Pilot chutes, according to Dan Poynter, only last about 300 jumps. These days with short walks back to the packing area, packing on carpet and improved material people are often getting more than 300 jumps, but they still wear out.

When they do get worn out, develop lots of snag holes or the fabric is becoming too porous you need to replace it. The question is, ...with what?

ZP is very slippery but will produce a little more drag.

F-111 is very low porosity and will stay in the BOC with less sliding around.

Personally I like the F-111 pilot chutes. The next question is, big? Again Dan Poynter helps out by saying it should be 3% of the area of the canopy and around 2% if your opening speed is above 150kts. A few quick calculations gives us the following table. (For what it is worth, in an old copy of the Parachute Manual, the old, old MA-1 pilot chute was meant to provide around 140 lbs of drag at 120 mph.)

Depending on taste, I prefer lighter colours so they can stand out in the sky for the person who has inadvertently strayed into the airspace above you. On the other hand dark colours look cool.

So in essence, if you are jumping a big canopy (+200 Sq ft), then you probably need a 36 Pilot chute. On the other hand, under a 170 Sq ft, my lovely little 27 should do the trick.

The other things you need to tell me about is the handle type, the length of the bridle cord and whether you want the bridle cord to have a kill line.

Price Approx $120 plus postage depending on criteria chosen


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