PARACHUTE RIGGER - HOW TO
Parachute Rigger candidates often ask how do I get
started. Here is some information
PARACHUTE RIGGER SENIOR/MASTER CERTIFICATION GUIDE
How to Apply for Senior Parachute Rigger - Getting Started
Contact the nearest Flight Standards District Office (FSDO),
and/or your local
DPRE (Designated Parachute Rigger
an appointment to have your experience evaluated.
An FAA inspector must determine if you are eligible to take the tests. This evaluation is necessary when applying for an original certificate, or when adding a
rating. FAA district office (FSDO)
When appearing for evaluation, bring your records and any other evidence you have to substantiate your experience. Letters from present or former employers, military service records, business records, log books, etc., are acceptable as long as the inspector who reviews it is able to determine that the type and amount of experience meets the regulatory requirements.
The evidence of packing experience must contain the following information:
1. Name of the person who did the packing.
2. Type and number of parachutes packed.
3. Packing dates.
4. A statement that the parachutes were packed under the supervision of
a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger or a person
holding an appropriate military rating, including the name,
certificate number, and ratings of the person who supervised the
When the FAA inspector determines that you meet the general and experience
requirements, you will be required to complete
FAA Form 8610-2, Airman
Certificate and/or Rating Application, in duplicate. The FAA inspector will
endorse the form and return both copies to you. The FAA inspector will issue
FAA Form 8060-7, Airman's Authorization for Written Test, for presentation
to an appropriately rated written test examiner. If there is sufficient
time, you may be permitted to take the written test that same day, or you
may take the written test at a later date.
THE WRITTEN TESTS
Taking the Written Test
The written test may be taken at (FSDO)'s, GADO's, and IFO's or from
appropriately rated written test examiners. ACDO's have no provision for
administering parachute rigger written, tests. (FSDO)'s may administer
written tests at other locations by prior arrangement. It is recommended
that an appointment be made before the intended date of testing so that
the appropriate personel will be on hand to give the tests and to assure
that space is available.
You must begin the test early enough to complete it within the time
allotted and before office closing time. One hour is allowed for taking
the Senior Parachute Rigger--Military Competence written test. The Senior
Parachute Rigger--Military Competence written test must be administered
by an FAA airworthiness inspector. Two hours each are allowed for the
Senior Parachute Rigger and Master Parachute Rigger written tests. If you
have not had your experience evaluated at an earlier date, arrive at the
office early enough to allow additional time for the determination to be
When eligibility to take the test is confirmed, an application form, a
test booklet, and all the materials necessary to take the test will be
issued. You are not required to furnish any test or reference material,
nor permitted to use or take notes during the tests.
Before you begin the written test, you will be asked to show personal
identification and to provide certain information on the application
form. This information is necessary to match your answer sheet with your
application form so your scores can be accurately reported. Prior to
filling in any part of the application form, read the instructions
carefully, then fill in the form. Everything should be printed except
your signature, which should be written just as you would sign a business
Make certain you completely understand the instructions for taking the
test and how to mark the special answer sheet, as it will be machine
scored. If more than one answer to a question is marked, or no answer is
marked, the question will be scored as incorrect. Stray marks on the
sheet may also cause the questions to be scored as incorrect.
When taking the test, always keep the following facts in mind:
(1) There are no "trick" questions. Each statement means exactly what it
says. Do not look for hidden meanings. The statement does not
concern exceptions to the rule; it refers to the general rule.
(2) Be sure you read the entire question carefully before looking at the
answers; avoid hasty assumptions. This can lead to a completely
erroneous approach to the problem or failure to consider vital
words. Then look through the list of alternative answers and find
the one that best answers the question.
(3) Only one of the answers is completely correct. The others may be
answers that result from using the incorrect procedures, from wrong
interpretations of the question, or from misconceptions about the
subject matter. Understand the question and then select the
alternative you consider to be the best answer.
(4) If you find that you have considerable difficulty with a question,
do not spend too much time on it, but go on to the next question.
When you have completed the test, go back to the questions which you
have passed over. This procedure will enable you to use the time
available to the best advantage in demonstrating your knowledge and
understanding of the subject. Be sure you mark an answer for each
Scoring the Test
If you qualify under the special certification rule for military
parachute riggers or former military parachute riggers, the test
administered to you is graded in the FAA district office where the test
is taken. If you pass the test, you will be issued FAA Form 8060-4,
Temporary Airman Certificate, since no oral or practical test is
required. If a passing grade of 70 percent is not obtained.
All other parachute rigger written tests are mailed to the FAA in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where they are scored by electronic test-scoring
machines. Strict procedures are followed to insure the accuracy of
Test results will be mailed to you as quickly as possible. The test grade
is reported on AC Form 8080-2, Airman Written Test Report. AC Form 8080-2
is acceptable evidence of having passed the written test and must be
presented when applying for a certificate. It must also be presented when
applying for retesting in the event of failure.
In addition to grade information, the written test report provides a
listing by question number of the questions which were answered
incorrectly. The subject area codes correspond to the subject headings
shown on the "Written Test Subject Outline," which is mailed along with
AC Form 8080-2, and to the written test subject headings used in this
If your AC Form 8080-2 is lost or destroyed, a duplicate copy may be
obtained by sending your name, social security number, the title of the
test, the location where the test was taken, the approximate date of the
test, and $1.00 (money order or check payable to FAA) to:
Airman Certification Branch, AAC-260
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Applying for a Retest
If you fail a parachute rigger test, you must wait 30 days to retake the
test; or, if you desire to take the test sooner, you must present a
statement from a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger or
a person holding an appropriate military rating, certifying that he/she
has given you additional instruction in each of the subjects failed and
now considers you ready for retesting.
Written Test Subjects
The subjects covered by the parachute rigger written tests are outlined
below. The special test administered to military or former military
riggers deals only with the first two categories, Certification and
Privileges, Limitations, and Operating Rules. All other applicants for a
senior parachute rigger written test should be prepared to answer
questions in all subject areas listed except the last category, Parachute
Alteration. Master parachute rigger applicants will be asked questions in
all subject areas.
AO5--Adding type ratings.
B. PRIVILEGES, LIMITATIONS, AND OPERATING RULES
BO2--Facilities and equipment.
BO8--Intentional parachute jumping.
C. PACKING PARACHUTES
CO4--Folding and stowing.
CO5--Closing, finishing, and sealing.
D. PARACHUTE OPERATION AND CARE
DO1--Function of parts and assemblies.
DO2--Handling and storage.
DO3--Airing and drying.
DO5--Forces acting on a parachute.
E. PARACHUTE CONSTRUCTION DETAILS
F. PARACHUTE REPAIR
FO5--Sewing and stitching.
G. PARACHUTE ALTERATION
The practice test which follows is provided to familiarize you with the
type of test questions contained in the FAA parachute rigger written
tests. It is important to remember that the practice test does not cover
all of the subjects on which you will be tested. For this reason, you
should acquire knowledge in all the written test subjects, not just the
answers to these few sample test questions.
Each question is followed by four suggested answers. In each case, select
the one that best answers the question and then blacken the corresponding
space on the "Practice Test Answer Sheet," which follows the practice
test. Answers to the practice test also follow the practice test.
1. After packing a parachute intended for emergency use in a civil
aircraft, a certificated parachute rigger shall enter which of the
following on the packing record attached to the parachute?
1- The parachute retirement date, packing date, and his/her
2- His/her signature, date, and place of packing.
3- His/her certificate number, signature, the date and place of
packing, and a notation of any defects found.
4- The date, his/her certificate number, seal symbol, and
2. When packing a parachute, what determines the width of the canopy
1- The width of the pack.
2- The diameter of the canopy.
3- The number of suspension line channels.
4- The width of the suspension line retainers.
3. What is the minimum period of time that an applicant for a senior
parachute rigger certificate shall have served as a parachute
1- Two years.
2- Three years.
3- For at least 90 days within the preceding 12 months.
4- There is no minimum time specified.
4. When laying out a seat- or back-type parachute for packing, how
should the harness be placed with reference to body position of the
1- Face down with the head away from the canopy.
2- Face up with the head away from the canopy.
3- Face down with the head toward the canopy.
4- Face up with the head toward the canopy.
5. How long should a parachute be aired prior to packing?
1- Allow 1 hour of airing for each day the parachute was packed.
2- Four hours, provided the parachute is not wet.
3- It should be aired at least 8 hours.
4- Until the parachute has been thoroughly dried.
6. Which of the following statements are true? (1) Filler yarns in the
weave of parachute canopies extend lengthwise through the material.
(2) When applying a patch, the patch material filler yarns must be
matched with those of the canopy.
1- Only statement (1) is true.
2- Only statement (2) is true.
3- Neither statement (1) nor (2) is true.
4- Both statements (1) and (2) are true.
7. Which component of the sewing machine used for parachute repair work
prevents the thread from becoming tangled around the needle as it
travels through the material?
1- The needle bar.
2- The thread
3- The thread controller spring.
4- The action of the sewing hook.
8. How long must a certificated parachute rigger retain a record of the
packing, maintenance, or alterations performed or supervised by
1- At least 2 years after the date the work is completed.
2- At least 1 year after the date the work is performed.
3- At least 2 years after the date the parachute is disposed.
4- Until notified by the FAA that he/she may dispose of them.
9. After packing a parachute, how does a certificated parachute rigger
seal each pack?
1- The safety tie is sealed with the parachute rigger's
individual seal in accordance with the manufacturer's
2- The safety tie is sealed with the parachute loft seal in
accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
3- The safety tie is sealed by securing the pack elastics in
their respective positions.
4- The safety tie is sealed with the seal symbol issued by the
10. In addition to meeting the experience requirements, what other
requirements must be met by a member of the United States military
who applies for a senior parachute rigger certificate?
1- Pass an oral and practical test.
2- Pass a written test with respect to parachutes in common use.
3- Present evidence to the FAA that he/she holds the equivalent
4- Pass a written test on the FAR's.
11. According to FAR Part 65, when exercising certificate privileges, a
parachute rigger must have available suitable housing that is
adequately heated, lighted, ventilated,
1- and is high enough to allow a parachute to be hung vertically
for drying and airing.
2- and has provisions for adjusting and controlling the
3- for drying and airing parachutes.
4- and meets all the requirements specified in 1, 2, and 3
12. No certificated parachute rigger may exercise the privileges of
his/her certificate and type rating unless he/she understands the
current manufacturer's instructions, and has
1- performed duties under his/her certificate for at least 90
days within the preceding 12 months.
2- packed at least 20 parachutes within the preceding 12 months.
3- performed duties under his/her certificate within the
preceding 90 days.
4- packed at least 10 parachutes of each of two types in common
use within the preceding 12 months.
13. FAR's require a certificated parachute rigger to keep a record of
the packing, maintenance, or alteration of parachutes performed or
supervised by him/her. Identify the following items required to be
A-- Retirement date of parachute.
B-- Date parachute was manufactured.
C-- Name and address of parachute owner.
D-- Type and make of parachute and its serial number.
E-- Date and place where the particular operation was performed.
14. When requested, a certificated parachute rigger is required to
present his/her certificate to
1- the owner of a parachute the rigger has packed.
2- any state or local law enforcement officer.
3- a person holding a master parachute rigger certificate.
4- certificated pilot or flight instructor.
15. FAR's provide for the issuance of which type ratings for master
1- Seat, special purpose, back, and lap.
2- Chest, back, seat, and chair.
3- Lap, chest, chair, and cargo.
4- Back, lap, seat, and chest.
16. When repairing a broken stitch in a canopy seam, what action should
1- Anchor the ends of the broken thread using fabric cement.
2- Sew back and forth across the ends of the broken stitch.
3- Reinforce the seam by applying a patch.
4- Backstitch for at least 1 inch.
17. What is the minimum period of time an applicant for a master
parachute rigger certificate shall have served as a parachute
1- Two years.
2- Three years.
3- Four years.
4- Five years.
18. What determines the service life of a Canopy?
1- The total number of repairs.
2- The number of times it has been packed.
3- The total number of times it has been used for jumping.
4- The tensile strength and porosity of the material.
19. What is the purpose of a parachute seal symbol?
1- To identify a certificated parachute rigger.
2- To identify the parachute manufacturer.
3- To indicate FAA approval of a parachute assembly.
4- To identify parachute canopy material.
20. A certificated parachute rigger who applies for an additional type
rating must pass which of the following tests?
1- A written test for the type rating sought.
2- A practical test for the type rating sought.
3- An oral and practical test for the type rating sought.
4- A written and practical test for the type rating sought.
