Parachute inspections in Australia

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Parachute inspections in Australia

Post by geoff_g »

For Sling owners in Australia with the Magnum ballistic parachute system installed, if your system is nearing its 6 yearly overhaul schedule, hopefully this information will be useful, especially for those that are not owner-builders, and especially for VH registered aircraft bound by CASA maintenance regulations.

I figure that there will probably be a number of factory built or second-hand Slings that will start to have this overhaul approaching, so here’s a breakdown of my experience so far.

In my case I have a second-hand, factory built (2016) Sling 4 on the VH register, so can only perform limited maintenance myself (CAR Schedule 8) . With the Magnum 6 year inspect/overhaul interval upon me this year (2022) I set about finding out what the process is.

My first port of call was of course Errol, who was as always very helpful. Unfortunately being a VH aircraft, they are unable to do the work themselves, but it should be straightforward to remove the parachute for the inspection - with a word of caution that dealing with Magnum can be a challenge, and nothing happens quickly dealing with them.

Since my annual was also due around the same time, I asked my LAME if they could remove the chute at the same time… Of course, BUT … Being a factory installed option in a VH registered aircraft, they requested a letter to confirm that the aircraft could in fact be flown without the parachute installed, to cover them if CASA came knocking. (I had thought that a general covering statement would cover all Slings, however these letters are commonly required and are issued for a specific airframe)

I sent a request off to the factory, and within a couple of days had a cover letter for my aircraft from the senior aeronautical engineer at Sling HQ confirming that the aircraft can indeed be flown without chute, provided either fixed ballast be installed or a new W&B be issued. With this letter and a copy of the Magnum install manual from the internet forwarded on to my LAME we were good to go. (

First hurdle down, and with my aircraft now in the workshop, the parachute soft pack removed and cables all secured inside the aircraft, my LAME asked where to send the chute to. I thought for a minute, and asked if it was just the parachute that had been removed, or the rocket as well, as per the manual… of course it was only the chute, the rocket was news to them.

Now it gets interesting. There’s nothing in the online manual that details the installation and connection of the rocket … being the ballistic part of the system, they were a bit concerned about the removal of this part. My LAME is certified to work on the Cirrus CAPS system, and needs to be trained and certified by Cirrus to do anything with the ballistic rocket. No such requirements anywhere for the Magnum system … and also no documentation. I am guessing that the instructions to connect the rocket to the bowden cable come with the rocket itself, and as I’m not the builder I didn’t have this vital information - and it’s nowhere to be found online.

Once again, Errol came to the rescue, pointing me in the right direction - Bryn Lockie, the Magnum ‘distributor’ based in New Zealand - he’s not listed on any of the Stratos07 sites or details that I could see… Bryn gave me a rundown on the process of the rocket exchange process, and forwarded me the vital ‘how to disconnect and disarm’ the rocket motor documentation. With that forwarded on to my LAME, the rocket was also removed from the aircraft and made safe, and the skins riveted back in place and the annual completed (nearly 6 weeks have gone by now). A new W&B was NOT performed, however the maintenance release carries an endorsement that 16kg of ballast needs to be carried in the baggage area whilst the chute is absent, and the pull handle has been placarded as inoperative.

I had a lift by road to drive up to collect my aircraft, which was the right decision in hindsight, as the the uninstalled rocket motor now classifies as dangerous cargo, and can’t be transported (legally) by air - so the chute and rocket came home by road with my lift

So what happens next? The expired parachute needs to be sent back to Stratos07 in the Czech Republic for inspection and re-pack. This was arranged via Bryn, who got me to liaise directly with Stratos07. After a few emails back and forward with Romana (you’ll need the build date and serial number of the chute here), I packed and shipped the parachute via FedEx (With a FedEx account this was around $650)

The rocket is a little different. Bryn put me on ‘the list’ for a replacement rocket. Stratos07 send shipments periodically to him (via DG flights) and you need to be on the list to ensure one is in the batch for you. For this you will need to provide him the build date and serial number of the ‘expired’ rocket (stamped into the base). There is a cost of around $3500 for the exchange - a 10% deposit needs to be paid before the exchange can be arranged. The ‘expired’ rocket needs to be kept somewhere safe until you receive the replacement, which comes in a steel cage with flame suppression safety mounting hardware (There is an $800 refundable ‘core’ charge included in the cost for the transport cage and mounting hardware)

This is where I am up to currently - waiting for parts to come back.

In theory, what happens next is that once the parachute and replacement rocket have been received (and installed into the aircraft), the expired rocket needs to be ‘delaborated’ (opened and propellant removed), with the casing being returned with the steel cage and mounting hardware, leading to a refund of the deposit made earlier.

I’ll update this when something happens….

The various contact details throughout this process so far have been:

Bryn Lockie,
Leading Edge Aviation Holdings Pty Ltd,
AU (02) 8355 7009 NZ (09) 973 5119


Chute return address;
Stratos 07 s.r.o., Zlinska 617, 273 01 Kamenne Zahrovice, Czech Republic
Ph +420 313 658 151

Empty Rocket return address;
Leading Edge Aviation, West Auckland Airport – Parakai, 76 Green Road Helensville 0874, New Zealand, Ph +09 973 5119.
Geoff G

Sling 4 - VH-KMQ
Canberra, Australia
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