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.


Part One

The author has performed a number of jumps using canopies that were packed in an "outrageous" manner, that is, using exaggerated packing errors and questionable techniques.

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:

Part Two

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

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.

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