PRACTICE TEST QUESTIONS
ORAL AND PRACTICAL TESTS
Taking the Oral and Practical Tests
Completion of the oral and practical tests is usually the final step in
becoming certificated or in adding a rating to a parachute rigger
certificate. An oral and a practical test must be taken for each type
rating issued during original certification-(except in the case of
military applicants for senior parachute rigger certificates). When
ratings are added to a senior or master parachute rigger certificate, a
practical test is required for each rating in addition to the experience
Oral and practical tests are administered by FAA inspectors or by
FAA-designated parachute rigger examiners (DPRE's). The scope of the
tests is the same, whether given by an inspector or by a DPRE.
Arrangements for taking the oral and practical tests should be made in
advance of the date on which you desire to take the test.
If an FAA inspector gives the oral and practical tests, the necessary
facilities and equipment must be furnished or arranged for by the
applicant. The applicant will be expected to furnish: (1) a smooth-top
table, at least 3 feet wide by 40 feet long, (2) provisions for drying
and airing parachutes, (3) manufacturer's instructions, and the tools and
equipment used to pack and maintain the types of parachutes for which a
rating is sought, and (4) adequate housing facilities to perform the
duties of a parachute rigger and to protect the tools and equipment. At
least one approved parachute of each type for which a rating is sought
must be available for the oral and practical tests.
If a DPRE gives the oral and practical test, he/she will assure that
suitable facilities and equipment are available to conduct the test.
Since designated examiners are not paid by the FAA for their services or
the use of their facilities and equipment, they are authorized to charge
a fee for administering oral and practical tests.
The names and addresses of the FAA DPRE's in each district can be
obtained from the FAA district office that serves the area.
You will be given an application form and instructions for filling it in
by the person who administers the tests. He/she will explain the tasks
that will be assigned during the test and will observe all aspects of
your performance and grade you accordingly.
The oral test may be administered along with the practical test, or it
may be given separately, before or after the practical test. The examiner
will not attempt to trick or mislead you in any way with his/her oral
questions or project assignments. Any questions or assignments that you
do not understand should be clarified before answering the question or
attempting the project.
Evaluating Your Performance
Your performance will be evaluated by the examiner on the basis of
knowledge, accuracy, and proficiency displayed during the test. In
evaluating performance the principle characteristic that will be
considered is the quality of the end product. Other characteristics that
will be considered include:
1. Your approach to the project--did you obtain, use, and correctly
interpret information available to perform the task?
2. Your skill in handling tools and use of the proper tool for the
3. The care you take in protecting parachute parts from damage during
4. Your proficiency in packing and inspecting parachutes.
5. The manner in which you complete the required forms and records.
6. Your understanding and application of the FAR's.
Oral Test Questions
Oral test questions cover the same subjects as the written tests and are
intended to show how well you can make use of your knowledge. The oral
test questions fall generally into three types: (1) questions closely
related to assigned projects--to further explore your understanding of
the tasks being performed, (2) questions not related to a specific
project--to evaluate your ability in areas in which a skill demonstration
is not practical, and (3) questions to determine whether additional
projects need to be assigned. The following list of questions may be
helpful for reviewing the results of your study. Many of them may suggest
other areas for additional study.
A. PACKING PARACHUTES
1. What general sequence of operations is followed when packing
2. How can the correct procedure for packing a parachute be
3. What sequence of operations is normally followed to remove
twists and tangles from a parachute canopy, suspension lines,
4. In what position would an attached harness be when a
parachute is laid out for packing?
5. During the preparation of a parachute for packing, when is
the skirt hem of a canopy usually straightened?
6. What determines the width of the canopy folds when packing a
7. How can the order of stowing lines in the line holders be
8. How is a parachute pack usually sealed after being packed?
9. What is the purpose of temporary locking pins used during
10. What type of safety tie is used when sealing a packed
11. Name some packing practices which could contribute to a delay
in pilot parachute ejection.
12. What information is given on the stamped panel canopy?
13. What type of knot is used to secure the pilot parachute to
the canopy apex?
14. What is the reason for disconnecting the apex of the
parachute from the packing table tension device during
15. What are the reasons for using a ripcord housing and having
it properly attached to the pack and harness?
16. How are the suspension lines attached to the riser links?
17. What are pack-opening elastics or spring bands?
18. What is the purpose of the safety thread and lead seal used
to seal a packed parachute?
19. To which pin of a ripcord is the seal attached?
20. What is the maximum permitted ripcord pull force?
21. How does a certificate parachute rigger identify his/her work
22. Which pin of a ripcord is number one?
23. What method is effective to temporarily shorten the
suspension lines of an unpacked parachute to prevent tangling
of the lines?
