by Jan Meyer
I didn't want to use my reserve because...
I just got a repack.
I've never jumped a round parachute before.
the winds are too high for my round reserve.
I borrowed this rig.
the reserve might entangle with the pilot chute in tow.
Just when you think folks get things right, they come up with the most ridiculous reasons to get into trouble. The most likely time to have a malfunction and need your reserve is the first jump after a repack. This is the jump that you really find out if you hooked your parachute up correctly. (By the way, a brake line continuity check is the fastest and easiest way to check for a properly installed ram air parachute.)
If you jump a round reserve, you better be prepared to fly it. It's really no big deal. It's just slower than ram air parachutes. If you still are hesitant in using something unfamiliar, you should do a few round jumps or switch to a ram air reserve.
Originally published in Sport Parachutist's Safety Journal,
V1, #5 Jan./Feb. 1989.
Dedicated to enhancing sport parachuting safety by disseminating information about equipment, environments and human factors.