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Parachute maintenance explained

2 min read + Video

The parachute performs a vital function for the pilot. In the event of an emergency ejection, it is extremely important that the parachute unfolds quickly and correctly in order to carry the pilot safely to the ground.

Eva-Britt is a maintenance technician at Saab with the important task of inspecting and repairing parachutes.

“You have to be meticulous in this job and have an eye for detail."

She makes sure that the harness is not damaged, that there are no tears in the canopy, that the ropes are not twisted, and so on, and then replaces worn parts. It is largely a practical job that requires a high degree of care.

“You have to be meticulous in this job and have an eye for detail. I’m actually a qualified watchmaker. I am interested in functionality and enjoy working with my hands.”

Once the entire parachute has been fully inspected, it is hung up overnight in a climate-controlled environment. The following day, Eva-Britt folds the parachute according to a specific pattern, a task that demands precision. This is done to ensure that air can penetrate the parachute correctly so that it unfolds quickly in an emergency. A machine then compresses the folded parachute with a pressure of up to three tonnes over several hours in order to remove all air pockets.

According to Eva-Britt, safety is the most important aspect of this work.

“I can’t afford to miss something. Safety is my top priority. If I make a mistake, it could put the life of another person at stake.”

“I can’t afford to miss something. Safety is my top priority. If I make a mistake, it could put the life of another person at stake.”