Saturday, October 2, 2010

Earning Parachute Rigger Certificate

When an applicant meets the requirements and demonstrates sufficient knowledge and skills as outlined in 14 CFR part 65, subpart F, the supervising parachute rigger (either a senior or master parachute rigger) "signs off" the trainee's logbook and provides a letter to the FAA, which will allow the applicant to take the necessary tests.

The applicant should take a letter similar to the one depicted in figure 1-2, the applicant's logbook, and any other necessary identification to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or International Field Office (IFO). An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (airworthiness) will examine these documents for completeness and eligibility. The applicant will be asked to fill out FAA Form 8610-2, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application. When the inspector has determined that the applicant is eligible to take the test, he or she will sign the FAA Form 8610-2. [Figure 1-3] Once this is done, the applicant may then go to any of the designated FAA airman knowledge testing centers to take the airman knowledge test.

The knowledge test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that are not designed to be tricky or misleading. They cover all basic rigging and packing subject areas in addition to 14 CFR part 65 regulations. A minimum score of 70 percent is required to pass the test. The test is scored immediately on conclusion of the test and a certified airman knowledge test report is issued to the applicant. [Figure1-4 on page 1-4] After passing the test, the candidate may then make an appointment for taking the oral and practical portion of the test with a Designated Parachute Rigger Examiner (DPRE).
Under 14 CFR part 183, DPREs are master parachute riggers who have attended an FAA course and are authorized to conduct oral and practical tests for the Administrator. In many cases, these individuals are full time professionals who work in the parachute industry. Upon the successful completion of the oral and practical tests, in most cases, the DPRE will issue a temporary parachute rigger certificate [Figure 1-5 on page 1-5] and a seal symbol to the candidate. In some FSDO jurisdictions, the district office may issue the temporary certificate and/or seal symbol. The seal symbol consists of three letters or numbers or a combination of both.[Figure 1-6 on page 1-5] The seal symbol is very important; it will serve as the identifying mark for that individual parachute rigger, and is used to seal any parachute that he/she packs.

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