Aug 15, 2006, 9:21 AM
Post #1 of 83
Riggers, picture this!!!
Ok, here is the scenario: A customer brings his rig for a simple repack on this month of August. You noticed that the AAD, on this case a cypres, has the following situation: The batteries will expire on the end of september; The AAD will expire(12yrs+3months) on the end of october. Question #1 Do you inform your customer that your customer needs a new cypres! Question #2 You go ahead and pack the reserve and write on the data card the following: Air, Inspect & Repack - Batteries will expire on the end of september - Cypres unit will expire on the end of october Please, let us all know your opinion! Cheers,
Personally... I'd go with the KISS principle on this one and tell them (your #1) they need a new Cypres.
If they want to buy one, I'd galdly install it and pack the rig up at no additional charge.
If they want me to remove the old unit that will drop dead before the end of the repack cycle, and I&R their reseve sans old Cypres I would.
My fear with your #2, besides it getting me in hot water with the FAA (and well, being wrong/not legal, IMO), would be the potential for the notes... "Batteries will expire on the end of september - Cypres unit will expire on the end of october"... not being aheared to and the rig being jumped past the point where the Cypres is no longer "legal" yet the end of the repack cycle is not yet up. Basically, it boils down to the +/- 3 months "wiggle room" is the "wiggle room" no more, thats all.
(This post was edited by ZigZagMarquis on Aug 15, 2006, 9:38 AM)
In this scenario, I start by telling the customer that their Cypres will expire before the end of the repack cycle. Then I offer them a discount if I have to open the rig half way through a repack cycle. If I cannot reach the customer by telephone, then I COVER MY ASS WITH PAPERWORK. I write the expiry dates on the work order (one copy goes to the customer and the second copy disappears into a mysterious filing cabinet). I also note the expiry dates on the packing data card, filling an extra line below the regular I&R entry. Then the owner gets treated like an adult. He was told when his Cypres expires and if he chooses to jump it after the expiry date, he is the one responsible.
The AAD will expire(12yrs+3months) on the end of october.
The Cypress is Dead, it is past the 12 year mark as I see it.. The 3 months +/- is for the times when a pack would put it into that range not when the pack would go out of that 3 month buffer. Just an opinion but I would tell him the cypress is dead since t is 12 yr + 1mo old and ask if he has another to put in or if he wants it to be packed up w/o the aad. With the 120 day pack window he can basically use the expired cypress for 1.5/2months on your seal and if something happens even though it might be considered a gray area with paperwork and the like as mentioned above inthe thread, you might have some seious dancing to do since you would have packed the unit up past the 12 year lifetime. Again the +3 months window is for packs before 12 years to allow for a little wiggle in my thinking, not the blatant situation your noting here......
Answer #1: Yes. I would tell him that his CYPRES will become unairworty by the 12 yr 3 mo date.
Answer #2: No. I will not pack a reserve with an AAD that will become unairworthy before the repack cycle ends. In both cases you mentioned, the AAD would become unairworty IAW FAR Part 105.43 (c) - "If installed, the automatic activation device must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions for that automatic activation device." Since the manufacturer's instructions require a battery change and specify a service life, both must be adhered to by law.
I have asked that question of many Riggers - all of them have said no, the one exception being a comment about the rig being under their own personal control, e.g. it is their own or a family member's. In that case they can physically kepe it from being jumped after the battery/periodic maintenance/service life has expired. Me? I simply plan ahead . . .
FAR 105.43 (c) If installed, the automatic activation device must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions for that automatic activation device
So the FAA delegates the maintenence of the Cypress ADD to Airtec. From the SSK website, riggers checklist (edited for brievity): 3) Check that it has not been more than four years + max. 3 months from the date of manufacture or last factory maintenance. Refer to the date(s) on the label(s) on the Processing Unit. 4) The battery must be replaced after two years or 500 jumps or if the low battery error code is encountered during self-test whatever comes first. 5) A CYPRES 1 must only be installed as a life saving device when the points 2-4 are fulfilled and the unit is not older than 12 years and 3 months.
