SEALING THE PARACHUTE
As noted previously, each certificated parachute rigger is
issued a seal symbol with which each parachute is sealed
once he/she packs it in a manner prescribed by the
manufacturer. This ensures that no one tampers with the
parachute and the owner knows that it is ready for use.
As with other airman certificates, there are additional
parts of 14 CFR that are of direct concern to the parachute
rigger in addition to those already mentioned. It is
important that the parachute rigger have a thorough
understanding of these parts in order to avoid any
inadvertent non-compliance: 14 CFR parts 1, 21, 39, 91,
105, and 183.
14 CFR PART 1—DEFINITIONS
This part provides legal definitions for words and abbreviations
under this title. One of the more important terms
in this part is that of the Administrator. The Administrator
is the administrative head of the Federal Aviation
Administration or any employee of the Federal Aviation
Administration to whom authority has been delegated.
The parachute rigger is most likely to come in contact
with two individuals who may act on the Administrator’s
The first is the Aviation Safety Inspector from the local
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or International
Field Office (IFO). This employee of the Federal Aviation
Administration is responsible for enforcement of the
Code of Federal Regulations in aviation matters. The
Aviation Safety Inspector (airworthiness type) has jurisdictional
responsibility in such matters as: compliance
with the rule, approving data for major repairs or alterations,
investigation of accidents, overseeing airshows
and demo jumps, or any aviation related matter.
The second is the local Designated Parachute Rigger
Examiner (DPRE). This private person is empowered to
conduct practical tests for the Administrator.
14 CFR PART 21 SUBPART O—TECHNICAL
STANDARD ORDERS (TSO)
A Technical Standard Order (TSO) is issued by the
Administrator and is a minimum performance standard
for specified articles, such as parachutes. It is important
that the parachute rigger understand the TSO process and
the various levels of TSO approval under which
parachutes are manufactured. Every parachute rigger should read and become familiar with the technical
standard orders for parachutes, the 23 series (C23b,
C23c, C23d). This is important to the parachute rigger in
determining certification compatibility when he/she is
assembling approved components.
14 CFR PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS
This part specifically deals with Airworthiness
Directives (ADs). An AD is an amendment to the Code
of Federal Regulations. An AD must be complied with
before using an affected product. In the case of a parachute,
• an unsafe condition exists in a product.
• the condition is likely to exist or develop in other products
of the same type or design.
Under 14 CFR part 39, “No person may operate a
product to which an airworthiness directive applies
except in accordance with the requirements of that
In recent years, there have been a number of parachute
ADs issued by the Administrator. These ADs prescribe
certain actions to be taken by the parachute rigger in
order to ensure the safety and function of parachutes that
have been found in some manner to be defective. If the
parachute rigger does not comply with the AD, the
parachute rigger cannot pack, maintain, or alter the
affected parachute. ADs are mailed to each certificated
parachute rigger on the FAA listing. If the parachute
rigger has moved and not complied with the requirements
for an address change, the rigger may not receive the AD.
This introduces an additional problem. Under 14 CFR
part 65, subpart A—General, section 65.21, airmen must
register their change of address within 30 days of moving
or they are not able to exercise the privileges of their
14 CFR PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING
AND FLIGHT RULES
Section 91.307 deals with parachutes and parachuting.
This section defines an “approved parachute” and states
the repack time for parachutes. Both of these are of vital
interest to the parachute rigger.
14 CFR PART 105 SUBPART C—
PARACHUTE EQUIPMENT AND PACKING
This part deals with the use of parachutes in the United
States. The following areas are of interest to parachute
•Main parachutes used for intentional jumping must be
packed by the person jumping or by a U.S. certificated
• The auxiliary parachute must be packed by a certificated
and appropriately rated parachute rigger.
• If the parachute is made from synthetic materials, it
must be packed within 120 days of its use. If it is made
from materials subject to mold or mildew, then it must
be packed within 60 days of use.
• If a main static line is used, it must meet certain
requirements as to its use and configuration.
• An approved parachute is defined as a parachute
manufactured under a type certificate or a Technical
Standard Order (C-23 series), or a personnel-carrying
U.S. military parachute (other than a high altitude,
high speed, or ejection type) identified by a Navy Air
Facility, an Army Air Field, and Air Force-Navy
drawing number, an Army Air Field order number, or
any military designation or specification number.