Tools for Skydiving

by Chuck Robert
Skydivers can pay for safety by getting more expensive equipment.

Skydivers can pay for safety by getting more expensive equipment.

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Of course, the parachute is the most important skydiving tool, and purchasing the right one will ensure a skydiving trip ends on a positive note. Skydivers must carefully pack their parachutes into containers so they function properly when they deploy; therefore, rigger kits also come in handy. An FAA-certified parachute rigger must inspect and repackage the reserve parachute.

Rigging

The pocket Rigger Kit is used for packing and repacking parachutes, mostly for the military. The kit contains various wrenches, pins, pens, closing devices, cords, needles, threads and power tools. Skydivers use hemostats for compressing material, pulling threads and working in tight locations. These tools look like little scissors. Packing hooks are designed for packing square parachutes, making the process less exhausting. The hook lifts up the parachute so the owner can focus on folding it. Skydivers use rescue tape for storing parachutes. The tape fuses to itself, forming a seal that allows the tape to hold the parachute together. Users wrap the tape around the parachute, forming an airtight and watertight seal.

Patching

Patch rigging templates allow people to put patches on parachutes when they sustain damage. The power tool gives the user pulling leverage. Skydivers mostly use this tool for closing the main container, but it has various other benefits. The container system is the safety system that controls the deployment of a parachute.

Parachute Fabric

Parachutes usually have a main parachute and an additional reserve parachute for when the main parachute doesn't work. Skydivers do not use round parachutes very often since rectangular parachutes give users more control. Parachutes are more durable than in the past, using nylon fabric designed to survive thousands of jumps.

Cost

Skydivers can choose to rent or buy their parachutes after they have completed training. Parachutes can cost quite a bit of money, but safer parachutes usually cost more. People can buy used parachutes, but they should be from reputable dealers, and an independent rigger should inspect them. Proper parachute packing is highly important since most parachute failures result from improper packing.

Pilot Chute

Skydivers use a pilot chute to deploy their parachutes. A skydiver pulls out a small parachute, called the pilot chute, from an external pouch and throws it into the air stream. A pin, attached to a bridle, holds the main parachute. The bridle attaches to a long piece of fabric, which is connected to the pilot chute. The pilot chute pulls the pin, causing the main parachute to inflate and enter the air stream. As the parachute inflates, it creates a canopy, shaped like a wing. The parachute is designed with the front pointing down, so the parachute travels forward.

Weight

Skydivers can maximize their speed by choosing the right weight to place on the mains. They can take their weight and subtract 30 pounds to get the best weight. Loading too much weight can make a parachute fall faster and cause a skydiver to lose stability.

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