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Bkleven7

Can You Install a Skyhook Into any Rig? How?

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It would depend on the rig, some might be easy retrofit, (if the rig was initially set up for that), but others would require a whole lot of major work and a complete headache. On some it would certainly affect the T.S.O of the container!!

I would not do that type of work on a rig, without manufactures approval even though i am a Master Rigger.

You could be opening a huge can of worms for yourself and legal action!

best you contact the Manufacturer of the container and seek guidance from them and see if they allow it.

 

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(edited)

To expand on that a bit, the Skyhook is a patented item. It's only available in the Vector. It can only be retrofitted to Vectors, and not all of them, IIRC.

It would be considered a 'modification' and 'master rigger' territory.

Crossing over manufacturers is likely not 'approvable' (or legal). 

Edit to add: Bill Booth licensed the Skyhook to Sunpath, so it's available in the Javelin too. Not sure if it can be retrofitted into some, or all or even any older ones.

Edited by wolfriverjoe

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A Master rigger can perform an approved alteration to a TSO'd container. A manufacturer or the FSDO can approve an alteration. I have an approval for the addition of rings for a third canopy on my harness. If you can develop an alteration for a container or a type of container. Submit a write up on it including drawings, numbers, and test data. Enough for them to approve the alteration. Like meeting the relevant testing requirements for the TSO. you can perform that alteration on your rig, and depending on how it's written maybe all rigs of that type. All you have to do is figure out how to do it, write it up, and convince them that it works.

 

You might actually find the first to be the hardest problem. It looks simple but there is more to that system them meets the eye. Just look at the SB on it. some of those measurements are real specific. Making it work isn't as simple as it seems.

 

Lee

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2 hours ago, Bkleven7 said:

Is it possible to install a skyhook or other MARD into any rig? If so, how does it work, how much does it cost, and how long does it take? 

The realistic answer is no. Only rigs that are set up for a Skyhook when they’re made can get one. Other MARDS by other manufacturers can sometimes be installed afterward, some of them fairly easily. You need to check with the maker of the container for a final answer.

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I’m trying to retrofit a Skyhook into a Vortex V-4 150 container. Vortex’s can be manufactured with a skyhook in them. At the time I bought it, I didn’t know what a skyhook was. I contacted the manufacturers (Parachute Systems) who said “You can have a Skyhook fitted - these are not standard - should have been ordered. You need to buy a free bag with skyhook and the rigger can fit.” 

 

Anyone want to weigh in on this? How much does a free bag w Skyhook cost, and where should I get one?

 

 Evidently it is possible...The “non-standard” thing makes me hesitant. I’m debating whether or not getting one is safer at this point than just planning to cut high and trusting the RSL alone. 

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(edited)

Yes, if your Vortex was made in the last few years it will have the necessary Skyhook sub flap built into it. The parts you need will probably cost about $200 USD. You would need to order it either directly from PS, or from a dealer.

 

Non standard simply means it is optional and costs extra. 

Edited by gowlerk

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2 hours ago, Bkleven7 said:

I’m debating whether or not getting one is safer at this point than just planning to cut high and trusting the RSL alone. 

Do not change your decision altitude.  You should not depend on the Skyhook or any other MARD to open your reserve canopy more quickly.  Most of the time they do, but sometimes they don't.

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The Vortex is DOM 2018 so hopefully it’s pretty easy to retrofit. 

Definitely would still plan to cutaway at away at the same altitude with or without one. Nonetheless based on what I’ve researched skyhooks seem to have all advantages and no disadvantages if you’re planning to use an RSL, which I am. 

My question was more if installing it would affect the TSO of the container as a couple of commenters mentioned. My thought process is...Tens of thousands of rigs have been manufactured without a skyhook, and the cutaway/RSL system has worked well for decades. I wouldn’t want the installation of the skyhook to be sketchy/complicated and interfere with the more essential and standard features of the rig. Not sure if retrofitting it on a rig that wasn’t initially meant for it could lead to it threatening the more standard safety features.

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1 hour ago, Bkleven7 said:

The Vortex is DOM 2018 so hopefully it’s pretty easy to retrofit. 

Definitely would still plan to cutaway at away at the same altitude with or without one. Nonetheless based on what I’ve researched skyhooks seem to have all advantages and no disadvantages if you’re planning to use an RSL, which I am. 

My question was more if installing it would affect the TSO of the container as a couple of commenters mentioned. My thought process is...Tens of thousands of rigs have been manufactured without a skyhook, and the cutaway/RSL system has worked well for decades. I wouldn’t want the installation of the skyhook to be sketchy/complicated and interfere with the more essential and standard features of the rig. Not sure if retrofitting it on a rig that wasn’t initially meant for it could lead to it threatening the more standard safety features.

The "affecting the TSO" that was mentioned was only related to the hypothetical case of having someone modify a rig to use a skyhook. You can stop thinking about that completely.

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I do already own the Vortex. I got another response from the manufacturer asking if my rig was made with a Sky Hook sub flap already in there. If so, it’s apparently pretty easy to install the skyhook, he just needs to supply a free bag with the skyhook on there and the lanyard. 

Again, the idea of making any major modification to the rig sounds off to me. Rigs without Skyhooks are perfectly fine, and I wouldn’t want to disrupt that. But if I can install one fairly easily without making some huge modification to the rig, I’d obviously want to. It looks like I can, which is music to my ears. 

Thanks again for the responses everyone. Best regards

 

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(edited)

Hi Bkeleven,

did you give the Serial number of the rig to the manufacturer? they should be able to tell you if it was build with the set up. since your rig is 2018 i would imagine it is, so happy days for you :) then it is a simple job to do for your rigger, just purchase the Freebag with Skyhook from PS or a dealer as stated.

For me personally, i am a very big fan of the Skyhook and i think it is a good choice to add it and have it on your rig.

But i do hope you never have to use it :P9_9:P9_9

Blue Skies and Safe Landings

Rodger

 

 

Edited by irishrigger

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When in doubt, ask Parachute Systems.

If they say that your Vortex is easy to retrofit with a Skyhook, great! Buy a new free bag and lanyard from Parachute Systems and ask your local rigger to install them. Make sure to provide your rigger with an updated version of the Vortex manual. Then you have a fully TSOed rig according to Parachute Systems factory drawings.

OTOH most Master Riggers are reluctant to retrofit RSLs to older rigs unless they can do a close copy of the factory RSL. Skyhooks are just fancy RSLs. Honest riggers refuse to retrofit Skyhooks to older rigs because they lack precise dimensions. We think it far wiser to ship the entire rig to the factory for Skyhook updates.

Most riggers flatly refuse to do RSL, AAD or Skyhook retrofits to rigs that never had them. RSL and Skyhook retrofits require precise dimensions only available at the factory.

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