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cosmicgypsy

Pop top front mounted reserves

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4 hours ago, fcajump said:

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... 

 

JW

 

Last I knew, and I haven't been able to attend PIA meeting for 2 years, PIA decided NOT to try to recommend service life limits based on calendar time. We mostly all agreed that time was not an indication of airworthiness.

And as a group of individual manufacturers they didn't want anyone else to tell them how to run their business or take positions that might impact their business.  Can't.much blame them.  

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Ah Councilman,

The joys of American capitalism!

Funny how many European nations have no qualms about a simple 20 year life.

Butler, Para-Phernalia and a few other American manufacturers put 20 year lives on their pilot emergency parachutes because flying weekends usually wears them out by 20 or 25 years. 

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On 4/1/2020 at 1:20 PM, councilman24 said:

Can't.much blame them.  

Hi Terry,

And I do not blame them either.

However, if a mfr says that their gear does have a Service Life, then they should put it in writing.

Jerry Baumchen

PS) To Walt / dpre guy:  I once had a copy of the letter from National but no longer have it.  Sorry.

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1 hour ago, riggerrob said:

Ah Councilman,

The joys of American capitalism!

Funny how many European nations have no qualms about a simple 20 year life.

Butler, Para-Phernalia and a few other American manufacturers put 20 year lives on their pilot emergency parachutes because flying weekends usually wears them out by 20 or 25 years. 

You could easily wear one out in 5 or 10 years if you don't treat them right. They could easily last 5 decades if lightly used and stored properly. I can see no place for an arbitrary 20 year retirement.

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6 minutes ago, dpreguy said:

Jerry B  thanks for looking for the 15 year letter.  

I have a several pilots with 15 to 20 year old Nationals. Not sure what to tell them.

Hi Walt,

You might consider writing to National & see what you get back.

If they do respond, then you have something to keep for future reference.

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  And, yes I know it is easy to ask 'the other guy' to write a letter.  ;)

 

 

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(edited)
34 minutes ago, mark said:

Walt/Jerry -- are you sure you're not thinking of the RI Aviator, which does have a 15-year service life?

 

Hi Mark,

Not me; I cannot speak for Walt.

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  Mark, I 'think' it was three yrs ago ( at the Symposium ), a retired military rigger from somewhere in New York state, gave a seminar/packing demo on National rigs.  He was/operated National's authorized repair station.

To the best of my knowledge, National no longer sews up any of their products.  It's all contracted out.

Edited by JerryBaumchen

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Dpreguy, 

No worries, lot's of info and opinions going on. I like it though.

This 20yr thing got me thinking, so I decided to see if I could find information about times affect on parachutes. I thought that I had seen some studies while reading Parachute System Design concerning this but couldn't find anything in my on line copy. So, I went on line and searched and the only thing I found of any valve was a thermal degradation study. Finding on it covered 550 days at 80c resulting in strength loss of up to 46%. Now 80c is for most places unrealistic. Nothing on commutative effects though. I would think that I could have found other more relevant studies. I would think that if the studies were done the results would be used by manufacturers to inform their customers, as well as using that information to establish live limits on their products. 

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Cosmic.  80 degrees centigrade is 176 degrees Farenheight (sp).  I agree.  Cooking nylon at 176 degrees for a year and a half can't be good for it. Not realistic. 

You will laugh at this one:  I actually put a pilot on speakerphone with a rep of one company with the 20 year (based upon age alone) service life.  He asked if his parachute would fail if it was over 20 years old.  The rep said that t wouldn't, then went into a (seemed desperate to me) explanation that amounted to nothing.  We hung up and kinda laughed at the baloney throwing we had heard.  (Recall the "Swoop Kerwin" tandem video where he explained the 'rarified air molecules' bs excuse for his passenger-surfing landing?)  

Even so, I told him to buy a new one, because of the factory policy of putting increased liability on the field rigger.

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(edited)
1 hour ago, cosmicgypsy said:

This 20yr thing got me thinking, so I decided to see if I could find information about times affect on parachutes.

In one earlier thread I was involved in, I mentioned an Australian study that did some tests and extrapolations. Their results suggested only 1.5% strength loss per decade in storage at 20C.

Ref.:https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/22664-expected-life-of-a-canopy%3F/

A Sandia labs paper from '94 perhaps similarly noted:

398124150_SandiaLabsStorageLifeofParachutesextract.jpg.4143ad0a2d266817565cb4dac140f181.jpg

I just have a few random papers on the issue, nothing really modern, and don't have a good overall handle on the issue. But I get the impression that nylon, especially if not stored at high temperatures (and not around any harmful chemical contamination) degrades only very very slowly over time. Making arbitrary 15 or 20 year life spans on gear rather silly.

 

Edited by pchapman

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On 4/2/2020 at 7:23 PM, gowlerk said:

You could easily wear one out in 5 or 10 years if you don't treat them right. They could easily last 5 decades if lightly used and stored properly. I can see no place for an arbitrary 20 year retirement.

