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Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems

 

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Poll: Personal weight limit on tandems
<200 lbs 3 / 3%
210 lbs 5 / 6%
220 lbs 15 / 17%
230 lbs 23 / 26%
240 lbs 9 / 10%
250 lbs 10 / 11%
>250 lbs 24 / 27%
89 total votes
 
jdfreefly  (D 24037)

May 19, 2004, 6:52 PM
Post #1 of 31 (3911 views)
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Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems Can't Post

Just curious what everyone's personal limit is on the weight of perspective tandem student.

Also post the heaviest tandem you ever took, and how it went if you feel like it. Throw in their build too.

Our weight limit is 240 lbs. I took a guy who was around 6'9" (I am 5'8") and weighed exactly 240 lbs. When he weighed in he was a smidge over 240 lbs and they told him he couldn't jump. Then he took his keys out of his pocket and kicked off his shoes and made weight!

I spent a lot of time with him on the ground drilling the exit again and again. When we were hooked together, my feet were more than a foot off the ground if he stood up straight. The exit came off great and the landing was a very fast with him sliding on his ass and me sliding on my feet.

On a side note, this guy was in terrific shape and in his late 20s to early 30s. That was definately a factor in my decision to take him. Look out for overweight unathletic types. It is much easier for them to get hurt.


(This post was edited by jdfreefly on May 19, 2004, 6:58 PM)


DALAILAMA  (D 20004)

May 19, 2004, 8:50 PM
Post #2 of 31 (3817 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

My personal limit is legally 250.
Not to exceed 500lbs. (reserve max suspended weight)
Heaviest person was 270
The tallest was 7'2"


diablopilot  (D License)

May 19, 2004, 9:29 PM
Post #3 of 31 (3798 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

My max: 250lbs at a near (within 200 fl) sea level DZ, less than 90 Degrees F, on a 380 or bigger ZP canopy.

At Perris I'm comfortable with the DZ's max of 230 at 1300+ MSL, any temp, on a 375 Sigma.


crutch  (D 10182)

May 20, 2004, 4:45 AM
Post #4 of 31 (3762 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure I should talk about this as it may come back to haunt me. But the truth be known, I would rather take a 6'8" guy weighing 270 who is in shape versus a 5'2" woman weighing 190 who is soft. And it seems there are a lot more of the second than the first.

P.S. 318 lbs


douwanto  (D 23851)

May 20, 2004, 4:57 AM
Post #5 of 31 (3755 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

What he said!!!! I hate it when they mush down in the harness.
You just cant get the harness tight enough to stop it.

I will take up to 300 lbs and have. I would rather take the big guys or the little girleesBlush.
If they cant sit on the edge of a chair or table and hold their legs up for 20 seconds I wont take them.

Chris


sid  (D 20135)

May 20, 2004, 5:30 AM
Post #6 of 31 (3747 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:


P.S. 318 lbs

You never were too smart were ya? Tongue


crutch  (D 10182)

May 20, 2004, 6:14 AM
Post #7 of 31 (3734 views)
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Re: [sid] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You never were too smart were ya?

Nope, my mom is not very proud of me!


LawnDart21  (D License)

May 20, 2004, 6:51 AM
Post #8 of 31 (3725 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Here something to think about, the 500lb limit is essentailly based on the reserve's ability to deploy safely at tandem terminal. Its the manufactures "limit" on what they feel is safe. My question to you guys is this, if you have a tandem terminal reserve ride, wouldnt you feel more comforatble knowing you werent at the limit (500lbs) of what the manufacture says the resevre can open safely at? I've been 490 out the door a few times, and in retrospect didnt think it was the wisest decision. Most big people wont go through the student progression, so is it worth pushing the envelope of safety to show someone freefall that probably wont be back? Just something I've been thinking about lately. I still take big people, but I dont't go near the 500 limit anymore. Your thoughts?


crutch  (D 10182)

May 20, 2004, 7:03 AM
Post #9 of 31 (3722 views)
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Re: [LawnDart21] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Here something to think about, the 500lb limit is essentailly based on the reserve's ability to deploy safely at tandem terminal.

This question always is kinda funny to me. Are you over the limit on your personal reserve? I would venture to guess most of us are, by a much greater percentage than we will ever be with a tandem rig, at or slightly above the max. So in the whole scheme of things, why are we scared about the tandem be near the max and not our own gear?


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 20, 2004, 7:08 AM
Post #10 of 31 (3718 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not sure I should talk about this as it may come back to haunt me. But the truth be known, I would rather take a 6'8" guy weighing 270 who is in shape versus a 5'2" woman weighing 190 who is soft. And it seems there are a lot more of the second than the first.

P.S. 318 lbs

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Ditto.
The largest student I have taken was a 280 pound retired rugby player. The guy had huge, muscular thighs!


diablopilot  (D License)

May 20, 2004, 7:15 AM
Post #11 of 31 (3713 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So in the whole scheme of things, why are we scared about the tandem be near the max and not our own gear?

