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cosmicgypsy

Pop top front mounted reserves

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Curious, are there still pop top front mounted reserves like the Starmaker still available out there? My next project after I get my back rating is to work on getting chest and seat. So, an old military type chest and pop top.

If anyone has one they may be willing to part with I'd be interested.

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Might still be available from Jump Shack.  Earlier this century they partnered with Sonic to build a BASE rig with TSO'd harness.  Snap on the Pop-Top chest to make an FAA-legal rig, leave the Pop-Top behind to make a non-FAA jump.

 

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On 3/19/2020 at 6:06 AM, cosmicgypsy said:

Curious, are there still pop top front mounted reserves like the Starmaker still available out there? My next project after I get my back rating is to work on getting chest and seat. So, an old military type chest and pop top.

If anyone has one they may be willing to part with I'd be interested.

If just looking for a loft-rig (practice and cert) there are still some Starmaker's and mil types around.  Ebay has been a great source for me.

If you're looking for the market as a rigger, there is only one civ chest rig I'm aware of (Jump Shack to go with a base rig for use in planes), but there are several mfg's of seat rigs for the war-bird pilot community.

Not sure if the new owners are making any, but Jerry's old company had gone through the process so that he was making lap rigs, and there are a handful of DPRE's that can test that as well.

 

JW

 

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Fcajump

I've been looking on ebay for the mil types seats and have missed a couple of sales. Also found a National seat on there for 900. As for the pop top chest I've found the company you're referring to and talked with them about getting one. You can contact The Ranch Proshop about it.

John

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6 minutes ago, dpreguy said:

Cosmic:  Buyer beware of the age of the National seat pack.  Service life is 20 years,  Most riggers will not pack beyond. 

 

Could be used for packing toward a rating without worrying about the factory-advised (but not FAA-enforceable) service life.  $900 is kinda steep for a training aid, though.

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5 minutes ago, dpreguy said:

Cosmic:  Buyer beware of the age of the National seat pack.  Service life is 20 years,  Most riggers will not pack beyond. 

 

Hi Walt,

A couple of Symposiums back*, they revised that ( as I recall ).  It is now that they will not service anything that is 15 yrs old.

They changed their position from a 'service life' to a 'will not service.'

Jerry Baumchen

*  A rigger ( ex-military ), located ( as I remember ) in New York state, did a presentation on National's gear

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2 minutes ago, mark said:

 the factory-advised (but not FAA-enforceable) service life.  

Hi Mark,

I'm with you.  I think National realized this & went with the 'will not service' position.

Since a 'service life' is not enforceable, IMO all mfrs should take a similar position.

Jerry Baumchen

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Dpreguy,

Yep aware of the twenty year limit and 900 too much just to work toward my rating. I did look for the limit but didn't find it on Nationals web site, I didn't really go crazy digging through it though. Knew that Paraphenalia had one too. That is a big hard no on that one. Thanks for the heads up though.

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On 3/26/2020 at 5:14 PM, JerryBaumchen said:

 It is now that they will not service anything that is 15 yrs old.

They changed their position from a 'service life' to a 'will not service.'

That's funny about National how wussy/money hungry they are about their own products. Considering that their manuals (last I checked last month) say up to 20 years is OK. From their main backpack rig manual, last revised 2014: 

Quote

Until the PIA specifies otherwise, it is the recomendation of National Parachute that the maximum service life is 20 years from date of manufacture (this includes the harness, container and pilot chute).

So it isn't even a "recommendation", it is a "recomendation".  :-)

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News to me - (Nationals, "Will not service ...15 years.")  Good to know.  Thanks for the info.  I was unaware of that.  Thank you for your info.  Can you please paste National's new 15 yr letter here??  I have a lot of pilots with 15 year+ Nationals.  Yikes! 

So, the rigger in the field is forewarned:  Nationals = 15 years.

Topic: I&R' ing rigs sold without a Service Life published in the manual when sold.   

