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Older gear

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If it's airworthy it should be allowed on all-most places. Your reserve must be repacked at most 6-12 months ago (depending on the country), and AAD is usually mandatory.

I've jumped in Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and noone cared about the age of my gear.

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Canada has few rigid rules about gear life beyond those specified by manufacturers (e.g. all Cypres 1 AADs should have retired more than 15 years ago). Also review service bulletins.

This is really two separate issues.

Fortunately, most parachutes wear out before they fall out of fashion.

The more complicated problem is when gear remains in service long after it has fallen out of fashion. For example, round reserves should only be worn by POPs who have already landed a few dozen round main canopies. I may have started jumping round canopies - during the 1970s - but my last round landing was in 1986. If you ask me to repack a round reserve today, we will share a laugh!

If you ask me to repack a round reserve made during the 1980s, I will explain that I no longer have the tools to test for acid mesh …. and the nearest museum is in Langley.

An even greater problem is when junior jumpers want to jump older gear without understanding the limitations. For example, I have advised several skydivers about the dangers of loading Micro Raven 120s more than 1 pound per square foot because no one was loading mains that heavy when Ravens were introduced (circa 1984).

As for free-flying with pre-1995 gear, that is just plain dumb because there are far too many opportunities for stuff to blow loose when wind hits it from weird angles.

In conclusion, the simple answer is don't jump gear more than 20 years old. The complicated answer is that some 30-year-old gear is still airworthy, but you need a history lesson from a grumpy, old, grey-bearded master rigger to understand the limitations on older gear.

Edited by riggerrob
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Cypres 1 should have retired from Canadian DZs a long time ago because Airtec put a 12 year life on them. Airtec quit building Cypres 1 early in this century.

Similarly, Canadian skydivers are expected to maintain their gear in accordance with manufacturers' instructions. That includes all Service Buletins, Special Inspections, etc.

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