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DomDoeslive

waited 6 years only to realize.

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Every since I was 10 I've wanted to jump out of a plane.
Realized I was turning 16 in about half a month.
Started looking for a skydiving place near me only to realize that the age limit was changed due to an accident.
I thought it would be ok if it was a tandom jump but even that is not allowed. Me being older is not gonna change if a parachute opens or not.
Easily ruined my week. If anyone knows of a way I could still skydive in texas please share any info.

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Every DZ in Texas from the 3 big corporate owned ones down to the small 182 places across the state require that you sign a legally binding waiver. It basically says you understand you skydiving is/ can be dangerous and that you understand you could get hurt or die and are giving up your right to sue them if it happens. In the US you have to be 18 or older to sign such a waiver. There are certain circumstances that a parent or guardian can sign a waiver for a minor but I don't know of any DZ in Texas (or the US) that does it. The potential legal hassle/ risk isn't worth it for them. 

 

My advice hang out, let the 2 years fly by and jump on your 18th birthday. It's an awesome way to celebrate.

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And the reason they won’t allow it is the track record: younger students who got injured and sued both their parents and the dropzone. 
Some other countries allow younger tandems. Maybe you can visit one. I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just reality. 
I know a Regional Director who used to own a DZ, whose children weren’t allowed to jump until they were 18. 
Wendy P. 

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23 hours ago, wmw999 said:

I know a Regional Director who used to own a DZ, whose children weren’t allowed to jump until they were 18.

Not to go OT but... I know a national director whose kids were jumping at 14 (or was it 12?).  and apparently his dz still allows those under 18 to jump despite the fact that is busting a BSR...

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9 hours ago, skybytch said:

Not to go OT but... I know a national director whose kids were jumping at 14 (or was it 12?).  and apparently his dz still allows those under 18 to jump despite the fact that is busting a BSR...

No BSR violations.

West Tennessee only allows minors to jump with an age waiver approved by the USPA board of directors.

Mike can speak for himself about the details of his DZ's specific situation and his perspective on the issue, but be assured no BSR violations are occurring.

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I am at the other end of the scale.

I did a basic Freefall course starting on Static lines 36 years ago when I was in the Army. Operational postings meant I fell out of currency and didnt get to keep it up back then, although i dreamed of getting back into it.

Fast forward 14 years and I decided to do it again. At that point I was 15kg over my height to weight ration for AFF training so it was a no go. 

I worked really hard to get the weight off but by the time I had kids were on the horizon and the financial pressures meant it was a no go.

That brings me to now. Kids have left home, I am fit healthy and my height to weight is well under the limit, I have never been more ready.

 

But I live in the UK and the agist rules here mean that you can not learn in the UK once you have reached your 55th birthday, which I have.

What to do? Well if the dream is big enough the facts dont count so I have found a way to do the training elsewhere and I'll get my jumps in to gain the qualification for my A license overseas. Once I have done that I will cross the bridge of license award in the UK somehow.

So my advice to the OP is it may be difficult, it may take some time, but dont lose sight of your dream and dont be disillusioned. Your time will come, and you cam find a way to make it come sooner.

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(edited)
12 hours ago, chuckakers said:

No BSR violations.

West Tennessee only allows minors to jump with an age waiver approved by the USPA board of directors.

Mike can speak for himself about the details of his DZ's specific situation and his perspective on the issue, but be assured no BSR violations are occurring.

An age waiver approved by the very BOD he serves on. 

What is required of a dzo to get that waiver?  How many dz's in the US have that waiver?

Edited by skybytch
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(edited)
2 hours ago, skybytch said:

An age waiver approved by the very BOD he serves on. 

What is required of a dzo to get that waiver?  How many dz's in the US have that waiver?

USPA has not granted age waivers to drop zones. They are granted to individuals who are then welcome to jump anywhere they like without being in violation of BSR's.

Edited by chuckakers
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(edited)
37 minutes ago, chuckakers said:

Waivers are not requested by or granted to drop zones. They are granted to individuals who are then welcome to jump anywhere they like without being in violation of BSR's.

That is interesting. What would be the typical reasoning behind granting a child such an exemption to the BSR? I am not against the concept of a 16 yo skydiving. I'm just wondering why USPA would on the one hand attempt to limit the liability of having minors sign unenforceable waivers but on the other hand grant what is essentially a waiver waiver. And I would assume that even though USPA may grant a waiver the child would still have to find a DZO willing to take the legal risk. Because the waiver of the BSR is unlikely to have any effect under law.

Edit to add, the phrase "individuals who are then welcome to jump anywhere they like without being in violation of BSR's." is really pure BS and double speak. These individuals could never be in violation of the BSR, they are not members and not bound or pledged to USPA BSRs. Only the DZ is truly being released from any obligation. This whole thing is really just another example of the strong influence that UPT and other tandem manufactures hold over the culture of the USPA and US skydiving in general.

But hey, manufactures give out a lot of sponsorships and are some of the few players who can provide employment and advancement opportunities in this small industry. It is no wonder they get catered to by those who dedicate so much of their lives to the sport. Skydiving is a funny thing. It's roots are kind of as an outlaw culture, but there is now getting to be a more and more corporate influence. Not really surprising when you see large organizations with 10s of millions of dollars in assets involved in both DZ operations and  the equipment manufacturing side.

Edited by gowlerk

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10 hours ago, MickPatch said:

I am at the other end of the scale.

I did a basic Freefall course starting on Static lines 36 years ago when I was in the Army. Operational postings meant I fell out of currency and didnt get to keep it up back then, although i dreamed of getting back into it.

Fast forward 14 years and I decided to do it again. At that point I was 15kg over my height to weight ration for AFF training so it was a no go. 

I worked really hard to get the weight off but by the time I had kids were on the horizon and the financial pressures meant it was a no go.

That brings me to now. Kids have left home, I am fit healthy and my height to weight is well under the limit, I have never been more ready.

 

But I live in the UK and the agist rules here mean that you can not learn in the UK once you have reached your 55th birthday, which I have.

What to do? Well if the dream is big enough the facts dont count so I have found a way to do the training elsewhere and I'll get my jumps in to gain the qualification for my A license overseas. Once I have done that I will cross the bridge of license award in the UK somehow.

So my advice to the OP is it may be difficult, it may take some time, but dont lose sight of your dream and dont be disillusioned. Your time will come, and you cam find a way to make it come sooner.

Unless the rules have changed, it is only the first jump that can't be done in the UK

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(edited)
On 8/18/2020 at 10:12 AM, MickPatch said:

But I live in the UK and the agist rules here mean that you can not learn in the UK once you have reached your 55th birthday, which I have.

What to do? Well if the dream is big enough the facts dont count so I have found a way to do the training elsewhere and I'll get my jumps in to gain the qualification for my A license overseas. Once I have done that I will cross the bridge of license award in the UK somehow.

 

Get a USPA membership and come over to Germany. At my DZ (Bitburg) I too am a foreigner (Yank) but it's an advantage in that I'm not subject to DFV (Deutsches Fallschirmsport Verband) rules (which I find draconian) because I'm a USPA member. You can also try Spain but I would wait for the C19 crisis to be reduced before trying that. Italy has some crazy medical rules for almost all extreme sports, so don't go there.

Edited by markharju

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I am indeed booked already for an AFF with 10 consolidation jumps in Spain at the end of November. Since there is no point rushing back to quarentine have booked a further 7 jumps to train FS1 and staying a few extra days to jump some more.

 

I know Covid is still a concern but the case rate but I'll manage my risk accordingly.

 

Oh yeah when I told my missus I was booking she asked me to book for her too 

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To expand on the comments by Chuckakers, gowlerk, and skybytch, it is possible to skydive if under 18 at a USPA dropzone. A waiver MAY be granted by the USPA Board of Directors, on an individual case by case basis. Such an example might be a dropzone kid who has been working at the DZ helping pack and run errands, both parents are instructors, has soloed a plane, and had tunnel instruction. That type of kid MIGHT be considered positively for a waiver. The Board decides each case individually on its own merit, just as Chuck said.

Also, just because an individual gets this waiver, a DZ doesn’t have to let them jump. It is each DZ decision, they may chose not to allow. Recently, a young lady was granted a waiver, and completed her “A” license in another country where she could jump, but had difficulty finding a DZ here in the states that would allow her to jump, even with a waiver and A license.

West Tennessee Skydiving recently assisted 2 young ladies under 18. One completed her A license, and one completed her B license, and both under 18. They are both talented, driven, focused individuals. When one asks about the success in granting these waivers, these are two success stories right here.

Concerning USPA membership, any jumpers that is cleared for self-supervision or solo jumping, is required to be a USPA member if jumping at a USPA Group Member dropzone.  That means, when AFF is completed, the student must join.

I hope this information helps clarify the question. I am fairly confident of these facts, as I assisted both of these ladies to get their waiver, I jumped with both these ladies, and I signed off both of their license applications.   If anyone has any individual or specific questions about this issue, I am happy to answer privately or here publicly.

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(edited)

I has to do with the equipment, not the location.  I know of at least one drop zone in the US that allows tandems all the way down to 12 to jump ... because their European tandem system is rated as such and they are not a USPA Dropzone.

Edited by ColoradoJones

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For the OP - lots of the posts here are skydivers talking among themselves regarding shit that is way to detailed for you. Don't worry about it.

The truth is, yeah - you probably need to be 18 to jump, and I know it feels like it sucks, but seriously - go do some tunnel flying. When you're 18 you'll start miles ahead of everyone else in terms of skills, and you'll be comfortable enough to actually ENJOY your first proper freefall. And tunnel flying is a blast - particularly if you go with friends... Maybe do that for your 16th?

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(edited)

In general, age waivers for tandems dont exist (anymore, they did in the past). Those who are doing tandem jumps under the age of 18 are non-affiliated DZs. However, even then the Ti is breaking BSRs because the BSRs apply to all skydives regardless of where they are conducted. The USPA made this clear in something they published on their website awhile back that basically said that working as a Ti at a non-group member DZ does not permit you to take those under the age of 18 on tandem jumps. Even if you surrender your USPA TI rating and only hold a manufacturer rating, the FAA requires all Tis to hold a master parachutist license, and since the USPA is the only organization in the USA that grants them, all Tis are legally required to be USPA members in order to comply with the requirement of holding a valid master parachutist license. If you surrender your USPA membership, under USPA bylaws you are not a member in good standing and members who are not in good standing are not authorized to execute the privileges of their license (i.e. you dont have a license anymore).

Getting an age waiver for AFF is different. That is easier because the manufacturers dont come into play.


https://uspa.org/downloads/minimum-age-to-skydive#:~:text=For all U.S. tandem makers,18 strictly the minimum age.

Edited by 20kN

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On 8/18/2020 at 11:30 AM, CoolBeans said:

"Meanwhile there is a new factor: One DZ that is not a USPA Group Member has announced that it will take minors as young as seven on tandems. (Can a 7-year-old even comprehend the risks of skydiving?) Going for the under-age market is short-sighted. While state regulators and legislators may not feel the need to act if a 16-year-old is injured (or worse), you can be sure of governmental reaction if a 7- or 10- or 12-year-old is involved. And since governmental action is almost always overreaction, you can be sure new state laws will encroach on other areas of skydiving, too."

Back in the 1960"s a New York State Senator's niece was hurt making a parachute jump.  With the Senators influence, New York State instituted regulations for parachute jumping / skydiving.  DZ's had to be licensed by the state, you had to get a state demo permit and had to follow the regulations.  As skydiving technology and methods advanced, these regulations became more and more out of date but were still on the books as written in the 1960's.  I found out they were planning on rewriting and updating the regulations and organized a letter writing campaign to New York Department of Transportation.  A lot of letters were sent and in 1985 New York State dropped all the regulations.

Believe me, you don't want your state to come up with skydiving regulations.

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