Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack

 


3mpire  (C 39657)

Jun 18, 2013, 9:37 AM
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Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack Can't Post

Does it matter if a reserve is flat packed or pro packed?


peek  (D 8884)

Jun 18, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Re: [3mpire] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

3mpire wrote:
Does it matter if a reserve is flat packed or pro packed?

Yes it does. The correct answer is "pack it according to the manufacturer's instructions", but there can be variations to this.

That is part of earning a rigger's rating, learning about the variations, what is "correct", and what is "legal".

Don't worry, there is still plenty for riggers to debate!

Edited to add: By the way, there are multiple types of pack jobs that are all referred to as "flat" packing.


(This post was edited by peek on Jun 18, 2013, 12:05 PM)


3mpire  (C 39657)

Jun 18, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Re: [peek] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That is part of earning a rigger's rating, learning about the variations, what is "correct", and what is "legal".

That's what piqued my interest. If the manufacturer says do it one way but there may be a preference for the other, I'm curious as to A) why the different packs make such a difference that one is "legal" and the other isn't B) why a manufacturer would say one or the other is the *only* way you should do it.

Does it have to do with how quickly the pack job opens? How it fits in the container? My assumption is one of the two is better for the manufacturer from a liability standpoint and the other is preferable to some jumpers because it won't be a slammer or something. But that's just a WAG on my part!


(This post was edited by 3mpire on Jun 18, 2013, 10:15 AM)


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Jun 18, 2013, 10:38 AM
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Re: [3mpire] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

I think what you are getting at is this. Although riggers will always tell you that the only correct answer is to follow the manual, and they are right, there is another factor.

Many older but still airworthy and in service reserve canopies have manuals that only show a flat pack. Many container manuals simply say to follow the canopy manufacturers instructions for flaking and folding. Even if the container maker does include flaking instructions they will usually state to follow the canopy makers instructions if they conflict. In spite of this I know of no rigger who does not pro pack all square reserves into all modern containers. Pro packs are more likely to open on heading, and much easier to distribute the bulk evenly. In other words, just because the pro pack was not yet developed when the manual was printed does not mean that it won't be used anyway.

I've always been a little uncomfortable with this, and I welcome all informed comment from qualified riggers.

Ken

Edited to add, by pro pack I mean nose to the floor with the material divided into half the cells on one side half on the other. Whether done on the floor or not. But flat pack, I mean side pack.


(This post was edited by gowlerk on Jun 18, 2013, 11:09 AM)


irishrigger  (D 297)

Jun 18, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Re: [gowlerk] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmmm interesting question, i always start off Pro packing the canopy just to get a rough fold going.then i lay it on the ground and sort and tidy everything up from there. i find i have much better control of the lines and canopy material.. so it is a kind of a pro pack but done on the ground.
so far have done over 5000 the same way and never had a problem, but i do have 284 satisfied customer's that i know off!CoolCoolCoolWinkWinkTongueSmileSmile


(This post was edited by irishrigger on Jun 18, 2013, 10:44 AM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jun 18, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Re: [3mpire] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Just some opinions dashed off:

For opening reliability I don't think there would be that much difference, despite the untrue prejudice against flat packs that they are "90 degrees off heading". What does differ is whether the folds of fabric cross the center line or not when flaked to the outside. Still, propacks seem a little neater in their concept, in that they are symmetrical along the fore-aft axis, as canopies themselves are, and that may be better.

As for practical reserve packing:

Propacks fit much more nicely into reserve freebags that have a closing loop going through them. Molaring a canopy does involve a bunch of scrunching of fabric and shaping, but a lot less than needs to be done for a flat pack. (Where one has to get lots of cells out of the way of the loop, not just the center cell.)

As for manufacturers' rules:
Pretty much everything is propacked these days.
(I'm sure some exceptions can be thought of...)

Sometimes a manufacturer changes their mind. UPT tandem reserves were officially packed using a modified flat pack for many years, but then changed to a propack. the flat pack was a bit of a pain to molar! There was a transition time when the manual still told me as a rigger that I must follow their special flatpack... but a brand new Sigma from the factory would arrive with a propacked reserve.

