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Blahr

What should packers take upon themselves?

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I was packing after a jump yesterday and became very angry when I noticed that someone has shortened the closing loop on my main container making it very hard for me to close.

I had several people point out to me in the past that they believed my closing loop was too long because the grommets on the container didnt line up on top of each other when the container was closed.
I informed them that this was supposed to be that way with
the Vector 3 M and that the owners manual specifically mentions this fact and that you SHOULDNT pull it in so the grommets line up.

Anyway, one packer in the last week or two took it upon themselves to simply shorten the loop without asking me or telling me that they had done so.

Is this a normal thing for a packer to do?
If so, then I'm never using a packer again. I may not be the most experienced jumper out there but I damn well dont want anyone making changes to my equipment without discussing it with me FIRST.

Unless they know what the manufacturer of every container recommends then they have no business
changing anything. They are packers, not riggers.

Fortunately I had spares that were the right length and replaced the shortened one. It was shortened by putting another knot in it which was so tight I couldnt pull it out.

What say you all about this?

Chris

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They are packers, not riggers.



Leagaly they have to be or under the supervision of one.

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Is this a normal thing for a packer to do?



Yes.

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I may not be the most experienced jumper out there but I damn well dont want anyone making changes to my equipment without discussing it with me FIRST.



So you won't be upset when you manifest for a load, and then your gear is not ready because they were waiting for you to come back and ask you about your gear, right?

I wouldn't give my rig to a packer I don't trust, and I'd rather them make a change in the name of safety. Packers can probably pack the canopy much tighter than you. Why don't you talk with your packer about those sorts of things before hand. Say "Please don't change anything on my gear before talking with me." when you drop the gear off? You won't have the same problem.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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With all the best intentions, they did exactly the wrong thing. (In your mind).

Sounds like a political thread.

I don't use packers unless in a fix. When I do, I'll ask them to let me know if they see anything in my gear that bugs them even the closing loop length. Most of the time they remember.

If I pack my wife's rig, I end up with a ridiculously long closing loop because I pack better than she does. But I can't shorten the loop because then she can't close her rig on the next jump. and it's HER rig.

I trust packers to pack, and I also want to know everything about my gear. (i.e., they can adjust the loop, but please tell me.)

Short answer, if a slight adjustment in a closing loop length sends you off the deep end, though, then using a packer is likely not the thing for you. And anger management counseling might just be.;)

Or, from now on, just ask the packer to let you know if they change anything such as closing loop or RSL routing or anything like that. (They don't have to tell you how many rubber bands they changed though). If one refuses, then don't use them.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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So you won't be upset when you manifest for a load, and then your gear is not ready because they were waiting for you to come back and ask you about your gear, right?

I wouldn't give my rig to a packer I don't trust, and I'd rather them make a change in the name of safety. Packers can probably pack the canopy much tighter than you. Why don't you talk with your packer about those sorts of things before hand. Say "Please don't change anything on my gear before talking with me." when you drop the gear off? You won't have the same problem.



Absolutely. I would not be even a little upset if they delayed my pack job to ask me a question before changing anything on my gear.

I also have no need for them to pack it tighter than the manufacturer recommends. Do you?

The biggest issue I have is that the manufacturer specifically says to NOT do that and I had mentioned that to a packer before. That one asked me first and I told him not to change it.
I doubt the packer knows better than RWS how it should be closed.
This is a safety issue in my mind. RWS says to not pull the flaps in that tight in the owners manual.
There must be a reason for that.

I dont think anger management is really necessary. I didnt kill anyone. I simply decided that they dont get my money anymore and posted the issue here.

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I doubt the packer knows better than RWS how it should be closed.



Unless the RWS people are there looking at the entire system I would probably errr towards the judgemet of the packer.

Do you have the proper sized canopy in there? Is it packed the same way?

Packers (most) are profesionals who take the "works on paper" equipment and put it on jumpers backs every day. The are interested in seeing people have safe skydives, and come back for another pack job.