That is what the rigger is responsible for (nothing more, nothing less) per Airtec. So, again, per AIRTEC, if the battery is less than 2 years old, passes the boot check, has less than 500 jumps on the battery, it has been less than 4 years and 3 months since factory maintenance and the unit is less than 12 years and 3 months old IT IS LEGAL TO PACK. A unit that has expired batteries or is expired is NOT LEGAL TO BE PACKED (as a life saving device ). But a unit meeting AIRTECs criteria for airworthiness, even though it will expire mid pack cycle IS LEGAL TO PACK. Since NO WHERE does it say you have to remove it from the rig when it expires, I would argue that it is ok installed in the container. But is not legal to be used, (turned on/armed) after it expires. But turning it on is the responsibility of the owner/user, and not the rigger. So if it was legal per Airtec when the rigger packed it, the rigger has no liability (well no liability for the legality of unit to be installed) for that cypress once it leaves his hands. Now it would NOT be LEGAL to REPACK until Airtecs critera were satisfied.
So in conclusion, we paid for the damn thing, we are entitled to use it to even though it will not make it to the next repack cycle (because it wont). Besides, if the OWNER decided to use the unit after the batteries expired, and had a cypress fire, wouldnt you be glad you left it in the container? He saved his life by breaking the law - how awesome is that.
Hey Guys and Gals, I am the Customer. My Cypres expires in September. The rigger that packed my reserve in July is a personal friend who had some very good training prior to his certification. In fact, one of his "teachers" happens to be my rigger that I have used for the past 6 years. However, since he was not available at repack time, I felt very comfortable asking someone, that he helped train, to do this one reserve repack. The new rigger informed me of the exact date my Cypres would expire and noted it on my card. He knows that I will not jump it after expiration, and is perfectly comfortable grounding me if I happen to miss that date. I immediately verified the expiration date with SSK whom I purchased the Cypres from.
I can certainly understand the riggers liability if a rig gets jumped with his seal on it and the Cypres has expired. I would not dream of putting my regular rigger or this new rigger in harms way by violating that trust. In addition this will not be necessary because I would not jump with an out of date Cypres and would ground myself.
Currently, I am shopping for another Cypres and have asked my long time rigger to assist if he has anything available. He is aware of all of this information that I am posting. Sunday, we discussed scheduling a repack in September with the new/used Cypres, as well as some other modifications that were recommended by him. I have been shopping for a Cypres since the July repack and have found a few possible purchases. I am not quite sure why this specific incident is worth posting about but I do understand that the subject, in general, is important.
Thanks for the input, Perra firstname.lastname@example.org www.skydivecarolina.com
Here in Oz from what I understand you can shorten the repack cycle, by noting it on the card. So if you repack it, you can say that the next repack is due by the end September. Can you lot do that in the States or UK/Europe?
My intpretation is that it is not illegal to jump the rig after the batteries expire or the cypress expires for that matter, it is only illegal to use it as "a life saving device" (turning it on), or to repack it while expired. If you wish to have the cypress removed, that is your call, but as I see it, (and as I have and will practice) until otherwise informed (with evidence), you can use the rig, it is not groundable, it is not illegal. I currently am not using a cypress because the batteries pooped, and it happens to be due for a 4 year... so I feel your pain. To jump without a cypress is a personal decision. Choose carefully, but for the right reasons. If your afraid to jump without a cypress though, you need to reevaluate the risks we take and then your involvement in skydiving. Think about it...
we have no problem with reserves being packed where the CYPRES and/or batteries will go out of date prior to the next required I&R as long as it is properly annotated on the reserve data packing card (AAD no longer airworthy after xx/xx/xxxx) and the customer is properly informed as to what his options are
this will become even more of an issue in the U.S. once we get approval here for the 180-day repack cycle - think of the logistics and issues involved in countries where the repack cycle is already 180 days or one year
no where in part 65 does it state that the rigger is certifying that the parachute is going to be airworthy until the next REQUIRED I&R - in fact, part 65 does not even refer to the repack cycle! (see parts 105 and 91 for repack requirements)
105.43(b)(1) requires that a reserve used for intentional parachute jumping must have been packed within 120 days before the date of its use
105.43(c) states that any installed automatic opener must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions
however, read the preamble to 105.43, it states that no person may conduct a parachute operation ... and no pilot in command may allow ...
