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Chelseaflies

16 year old fun jumper? Is she too young?

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There's a girl at my local DZ, she's fully A Licensed and she's only 16. She must be doing something right because her instructor (the DZO) offered a job as ground crew and said he'd train her to be a photographer when she's got enough jumps. Let's discuss, what do you guys think? Is there an age limit? Is she too young in your opinion?
"My time is limited, what I can do with that time is not" - Jeb Corliss

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The youngest student (SL) that I've had was 15 and she was fine. The only issue with the younger ones are that they sometimes are really small and the one-size-fits all 220 Navigator can be almost little too much for them. Plus as an instructor I have to be really careful with the spotting and as they get easily blown away by upper winds.
Your rights end where my feelings begin.

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Chelseaflies

There's a girl at my local DZ, she's fully A Licensed and she's only 16. She must be doing something right because her instructor (the DZO) offered a job as ground crew and said he'd train her to be a photographer when she's got enough jumps. Let's discuss, what do you guys think? Is there an age limit? Is she too young in your opinion?



I believe the only reasons it's frowned upon in the states is that people will sue you for ANYTHING and much of the gear requires you to be 18 to use.

I know a couple younger jumpers that were friends or family of the dz that went thru and got their A license before they were 18.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
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theonlyski


I believe the only reasons it's frowned upon in the states is that people will sue you for ANYTHING and much of the gear requires you to be 18 to use.

I know a couple younger jumpers that were friends or family of the dz that went thru and got their A license before they were 18.



Bottom line: In the US it is about contract law. A person cannot enter into a contract at an age less than 18, so they can't sign a contract waiving liability, and no third party (parent or guardian) can waive liability on behalf of a minor.
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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USPA says 16 is ok with parents permission.

Keep in mind that a student pilot (airplane) can solo at 16 and receive a private license at 17. Glider can solo at 14 IIRC (if I'm wrong I welcome correction).

But due to the legal culture in the US, finding a DZ that will allow anyone under 18 to jump is a challenge.

Most of the underage jumpers I know of were closely associated with the DZ. As in kids of the DZO or S&TA. Mike Mullens kids, Rook & Missy Nelson, that sort of thing.

I know the Mullens boys were considered very "heads up" skydivers, even as teenagers. One went on to fly fighters for the military IIRC.

The part I quoted below about the legal culture is my understanding of it, although the only gear I know of with age requirements is tandem gear.

ryoder

***
I believe the only reasons it's frowned upon in the states is that people will sue you for ANYTHING and much of the gear requires you to be 18 to use.

I know a couple younger jumpers that were friends or family of the dz that went thru and got their A license before they were 18.



Bottom line: In the US it is about contract law. A person cannot enter into a contract at an age less than 18, so they can't sign a contract waiving liability, and no third party (parent or guardian) can waive liability on behalf of a minor.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Chelseaflies

There's a girl at my local DZ, she's fully A Licensed and she's only 16. She must be doing something right because her instructor (the DZO) offered a job as ground crew and said he'd train her to be a photographer when she's got enough jumps. Let's discuss, what do you guys think? Is there an age limit? Is she too young in your opinion?



Too old. Once they hit 16 it is hard to teach them anything.

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michaelmullins

***There's a girl at my local DZ, she's fully A Licensed and she's only 16. She must be doing something right because her instructor (the DZO) offered a job as ground crew and said he'd train her to be a photographer when she's got enough jumps. Let's discuss, what do you guys think? Is there an age limit? Is she too young in your opinion?



Too old. Once they hit 16 it is hard to teach them anything.

:D:D:D
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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wolfriverjoe


Most of the underage jumpers I know of were closely associated with the DZ. As in kids of the DZO or S&TA. Mike Mullens kids, Rook & Missy Nelson, that sort of thing.



Don't forget Bill Booth's daughter.

A parent isn't going to sue themselves over a mishap, so that reduces the potential pool of lawsuit defendants. Although I know the gear mfgrs still aren't happy about it.
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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ryoder

***
Most of the underage jumpers I know of were closely associated with the DZ. As in kids of the DZO or S&TA. Mike Mullens kids, Rook & Missy Nelson, that sort of thing.



