0
slotperfect

Pilot Emergency Parachutes - Most Popular?

Recommended Posts

I have a friend who is retiring and plans to buy an airplane. He wants a PEP that he can leave on the seat (round canopy). My information on which is the most popular is not up to date. I am interested in hearing from both Pilots and Riggers - what do you recommend? He is not rich, but he can afford to buy quality gear.
Arrive Safely

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I have a friend who is retiring and plans to buy an airplane. He wants a PEP that he can leave on the seat (round canopy). My information on which is the most popular is not up to date. I am interested in hearing from both Pilots and Riggers - what do you recommend? He is not rich, but he can afford to buy quality gear.



It seems the Para-Phernalias Softie series is the most popular. Nationals are probably the ones you can get the best deal on if buying new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He better be kind of rich if he wants to leave it on the seat. I just grounded two 4 year old Strongs because they had been left 'on the seat' somewhere. The sun damage was so bad and they had been left so long there was a stong shadow in the fading on the seat pad from the leg straps.

A few years ago I grounded a 4 or 5 year old back that had faded from pink to white being left in the war bird. She was rich enought to buy a new one every year.

Please educate him on how you treat your skydiving rig, and ask him to treat it better.:P


Now, to your question.;)

Just like skydiving there are different answers for different uses and body sizes.

I'm buying someone Butler canopies and Softie seats for his T6. He's a big guy and flies faster warbirds at times. Want something bigger in a canopy but he likes Softies. Didn't want the Preserve V because only a few people in the country know how to pack them.:S (I'm one, he's had them in the past)

People flying gliders and some aerobats like chair containers to spread out the bulk some. Others need the diaper at the bottom of the back container and some need it at the top.

I prefer Paraphernalia Sofites, I pack a lot of Strongs, and getting some more Butlers in.

If he's not oversize I suggest a Softie with the 240lb canopy in the configuration he needs for his airplane. If he's oversize I'd suggest Butler (either LoPo series canopy or complete assembly)

Strongs are okay but I wish they had a full stowage diaper.

National is the other one but I'd pick Softie first. I don't care for their harness design.

Have him decide between an aerobatic harness, that moves the hardware out from under the seat belt, or a standard harness.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Strong claims that they have 60 percent of the market, with Softie second, National third and Butler in fourth place.

Bulter's parachutes have the heaviest weight ratings at the highest speeds, but they are also the most expensive.

Similarly, Softie has only sold a handful of (heavier weight and higher speed rated) Preserve 4 canopies because they are more expensive and more complicated to pack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


Similarly, Softie has only sold a handful of (heavier weight and higher speed rated) Preserve 4 canopies because they are more expensive and more complicated to pack.



Not that I would take a competing manufacturers word as fact, but what would you say about butlers opinion on the preserve 4?
http://www.butlerparachutes.com/everythi.htm
Last two paragraphs on the last page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If your friend wants a cheap PEP, ask him to consider life-cycle costs.
Forget about the 120 versus 180 day repack cycle debate, because most pilots only get their parachutes inspected in a panic the week before the big airshow/race/competition/fly-in/ etc.

Ask him to consider the life-cycle cost of round versus square canopy.
Sure round canopies cost $500 less, but will he be able to find a round-rated rigger over the (estimated) twenty year life of his PEP?
Consider that last year I trained sixteen riggers (for CSPA Rigger A) and only one of them asked to be certified to pack round parachutes.

In the end it is less of question about dollars than whether he will be able to FIND a round-rated rigger twenty years from now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Aeronca Champ he says.



_____________________________________________

Why bother wearing a PEP. if Aeronca Champs are not certified for aerobatics?

Even if it were legal to do sportsman aerobatics in an Aeronca Champ, it is not wise to do aerobatics in a fifty year old airframe.

He would be better off buying a Citabria or Decathlon ... later versions of Champ that are certifed for aerobatics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... what would you say about butlers opinion on the preserve 4?
http://www.butlerparachutes.com/everythi.htm
Last two paragraphs on the last page.



______________________________________________

First of all, Bulter last updated his web page in 1997, long before the current iteration of the Preserve IV was introduced.

I vaguely remember a Preserve II or IV that was built a long time ago, in small numbers, in the light-weight, low-speed category.

The current Preserve IV is certified for heavier weights and higher airspeeds (than TSO C23C) and was introduced circa 2000.
Since the Preserve IV requires a complex series of break ties, few riggers know how to pack them.

The current Preserve IV occupies the market niche between Strong LoPos and MIL SPEC C-9 canopies.

The last time I spoke with Gary Douris (at Free Flight_ he grumbled about too few cheap skate pilots being willing to pay the extra dollars for high-speed canopies, ergo they never sold significant numbers of Preserve IV canopies.

Now that Mills has quit selling new-production C-9 canopies to PEP manufacturers like Strong ... the only round canopy in that market sector is Butler's HX series with sombrero sliders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Preserve IV

The first canopy called "Preserve IV" was a Handbury design built under license by Airotech.

According to Poynter (Volume One, page 256): "Preserve IV, FFE-202(A). A block constructed 22' conical reserve canopy made of F-111, Kevlar reinforced lateral bands and has meshed Tri-vent steering system. 20 gores of three panels each with concentric reinfrocing bands and 400 lb. nylon lines. Diaper deployed. Must be used iwth a pilot chute. May be installed on two or four risers. Weight 4.5 pounds. TSO'd to the Standard Category. Introduced to the market in May 1983."

