Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles?

 

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bodypilot90  (D 24249)

Aug 22, 2013, 6:03 AM
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Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? Can't Post

Last I heard Germany was on a one year repack cycle, is it time to update the US and others?


piisfish

Aug 22, 2013, 6:18 AM
Post #2 of 69 (6074 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it is a good idea. Not for everyone. Many jumpers are not responsible enough with their gear.


DougH  (D License)

Aug 22, 2013, 7:11 AM
Post #3 of 69 (5981 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe you should work on your calligraphy. Wink


councilman24  (D 8631)

Aug 22, 2013, 7:14 AM
Post #4 of 69 (5968 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

PIA members were split on 180 days. PIA rigging committee with USPA's support requested an exemption to study 180 days and the FAA decided to go ahead and change it. PIA actually never asked for it. Many didn't support 180 day or hadn't made up their minds.

The issue isn't whether the reserve, if well treated and stored, will work. The issue is what else with the rig needs attention. Harness wear, line wear, BOC's, PC's etc, plus external damage. Many jumpers these days don't pack their own rigs routinely, don't know much about how wear effects them, and don't routinely examine their rigs closely. Getting it in a riggers hands who hopefully inspects the harness as required and perhaps the main lets these issues be addressed.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Aug 22, 2013, 8:08 AM
Post #5 of 69 (5893 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Spain and France have 1 year repack cycles too as far as I know. The UK is 6 months.

As stated above, it's not just repacking the reserve but the inspection that gets done with it that's probably the most important bit. If you're only doing under 100 jumps per year then maybe it would make sense but if you're doing much greater than this in a harsh environment (sandy, dusty, etc) then a shorter interval would be appropriate.


bodypilot90  (D 24249)

Aug 22, 2013, 11:09 AM
Post #6 of 69 (5728 views)
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Re: [councilman24] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

But the repacking the reserve causes wear. I shocked at the amount of skydivers today that do not/ can not pack their own mains or even could rig a main on risers.

That being said it's not the rigger, it's the skydiver that is at risk and should be smart enough to check their own gear. But then again we have the uspa saying we must pull at 2500 for our own safety.

Terry if there were no regs on repacks how long would you go on your own rig before repacking the reserve.


bodypilot90  (D 24249)

Aug 22, 2013, 11:12 AM
Post #7 of 69 (5718 views)
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Re: [adamUK] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Has there been a increase on reserve malfuntions since the change? Anyone have data available?


Quagmirian  (A 110392)

Aug 22, 2013, 12:32 PM
Post #8 of 69 (5616 views)
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Re: [adamUK] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

adamUK wrote:
Spain and France have 1 year repack cycles too as far as I know. The UK is 6 months.

As stated above, it's not just repacking the reserve but the inspection that gets done with it that's probably the most important bit. If you're only doing under 100 jumps per year then maybe it would make sense but if you're doing much greater than this in a harsh environment (sandy, dusty, etc) then a shorter interval would be appropriate.
I agree. How about mandating a one month/100 jump inspection cycle where everything except the reserve is looked at closely? Something like this.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Aug 22, 2013, 12:35 PM
Post #9 of 69 (5599 views)
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Re: [Quagmirian] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

The owners manual for my Wings has inspection/maintenance activities which are recommended to be done once a month. I don't really think you need to be a rigger to do them but if you find something then showing the rigger it before you jump it would be a good idea. Smile


ctrph8  (D License)

Aug 22, 2013, 12:40 PM
Post #10 of 69 (5594 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that answer depends quite a bit on the owner of the rig. On my personal rig, I'd think that a year or two might be OK... But I'm messing around with my rig all the time and as a rigger and am constantly checking and tweaking things. This has to be done for the lowest common denominator. This is for the person who doesn't pack much and really can't/won't evaluate what is normal wear and tear vs what is a safety concern that needs to be fixed. These folks rely on others to check that stuff for them. Most of the people reading this forum are pretty nerdy about gear and rigging. We are at one end of the spectrum. The cycle is for the folks at the other end.

I think the 6 month inspection/repack cycle is just about right.



bodypilot90 wrote:
But the repacking the reserve causes wear. I shocked at the amount of skydivers today that do not/ can not pack their own mains or even could rig a main on risers.

That being said it's not the rigger, it's the skydiver that is at risk and should be smart enough to check their own gear. But then again we have the uspa saying we must pull at 2500 for our own safety.

Terry if there were no regs on repacks how long would you go on your own rig before repacking the reserve.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Aug 22, 2013, 12:52 PM
Post #11 of 69 (5580 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

How long I'd go isn't relevant. I know how my rig has been treated and stored and I know that I pay attention to wear. I also know who the last rigger was and what he might have done wrong. It's the average, or maybe the 90 percentile Worst jumper, that we have to schedule for. Because they don't look out for themselves.

Best example I have. A rig came in on time with the main attached and open. I detached the main risers, did my job and put the main back on. And noticed the main closing pin was held on by 2 very loose stitches in the tape. I fully expect that the next jump it would have separated from the bridle and cause a main container lock. This was before paid packers were widely available and certainly didn't exist where this guy jumped. So he handled this pin every time he packed his main, for every jump. And didn't notice/know/think this was an issue.

