Packing test was today, first i had a ‘warm up’ where a rig was all twisted up etc, and i had to sort it out and repack it, then i was taken through how everything is held together, how it comes apart, and how to check it all over, then i was sent out of the room while a rig was ‘prepared’ for my test. I’d have to untangle everything, get it packed, and check EVERYTHING for problems. Was called back in, and told ‘good luck’ and later saw it described as ‘packing test from hell’ by an instructor.
Untangled and untwisted everything, and called an instructor back in, the verify that id gotten them all out and can continue, everything sorted, so carry on, get everything folded up, and get everything verified again, and continue. I get to the point where everything gets put into the container, and the main closing loop that holds it all together, is gone 😮 thats not right, I locate the missing loop, put it back into place, and continue to close everything up, the parachute is packed.
I now start to check over everything, i find the emergency reserve handle is backwards, so sort that out, a leg strap is incorrectly routed, sort that out, the reserve pin is not seated correctly, sort that out, a part is missing from the chest strap, sort that out, then check everything over, and check it again, and just before it goes off to be inspected, am aware that the reserve static line is wrapped around a strap that it shouldnt be, this is a small line that pulls the reserve parachute out if you have to cut your main one away, so that gets sorted out, and then its off to be looked at.
Two of us did the test, and we are then told to swap rigs, and inspect each others, and also told that if one of us misses something, we do it again, if one of us finds something, the other has to do it again. This makes me think theres definitely something wrong with one of them, and im sure mine was ok, as there was so many things out of place on it and i checked it over so many times. I check everything over, and as i pull the emergency reserve handle, it falls out, its meant to be held in place with a velcro grip. I try to put it back into place, but it wont go, is this a problem with the velcro? is this what is wrong that one of us is meant to find or possibly miss? I ask if theres something wrong with the velcro, and am told that ive found what was wrong, well done, youve passed. YAYYY!!! and the next words the instructor said is that the other dude has to retake the test, ahh man, how bad do i feel now, 2 seconds after being chuffed.
Its explained to us what could happen with that handle being loose, and the other guy is fine, it was an awkward feeling though.
After the paperwork is sorted out, i then went on to get another 2 types of container added to my ‘Approved Packing Certificate’ 🙂
All i need now is my own equipment to pack