June 28th, 2001
We believe that the vast majority of off-heading openings actually occur between pack opening and line stretch. A number of factors influence heading performance however one that has yet to be adequately addressed is pilot chute design.
A typical BASE pilot chute uses a flat circular profile with a pulled down apex (PDA). Although fast inflating and high drag, this profile is inherently unstable. The jumper throwing the pilot chute to his side at low speeds only compounds the pilot chute's instability. This results in a noticeable oscillation that often causes the parachute to be lifted to one side or the other. This off-center lifting can start the rotation that ultimately results in an off-heading deployment.
Consolidated Rigging's AV (Apex Vent) Series of pilot chutes help solve this problem by allowing air to vent through the apex. This venting in conjunction with an improved canopy profile results in a significant gain in stability
Extensive tow testing helped us evaluate numerous profiles and vent configurations until we arrived at a configuration that provided the right combination of drag, opening characteristics and stability. We have been BASE jumping them for about 7 months now and the results are excellent.
The AV Series pilot chutes utilize zero-porosity cloth and large hole mesh. Six load tapes are used for reinforcing and improved shaping. They are available in 4 sizes from 32" to 46''. Handles are internally mounted to eliminate potential bridle entanglements.