Senior Parachute Rigger Certification School

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The one and only ChutingStar Senior Parachute Rigger Certification School!

More than 100 riglets have trained and tested to become Senior or Master FAA Parachute Riggers with ChutingStar since 2008.

Eight-Day Senior Rigger Course to prepare you for the Senior Rigger Written, Oral and Practical tests for the Back-type certification. Additional ratings for Seat & Chest type are available but will require extra preparation or time and additional training/testing costs. 

The full course and testing time is over 12 days, but that includes a weekend and testing days. So the general schedule is:

  • The first Monday-Friday is Rigger Training, Packing & Repair work
  • Saturday/Sunday is off unless you're behind in your pack jobs or repair skills
  • Monday/Tuesday is more Rigger Training, Packing & Repair work
  • Wednesday is the FAA Knowledge Test day, which may be either be combined with more training and/or the start of the Oral/Practical Testing
  • Thursday/Friday is Oral/Practical Testing
  • Your course ends once you've taken the Oral/Practical Test. So depending on your testing day/time, the last day for your course is either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of the 2nd week, since testing is done one at a time.

ChutingStar's Mike Gruwell is the Designated Parachute Rigger Examiner for the Atlanta-area. Mike, and the staff of ChutingStar riggers (including Master Rigger Steve Haseman and Senior Rigger Henry Kochen), teach senior rigger candidates all the basic rigging skills. 

At the end of the course, you can complete all the testing and leave with your rigger certification (if you pass the testing). We will have the local FSDO inspector at ChutingStar to sign-off the completed 8610-2 forms at the end of the school. Then you can take the written test at an FAA testing facility just 10 minutes away. Once the written is passed, we will start the Oral & Practical testing at ChutingStar, administered by DPRE Mike Gruwell.

The rigging school course fee does not include:

  • The FAA written test is $165, which is paid separately prior to the start of the course.
  • The Senior Parachute Rigger Oral & Practical Test is $350, which is paid separately to ChutingStar.
  • Parachute Rigging Tools to keep (you do have use of our tools during the course, and you can purchase tools before, during or after the course)
  • The Parachute Rigger Seal Press (purchased after passing all testing)

The course fee does include and cover:

  • ChutingStar Parachute Rigging Course Book
  • Backpack filled with ChutingStar and manufacturer giveaways
  • All pre-test training with a Master FAA Parachute Rigger
  • Use of ChutingStar Rigging Loft, School Rigs, Sewing Machines and Tools

Topics covered in the school include:

  • Square Reserve Assembly, Inspection and Packing: Container/parachute/AAD inspections, compatibility, assembly procedures, line trim, flaking, packing, closing techniques and paperwork. A variety of rigs and parachutes will be available.
  • Round Emergency Parachute Inspection and Packing: Round canopy assembly, inspections, compatibility, TS 108 testing, closing loop manufacturing, owner’s manual overview, flaking, packing, closing techniques and paperwork.
  • Basic Sewing Machine Operation and Maintenance: Machine types, thread types, bobbin winding, threading, needles, tension, stitch locking, materials, feeding, jumpsuit repairs, small parts manufacturing and trouble-shooting.
  • Minor Parachute and Container Repairs and Maintenance: Topics include container washing, parachute cleaning, hand tacking, container repairs, grommet removal/setting, line replacements, canopy repairs and canopy patching.

The course is held in the ChutingStar Rigging Loft, located on the 2nd floor of our shop and warehouse at 1349 Old 41 Hwy NW, Suite 105, Marietta GA 30060.

Prerequisites before registering for the ChutingStar Rigging School course: 

  • 18 years old
  • Read, write, speak and understand English
  • Be comfortable and well-versed in packing a sport main canopy
  • Minimum 2 years of sport jumping history

Some candidates come with zero supervised reserve pack jobs, some come with the 20 already logged and something in-between. All of those scenarios work well with our course as we will tailor the course to fit your skill needs, so that at the end you have all the pack jobs, repair skills and basic FAA knowledge needed to take the tests.

To learn more on the process to become a parachute rigger, read the articles linked below from DPRE and Master Rigger Mike Gruwell on the ChutingStar Blog.

So You Wanna Be A Parachute Rigger?

Reflections on ChutingStar Rigging School

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Price $1,900.00
Brand ChutingStar
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  1. Absolutely worth the trip to Georgia
    I attended the course in the beginning of 2021. There are cheaper ways to get a rigger's ticket, but cheaper ≠ better.

    I showed up without any reserve pack jobs. It was difficult for me to find a rigger willing to take the time to observe and teach me around where I live (and I understand why, it's pretty time consuming). Despite this, Big Steve did a great job of giving us the time to complete our pack jobs, while also teaching the things we needed to know for the practical test.

    He does a great job of providing helpful feedback and techniques without forcing people to do it exactly his way, and without making anyone feel bad about their mistakes. We are there to learn after all :)

    I'm going into the written and practical tests feeling confident in my ability to do the things I need to pass.

    I'm so grateful that I took this course and learned this way instead of putting the pieces together from different riggers. It was well worth the trip to Georgia and I have a feeling I'll be back to spend some more time the air!

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  2. Highly recommend attending
    I was one of two that attended a 2018 course.

    This whole course was great! Steve Haseman was our main instructor. He's awesome! Mike and the rest of the Chutingstar team were also great!

    I would recommend this course to anyone that wants to become a parachute rigger that has a solid understanding of main parachutes (packing, anatomy). Experience with sewing and rounds is not necessary - you will learn.

    One great benefit of attending the course is that you will have a network of Steve and Mike at Chutingstar that are just a text away. They are both very responsive and have helped me with various questions I've had following the course.

    It won't be easy. There were a few late nights, and it's physically demanding (especially for those first few pack jobs). But it was very rewarding, and actually quite fun!

    Protip: Weeks before you attend, purchase the parachute rigging mobile app by Dauntless! iOS and Android. It's expensive, but what's an extra $50 after $2,000 for the course? It's a wonderful study tool to get book work completed so you can focus on hands-on stuff during your time in the loft.

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    Posted on

  3. This is the must!
    I attended the course in 2011. It was just amazing ... lovely instructors, Mike, Jack, Warren, William ...

    They keep the tradition of good teaching style and family-like support.

    Diving into rigging, you will become a part of the family.

    Now, I'm one of the instructors ... everyone will be shown not just packing but a bit more! You will get the full cycle of providing the unbiased service, from the call by support onboard ...

    Join our family!

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