Chapter 2


Accomplished design skills are not necessary for the rigger to properly service parachutes. The skills involved to become a designer can take several years of training and practice. It is necessary, however, that the rigger understands some of the basic concepts to relate the performance characteristics to the design theory of the components involved. For the average rigger, these concepts are accepted as those proven and tested in the finished product. The following are specific areas that the rigger should understand to determine the identity, function, and assembly of parachute components and their interaction.


All riggers should become familiar with Parachute Industry Association (PIA) Technical Standard 100 (TS- 100), Standardized Nomenclature for Ram-Air Inflated Gliding Parachutes (See Appendix I). This document is the official language and terminology used for ram-air parachutes. It specifies the parts of the parachute, the various construction methods, and the seam configurations used. This is necessary for the rigger to understand the manuals and repair procedures provided by the manufacturers for their products.

Figure 2-4 identifies the components of a typical round emergency parachute. The nomenclature of this design has remained constant for several decades with a few exceptions. While some riggers who skydive think that the square parachute has replaced it, the round parachute still has many uses and in certain instances fulfills some mission requirements better than the square. Poynter’s Parachute Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 8, provides an excellent discussion of the design parameters and characteristics of round parachutes for those needing more technical background.

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