irst up, what’s a MARD I might hear you ask? Well, it stands for Main Assisted Reserve Deployment, with one of the first examples being the Skyhook. They’re systems that literally use your bigger, malfunctioning, main to deploy the reserve, with one of the key benefits being a faster reserve deployment, using less altitude.

Velocity Sports Equipment, or VSE, have finally announced their latest offering in the MARD world and it’s now available on any of their new Infinity containers.

So, what’s new about it? One cool feature is the ability to check it’s all hooked up while on the flightline. Yup, there’s a little window under the reserve flap to show you, or more realistically the person checking you, it’s connected. A pretty handy feature.

If things get hairy and you chop, there’s a positive mechanical connection once the reserve deployment sequence is initiated. This means there should be no chance of a premature release of the MARD, unless the system gets overloaded. They’ve also added the Collin’s Lanyard to automatically cutaway the left side riser in the highly unlikely event of a right side riser failure.

Finally, the team at VSE say they’ve managed to create the lowest release force during a reserve-only deployment. This means that the reserve pilot chute should launch better and will do what it’s meant to do at the extreme low-speed end of the envelope.

How much will this cost you? The gang at VSE aren’t charging anything extra for their new MARD system. The components will ship with your container, allowing you to configure things exactly how you want. RSL, no RSL, or MARD, it’s up to you.

By James ‘Macca’ Macdonald –