Care of your pilot emergency parachute system

General

Care of your parachute can be broken down into 2 areas..... while donning and wearing, or while storing it when not being worn.

When donning or wearing your parachute, consider exposure to Ultraviolet rays.  Don't leave the parachute sitting in the sun, as UV exposure damages the nylon fabric, and damage is accumulative.  For that matter, your plexiglass canopy doesn't protect your parachute against U.V. rays either, so consider a colour that is a little less prone to UV damage (the red end of the spectrum is the worst).

Most engine powered aircraft tend to leak some oil, so don't rub up against the aircraft with your parachute.

Watch out for sharp edges when entering or exiting your aircraft with your parachute on.  Your parachute makes you bigger so you must now think for both of you.

While the nylon container is strong, abrasion damage is easily done.  Parachutes are expensive; don't drag them at all.

Battery acid eats nylon fabric in a hurry, and acidic fumes from a battery aren't any better.  Keep your parachute away from batteries or a battery environment.... one drop of sulphuric acid will eat away at your container, and then the parachute inside, until the acid is neutralized.



Storage

Consider where your parachute will be stored when not in use.  The perfect place is where there are no extreme temperature changes, low humidity, no potential of physical damage and no chance of rodents (or inquisitive children).  One good place is the top shelf of a home closet in a clear garbage bag (clear so no one tries to toss out the garbage) and another is in a "Tupperware" tub.

The trunk of a black car can get hot enough to melt the rubber bands holding your line stows.  An old battery in a trunk can give off fumes that can destroy your parachute in short order.    Leaving it in the aircraft cockpit over winter could end up with it becoming a home to a family of mice that like nylon with a dried perspiration coating.  Large temperature changes can induce moisture condensing on metal hardware inside, causing corrosion.  The parachute is a life saving device and should be treated with the utmost respect.

Many owners take their parachutes to the local rigger over the winter so it's been inspected, repacked and is ready to go for the summer season.

 

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