About

Fun Fact
Members of SSK and Airtec used to demonstrate CYPRES activated reserve deployments on live jumps during the World Freefall Convention. The activation altitude was set to 4,000 ft causing the jumper to be pulled out of the 20-way formation so others could witness.
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SSK Industries, Inc. was formed in 1983 by Steve Stewart, Cliff Schmucker, and Jerry Kautz. Its purpose was to continue the production, manufacture, and innovation of the popular "Sweethog" harness and container parachute system, separate from the dropzone business located at Waynesville Airport in Southwestern Ohio. In 1987, SSK introduced the first "Extra Narrow" harness/container system, targeted for the needs, safety, and comfort of smaller-framed skydivers.

In 1991, SSK became the U.S. Service Center for the German-produced CYPRES AAD (Automatic Activation Device) manufactured by Airtec, and is now responsible for the maintenance and support of 75,000+ CYPRES units located in the Western Hemisphere. In 1997 SSK relocated to the present facility in Lebanon, Ohio.

SSK is a member of the Parachute Industry Association and has been actively involved for over 20 years. Cliff Schmucker served as president of PIA for nearly 20 years.

Although SSK no longer actively manufactures the Sweethog, many of the design innovations introduced by SSK live on in equipment produced by other companies.

In 2003 SSK Military Industries, Inc. was formed to handle sales, service and support to the U.S. Military.

Today, SSK designs, manufactures, services and integrates advanced technology parachute systems and equipment. In addition to sales, service and support of the CYPRES, SSK provides sales, service and support for the Military Altitrack altimeter, manufactured by Larsen & Brusgaard. SSK also manufactures a motorized frame that utilizes virtual reality software as a parachute simulation training tool for the military. The newest product launched by SSK is ParaTrack, which is a GPS based guidance system for military special operations jumpers.


Parachuting (Skydiving, Flying, & related activities) is, by its nature, a high risk activity and may cause or result in serious injury or death.

Regardless of any advertising or other written, verbal, or perceived claims to the contrary, parachuting is a high-speed dangerous activity that can severly injure or kill you. In spite of everyone’s intentions, there is no such thing as perfect parachute equipment, a perfect drop zone, a perfect airplane, a perfect instructor, a perfect pilot, a perfect parachute rigger, a perfect packer, a perfect skydiver, or a perfect student, and each of these factors and others involved will likely fail to perform as intended on occasion, possibly resulting in grave consequences, including serious injury or death.

Parachuting is a privilege, and those who participate do so of their own free will and acknowledge the risks involved. In return for the privilege, they knowingly give up certain rights and agree that neither they, nor anyone on their behalf, will seek damages from any person or entity involved, including but not limited to dropzones, instructors, aircraft owners, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

Automatic Activation Devices (AADs) are strictly backup devices and are not intended to replace proper training or timely execution of appropriate emergency procedures. Use of an AAD may even cause injury or death under certain circumstances. Prior to any use of an AAD, you must consult all relevant equipment manufacturers’ owners and operating manuals, and must obtain training from a properly qualified instructor to become more familiar with the risks involved and to ensure proper use of your equipment, including the AAD.

The “CYPRES” AAD has been on the market for over 20 years, has a near-perfect reliability record and has likely saved thousands of lives. Statistics indicate that its use tends to reduce the risk of serious injury or death. However, it must be understood that CYPRES does not eliminate these risks, and in certain rare circumstances it may even increase the risks.

The CYPRES is strictly a backup device which may or may not save your life or prevent serious injury. The CYPRES is an electromechanical device and as such, the possibility of a malfunction can not be excluded. The CYPRES does not open or deploy a parachute. It simply cuts a loop, which should allow the parachute opening sequence to begin. Because of many variables, this opening sequence may or may not occur at all, or in time to save your life or prevent injury. In an emergency, nothing, including the CYPRES, replaces your responsibility to activate your reserve parachute in a timely manner. If you, your family, relatives, or friends are not willing to accept these risks, please discontinue the use of CYPRES, and seriously consider taking up a safer sport!

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