I'll ask this. Did you discus your gear with your packer before droping it off?
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Its all correctly sized and brand new.
It was assembled by the master rigger at RWS all brand new just a few months ago.

Regarding your last question. No. I didnt discuss it with the packer before hand. Frankly it never even occurred to me that they would change something without asking me first.
I thought packers were there to pack the rig, not make judgements about the equipment.

I was wrong.
Lesson learned.

I will not use packers anymore. I prefer to pack my own anyway, I will just do all the time now.

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I thought packers were there to pack the rig, not make judgements about the equipment.



I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I want EVERYONE to see and think about theis sort of thing.

You just admited to leaving your life saving equipment with someone, and didn't discus it with them.


I'm glad you learned. See you in the air.;)
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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This is a safety issue in my mind. RWS says to not pull the flaps in that tight in the owners manual.
There must be a reason for that.



The reason is that the right and left main closing flaps come too close together and when you close the pin cover flap its sides rub against them causing fraying of the binding tape. It's a design feature that confuses a lot of packers (and jumpers) because it can look "wrong" but it is how RWS say to close it.
Pete Draper,

Just because my life plan is written on the back of a Hooter's Napkin, it's still a life plan.... right?

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Why don't you talk with your packer about those sorts of things before hand. Say "Please don't change anything on my gear before talking with me." when you drop the gear off? You won't have the same problem.



The client shouldn't need to do that. The default should be that a packer shouldn't change anything on a rig without discussing it with the owner. The same is true of a certificated rigger. That doesn't mean they shouldn't make safety related changes without permission, but they should at least mention the change when delivering the rig or settling the account. Not only is that a matter of respect, but it educates the customer. Heck, if a packer is doing extra work like changing out all the rubberbands, changing closing loops, checking and then coloring a pilot chute kill line, the customer will probably appreciate the extra work and is more likely to offer a tip.

In this case it sounds like the rig was delivered in a condition directly opposed to manufacturers recommendations. The packer may not even know about the RWS loop standard, and discussing the change with the client would have educated one or both of them.

Then too, experienced packers may be packing the main much tighter than the owner and the closing loop might be too long...that's a safety issue. The ideal solution is for the packer to simply say "hey, you loop was a bit long so I shortened it. It packs up better and is safer in the air." Respect gets respect, know what I mean?

Also, let's keep in mind that at many DZ's the packers are not riggers and are not under the supervision of a rigger. Often they have little training and have never been checked out by anyone. If they have been checked out, their scope of practice is limited by whatever standard the specific supervising rigger has established.

Tom Buchanan
S&TA
Senior Parachute Rigger
Author JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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The client shouldn't need to do that.



If the client is not willing to spend a moment discusing his life saving equipment with someone who is going to perform service on it they are foolhardy.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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The fact that I did not do so doesnt imply that I am unwilling. It merely means that I had not considered it necessary because of my previously stated belief that they would ask me before making any changes.

I would'nt change anything on someone elses expensive, lifesaving equipment without asking first. Thats common sense in my mind.

I dont believe I was foolhardy either.

I WAS mistaken in my belief, though.

As I said, I have learned.

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The fact that I did not do so doesnt imply that I am unwilling. It merely means that I had not considered it necessary because of my previously stated belief that they would ask me before making any changes.

I would'nt change anything on someone elses expensive, lifesaving equipment without asking first. Thats common sense in my mind.

I dont believe I was foolhardy either.

I WAS mistaken in my belief, though.

As I said, I have learned.



Are we talking about a closing loop here? If you don't trust your packer enough to perform simple maintenance such as changing or shortening a closing loop, then don't hire a packer or find one that you trust.

When I was packing regularly, I often changed closing loops and shortened them if they were too loose. Also changing rubber bands. Most customers seem to appreciate this type of service.

Perhaps a simple, "By the way, I shortened your closing loop." would have given you a better flavor?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Peace and Blue Skies!
Bonnie ==>Gravity Gear!

