Senior Rigger

         This course is designed for the individual who possesses a basic knowledge of parachutes and wishes to obtain a FAA Senior Parachute Rigger license. The course provides the knowledge and skills needed to pass the FAA exams. In addition, the practical training portion lays the foundation for advanced skills needed to work in a professional parachute loft environment. The Academy has a wide selection of modern and vintage parachute systems in addition to the most complete inventory of sewing machines and tools available today.


         A senior rigger candidate must have packed at least 15 parachutes (round and square) under supervision for a BACK type rating plus sewing and minor repairs


         Subjects covered in USAPR lectures include the following:

  • Tool ID and control
  • FAA Regulations
  • Record Keeping
  • Component & Compatibility
  • Hardware & Grommets
  • Parachute Materials
  • Hand tacking and Knots
  • AAD's Assembly and Maintenance
  • 3-Ring Maintenance
  • Parachute Testing
  • Service Bulletins & AD's
  • Sewing Machines & Maintenance
  • Canopy Repair and Line Maintenance
  • Round Parachutes
  • Ram Air Parachutes
  • Maintenance, Alterations & Manufacturing
  • Rigging Ethics & Economics
  • Fitting & Donning Equipment

Study Material

All students are required to have the following books when they arrive for their training.
(Found at Para-Gear Equipment Company or USAPR's Store!)
  • The Parachute Manual Volume I (B1876)
  • The Parachute Manual Volume II (B1891)
  • Parachute Rigging Course by Poynter & Schlatter 2000 Edition (B1875)
  • Parachute Rigger Study Guide by Poynter & Blackmon (B1877)

Included in the course fees is a copy of the FAA Parachute Rigger Handbook (PRH) which will be provided to each student at the start of the course.


         Based on our experience, the FAA written exam stresses the candidate the most. If the candidate does not pass this test they cannot proceed to the Oral and Practical exam. IMPORTANT: Should the candidate FAIL the written exam, the cost to take the exam again is $175.00.

         We cannot stress STRONGLY enough the importance of preparing for this test. The candidate should study the "Parachute Rigger Study Guide". This will prepare the candidate with the knowledge to pass this exam.

         The following website link is another option to assist in your preparation for the written test. This website provides the parachute rigger test questions. However be advised that some of the questions have incorrect answers.


         We also recommend that you visit the FAA website and download a copy of the latest test bank questions for the Parachute Rigger. Test your knowledge before you arrive for your training.


         Candidates are evaluated at each level of training. At the conclusion of the training, each candidate meets with and is evaluated by the instructors.

         Each candidate will meet with the Chief Instructor for preparation for the FAA Written and Practical Exams. This includes a mock written exam based on a sampling of test questions by the FAA. A simulated oral and practical exam will also be completed prior to the scheduled appointment with the FAA DPRE.

         FAA Senior and Master Rigger Certificates are issued by the FAA DPRE after successfully completing an Oral and Practical Exam. The temporary Airman Certificate is valid for 120 days. The permanent Airman Certificate is issued by the FAA in Oklahoma City and mailed directly to the rigger.

         USAPR Graduate riggers also receive a USAPR Graduation certificate, Graduate T-Shirt, USAPR Rigger Wings and USAPR Coffee Cup.

Notice To Senior rigger Candidates

         The FAA Senior Rigger Certificate is a license authorization to pack, maintain and make minor repairs to FAA Approved Emergency parachute assemblies. It is issued upon demonstration of significant knowledge and skills regarding approved emergency parachute systems in common use. Experience has shown us that the short duration of our training service is adequate to orient and focus qualified candidates on the specific skills and subjects required during the FAA testing procedures and during the practice of parachute rigging as common to the skydiving industry. General working knowledge of parachutes is considered a prerequisite to the scope of our training curriculum. A candidate without hands-on background in parachuting is likely to find this instruction difficult and frustrating. They will learn many things about the rigging trade and will practice many new skills. However, they may complete the course but fall short of the minimum requirements for the FAA Senior Rigger Certificate.

         USAPR Graduates have stated and will all agree, "The more you know when you come here, the more you will gain from this course." USAPR, therefore, recommends that candidates strive to acquire packing experience with approved emergency parachutes under the supervision of an FAA certificated rigger before arriving at our facility.