[ frequently asked questions ]

The following are our most commonly asked questions.
If you have questions that are not answered here feel free to

Is there a Service Life for my Para-Cushion?
Strong Enterprises does not impose an end of use (Service Life) on our Para-Cushion pilot emergency parachute systems. The continued airworthiness of your Para-Cushion is at the discretion of your Parachute Rigger’s inspection during re-pack. Strong recommends returning your parachute to us every 5 to 8 years for complete inspection and any updates that may be required. With proper care and maintenance your Para-Cushion will last for years.

OK, so there is no service life. But my parachute is old - should I replace it?
As a parachute system ages, many other things happen concurrently: a Pilot's age, weight, and physical condition may change; a change of aircraft may render a previously suitable model a poor fit; technological advances in fabric, webbing, hardware, and construction methods improve constantly. Airworthiness does not by itself imply suitability. We will be happy to help you assess the suitability of your current equipment based upon your needs.

How often do I have to have my emergency parachute repacked?
Strong Enterprises Para-Cushions are designed for a 365-day repack cycle. The laws in your country may dictate an interval that is more strict -- check your local regulations. In the U.S.A., current FAA regulations dictate a 180-day inspection and repack cycle.

How do I get my parachute system serviced?
Your Para-Cushion must be packed by an FAA Certificated Parachute Rigger or equivalent with an appropriate rating (Back or Seat), or returned to Strong Enterprises for factory inspection and repack.

Can I just leave the parachute in my airplane?
Nylon's biggest enemy is Ultra-Violet light (UV). Direct exposure to UV can rapidly degrade both container fabric and harness webbing. The best place for your Para-Cushion is inside its Carry Bag, placed inside a climate-controlled building. If you choose to leave it in the cockpit, cover it up.

What should I do for long term storage?
For long periods of inactivity, store your Para-Cushion unopened inside the carry bag and placed in a temperature controlled, dry environment.

At what altitude should I deploy my emergency parachute?
The amount of time and altitude required for full parachute deployment depend on many factors including exit weight, deployment speed, and air density. Generally, opening times are 2 to 3 seconds and altitude loss would be 150 feet (45.7m) to 300 feet (91m). Unless your unexpected bailout is above the oxygen threshold altitude, the ripcord should be pulled immediately upon clearing the aircraft. For more details regarding your particular flying environment, give us a call. We will be happy to discuss it with you.

Is my parachute steerable?
Yes! All Strong emergency canopies are steerable for collision avoidance. However, this is not a high performance parachute, it takes about 6-8 seconds to turn the canopy 360 degrees,.

What are landings like under my emergency parachute?
Imagine jumping off of a four foot high object at a walking speed. That will give you a general idea of the landing you will have under your parachute. Bear in mind that higher exit weights and landing site elevations can have an effect on vertical descent rate.

How often should I practice emergency situations?
Ideally, you should develop a bailout procedure and rehearse it every time you get into and out of your aircraft. With the parachute on, sit in your cockpit and fasten your lap and shoulder belts. Be certain these are over your parachute harness. Wear gloves, helmet and goggles, even headphones if you normally use them. Mentally visualize your bailout procedure. Inspect your cockpit for projections or sharp edges that may damage the parachute, or injure you. Consider canopy ejection, oxygen disconnect, or other requirements that you may be faced with. All these Things take time, and an emergency leaves you little time for errors.