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Hooknswoop

So, You Want to Be a Rigger?

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If a person is a truly skilled rigger, how competitive is this profession to get into full time? I'm very interested in eventually rigging full time and willing to work hard to get there, but I'm curious if this is the type of career that there simply isn't room for everyone who wants to do it.

Also, as a female wanna-be rigger, I've already encountered both positive feedback, as well as some opposition and negativity for the "good 'ole boys" club. Should I expect to have to prove myself even more because I'm female?

Thanks!

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Full time riggers are scarce around the country since there is only so much work to support the rigger. You will find the full time lofts are focused around the larger DZ's and branched out to do things like gear sales and other items also. Most full time riggers are master riggers since repacking reserves will only net so much money and hey need the ability to do repairs on most gear. Since you are at the Farm talk to Mike G about rigging to see what the opportunities are.

As for part time, there are tons of riggers that pack 50-100 repacks a year for local jumpers. Its not enough to live on but its nice side work.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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"
Quote

...
Also, as a female wanna-be rigger, I've already encountered both positive feedback, as well as some opposition and negativity for the "good 'ole boys" club. Should I expect to have to prove myself even more because I'm female?

Thanks!



.....................................................................................

That depends upon whether you are a girly-girly or whether you are a hard worker who is willing to break a sweat and break the occassional finger-nail?????

Sure, some of the grumpy, old, grey-bearded, good-ole-boys will give you a hard time, but their generation is fading from skydiving.
It has been a long time since anyone could simply "muscle" a tight container closed. Modern containers require grace and finesse and subtle knowledge, that takes months or years to acquire.

I have only worked with a few female riggers, but they tended to be smoother than many of their male counterparts, because they "finessed" rigs closed.

Oh!
I quit "muscling" rigs closed after I pulled an arm muscle back in 1994. Ever since then I have used the packing assist hook (FAA Parachute Rigging Manual, page ????). It is just an old B-12 Snap (gate removed) slipped onto a molar strap and looped diagonally around my shoulders.

Blue skies,

Rob Warner
FAA Master Rigger
CSPA Rigger Examiner
Strong Tandem Examiner

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... Should I expect to have to prove myself even more because I'm female?

Thanks!



...................................................................................

All new riggers have to "prove" themselves.
The best thing you can be is honest. Admit your limitations and be humble about consulting other (more experienced) riggers or phoning manufacturers.
You will never know it all, and just when you think you know it all, they will invent new parachute gadgets!
Hee!
Hee!

As a new rigger, you will instantly acquire lots of new "friends" who ask you to repack their reserves for free. The beauty of having "friends" like that is that you never have to worry about alcoholism, or obesity or sexually transmitted diseases ... while you are elbow-deep in their reserves.
When you straighten out your back, you will find the DZ littered with empty beer bottles, empty pizza boxes and de-flowered virgins.
Hah!
Hah!
And guess who has to clean up the mess before students arrive in the morning???
Hah!
Hah!
You will tire of "free" rigging after a dozen free pack jobs, so remind your new "friends" about the old hippy motto: "Ass, grass or gas, nobody rides for free!"

Rob Warner
FAA Master Rigger
CSPA Rigger Examiner

P.S. And whenever anyone tries to sexually harrass you, remember that laughter is the best form of contraception!

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Thanks for your reply. :) I'm already signed up for Mike G's riggers course in January, am studying all the reading materials and have been packing my butt off on the weekends to get my hands all calloused up and ready for packing reserves pain free. :p



If all goes well, I'll see you there!

