Industry Partners: Parachute Industry Association

This month many of our articles have dealt with personal parachutes and the history of military airdrop. We chose this theme to lead into one of the most important parachute events of the year. The Parachute Industry Association Symposium. Capewell is a proud member of PIA and will be joining our industry partners in Daytona Beach, Florida this year. If you’ve never heard of this organization, this article will explain who they are and what they do.

The Parachute Industry Association was founded in 1976 and is devoted to the advancement and safety of parachutes and parachuting activities. The PIA is comprised of companies and individuals united by a common desire to improve business opportunities in the aviation segment. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, its membership is comprised of equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, parachute riggers, government and military agencies, and other industry professionals. The PIA creates, publishes, and maintains materials, technical, and certification standards relating to parachutes.

The Parachute Industry Association actively pursues a variety of technical, safety, and promotional projects to support its members and the aviation industry. The PIA also develops technical, service and operating standards for parachute equipment, skydiving safety and related aviation topics. According to the global information company IHS, separate PIA committees oversee procedures in government and military systems, processes for parachute rigging, guidance on risk management, equipment specifications and parachute certification standards. PIA specifications and standards are then applied to parachute production and handling.

The PIA Symposium is an event held on odd-numbered years. It is an opportunity for industry professionals, instructors and manufacturers to meet and exchange ideas. The event also consists of an exhibit hall for manufacturers displaying the latest developments in skydiving gear, as well as seminars covering a wide range of industry related topics. According to the PIA, this year’s seminar topics include:

  • High performance approaches and landings
  • The SkyHook system from a riggers perspective
  • USPA Instructor forum and standardization meeting
  • Risk management in the parachute industry
  • Reserve packing different brand containers presented by the manufacturers