IF you believe that the FAA should mandate an inspection cycle for a TSO'd component (harness and reserve and all associated parts) then what is appropriate? I believe 6 months is a good compromise on wear to the canopy versus inspection of the system. This interval also becomes the interval that we find something done wrong by the last rigger. How long do you want to go before someone opens that pack job done at midnight at the boogie so you could keep jumping.

Others believe that parachutes shouldn't be TSO'd (hmmm lift rafts are) and then no federal regulation. I don't agree.

So when we (PIA) rigging committee talked about this we had several items

Will is work at 6 months or a year or longer if treated well? Sure
Does packing damage the canopy? Sure so less is better
Do we find other things wrong that may not affect the function of the parachute? Sure all the time.
Do we find minor and major mistakes by previous riggers? Yes, and a few potentially fatal.
Should tandems be different?

We also discussed at one point a year cycle on the reserve pack with an external rigger inspection mandatory at 6 months. Deemed unworkable.

BTW I've also found a ram air reserve that had fabric as weak as the 'acid mesh' affected rounds. Tore at 2-4 lbs. How long to you want that in your rig? It certainly didn't start that way.

So given the culture of jumpers in the U.S. what is a happy balance between these?

Many thought 4 months, many thought 6 months, many not sure. We didn't think the FAA would change without data, hence the request for an exemption with reporting requirements to gather data. They went ahead. PIA never requested 180 days rule change, in spite of what some folks will tell you. BTW last I looked a tandem MAIN has to have been packed within the last 120 days to use. They missed it.

Would I have a lot of grief at a year? For pilot rigs no. For sport rigs with the variation in care and storage and environment of use, 6 months seems about right. If it was a year I'd wonder what was going to go an extra 6 months without being found.

So should I answer your question?Angelic Because of it being my rig, under my control, packed by me and with how little jumping I do I'd go about a year. I've too much change in rigs within a year, and since it's free for me no need to go longer.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Aug 22, 2013, 1:43 PM
Post #12 of 69 (5523 views)
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Re: [councilman24] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Terry,

Quote:
Will it work at 6 months or a year or longer if treated well? Sure

For some other reasons, I've giving this some thought.

I would support a 1-yr between repack cycles if there was an inspection ( by a licensed rigger ) at the 6-month point. This inspection would be:

1. Open the container & get the pilot chute out of the way.
2. Pull back all flaps down to the free bag with canopy inside.
3. Lift the bagged canopy up sufficiently that the rigger can determine that there are no foreign objects in there and that nothing seems amiss.
4. Close it back up using the packing instructions, seal, and make a note on the packing data card about the 6-month inspection.

Thoughts anyone?

JerryBaumchen


piisfish

Aug 22, 2013, 2:00 PM
Post #13 of 69 (5494 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Given the number of sticky freebags I already saw, I would say to extract the canopy without unpacking it.


7eleven

Aug 22, 2013, 2:19 PM
Post #14 of 69 (5468 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

As a german skydiver i can say that the germans are very prudent with regulations in every area. If it can be regulated, there is a regulation for it in germany. So if the cycle in germany is 1 year, im sure 1 year is more than enough. Wink


(This post was edited by 7eleven on Aug 22, 2013, 2:20 PM)


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Aug 22, 2013, 2:30 PM
Post #15 of 69 (5441 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Nic,

Quote:
sticky freebags

1. Are these from US-built rigs?
2. Did any of these freebags have any coating on the inside of the fabric?

I am opposed to any coating coming into contact with any canopy or freebag.

JerryBaumchen


(This post was edited by JerryBaumchen on Aug 22, 2013, 2:40 PM)


Deyan  (D 322)

Aug 22, 2013, 2:42 PM
Post #16 of 69 (5416 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

bodypilot90 wrote:
But the repacking the reserve causes wear.

How much wear exactly?
PD require factory inspections after 40 repacks, which is 20 years with the current rules. All reserves we've sent, came back re certified for another as low as 20 and as much as 40 repacks. That's another 10 to 20 years. Based on that I'd say that a new reserve will outlast its owner.


(This post was edited by Deyan on Aug 22, 2013, 2:47 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Aug 22, 2013, 2:53 PM
Post #17 of 69 (5368 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the problems will be that more rigs will be grounded for more minor stuff. At 120 days it was fairly easy to say "well, your legstraps are wearing, but no yarns are worn through yet so let's look at it in four months." If it's going to be a year until anyone sees that rig again, riggers will be a lot more likely to say "gotta replace the legstraps because in a year you could see a few of those yarns wear through." This will tend to lead to:

- more animosity between rigger and customer
- more rigs being grounded for minor stuff
- more "rigger shopping" to find the riggers that will just sign off on anything


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Aug 22, 2013, 3:36 PM
Post #18 of 69 (5327 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Nic ( again ),

