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pchapman

Holes in reserve pilot chute mesh - limits?

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What is considered acceptable for torn holes in reserve pilot chute mesh?

I've come across an older PC where there is damage to the mesh. It's a soft type of mesh with hexagonal holes.

On the one hand, it isn't the way it was built and TSO'd. On the other hand, most things have acceptable wear limits. (E.g., consider all those Javelin PC's one sees with fabric looking rather porous and stressed from their packing method.)

I can't recall if anyone has suggested a specific limit to hole size.

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What is considered acceptable for torn holes in reserve pilot chute mesh?



It's like any other hole in nylon fabric. It is still sturdy, but the hole will get bigger if used.

I don't see why it can't be repaired. I have repaired small holes in a pilot chute used on a main and it has stayed repaired for many jumps. That is what we are looking for, for it to work when needed.

I used "E" thread and loosely sewed a small hole closed, sort of "darning" the hole.

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What is considered acceptable for torn holes in reserve pilot chute mesh?

I've come across an older PC where there is damage to the mesh. It's a soft type of mesh with hexagonal holes.

On the one hand, it isn't the way it was built and TSO'd. On the other hand, most things have acceptable wear limits. (E.g., consider all those Javelin PC's one sees with fabric looking rather porous and stressed from their packing method.)

I can't recall if anyone has suggested a specific limit to hole size.



I'm not really sure what is acceptable or not in rigger's circles but to me NO holes are acceptable. For Christ's sake, isn't your life worth the hundred bucks or so a pilot chute costs?:S

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do you realize just how much EXTRA drag the 36" reserve PC provides ? And it's not like it's not being vented through the hole on top (where your closing loop comes through), unless it's a poptop. I don't have an answer as to what's acceptable - but I would have no problems with a PROPERLY patched PC.

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In my particular case the user is taking the PC out of service, because good sized holes had benn worn into it. Not sure how, as I wasn't the rigger before. Who knows, from the stains, it may have been pulled from a tree or something after a cutaway.

The best I can see so far:
- There's no standard number out there for hole size.
- A 'small' hole could be hand sewn shut.
- Hand sewing a patch on a larger hole might be feasible but fiddly.
- Any damage that is questionably large? Replace the PC. With appropriate skills it may be possible to rebuild the PC fabric using the same cap & spring.

All sorts of options are possible.

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Agree with the recommendation to replace it. I'm certain that even a tiny hole in the nylon makes the pilot chute not airworthy. Seems to me that the structural integrity of the mesh is an important issue once the pilot chute is loaded by the airstream. On a main, darn away. But on a reserve, I'd replace it.

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The manufacturer will always tell you to replace this and that is probably the advice that should be given. Riggers are sometimes called to use their judgement in determining if something is airworthy. A few pinholes? I had a few in my reserve but had to follow the rules and have them patched.

In this case, despite the fact a few tiny holes would probably not have any effect it would be safer to follow the manufacturers recommendation. If they are a few snags that aren't really holes then it probably becomes a judgement call.

-Michael

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I had a few in my reserve but had to follow the rules and have them patched.
-Michael



If I remember correctly Michael, you were originally lobbying very hard just to replace the whole reserve.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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If I remember correctly Michael, you were originally lobbying very hard just to replace the whole reserve.



No, you do not recall correctly.

[URL]http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3081407;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread[/URL]

-Michael

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I finally got around to reading this post. Looking at it from a mearly practical viewpoint the question seems just a bit silly to me. The school packers were always bringing me these little tiney holes in the droges on the tandoms. It's mesh. It's suposed to have holes. It's part of the deffinition. That's what makes it mesh. If it has a few small holes in it it's just better mesh. No, I don't recal a spec on the acepability of repairing holes. Lacking direct guideance from the manufactorer you might actualy have to use your judgement to determin if it is structurealy compermised. In all fairness I have seen perfectly good reserve pilotchute blow to hell. But that at well above adverage speeds. I don't think a quarter inch hole would make any diffrence one way or the other.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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My apologies then. :$

I seemed to remember about the thread was some one being very adamant about replacing it, despite being repairable.



No worries DougH - someone suggested I cut the lines off and donate it to a school. Unfortunately I had to whip it out 2 weeks ago and despite a *GASP* patch it opened and saved my ass just fine.

Back on topic though... If you ask the manufacturer they will most likely say replace. Same as they specified that my tiny 1 ripstop square holes had to be patched.

-Michael

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First, this has nothing to do with tandem drogues or main pilot chutes, this question was about reserve pilot chutes. I quickly called two manufacturers of the two rigs I own about this issue--both said "replace," because the system was tested under circumstances where the pilot chute was not damaged. A rigger cannot seal a reserve that he/she knows is damaged, and is required to pack the reserve according to the manufacturers guidance and specifications. You could reference either Poynter or the FARs for that. Both manufacturers also felt that attempts to patch or repair damage to a reserve pilot chute were not appropriate because the patch could further reduce structural integrity, and because the level of difficulty of the repair makes it impractical (relatively inexpensive and easy to replace). I got my first rigger rating in 1980 and have seen a fair number of reserve pilot chutes--I can't recall ever seeing one repaired--though some Master Rigger may have done that. And remember, it's not how big the hole is when the reserve is packed that's important, it's how big the hole is when the pilot chute is launched. And since no one can predict that, it's best to spent the 80 bucks or whatever and replace the reserve pilot chute with the hole in the fabric or mesh. Mu $.02.

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Check 5-7 of the riggers handbook



Thanks, I think that's the first reference to a written source in the whole thread.
On the other hand, that source does no better than just to say that "Small holes may be allowed, but consult the manufacturer's manual."
[:/]

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