Reserve Parachutes

 A reserve parachutes give the pilot a second chance in the event of mid air collision, collapse or structural failure.

Many pilots consider that reserves are a commodity.  (That is they are all the same except for price.)
However that is not our experience.  It would be similar to say that all paragliders are the same or all hang gliders are the same.  Clearly they are not.  We do recommend that you purchase a high quality reserve though we conceed that any reserve is better than nothing and we sell a full range.

At Avian we advise the pilot to consider carefully when choosing they type of reserve to make sure the correct size is purchased.  Then look after your reserve well... Just in case.

It is also very important to not think, "OK I've ticked the reserve parachute  box."
Instead think of the whole reserve system and how it might work from initial deployment and right through to the attachment to the harness. All these points have to work to give you a meaningful 2nd chance.

It is recommended that you practise how you might deploy the chute while hanging in your harness while safely  inside on the ground .

How Long do Parachutes Last?

Most manufacturers recommend replacement every 10 years. However a lot depends upon how well the reserve has been looked after. It needs to be kept clean, dry and out of direct sunlight. It is said that just 3 days in direct sunlight can halve the strenght of the parachute fabric. So keep it out of sunlight. If it gets wet then it should be opened out to dry (not in direct sunlight!) throughly and then repacked. In any case it should be regularly inspected and repacked.

Please also be aware that in the earlier days of hang gliding it was common to use reserves that were much smaller than are now considered safe (in the mistaken believe that a small reserve would open quicker). So if you have a very old reserve it may well be too small as well as too old. Also bulk and weight of the packed parachute isn't a very good indicator of the descent rate it will give you (more modern designs can pack smaller and lighter and still give a better descent rate).

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Apco Mayday 18 Hang Gliding.
Apco Mayday 18 reserve for hang gliding.
RRP £529.00
SAVE £8.34 (2%)
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Maillon Rapide Steel 8.0mm diameter
Steel Maillon for attaching parachute bridle to harness. This very strong metal loop is the accepted method for attachment to the harness.
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Parachute repack
At Avian we can air out and repack your reserve parachute to ensure that it opens reliably if you have to use it. This is a good thing to arrange while your glider is in for servicing, so you don't miss any of those precious flying days!
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Quantum QS330
High Energy
High Energy Quantum Series 330. Pulled down apex emergency reserve parachute.
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Quantum QS440
High Energy
High Energy Quantum Series (QS) 440. Pulled down apex reserve hang gliding or paragliding parachute.
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