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Sounds like a political thread.

Short answer, if a slight adjustment in a closing loop length sends you off the deep end, though, then using a packer is likely not the thing for you. And anger management counseling might just be.;)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Packing mains does not pay well enough for me to stand up - halfway through a pack job - and wander around the hangar until I find you and waste a couple of minutes explaining something to you.
If you ask me to pack your main and I think your loop is too loose, you will get a new loop. PERIOD!
If you complain once, I will ignore you.
If you complain twice I will try to explain that replacing closing loops is done on a regular basis by conscientious packers.
If you complain a third time I will hand you both loops.
Stop whining!

Rob Warner
FAA Master Rigger and grumpy old fart

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Thats what I call a useless response to a reasonable question, Riggerrob! Thanks!

Whining? I didnt whine, I simply asked a question and expressed an opinion. On the other hand, your tale of woe about how much money packing brings you does in fact easily qualify as whining.

If you arent making enough money, find another line of work and QUIT WHINING. B|

Chris Leahy
No kind of rigger at all and unwilling to
take crap from grumpy ones.

PS. As a master rigger you are well qualified to make a decision about the length of a closing loop. I wouldnt say that applies to the majority of packers.

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Perhaps a simple, "By the way, I shortened your closing loop." would have given you a better flavor?



Yep! Absolutely.
Because then I could have explained how RWS says its supposed to be, the packer would have learned something they obviously didnt know about the Vector 3 M, and I'd put the loop back the way it was supposed to be right away.

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RWS might say that its ideal.. but with varying pack volumes and packing manufactor recommendations are just that... recommendations. Notice how RWS does'nt publish an exact loop length for either their main or reserve tray? Thats because they know that the field rigger/packer can make a better call on each case by case basis then they can make with out seeing the rig.

Manufactors recommend all sorts of silly things sometimes. Most times they are correct, but some times they can be overruled by people who see the issue up close every day.

If the packer put a full knot in the loop that usually takes 3/4-1 inch of loop. Thats saying that you needed to have it at least 1/2 inch tighter to start with and that would'nt even line up the grommets.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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It is perfectly acceptable and reasonable for packers to do basic maintenance on non-TSO'd compents of your rig. Replacing closing loops, and rubber bands is very common.

It is also perfectly acceptable for jumpers to expect packers are doing it properly.

If I were in your shoes, I would thank the packer for being so carefull to replace the closing loop, then I would hand them a copy of the Vector manual and ask them to please read it before making any more modifications. I would also ask that they consult with you before doing any work in the future.

Odds are that even if you ask packers to check with you first, they will probably forget and do minor maintenance work without asking. If that's a problem for you, then you should probably be packing for yourself.

_Am
__

You put the fun in "funnel" - craichead.

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The subject of your thread asks a question. What should packers take upon themselves?

I believe that it is a packers job to somewhat inspect the rig while they are packing it. They may not be riggers, but unless you are packing for yourself, or having a rigger look at your rig after every jump, you are essentialy placing your life saving gear in the hands of the packer, and that is better than noone looking out for your safety.

I think that packers should:

A: Pack the main (all the while performing a visual safety inspection of sorts)

B: Change the rubber bands if necessary

C: Change the closing loop if necessary

D: Inform the customer of anything at all that they come across questioning the safety of the jumper, not only on subsequent jumps, but previous ones as well.

If the packer thought that the closing loop was too long, not only should they tell the customer that they made the change, they should feel obligated to tell the customer "Hey, you know.. I think that your closing loop was too long, that can cause some serious issues."

Obviously if the packer thought that the closing loop was too long, than they must assume that perhaps the jump that was just made was not done as safely as possible and that should be a concern of everyone at the dropzone... making sure that every jump is done as safely as possible and learning from the past to improve the future.

I think that the packer was right to change the closing loop, but wrong to not tell you. You're right, if they had told you, they would have learned something about that rig that is not common knowledge to everyone.