Most riggers who regularly I&R Pilot Emergency Parachutes are keenly  aware of the FAA letter that states - in effect - that if the Service Life wasn't published in the catalog on the date of purchase, any 'after issued' service life declaration does not have effect.  Further saying:  If a mfg. wants to discontinue the use of their product after so many years of age, (on *parachutes that did not have the service life published in the original manual);  the mfg should publish a service bulletin saying these rigs are not airworthy.  I am paraphrasing the letter. Later today, unless someone will do it for me, I will go to my loft and get the letter and paste it here.

So far, none of the 3 other companies ( One doesn't publish a service life)  have issued any such service bulletin stating their product is NOT airworthy after a certain number of years= *For their parachutes sold without a Service Life published the manual at date of sale.   For those older rigs, they just blithely publish a new, and legally ineffective service life declaration.  My opinion:  I guess their thinking is to hope to effect change in the rigging community; suggesting riggers should refuse to I&R these rigs, or to have pilots purchase new rigs, by inferring their older products beyond the new "after issued" SB lengths have "questioned airworthiness" beyond  their "after issued"  service life  declaration.  (This is just my analysis/opinion.of their thinking.).

They disregard the obvious solution:  Issue a new SB.(service Bulletin) declaring their product is not safe/airworthy after x number of years.  Apparently none are willing to be the first to issue such a SB. 

Does the parachute rigger in the field may have an increased  liability risk if he packs *such a rig, because the mfg is inferring their product has "questioned airworthiness" beyond the after issued service bulletin?   Hmmm...maybe... uh..probably.

Newer Rigs:  For their new/newer rigs the mfgs HAVE published a Service Life in the manual when the rig is sold. This is a "bright line" for riggers in the field.  In those case the rigger can make his/her own informed decision to pack a rig beyond its published service life.

 

 

 

 

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Here's that service life thing from the FAA, in 2012.

The confusing thing is that the FAA reply doesn't quite answer what the USPA was asking.

The letter has the USPA asking about cases where the service life isn't in the TSO. (In paragraph 1.)

The letter (in paragraph 2) then declares a service life non mandatory if sold before a service life was established.

Some will take that as meaning that "if it says 20 years in the manual that came with that particular item" then it is mandatory. Voila.

But one could also ask, "HOW is a service life established?".

a) Put it in the manual? (for anything built from that time on)

b) Or does it have to be in the original TSO certification as the USPA asked about?

c) Or is that explained by the final paragraph (#3) saying "the manufacturer issues a Service Bulletin with safety concerns and recommends the FAA issue an Airworthiness Directive to establish a regulatory service life".?

d) Or can it be some combination of (a),(b), and (c)?

 

Nor does the letter get into what happens if a company "recommends" a service life. Is that like a non-mandatory-but-we-think-it-is-a-good-idea-or-maybe-we-are-just-covering-our-asses  "SHOULD" or a mandatory "SHALL"?

 

The document really is horrible for any sort of clarity on the whole issue.

Does paragraph 2 attempt to answer the question posed in paragraph 1 for (a) some cases, or (b) ALL cases? Does paragraph 3 explain (a) the only way how paragraph 2's statement about service life is to be implemented, or (b) just one of various possible ways?

Even with the letter we can just go back to everyone arguing their own very different conclusions....

 

FAA 2012Aug letter to Ottinger re service life TSOs.pdf

Edited by pchapman
typo

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I hope I'm summarizing dpre correctly, but this sort of repeats his point:

Even if we aren't sure whether everything the manufacturer says is mandatory, it is going to be up to the rigger to decide whether to follow the manufacturer's advice or not. Each rigger will have different concerns over liability and whether what's in the manual makes sense.

[My comment: I've seen plenty of useless or wrong or impossible to implement stuff in manuals relating to TSO'd equipment. That's for another day's post!]

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I was unaware USPA was asking.