24. What are the requirements for drying and airing parachutes
prior to packing?
25. What types of pilot parachutes are in common use?
26. What is the purpose of the suspension line loops in a
parachute pack assembly?
27. How are the release pins of a ripcord normally attached to
28. What action should be taken if a flaw is discovered in a
parachute canopy during inspection for packing?
29. After stretching a parachute to its full length on the
packing table, what is the next step that should be taken?
30. During the packing operation, why is some canopy material
allowed to extend beyond the pack edges?
31. In completing the packing process, what tool is used to
insert the protector flaps?
32. What may result if the ripcord handle is improperly
33. After stowing the suspension lines, where is the skirt of the
34. What is the function of the canopy vent, and what do you look
for when inspecting it?
35. How can the serviceability of a parachute be determined if
the strength of the canopy material is in question?
36. How can the presence of acid in a parachute stain be
37. What is meant by the term "tensile strength" of a material,
and how can it be determined?
38. How can the presence of mold or mildew be detected in
parachute canopy materials?
39. What is the last step in packing a parachute?
40. What are some of the reasons for condemning a parachute
41. How is the length of a ripcord measured?
42. What are the minimum facilities and equipment a parachute
rigger must have available to exercise his/her privileges?
43. What records of parachute packing, maintenance, and
alteration are required to be kept by a parachute rigger.
44. What information is required to be entered on the parachute
packing record attached to the parachute?
45. How long must parachute packing, maintenance, and alteration
records be kept?
46. What kind of knot is usually used to tie-off harness tacking?
47. How much free line is left between the skirt hem and the line
stowage loops or elastics?
48. What is the function of a pilot parachute?
49. What requirements must a certificated parachute rigger meet
in order to pack the main parachute of a dual parachute pack
to be used for intentional jumping?
50. How can the correct method of sealing a parachute pack be
B. MAINTAINING PARACHUTES
1. Where is the manufacturer's identification data usually
located on a parachute canopy, on a harness, and on a pack?
2. What is the function of the ripcord housing?
3. How is a parachute usually prepared for an extended storage
4. What is the meaning of the term "bias construction" as used
to describe a parachute canopy?
5. How are the skirt and vent hems of most parachutes
6. What is the usual number of stitches per inch used in making
the seams of a parachute canopy?
7. How is the ripcord handle held, or secured to the harness of
a back- or seat-type parachute so that it is readily
accessible to the wearer, yet relatively safe from accidental
8. How are most types of snap fasteners and grommets attached to
9. How can the correct procedures for repairing a parachute be
10. How are small holes and snags in a parachute canopy usually
11. What kind of textile material is used to make a parachute
12. What identifying features are associated with "yard slippage"
in parachute canopy materials.
13. What are the common stitching patterns to attach load-bearing
rings and snaps to parachute harnesses?
14. How is uniformity of length of nylon suspension lines assured
during manufacture of a parachute, or the replacement of
15. How would a parachute rigger determine the correct number of
stitches per inch used for a parachute repair?
16. How would a parachute rigger determine the correct type of
seam used for repairing a parachute?
17. What are the characteristics of a properly formed seam?
18. What type of stitch is normally used during the construction
and repair of parachutes?
19. What kind of stitch is normally used to secure the suspension
lines to the canopy skirt and vent hems?
20. What are the operating principles of the rotary type and
oscillating type sewing machines?
21. What factors should be considered when selecting the correct
size sewing machine needle to be used for making a repair?
22. What are the characteristics of a sewed lockstitch made by a
correctly adjusted sewing machine?
23. What precautions should be observed if load-carrying
parachute hardware is refinished or
24. What methods and cleaning products are generally used in
cleaning parachute canopy materials?
25. Why is it necessary to stitch the suspension line where it
attaches to the riser link?
26. How can a bent or burred ripcord pin be repaired?
27. What is the danger in chrome plating parachute hardware?
28. What agents can be used to clean parachute harnesses?
29. Explain the difference in the construction of a
bias-constructed parachute and a straight-constructed one?
30. What process is used on the ends of harness webbing to
31. What type of knot may be used to secure harness tacking if no
particular knot is specified?
32. What can result if the ripcord handle pocket is improperly
33. Why is an acid stain more serious than any other type of
stain on a parachute?
