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What Reserve ?


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Hi there..I fly a Revo 28 with a Parajet Ti and need advice on make and size of reserve i need..new or S/H ? I weigh 85kg so i reckon about 125..130 all up weight on the safe side ? Why are the containers sold separately ? Im based near Pwllheli in N.Wales . Could do with one i feel before supreme confidence kicks in !! If anyone has got one for sale or can advise Thanks Steve

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Containers are sold separately because they're not always located in the event of a deployment.

Also to allow for the myriad of mounting options on harnesses and gear in general.

Some links:

Classic Apco Mayday


General good advice for your reserve's health


I'm not fond of the idea of throwing steering out the window just because my main canopy has chosen to misbehave in some horrendous fashion.

I have not yet purchased one, but am leaning heavily toward the Vonblon designed NASA wing shape steerable:

Who wants to float down into more trouble when some basic steering could put you at a reasonable LZ?

My Preferred color for the retrieval folks:

Reserves can be had on ebay or second hand for a pretty good price, provided you assume it will be checked, repacked and certified by a trusted rigger. My current round rig is 10kg larger then my all up mass. I got it second hand from a fellow in Germany. PM for details if interested in contacting him.

This is one insurance policy you maintain yourself and everyone flying one should put their hand in the handle with a few seconds of mental deployment for every pre-trip to make it second nature when it's needed.

Edited by Guest
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My thoughts on reserves.

In my youth i did a lot of skydiving including CRW. Canopy Relative Work where canopies are stacked together and ended up a few times getting into situations where my main parachute had become entangled and have to cut away the main and go onto a reserve parachute.

I have seen partially collapsed square parachutes start spinning, the inflated part overtaking the collapsed part. If you deploy a steerable reserve in this situation it can start reacting against the wing and not fly as it should.

I would recommend a round reserve so at least you would come down at a safe rate and not under two steerable wings that are flying against each other.

I know that skydving canopies and paramotor wings are different but its one to think about.

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But whatever you decide on, make sure you carry it! A reserve on the ground isn't much help, although it can sometimes be tempting to have a 'lightweight' flight, especially in light conditions where a longer run is needed.

Also, start to incorporate your reserve checks into your pre-flight, as it could be distressing to throw the laundry only to watch it float away while you plummet onwards.

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I have seen partially collapsed square parachutes start spinning, the inflated part overtaking the collapsed part. If you deploy a steerable reserve in this situation it can start reacting against the wing and not fly as it should.

I seldom see this in practice, and have not had to do it myself (whew) but my understanding is that as soon as a reserve is deployed, one's goal should be to disable the main canopy and get it as small as possible under pilot's control. Difficult enough on a windy hillside, but certainly makes sense to avoid fouling a deployed reserve. Is this taught for the smaller jump canopies? Or are they simply cutaway?

Understandably the forces and riser lengths are different, but end goal is the same as controlled descent rate.

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t_andrews wrote

Is this taught for the smaller jump canopies? Or are they simply cutaway?

Its taught for all skydiving due to the reserve parachute being mounted on the back of the skydiver (above where the main is stored during the skydive).

If you were to deploy the reserve without cutting the main parachute away it would deploy straight up into the malfunctioning canopy.


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  • 2 months later...

Since my initial post here, I've been trying to locate and purchase a steerable reserve in the 150Kg range.

Most go to 130kg only and measure descent rates in the middle of the weight range making my 150kg come down a bit quicker than I'd like to buy into. I would never jump off the shed with my motor on my back, so would prefer to avoid the same descent, even if it means I carry some extra fabric around until that day.

Everyone seems to ready to offer advice about having to cutaway main canopies as the main will fight the reserve under a steerable, but this is true under ANY reserve and main disabling is required to avoid it. Cutting away isn't necessary if it's truly disabled. From what I've seen, steerables have similar descent rates when forward speed is stopped and they are parachutal as an apex always is. Be kinda nice to counter that 20k wind drift too by steering into it. If no ground wind, then you can flare!

The folks offering advice generally have many sales of round reserves and no one has reported problems with them.

I have to agree that the round apex reserve is tried and tested for years and years.

Run into trouble, toss it and become a G.I Joe figurine for the rest of the ride.

Best of luck not landing on power lines, trees, alligators or landmines...

The gotcha is, a steerable reserve offers passive safety too, and hey, you can steer it!

If you went skydiving and were offered the choice of a vintage round chute or a ram air steerable, which would you choose and why?

Other than "we know they work" for a round reserve I don't understand the resistance to selling/flying with a steerable as backup.

Folks have said "they are unproven" but they have proven reliable and offer more pilot choice/option then an apex each deployment.

In the absence of a reasonable argument to avoid them, they are the only choice for me, so much so that I don't understand why they're not more widespread.

Can anyone point me to a vendor who sells a 150kg+ steerable internationally?

The papillon xl for example:





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