1 a cord that is pulled to open the gasbag of a balloon wide enough to release gas and so causes the balloon to descend
2 a cord that is pulled to open a parachute from its pack during a descent
Ripcord is a part of a skydiving harness-container system; a handle attached to a steel cable ending in a closing pin. The pin keeps the container closed and keeps the spring loaded pilot chute inside. When the ripcord is pulled, the container is opened and the pilot chute is released, opening the parachute. On tandem systems the ripcord releases the 3-ring release system anchoring the bridle to the harness-container, allowing the parachute to open.