Im waiting to be sure on the dates, but if it meshes up with what I can do, I'll be there.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
I'm an asshole, and I approve this message

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OK,
I am a grumpy old,grey bearded, southern, good ole boy.
I have made a living as a full time rigger, I got my senior in 79 after 3 years packing for others, my wife thought it was just another merit badge while i was studing, or driving across town to pack for someone on there apartment floor.
But since then I have worked for NASA as a rigger, packed the first two shuttle ejection seats, was a ACEs II tech rep for F15's, worked for the Saudi Air Force, traveled around the world, I now do it part time at my house.
I have never even once thought that a woman could not do this job, nor have i ever intertained an idea other than equal work for equal pay.
I did come from a town of quakers, they all looked like the beach boys. there were two curly black haired kids in town. the other was my brother, let us just say when it was time to kick ass or look down on someone they knew where they were.
There is a danger in thinking that you will not be excepted because of what you are, or who you are and it will beat you down.
Show up, Be there when your there, do your job, keep interested in it. don't get caught up doing bad to others no matter what "there doing" and try to do the right thing even when no one is around. you will do fine.
Best of luck to you.

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I've known the previous poster since before he was a rigger :), and can assure you that he's right. If you go into rigging expecting to do the work, and to do it well, you'll be fine.

I became a rigger a little before BLEE52, and was back in the same southern good ol' boy area by the end of 1978. I never had anyone doubt my competence in the world of sport parachuting. I don't rig any more, but that's because I left the sport for awhile, it progressed, and I just don't feel like getting qualified again; I know what I know, and anyway this way I get to go chat about old times with BLEE whenever it's repack time :ph34r:

Wendy P.

There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Dear The Show.

My email addres is [email protected]
Since you are working very hard to be a good rigger applicant, I'd like to offer you a list of projects to complete . It isn't a computer generated list, so if you'd email me I'll send it to whatever address you want. It specifically includes all of the tasks in areas of operation I VI of the PTS tasks and a lot more. It's purpose is to acquaint you with the common rigger tasks. It's kinda neat, as it covers just about everything you'll commonly encounter.

Also, I have trained and certified one female rigger and she was great and encountered no bias - ever.

Walt Green

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Rob pointed-out something I feel is most important in re-packing a reserve... finesse!!! Harness-containers as well as parachutes, are made fairly tough. Forcing material only leads to extra work in the form of un-wanted repairs. I learned to quit using paddles to get reserve parachutes in the free-bag and then, into the container. Easing the bagged reserve parachute into the container saves a lot of wear and tear on container flaps, also. I agree with Rob also in that women tend to have a corner on the market of 'finesse'. All the best of luck to you!


Chuck

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The APF has a great system to follow that will assist you.

Firstly start spending more time on the DZ with a willing Instructor or find a friendly rigger that will take you under their wing and think about doing your Packer B. This will give you much of the basics that you are looking for as well as a rating to pack mains for students and tandems.

Once you have earned that rating you can consider if you still have questions whether you would like to move onto your Packer A which will allow you to pack reserves. Again time at the DZ with the appropriate Instructors or more time with your friendly rigger.

then you can ask yourself again if you want more knowledge and you can then start to prepare yourself for the Riggers Rating with a Rigger Examiner.

Much of what you are after you will probably find by spending more time on the DZ with the right people but I encourage you to get the ratings.

Knowledge dispels fear
I like my canopy...


...it lets me down.

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Awesome post.

My job in the military is not an actual rigger, but I have 20 observed reserve repacks for a MC-6/T-11R (static line round) and MT-2XX (9 cell Ram-Air). I have been through a military riggers course and I have an military rigger certification/ qualification. I want to get my senior rigger qualification. Can I just do an observed 20 repacks on a modern sport rig and take the written test? Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks a lot for any info. For some reason nobody at work actually knows the answer.

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Credit for Military Parachute Riggers
The Authority shall grant to an applicant for a senior parachute rigger licence that licence if he or she passes a knowledge test on the regulations of Subpart 2.10 and presents satisfactory documentary evidence that he or she—
Is a member or civilian employee of an armed force of [STATE], is a civilian employee of a regular armed force of a foreign country, or has, within the 12 months before he applies, been honourably discharged or released from any status covered by this paragraph;
Is serving, or has served within the 12 months before application, as a parachute rigger for such an armed force; and
Has the experience required by paragraph 2.10.1.4.



Your case is a little bit ambiguous because you have the military rating but are not (as I read your post) servicing as a parachute rigger.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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