Pilot in Command – Take Control!
Flying a parachute confidently is far safer than being timid...
For all new skydivers who are learning how to pack and the experienced skydivers who already know how to pack – this is NOT a packing lesson!
I am sure that those that are learning and those in the know have been taught well; this is a reminder for the main points to consider when you are packing your main…
Packing parachutes is all about symmetry; we need that symmetry during the opening sequence, just like flying our bodies, right?
Symmetry applies to the entire parachute and not just the lines. A neat, properly organized pro-pack is the most symmetrical pack job of all provided the parachute is packed symmetrically. A parachute is designed to be packed symmetrically.
With this in mind, let’s go through the points:
Make sure your harness is laid down correctly and secured before you start packing. Yes, you cannot see any weight in the picture, don’t worry, I am not going to teach you how to pack without securing your harness, time for that will come later ☺
After you have walked towards the canopy while clearing the lines, make sure you check that your cascade lines are lined up as well.
Organize the line groups symmetrically.
Slider squared at four corners, I am sure you all know how to do that correctly.
Use the centre of the canopy stitching as your guide when wrapping the tail and keep it centred.
Make sure that all of the cells are in the right place, not stuck/missing before you roll the tail.
Make sure the canopy stitching meets when wrapping around the tail before rolling.
If you have done these two things correctly, the rest of your pack job will be symmetric, until you lay the parachute down. Then the fun part starts!
Continuing with the symmetry, when taking the air out of your canopy keep an eye on the centre stitching, where the D-bag connection is at the top. This should be in the middle and stay in the middle.
Putting the canopy into the deployment bag (D-bag) is always a problem when we are still a newbie, however try and keep symmetry as your priority. (Note, in the picture, the centre stitching for the canopy is under the centre mouthlock of the D-bag)
Again make sure the line stows are symmetrical on each side and are not mixed with slack lines and very tight lines with small and big bites of lines.
Use the same kind of rubber bands. Do not mix big rubber bands with small ones or with tube stows or rubber bands, which have no elasticity left.
It should be like this.
Leave enough excess lines at the bottom so that when you are putting the D-bag into the container the risers are not tight and pulling otherwise expect an adverse affect on the opening.
Here, the last stow will be too much
The excess lines should be S-folded at the bottom of the container. There are different ways to do this. I use the centre of the D-bag as a reference and S the excess line forward and backward and finish it in the middle. Others round or S the excess lines on the bottom of container.
The closing sequence and length of closing loops are different for each container; please make sure the closing loops are not too long, no-one wants a premature opening!
Have great jumps followed by awesome openings!
Article and packing photos by Rezzan Shiel