Parachute Rigging

Parachute Rigging Blog Advice at ChutingStar Skydiving Gear SuperStore! ChutingStar Master and Senior Parachute Rigger Articles.

  1. Canopy Patching Simplified

    (Originally published in Skydiving Magazine)

    Learning how to patch torn canopies was a trial and error process for me when I first got into parachute rigging. I had to sew a so-called "basic patch" in rigging school on a damaged piece of fabric, but that in no way prepared me for working on real damaged parachutes when I bought my first sewing machine.

    I would probably be embarrassed if I ever came across my first 20-30 patches. Opening a drop zone loft meant I got enough practice and work that I just eventually became proficient at patching damaged canopies. But it took me about a year, 30-plus patches, and several visits to other riggers for lessons, tips and tricks to get to that point.

    Fast-forward to now and I'm very comfortable, efficient and fairly fast at patching a damaged canopy. Yet I see the same pain and frustration in other rigging students or riggers who don't patch canopies very often. So when Red Payne of Flight Concepts called me about a set of canopy patching tools he had helped develop, I jumped all over purchasing a set.

    EZ-Patch Template
    EZ-Patch Template

    The canopy patching tools, called EZ Patch, are actually a set of 2 square templates to use on a variety of different damage areas on a parachute. The metal templates have two rows of holes on each side along with a 45-degree angle slit on the inside of each corner.

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  2. Parachute Rigging Services Info

    Assembling, inspecting, packing and repairing skydiving gear is our bread and butter, per se. ChutingStar Skydiving Gear SuperStore actually started out as ChutingStar Rigging Loft focused solely on parachute rigging. We now service, sell and support everything related to skydiving.

    Since 1999, we've had local skydivers and pilots dropping off gear for reserve repacks, main relines and gear inspections, as well as helping manufacturers with service bulletin work. Skydiving rigs and emergency pilot parachutes are shipped to us from all over the United States every week (and right back out when finished).

    FAA Master Rigger Steve Haseman leads ChutingStar Rigging Loft, and is available Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at our Marietta shop. You can also catch him on the weekends at Skydive Monroe.

    Gear can be dropped off at ChutingStar, shipped to us or handed to Steve at Skydive Monroe.

    A list of the more requested services are on our current ChutingStar Rigging Loft Gear Service Order Form (at this link), which also has our current prices.

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  3. So You Wanna Be A Parachute Rigger?

    Packing parachutes while all of your friends are jumping out of airplanes all day or packing late into the night while they relax and party doesn't seem to make sense to most skydivers. But only riggers know the internal rewards of the mostly thankless profession of parachute rigging.

    FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft.
    FAA Master Parachute Riggers Steve, Mike & Vitaly at ChutingStar Rigging Loft.
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  4. Reflections On ChutingStar Rigging School

    As we wrapped up our final ChutingStar Parachute Rigging School course for 2019, I ended up placing this group's canopy patch right above our first course patch from 2008. Detailed memories of that first course 11 years ago are starting to fade, but fresh in my mind are all of those riggers and riggers-to-be who birthed what the ChutingStar Rigging Family has become today.

    With the help of the late great Hell Yeah Jack Hammer and ultra detail-oriented Ryan Vosser, we kicked off the first-ever ChutingStar Rigging School in 2008 by pouring all of our knowledge, tips and tricks into John Barnes, Warren Cleary and John Dean. Warren, who didn't technically sign-up for the course, was woken up from the bunkhouse that morning and was told he had to take the course. Ha! He would later work for ChutingStar, become the lead instructor for our rigging courses for several years and earn his Master Rigger certificate. Continue reading

  5. Vigil Battery Replacements At Manufacturer Only

    In case you missed the change back in January 2017, Advanced Aerospace Designs is now requiring all versions of the Vigil AAD units to have the battery replaced at AAD Belgium or Vigil America.

    The Vigil II, 2+ and Cuatro battery has a lifespan of +/- 5 years or minimum 2000 jumps and must be replaced at 10 years.

    Information bulletins on battery replacements and servicing can be found at these links:

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  6. Using The ChutingStar Rigger Closing Hook

    ChutingStar's Rigger Closing Hook is a unique parachute rigging tool used for closing reserve containers.

    Those who have attended a ChutingStar Rigger School Course or one of our Parachute Industry Association Symposium Seminars, have seen up close how the tool is used.  But if you haven't, the tool isn't exactly self-explainable.

    So here's a short video on how it's attached to the pullup cord and how a parachute rigger uses it for closing the reserve container.

    How To Use The ChutingStar Rigger Pullup Hook from ChutingStar.

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  7. Which Parachute Rigger Press Seals the Deal?

    Over the years, ChutingStar Parachute Riggers have used a wide variety of seal presses. Some of these were commonly available and others were obtained with long searching, persistent inquiries and the utmost patience (it took one year to get a unique press from Germany). ChutingStar started selling Parachute Rigging Seal Presses to our rigging students, and then later, to riggers worldwide once we found a quality press and engraver. It must be a tough business as over the past 20 years, we've seen a few seal press manufacturers come and go.  Continue reading
  8. CYPRES: Cutter Replacement

    The cutter on a CYPRES2 can be replaced by your local rigger. The cutter should be replaced if damaged and/or if it is fired.

    To replace the cutter, turn off the CYPRES2 unit. Unplug the cutter. Plug in the new cutter.

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  9. CYPRES2: Filter Replacement

    The CYPRES2 is waterproof for up to 24 hours down to 5 feet. If the unit gets wet, the filter must be replaced.

    You will need a water filter replacement tool from Airtec and a new filter. Place the tool onto the filter and twist counterclockwise to remove the older filter. Dry any remaining water where the water filter is located.

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  10. Vigil II: Battery Replacement

    Note: Vigil Manufacturer, AAD, no longer supplies batteries for replacement by the user or riggers. Vigil owners must now send their units into Vigil America or AAD to have the battery replaced (see here). These instructions below were made when the batteries were available separately. The Vigil II battery is designed to last a minimum of 2000 jumps. The manufacturer recommends replacement at 5 years and mandates replacement at 10 years.
    Vigil II: Battery Replacement Vigil II: Battery Replacement
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