Parachute Packing Error

Steve Purdie's picture

I just repacked an Independence Annular EVO reserve which was last repacked by the owner under supervision at the Zip Slide event before Christmas.

The reserve had been folded at 90 degrees to the design plane. i.e. folded like an Apco Mayday, rather than the intended short concertina folds.

When packed in this manner the reserve opening will be delayed and it is not impossible that it will fail to deploy.

If you packed your reserve like this, please refer to me, The Loft or any Independence dealer for advice on how to do it properly.

The correct manual is very clear on how to pack the reserve.

Steve Purdie
SHGC Safety Officer

www.airworks.co.uk

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Steve Purdie's picture

Manual

After looking at the manual for this reserve I can only surmise that the pilots used the wrong manual. Consequently, I have changed the last line of my SO:

Changed '
The manual is not overly clear on how to pack the reserve. This is intentional to prevent inexperienced people doing so unsupervised.'

To 'The correct manual is very clear on how to pack the reserve. '

TTFN
SteveP

----------------------------------
AIRWORKS PARAGLIDING & HANG GLIDING
The Old Station
Glynde
BN8 6SS

info@airworks.co.uk
www.airworks.co.uk

steveu's picture

Incident report forms

Hi all,

Problems you have encountered with reserve manuals that have or could lead to incorrect packing should be reported via Incident Report Forms.

When the manufacturer is shown the Incident Report Forms (with personal details removed by the BHPA before on passing) then they will be forced to rectify the problems.

A classic reason to use said IRFs.

SteveU.
HG/PG.

Lucho's picture

I wouldn't know how

I wouldn't know how deliberate it is of Independence. I always repacked my Independence Seven-Up (which is a notorious b*tch) and never had issues. The manual isn't the clearest but once you get into the mind set of a geeky German with poor social & communication skills you find all the information you need is there. :)

My advice to people packing their own reserves is;
Learn from a pro.
Be methodical, be slow, be meticulous.
Don't be satisfied having done it once, pack it, throw it and repeat.
Repack regularly.

Bernard's Zip wire has always been a great opportunity for this.

Even if you repacked professionally afterwards it is good to be educated in what goes on under your butt because ultimately it's your ass that's on the line - literally!

"The manual isn't the

"The manual isn't the clearest but once you get into the mind set of a geeky German with poor social & communication skills you find all the information you need is there."

Not in the case of my Piccolo; as I said, some parts are never mentioned in the manual.

Bernard T's picture

Repacking Reserves

Bernard T.

It's very difficult for me to comment on this, as I don't personally do the repacking. However, I CAN say that John and Ross bend over backwards at our Zip Wire & Repack days to ensure that everyone's reserves are fitted correctly and that people are assisted and happy at each stage of the repacking process. Their patience and attention to detail is sometimes beyond belief, and it's why I limit the number of people attending these events to ensure that everyone is given sufficient time and goes home more knowledgeable and confident.

However, nothing in our sport is guaranteed to always be 100% perfect, neither in our decision making or in the equipment we employ. That is human nature and the nature of the sport. Errors and malfunctions, no matter how small, will always eventually occur, and we constantly strive to examine how, why and if they did occur and eliminate them. Certainly at the numerous ZW&R events we've held, roughly 1 in 20 reserves thrown illuminates an error in the packing - usually something small to cause a delay in depolyment rather than total malfunction, and that's just too many errors to my mind, which is why we run the ZW&R events in the first place. Ocassionaly we find absolute howlers, like the pilot with the reserve handle tied to the harness, the reserve repacked inside out, and the (so-called 'professionally repacked') reserve with the lines so tightly looped around the mouth of the bag that even heavily shaking it would not allow the canopy to drop free.

As I said, I don't actually do the repacking myself, though I do try to watch, comment and assist where appropriate, when not operating the zip wire. So I will have to leave it to John or Ross to comment further.

However, your comment '...the manual is not overly clear on how to pack the reserve. This is intentional to prevent inexperienced people doing so unsupervised...' was rather interesting. I doubt the manufacturers would agree with you that they deliberately produce a manual that lacks clarity and information to deter the more inexperienced from conducting repacking of their reserve. This would potentially present them with a legal nightmare, as it could be argued that they did not supply sufficient and appropriate information in the safe use of their product. Obviously repacking needs to be done by certified repackers or under expert supervision. There are good manuals and poor manuals.....but a manual to dissuade people from using it is a contradiction in terms.

Bernard T.

I tried, a while ago, to

I tried, a while ago, to repack my Independence Piccolo myself, and I can confirm that the manual leaves out several steps. For instance, the elastic loops on the inner bag are not mentioned in the manual at all. I was unable to pack the reserve so that it would fit into the inner and outer bag -- nor in a way that would have left me confident about whether I'd done it right. So I got the Loft to do it.

If the aim is to discourage unqualified owners from packing the reserve, I think it's very silly, because many will still try (if, for example, they're somewhere where no qualified packer is available). Also, qualified packers should surely have access to the exact instructions for every model of reserve.

I later repacked it at the club repack, and I THINK I did it right! I'd better throw it and see.