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Big Fat Repack

On Sunday 22nd March I drove to Reading with Ben to learn how to repack our reserve parachutes at the Annual Thames Valley Club ‘Big Fat Repack’. I was very impressed with the organisation and we both learnt a huge amount. The day started with a lecture which showed us not only the basics of repacking a reserve but also how important they are and that they are not just ballast we tend to carry around in our harnesses. They do save lives and we, as pilots, need to know how they work. If in doubt, throw it…

A zip line had been set up across the sports hall. We clipped in at the top and then pushed off. My reserve is mounted at the top of my harness and the handle is on my right shoulder. I threw it and by the time I had reached the bottom, there it was, billowing out reassuringly behind me. I was amazed to see how quickly they do open when packed properly. It gave me a lot of confidence. Ben followed down after me and he too had no problems.

We then set about repacking them in pairs. The manuals helped and it took about half an hour for each reserve – bearing in mind, this was our first time and our attention to detail was great as we did not want to get it wrong! We had some questions and there was someone on hand to help us which was great.

After lunch, we drove to Liddington (NW site) just off the M4 and had an hour of soaring in the late afternoon in quite strong winds. The end to a perfect and very useful day. I would encourage anyone who has not been to go next year. I shall be packing my reserve next time and I will consider attending the Big Fat Repack again…

Thank you to all involved.

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