Don't forget Bill Booth's daughter.

A parent isn't going to sue themselves over a mishap, so that reduces the potential pool of lawsuit defendants. Although I know the gear mfgrs still aren't happy about it.

My guess is, as you said, one of contract law. The gear probably has not been tested in those under 18, which is the same issue we have a lot in medicine. Parents could consent and sign, but they could say it was under false pretense or even that they did not actually understand the risks involved.

When a child dies in a sport, its tragic... but when its not a recognized standard of participation (i.e. "a sensible dropzone makes you be over 18") it opens for a lot of liability.

Stupid America.. we need to do away with all the lawyers.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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I've seen 17 year-old girls nearly kill themselves. I've seen 60-something year old men nearly kill themselves. And I've seen a hell of a lot of 20-something year old blokes try to out-tough the earth.

I haven't seen a correlation between age and safety, except to note that guys under 25 generally believe they're invulnerable. Out of my personal top five "you're going to fuck yourself up doing this", one was under 30 and female.

Plenty of high quality teenage packers / DZ gofers in the world, too.

So, unless there's issues you haven't mentioned, why not be a 16yo fun jumper? As long as you're able to understand the risks, have fun B|.

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bob.dino

I've seen 17 year-old girls nearly kill themselves. I've seen 60-something year old men nearly kill themselves. And I've seen a hell of a lot of 20-something year old blokes try to out-tough the earth.

I haven't seen a correlation between age and safety, except to note that guys under 25 generally believe they're invulnerable. Out of my personal top five "you're going to fuck yourself up doing this", one was under 30 and female.

Plenty of high quality teenage packers / DZ gofers in the world, too.

So, unless there's issues you haven't mentioned, why not be a 16yo fun jumper? As long as you're able to understand the risks, have fun B|.



From experience I was more responsible from 15-19 than I was from 20-26. I got old after 26 and again responsible... but if I had started jumping before i hit 20... good... after it could have been a mess because I really believe I was invincible (much like the Black Knight... the outcome probably similar)
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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DrDom


My guess is, as you said, one of contract law.



We don't need to guess.
The topic has come up multiple times before and Bill Booth has spelled it out:

Quote

As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is No waiver protection for anyone under the legal age of majority in this country. This is unfortunate, but none the less true.

Simply put, if just one person under 18 dies tandem jumping in the good old USA, the dropzone, airport owner, aircraft owner, aircraft manufacturer, UPT, PD, Cypres, and even USPA could ALL be sued out of existence. Please try to think of the damage that would cause the sport.

Don't believe it? Piper Aircraft once lost a $60 million judgement for a Piper Cub that hit a fuel truck the airport owner parked on the runway to prevent the pilot from taking off without paying his fuel bill. They, at least, had some insurance. The parachute industry has none, and $60 million is more than the entire industry has in the bank.

While there is no physical or safety reason why someone under 18 should not make a tandem, the legal argument is overwhelming.

So please don't blame the manufactures or USPA for this "rule", blame the legal system.


Quote

The UPT Tandem "Waiver Tape" AND the written "Assumption of Risk Agreement" are MANDITORY, as per the UPT User Agreement, for each and every tandem jump made in the US, and any other country where a lawsuit might result from a tandem injury or fatality. It is utterly stupid to do tandem without the protections both the tape and the written agreement afford. You are also reminded that no one under the legal age to enter contracts, usually 18, but in some states older, are permitted to make a tandem in the US.

Without these agreements there would probably be NO tandem jumping in the United States. I can't believe this question is even being asked.


Quote

Ski resorts do have legislative relief. I don't know how SCUBA handles the problem, but in both cases, the industries are much larger, and therefore, insurance is available. There is NO insurance available for skydiving manufacturers. It's a shame that the US legal system is out of control, but it's a fact we have to deal with. I've been sued for millions of dollars six times. In each case, it was the waiver that save my company. With anyone under 18, there is no binding waiver, no matter how many relatives sign it. It's that simple.


