Keep an Eye Out | Pierced Reserve Flap
Keep An Eye Out | Apr 05, 2024
Keep an Eye Out | Pierced Reserve Flap

USPA Staff

USPA encourages skydivers who come across a rigging, packing or other equipment issue to send photos and information to safety@uspa.org for possible inclusion in this column.


During a pre-jump gear check of this Velocity Skydiving Equipment Infinity container, a jumper discovered that the reserve pin had pierced through the lower part of the reserve flap, creating a hole that locked it in place. The previous repack of the rig revealed no signs of this problem, suggesting the issue developed unnoticed over a short period of time. Multiple camera flyers used this rig as a backup rig, and it held the largest possible reserve for that model of container. The reserve size made it difficult to properly secure the flap’s nose into the small pocket designed for it. A packer had once noted that the feature on this rig that protects the reserve pin also necessitates precise placement of the pin.

Although a rigger felt certain that the flap would have released if the reserve handle were pulled, any circumstance that would impede deployment of a reserve poses considerable risk to the jumper. This incident serves as a stark reminder of why pre-jump gear checks are crucial to safety. Jumpers must stay aware of any peculiarities of the equipment they are using, and understand the implications of choices such as using the largest reserve possible for a container. This situation also underscores the unpredictability of equipment wear and tear, especially when multiple people frequently use the gear. 

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