One more question if you do not mind:

3. Did you find the 'sticky' freebags at the 6-month cycle or at the 1-yr cycle or both; or do you know?

Thanks,

JerryBaumchen

PS) How about you Deyan? Any thoughts on the 6-month vs 1-yr 'sticky' bags?


ufk22  (D 16168)

Aug 22, 2013, 3:55 PM
Post #19 of 69 (5291 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

My biggest concern would be three-ring/cut-away cable maintenance. I can't believe the number of jumpers that are clueless about this aspect of normal rig maintenance.
I wonder how many of the low chop fatalities could be traced to hard pulls on cutaway because of the lack of maintenance.
I have always pulled, cleaned and oiled my cables monthly.
I exercise my three-rings every two or three months.
With the new 6 month cycle this can be an issue, let alone if we go a year.
As far as the repack goes, I would not expect 1year to be an issue on actual reserve performance.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Aug 22, 2013, 4:49 PM
Post #20 of 69 (5233 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

The problem with opening the reserve container but not packing it is now who is responsible for whose work?

I'm not going to do what you described, close it, seal it with my seal. Even if I noted what I did I couldn't prove it. Remember our court system that requires us to cover our butts. Same rigger no issue but mandating a second visit to the same rigger would be difficult and perhaps illegal.

I believe a required external exam would do most/all of what we/you want. You can tell if it's been stabbed and probably if something has been spilled on it. Otherwise about all that can happen is sand and weeds/seeds/ get in it. These aren't likely to do much. It's the rest of the rig that is visible on the out side that I want to look at. Yes there are thinks that could be bad like leaking batteries. But then you pick either 6 months or 1 yr (or longer) for opening, repacking and live with it.

Pulling it out of the bag and then trying to put it back is beyond what I believe any rigger should do. May riggers 'fold' the canopy in to the bag. Pulling it out as a lump and putting it back wouldn't be in their skill set and by that time it needs to be repacked.

Yes, yes, no TSO, no regs, no seals ... but within our current regulations I don't see opening the container working. Just like I won't open someone else's to reinstall an AAD or shorten a loop but will do my own.

All of the sticky bags I've dealt with were Javelin coated bags. They've been an issue for 20 plus years. I tried to suggest they should change 10 plus years ago but they (sunpath management) weren't willing to change. (Some at sunpath agreed they should change) The coating transfers to the canopy. This coating can be felt. I routinely pull test this fabric that feels abnormal. On one ram air canopy this fabric, where the transfer occurred, failed at 2-4lbs pressure. Other parts of canopy were normal. I reported this to sunpath.

I also had one customer who worked construction and then went to the DZ to jumpmaster almost every weekday. Kept his rig in the trunk. It came in at about 5 months near the end of the summer. With the locking stows out of the safety stows and the flap open it took 35lbs to pull the bag off the canopy stack. Measure with scale. This would most likely have delayed a cutaway deployment. Terminal may not have been affected much. Sunpath coated bag also.

I THINK Sunpath has changed but frankly haven't seen a new Sunpath freebag in several years. Hmm maybe I did see one that was still coated recently. Anybody have the answer?

There's not much a rigger can do when the factory insists on using a coated bag.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Aug 22, 2013, 6:25 PM
Post #21 of 69 (5153 views)
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Re: [councilman24] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Terry,

Quote:
The problem . . .

There are always problems. That is why we make the big bucks. Tongue

I only put my post out there to get the conversation going. And if we stayed at 6 months, my life would not noticeably change.

Thanks for the extensive reply.

Anyone else?

JerryBaumchen


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 22, 2013, 7:17 PM
Post #22 of 69 (5095 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
Hi Nic,

Quote:
sticky freebags

1. Are these from US-built rigs? ...

JerryBaumchen

.............................................................................

Some Javelins were reported with sticky urethane coating on the inside of the reserve bottom flap.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 22, 2013, 7:22 PM
Post #23 of 69 (5085 views)
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Re: [bodypilot90] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

Canadians and Americans - in Northern States - already have a one year repack cycle, because most of them only get their reserves repacked once a year, in the spring time.
Those repacks are usually done in a mad panic the day before the big boogie that opens the skydiving season (e.g. Kamloops May Meet).


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Aug 22, 2013, 9:04 PM
Post #24 of 69 (5029 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

riggerrob wrote:
Canadians and Americans - in Northern States - already have a one year repack cycle, because most of them only get their reserves repacked once a year, in the spring time.
Those repacks are usually done in a mad panic the day before the big boogie that opens the skydiving season (e.g. Kamloops May Meet).

Some of us find ways to jump all winter. Cool


piisfish

Aug 23, 2013, 1:06 AM
Post #25 of 69 (4910 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Is it time to work on 1 year repack cycles? [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
Hi Nic,

Quote:
sticky freebags

1. Are these from US-built rigs?
2. Did any of these freebags have any coating on the inside of the fabric?

I am opposed to any coating coming into contact with any canopy or freebag.

JerryBaumchen
yes (and also French ), and yes.


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