A lot of American drop zones have an FAA exemption to allow
to jump kit that is not TSO'd. However the exemption issued to USPA drop
zones specifically states that all repacking of parachutes used pursuant to this
exemption, by foreign parachutists must be performed in accordance with
105.43 (a). This section outlines the requirements for a 120 day repack cycle. If you're traveling to a USA drop zone make sure your reserve repack date is acceptable, otherwise you may have to pay for a new reserve repack, if a rigger is available.
Performance Designs, Inc. recognizes many factors may affect opening times of a packed, stored main parachute. Some of these factors are beyond the control of Performance Designs, Inc.
Currently, too many of these variables exist to accurately quantify a maximum time-frame for which a main parachute may remain packed until use. Therefore, Performance Designs, Inc. recommends the end user pay very close attention to the following list of items. These items should be considered while the main parachute remains packed and stored.
Factors that can affect the main parachute opening time include, but are not limited to:
A) The chemical reaction that occurs between rubber (rubber bands) and brass (deployment bag grommets). If left in contact with each other, a reaction between the rubber bands and brass grommets causes deterioration of the rubber. This can severely change the opening characteristics by creating a line dump scenario.
C) Rubber degradation due to extended shelf life or storage conditions. If rubber is stored in excessive heat or for long periods without use, it can degrade and/or become brittle (dry rot).
D) Zero-porosity fabric has the potential to maintain its packed, brick-like shape over time.
PD recommends the following in order to minimize some of these factors:
A) Ensure the use of non-brass (i.e. stainless steel) grommets on the D-bag to prevent the brass-rubber reaction.
B) Performance Designs, Inc. recommends the following storage conditions for the canopies: temperatures ranging between 60°F and 75°F and humidity ranging from 30% to 60%. For long-term storage and storage outside those ranges, we recommend representative samples be tested and/or inspected to ensure no harmful conditions have occurred during storage.
C) Replace all
rubber bands when packing if there is a chance the parachute will be stored
for an extended period of time. Use rubber bands with a recent manufacture
date. Also make sure to exercise the rubber bands by stretching them. If a
packed parachute has been dormant for a year, the rubber band may have become
brittle and the user runs the risk of
premature breakage. As long as the aforementioned conditions and factors are controlled and adherence to the
guidelines is exhibited, Performance Designs, Inc. has no objections to the use of a 365-day repack cycle.
If you have any further questions or comments, please do not
hesitate to contact Performance