after my final jump a packer
put it in the container. I will not realistically be jumping before March and was wondering should I take it out the container. Let it chill out and relax, or is it OK to leave it packed and jump it in March without a re-pack.

Is there a time limit on this, and what would you recommend?

[" No one knows everything!!!!!! Well except for my four year old neice apparently]


sid  (D 20135)

Feb 5, 2006, 2:51 PM
Post #2 of 33 (2083 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I went jumping in Eloy last November and after my final jump a packer
put it in the container. I will not realistically be jumping before March and was wondering should I take it out the container. Let it chill out and relax, or is it OK to leave it packed and jump it in March without a re-pack.

Is there a time limit on this, and what would you recommend?

[" No one knows everything!!!!!! Well except for my four year old neice apparently]

120 Days Dude! Same as the reserve......


nathaniel

Feb 5, 2006, 3:00 PM
Post #3 of 33 (2072 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

I just took my new pilot out for a jump last weekend after a couple of months. Repacked it on the ground beforehand. It was a bit like plastic wrap, fairly self adhesive. It didn't inflate itself automatically like a freshly packed canopy does when you pull it out of the bag, it just sat there like a brick until I unrolled it. I'm not sure what it would have done in the air...

When I repacked it, it was back to its normal slippery self. Do yourself a favor and open it up and take a look at it on the ground. Since you thought to post about it you probably have at least some uncertainty about it, a half hour or so is all it takes to get rid of the guesswork.

Gear fear is no fun.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Feb 5, 2006, 3:14 PM
Post #4 of 33 (2059 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

Legally, 120 days per part 105.

"(a) The main parachute must have been packed within 120 days before the date of its use of a certificated parachute rigger, the person making the next jump with that parachute, or a non-certificated person under the direct supervision of a certification parachute rigger. "

Derek


Ron

Feb 5, 2006, 4:07 PM
Post #5 of 33 (2030 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

As some have said...120 days legally.

I know of some jumped after a year with no problems.

But the real answer is this. Why bother? It takes a few mins to repack it and rest your mind. And at 62 jumps its best to feel good about your gear after a long layoff.

Also, if it is going to be a long time....Check into taking the main out and putting it in a dry, dark place to protect it.

Ask a rigger the best way to store a canopy for a long period.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Feb 5, 2006, 10:54 PM
Post #6 of 33 (1914 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know the rules abd regulation in UK. I may leave in packed, but I would repack it before jump it again.

Mine is unpacked now, because I was so lazy to pack it after it gor wet and dried.


labrys  (D 29848)

Feb 5, 2006, 11:35 PM
Post #7 of 33 (1906 views)
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Re: [Ron] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

That FAR is weird, IMO. I could chose to jump with one square inch of nylon as my main as long as I've packed it within 120 days?

Crazy


jas8472  (C License)

Feb 6, 2006, 12:30 AM
Post #8 of 33 (1892 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

FYI, UK has a 6 month reserve repack cycle.

I recently jumped my main after 6 weeks packed and it took 1500 feet to open, I would expect a few months to be ok, not sure about 5or6 though, just don't hop&pop it.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 6, 2006, 2:34 AM
Post #9 of 33 (1866 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Is there a time limit on this, and what would you recommend?

"Officially" 120 days. This is basically never enforced.

George Galloway has left reserves packed for years and then deployed them; they always opened. I've left mains packed for years and had them open with no discernible difference. If the main has been packed and stored in bad conditions (damp, too hot, near acid etc) inspect it and repack it. If you are at all concerned about its condition, inspect it and repack it. If you are going to store it for a long time, it is better for the canopy to stuff it in a pillowcase instead of a D-bag. But leaving the main packed for a long time isn't a big risk in terms of potential malfunctions, as long as it has been stored in good conditions (dry, not hot, protected.)


twibbles  (C 104292)

Feb 6, 2006, 4:08 AM
Post #10 of 33 (1843 views)
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Re: [billvon] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

What about the stowing bands? They spend most of the time stretched when the main is packed, and i'm thinking that if the main's been jump it'll break and be replaced quite regularly.. So, if the main is to be left packed, is it going to be a concern?

