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Emergency Parachute questions



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 1st 04, 05:40 AM
Jay Moreland
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Emergency Parachute questions

I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will
be doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight
is #140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need
to use the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used
parachute that I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a
professional Master rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute?
(Assuming it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the
150 knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?

Ads
  #2  
Old December 1st 04, 02:45 PM
john smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Do a Google search for "Butler Parchute".
Call and ask for Manny.
Discuss your questions with him.
He used to monitor the IAC Exploder and offer helpful comments to these
types of questions.

Jay Moreland wrote:
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will
be doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight
is #140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need
to use the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used
parachute that I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a
professional Master rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute?
(Assuming it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the
150 knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?


  #3  
Old December 1st 04, 09:39 PM
dave
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I was in the same spot as you and bought a new chute. I was advised
that unless you're buying the used chute from a rigger, don't buy it.
It could be damaged. You'll have no way of knowing about the damage
until rigger checks it out.

I bought mine from wingsandwheels.com but there are many other on-line
places to shop. www.pia.com/silver has a lot of good information on
chutes. They also have some used chutes but they don't seem to be
significantly cheaper than a new one.

Dave
68 7ECA

Jay Moreland wrote:
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will
be doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight
is #140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need
to use the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used
parachute that I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a
professional Master rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute?
(Assuming it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the
150 knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?

  #4  
Old December 1st 04, 11:00 PM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Jay,
Was in a similar situation and just this weekend took delivery of a new
Sortie seatpack chute. I didn't know anything about parachutes, didn't want
to become an expert, so I figured I was not a good candidate for buying a
used one. Also I didn't really want to trust my last-chance piece of
equipment to something I didn't know the full history on. With a bailout
rig, there's no redundant system in case it fails. It cost me $1,500.00 but
I felt it was one piece of equipment that was worth not scrimping on.

I phoned Softie and spoke to Jim, explained the kind of flying I do and what
my knowledge base was (none!). He talked me through all the types of rigs
and the things I needed to consider. It took about 3 or 4 calls with
various questions and dimensions of myself and the airplane to get sorted
what I wanted. I haven't used it yet...wait, let me rephrase that...I
haven't worn it yet in the airplane, so I don't know if it all fits in the
seat pan and I can get in and out of the airplane with it on, but so far so
good.

I'd give Softie a call just as a place to start. They were really helpful
and down to earth. Good luck whichever way you go!

Shawn
"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to use
the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute that I
would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional Master
rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute? (Assuming
it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the 150
knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?



  #5  
Old December 2nd 04, 01:57 AM
Byron J. Covey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

A good habit to get into is to exit the airplane following each flight while
still wearing the parachute. You will find that it catches on something
until you learn the proper body position for clearance. If you have to exit
in an emergency, the learned body position will make it easier, although you
certainly will be dealing with additional variables!


BJC
Formerly S-1S w National 360


"ShawnD2112" wrote in message
k...
Jay,
Was in a similar situation and just this weekend took delivery of a new
Sortie seatpack chute. I didn't know anything about parachutes, didn't
want to become an expert, so I figured I was not a good candidate for
buying a used one. Also I didn't really want to trust my last-chance
piece of equipment to something I didn't know the full history on. With a
bailout rig, there's no redundant system in case it fails. It cost me
$1,500.00 but I felt it was one piece of equipment that was worth not
scrimping on.

I phoned Softie and spoke to Jim, explained the kind of flying I do and
what my knowledge base was (none!). He talked me through all the types of
rigs and the things I needed to consider. It took about 3 or 4 calls with
various questions and dimensions of myself and the airplane to get sorted
what I wanted. I haven't used it yet...wait, let me rephrase that...I
haven't worn it yet in the airplane, so I don't know if it all fits in the
seat pan and I can get in and out of the airplane with it on, but so far
so good.

I'd give Softie a call just as a place to start. They were really helpful
and down to earth. Good luck whichever way you go!

Shawn
"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to use
the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute that
I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional Master
rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute? (Assuming
it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the 150
knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?





  #6  
Old December 2nd 04, 05:57 AM
john smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Alan Silver is a rigger, another good source of information. He does a
seminar at AirVenture for the IAC group.

dave wrote:
I bought mine from wingsandwheels.com but there are many other on-line
places to shop. www.pia.com/silver has a lot of good information on
chutes. They also have some used chutes but they don't seem to be
significantly cheaper than a new one.


  #7  
Old December 2nd 04, 07:36 AM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good tip, B. Dan at Softie said the same thing. He also suggested it
because in an emergency we typically revert to learned habit and it one's
habit is to take off the parachute every time one gets out of the airplane,
there's a risk that person would do the same thing when bailing out. I can
certainly understand the logic behind that.

