DHPC Reserve Repack Sat Feb 13, 2021 in Ilkley Grammar School

Sat Feb 13, 2021 from 10:30am to 4pm at Ilkley Grammar School, Cowpasture Rd*, Ilkley LS29 8TR. 

*NOTE: Please use the Springs Lane entrance for the sports hall. This is to the back of the school and leads into the main car park which has 83 parking spaces.

This is your chance to repack your reserve in time for the 2021 season. Andy McDonald and Guy Richardson, both BHPA licensed packers have kindly agreed to attend to help out.


All welcome

Everyone is welcome: paragliders, paramoters, speedwings, hang gliders ...


Repack your reserve ...

The club is organising a repack where you come along with your harness and reserve and repack it under the supervision of licensed BHPA packers. This is a great opportunity for you to become more familiar with your equipment, learn how to repack your own reserve and to make sure your reserve system will operate correctly.

When Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:30am until 4pm
Where Ilkley Grammar School, Cowpasture Rd*, Ilkley LS29 8TR

*Please use the Springs Lane entrance for the sports hall. This is to the back of the school and leads into the main car park which has 83 parking spaces.
Contact David May
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Phone 0792 8318219
Address 14 The Crescent, Ilkley LS29 8LX, West Yorkshire
Price £10 for DHPC members
£15 for non DHPC members

Advanced booking preferable and you can pay either by a Bank to Bank transfer or by cheque.

  • Bank to Bank Transfer: this is my preference as it means less work for everyone involved. To facilitate this Marek has created a very nice web tool that provides the bank details and reference to use - see https://apps.bettersoft.uk/#/payment-info/generate
  • Cheque:  please send a cheque made out to DHPC to my (David May) address above.
Other Info Andy McDonald and Guy Richardson, both licensed BHPA packer, will be with us to help out and provide guidance. However, they are not here to repack your reserve - you will learn to do this yourself. 
Let me know the make/model of reserve(s) you are bringing as it helps to have a list of what to expect and if there are any reserves that will require a little extra attention
Bring your harness with the reserve attached. This will allow you to practice pulling it and also to have it replaced in the harness after being repacked.


What is a repack session and what should I bring?

The annual reserve repack is an opportunity for you to repack your own reserve and fit it back into your harness with a licensed BHPA parachute packer on hand to provide advice and support. To this end you should bring the following:

  • Your reserve and harness.
  • Your reserve repacking instructions. You may have received this when you bought your reserve or if not then you should be able to download from the manufacturers website.
  • a bit of string, paracord or something suitable for the packing loops on your reserve (if appropriate to your model) and also a bit of paraglider line or strimmer cord to assist with the pins when putting it in the harness
  • Suitable rubber bands to pack the lines.

    Every year I am asked where to get suitable rubber bands as they are surprisingly difficult to find. The best option is to source the same rubber bands used by the manufacturer of your rescue chute - perhaps drop the manufacturer an email to see if they can point you in the right direction. Failing that, you could search the internet for size 8 rubber bands (not elastic bands). They should have as high a rubber content as possible - over 80% is good. The best I have found are available from UK Airsports though they are a little expensive. (note: I am not affiliated in any way with UK Airsports).
  • Warm clothing - the sports hall will be cold.

Why bother repacking?

A properly packed and fitted reserve can open within 30 - 50m of being thrown. Most manufacturers recommend repacking every six months (some as frequently as 90 days). There are several reasons for this:

  • Once the reserve is packed, it can absorb moisture from being left in damp air conditions, not just wet from rain. The moisture will not get back out again easily and can cause damage to the strength of fabric and lines as well as causing the fabric of the canopy to stick together. 

  • The reserve packed in the harness gets squashed, especially if the harness is the type that the pilot is likely to sit on it whilst waiting for a launch or having their sandwiches. The effect of this is to almost iron creases into the reserve which have been shown to make the deployment slower, as the airstream takes longer to get between the leaves of the canopy to allow it to open. 

  • After about a year, the rubber bands that hold everything together long enough to deploy properly, can decay and need checking.

  •  Any velcro in the system needs to be checked because if left for a long time the it  can get “welded” together, and it takes great strength to pull the reserve out. It has also happened that the velcro on the side holders for the bridle on the harness did not open.  

  • A reserve can also be difficult or sometimes impossible to throw due to incorrect fitting to the harness.

Or perhaps you’re the type of person who prefers a visual argument. I did a quick search on YouTube for a few clips to show the difference between a slow reserve inflation and a fast inflation. See for yourself …


Slow Inflation


At about 0:15 seconds the reserve is thrown but it is slow to inflate. This then leads to complications with the reserve twisting up with the main canopy – the pilot was lucky the wing re-inflated by itself in the end.

see also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yByGAiMd4EM


Fast Inflation


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co_PQAtBd1Q   (around 30 seconds in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLlFJ8_Oq28 (around 25 seconds in)


There are a number of reserve throws in this video and all of them inflate significantly faster than in the first video.


When your reserve falls out…

Can you refit your  reserve when it accidentally falls out, after a quick drag over Wether Fell? It really is simple once you know how. If you cannot refit it safely then at best you could lose a day’s flying and at worst…


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