Eugene


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 6, 2006, 5:32 AM
Post #11 of 33 (1802 views)
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Re: [twibbles] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

George Galloway has left reserves packed for years and then deployed them; they always opened. I've left mains packed for years and had them open with no discernible difference.
(quote)

So the real question is "how long WOULD you leave a main packed"

over a year, if I packed it, have gone as long as two years for stuff in storage.
I have been given two old PC's that were packed in the late 70's, when they were unpacked to see if they were rotten and that is the only reason we unpacked them, after inspection ,I should have left them packed and just jumped them they were in great shape, except the rubber bands were all rotten and stuck to the lines, so yes the rubber bands will rot to the point of turnning to dust.
On one of the PC's I changed the rubber bands out and checked the tensel but kept the pack job in tact (didn't unfold the pleats) pulled the sleeve back down stowed the lines and made a jump, worked fine for being folded over 25 yrs.

So how long would you leave a canopy packed and still jump it?

~


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 6, 2006, 5:53 AM
Post #12 of 33 (1797 views)
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Re: [twibbles] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

>So, if the main is to be left packed, is it going to be a concern?

We once 'unpacked' (pulled apart) an old round in a container we found in a storeroom at the DZ. Our best guess was that it had been packed for at least 15 years. The rubber bands holding the lines in the packing tray distintegrated when we pulled on them, but did their job sequencing line payout.

On modern rigs the rubber bands also help control opening of the D-bag, so that's an additional concern. But while I think 15 years would likely be a problem, I don't think a year or two would be.


Ron

Feb 6, 2006, 7:36 AM
Post #13 of 33 (1744 views)
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Re: [labrys] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That FAR is weird, IMO. I could chose to jump with one square inch of nylon as my main as long as I've packed it within 120 days?

Yep, cool huh?

In truth, like Bill said, I would not worry about the main as long as it was stored in good conditions.

I have seen some rigs stored in such bad conditions I would not jump them after 120 days. But I know of at least one test where the rigger left it packed for 2 years and it worked fine.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:43 AM
Post #14 of 33 (1712 views)
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Re: [Ron] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That FAR is weird, IMO. I could chose to jump with one square inch of nylon as my main as long as I've packed it within 120 days?

I know this was said in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, but FYI, you can jump whatever you want...as long as your intent upon exiting is to land the canopy you are deploying as your "main". If you want to jump a bedsheet (literally), and don't plan on landing it, legally you must have at least 2 other canopies. The law states you must have one parachute on your back that you don't plan on using except in the case of an unforeseen emergency, and that canopy must be TSO'd (US rules).

Also, there was a note in Skydiving magazine about the canopy jumped after 50 YEARS of being packed. It opened fine.


Ron

Feb 6, 2006, 8:51 AM
Post #15 of 33 (1709 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know this was said in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, but FYI, you can jump whatever you want...as long as your intent upon exiting is to land the canopy you are deploying as your "main"

Yes, it was tounge in cheek, but the sticky part is "intent". It's hard to prove intent. "Did you plan to land that?" Yep, but in the middle it didn't seem safe, so I cut it away.

And as for breaking FAR's the most abused one is packers. Not many have rigger tickets, and "under supervision" I have seen to be read as "Able to call at home and ask a question."

I remember the 50 year pack job now. But the law says 120 so its kinda hard to tell someone anything else.


(This post was edited by Ron on Feb 6, 2006, 8:52 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Feb 6, 2006, 9:08 AM
Post #16 of 33 (1699 views)
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Re: [billvon] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

It depends upon the storage conditions.
After two years in the Southern California desert, rubber bands start to rot.
So I would not jump any main packed more than 2 years.
On a practical note, you need to get your reserve repacked every 120 days and most (all the professional) riggers disconnect the main when they repack reserves, and half of them stretch out the main before they re-attach it, so you are probably going to have to repack it after 120 days anyways ...


labrys  (D 29848)

Feb 6, 2006, 10:01 AM
Post #17 of 33 (1664 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I know this was said in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, but FYI, you can jump whatever you want...as long as your intent upon exiting is to land the canopy you are deploying as your "main". If you want to jump a bedsheet (literally), and don't plan on landing it, legally you must have at least 2 other canopies.

