Did you know there are a whole team of experts working behind the scenes to keep customers safe? One of those experts is Senior Rigger Jack Costanzo and he explains what a rigger does and how ‘good enough’ is not an option.
“A rigger maintains the skydiving gear and make sure it’s functioning properly,” says Jack. “On top of that it’s a case of maintaining the secondary parachutes making sure they’re packed repacked and up to date every six months, independent of use.”
While maintaining the quality and checking of the gear are all really important Jack says the most important role the rigger has is ensuring all gear is kept at the proper standards and the responsibility is placed on him.
“It’s an interesting role in some ways as the rigger will have more authority over the gear than the company owner,” says Jack. “If some one uses the gear that I’ve condemned then they’re operating illegally and can face charges.”
Jack is also a skydive instructor, a tandem instructor and skydive cameraman so has an all round understanding of every aspect of skydiving. His senior rigging role enables him to do reserve repacks and some repairs and is one year off becoming a Master Rigger. In the whole of New Zealand there are only two current Master Riggers who take on the work a Senior Rigger isn’t yet qualified to do.
“Every rigging job I do builds up my rigging time and it’s a matter of time and staying current before becoming a Master Rigger,” says Jack.
The rigging roles are closely monitored and only a select few are allowed to progress through the ranks. Over the years Jack has learned under supervision, gotten experience and a recommendation from an examiner. This ensures a lot of the same people know him, his skills and what’s going on within the industry.
Jack also went to rigging school at Elite Rigging Academy in Florida run by renowned Master Rigger and skydiver Derek Thomas. Jack spent more than a month living and breathing rigging.
“It was completely immersive, full time in a loft learning to use every different kind of machine every day from 8am until dark,” says Jack.
Jack has done well over 1000 skydives and is happy he can work doing the things he loves.
“I love the rigging work, I love sewing, repairing, doing intricate hand work and building things,” says Jack. “I always do the neatest most perfect job every time.”