Photo by Andrew Weber.
A jumper caught this damage to his locking loop while performing a thorough pre-flight inspection of his gear before his first jump of the day. If the loop had broken during the jump, it would have caused one riser to release. This is obviously undesirable in any circumstance but would be catastrophic while under canopy at an altitude too low to respond.
Damage such as this can have many causes: burrs on the inside of the 3-ring assembly, the riser grommet or the ring on the end of the cutaway housing; use of abrasive packing weights; dragging the rig while packing; and hard or off-field landings. This jumper was unsure as to what caused the fraying of his locking loop, saying “All I can think of is if I bumped up on something or it somehow brushed up against something [while I was] moving it around.”
Fortunately, this jumper pre-flights his rig with great attention to detail at the beginning of every jump day. “When I safety check my rig,” he said, “I usually look at the retaining loop visible from the front, and then roll it over/pull the hard-housing side out so I can see the rest of the loop, then tuck the housing back in.”
This jumper sent the rig to the manufacturer for repair. However, it can also be a simple fix for a master rigger to make if they have the right sewing machine and materials on hand.