Dropped Stitches Reserve Canopy

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I've a reserve that upon inspection I found to have quite a few dropped stitches - >20 scattered around. Obviously a problem with the manufacturers machine!

My question is: if the stitch count over any given length of stitching more than an inch is okay, is there a necessity to overstitch to repair?

The manufacturer hasn't responded to my email yet.

Thanks for the opinions...

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fair play for spotting them. did you check the stiching on the inside? from the flag on your profile i think south african? not sure what the rules are down there but certainly in the US only a master rigger or the manufacturer can repair this.
my preference would be to send it back to the manufacturer for inspection and repair. and i would certainly wait for them to answer your email.
it might also be the case that this is not the only canopy that was affected.a service bullitin might have to be issued.
How old is the canopy by the way? is it a newish model? was the reserve packed before by any chance?

nice catch again!

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irishrigger (and some others)

in the US only a master rigger or the manufacturer can repair this

Poynter Vol 1, 7.12 Restitching. Repairman: Senior parachute rigger, Master parachute rigger. No distinction made whether on a reserve or main as there is for other repairs.

Poynter Vol 2, 7.12 is identical, except for politically correct change to Repair Personnel.

Parachute Rigger Handbook, 7.1.1 (page 7-5) says the same thing.

Unless there are manufacturer instructions to the contrary, restitching is a task a senior rigger could do, provided he or she had the skill, tools, and materials.


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Old MIL SPECs used to say how many dropped stitches were allowed per canopy or per foot, etc.
Those tolerances should also be written in the factory's quality control manual.
If it is only a few dropped stitches, any Senior or Master rigger can easily over-sew.
If there are lots of dropped stitches or they are dropped in corners that are difficult to over-sew, mail it back to the factory.
Most factories prefer to hear about these sorts of quality control problems early and directly. Most factories are so embarrassed that they fix those sorts of problems for free. When I worked for Butler, Para-Phernalia and Rigging Innovations, I devoted many days to (no-charge) Service Bulletins. Most of the time, the factory also paid for return shipping.

Factories also want to know if more than one canopy was affected, so they can decide whether or not to issue a Service Bulletin. Factory's primary goal is to correct quality control problems before anyone gets hurt.

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Thanks for the responses!

In South Africa only a Master Rigger may perform work on a Reserve.

This was the third INSPECT and repack on the system.
I do a stitch-for stitch inspection - EVERY stitch - for three of MY inspections in a row. If another Rigger packs it, or if it's been used, I start over. Thereafter I do a more cursory inspection.

I'd prefer not to mention the Manufacturer until I've had a response from them.

I elected NOT to over stitch as, in the worst stretch of missed stitches (tail seam) the stitch count was 7.8spi (opposed to 8.5 for the rest of the canopy). There are NO broken stitches.

I'll let everyone know what the Manufacturer says...


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