... but it never sold in significant numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Preserve IV

The first canopy called "Preserve IV" was a Handbury design built under license by Airotech.

According to Poynter (Volume One, page 256): "Preserve IV, FFE-202(A). A block constructed 22' conical reserve canopy made of F-111, Kevlar reinforced lateral bands and has meshed Tri-vent steering system. 20 gores of three panels each with concentric reinfrocing bands and 400 lb. nylon lines. Diaper deployed. Must be used iwth a pilot chute. May be installed on two or four risers. Weight 4.5 pounds. TSO'd to the Standard Category. Introduced to the market in May 1983."

... but it never sold in significant numbers.




~ I test jumped a lotta the ones that did sell...:S


240# out the door to terminal, on a basically unsteerable 22' round...:S

Kinda GLAD it didn't 'sell in significant numbers' ;):)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I second the Paraphernalia Softie recommendation. I'm just a rigger, and the above posters are WAY more knowledgeable than me. But Softies are my hands-down favorites due to harness design, comfort for the pilot, canopy construction, PC launch and ease of packing.

Butlers are quite good, too.

Strongs are OK, but I don't like how the lines stow, I really don't like the external pilot chute and I've seen many weak pilot chute launches on the ground with them.

I don't like Nationals. They have a strange Velcro harness adjustment that tears up the webbing and the design absolutely baffles me.

I'd tell your friend to get a Softie or a Beta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay everbody, the newer, break tied, bag deployed Gary Douris canopy is the Preserve V! Way too many I's being typed.
http://www.freeflightent.com/PV_Pack_Inst_V.pdf

I sold serial numbers 34 and 35. The original owners have sold them and I haven't seen them in a year or two. Hope they found the right rigger!;)


My current customer wanted softies, I wanted something bigger than Preserve I's, so he's getting Softie containers and Butler 550 LoPos. Ted has a 30' lopo but has never finished the TSO on it.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No the Aeronca Champ is not "certified" aerobatic. Those certifications didn't extist when the aircraft was certified in 1945. Under type certificate data sheet A-759, the champ is only one of the types listed. It covers all the way up to the Super Decathalon aerobatic trainer. Some Champs can be modified for light aerobatics. I know, I own one. And doing aerobatics in a 50 year old airplane? I've done them in 75 year old airplanes. Not a problem when proplerly maintained and restored. I have almost 80,000 bucks in my champ. Only 43 original parts remain. The guy might want to wear a PEP because he is scared of a midair?

On another thought. Please tell your customers not to get out of thier aircraft without the PEP on. I know of 4 cases where pilots got into the habit of doing that, and after the midair collision unbuckled the seat belt and the harness as habit and jumped from the aircraft. Get out of the plane, undo the harness, place PEP back on seat, and cover with a double layer of white towel to keep UV and dirt from harming the rig.
Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine Land, DHC-8
Commercial Multi-Engine Sea, Single Engine Land
Private Glider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh yeah, I forgot, My preferance is Strong gear. I have had chair, back and seat packs. By far my favorite. I do like softie as well, but not as comfy for me. Just my opinion.
Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine Land, DHC-8
Commercial Multi-Engine Sea, Single Engine Land
Private Glider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
correct.
Quote

Under type certificate data sheet A-759, the champ is only one of the types listed

The certification basis for the 7ac was CAR 4a, you were not required to seek approval for aerobatic maneuvers as in part 23, and there are no placards regarding such maneuvers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ted has a 30' lopo but has never finished the TSO on it.



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

When I visited Strong Enterprises in April 2008, riggers grumbled about Mills recently deciding not to sell any more new production C-9 canopies. But they did mention that they were working on a new 30' LoPo.
I saw the 30 footer dropped with a tandem bundle. It opened great when released at 300 feet. I don't remember the exact weight of the bundle ... just that it took four big guys to recover it.
When the 30 footer will be introduced is a guess. I suspect that they will finish the man-rated drop tests during one of their winter visits to Kingman, Arizona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally like the Strong rigs and I think the construction is really solid. Packing them is not hard either. I have also packed Butlers, Nationals, and Softies. I think ANY round is an easy pack job but that is just my opinion. I have friends of mine that do acrobatics that really like their Strong rigs and FWIW they recommend Strong gear to their friends.
Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that statistically half of them are stupider than that.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 30'lopo as been around for years. In 1993 I went to dinner with Ted and Marcie and he was talking about it then. Bob Gilmore (sp?) actually put it in their catalog at one point hoping to push Ted into completing the TSO. In might actually be in an old Paragear.

Still not done.:|

Right now I expect it never.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks riggerrob for doing that with your customers. After knowing folks who have gotten out of aerobatic aircraft and gliders without thier rigs on, the thought alone is scary. We used to go through the bailout drills at the pilot saftey meeting before every glider contest. Before a pilot was permitted to fly the race, they had to successfully pass the drills within a certain period of time. This wound up being the same drills I would put my acro students through before EVERY flight, as a result it kept me current and very aware of the dangers of complancency.

Thanks again for the care you take with your pilot customers, it means alot to me and I'm sure many others in the community. I hope that other riggers that service PEP's take the same time and care that you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0