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HIGH1

Flying High - Sidewinder - TSO

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Hi. Question for riggers. Are USA riggers able to do rigging and repacks on all FAA TSO'D equipment? Example. Sidewinder has a "FAA TSO (C23c Cat B) in Dec 1992. Is this strictly Canadian or may this be rigged by any FAA rigger? Is this TSO age, number or category, specific? Thank you.
Check your ego at the door. Stay humble.

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The Sidewinders that are TSO'd are no different to an FAA rigger than any other TSO'd rig.

The case where non-TSO'd gear comes in is that a US jumper can't use non-TSO'd equipment but as a non-USA jumper I can jump my Arrow (non TSO) rig down in the USA all I want because I'm a "Foreigner".

-Michael

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I met a few Canadians a few years back at Eloy and they were jumping Sidewinders - If I recall, It was a pretty well built, sturdy 'no frills' rig. Anybody know if they are still in production?
=========Shaun ==========


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Hi Unstable,

Quote

Anybody know if they are still in production?



I know that Al comes here oftimes, so he could speak for himself.

However, it is my understanding that the current production items are not being built under his TSO.

Jerry Baumchen

PS) Al has been a good friend for about 25 yrs now.

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Al does continue to build the Sidewinders. (Last I talked to him early this year.) They tend to be more popular as student rigs -- a straightforward rig that can be paid in Canadian pesos. Although big companies will work with a potential customer on a DZ's custom needs, I've certainly seen him do that as a small shop.

As for the original post questions about TSOs, I guess the rigs didn't have a TSO originally (as with his earlier designs that were on the market in the '80s), then he did the expensive testing and quality control stuff to get a TSO. So for some years rigs were built under the full US-legal TSO.

Later he let the TSO lapse because he wasn't making enough US sales to justify the cost of either the inspections or procedures, I dunno exactly, to maintain the full TSO production facility authorization. So new rigs will be of a design that passed TSO testing but not actually TSO'd since they aren't built at a currently approved production facility.

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American Technical Standard Orders are the defacto standard for certifying parachutes in the western world. Australian, Canadian, European (ETSO), New Zealand, South African, etc. TSOs are almost photo-copies of American standards.
An American-licensed parachute rigger can sign a repack on TSOed parachutes made in any of those countries.

Most Sidewinders were manufactured (by Flying High) under a Transport Canada TSO, photo-copied from American TSO C23. The only hassle with Sidewinders is that Flying High surrendered its Canadian TSO a few years ago. The problem was that Transport Canada was demanding additional paperwork (map of factory floor, etc.) and Al MacDonald thought that the paperwork was too expensive.

Returning to the OP's question, FAA riggers can legally repack most Sidewinders, except for the most recent. In practice, Sidewinders pack the same way as Vector 2 - they even have Vector 2 reserve pilotchutes - and they have always been built to the same (Flying High) quality control standards.

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Quote

I admit to not being really current with you folks; is there actually such a thing as a Canadian TSO?



No there isn't. Al produced them under an FAA TSO to my recollection. Since there are no FAA offices in Canada to do the inspection, Transport Canada on behalf of the FAA did the inspection and sent the information back. Same thing was done with other Canadian manufacturers that applied and was approved for an FAA TSO. That is the information I remember Al telling me and the other Canadian manufacturer, now defunct, with their TSO.

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According to Transport Canada's website, the current standard is CAN-TSO C23F effective August 2015.
Airworthiness Manual Chapter 537.1 Airworthiness Standards Appliances says that C23F (August 2015) replaced the old CAN-TSO C23D (1994).
TC claims that CAN-TSO C23F is the same as FAA TSO C23F.

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