Because with a tandem at or over max load many of the scenarios requiring intentional reserve use will occur at a much higher airspeed than on a sport reserve.


LawnDart21  (D License)

May 20, 2004, 7:17 AM
Post #12 of 31 (3712 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Yup, that is certainly a valid counter point. The thing is though, at 120mph terminal, I have more confidence in my PD 143 opening and not blowing up, than at 180 mph with my tandem reserve opening and not blowning up under similar (at MSW conditions). Plus, lets say overloading my personal reserve blows it out on opening, I only damage myself. If a tandem reserve blows, you and your passenger are f'd. I just dont see putting a passenger (mostlikely a whuffo stranger) in that same risk that I would put myself in under my own reserve. I know the consequences of overloading my resevre, they (passengers) cant make that educated decision for maxing out/overlaoding a tandem reserve

Great point though Crutch.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

May 20, 2004, 9:21 AM
Post #13 of 31 (3687 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
This question always is kinda funny to me. Are you over the limit on your personal reserve? I would venture to guess most of us are, by a much greater percentage than we will ever be with a tandem rig, at or slightly above the max. So in the whole scheme of things, why are we scared about the tandem be near the max and not our own gear?
Aren't all reserves drop tested to 254 pounds for the TSO? I think the weight limits are for surviving the landing, not surviving the opening. I stil use a 200 ft reserve for my own rig. Never know what kind of shape you'll be in under your reserve. Might not even be awake.Shocked


Hooknswoop  (D License)

May 20, 2004, 9:43 AM
Post #14 of 31 (3681 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Aren't all reserves drop tested to 254 pounds for the TSO?

No. It depends on the TSO and the reserve.

Derek


mfrese  (D 20145)

May 20, 2004, 10:06 AM
Post #15 of 31 (3669 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

I've taken a guy 6'7" and 250 once, and it was not a problem. My current limit is 220, as I'm about that weight myself and would like to keep the total suspended weight on ANY system below the reserve max. When I lose a few pounds, I'll start taking bigger people. Wink


DALAILAMA  (D 20004)

May 20, 2004, 2:50 PM
Post #16 of 31 (3618 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

I can honestly say "yes" I am over the recommended limit on my personal reserve, however I accept responsibility for this fact, only because I don't have an individual strapped on the front of me. It would be the same as if putting a first time AFF student out with a reserve too small for them in his or her container.
The tandem student (the quote so many people abuse is) did in fact sign the waiver, however not only is it a max limit but violating it also violates the manufacturers recommendations and standards. The RWS spends somewhere around $150,000.00 every year just defending the waiver. If you knowingly violate their guidlines and standards then how willing do you think they will be in helping defend a TM using their gear. Remember, The student signed the waiver to enjoy the thrill of skydiving not the opporitunity for someone to be negligent or even grossly negligent!
Soapbox complete


AggieDave  (D License)

May 20, 2004, 2:57 PM
Post #17 of 31 (3614 views)
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Re: [DALAILAMA] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

That brings up another point.

For instance, if someone's limit was 220lbs to keep it under the 500lbs limit and a student put down on the Release of Liability 220lbs, signed it (thus is signing a contract stating that fact) but actually weighed 230, thus putting the pair over the limit. Who's at fault? Is it legally the TM's duty to check the weight against the signed contract?

Of course its prudent for a TM to, simply for safety, but I'm putting that aside for right now and just asking about the legality.


crutch  (D 10182)

May 20, 2004, 3:21 PM
Post #18 of 31 (3610 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Dave, the guy I took who was 318, was a very good friend of mine. He actually went on a diet for several months (he was 350). I had told him "if you get down to 290, I will take you. Well, the first time he came out, I honestly believe he was 290, but the Queen Aire had an engine fire that day and we didn't get to go. About three weeks later he came back out and jumped. After breaking the sound barrier in freefall (I was slightly pissed), I put him on a scale......318. So, we have a scale at the drop zone now. Anyone who seems to be lying about their weight gets on it!


DALAILAMA  (D 20004)

May 20, 2004, 3:41 PM
Post #19 of 31 (3604 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

What up Aggie Dave,
Unfortunately they are both at fault. First the student for lying on the legal binding document and the instructor for not verifying this.
Like I started out...."Unfortunately", we also must verify that they are not lying about their age by checking some form of ID, With that same token we should verify the weight by weighing them on a scale if they even appear close. If you have a large group then the politically correct way to do it is weigh everyone as to not single out one individual.
We check every student by weighing them prior to the class being given this way you will not get the students hopes up only to dash them at the last second. It may sound cruel to some, but we tell them that we need specific weights for certain reasons:
#1 To pair them up with an instructor that is simular in build.
#2 So that we may keep detailed records of information for tracking the wear and tear on the system.
#3 For legal reasons as to not violate the weight limitations of the system.
It has saved us on numerous occasions from violating the limits, If explained tactfully then the student will not only understand, but will also agree with you when you tell them "I'm sorry". Sure they will be disappointed but it will also encourage them some of the time to loose weight and try again another time. I have had students return stating "remember me? I was here before and now that I have lost weight I am back to do my tandem".

