Chapter 4


Advisory Circular (AC) 105-2—Sport Parachute Jumping states that, “the assembly or mating of approved parachute components from different manufacturers may be made by a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger or parachute loft in accordance with the parachute manufacturer’s instructions and without further authorization by the manufacturer or the FAA. Specifically, when various parachute components are interchanged, the parachute rigger should follow the canopy manufacturer’s instructions as well as the parachute container manufacturer’s instructions. However, the container manufacturer’s instructions take precedence when there is a conflict between the two.” This allows the rigger to assemble different canopies to different harness and container systems. This is an important ability for today’s rigger in that there are dozens of possible combinations.

Determining compatibility is more than simply determining the volume compatibility of a canopy to a container size. Other factors, which need to be considered, are the deployment type, TSO certification, and placard limitations.


The most important criteria in determining compatibility is the volume of the canopy. The canopy has to fit into the container in such a manner as to not place undue stress on the system when packing, and to be extracted by the pilot chute during deployment. The container manufacturer usually provides a volume chart of their systems stating what the volumes are for the various model sizes. The canopy manufacturer should provide the volumes of the canopy models. Measuring canopy volumes has proven to be an imprecise science as there are various methods that can be used. The most common method involves placing the canopy in a tubular chamber and compressing it with a standard amount of weight for a set time. The displaced volume is then measured. Figure 4-48 shows the official Parachute Industry Association (PIA) volume chamber. The PIA has measured canopy volumes since 1984 and publishes a chart of canopy volumes in their TS-104, Canopy Volume Study. While some canopy manufacturers disagree with the resultant numbers, most container manufacturers and riggers agree that it is an independent test method and use this chart to determine volume compatibility.

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