Harness repairs are almost always a major repair.
Consequently, they are master rigger work. About the
only repairs open to a senior rigger are replacement of
ripcord pockets and Velcro®; and replacement of hand
tackings for ripcords, comfort pads, 3-ring housings,
and other hardware. Major harness repairs are the most
critical maintenance operations a rigger can perform on
a parachute assembly. Even seemingly innocuous
repairs, if done incorrectly, can have fatal consequences.
Depending on the type of harness design,
repairs to the harness main lift web or leg straps involve
major repair or remanufacture.
According to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
subsections 65.129 (e) and (f), “No certificated parachute
rigger may – (e) Pack, maintain, or alter a parachute in
any manner that deviates from procedures approved by
the Administrator or the manufacturer of the parachute;
or (f) Exercise the privileges of his certificate and type
rating unless he understands the current manufacturer's
instructions for the operation involved...” In other words,
because this operation is a major repair, the person doing
the work must be a currently certificated master parachute
rigger with the appropriate ratings.
In the past, many master riggers felt that they were
empowered to undertake almost any task. The attitude
was, “We can lift the TSO label, build a new harness, and
put the TSO label back on.” This is not the case. Just
because an individual has a master rigger license does not
mean he or she is qualified to undertake a complex repair.There are four primary areas of concern that need to be
addressed in any repair program. They are:
1. Inspection, damage identification, and repair planning.
2. Teardown and cleanup.
3. Preparation and reconstruction.
4. Quality Control inspection and record keeping.
Main risers are components that are subject to extreme
wear and tear. The only items that are practical for
repair are the 3-ring locking loops and the toggle
mounting/Velcro® assembly. Once the webbing begins
to show wear, it is more practical to replace than repair
7.3 The following are repairs found in Section 3 of this