In accordance with FAA regulations, all jumps must be made with a single harness, dual-parachute system with both a main canopy and a reserve canopy. In other words, you have a spare parachute in case the first one fails to open properly.
Additionally, the technology utilized in today’s sport parachuting equipment is light years ahead of the old military surplus gear used in the 60s and 70s. The materials are stronger, lighter and more durable.
Plus, modern packing procedures are simpler and the deployment sequence is much more refined, providing smoother openings and softer landings. The main canopy is always packed either by a rigger or by experienced packers under a rigger’s direct supervision. Reserve canopies are subject to even further scrutiny. Reserves must be inspected and repacked every 180 days by an FAA-rated parachute rigger – even if it has not been used during that time.
In the event the canopy pilot is unable to deploy the parachute, an AAD – Automatic Activation Device – will automatically deploy the parachute at a specific altitude.