Skydiving is exciting and intense, but it’s also safe. Experienced professional will make sure parachute is properly packed, but the basics of proper parachute packaging are not as complex as you might think. The key is to properly pack the parachute to open when you need it. To do this, they need to ensure that the lines are untangled, that the parts of the canopy are washed (separated), that the parachute is properly folded and that the lines are laid down.
Each manufacturer recommends its own procedure, although there is no significant difference. There are several types of bags. So these differences mainly relate to the order and manner of stacking the rope and the packed parachute. The essence of the efficient and fast opening of the parachute is provided by packing the dome by bending it in zig-zag, first lengthwise, then transversely, to the dimensions of the bag and stacking parallel ropes in eight.
Carefully spread the dome, remove the rubber bands and untangle the ropes. We throw away the erasers immediately, so that we don’t accidentally use them again. We check for foreign bodies, insects, thorns, burdock, spots and the like. All this indicates the conditions of exploitation, treatment and future consequences.
Dropping the canopy
We inspect each segment in detail, both sides and the joints, the threads on the stitches. There must be no stretched or hanging threads. The surface must be without noticeable damage, uniform in color, without inscriptions and stickers.
Rolling the tail
All fields at the edge joints have reinforcement, to which the rope is connected. Check these reinforcements additionally by tightening or hanging a load of 30 kg. There are no visible consequences of testing on a correct parachute. If there are 20 ropes, they can safely withstand a load of 600 kg, or a deceleration of 6-8 G.
Overlap and charge
Check the similarity of the length of the rope and in case of a larger deviation of 20 mm, especially check the condition of the stretched rope and its joints with the dome and the collective strap. Try to stretch and if you notice increased elasticity, or a permanent increase in length, replace it.
Putting lines inside of a bag
Fold the parallel ropes once to the width of the bag and place them next to the folded dome. We pass an auxiliary cotton “shoelace” through the loop on the first edge of the bag. It should be cotton fibre because it does not heat and does not damage the ropes when pulling. Tighten the loop, fix the folds and the shape of the tightly packed dome and thread the folded ropes through the loop. The ropes must be parallel and precisely bent. So that only a part of the length up to 50 mm passes through the loop.
When tightening the rope, the folded part is pulled out of the loop on the bag, the bag is opened and the dome of the parachute falls out. If there is no interference and there is enough air flow, the parachute opens safely. Test activation is required. There is a very small possibility that we made a mistake somewhere, but the skydiver’s experience is more important for the exercise, that he releases the spare parachute by pulling. This movement should be repeated in various positions, bent, with the other hand and lying down, in order to gain a reflex, which saves the head. The whole process of unpacking, inspecting, feeling and packing a parachute is a necessary experience.