By Jessie Thompson for Sun Path Products
Photos by Elliot Byrd.
If you are a USPA-licensed skydiver, you may remember the equipment section on your A-License Proficiency Card. That was the part of the student program in which you learned to pack a main parachute (which may have seemed a daunting task at first but has likely become second nature). One of the requirements in that section was to perform manufacturer-recommended owner service on a canopy-release system. You’ve probably packed a lot of parachutes and have become comfortable with the task, but when was the last time you performed the manufacturer’s recommended owner maintenance to your gear? If you had to think about it, then it is probably time for you to do it.
Every time you jump and pack, your gear collects dirt and grime. The climate and conditions you jump in will affect the severity of the wear on your gear. To ensure that you have gear that functions properly and looks good for many jumps to come, it is important to maintain it. Federal Aviation Administration-certified parachute riggers should perform a full inspection of your gear when they repack your reserve, but this may happen only twice a year unless you have a cutaway. Between repack cycles, it is important that you are performing your own inspections after every jump and performing regular maintenance.
Harness-and-container system manufacturer Sun Path Products recommends performing owner maintenance on your 3-ring cutaway system at least once a month. Here is a step-by-step guide for this maintenance, which the company recommends performing under the direct supervision of your local rigger or instructor the first few times to ensure correct reinstallation of your cutaway cables and 3-ring assembly. A video of the steps as performed on a new Sun Path Javelin Odyssey is available on YouTube.
About the Author
Jessie Thompson, D-32935, is a marketing rep for Sun Path Products and made her first jump in 2010. She is a current tandem and AFF instructor, holds a PRO rating and is an FAA Senior Rigger. In her spare time she loves jumping, yoga and adventuring.