What is required to jump a tandem rig solo.

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It is possible to use a tandem rig for solo jumping. I was told by a DPRE / Tandem examiner) this year of a big jumper turning up with a tandem rig to jump solo. Its obviously not something that is common and they called UUPT to confirm that this was OK and got the green light. I don't know the exact details but I suspect it was rigged as a normal rig (not as a tandem with drogue) and hence the concern about whether this was OK. They made sure that they got this confirmed in writing from UUPT prior to letting this guy jump.

As to using a tandem rig (rigged as a tandem rig with drogue). I would guess that the manufacturer of the specific gear is the place to ask, but suspect the answer will be - its ok as part of the certification course. A tandem rig is not just another sport rig and requires additional emergency training/procedures which are covered in the course.

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I'm not sure which tandem system you are considering earning a rating on, but if it's Vector or Sigma, then the answer is unfortunately, no, you cannot jump a tandem rig solo unless your attending and participating in a course.

Edited to highlight the sections:


Since the issue is still being debated, then I have to respectfully ask, "Who says? Under what authority? And what are ya gonna do about it? "


From reading FAR 1054.5 on tandem parachute systems, the language doesn't make clear but implies that it only applies to two people parachuting together. It only refers to two person operation, so it seems (without me looking up FAA definitions) that it applies to tandem jumps, not solo jumps on rigs certified for tandems.

This seems to match what you are saying: that you speak only for UPT gear, not in general in the USA.

So in what way is the answer "no"? You imply it is somehow a UPT rule? And how does it have any legal bearing on anything? Or can they start denying tandem ratings to whomever they feel like? Do they have any power over owners of their rigs who are not the actual tandem instructors? Why does it have to be part of a course as opposed to instruction from a buddy who is a tandem IE? (Or maybe that is in effect a course if run properly although not a formal course.)

And why would the 3 yrs / 500 freefalls apply? It doesn't for the FAA. Is a UPT rated IE somehow obligated to follow certain rules by UPT on who they train -- to jump a tandem rig, not to take to full certification?

Leaving aside the FAA and manufacturers now, is there any USPA rule that prohibits grabbing a tandem rig and jumping solo?

For example in a SIM section on tandems that mostly involves tandem jumps, it also mentions tandem equipment specifically:

Tandem equipment instruction must be
conducted by an individual approved by
the tandem equipment manufacturer of
that system.

(It's in 2-1.F.4.c if I got the messy numbering right.)

This suggests that if you are being trained, it has to be by a properly rated individual, but not that it has to be part of a structured course. And it doesn't actually say you have to be trained at all (which I wouldn't recommend).

Yet other rules might require other things. I don't know the US rules but haven't yet seen anything requiring anyone to be trained on anything. In contrast, the CSPA has some generic rule that you must be adequately trained on whatever you jump. So that would suggest it would be prudent to be trained by someone who has been a tandem instructor / examiner. Still, nobody gets kicked out of the organization because they never learned to assemble their 3-rings right.

So there are many questions that can be applied to the answers so far in this thread, to precisely define under what authority and under what penalty, the FAA, USPA, or rig manufacturers may prohibit a certain thing.

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***Crystal Ball (if equipped)

I'm intrigued now. Is that an actual thing, and if so, what does it do?

Actual thing

I was curious myself, and searched "Tandem Crystal Ball" to find this.
"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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Huh! Good find, thanks. I was initially confused as to how it could possibly operate, given that it's mounted on the shackle rather than RSL itself, but from reading the manual, it's apparently mounted so that pulling it up first opens the shackle, letting you then extract the RSL.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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The way I see it, if you jump a tandem rig without a rider, it becomes a solo rig. Common sense really.

Not really different to trying out any rig you are not familiar with. Like wanting to jump an old style fore and aft system with ripcords, capewells and a round reserve for example. Go through the drills, and give yourself some leeway when you jump.

With thorough training and a cautious approach I can't see why a competent jumper couldn't jump one.

Its exactly what a bunch of us did when we bought our first tandem rig, way back when tandems came into being, and before a Tandem examiner could come and take us for ratings. Hell, even the examiner had only a handful of tandems back then.

With a cautious and sensible approach, we had no problems. Like anything, once you get the rating, thats when you begin to learn what tandems are all about.

Sure its different, with different procedures for deployment and EP's, but once one has familiarized themselves properly with the system, what is the problem?

Most of the caution you see promulgated is more to do with potential liability issues, which of course, is a very big deal in some countries.

One doesn't always have to take the "scary monster" approach to anything that is a bit different.

Jumping wouldn't be where it is today if we didn't try new things back in the day. Somebody had to take the first steps.

I can't really see the difference.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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