--------------------------------------------------
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ~ Thomas Jefferson

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I would have to say that only certified riggers should make "configuration changes" on your rig. Yeh, if a packer breaks a closing loop while packing, they should be able to replace it (as it was) without chasing you down to ask permission. And if a certified rigger is trained on your particular brand rig then they should be knowledgable enough to make safety related mods without your permission, but should let you know what they have done.. But if they only are trained on Javelin's then I don't believe they have any right to "modify" your Vector III without being properly trained 1st.

Let's face it, not many packers are supervised by riggers. Their packing experience is only as good as the amount of packjobs they have done. I used to look at it as "hey this packer has packed 1000's of rigs and I have only packed 25 so I trust them more than myself to do it right." That was until a packer packed my perfectly good operational parachute into a malfunction that nearly killed me. Now, I feel the need to take my life into my own hands and pack my own rig.

FYI, packers DO NOT carry liability insurance, if they kill or maime you with a half-assed packjob they will still be out there packing for the next person without any responsibility for their actions. B|

JMO:)
Disclaimer: Some of my best friends pack for a living and I respect all packers but facts are facts.
Kerry

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IMHO, it is a packer's RESPONSIBILITY to shorten your closing loop if it needs shortening. Would you rather they just go pack it up with a loose pin? Or maybe wait for you to come pick up your rig before they ask you what to do with it. A packer, if they're not already a rigger, is supposed to be under the direct supervision of one. You should thank your packer for being concerned with your safety and give him/her a big fat tip and a bottle o' beer.
mh

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As a packer, and not a rigger, I look at it as my responsiblity to inform the person that their rig needs maintenance. However, I will not replace it. Why? I feel it starts them in a bad habit that can lead to complacency and the belief that someone else will go out of their way to make sure they are safe.

Could I easily shorten their loop? Yup. Could I replace it? Nope - I don't keep any in my pouch. Could I make a quick buck and get them on the plane with the false belief that all packers will keep an eye out for their safety? Yes I could, but I am usually packing for friends or newbies and I don't want them "trusting" a packer because all packers are not made the same.

If their gear needs maintenance, it doesn't get packed. I am ok with losing that customer or the $5 knowing that person will pay more attention to their gear. When I worked full time as a cash packer you would notice that almost all of my customers would point out anything odd or something that needed to be fixed...inlcuding rubber bands.

You know what? I never pissed off anyone with this approach (even with the upjumpers) and it is one of the reasons I developed a good reputation as a safe packer.

There is always room for more education and safety in this sport.
_________________________________________
you can burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me....
I WILL fly again.....

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That doesn't mean they shouldn't make safety related changes without permission, but they should at least mention the change when delivering the rig or settling the account.



Isn't fixing a closing loop a safey feature? At the very least it was probably assumed by the packer to be.
Tunnel Pink Mafia Delegate
www.TunnelPinkMafia.com

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The closing loop in question wasnt broken, stretched, frayed, or even too long. It was EXACTLY the way it was supposed to be.

I know this because I just bought it brand new from RWS and it was assembled there by their own master rigger. Additionally, they specifically state in the manual that it should not be tightened up till the grommets are on top of each other.

It didnt need fixing in the first place.

What the packer did would place additional stress and wear on the system so in fact, the packer in shortening the loop was INCREASING the likelyhood of a problem.

Someone in this thread suggested that the packers out there in the field might be more up on how it should be working than the manufacturer and that they need'nt follow those recommendations.

The packers know better than the guys that designed, tested the shit out of, and built the Vector 3 M? The same guys that invented the 3 ring release, skyhook, and numerous other things that we all use every day?

The PACKERS might know better than the guys at RWS?!?

Sorry man, I dont buy that for one second. Its absurd.

I simply dont want them making those kinds of decisions for me.

If the rest of you are ok with it, fine.
Its your rig and your ass.

I'm just gonna be handling my own from here on out.

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