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Parachute Exception Important for Glider Pilots

The Parachute Industry Association and the United States Parachute Association have begun an initiative to obtain an exemption from the current requirements of 14 CFR Part 91.307 (a)(1),(2)(ii) and 14 CFR Part 105.43 (b)(1) that specifies parachutes must be repacked every 120 days. The exemption requests that the repacking requirement be extended to 180 days. The SSA has joined with several other interested parties in asking to be named in this petition.

What does this mean for the Soaring Society of America members? Our participation in the petition means that if the exemption is granted members will be allowed 180 days between mandatory parachutes repacks. It’s anticipated that the exemption will last for a year, and if at the end of that year no problems develop, the exemption will be extended for another year. After gaining three or more years experience without complications, the consortium then anticipates submitting a petition for rulemaking to make the change permanent. Modern parachutes are constructed with materials that are more sensitive to handling and will hold up better, which makes them safer, if they are handled less often. An added benefit is that this exemption, if granted, will decrease the cost of ownership of parachutes.

We will keep you apprised of future developments concerning this issue as the petition progresses.

Posted: 1/14/2005 By: Government Liaison Committee

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