Preflight of your Parachute

Before donning your parachute and getting into the cockpit, do a preflight check on your parachute system as well.  It is quick and easy to do, and should be done before each flight.    Here's what to check:

The packing card should be signed by the rigger who packed it, and 'in date' according to your National association or government regulation.  The riggers seal marking on the card should match the impression left on the seal of the last ripcord pin.  This assures you that no one has opened your container since it was last repacked.

Overall check for obvious physical damage (holes, cuts, freying, wear), dampness, stains, watermarks or mildew.  Any damage done to your carry bag should alert you to look over the system carefully.

The ripcord handle needs to be able to be easily withdrawn from the pocket, but it also needs to be held in securely.  The housing needs to be fastened at each end (or within 3" from the handle end).

Open the ripcord pin protector flap and check that the pins are properly seated.  This means the pin(s) must be pushed well through the locking loop (or cone) but not so much that it/they are in as far as they will go.  Where the pin starts to thicken is the maximum distance the locking loop should be sitting from the end.  Check that none of the pins are bent, as it could create impossible pull forces.  If locking loop(s) are used, they should not be freyed where going over the pin(s).  If cones are used, they should not be sharp at the edges of the holes.

Be sure to follow any preflight recommendations of the equipment manufacturer as well.

Checking pins for proper seating
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