The BPA Parachute Equipment Logbook – A good idea or bureaucracy gone mad?
For readers of the Feb 2016 issue of “Skydive the Mag” there may have been a few people who stumbled across the article introducing an equipment log book.
For some, this is a welcome change and for others it appears to be paperwork for the sake of paperwork.
Should you use it, what are the benefits, what are the drawbacks, who is going to check it and why?
Usage in brief;
The new equipment log book is designed to keep a record of the equipment that you are currently using. It’s a collection of FOUR documents, one for each of the major components of your kit (Main, Reserve, Container and AAD)
Arguments FOR its use;
It’s already being used.
- It’s quite common place within the EU, so it’s not really anything ‘new’, it’s just the UK keeping up with a common practice.
- Track and trace modifications and repairs to a particular piece of equipment.
- Check to see if a piece of equipment has had and passed or been replaced \ modified after a mandatory service bulletin.
- If the documents are NOT with the equipment that is stolen – then it becomes more difficult to sell the equipment to someone who insists on seeing it. Re-creating the documents in order to falsify them is going to be quite difficult unless the individual has a lot of skydiving knowledge.
Better sales information
- The log book will give you proof of a lot of things including; A canopy re-line, a reserve inspections and container maintenance along with details of any mandatory maintenance that has been carried out. (No nasty surprises after purchasing kit)
Faster DZ Kit ‘n’ Docs
- In theory, the kit and docs procedure should be faster. All the information is in one place and the information should be up to date. The staff member inspecting the equipment shouldn’t need to trawl through older safety notices to check to see if they have been done.
Arguments AGAINST its use;
It’s a purchasable product
- If you don’t have one in advance of arriving at a DZ where they have become mandatory you run the risk of;
- Having to purchase a card and have it filled in (which would also likely mean a reserve repack as the rigger would want to inspect the canopy to ensure any modifications are done)
- Being turned away, or being told you can’t jump your own kit.
- When you get your first log book for each of the kits you have in service – a rigger may charge for the time it takes them to correctly fill out the forms (which is only fair, as it’s their time you are using) What they charge is however up to them and would probably reflect the urgency and timing of the request.
Getting used to it;
- It’s yet more paperwork you are carrying around with your equipment.
- As they get introduced, people are not going to be familiar with them. In the early stages it’s possible to conceive there will be issues.
It’s going to make selling of worthless kit harder for the seller.
- If you insist on seeing the documents before, then you or another impartial party should be able to quickly spot if the equipment is heavily worn or completely unfit for use. Bad news for sellers who are less concerned with the safety and well-being of those they sell to.
So what do they look like?
Each one is specific to the type of equipment it relates to. Main and Reserve Canopies have different forms to Containers and AAD.
It appears that the forms are all standard A4, so you can easily keep them in a poly pocket folder.