Quote

A waiver signed by a parent, for a child, is absolutely useless in a court of law. No DZ owner in his right mind would let an adult jump without signing a waiver. When you let someone under 18 jump, no matter who signs the waiver, THERE IS NO WAIVER. It is not "dangerous" to jump with children. I jumped my daughter Katie into the North Pole for her 12th birthday. It is just unwise to do it commercially in the US.



You can get more quotes from Bill Booth here:http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=search_results&search_forum=all&search_string=waiver&search_type=AND&search_fields=sbjbdy&search_time=&search_user_username=billbooth&sb=post_time&mh=25
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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Quote

As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is No waiver protection for anyone under the legal age of majority in this country. This is unfortunate, but none the less true.




Actually, not true. There are 11 states that uphold waivers for minors, and 3 more states that are "likely to do so".

Mike Mullins

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HUPRA

I would say her age is less important than her mental maturity; does she understand the implications and dangers of skydiving?

I know some jumpers in their mid 20s/30s who I would class as too mentally immature to be jumping....



I dunno man skydivers like to get wild, there is difference between being immature and being in skydiving cause it let's you go wild and act like a kid again

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chemist


I dunno man skydivers like to get wild, there is difference between being immature and being in skydiving cause it let's you go wild and act like a kid again


that's just a piss weak excuse for those who want to act like idiots.
I know far more people in skydiving who dont "get wild", than those who do.

I also know a few folks who started jumping at 16 and have done a fine job of looking after themselves.:)One of whom now has about 7000 jumps at many ratings:)
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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michaelmullins


Quote

As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is No waiver protection for anyone under the legal age of majority in this country. This is unfortunate, but none the less true.


Actually, not true. There are 11 states that uphold waivers for minors, and 3 more states that are "likely to do so".

Mike Mullins



I was looking for more info on Mike's reply and found the following:

http://www.recmanagement.com/feature_print.php?fid=200611gc03
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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ryoder

***

Quote

As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is No waiver protection for anyone under the legal age of majority in this country. This is unfortunate, but none the less true.


Actually, not true. There are 11 states that uphold waivers for minors, and 3 more states that are "likely to do so".

Mike Mullins



I was looking for more info on Mike's reply and found the following:

http://www.recmanagement.com/feature_print.php?fid=200611gc03

Reply:

This information is more current than the above link:

• The act of parents waiving the right of their children to sue a sport, fitness, or recreation service provider for negligence depends upon both the common law and statutory law in that particular state.

• States which currently enforce waiver agreements signed by parents- Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

• States which are very likely to enforce waiver agreements signed by parents- Georgia, Idaho, and Mississippi.

• States which do not currently enforce waiver agreements signed by parents- Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Mike Mullins

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ryoder

***
Most of the underage jumpers I know of were closely associated with the DZ. As in kids of the DZO or S&TA. Mike Mullens kids, Rook & Missy Nelson, that sort of thing.



Don't forget Bill Booth's daughter.

A parent isn't going to sue themselves over a mishap, so that reduces the potential pool of lawsuit defendants. Although I know the gear mfgrs still aren't happy about it.

It wasn't a huge problem when I did my tandem at 6 and started aff at 12. Everybody knew we weren't going to sue if I got hurt. Its about maturity of the jumper and the underage jumper's parent's mindset. If the kids parents are jumpers, Probably not going to have any issues.

ETA: The key as a dzo or even as far as a TI is to not risk anything with people you dont know. If you do this, You wont get sued. Make sure the jumper is mature enough to understand the saftey risks if they are going to be under their own canopy and make sure the TI on a tandem is either the parent or the parent is aware and accepts the risk. Ya know?
Carpe Diem, even if it kills me

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I did my AFF when I was 16 and there was not a single person who thought it was too young or would be a problem.

As long as you have parents permission, complete the theory side of the course and demonstrate a level of maturity there should be nothing stopping you.

If anything it is better to start young, it gets you out of all the beer fines you will encounter :P

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