Chapter 5


1. Starting at the lower surface of the canopy, check the line attachment loops and their associated bar tacks. Follow the line downward to the cascade junction, if applicable, and check the bar tack at this location. Continue down the line to the connector links and check the bottom loop and bar tack.

2. Starting at the top and working your way downward, inspect the steering lines. Check all junctions and bar tacks, paying particular attention to the brake loops. Check the security of the steering toggles to ensure the correct attachment method is followed. If the toggles are improperly tied, they may come off when the jumper deploys the brakes. Make sure the toggle matches the size of the brake loops. If they are too large, they may hang up and not release when needed. For compatibility, the toggles should be those supplied with the harness and container.

3. If Rapide® links are used on the canopy, check them as set forth in the section on round canopies. The link orientation and tightness will be the same. Some canopy manufacturers provide and prescribe the use of “slider bumpers” with their canopies. These are made from either webbing or from vinyl or rubber tubing and are designed to protect the grommets of the slider from impacting the connector links during deployment. If these bumpers are used, it is recommended that they be tacked in such a manner that they cannot slide up the lines and interfere with the slider during deployment. [Figure 5-24]

4. A new type of connector link, called the “soft link,” has been approved for use with certain reserve canopies. [Figure 5-25] Manufactured from Spectra® line, they loop through the bottom of the suspension line and the end of the reserve riser. The strength of these soft links far exceeds that of the metal links when installed properly. If installed on the reserve, the rigger should have the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the correct installation.


1. When inspecting the harness, start at the riser end, checking the condition of the webbing and stitching. Pay particular attention to the security of the steering line guide rings and the method of stowing the excess steering line. If these guide rings fail, it can result in fatal consequences to the user.

2. Check all of the hardware on the harness in the same manner detailed in the pilot emergency parachute section in this chapter (page 5-5).

3. Check the canopy release system for wear and operation. The release in almost universal use today is the 3-Ring® release system. [Figure 5-26] With this system, it is imperative that the rigger also checks the release cable housings for security and cleanliness. Without proper maintenance, this system can be subject to hard pull forces and the inability to release properly. Since the successful operation of the reserve deployment is somewhat dependent on cleanly releasing the main, a properly operating release system is necessary. The primary areas for inspection are the release locator Velcro® on the harness and the cable housings. Check the housing ends for sharp edges on the inside of the grommets. If the housings are tacked to the harness, make sure these are secure. If the customer did not bring the main canopy with the reserve, the rigger should encourage the customer to at least bring the 3-Ring® release handle in for inspection and service.

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