As parachute riggers gain additional experience, they are occasionally faced with situations that involve less than ideal circumstances. Some examples are: if a new jumper purchases old or damaged equipment that may or may not be airworthy, or if a pilot purchases an acrobatic plane that has a parachute that is far too small for his/her weight. These situations involve more than just the technical knowledge for a parachute rigger certificate.
In the case of the pilot above, depending on which TSO the parachute is certified, there may be a weight and speed limitation for the system. For example, TSO C23c category B has a limitation of 254-pound exit weight and a speed limitation of 150 knots. Imagine a pilot who weighs 225 pounds and his airplane regularly exceeds the 150- knot envelope during maneuvering. If this pilot brings a parachute to a parachute rigger for repacking, the first thing the parachute rigger should notice is the size of the pilot. When the parachute rigger inspects the parachute, he notices that it has a 22-foot diameter round canopy. The parachute rigger finds that with the pilot at 225 pounds, his clothes at 5 pounds, and the parachute at 20 pounds, he is at 250 pounds or just under the limit. However, in looking at the owner’s manual, the parachute rigger cannot find any information in the weight-carrying limit of the canopy. In addition, this particular parachute was made by a company that is no longer in business. The parachute appears to be in good condition visually but is 30 years old. In this situation, the parachute rigger is faced with a number of questionable areas that are detailed Rigging Ethics.