PD reserves used to have flat pack instructions for many years, even when everyone was starting to propack them like other reserves. Eventually they came out with a propack addendum, and finally the propack became the standard.

So manufacturer's instructions do vary over time.

You might get some out of date 1980s rig that only shows flat packing in the manual because that's what was available. Before the concept of molaring a reserve (awkward with a flat pack anyway), there were some weird contortions needed in the pack jobs to get the reserve canopy around one or two closing loops. I bet just about any rigger would propack the reserve these days.

Here you also get into the issue of reserve manual vs. container manual, and the reserve manual has precedence. But manuals may differ on how much of an overlap they show between pack jobs in the canopy vs. container manual. (I haven't looked into manuals lately for the purpose of checking this though.)

The Flight Concepts / Glide Path manuals show a propack version that looks more like what you'd do when rushing to pack your main to get on the plane at a boogie. I bet most riggers ignore the instructions and pack the reserves the way they propack all other standard reserves.

So while riggers are supposed to follow the manual, in reality adjustments are made for what is considered acceptable in the community.


ChrisD  (No License)

Jun 18, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Re: [3mpire] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

I want to add, again, that the manufacturer is the key entity, and in a position to field all of the questions and act as the central authority to have the last word so to speak with their equipment.

Every incident, comment, and problem ends up at the manufacturers doorstep. It is not a perefect system. But because of this central feedback they make design and packing reccomendations.

It is this vast body of information that most manufacturers have, that we don't, that drives innovation and safety.

C

That said it wouldn't surprize me if packing changes or perhaps better said somebody might find a more suitable method as time marches on?

It might also be benificial to actually define exactly what you mean by "Flat Packing," cause in many peoples eyes they all start off as a pro-pack and then on the table or ground turn into a flat pack as it is tweaked or pushed into position. Line placement, having the center hole? Is what is on everyones mind as the first priority. If you read the manuals, they are all available on line, there are differences in how packing a reserve is described. But the underlying goal is the same.

It would be interesting if any of the manufacturers could share some of the things they have learned and the reasons behind them?


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Jun 18, 2013, 12:43 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Jun 18, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Re: [irishrigger] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

irishrigger wrote:
Hmmm interesting question, i always start off Pro packing the canopy just to get a rough fold going.then i lay it on the ground and sort and tidy everything up from there. i find i have much better control of the lines and canopy material.. so it is a kind of a pro pack but done on the ground.
so far have done over 5000 the same way and never had a problem, but i do have 284 satisfied customer's that i know off!CoolCoolCoolWinkWinkTongueSmileSmile

Quite right.

What used to be called a "factory pack" for main canopies was very close to a propack but done on the ground, and is often called a flat pack by those that haven't been around so long. I've seen riggers start a reserve with a factory pack then tidy it up into a propack. This seems like a good way to do it, as tension is applied all the way to the top skin as the line groups are laid on top of each other, but I'm not a rigger. Does anyone do a standing propack and not take the time to tidy it up cell by cell on the ground? It seems that if yes, then there is no difference.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jun 18, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: [pchapman] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Peter,

Quote:
For opening reliability I don't think there would be that much difference,

It has been a good number of years ago, but I had a discussion with John LeBlanc of PD on flat-packing vs pro-packing. He said that they found that both methods open at about the same times & with the same reliability.

You should consider this as 'hearsay.'

Quote:
the issue of reserve ( canopy ) manual vs. container manual

It is my understanding ( and I admit that I could be wrong ) that the FAA has said that the container manual is the priority in the event of any conflicts.

And I agree with this.

JerryBaumchen


3mpire  (C 39657)

Jun 18, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you everyone for all the information I'm learning a lot about the subject.

pchapman wrote:
For opening reliability I don't think there would be that much difference,

JerryBaumchen wrote:
It has been a good number of years ago, but I had a discussion with John LeBlanc of PD on flat-packing vs pro-packing. He said that they found that both methods open at about the same times & with the same reliability.

You should consider this as 'hearsay.'

Would it be an accurate statement to say that a jumper should not care if it is flat packed or propacked?

In other words, is there a legitimate reason for a jumper to have a strong preference for one packjob over the other? I know that sometimes people have a preference for something that is a matter of personal preference where the alternative is also perfectly functional.

