Parks College Parachute Research Group
Outline of the presentation at the 2003 Parachute Industry Association Symposium
Outrageous Pack Jobs and Canopy Control
presented by Gary Peek
This presentation involves discussion of packing techniques used on small
high performance ram-air canopies and their effects on openings. Also
included is canopy control maneuvers that many believe should not be
performed with small high performance ram-air canopies.
The author has performed a number of jumps using canopies that were packed in
an "outrageous" manner, that is, using exaggerated packing errors and
These jumps were videoed by the author, and sometimes by other videographers,
and were made using an intentional cutaway rig so that pack jobs that created
deployments that were not landable could be easily cutaway.
On some of the jumps, and after opening, the canopy was controlled in an
"outrageous" manner, for example, completely stalling the canopy and
returning it to flight very suddenly, or returning it to flight asymmetrically,
things that are believed to create unrecoverable spinning malfunctions.
The canopy used was the Performance Designs Stiletto 150 loaded at approximately
1.95 to 1. The cutaway harrness added 9 pounds to the suspended weight and the
regular rig added 24 pounds.
Some of the packing methods used:
- 1. Exaggerated "Roll pack"
Rolling the canopy from the nose to the "B" lines and from the tail to the "C" lines
- 2. "Accordion pack"
The canopy was held up by the tail and allowed to accordion fold itself as it
was lowered to the ground
- 3. Riser offset
Where the risers are uneven before the pack job begins. (This method when done
unintentionally by a number of skydivers has resulted in spinning malfunctions
that could not be stopped and required cutaways.)
- 4. Deliberate line twists
Where lines were intentionally twisted inside the pack job
- 5. Toggle unstowed
Where one toggle is unstowed to simulate it coming unstowed during deployment
The author has collected videos from skydivers who have videoed their own spinning
malfunctions on their small high performance main canopies and have had to cutaway.
Gary Peek is an active jumper with over 5500 jumps, an FAA rated Master
Parachute Rigger, a Commercial Pilot and jump pilot, and a skydiving
photographer and videographer. He holds USPA Static Line, AFF, and Tandem
Instructor/Examiner ratings and actively teaches student skydivers
in all of these training methods.
He has worked in the electronics field in the St. Louis area for many
years and has combined his knowledge of electronics with parachutes
and skydiving for a number of those years. He co-founded Industrologic,
Inc., an industrial electronics company that now manufactures equipment
related to parachute drop testing.
In addition to writing computer programs and providing clip art related
to skydiving, he also is an author of many articles that have appeared in
aviation and skydiving publications. He is the author of the Equipment
Color Programs published by Para Publishing and has been doing research
on skydiving fall rate using electronic devices since 1990.
Gary has been a speaker at 4 previous PIA International Parachute
Symposiums on a variety of topics.