34. What should be done with a parachute canopy that has a large
35. How should a parachute be dried after it has been rinsed or
soaked in water?
36. What action is necessary when a parachute has been stained
37. What chemicals can be used to prevent a parachute from
38. Why should the elasticity of a seam be greater than that of
the material it joins?
39. Who is privileged to perform major repairs to a parachute
40. What guide for details could be followed in performing a
minor repair to a parachute?
41. What action should be taken first when laying out a parachute
canopy repair patch?
42. How should a tear in a canopy be prepared for patching?
43. What is the minimum distance that the raw edges of a canopy
patch must be turned under?
44. What procedures must be followed when repairing a parachute?
45. Who may alter the main parachute of a dual parachute pack?
46. What is likely to occur while operating a sewing machine if
the bobbin is threaded incorrectly?
47. What sewing machine malfunction can cause staggered stitches?
48. What procedure should be followed when repairing broken
stitches in a canopy seam?
49. What determines the service life of a nylon canopy?
50. What is the purpose for using zigzag stitching to complete
the attachment of suspension lines to the riser links?
51. How can sunlight damage to white nylon fabric be identified?
52. When replacing a damaged ripcord with a serviceable one, what
requirements must be met?
53. When replacing a pack grommet that has torn out of its
fastening, what should be done to keep the locking pin from
binding in the cone?
54. What is the reason for matching the weave of the patch
material with that of the canopy being repaired?
55. What precautions should be observed when replacing a broken
or missing eye on a parachute container?
56. Describe the appearance of the material defect known as a
57. What effect would a bent grommet have on the operation of the
58. What action should be taken if "yarn slippage" is detected in
a parachute canopy during the inspection?
59. What thread size should be used to sew canopy radial seams
when making a repair?
60. How is the needle-thread tension and the bobbin-thread
tension on a sewing machine usually controlled?
Practical Test Projects
The practical test consists of assigned work projects to test your
mechanical skill and ability to organize work, select and follow correct
procedures, apply appropriate techniques, and determine an acceptable
level of workmanship. The person administering the test will select
projects that utilize, as much as possible, the equipment and procedures
that are familiar to you.
If a project must be performed in accordance with a manufacturer's
instructions or other data, the examiner will expect you to consult the
instructions or data. Failure to do so may result in your failing the
A list of the projects you can expect to be assigned during the practical
test is shown below. You will be required to perform all of the tasks
involved in packing parachutes, and may be assigned all or only part of
the projects listed under Maintaining Parachutes. Since master parachute
riggers are permitted to make major repairs and alterations, and to
supervise other persons performing these operations, master parachute
rigger tests will be more extensive than the tests given a senior
parachute rigger applicant.
1. PACKING PARACHUTES
a. PACK A PARACHUTE.
(1) IDENTIFY AND SELECT TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, AND TECHNICAL
INFORMATION. You must select the correct tools, equipment,
(2) OPEN THE PACK. You must take precautions to avoid damage
to the parachute, check the ripcord pull force.
(3) LAY OUT THE PARACHUTE. You must lay out the parachute as
prescribed in the packing instructions, check the canopy
for being right side out, check suspension lines for
continuity, and remove tangles (if any).
(4) INSPECT THE PARACHUTE. You must carefully check for
conformity to the manufacturer's description, completeness
of assembly, operational adequacy, markings, damage,
deterioration, and other defects.
(5) FOLD AND STOW THE PARACHUTE. You must pleat and fold the
canopy gores, sign inside packing record,
the canopy into the pack, and fold and pack the pilot
(6) CLOSE, FINISH, AND SEAL THE PACK. You must close the pack
flaps in the correct sequence, insert the pack closing
device, finish and smooth the pack, seal the pack, fasten
the pack opening bands and protector flaps, and fill the
2. MAINTAINING PARACHUTES
Senior Parachute Rigger and Master Parachute Rigger Applicants
a. RE-STITCH CANOPY SEAMS. You must select the correct sewing
machine; use straight lockstitch or zigzag stitch, depending
upon the area being
restitch; use proper size, texture, and
color thread; restitch following original construction,
overstitch as required; and check suspension line freedom if
restitching a radial seam.
b. DARN A SMALL SNAG OR TEAR. You must select proper size,
texture, and color thread; use tiny stitches at right-angles
to the damage and extend the darning beyond the area. Canopy
material should not be puckered.
