Mar 15, 2007, 4:55 PM
Post #1 of 8
Tandem with MS
I have a buddy that has MS and I'd like to buy him a Tandem jump next month. He needs a little adrenaline in his life. He can still walk at this point but it's difficult and requires a cane. I know it can be done but I am curious how you deal with the legs on landing. Do you truss them up in some fashion and slide him in on his butt or just make sure he has a much bigger TI and let him hold his legs up as best as he can ? He's about 5'7" 160-170#.
1) Secure the student's legs to the instructor's legs using velcro cuffs. Wherever the instructor moves his legs, the student moves theirs.
2) Secure the student's legs together above the ankles and above the knees with velcro cuffs. Under canopy, the upper legs are lifted into the landing position by pulling them up and securing them to the student's chest strap with an additional strap (there are different methods to do this). The student's lower legs are lifted into position by the instructor right before the flare by pushing them out with his feet.
A sliding landing then makes it comfortable for everyone.
Years ago, my old home DZ had a tandem passenger with advanced MS, well at the point where she could stand for short periods of time but not walk. Fast Eddie Grantland was the TM, and everybody knows him in the southeast. It was an awesome experience for all of us to watch that. She absolutely loved it and had 30 family members and friends rush her right after the tippy-toe landing.
If you are taking him to Eloy, ask for Chris Owens. He has a TON of experience jumping special needs tandem students. He is the one who showed me the cuff/strap setup that I use. He is also a fabulous instructor and incredible human being.
Jumping with m.s. is not a physical problem, most d.z.'s can accommadate your friend. There are other issues your friend may have that could cause problems. Meds, 4-A.P. is a drug that many m.s. sufferers take, it can cause fatal seizures if the persons anxiety level gets high. Balance, or lack of it can cause severe motion sickness. (puking) Bladder and bowel control is more difficult at altitude, hence all the farting at altitude. I am in no way trying to convince you not to take him, quite the opposite is true, I only advise that you make sure your friend WANTS to jump. He should check any meds for possible side effects associated with high anxiety, he can always stop for a day or two if he wants to jump.