From the photo, it looks in great shape to me - we really don't care
about the cosmetics of bleaching, mold, etc. I suggest we just try
hand washing it first to make it look better and get some of the crap
off of it, and then give a good yank to see if the shroud lines seem
firmly attached still.
If we can get one guy to hold the loop at the top and another to grab
the shroud lines and yank a couple of times and we don't hear any
further tears or cracking due to old nylon, I say it is good for a
Remember the guy that sold it to us told me that we could just go with
a streamer at the weight we are launching and that a parachute is
technically not even needed. So at worst, it acts like a streamer.
However, if you want a functional test, attach a couple pound weight
to it and drop it off a bridge somewhere (please not over I40, but
surely there is a place it can be dropped that will not endanger
traffic below). Personally, if the tug-test works and the material
seems supple enough, I would be willing to go with it.