c. PATCH A CANOPY SECTION. You must select correct machine,
fabric, and thread; match filler, warp, and ripstop boxes, as
applicable; use correct stitching, overlap, edge distance,
and overstitching; trim out damaged area; check suspension
line freedom, if stitching on a radial seam.
d. REPAIR A TORN RADIAL SEAM. You must select correct machine,
thread fabric, or tape; use correct stitching, overlap, edge
distance, and overstitching; trim out damaged area; check
suspension line freedom.
e. REPLACE POCKET BANDS OR V-TABS. You must select correct
machine, thread, webbing; correctly position webbing; use
correct stitching, stitch spacing, and overstitching.
f. RESTITCH OR REPLACE PACK OPENING SPRING BANDS. You must use
correct thread; hand tack the band in place with the required
number and placement of stitches; tie-off thread properly.
g. INSTALL SNAP FASTENERS ON A PARACHUTE PACK. You must select
snaps of the correct type; punch or repair hold as
applicable; check completed installation for security and
h. INSTALL GROMMETS. You must select grommet and washer of the
correct type and size; punch or repair hold as applicable;
check grommet for security.
i. INSTALL LOCKING CONES ON A PARACHUTE PACK. You must select
proper size and type of thread and cone of the same size and
type as used on the pack; properly align, position, and
stitch cone in place; tie off thread.
j. INSTALL A SLIDE FASTENER. You must select proper size and
type of thread and slide fasteners; use correct stitching;
check completed installation for operation.
k. INSTALL HOOK EYES ON A PARACHUTE PACK. You must select
correct eye and thread; position eye and sew into place; tie
l. OPERATE A STANDARD SEWING MACHINE. You must thread the
machine and adjust it to produce an acceptable lockstitch.
Master Parachute Rigger Applicants Only
m. REPAIR AN UPPER OR LOWER LATERAL BAND. You must select
correct size and type tape and thread; use correct stitching,
underfold, edge distance, spacing, and overstitching; splice
reinforcing tape, as required.
n. REPLACE A CANOPY GORE SECTION OR PANEL. You must select
correct fabric and thread; match filler, warp, and ripstop
boxes, as applicable; use correct stitching, overlap, edge
distance, and overstitching; trim out damaged area; check
suspension line freedom.
o. REPLACE A SUSPENSION LINE. You must select correct thread and
suspension line of the type used on the canopy; adjust length
of replacement line to maintain canopy balance; attach line
to canopy and riser link using correct stitching; check line
SCORING ORAL AND PRACTICAL TESTS
Oral and practical tests are graded as soon as they are completed. The
tests are graded using a pass/fail concept, rather than a numerical
score. If any part of the test is failed, the person administering the
tests will record the results on the reverse side of FAA Form 8610-2
[ Front, Back ] and return the duplicate to you. He/she will also return
your AC Form 8080-2 or FAA Form 8060-4, whichever is applicable.
If you fail a test, you may apply for a retest as prescribed in FAR
Section 65.19. You have the option of returning to the same FAA district
office or DPRE, or applying to any other FAA district office or DPRE for
When all parts of the tests have been passed, the FAA district office or
DPRE will issue a temporary parachute riggers certificate. The following
excerpts from FAR Part 65 pertain to temporary certificates. "A
certificate and ratings effective for a period of not more than 120 days
may be issued to a qualified applicant, pending review of his/her
application and supplementary documents and the issue of the certificate
and ratings for which he/she applied."
PERMANENT CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE
Permanent certificates are prepared and issued by the Airmen
Certification Branch of the FAA and are mailed to the address shown on
the application form. It usually takes about 8 weeks to process the
application and issue the permanent certificate. In the meantime, you may
exercise the privilege of a certificated parachute rigger using your
PARACHUTE RIGGER SEAL SYMBOLS
When a certificate is first issued to a parachute rigger, the FAA assigns
an identifying symbol for the parachute rigger's exclusive use in sealing
parachute packs. Each parachute rigger must obtain his/her own seal press
and a seal with his/her assigned symbol. Seals and seal presses are not
available from the FAA. They can be purchased from the manufacturers or
suppliers of parachutes and parachute equipment.
After a parachute is packed, a low-tensile-strength safety thread is
usually wrapped and knotted about the release device in a manner
specified by the parachute manufacturer, a lead seal is affixed to the
thread and secured by impressing the parachute rigger's seal symbol into
it. Any withdrawal of the release pins (or other release mechanism) will
break the thread. As long as the safety thread and seal remain intact, it
is an indication to the user that the pack has not been opened since
being inspected and packed by a certificated parachute rigger.