no where does it mention anything about parachute riggers "allowing" - it just requires a rigger to do the required packing
a parachute manufacturer could disallow the packing of a reserve if the AAD would not be in date for the entire repack cycle via the provisions of 65.129(e) - but I know of none who have made this restriction in their manual
as riggers, we are stating that the parachute system is airworthy at the time of the I&R - the next day, depending on what happens to the rig (getting dragged across pavement, etc.) it could be un-airworthy and in need of another inspection
there is a lot of precedent for riggers (airmen) from aircraft mechanics (also airmen, and also regulated under part 65) - when the annual is done on an aircraft, that doesn't mean that the prop might not come due before the next annual is due
please note that although I am presently serving as President of PIA, I am not speaking on behalf of PIA on this matter - be aware that there are PIA members (riggers) who disagree with me
bottom line, I do not believe there are any legal issues involved, but I also believe that this is an issue that is up to the individual rigger, and what he personally feels comfortable with
1) we have no issue with reserves being packed when the CYPRES (and/or battery in the case of CYPRES-1) will go out of date prior to the next required repack - we DO have an issue with a parachute being jumped if the CYPRES maintenance, CYPRES lifetime, or battery is out of date - and like it or not, in the US 105.43(c) makes it illegal to do so
2) I find no regulation to form the basis that makes it the responsibility of riggers in the U.S. to "enforce" a future airworthiness due date by refusing to pack
3) we suggest that riggers should discuss options with their customers, and properly annotate all airworthiness due dates on the packing data card
in other words, to answer Gus's specific questions, yes to both - inform the customer that he will be needing a new CYPRES by a certain date, discuss options, and if appropriate, do the repack and annotation on the data card
Derek, Afraid to jump with out an AAD not necessarily, but more my choice to jump with one. I do not 'rely' on it as a part of my skydiving, but do understand where it 'could be' life saving, under certain situations. (There have been a few instances I have decided not to turn it on) My point of grounding myself is that I choose to jump with an AAD, so if I do not have one that is workable I won't jump that weekend. I understand some people choose to jump without. Staying in point of Gus' subject, I wanted to explain this instance in question about repacking a reserve for a couple of months on my current Cypres and that I was informed it will expire before my next repack, and I could make a decision/purchase prior to expiring, and that I would not continue to jump the in date reserve repack without resolve....then that is what I will do per my conversation with the repack rigger.
I just thought your information about manufacturer instruction was very useful. When I called SSK in July they said it was OK to repack and jump until Sept but I did not review why. Good to know and they are being very helpful in finding a replacement. As I just purchased a new Sabre2 my funds are low so I am looking for a short term solution until I can purchase a new Cypres2 next year. Sure I can jump with out one at my DZ if I want, but I prefer to have one.
Thanks Cliff....we were posting at the same time. You may not remember me but I met you in Rantoul last year and purchased the current Cypres we are discussing on this forum. Karen has been emailing me over the last several weeks and been very helpful in finding something by September. Thank you for the additional information. I love learning about things I should have known....but didn't. It is good to hear that I am 'up to code' through this month. Thank you.
Well to argue with the manufacturer probably isnt going to get me anywhere.... but...
we DO have an issue with a parachute being jumped if the CYPRES maintenance, CYPRES lifetime, or battery is out of date - and like it or not, in the US 105.43(c) makes it illegal to do so
I can see where it is illegal to use the cypress once expired, but I do not see how it would be illegal to jump the rig. Either way, it is a grey area, and could see how it might be linked some how, but right now I dont see the connection....
Funny you mentioned the link to airmen, I am an airman, not a rigger (yet), but an aircraft mechanic (A&P), I wade through this bureaucracy daily. ;)
So in conclusion, we paid for the damn thing, we are entitled to use it to even though it will not make it to the next repack cycle (because it wont).
Yes you did pay for the damn thing and you are entitled to use it anytime you want. You just can't use it with my seal on it if it expires before the repack. That is my choice and not up to you the FAA or anyone else.
In reply to:
Besides, if the OWNER decided to use the unit after the batteries expired,
And this is the reason I would not pack it. I feel there are too many people who would ignore the fact that the AAD is out of date and jump the rig anyway. And with my seal on it.
When it come right down to it, a rigger can refuse to pack a rig because he does not like the color.