Pin through the loop – Official UPT Response

Photo by Keith Creedy

We shared this photo on our Facebook page yesterday, which sparked a great deal of discussion and comments.  Some of them spot on, some of them incorrect or based on misunderstandings of what is going on.

Photo by Keith Creedy

Photo by Keith Creedy

The container in question is a Vector, so we contacted UPT to get some advice and tips specific to this rig straight from the manufacturer. Below is their response.

“We are happy to hear that the jumper landed uneventful after the pilot chute in tow!
Here are our observations from the photo:

The main side flap location and grommet offset is correct.
The UPT Vector 3 container is designed and constructed to have the top 2 main grommets offset. This allows a low profile and better pin protection, allows the main pin cover to close correctly, and cosmetically  the container will look as designed. The correct offset is as pictured, with the binding tapes stacked touching the edge of the grommet.

The main bridle routing is not as per current UPT recommendations
UPT recommends routing the main bridle from the bottom up. What is pictured is the alternate older routing. The change was made in an effort to reduce the risk of bridle piercing.

Closing loop tension is unknown
When packing and/or jumping the container, care must always be taken to ensure that loop tension is sufficient to not allow the main closing pin to accidentally dislodge. Proper loop length, proper canopy configuration, and attention towards storage and use, all play into this matter.

It appears that the eye of the main pin has become trapped inside the main closing loop, from one of the following hypothetical scenarios:

  • Accidentally pushing the pin too far through the main loop during closing of the container.
    This has been observed and reported on rare occasions in the past, and has generally been caught on pre-jump inspections of the gear
  • Excess bridle incorrectly routed under the main pin, causing the pin to instantly flip to a standing position during deployment which allows the main loop to slide over the eye. This is a very unlikely scenario, although possible in theory and with some practical application.

Either scenario is preventable by utilizing correct methods during packing, and performing gear checks prior to jumping.
Please refer to the Vector 3 container manual p. 60-61 for current main closing method and bridle routing for the Vector 3 container.



UPT Service Bulletin 2015-01: Spectra Reserve Ripcord


UPT has issued a service bulletin for rigs equipped with a Spectra Reserve Ripcord manufactured during 2014 and early 2015. Please view the bulletin attached below for information of lot numbers affected and detailed procedures for interim solutions for owners of affected rigs, until a new ripcord can be obtained.

UPT has released a video demonstrating the lubricating procedure outlined in the service bulletin, to ensure the reserve ripcord glides smoothly. This procedure should be performed before the next jump and monthly thereafter until a replacement ripcord has been installed. This can be done by the rig owner or a rigger.  The reserve does not need to be opened.


Inspecting your Risers


Ohio Rigger Mary O’Reilly Whitehouse shared a couple of photos showing a pair risers  on a rigging group last week. Mary wants to encourage jumpers to inspect the components of their equipment before the summer sets in, to include the white loop on the 3-ring assembly.  In this case, she was concerned about the length of the white loop, which if of incorrect length can result in the cutaway system not working as designed, and encourages users to inspect their loop and its condition as a part of their monthly 3-ring check.


We reached out to a couple of manufacturers for input and suggestions.

T2A-loop_Blue_SkiesUPT gives this as inspection reference:

The white Type-2A loop may vary slightly in length, depending on the risers in question.
The best reference is to use the bottom edge of the Type 4 square weave, that holds the small ring.
When placed flat, the fold of the Type-2A should be even with the bottom edge of the Type 4 square weave. (Please keep in mind that there are tolerances that allow for up to 1/8” of difference)
This is true for all UPT sport risers, including tandem. 

Sun Path noted that in building risers they follow specifications published by UPT.  Loop length changes that have been made over time are noted as product improvements based on research and feedback from the field.

Both companies recommend replacement of risers as needed – neither specified a number of jumps that dictated a replacement. Both encourage container owners to check in with their riggers during reserve repacks – or more frequently if needed. If you have concerns about your equipment, including the main risers, don’t hesitate to give your rigger a call or approach the manufacturer directly.

Velocity Sports Equipment also mentioned that they prefer to work with the condition of any given component of the equipment, rather than a set replacement schedule, as it can greatly vary through use and environment the equipment is used in. They did note that any items that come into contact with the loop should be smooth and free of any edges that may cause premature wear.

So there you have it!  Safety day might be over – but now the real fun begins. Be safe, look out for yourself and each other, and give that gear a good one-over before going full blast into summer.

Holiday Shutdown for 2014


For those of you planning on doing some skydiving business over the holidays, keep in mind that many manufacturers and some shops have shorter hours or close altogether around that time. Check the list below to see when they are or aren’t available. Many will have representatives at events or boogies over the holidays, ready for your onslaught of questions (and requests for FREE stuff).

Aerodyne Research, DeLand, FL: Closed December 24 – January 5, 2015.  During that time most of the staff will monitoring email periodically. In case of an emergency, please email

Blue Skies Magazine, DeLand, FL: Closed December 24 – January 5, 2015. During that time we will lightly monitor email, so drop us a line with anything urgent.

ChutingStar, Marietta, GA and DeLand, FL: closed on Christmas Eve,  Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Dec 24-25 and Jan 1, 2015). is always open for business!

Cookie Composites, Australia: Cookie’s sales and customer service departments in Australia will be closed 22 December to 5 January, 2015.

Icarus USA: Closed Dec 24 – Jan 1, 2015.

Mirage Systems, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon on December 24 – 26. Open on Monday and Tuesday (Dec 26 and 30), closing at noon Wednesday December 31, back open January 5, 2015.

Performance Designs, DeLand, FL: Closing on Wednesday Dec 24 and will reopen on Monday Jan 5, 2015.

Sun Path Products, Raeford, NC: December 19 – January 5, 2015
If you need immediate assistance during that time, please contact Chris Talbert (910.603.2390). Orders placed via online store after 3:00 PM North American Eastern Standard Time 9th December 2014 will be processed and shipped after our holiday shutdown.

United Parachute Technologies, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon Thursday December 18, returning Monday January 5, 2015.

Velocity Sports Equipment / Infinity Rigs, Bend, OR: Closed entire week of Christmas and on New Years Day.  Return to office on January 5th, 2015. In case of an emergency, please email Nicole Fulk.

Vigil America, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon Thursday December 18, returning Monday January 5, 2015.  For immediate technical assistance during that period, contact service@vigil.areo.



This list is as comprehensive as we know it – but we might have missed someone.  If you would like your skydiving business added to the list, drop us an email with the dates you are closed, along with any special notices you wish to share.