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Issued by Angus Pinkerton - Chairman of the Flying & Safety Committee 23 December 2004.
All pilots must READ, DIGEST AND TAKE ACTION on the contents of this Notice and keep it for future
If you hold a copy of the BHPA Technical Manual this notice must be inserted into it and retained until it is
withdrawn or superseded on instructions from the Chairman FSC.
The DHV have issued a recommendation that pilots using DHV certified emergency parachutes should
ensure that their maximum take-off weight never exceeds 75% of the parachute's certified maximum
payload. (This means that if the emergency parachute has a certified maximum payload of say 114kg, it is
only recommended for use with a maximum of 85kg payload.)
This is as a result of a DHV study of injury rates arising during the use of emergency parachutes. They
examined all the reported incidents where emergency parachutes had been used by DHV pilots in 2003, and
after stripping out all of those where the pilot's fall had been arrested by trees, found that the eleven incidents
left showed a clear trend: pilot injury (generally serious) occurred in all those events where the load was
greater than 78% of the DHV certified parachute's maximum payload.
The DHV emergency parachute standard uses a 6.8m/s descent rate as the criteria. This is considerably in
excess of the BHPA 5.5m/s recommendation (which is also used for the CEN 12491 standard). The high rate
of injury uncovered in Germany should be no surprise to those following the FSC's carefully researched
advice on parachute sizes and acceptable descent rates.
If your emergency parachute is a DHV certified type, check to find the maximum certified payload and ensure
that your total weight in flight does not exceed 75% of this figure. (The DHV are planning to list all DHV
certified emergency parachutes and their certified max. payloads on their website:
(Nb. Reducing the max. payload by 25% should, by calculation, reduce the descent rate to approx 5.8 m/s.
Members are reminded that comprehensive advice on emergency parachutes is contained in the BHPA Pilot
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Ref. no.: FSC.SC.8
Date: 12/2004
Pages: 1 (Pink)

Reported on 23/01/2005 by Guest Author