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 them.

7.3 The following are repairs found in Section 3 of this chapter.

7.3.1 Chest strap replacement

7.3.2 Lower leg strap shortening

7.3.3 Ripcord pocket Velcro® replacement

7.3.4 Articulated upper leg hardware replacement

7.3.5 Standard harness main lift web replacement

7.3.6 Main riser 3-ring locking loop replacement

7.3.7 Main riser steering toggle Velcro® replacement

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