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teason

Spekon E-Rig

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Anyone familiar with these?

I ask because I have them coming into the shop. No packing questions, got the manuals
...BUT...
The design has a saddle seat that tends to push up against the velcro holding down the back pad. The factory advised to "hot compact the fraying if it wasn't too bad.

The design doubles the webbing and sews it in place with 5 cord. Pretty strong with type XIII but while I was inspecting the tracers, I noticed that it was non-critical use webbing, not mil spec type XIII. (you really have to look to see the difference!)

The equipment isn't used in the US (I couldn't pass a TSO with non-critical use webbing) This is a foreign operation.

Here's the question.
Noncritical use webbing ravels easier than standard critical due to the manufacture process, so does the commonly accepted standards of fraying apply (e.g. Sunpath's bulletins) or do I need to ground any damage to the selvage edge even if the tracers are in good shape.

For the record, I've grounded 3 out of 5 that have come into my shop. They'd be iffy even if it was type XIII and I have no problem doing it when my name is on the data card.

Just curious if anyone out there has experience with noncritical use webbing on equipment.

And please, no FAA this or that. It's non-US equipment being used outside the US by non US citizens so FAA regs won't enter into this (I'm very aware that this gear would not be able to be used in the US or even packed for that matter):P
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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I don't have answers for your interesting question.

But I am curious, are the E-rigs an earlier bailout rig?

Current production at Spekon seems to be the RE-5 and SE-5, and are supposed to have a TSO & ETSO (based on C23d). Although earlier versions of their bailout rigs may have a JTSO based on C23b, or even earlier ones may have only German approval. It all looks a bit messy to an outsider. Just curious what rigs are out there, as one doesn't see many European emergency parachutes here in North America, although perhaps some more in the sailplane community.



The issue of needle woven vs. traditional shuttle woven webbing is an interesting one. A recent book on fall arrest equipment says,
Quote

These days, webbing built for life safety applications may be built using the more advanced class 1A needle loom process that incorporates a locked stitch edge and is both efficient and reliable.



The numbering itself is revealing, as the traditional shuttle woven material is class 1 (i.e. "good"), while the needle woven material that was traditionally not allowed for milspec webbing was class 2 (i.e. "bad").

Bally Ribbon Mills notes that class 1A is ok but still not as good as class 1:

Quote

Bally continues to meet the demands of the parachute industry by offering both Class 1 (critical use, shuttleloom), Class 1a (critical use, shuttleless / needle loom), and Class 2 (non-critical use, shuttleless / needle loom) material.

CLASS 1, Shuttle loom weaving is a traditional method that utilizes a uniform woven edge on both sides of the webbing. This construction has been necessary to minimize failure due to abrasion at the edges of narrow fabrics. Research has been conducted conclusively by the members of PIA that substantiate the importance of Shuttle loom construction.

A large portion of Bally Ribbon Mills' production still consists of shuttle loom weaving. We maintain excess capacity of shuttle looms and have no immediate plan to discontinue our shuttle loom capacity.



DZ.com member "RIGGER" (a rather experienced and technically minded rigger) mentioned in 2008 that
Quote


The class 1A needle loom woven webbing & tapes are approved by the US Military & made to meet Mil-Spec.


(post=3059812)

Nevertheless, Bally still says that shuttle woven class 1 has:
Quote

Improved tensile strength retention after abrasion of the edge




So in the end:
1. some needle woven webbing is acceptable for military and life saving use, in particular class 1A
2. it sounds like it is still not as resistant to strength loss from abrasion.
3. none of this helps you determine what the standards should be for fraying on the gear in your shop

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Those Spekon pilot emergency parachutes look like a nacient communist MIL SPEC, with a European TSO rubber-stamped on top.

Up until 2010, I repacked (several times) a stack of Spekon RE-5L PEPs for a quasi-government project in Manitoba. Back then I notice plenty of fraying on the leg straps, especially the lower lefty corner. I even wrote out an estimate of the cost to replace all the harnesses.
I would not repack any of those rigs if the trace thread is broken.
Never heard back from them.

Yes that "saddle" harness configuration is old, but it is uncomfortable.
At least it was uncomfortable when I was a student skydiver back during the late 1970s.
As for that harness configuration - when I attended the Canadian Army jump school? ... a lot of things were more uncomfortable.

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Same ones Rob.

Spekon is claiming that only the factory can do the repairs. 500 euros and I'm grounding more rigs than I'm packing! That fraying has gotten quite bad over time.

Can't get any answers directly from Spekon, lord knows I've tried! I only get forward emails from the customer that originally purchased the rigs.
:(
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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Thanks for all the info pchapman.

I was unaware that needle woven can get TSO approval. Following up on Rob's comments, the gear has TSO certification so it must be class 1a.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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How would that work with the QC and materials tracking system required for the TSO? How could you write it up in a way that they would accept with out any ability to get testing specs, tracking, or certification for any of the materials?

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

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piisfish

***Just remember that they have 15 years lifetime. Sometimes looking at their label is all I do ;)

from 2004, can be extended to 20 years depending of state of gear

True, but those rigs are 5-6 years away from the need to be re certified ;)
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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Deyan

******Just remember that they have 15 years lifetime. Sometimes looking at their label is all I do ;)

from 2004, can be extended to 20 years depending of state of gear

True, but those rigs are 5-6 years away from the need to be re certified ;)

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

Correction, under German law, they need to be re-certified every couple of years.
Only a German "Prufur" can re-certify them for return to service.
I may not hold a German "prufur" rating, but Spekon designated me as their North American Technical Representative before I repacked any of the RE-5L rigs in question.

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Tell your Canadian customer that Spekon's North American Technical Representative (me) told you that those RE-5L harnesses are too badly frayed to return to service.
I have the sewing machines, skills and time to re-harness those rigs (over the winter) or they can ship them back to Germany for re-harnessing.

Hint: I can do the job for less than 500 euros per rig.

Rob Warner
FAA Master Rigger
North American Technical Representative for Spekon

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