Chapter 5


One of the most important parts of the packing process is the requirement to keep proper records. 14 CFR, section 65.131 specifies the information the rigger is required to document. There are two forms of required records. The first is the rigger’s logbook. While the exact format is up to the rigger, there are commercially produced logbooks available that provide space for the required notations. The second required record is the parachute data card. Both of these items have been addressed in Chapter 1— Regulations and Human Factors.

There are several items of interest regarding the parachute data card. In the past, the data cards usually had information only for the identity of the parachute canopy, which is the primary component of the assembly. In recent years, with the growth of sport parachuting, this configuration is no longer standard. With the proliferation of many makes and models of canopies and harness and containers, and the ability to interchange components, it is necessary to document the harness and container as well. The data card shown in Chapter 1, Figure 1-8 has multiple identification spaces. With the widespread use of AADs, it has now become necessary to document the information required by the manufacturer such as the service cycle and battery life. The newest cards have provisions for this information.

With the ability to interchange components, what does the rigger do when a reserve canopy is removed from an assembly? Where does the data card go? This is a somewhat gray area, but the common practice is for the card to remain with the canopy. If the harness and container have had work done that requires documentation, it may be necessary for the rigger to fill out a duplicate card with the appropriate notations as to the work done on the harness. Riggers should make sure that they note that this card is a copy of the original.

Finally, riggers are tasked with noting their name and certificate number on the data card. In many cases, this information is illegible. Riggers who take pride and responsibility in their profession, and the work they do, have no hesitation in letting the public know who did the work. Accordingly, many riggers have a permanent ink stamp with their name, certificate number, and seal symbol that they use to stamp the card and then countersign it. This is the mark of a truly professional rigger. While the seal symbol is not required on the data card, it allows anyone to check the signature against the seal on the parachute.

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