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Reserve Canopy


Inspection and Packing > Inspection > Pilot Chute and Bridle > Reserve Canopy

If available, use a canopy damage chart appropriate to the canopy for documenting your inspection for repair of any damage found. Figure 5-10 shows a typical chart for round canopies

Figure 5-10. Round canopy damage chart.

1. Check the apex lines for damage and continuity as well as the upper lateral band. If there is a tension loop, make sure it is secure. If there is a vent collar ring, check the elasticity of the material.
2. Inspect gores and panel fabrics by starting at the top center gore of the canopy, working your way up one gore while inspecting the fabric, seams, tapes, and lines. When you reach the apex, pull the next radial seam toward you, stretching out the fabric, and work your way down the gore to the lower lateral band. [Figure 5-11 on page 5-8] This method is the most efficient use of your time and physical efforts. Work your way around the canopy, inspecting each gore from top to bottom.

Figure 5-11. Round canopy gore inspection.

3. The manufacturer may call for the tensile testing of the fabric after inspection of the canopy for obvious visual damage. This is very important because there was a fabric deterioration problem with certain parachutes several years ago. An AD was issued, and while the exact causewas never determined, a side benefit was the development and adoption of a non destructive fabric pull test method. This method was adopted by the Parachute Industry Association (PIA) as Technical Standard TS-108, Parachute Canopy Fabric Pull Test, Non-Destructive Method. This method of testing canopy fabric for strength has been adopted by several canopy manufacturers as suitable for testing their canopies. However, the rigger must be careful in using this test method. The proper equipment is essential for accurate testing and the type of material must be known in order to test to the correct strength. The testing equipment is shown in figure 5-12. The full standard can be found in Appendix I of this handbook.

Figure 5-12. TS-108 test equipment.

4. Along with the pull test, the AD also requires testing the canopy mesh with a solution of Bromo Cresol Green indicator to determine the presence of an acid condition. The Bromo Cresol Green indicator is a dark blue liquid in its standard state. It turns yellow when it contacts acid—the stronger the acid, the brighter the yellow. If the test is positive, the canopy will need to be treated to neutralize the condition. The AD highlights the manufacturer’s service bulletin as to how to comply with this test and procedure.

5. If the canopy has a deployment device such as a diaper, check that it is securely attached, particularly after use. Check the grommets, line stow bands, elastics, or other line stow devices. Pay particular attention to where the stitching attaches to the canopy fabric. This area can be particularly prone to damage during opening.

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