This issue does not have anything to do with the TSO

Actually, the letter does address this issue.  Para 2 says the FAA considers this to be a "non regulatory requirement" for parachutes sold without a service life at the time of sale.  (As to newer parachutes with a published service life in the manual when sold- yes, this FAA  letter is silent.)  However, I would be surprised if the FAA would-or should- ever view this issue as a regulatory requirement because the service life declared by a mfg is determined arbitrarily.  Each mfg. inventing their own out of thin air. . 

This whole thing is a dilemma created by the manufacturers.  Wordsmithing their explanations in their manuals, issuing verbal or mfg.- created arbitrary service life lengths based upon whatever.  Etc Etc .Blah Blah...  To my mind -my opinion- the mfgs are creating an issue of a "presumption of questionable airworthiness" when a rig is beyond their self-invented service life.  The effect is an increase of  the rigger's liability risk.  This whole issue could be immediately solved by mfg's simply issuing a service bulletin (SB) saying their product is not airworthy after a certain age.  Or, drop the whole service life thing altogether.  Neither of which is likely.

As a rigger in the field, to be practical on a day by day basis, I consider the service life stated in the manual when the pilot emergency rig is sold to be a bright line. For rigs that never had a service life stated in their manual when sold... then the rigger is on his own, and could use the 2012 FAA letter as a credible defense if sued.  Or refuse to pack the rig, using the rigger's own wordsmithing to explain to the pilot why he won't pack it.  We field riggers are now affected by a problem we didn't ask for.

Fortunately - at this time - the sport parachute industry hasn't indulged in this service life issue.  (Except for PD which has the boxes to check and then send the reserve in for inspection)

 

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16 minutes ago, dpreguy said:

 

Fortunately - at this time - the sport parachute industry hasn't indulged in this service life issue.  (Except for PD which has the boxes to check and then send the reserve in for inspection)

 

Precision declines to service reserves more than 20 years old.

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Given that accidents happen, and lawsuits often look for anyone associated with the situation regardless of common sense... let me ask you this...

Judge/jury/widow look to you and the prosecutor says "so, the very manufacturer that made the gear, and is needless to say, the MOST familiar with the workings of their equipment won't even service their own gear at that age, and yet, YOU, an independent field rigger decided, on your own, that you know their gear better than they and put it back into service KNOWING that they wouldn't have, and had specifically recommended against it. "

Remember, it doesn't take an actual error on your part to get to that point.  And it doesn't take much to move opinion from the fact that the pilot got out too low for any 'chute to work, to focus on the detail of your disagreement with the mfg on whether 21 years was too many...

I'm not telling you what to do, but it is worth considering.

Just my $.02

JW

PS - if memory serves, some (all?) of the EU life limits emergency 'chutes to 15 years... can someone update/correct me on that??

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19 hours ago, fcajump said:

JW

PS - if memory serves, some (all?) of the EU life limits emergency 'chutes to 15 years... can someone update/correct me on that??

Jim,

Many other countries have legally mandated service life limits. That how Eric in the classifieds has so many 15 and 20 year old reserves from Europe to sell. Some are through Associations like APF and BPA that have been delegated the force of law for their regulations by the government.  But after APF banned the Argus the legislature overruled them.

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On 3/19/2020 at 6:06 AM, cosmicgypsy said:

Curious, are there still pop top front mounted reserves like the Starmaker still available out there? My next project after I get my back rating is to work on getting chest and seat. So, an old military type chest and pop top.

If anyone has one they may be willing to part with I'd be interested.

You've found the BaseR pop top chest that's made so people can legally jump their BaseR base rig that uses a TSO'd Jump Shack harness.  Aerosport USA also made a chest version of their lap container.  I don't know if anyone has one but me or if they are available.  I've got several military chest containers that are only worth the value of a car cover T-10R.  We might work something out if you can't find one.  Cheapest I've seen a complete and being sold as airworthy seat is $500 and I had a customer buy that one.  Don't have any I'm willing to get rid of.  I use them for training.  Put an ebay alert on for seat parachute.  There have been some old and moldy military ones for under $200. 

