While a rigger was helping a jumper change a main closing loop, he noticed that the Precision Aerodynamics soft links on the main parachute’s risers were installed improperly. According to the manufacturer, the soft link should loop through the lines and riser three times, then pass through the metal ring and be secured to it via a lark’s head knot. This jumper had simply looped the links over the rings without using a lark’s head knot and had looped them through the risers only twice (like a different manufacturer of soft links requires).
Although the jumper had made about 100 incident-free jumps with the links incorrectly configured, the mistake made the links weaker than the manufacturer’s standard, and they also could have become disconnected during a violent opening since the rings were not secured with a knot. Jumpers should always look up instructions from the manufacturer when installing equipment that is new to them, because different products require different methods of installation to work properly.