That preference may be based on technique or established habit, so the benefit is convenience or efficiency but the performace/reliability (the output) is no better or worse. Is that the case here?


irishrigger  (D 297)

Jun 18, 2013, 12:42 PM
Post #11 of 15 (2199 views)
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Re: [3mpire] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

Would it be an accurate statement to say that a jumper should not care if it is flat packed or propacked?

out of all the reserves i have done and i been a rigger for almost 15 years, no one has ever asked me the question,if i flat packed or propacked the reserve.
I would hazard a guess to say that all they care about that if they do have to use the reserve that it opens quick and preferably on headingWinkWinkWinkTongueTongueTongue

better make a small correction,The only reserve that i have ever flat packed was a couple Strong tandem Rigs. and i have packed strong tandems my usual way, and they all worked fine when they had to be used.

I agree with Jerry Baumchen, if in dispute go with the container Manufacturer recommendation.

Rodger


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jun 18, 2013, 4:25 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

To clear up Container vs. Canopy manufacturer rules:

Riggerpaul advises me that AC105 has stated "However, the container manufacturer’s instructions take precedence when there is a conflict between the two."

This matches what Jerry Baumchen wrote.


Edit: TWARDO -- what was that old reserve that mal'ed on you with a non-factory style pack job?


(This post was edited by pchapman on Jun 18, 2013, 4:27 PM)


fcajump  (D 15598)

Jun 19, 2013, 6:09 AM
Post #13 of 15 (1603 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

pchapman wrote:
To clear up Container vs. Canopy manufacturer rules:

Riggerpaul advises me that AC105 has stated "However, the container manufacturer’s instructions take precedence when there is a conflict between the two."

This matches what Jerry Baumchen wrote.


Edit: TWARDO -- what was that old reserve that mal'ed on you with a non-factory style pack job?

Agreed.

Years ago, having studied the Ancient Egyptian Secrets of Parachute Rigging on my personal quest to become a faithful disciple of DeWolf, I noted that different manuals (some having been published prior to the popularity of the PRO pack), I started contacting canopy and container manufacturers. Many approved use of the DeWolf methods, some approved the use of his PRO pack techniques but requested (required) steps in their manuals be followed exactly. Usually this was due to specific variations in their container construction/design. I don’t think that I currently service any gear where the manufacturer does not permit the PRO pack method, but you may work with items that I don’t…

Bottom line – Make sure you’ve got the most recent manual for the gear. Then talk with the manufacturers. If they tell you anything different from their manual, ask for it in writing… at minimum document when and who you talked to and exactly what they approved/disapproved. (CYA)

JW


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Jun 19, 2013, 6:31 AM
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Re: [pchapman] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

So with a Monarch 200 reserve with the data label that says it can't be used unless it was packed in the last 120 days what's the ruling?


JohnSherman  (D 2105)

Jun 19, 2013, 8:10 AM
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Reserve Flat Pack vs. Pro Pack [In reply to] Can't Post

I was heavily criticized when I developed and introduced “Trash” packing back in the early 70’s, later renamed “PRO” (Proper Ram-Air Orientation) packing by Mike Fury. The method is based upon packing a round except the 4 line check is the outside 4 lines (corners) as opposed to the inside 4 for a round and because of the short cord equivalent could be done standing up. The Beechnut 10 way team did extensive testing with this and variations of it, as did the “Exitus” team, during their existence. Mike Johnston took the “Trash” out of the pack job by figuring out how to make the folds look neat. I showed it to Hank Aschutto (Piglet Designer, RIP) at the Nationals in Richmond Indiana and he went home and published the first manual.

This was before the How To pack video that was produced by a passer by in the sport and who gave credit to a former rigger who worked for me and claimed he developed the method, which was a lie.

The French, a number of years ago, conducted a government study of Ram-Air parachute at Toulouse, France. Their studies showed that The PRO pack was superior in force reduction and load distribution as it loaded more symmetrically. It was also better for on heading openings if the correct body position was maintained. Their data was presented at a PIA symposium in Orlando.

We introduced it for reserves when we certified the Racer for square reserves. The rest is history.



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