AD We will see you guys soon and when the time comes ...........Its party on!
I still owe Beer! Shiner Bok if I remember correctly?


sabr190  (D 22931)

May 20, 2004, 3:51 PM
Post #20 of 31 (3604 views)
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Re: [crutch] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

I am 5'11" and 215, not muscle bound, but not fat either. I figure a 200 pound student is pushing my personal safety limits for the both of us. Field elevation here is pushing 2800' and temps above 100 degrees is common in spring and summer.

The biggest I have taken was 6'3" 220, on a breezy day in the fall. Only did it because he drove 4 hours to get to the dz and I was the only TM that day. We had an uneventful skydive.


skydiverton  (D 123456789)

May 23, 2004, 11:11 PM
Post #21 of 31 (3504 views)
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Re: [sabr190] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

The speed with a solo rig is for all people about the same (belly to earth) and well below the maximum

A higher mass will normally result in a higher speed with tandems This increase in speed is what will cause the problem very quickly

Kinetic enery:
E=0,5*m*v^2


For me personal I will not take over 100kg (I'm 70kg) For me tandemjumping is more a free-lance activity I's not my job.


pinkskyvan  (D 24744)

May 24, 2004, 5:12 AM
Post #22 of 31 (3491 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

I prefer not to jump with any one over 230 Lbs, but there have been times when i have done it.
There are a few things that have to be taken into consideration........ instructors experience, aircraft, fitness level of the passenger and the instructor, field elevation, wind conditions.
however, i will take 230 lbs of muscle, but not 200 lbs of flab! the chance of these type of passenger getting hurt is too high.


pajarito  (D 13125)

May 24, 2004, 5:28 AM
Post #23 of 31 (3487 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, as long as I can maneuver them out of the airplane, I haven't found one too big yet. Some are more difficult to handle than others but I've felt comfortable taking just about anyone. I weigh 170.


teason  (D 18902)

May 28, 2004, 5:27 PM
Post #24 of 31 (3383 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

[For instance, if someone's limit was 220lbs to keep it under the 500lbs limit and a student put down on the Release of Liability 220lbs, signed it (thus is signing a contract stating that fact) but actually weighed 230, thus putting the pair over the limit. Who's at fault? Is it legally the TM's duty to check the weight against the signed contract? quote]

I once took a big girl who put 230lbs on her waiver....she really weighed 280lbs and was 5'6"(I guess I knew all along but I didn't want to disappoint or embarass her. The freefall was uneventful even though she was doing a little boogie woogie underneath me. Object are more stable when they have a low center of gravity! It was like jumping with an anvil below me!

The only problem came on opening. As you may know, the Racer tandem 's lower attatchment are connected to the drogue, that means it's around the TM's back. I had made an error when putting her harness on, I hadn't taken her softness into account and had stretched out the harness. On opening, the lower attachment took alot of the shock and cranked my back really bad. It also pulled me into her (and she was WIDE!!!!) spread my legs and popped my left hip outShocked. I don't even want to talk about the landing but thank god for the Firebolt!

It's not just the canopy that can take a beating when you push the limits. I have no problem takein a 240 pounder or even 250 in special circumstances but limits are there for a reason, get a scale and remember that you're not doing anyone any favors by doing someone a favor!


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jun 2, 2004, 8:52 AM
Post #25 of 31 (3268 views)
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Re: [jdfreefly] Tandem Instructor Poll: Weight limit on tandems [In reply to] Can't Post

  We have two Eclipse rigs at my DZ, with Icarus mains (one 330, and one 365). A while back (winter) I had a guy weighing 240 come out to jump, at the time the 365 was out for a reline. I told him to come back in a couple weeks when the canopy was back, and also not to gain any weight! When he came back we had just hooked the canopy up, we geared up, and just before boarding the plane it occurred to me to put him on the scale. He was 263 lb; I got on the scale with the rig and weighed about the same (right at 525 suspended, which is tso on the Tandem Raven 375). I was a bit nervous to say the least; we did the jump and had a nice gentle opening, and stand up landing! As has been mentioned, I really didnt want this one to be my first experience with the Tandem Raven!
I dont have a problem taking the short heavy chicks (I much prefer the attractive ones); main thing is that they will be uncomfortable in the harness.
Slightly off subject, between Mark and I, we have over 800 tandems on the Icarus mains. I know that there used to be a bit of apprehension regarding these tandem mains. To date we havent had a cut away. They consistently open off heading, but I think in over 400 tandems I have had line twists once or twice.


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