Shawn

"Byron J. Covey" wrote in message
.. .
A good habit to get into is to exit the airplane following each flight
while still wearing the parachute. You will find that it catches on
something until you learn the proper body position for clearance. If you
have to exit in an emergency, the learned body position will make it
easier, although you certainly will be dealing with additional variables!


BJC
Formerly S-1S w National 360


"ShawnD2112" wrote in message
k...
Jay,
Was in a similar situation and just this weekend took delivery of a new
Sortie seatpack chute. I didn't know anything about parachutes, didn't
want to become an expert, so I figured I was not a good candidate for
buying a used one. Also I didn't really want to trust my last-chance
piece of equipment to something I didn't know the full history on. With
a bailout rig, there's no redundant system in case it fails. It cost me
$1,500.00 but I felt it was one piece of equipment that was worth not
scrimping on.

I phoned Softie and spoke to Jim, explained the kind of flying I do and
what my knowledge base was (none!). He talked me through all the types
of rigs and the things I needed to consider. It took about 3 or 4 calls
with various questions and dimensions of myself and the airplane to get
sorted what I wanted. I haven't used it yet...wait, let me rephrase
that...I haven't worn it yet in the airplane, so I don't know if it all
fits in the seat pan and I can get in and out of the airplane with it on,
but so far so good.

I'd give Softie a call just as a place to start. They were really
helpful and down to earth. Good luck whichever way you go!

Shawn
"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to
use the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute
that I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional
Master rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute?
(Assuming it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the
150 knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?







  #8  
Old December 2nd 04, 06:33 PM
Al MacDonald
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Jay,

Most 24' parachutes would be fine for your weight at sea level, but at 5400
ASL the landing would be hard. I've landed National 24' at 3500 ft and it
was ok, but I also have 1500 jumps. The next size up is 26', and although
it is more expensive, it is also a little larger and heavier.....and a
little less easy for climbing in/out of the cockpit. You have to decide if
the smaller/lighter/cheaper parachute system will offset the possibility of
a lower leg injury on landing. Oh yes, bones take longer to heal as we get
older. Something else to consider is potential opening speeds. The red
line on my Pitts is 205 statute, well above the max deployment speeds of a
number of parachutes (some are as low as 150 mph, other 150 kts). While I
plan on delaying an opening for a couple of seconds after exit (if altitude
is available), I draw from considerable experience and I can maintain the
best body position for a good deployment without tumbling. Most pilots
don't have this background. You do not want to deploy a parachute rated for
150 kts at 180 kts, as the opening shock increases in square to the speed
increase, and the parachute most likely has only been tested to 175 kts.

Nothing wrong with a 10 year old parachute, if it is properly inspected and
the fabric strength tested. Any Senior or Master Rigger does this all the
time as part of the repack. Because you are trusting your life to the
person who inspects/packs your parachute, find a GOOD local rigger, as the
parachute must be repacked every 120 days in the US. Ask around at a local
Drop Zone for recommendations; it doesn't take a lot of skill to
inspect/repack a parachute but, like everything else in life, attitude is
everything. I've packed lots of parachutes over 40 years old as long as
they are in good shape and the fabric strength tests ok, but there is a
movement afoot in the industry to put a 20 year life span on parachute
equipment. Newer parachute systems utilize a full diaper to assist in a
more effective deployment; I'd say this is a must.

The parachute of the right size for you comes in the appropriate container
style for your needs (back/seat/chair), which is a combination of where you
have space for the bulk and your size/height/length. I'm 6' 160# and I
could probably use a seat pack in my S-1D, however the previous owner put a
board over the seat pan and I am using a chairpack. It works well for me,
as I'm up high enough for best view and the chair is much easier to climb
in/out with than a seat pack. Also, with the pilot chute of a seat pack
pointing down, in theory you would need to deploy on your head or at least
90 degrees to vertical. Chair and back is fine for head up or body at 90
degrees to the relative wind.

In case you're wondering, I deal with parachutes as my full time occupation.

Al MacDonald
Flying High Manufacturing inc.


"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to use
the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute that I
would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional Master
rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute? (Assuming
it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the 150
knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?



  #9  
Old December 2nd 04, 07:04 PM
justin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Shawn:

FWIW I also bought a new Softie seatpack chute for use in my Yak-52. The
chute fit's perfectly in the seat pan and doesn't move at all. I check it
every flight to make sure there is no wear starting. So far no problems. I
was surprised how comfortable the chute feels when on. I always keep the
chute on when exiting the airplane for the same reasons others have noted.
BTW, I liked the Softie so much I bought a second one for the back
seat...mighty thoughtful of me to think of my instructor's well being don't
you think

Greg Arnold

p.s. If anyone knows of a good aerobatic instructor that will instruct in my
Yak 52, please let me know. I live in Mobile, Alabama.

