Chapter 5


1. Starting at the riser end, check the webbing for any wear or damage and inspect the stitching at the riser ends.

If the canopy has steering lines and a guide ring on the riser, make sure the ring is secure and the steering line is attached to the steering toggle correctly. With a round canopy, make sure the steering line has sufficient slack in it when under tension. If the line is too tight, it can fail at opening because of too much stretch.

2. Continue down the risers. If canopy releases are installed, check their operation. With the Capewell cable release, open the release and make sure there is no dirt or sand in the mechanism. Also, check for wear, particularly on the cable ring.

3. Check all of the harness webbing for wear both from chafing, abrasion, and sunlight degradation. Pay particular attention to the buffer and chafing strips where used to prevent wear from the hardware. These buffers are there to provide early warning before the load bearing webbing starts to wear. Check the elastic keepers so the running ends of the straps can be properly stowed.

4. Check all of the hardware, paying particular attention to the leg snaps. Quick ejectors are particularly prone to failure of the springs. Obviously, those with broken springs should be replaced. B-12 snaps are prone to having the gate sides bent to the point they will not close properly. This gate may be repaired with a screwdriver and pliers. [Figure 5-16] Straightening the side of the gate allows the snap to close properly.

5. An area of concern for many riggers, one for which there is not much guidance, is how much plating wear and associated corrosion of the hardware is allowable. This depends on the location of the damage. If it is a solid ring or buckle, and the damage has occurred from dragging or abrasion in an area that is not in contact with webbing, one solution is to clean the rust with a fine emery cloth and cover it with clear nail polish. This keeps the area from continued rusting. It will not, however, prevent further damage caused by the original rusting. If the rusting is caused by two pieces of hardware interacting with each other, the problem is more serious. If allowed to continue, the rust pattern may cause the two pieces to fuse together under the most severe conditions. In this case, the hardware must be removed and replaced. If the hardware in contact with webbing, such as a leg strap adapter, becomes corroded, it must be replaced. This problem frequently arises when the parachute is exposed to salt water and not properly rinsed. The hardware will rust inside the leg strap webbing causing accelerated wear and must definitely be replaced. [Figure 5-17]

6. The ripcord housing and pocket should be checked for wear and fit of the ripcord. On the housing, check the ends and the ferrules. On more modern assemblies, these ferrules are brass and more susceptible to wear than the MILSPEC types. Look inside to make sure there are no obstructions to interfere with the ripcord. The ripcord pocket may be elastic, VelcroŽ, or a military style with a spring to hold in the ripcord. Whichever type, make sure the ripcord is held securely, yet at the same time make sure it is not too tight so the ripcord can be removed easily. Also, check the tackings that hold the housing and pocket.

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