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PARACHUTE RIGGER HANDBOOK 2005 U.S.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION Flight Standards Service ii PREFACE This operational handbook introduces the basic skills necessary for acquiring a parachute rigger certificate.

It is developed by the Flight Standards Service, Airman Testing Standards Branch, in cooperation with various aviation educators and industry.

This handbook is primarily intended to assist individuals who are preparing for the parachute rigger airman knowledge test and the oral and practical test.

The material presented in this handbook is appropriate for senior and master parachute riggers.

The handbook contains information on regulations and human factors, design and construction, materials, operations, inspection and packing, hand tools, sewing machines, the parachute loft, repairs, alterations, and manufacture.

This handbook conforms to training and certification concepts established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

There are different ways of teaching, as well as performing specific rigging procedures, and many variations in the explanations of repairs, alterations, and manufacture of parachutes.

The discussion and explanations reflect commonly used practices and principles.

This handbook provides a basic knowledge that can serve as a foundation on which to build further knowledge.

Occasionally the word “must” or similar language is used where the desired action is deemed critical.

The use of such language is not intended to add to, interpret, or relieve a duty imposed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).

It is essential for persons using this handbook to also become familiar with and apply the pertinent parts of 14 CFR and appropriate technical standards.

Performance standards for demonstrating competence required for parachute riggers are prescribed in the appropriate practical test standard.

This handbook is available for download from the Flight Standards Service web site at http://av-info.faa.gov.

The current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing material and subject matter knowledge codes for all airman certificates and ratings can also be obtained from the Flight Standards Service web site, as well as information about availability of printed copies.

The FAA greatly acknowledges the valuable assistance provided by many individuals and organizations throughout the aviation community whose expertise contributed to the preparation of this handbook.

This handbook contains material and pictures of various products often used by industry.

It is presented here as a means of communicating information to be used for training purposes only.

The FAA neither endorses nor recommends any specific trademark item in this handbook.

This handbook is published by the U.S.

Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Airman Testing Standards Branch, AFS-630, P.O.

Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125.comments regarding this handbook should be sent in e-mail form to AFS630comments@faa.gov.

AC 00-2, Advisory Circular Checklist, transmits the current status of FAA advisory circulars and other flight information publications.

