The choice of a rescue parachute has become increasingly complex in recent years with more options in terms of shape, weight etc. ….
We will help you in your choice with our approach that will prioritize the different important factors. Here we do not only present data but also our opinions based on our experience and knowledge of the current products (and this is subjective):
The elements of choice:
1 – Size
It is very important to have a parachute big enough to have a correct fall rate (the homologation requires a fall rate in test at PTV max of 5,5 m/s). This is still important (equivalent to jumping from a height of at least 2m). We advise you to choose a parachute with a max. weight of about 10-15kg higher than your weight in order to have a more comfortable fall rate.
You should not take a parachute that is too big either, a rescue that is too big will add weight and may be too big for the container of your harness.
2 – Weight
For those who practice hitchhiking, the weight is a very important criterion. For on-site theft this is less important. But nobody likes to carry more than necessary… The weight often varies in inverse relation to the price
3 – Easy to fold
If you intend to have the folding done every time by a professional this point is not important. However, if you are going on a trip and may not have access to packing specialists, a parachute that you can pack yourself may be important. This may exclude certain shapes such as Rogallo models for example.
In any case, check that your parachute has a very clear packing instruction with pictures or video, and that there are packing tabs to make the work easier.
4 – Budget
Our parachutes are the most expensive part of our equipment, although we hope never to use them. You need to be in sync with your budget and buy the best possible backup. Our opinion is that your parachute should be considered as a 10 year investment. Is 40€ to 90€ per year too much to fly quietly? In case of need, it is better to have a second hand rescue parachute than nothing at all in the container…
Finally, it is necessary to check the compatibility with the harness or the container.
To put it simply, you need a rescue that fits into your harness without being too tight so that the pod can be released easily when needed. If the rescue is too small, some of the container’s closing pins may be loose and leave more room for unintentional opening. Sometimes a piece of foam to fill the space in the container (behind the rescue) can solve this problem
|Form||Easy to fold||Price||Fall rate||Comments|
|Round||++++||+||+||The easiest to fold, the least expensive but often the least stable|
|Square||+++||++||++||Good pendulum stability and a relatively short line cone, so less chance of it getting tangled with your main canopy… However, some are designed with a drift to reduce the sink rate. Some are much more difficult to bend than others.|
|Triangulate||++||+++||++||No… not a Rogallo, but an isosceles triangle shape….. Excellent in pendular stability, more complex to fold than a round but simpler than a Rogallo. Steerable on some models, without drift at the opening…|
|Rogallo||+||++++||++++||A very low sink rate but combined with a horizontal speed (the Rogallo is flat) even with the braked option at the opening, which can bring you quickly in obstacles if you don’t manage to pilot the rescue.|
Very often twisted opening, you have to think about the drop links for the main wing if you don’t fly with an easy to drop wing
We have not mentioned the BASE systems which are only applicable to aerobatic pilots and, in our opinion, are not suitable for most pilots.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more advice…
Here is our selection of rescue parachutes: