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Parachute Laboratories, Inc. Position on Under Age Tandems
3/4/2009Parachute Laboratories, Inc. Position on Under Age Tandems
We were recently made aware of a Racer Tandem Instructor that was taking minors as young as 9 years of age on Tandem Skydives.
We would like to reiterate that PLI's position is, and always has been, that the minimum age for Tandem Students is eighteen (18) years of age or the age of majority in the State where the jump is taking place.
No Tandem Skydive should ever be undertaken without a duly signed “Acceptance of Risk and Covenant not to Sue” agreement from the student. This agreement indicates that the student agrees to give up certain legal rights that protects the Instructor, the Drop Zone Operator, the Pilot of the aircraft and the Manufacturer of the Parachute Equipment in the event of any injury. A minor cannot give up their legal rights, nor can a parent or guardian give those rights up on their behalf.
This leaves all parties vulnerable to law suits that would financially cripple or shut down most of the sued parties. It should also be noted that minors have up to three (3) years after their eighteenth birthday to initiate a lawsuit. Therefore if an instructor were to take a 9 year old and that student should sustain any injury, all of the parties would have the threat of a lawsuit hanging over them for 12 years.
Therefore it bears repeating again, no Racer Tandem Instructor should ever take a student that is under the age of majority in the State where the jump is performed.