This checklist is available via the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/aba/html_policies/ac00_2.html. iii iv CONTENTS Chapter 1—Regulations and Human Factors Parachute Rigger Certificates ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-1 Eligibility and Requirements ………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-1 Earning a Parachute Rigger Certificate ………………………………………………………………………………………..1-2 Testing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1-2 Alternate Means of Qualifying for a Parachute Rigger Certificate …………………………………………………..1-2 Retesting ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1-4 Responsibilities of a Certificated Parachute Rigger ……………………………………………………………………………………1-5 Facilities and Tools ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-6 Performance Standards ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-6 Currency Requirements …………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-6 Record Keeping ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1-6 Sealing the Parachute…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-8 Regulatory Compliance ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-8 14 CFR Part 1—Definitions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-8 14 CFR Part 21 Subpart O—Technical Standard Orders (TSO) ………………………………………………………1-8 14 CFR Part 39—Airworthiness Directives ………………………………………………………………………………….1-8 14 CFR Part 91—General Operating and Flight Rules …………………………………………………………………..1-8 14 CFR Part 105 Subpart C—Parachute Equipment and Packing ……………………………………………………1-8 Rigging Ethics ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-9 Certification Specifications…………………………………………………………………………………………………………1-9 Pilot vs Parachute Size……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-9 Parachute Service Life ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1-9 Chapter 2—Design and Construction Component Parts …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-1 Main Parachute …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-1 Reserve Parachute……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-1 Emergency Parachute…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-1 Harness/Container……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-1 Pilot Chutes and Bridles for the Main and Reserve Parachutes …………………………………………………..2-2 Ripcords or Equivalent Devices for the Main and Reserve Parachutes………………………………………..2-2 Deployment Devices for the Main and Reserve Parachutes………………………………………………………..2-2 Main Parachute Release Mechanism and Associated Handles or Static Lines ………………………………2-2 Risers, Main or Reserve, When Not Integral With the Harness or Canopy, and Their Associated Steering Toggles…………………………………………………………………………………….2-2 Other Harness/Container Assembly Components ……………………………………………………………………..2-2 TSO Standards………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-2 Canopy Design ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-3 Nomenclature……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-3 Construction Concepts and Techniques ………………………………………………………………………………………..2-4 Operational Theory ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-4 Materials ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….2-4 Damage ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-4 Containers…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….2-5 Configuration ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-5 Modern Design Concepts …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-6 v Harness Design……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-7 Bridles and Deployment Devices …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….2-9 Deployment Types …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-10 Type 1: Canopy First Deployment…………………………………………………………………………………………2-10 Type 2: Two-Stow Diaper or Half Diaper……………………………………………………………………………….2-10 Type 3: Ascuitto or Piglet-Style Flat Diaper……………………………………………………………………………2-10 Type 4: Handbury or Preserve Full Diaper……………………………………………………………………………..2-10 Type 5: Free Bag…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-11 Type 6: Sleeves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-11 Securing the Deployment Device ………………………………………………………………………………………………2-11 Bridles……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-12 Pilot Chutes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-14 Spring-Loaded Pilot Chutes………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-14 Hand Deploy Pilot Chutes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-15 Automatic Activation Devices and Reserve Static Lines …………………………………………………………………………..2-16 Automatic Activation Devices …………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-16 Operation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-16 Reserve Static Line Systems……………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-17 RSL Designs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2-17 Main Riser Attachment………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-18 Ripcord Cable Routing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2-19 RSL Lanyard and Container Mount ………………………………………………………………………………………2-19 Joint Efficiency ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….2-20 Chapter 3—Materials Specifications ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3-1 Fabrics …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3-1 Webbing and Tapes………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3-6 Cords, Lines, and Threads …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3-10 Hardware ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3-13 Plastics and Synthetics …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3-22 Fasteners …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3-23 Housings …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3-25 Ripcords, Cables, and Swages……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3-26 Miscellaneous ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3-28 Chapter 4—Operations Sport Parachute Main Packing Techniques ……………………………………………………………………………………………….4-1 Deployment and Inflation Characteristics …………………………………………………………………………………………………4-7 Main Pilot Chute……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4-7 Bridle Length ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4-8 Rubber Bands……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4-8 Assembly of the Main Canopy to the Harness and Container………………………………………………………………………4-8 Assembly of Components and Compatibility ………………………………………………………………………………………….4-10 Volume …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..4-10 Deployment Type…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4-11 TSO Certification and Placard Limitations …………………………………………………………………………………4-11 vi Chapter 5—Inspection and Packing Identification…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-1 Inspection …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-1 Component Compatibility ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-3 Round Canopies and Pilot Emergency Systems …………………………………………………………………………….5-5 Straightening the Canopy ………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-6 Damage Identification …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-7 Pilot Chute and Bridle ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-7 Reserve Canopy ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-7 Suspension Lines and Connector Links………………………………………………………………………………………..5-8 Harness ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-9 Container………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-10 Ripcord ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-10 Airing and Drying……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-11 Ram-Air Reserves and Sport Piggyback Systems…………………………………………………………………………………….5-11 Pilot Chute and Free Bag/Bridle………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-11 Ram-Air Reserve Canopy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-11 Canopy Assembly and Line Continuity………………………………………………………………………………….5-12 Inspection…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-14 Harness ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-14 Container …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-15 Ripcord ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-16 Rigging and Repairs …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-16 Packing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-17 Round Canopy into a Pilot Emergency Parachute System …………………………………………………………….5-17 Layout……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-18 Pleating the Canopy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-19 Fold the Skirt ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-22 Closing the Diaper and Stowing the Lines ……………………………………………………………………………..5-22 Skirt or Diaper Placement…………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-24 Accordion Folding the Canopy……………………………………………………………………………………………..5-24 Closing the Container ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-27 Ripcord Pull Force………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-28 Sealing the Parachute…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5-30 Ram-Air Reserve into a Sport Piggyback System ………………………………………………………………………..5-32 Assembling the Reserve System……………………………………………………………………………………………5-32 Step 1.

Layout, and Setting Up Packing Clamps……………………………………………………………………..5-33 Step 2.

Stacking and Pleating the Reserve Canopy ………………………………………………………………….5-34 Step 3.

Setting the Brakes…………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-36 Step 4.

Folding the Canopy ………………………………………………………………………………………………….5-36 Step 5.

Placing the Canopy into the Deployment Bag and Stowing the Lines……………………………..5-38 Step 6.

Placing the Bag into the Container and Closing the Container ……………………………………….5-40 Documentation ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5-43 Chapter 6—Hands Tools, Sewing Machines, and the Parachute Loft Hand Tools……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………6-1 Hand Tools Description ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..6-2 Sewing Machines…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………6-12 vii

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