It wasn't intended to be a serious comment, no. But.... I don't see where the rules specify intent to land or where they require a third parachute if you don't intend to land the main. I know it's a good idea to have a thrid Tongue but is this spelled out somewhere other than the part that addresses the use of single harness dual parachute system?


bch7773  (C License)

Feb 6, 2006, 6:44 PM
Post #18 of 33 (1539 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a main packed in its D bag for about 4 months. When I pulled it out of the Dbag, it just sits there like a brick. I even tossed it around and it remains completely folded and in the shape of the Dbag.
I suspect at 120 mph it would unfold, but why risk a reserve ride to get out of 5 minutes of repacking the main?


firstime  (B 28972)

Feb 6, 2006, 6:56 PM
Post #19 of 33 (1532 views)
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Re: [Ron] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But the real answer is this. Why bother? It takes a few mins to repack it and rest your mind.

Ditto


skydiverbry  (D License)

Feb 7, 2006, 2:56 AM
Post #20 of 33 (1486 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

Past exp. has taught me after about 60 day the fabric on my tri. got kind of funky, like it was sticking to it's self. Reminded me of Saran wrap, I had unpacked it just for peace of mind,so I had it hung up in the loft for about a day and it returned to it's normal, sombitch, to get in the bag self. Just from exp. in this little game we play "When in doubt check it,out then recheck it" It is time well spent because complancy can get ya KILLED!!! BLUE SKIES BryanUnimpressedUnimpressedUnimpressed


LearningTOfly

Feb 7, 2006, 9:32 AM
Post #21 of 33 (1426 views)
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Re: How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

An additional question:

Good idea or bad idea:

Leave a canopy (carefully) packed over the winter so that it will have a good 'memory' of how to fold itself come spring. Repack before first jump intended-


Icon134  (D 29820)

Feb 7, 2006, 5:20 PM
Post #22 of 33 (1350 views)
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Re: [LearningTOfly] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Leave a canopy (carefully) packed over the winter so that it will have a good 'memory' of how to fold itself come spring.

Or you could practice packing it periodically so that you don't have to be conserned with the "memory" and and you would merely have the skillz to pack it... Cool


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Feb 7, 2006, 10:54 PM
Post #23 of 33 (1307 views)
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Re: [Icon134] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

What was the last time you tried to pack a really dry gear?


Trae  (Student)

Feb 8, 2006, 1:37 AM
Post #24 of 33 (1292 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to "How long can you leave a main packed?"
..............

There is talk of extending the reserve repack period to 12 months as little difference can be discerned from the 6month repack period ...IF the rig is kept in good order and stored well.
This is because it would save some of us a bit of bother and $$$ paying the riggers.
If your rig gets wet or is subjected to extremes of weather eg frozen to tropical or stored badly then a shorter repack period would be recommended.

A rigger/ manufacturer once gave me a rig to jump and was having a good laugh when I walked back in afterwards.
The main hadn't been dumped for more than 2 years and when it came out of the bag it stuck together a bit. It was like a bag lock without the bag. Whether this was due to the heat or static electricity or because it'd been squashed for a couple of years or the lot together ?????? don't know . It did open but a bit messily and slow....not like you'd prefer a reserve to open .

For reserves there's little reason to take chances if you don't have to . If you stay in the sport any length of time it's worthwhile learning to pack your own reserve. Feels real good when you save your own life. And you can repack it anytime you like .


LearningTOfly

Feb 8, 2006, 9:21 AM
Post #25 of 33 (1266 views)
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Re: [Icon134] How long can you leave a main packed? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's true too...

For me it's not such a concern though, after a few hundred the packing isn't really an issue- I just don;t like to fight with creases that were put into stupid placesWink

Come to think of it- I pack every now and then as a form of stress relief from whatever - blue skies


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