How to Become a Licensed Parachute Rigger

Two Methods:Senior Parachute RiggerMaster Parachute Rigger

If you have made several successful parachute jumps, you may want to take your parachuting knowledge to the next level by learning to rig parachutes. After you have learned to pack a parachute, you may wonder how to become a licensed parachute rigger.


In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues 2 certificates for parachute riggers under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) part 65. The Senior Parachute Rigger is easier to receive. You must have more experience to be certified as a Master Parachute Rigger. Because parachutes come in 4 varieties, there are 4 type ratings for parachute riggers.

Method 1
Senior Parachute Rigger

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    Ensure you have met the requirements for the rating. Before you can make an application, you must pack 20 parachutes for the rating type you are seeking while supervised by a certified parachute rigger.
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    Take a parachute rigging class. This step is not a requirement, but may help to make you more confident in meeting the other requirements.
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    Make an experience-evaluation appointment at an approved site. An inspector from the FAA will review your evidence of packing experience and additional qualifications to determine your eligibility for the 3 tests that are required for senior parachute rigger certification.
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    Apply for your certification by completing the appropriate paperwork. At the end of this process, you will receive an Airman's Authorization for Written Test.
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    Pass a written test. You have 2 hours to take this test, which has 8 sections related to your certification and what it allows you to do, how to pack, operate, repair and alter parachutes, and how parachutes are constructed. If you do not pass the written test, you may try again after 30 days have passed or when you receive a certification from an instructor indicating you have received additional instruction.
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    Pass both an oral test and a practical test after you pass the written test. These tests usually require advance arrangements and may be administered by an FAA inspector or a Designated Parachute Rigger Examiner (DPRE). Both tests include sections on packing parachutes and maintaining parachutes.

Method 2
Master Parachute Rigger

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    Ensure you have met the requirements for the rating. Before you can apply to be certified as a master parachute rigger, you must have been rigging parachutes for at least 3 years and have packed 100 parachutes of 2 different rating types.
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    Make an experience-evaluation appointment at an approved site. An inspector from the FAA will review your evidence of packing experience and additional qualifications to determine your eligibility to take the 2 or 3 tests that are required for master parachute rigger certification.
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    Apply for your certification by completing the appropriate paperwork. At the end of this process, you will receive an Airman's Authorization for Written Test or be allowed to take the both the oral test and the practical test.
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    Pass the written test required of senior parachute riggers if you are not already a certified senior parachute rigger.
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    Pass both the oral test and the practical test. These tests usually require advance arrangements and may be administered by an FAA inspector or a DPRE. Both tests include sections on packing parachutes and maintaining parachutes.

Tips

  • Applicants who have rigged parachutes for the military (whether active duty, retired, or a civilian employee) may have some of the requirements waived, provided they submit evidence to establish eligibility.
  • Some companies that offer parachute rigging courses require you to have made a minimum number of parachute jumps before taking the course.

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Categories: Occupations