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Wanted - Parachute (5'11" 170lbs)

Kevin91

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Looking for any reasonably priced parachute that would fit someone of my stature/build ( 5'11" 170lbs). I'm not picky, just want one that works!
 

prothct

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You know they say, "if it doesn't work, we'll give you a full refund". The biggest question is what type? backpack, seatpack, wedge? There a couple of online shops that sell used certified emergency 'chutes. I bought mine out of a place in Mass. Beware purchasing ones that have not had repacks done recent history. You may end up failing re-cert and have junk on your hands. This is one of those items that you hate to spend so much money on, at least until something like the elevator rod bearing fails, and you need to make an exit. Don Mayers shop currently has 7 for sale $1000-1600.
 

Kevin91

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Thanks for the advice, Don's shop seems to be the place to go from what I've been reading, glad you could offer some customer perspective. I'm right below MA in CT, so it would be convenient to get a chute from them since they are fairly local, but ideally I'd like to spend a bit less
 

PittsDriver68

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If you are in CT, I will suggest that you will be going to Connecticut Parachutists to get your repacks done. If John Spear is still there, tell him I said hello.

If you have not run across Butler's web page on parachutes, I suggest that its a good read. http://www.butlerparachutes.com/everythi.htm

If you use the search function here, you will find a number of posts that discuss parachutes. I lobby pilots to go for a 26' parachute over a 24' parachute. You may think today that the difference in how hard you hit the ground is not much, but I tell folks that breaking an ankle after having your airplane go in just adds lots of insult to the injury.

Don does offer really good pricing (Parachute Shop), but I will suggest that he does not fly acro or your type of airplane and so you need to start the conversation knowing what fits you in your airplane. I will suggest that if you want a back parachute, most biplane seats are more comfortable with a wedge style rig since the classic rig that has the bulk of the parachute right behind your shoulders. After a while, that can be downright painful.

The best thing to do is borrow your friend's rigs and give them a fly in your airplane. Do not accept the assurance of the used parachute salesman that the rig on his shelf will be a perfect fit. Its like buying shoes in many ways.

Since you are in CT you should get in contact with some of the IAC 35 or IAC 52 pilots who live there. Bob Cipolli up in Westfield or Rob Marsicano or Doug Lovell down at Danbury. I am in southern NH. For what its worth, I've been wearing parachutes for 35 yrs.

What type of airplane will the parachute be used in?

Oh, and you get what you pay for. I would budget $1300 for a used parachute rig. New ones are $2000 these days. If you are flying a biplane and doing acro, you don't want a cheap parachute if something breaks.

Best of luck,

Wes
 
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Tomcat

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I've got a Strong 303 Back pack for sale, red on red, manufactured in 2007 and never worn in an airplane. Includes manual and carrying case, has a fresh re-pack. $1600.00

Tom
 

Kevin91

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Sorry for such a delayed response, drove up to Pepperell, MA to see Don yesterday and didn't get back until late last night. Don was very informative and took his time walking me through everything I'd need to know about the chute. I put it on, pulled the cord, and watched him repack it.

My heart might've skipped a beat when the canopy slid off the packing table prior to it being folded into the backpack portion (for lack of a better term), but considering he has been skydiving and packing chutes since the 60's, I thought it wise not to question his judgement. His name and packing number is signed on the chute's log, I doubt he'd endorse it unless he was confident in how it was packed.

The chute I ended up going with is a 1996 National 425 Chair. It may not be the newest or the nicest, but it fit the budget and should do the job if necessary.

I greatly appreciate all the responses to this thread, and prior to talking to Don I read through all the links posted by "freerangequark" and "PittsDriver68". Thanks a bunch for the help and the offers guys
 

Eric_Anderson

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Don has a Strong 311 (Wedge suitable for a Pitts S1) for $1400. It's new but has been in storage for a bit. Comes with a fresh repack.
 

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