Main Parachute - Packing Course

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Equipment Components


An approved packer is qualified to assemble all the component parts that make up the main parachute assembly as follows: pilot chute, bridle line, deployment bag, main parachute, slider, connector links, risers, control toggles and cutaway pad. It’s the responsibility of all approved packers to ensure that all component parts are compatible and correctly assembled.

Connecting the Risers

The risers are manufactured for the left and right sides of the container, some risers are marked and some have an RSL attachment so they can’t get mixed up. Generally, the control toggles are placed to the outside. Place the large ring of the riser through the harness ring, then pass the small ring through the middle ring only, (do not pass it through the middle ring and harness ring together). The loop is then passed through the small ring and then through the riser grommet. Then pass it through the cutaway housing eyelet before passing the cutaway cable through the loop. Make sure the cable is the correct length with at least 5 inches through the loop. Check the assembly according to the container manual to make sure it's setup for that specific rig. Check the 3 rings to ensure they load correctly with regards to the mechanical advantage, and do not load the housing.

Connecting the Main Parachute

Always try and hang the parachute on a canopy hoist prior to assembly. This allows for a proper line sequence check while the canopy is in a proper flying configuration. If this isn’t possible during assembly it must be done after assembly to ensure the installation has been checked for correct line sequence in a flying configuration. Connect the canopy lines to the risers with the connector links. Make sure all the four line groups are correctly routed through the slider grommets. Make sure the slider is orientated correctly so the longest sides go from left to right.

Some manufacturers state which is the top of the slider which usually depends on the grommet installation and which side the tape is sewn on. The standard connector link is the Maillion Rapide link which has its name stamped on it and the load that it's approved for. Don't use any links that don’t have this information. Size 5 is used with standard lines and size 3.5 for microline however; other sizes can be used so check the canopy manufacturer’s manual. Some manufacturers use custom made hardware so if you come across anything different check the manual for installation and usage. Rapide links need to be hand tight plus ¼ a turn. Do not over tighten them as that can crack the barrel.

Now check the line sequence is correct. If you're using slider buffers over the connector links make sure they are damage free and secured so they can't travel up the lines during deployment. Route the control line through the rear slider grommets and the half brake setting ring on the riser and attach the control toggle.

The position that the toggle is tied onto the line is very important for control, flight and landing. Follow the instruction in the manual to make sure of the correct attachment method. The best method is a finger trapped loop but if you tie it on the correct way then that's also acceptable.

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Check the control line routing. If you’re using soft links make sure you have the right ones approved for the canopy and follow the installation instructions exactly. Attach the deployment bag, bridle line and pilot chute to the canopy. There are many different ways of doing this which depends on the component designs so consult the container manual for the correct method for your system. Now the assembly has been completed do a final check to ensure correct assembly and then ask a second person who’s also qualified to double check the complete assembly.