Tandem skydiving equipment

Safe equipment

Richard Lavoir, chief instructor at Voltige and a tandem instructor since 1985, explains us his vision of the sport in relation to the equipment used.

Let's be honest, skydiving is an activity that involves certain risks and it always will. On the other hand, many of our daily activities are also associated with a great number of risks and we've learned to accept them, sometimes without even realizing it, and we do so while striving to always minimize those risks in our lives.

That's why, at Voltige, we've decided to partner exclusively with Sigma equipment from United Parachute Technologies for all of our tandem equipment, including harnesses, containers and canopies.

As first tandem instructor-examiner in Eastern Canada, I can confirm today, after having seen many others, that this parachute system represents the most technologically advanced and state of the art tandem equipment. I, personally, would never use anything else, even if this means staying on the ground.

Richard Lavoie

SIGMA Tandem Equipmenet

SIGMA tandem harness container

In engineering, the word "Sigma" represents a set of answers to a particular problem. That's why we've decided to call our new tandem rig "Sigma"; because it represents a combination of everything that we have learned over the past 4 million tandem skydives that have been made with our equipment since 1984.

As all of the other tandem systems throughout the world use a slightly modified old model, we, at UPT, have decided to start from scratch and to design and develop a brand new parachute system, conceived specifically for tandem jumps. By combining the drogue bridal with the closing mechanism, the whole system became much simpler and easier to pack, while eliminating potential packing errors, common in other tandem systems.

Multiple innovations, unique to Sigma equipment, have made it impossible to have an out-of-sequence deployment, eliminating the biggest tandem fatality cause (30%) since 1989. If one of the two activation handles (one on the right and another on the left) is snagged by accident in the plane or on exit, there will be no out-of-sequence deployment, because of the security lock. Moreover, as these handles are retractable, if snagged out of place, they simply return to their original positions, exactly where the instructor expects them to be.

Sigma is also the only system using Skyhook. Once the main canopy is cut away, the "Skyhook" allows the reserve canopy to fully open 4 times faster. In this situation, even if it doesn't happen often, the instructor can never be certain that their passenger adopts the required body position. With this in mind, the "Skyhook" acts very fast, so that the passenger's or the instructor's body position does not affect the opening of the reserve canopy, which happens in 1,5 seconds and under 80 ft of altitude loss, comparing to hundreds of feet with other systems available on the market.

The Sigma tandem system represents a huge step forward in security and comfort, as well as in the ease of use and maintenance.

Mark Procos, General Manager
United Parachute Technologies