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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Parachutes (fwd)

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Parachutes (fwd)


Thread: Parachutes (fwd)

Message: Re: Parachutes (fwd)

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Herman Dierks <dierks at>

Date: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 01:14:45 UTC


    Eric, several comments.
  No rigger (in their right mind) will sell you a square reserve for use
  as an emergency chute unless you are qualified to jump a square. 
  Riggers like Allen Silver require that you send them copies of your jump
  log to show you have 'square' jump experience.  The container must also
  be properly marked to let you know it has a square canopy inside. 
  Therefore, you will typically find all pilot rigs to be 'round' canopys.
  The reason for this is that a square canopy is a high performance canopy
  and you have to know how to fly it and how to land it or you can get hurt.
  I am an ex-skydiver and have square experience so I would like a square 
  so that I would have more control in where I would land and to be able
  to handle higher winds.  Landing a round canopy in medium to high winds
  is no fun (been there, done that).  I did not switch to a square because
  there were other things to do with the $$. 

  Regarding 'throwout pilot chute',  boy you must go way back :).
  I hand deployed a reserve once after a 'May West' malfunction.
  We use to use hand throwout those for sport jumping in the late 60's and early 70's.
  Pilot emergency rigs will always have a pilot chute.  The pilot chute
  is a KEY component of the system as that is what causes drag to pull out
  the canopy.  You want the best pilot chute you can buy as it can save
  time if you are slow and low.           
  Maybe you mean the enclosed pilot chute vs the pop-top type of 
  container.  Most are enclosed.  I don't know if there are any pilot
  rigs with a pop-top pilot chute.  A number of the sport rigs have them
  and the promoters of the pop top claim the pilot chute can exit faster.
  I don't think there is much difference if the enclosed pilot chute is
  properly anchored (kicker plate, etc).
  Almost all canopy's are lo-po or zero poorsity these days.
  There was a discussion on canopies and the speed ratings and the type
  certifications of the systems a few months back. That should be in the
  archives.   I have Pater Chapman's note and can repost it if needed.
  You really want to ensure you buy a system that meets TSO C23c of 1984
  if possible as it is certified to a higher standard thatn the older C23b.
  Ensure you get a canopy that meets your speed requirements and your 
  weight.  If you are too fast and too heavy for the canopy, it may exit
  the lines without you.

  From my research into all of this about a yr ago, most of the National
  systems (canopies) do not meet the newer TSO C23c.           
  Several riggers will not sell you or install a National canopy in their
  systems.  I never had anyone say anything bad about a Strong canopy/system.
  Most riggers will not repack a canopy over 25 yrs old so watch buying
  an older system that has sat in a closet for years.  This is more of a
  liability thing.  There should be some method to test the canopy and
  lines as an older well cared for canopy may be just as good as a new one.
  Also watch buying a newer container that has an old canopy inside it.

  Also watch out for the acid mesh problem.  I think that all canopies
  after about Jan 1989 are ensured not to have the acid mesh problem. 
  This was written up by Allen Silver in SA a year or two back. 
  Allen has written a number of articles on parachutes in Sport Aerobatics.
  I think he has reprints that he will send you. Just find his number in
  a current issue and give him a call.

  Cheers, Herman
  dierks at
> I apologize for posting this to the group, but I don't have may magazine
> handy to look up the addresses.
> Karen Diamond:  Could we please have a comprehensive article about
> parachutes in SPORT AEROBATICS?  I don't recall seeing anything during the
> last ten years regarding pros/cons of squares/rounds, seatpacks/backpacks,
> throwout pilot chute/Poptop,  low porosity/zero porosity, etc, etc.  There
> are many things to consider when buying a parachute, and it would be nice
> to offer some type of reference/primer.  There are probably some riggers
> in this organization, additionally, the manufacturers would probably be
> very willing to assist.  Regards, Eric.
> Eric Rood
> ericrood at


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