"ShawnD2112" wrote in message
k...
Jay,
Was in a similar situation and just this weekend took delivery of a new
Sortie seatpack chute. I didn't know anything about parachutes, didn't
want to become an expert, so I figured I was not a good candidate for
buying a used one. Also I didn't really want to trust my last-chance
piece of equipment to something I didn't know the full history on. With a
bailout rig, there's no redundant system in case it fails. It cost me
$1,500.00 but I felt it was one piece of equipment that was worth not
scrimping on.

I phoned Softie and spoke to Jim, explained the kind of flying I do and
what my knowledge base was (none!). He talked me through all the types of
rigs and the things I needed to consider. It took about 3 or 4 calls with
various questions and dimensions of myself and the airplane to get sorted
what I wanted. I haven't used it yet...wait, let me rephrase that...I
haven't worn it yet in the airplane, so I don't know if it all fits in the
seat pan and I can get in and out of the airplane with it on, but so far
so good.

I'd give Softie a call just as a place to start. They were really helpful
and down to earth. Good luck whichever way you go!

Shawn
"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to use
the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute that
I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional Master
rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute? (Assuming
it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the 150
knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?





  #10  
Old December 2nd 04, 07:07 PM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Al,
I wish I'd thought to post here when I was looking for a rig and gotten your
advice. I think I might still have ended up with my Softie seat pack, but
I've sure found your posting useful. I was surprised to find that you've
packed chutes that are over 40 years old! Are these typically warbird
seatpacks?

Thanks for your expertise!
Shawn
"Al MacDonald" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Jay,

Most 24' parachutes would be fine for your weight at sea level, but at
5400 ASL the landing would be hard. I've landed National 24' at 3500 ft
and it was ok, but I also have 1500 jumps. The next size up is 26', and
although it is more expensive, it is also a little larger and
heavier.....and a little less easy for climbing in/out of the cockpit.
You have to decide if the smaller/lighter/cheaper parachute system will
offset the possibility of a lower leg injury on landing. Oh yes, bones
take longer to heal as we get older. Something else to consider is
potential opening speeds. The red line on my Pitts is 205 statute, well
above the max deployment speeds of a number of parachutes (some are as low
as 150 mph, other 150 kts). While I plan on delaying an opening for a
couple of seconds after exit (if altitude is available), I draw from
considerable experience and I can maintain the best body position for a
good deployment without tumbling. Most pilots don't have this background.
You do not want to deploy a parachute rated for 150 kts at 180 kts, as the
opening shock increases in square to the speed increase, and the parachute
most likely has only been tested to 175 kts.

Nothing wrong with a 10 year old parachute, if it is properly inspected
and the fabric strength tested. Any Senior or Master Rigger does this all
the time as part of the repack. Because you are trusting your life to the
person who inspects/packs your parachute, find a GOOD local rigger, as the
parachute must be repacked every 120 days in the US. Ask around at a
local Drop Zone for recommendations; it doesn't take a lot of skill to
inspect/repack a parachute but, like everything else in life, attitude is
everything. I've packed lots of parachutes over 40 years old as long as
they are in good shape and the fabric strength tests ok, but there is a
movement afoot in the industry to put a 20 year life span on parachute
equipment. Newer parachute systems utilize a full diaper to assist in a
more effective deployment; I'd say this is a must.

The parachute of the right size for you comes in the appropriate container
style for your needs (back/seat/chair), which is a combination of where
you have space for the bulk and your size/height/length. I'm 6' 160# and
I could probably use a seat pack in my S-1D, however the previous owner
put a board over the seat pan and I am using a chairpack. It works well
for me, as I'm up high enough for best view and the chair is much easier
to climb in/out with than a seat pack. Also, with the pilot chute of a
seat pack pointing down, in theory you would need to deploy on your head
or at least 90 degrees to vertical. Chair and back is fine for head up or
body at 90 degrees to the relative wind.

In case you're wondering, I deal with parachutes as my full time
occupation.

Al MacDonald
Flying High Manufacturing inc.


"Jay Moreland" wrote in message
news[email protected]_s01...
I need advice on a pilot emergency chute. I am only a pilot and know
nothing about parachutes. I need an emergency parachute because I will be
doing aerobatics in a Pitts-like biplane: required by FAA. My weight is
#140. The altitude I will be landing if I am unlucky enough to need to use
the chute is 5400 feet. I am considering purchasing a used parachute that
I would have inspected and re-packed regularly by a professional Master
rigger.

Is buying a 10 year old parachute like a Security, Softie, Strong...etc
going to be significantly less safe than a brand new parachute? (Assuming
it checks out as OK by the Master rigger)

Is there anything to watch out for?

Are there any special tests that I need to have done on a used parachute
to know that it is still safe?

If the red-line on the aircraft is 180kts, should I worry about the
parachute being rated to only 150 knots or should I assume that I will
slow down to terminal velocity in an emergency and will only need the 150
knot capability?

What other considerations should I think of?





 




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