AND to just get an additional rating you don't need to own a chest or seat rig.  I and other people that train riggers offer added rating courses and supply the rigs you'll need to pack for the 20.  But once you have the rating it's best to own one to do the 200 needed to qualify for a Master Rigger certificate.  As a part time rigger I do about 30 seat rigs a year.

AND your post sounds like you don't have a senior rigger license yet.  You SHOULD have to learn round canopies anyway for your back rating. The candidates I test are required to pack both round and ram air canopies for a back rating.  You can get two ratings right away during one O&P.  The test will likely cost more but no reason not to do it at the same time.  Or later.  An added rating test is only a practical.  No oral.

Here's cheapest chest reserve on ebay.  Price not so bad. Shipping killer.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1961-Parachute-Military-Display-Chest-Troop-Reserve-24-foot/153866878888?hash=item23d32e3fa8:g:eEMAAOSwOQJeb34l

put an ebay search alert on for seat parachute.  There have been some military ones that sold for under $200 recently.

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DPRE guy, that 15 or 20 year life limit was a subtle reaction to the acid-mesh problem of the 1980s. That makes the youngest suspect round canopy something life 35 years old! I quit packing suspect canopies a decade ago and no longer have the tools to test for acid-mesh (bromocreasol green).

When I rigged for Butler and Para-Phernalia, they refused to service any of their gear more than 20 years old. After 20 years in the Southern California desert, most parachutes were faded, frayed and filthy! 

Closet queens raise far more complex questions. The biggest difficulty is for younger riggers is finding manuals, service bulletins, etc. for rigs that fell out of fashion before the internet became fashionable.

When in doubt, work to the tightest standard.

Lawyers are sneaky bastards who will distort the slightest variation in your work to make you look guilty. They also cheat widows and wounded. Starve lawyers by keeping your work above reproach. Always be able to point to a specific page in a manual to reinforce any rigging decision.

When in doubt, work to the tightest standard. 

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Mark.  Yes, I forgot that Precision does that.  

fca  What you said.

R rob   Yes, the acid mesh issue is over and done with.

The day to day problem is that pilots don't want to buy new rigs just because the mfg picks some service life figure out of thin air.  20 years?  19 years? 15 years? Why not 10 years?  I could care less what the year figure is.  What I do care about is the mfgs putting the burden on the rigger in the field to enforce it.   A letter from the mfg regarding these "after Issued" service life declarations is all I am asking for.  If these rigs are not airworthy - or have a presumption of lesser airworthiness based on age alone - not condition -, then say so.  Put it in writing. Then the mfg is the one telling them they can't have them packed anymore, not me.  At this point I am the "bad guy" telling them.  Mfgs are apparently happy with being vague abut these older rigs.

 

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Councilman24,

Hope to get my senior back in May but more probably June. Anyway, I'm in the process of getting seat and chest to have 1) to work toward my added ratings and 2) maintain currency once I have them. Ultimately getting my master. That could develop in to being the only master in MS and pretty close to the only master on the gulf coast. We'll see. 

I've already done the written and during my 20 packs did rounds too.    

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13 hours ago, dpreguy said:

A letter from the mfg regarding these "after Issued" service life declarations is all I am asking for.  If these rigs are not airworthy - or have a presumption of lesser airworthiness based on age alone - not condition -, then say so.  Put it in writing. Then the mfg is the one telling them they can't have them packed anymore, not me.  At this point I am the "bad guy" telling them.  Mfgs are apparently happy with being vague abut these older rigs.

 

Several started to indicate that they were going to, but it looked like a game of chicken...  If you do, I'll advertise mine have a longer life than yours.  I _think_ (Councilman would know better) that its why some looked to PIA to set a standard... that way everyone is in it together, no one is the bad guy with inferior products and it comes from one authoritative source.

And if they do, that helps going forward, but does little for the ones already out there with the FAA seemingly saying "once they're certified TSO, you can't add a life limit..."

 

JW

 

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