RECOMMENDED STUDY MATERIALS
Dan Poynter's Manual I & II
Parachute Rigging Course
Parachute Rigger Study Guide
The following FAR's should be useful to a person studying for the tests.
A knowledge of the rules is often very helpful and sometimes necessary
during the performance of parachute rigger duties.
Part 1 Definitions and Abbreviations.
Part 21 Certification Procedures for Products and Parts.
Part 65 Certification: Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers.
Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules.
Part 105 Parachute Jumping.
Part 149 Parachute Lofts.
FAA Advisory Circulars
The FAA issues advisory circulars (AC's) to inform the aviation public in
a systematic way of no regulatory material of interest. AC's are issued
in a numbered-subject system corresponding to the numbering system used
The AC's of greatest interest to parachute rigger applicants are:
AC 00-2 Advisory Circular Checklist (and Status of Other FAA
Publications). Provides a list of current FAA AC's (and
certain other publications) and how to order them.
AC 00-44 Status of Federal Aviation Regulations.
AC 20-36 Index of Articles (Materials, Parts, Processes, and
Appliances) Certified Under the Technical Standard Order
AC 105-2 Sport Parachute Jumping.
AC 183-32 FAA Designated Maintenance Technician Examiner Directory.
Free AC's may be obtained by writing to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
Utilization and Storage Section, M-443.2
Washington, DC 20590
Date: Revised 1988
PARACHUTE RIGGER CERTIFICATES AND RATINGS
Certificates and Ratings
FAR Part 65, Certification: Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers,
provides for the issuance of two parachute rigger certificates: (1)
senior parachute rigger and (2) master parachute rigger. FAR Part 65 also
provides for four type ratings: (1) seat, (2) back, (3) chest, and (4)
lap. Each senior parachute rigger applicant must meet the requirements
for at least one rating, and each master parachute rigger applicant must
meet the requirements for at least two ratings to be issued a
certificate. Parachute riggers may exercise their privileges only on
parachutes for which they are rated. Parachute rigger certificate
eligibility requirements vary with the type of certificate sought (senior
or master) and the applicant's background (military or civil).
FAR Section 65.113 states:
(a) To be eligible for a parachute rigger certificate, a person must--
(1) Be at least 18 years of age;
(2) Be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English
language, or in the case of a citizen of Puerto Rico, or a
person who is employed outside of the United States by a U.S.
air carrier, and who does not meet this requirement, be
issued a certificate that is valid only in Puerto Rico or
while he/she is employed outside of the United States by that
air carrier, as the case may be; and
(3) Comply with the sections of this subpart that apply to the
certificate and type rating he/she seeks.
FAR Section 65.115 provides that applicants for a senior parachute rigger
certificate must have packed at least 20 parachutes of each type for
which a rating is sought. The parachute must have been packed in
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and under the supervision
of a certificated parachute rigger who holds a rating for that type or by
a person holding an appropriate military rating.
Applicants for a master parachute rigger certificate must have had at
least 3 years of experience as a parachute rigger and have satisfactorily
packed at least 100 parachutes of each of two types in common use, in
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Knowledge and Skill Requirements
FAR Section 65.115 provides that senior parachute rigger applicants are
required to take a written test. They are also required to take an oral
and practical test after passing the written test. Military parachute
riggers, former military parachute riggers, and civilian employees of a
regular armed force who meet the regulatory requirements may take a
special written test on the regulations of FAR Part 65, Subpart F.
Evidence to establish their eligibility under this special certification
rule (FAR Section 65.117) may be submitted in the form of letters,
official records, or other documents, within 12 months after discharge.
Master parachute rigger applicants are required to take a written test
unless they hold a senior parachute rigger certificate. They are also
required to take an oral and practical test, which may be taken after
showing they meet the other requirements.
A certificated senior parachute rigger may pack or maintain (except for
major repairs and alterations) any type of parachute for which he/she is
rated. He/she may also supervise other persons in packing any type of
parachute for which he/she is rated. A certificated master parachute
rigger may pack, maintain, or alter any type of parachute for which
he/she is rated. Additionally, he/she may supervise other persons in
packing, maintaining, or altering any type of parachute for which he/she