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Parachute Industry Association Symposium (PIA)

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PIA was formed in 1977 by Industry leaders with a vision. Manufacturers and riggers with an interest in parachuting safety held the first "Rigger's Conference”. This Symposium is the result of these early events, as well as the untold efforts of many dedicated individuals and companies in the organization.

Symposium 2008 is the10th event that was held in Barcelona and it has grown and evolved over the years to include commercial and military parachute equipment and users.

The exhibition hall is supported with seminars by industry leaders on various aspects of parachutes, parachuting, safety, and continued education for Parachute Riggers.

For those that were not able to attend we have included some of the information, which we hope you will find as useful and as educational as we did.

The next symposium is being held in the Silver Legacy Hotel & Convention Centre in Reno, Nevada start making plans now you will not be disappointed


The major goal of the Symposium has always been to educate riggers and others in the newest aspects of the profession. Since the Rigger Conferences of the 1980’s and through the Symposiums beginning in 1991 riggers have learned an enormous amount of information, made a large number of friends and contacts in the parachute and rigging industry, and most importantly have become a much, much better riggers.

But there is always more to learn. We hope you find the information presented here as important as we have found it over the years. I also urge all riggers to become involved in the Parachute Industry Association. Whether a full time rigger associated with a manufacture, a full time independent rigger, or a part time rigger.You are welcome to participate, join, contribute, and take an active role in guiding the Parachute Industry Association.

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The PIA international symposium is primarily an exhibition and trade show, with seminars and an education program. Any one who has an interest in equipment or safety will tell you this event is second to none – manufacturers and suppliers of parachute-related equipment and services from around the world turn up to present valuable information, and show you the latest and greatest.


Riggers Committee

Riggers Continued Education Program

Who's Who


Schedule of Events

Symposium 2
While many rigger members are American, others are Israeli, Australian, Canadian, German, British and Dutch. We all have a common goal of providing the best service and safest equipment we can to our customers and friends.


Riggers sign up for this program at registration and then record all the seminars that they attend to qualify for the riggers continuing education program certificate to be recognised as a dedicated and current up to date rigger. The log sheet must be completed and turned in after you have attended ten hours of either rigging or technical classes. Refer to the class on the speaker schedule for the “R” or “T”.

R = Rigging - S = Skydiving - T = Technical - M = Managment - G = Government - B = Base


Mon, Feb. 18

8am - PIA Opening Plenary Session
9am - PIA Meeting
9pm - Executive Committee & Committee Chairs

11am - Govt. Systems
12am - Materials Compliance
1pm - Parachute Certification Standards
4pm - Specifications

11am -Symposium
12am - Historical
1pm - Mtg. Logistics
2pm - Bylaws
3pm - Awards
4pm - Membership
5pm - Comm. Services
6pm - Bldg / Museum
7pm - Risk Management

Tues, Feb. 19

8am - Morning Plenary Session
7pm - Final Plenary Session

11am – Webbing & Hardware Compatibility
12am - Technical
2pm - Rigging
3pm – Parachute Certification Standards

11am – Specifications

Wed, Feb. 20

Symposium Registration 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Exhibits Open 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Thus, Feb. 21

Symposium Registration 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Opens 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Fri, Feb. 22

Symposium Registration 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Opens 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 23

Seminars 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closing Event 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.



Whos's who

Symposium Chair - Pat Thomas

Registration - Penya Corella Alonso - Marcela Urubkova - Pat Thomas

Speakers & Class Schedule - Joe Andrzejewski - Travis Flint

PIA Membership - Karen Dean

Exhibit Area - Bill Gerrow

Audio Visual - Gerrard Fetter - Michael Turoff - Dan Poynter

Press Room - Howard White

PIA Executive Committee

President - Cliff Schmucker

Vice-President - Mo Gionfriddo

Secretary - Elizabeth Johnson

Treasurer - Dori Bachman

Executive Advisor - George Galloway


The Parachute Industry Association sincerely appreciates the Sponsors of the 2008 International Parachute Symposium. Their generous support helps to make the Symposium one of the most exciting and well attended events in the parachute industry.

Badges & Badge Holders - Airtec GmbH

Plastic Folder - Sedatex - William Reed - Mills Manufacturing Corp - Hope Global - AAD-Vigil

Flowers - CPS

Hand Shaker Prize - Rigging Innovations

Best Booth Award - CPS

Program - Consew

CD-Rom - SSK Military Industries, Inc - SSK Industries, Inc.

Note Pads - Sun Path Products, Inc.

Pens - Performance Textiles, Inc.

T-Shirts - Airborne Systems - HLC Industries - D. J. Associates, Inc - AVA Sport - Para-Gear Equipment Co., Inc - AAD-Vigil - Strong Enterprises, Inc.

Advertising - England: Skydive the Mag - Germany: Freefall Xpress - France: Para Mag - Italy: 90% - USA: Skydiving - USA: Parachutist