I know of one open-cockpit aerobatic team that was in part sponsored by a PEP manufacturer.  They would leave their rigs in the cockpit all day/every day/all show season.  As I got the story, the mfg pulled the sponsorship after the rigs proved shot (UV on the harness) within 2 years.  They advised the team to at least cover them when not in use (even if they stayed in the cockpit), but no go.  Mfg got tired of giving them new rigs every 2 years for such a non-reason, so they quit.

JW

 

 

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39 minutes ago, fcajump said:

They would leave their rigs in the cockpit all day/every day/all show season. . . Mfg got tired of giving them new rigs every 2 years for such a non-reason, so they quit.

 

 

They were going to die anyway.  If you leave the rigs in the cockpit when you exit on the ground, you'll leave them in the cockpit when you exit in the air.  It's just muscle memory and habit.

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Yes, that reminds me of a conversation with Manley Butler. I had dis-assembled a puked upon seat pack and tossed it in the washing machine.

I grumbled about how much that team abused their parachutes and questioned if we should continue to repack them. After a mere two years, their team parachutes were faded, frayed and filthy!

Manley replied: "They may be slobs, but they are rich slobs and they pay their bills on time."

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22 hours ago, riggerrob said:

Yes, that reminds me of a conversation with Manley Butler. I had dis-assembled a puked upon seat pack and tossed it in the washing machine.

I grumbled about how much that team abused their parachutes and questioned if we should continue to repack them. After a mere two years, their team parachutes were faded, frayed and filthy!

Manley replied: "They may be slobs, but they are rich slobs and they pay their bills on time."

Difference between the rich slobs who pay you, vs the rich snobs that expect you to pay for their fun.

Fortunately I learned early on as a rigger that if you are NOT rigging to earn a living, you can choose for whom you rig...  I don't pack "expensive FAA required seat cushions".  I inspect, repair, repack, and train my customers (primarily pilots) in the use of a lifesaving device.

If they don't believe that's what it is, there are other riggers out there that are eager to take their money.

Just my $.02,

JW

 

 

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On 3/31/2020 at 9:39 PM, dpreguy said:

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.

 

I agree. This is a sore point for me too. I would also include any sport rig that the manufacturer has decided they will "No Longer Support". If they don't want their old gear out there anymore then they should step up and issue an AD. Instead they are trying to dodge liability by dumping the onus on the field rigger.

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Dear ChrisHoward,

What if the manufacturer no longer makes spare parts?

For example, Rigging Innovations quit building Talon 1s during the mid 1990s and no longer supply Talon 1 spare parts. What is a rigger to do if a Talon 1 is only "lightly used" but loses a freebag and a replacement freebag cannot be found? 

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2 hours ago, riggerrob said:

Dear ChrisHoward,

What if the manufacturer no longer makes spare parts?

For example, Rigging Innovations quit building Talon 1s during the mid 1990s and no longer supply Talon 1 spare parts. What is a rigger to do if a Talon 1 is only "lightly used" but loses a freebag and a replacement freebag cannot be found? 

Ask around on FB rigging forums. There are tons of old parts sitting in riggers bins. But don't be in a hurry!

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(edited)
2 hours ago, riggerrob said:

Dear ChrisHoward,

What if the manufacturer no longer makes spare parts?

For example, Rigging Innovations quit building Talon 1s during the mid 1990s and no longer supply Talon 1 spare parts. What is a rigger to do if a Talon 1 is only "lightly used" but loses a freebag and a replacement freebag cannot be found? 

Hi Rob,

Well, they could find a grumpy, old, grey bearded Master Rigger to make them one.

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  And, this is why I advise owners to always have a set of spare parts for their rig.

Edited by JerryBaumchen
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After inspection, If I determined that a rig is airworthy, I will pack it.  I don't have a cut off age.  Some people take good care of their rigs and some don't.  Skydivers don't seem to have any problem getting in a 30, 40, 50, 60+ year old airplane (Mr Douglas 85 years old, I look forward to jumping it again).  What if your mechanic refused to annual your 60 year old Cessna 182.  Maybe we shouldn't let anyone over 50 years old skydive.

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Old airplanes wear out or corrode out. I was badly injured when a 40 year old King Air suffered a fuel pump failure. A skipped inspection almost killed us all!

After 3 -ish years, the factory's liability fades and then the reliability of any machine becomes increasingly dependent upon the thoroughness of the last mechanic.

 

For example, if the owner does 1,000 jumps per year - in the Southern California desert - a parachute might be scrap after 3 years.

OTOH Closet Queens might be in mint condition after 30 or 40 years. However, Closet Queens may need Special Inspections or Service Bulletins that were published long before the interweb became popular. That is why young riggers should not feel forced to repack any parachute older than themselves.

As for the grey-bearded, grumpy old Master Riggers ... I refuse to repack plenty of gear that was fashionable when I started jumping: round reserves suspected of acid-mesh, first generation 5-cell square reserves, Sentinel AADs, pre-3-Ring canopy releases, etc. 

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