NOTE: To determine the service life of a
parachute component, refer to the Mainte-
nance Requirement Cards, NAVAIR
The suspension lines form a net or skeleton for
the canopy and absorb much of the shock load.
Therefore, when being assembled, they must be
placed under a 20-pound tension, marked, and cut
as a group to assure equal distribution of the shock
load. The 28 suspension lines counted at the links
are actually 14 lines, 75 feet 4 inches in length.
These lines run continuously from link to link;
that is, each line is secured to a connector link on
one side of the canopy, runs up and over the
canopy, and down to a link on the opposite side.
Type III nylon suspension line (with a mini-
mum tensile strength of 550 pounds) is used on all
main canopies and vane-type pilot chutes. This
line consists of a loosely woven outer covering
called a sleeve, and several strong inner cords
called the core. This core provides the greater
portion of the strength of the suspension line.
The suspension lines are attached to the con-
nector links by tying a clove hitch, then a half-
hitch, and completing the attachment with
2 (±1/2 or 1/4) inches of zigzag stitching.
These lines are attached to the lift webs with
removable connector links. One of the four
removable connector links is shown in figure 1-9.
See the four links (the ends of the suspension lines
without the lift webs) in figure 1-5.
To prevent the canopy on the 28-foot para-
chute from slipping along the suspension lines,
each line is anchored by zigzag stitching at several
points to the radial seams through which it passes.
One-half inch of slack is allowed in the vicinity
of the skirt between the zigzag sewing points to
relieve the strain during opening shock.
The parachute container is designed to house
and protect the pilot chute, main canopy, and
suspension lines. There are as many different
styles of containers as there are parachutes. They
all have the same basic opening procedures. There
are four flaps: top, bottom, left, and right. These
flaps are held closed by two or four ripcord pins
inserted through locking cones. To open the
parachute container, the ripcord pins must be
removed either manually or automatically. This
allows the flaps to open and the pilot chute to
spring from the pack. The pilot chute then pulls
the canopy out.
Figure 1-9.Method of attaching suspension lines at the
The harness is the part of the parachute that
holds the parachute to the wearer. It is designed
to absorb the largest part of the opening shock,
with chest, leg, and back straps added to prevent
the jumper from falling free from the chute on
the way down. Personnel parachute harnesses are
made of 1 3/4-inch-wide nylon webbing, which
has a tensile strength from 6,000 to 8,700 pounds.
The Navy uses two types of harnesses. The
first is the quick-fit harness. It is made in three
configurations: seat-type, back-type, and chest-
type. The other type of harness is the integrated
torso harness. It combines the harness, lap belt,
and shoulder harness into one integrated garment.
This harness improves the individuals comfort
and mobility; it is more secure and is easier to put
on and take off. It also reduces the number of
exposed straps and overall bulk and weight.