Most DZ's I have been to in FL have about a 235pound/110kilo policy......but then again...I did see a TM take a 270 pound guy up...the TM weighed about a buck 30...if.....and was about a foot and a half shorter...the nut...
marc "...a mind stretched with new idea's will never regain its shape"
Most I've seen will take up to around 240lbs, but will charge extra. A TMI at the DZ I went through training at blew one of the slinks off his main tandem canopy when he deployed (yes, he was using a drogue) b/c the guy he took up weighed nearly 300lbs...kinda crazy.
Most schools limit student size to about 220 pounds.
Beyond that it becomes a question of instructor skill and courage.
The practical limit on first generation Strongs was 400 pounds of suspended meat. Any heavier than that and you started blowing holes in canopies, breaking lines, etc.
Modern SET 400s are far more forgiving. I weight 190 pounds naked and am the only TM at Pitt Meadows who routinely carries 220 pound students. With heavier students, fitness is more important than weight. The flabby 260 pounder was a struggle for all concerned, while the 270 pound rugby player was easier than many students half his size.
In the long run, tandems are a mental game. If students listen, then everyone has fun.
My DZ offers $1 for every pound a student is over 200lbs. Our limit for taking someone all the way to altitude is 240lbs. Give or take a few depending on the tandem instructor. Anything over 240ish it's an exit at about 7,000' and deployment before you reach terminal. The biggest guy I ever took was 305 lbs. It depends on the individuals build. Tall long armed bigger people have more surface area so terminal isn't as fast but when you take some one who is shorter that weighs a lot well you will be screaming through freefall you tell me if you want to be going terminal when you pull the drogue release.
Had a tandem mal with a student who weighed 245ish and four lines broke on opening.........
I got spring fever.........I can't come in today.............. Seb
Max gross weight for the set-400 is 500 lbs. The rig weighs somewhere around 45-50 lbs. That makes the useful load around 450 lbs. I weigh 230 lbs so the largest passenger I will take is 220 lbs. If you had a tandem instructor that weighed 150 lbs, then in theory he could take a 300 lb passenger without overloading the system. Getting the harness on said 300 lb person is another matter.