HPAC Safety Advisory – March 2023

Dear Members:  

HPAC has been notified of a potentially serious finding where the reserve parachute might have not deployed properly due to an incorrect installation of the reserve in the harness.

This issue is commonly attributed to either the utilization of the container of the reserve parachute or a modification to the inner container provided by the harness manufacturer. Such a scenario may result in the inner container becoming lodged in the reserve compartment, leading to the reserve lines entangling with the inner container or the reserve compartment, consequently creating a severe safety hazard and jeopardizing the proper functioning of the reserve parachute.

To address this safety concern, it is of paramount importance that the original inner container provided by the HARNESS manufacturer is employed for reserve installation unless otherwise specified in the harness manual. Any substitutions or alterations to the original inner container must adhere to the harness manufacturer’s stipulated procedures in the manual.

The ORIGINAL inner container supplied by the HARNESS manufacturer is an integral component of the harness system, certified to the EN standards, and possesses specific features that ensure the smooth deployment of the reserve. The release handle and inner container are designed specifically to reduce the likelihood of the inner container getting jammed in the reserve compartment or entangled with the reserve lines. Conversely, opting for an alternate container, as demonstrated in Photo 1, may result in deployment failure.

Photo 1: The release handle from the original inner container provided by the harness manufacturer (Advance) was cut and then tethered to the original reserve container provided by the reserve manufacturer (Charlie).
Always pack your reserve parachute to fit the shape and size of the orignal inner container supplied by your harness manufacturer.

Moonsang Choi
Member, Safety Committee