Student Tandem Medical - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs below from (i) the Tandem Student, (ii) Relatives/Friends/Group Organisers, (iii) Doctors; and (iv) Instructors or Drop Zone Operators.


(i) From the Tandem Student:


Q: My own GP doesn't want to be involved in assessing me or issuing a certificate. What should I do?

A: You can approach any other doctor in your area for a private sports medical. That other doctor may wish to contact your own GP to ensure there is no medical problem preventing them signing your form. Read the first paragraph of BPA Form 115B for details of how to find a doctor who is likely to be willing to do this sort of medical. Alternatively, ask your nearest flying club about who does their pilots' medicals.


Q: There is a delay before my own GP can see me. What can I do?

A: Wait until you see your own GP. If need be, postpone your jump to a later date.


Q: My jump is tomorrow and I've only just seen that I will need a doctor's certificate. Can the BPA Medical Adviser clear me to jump if I talk to them?

A: Sorry, NO. You will need to approach your own doctor or specialist using BPA Form 115B. Postpone your jump until you have been able to do this.


Q: My own GP/specialist says I am not fit to jump. What can I do?

A: Your own GP/specialist probably knows more about you than any other doctor. If your own doctor feels you are not fit to jump, it is very unlikely that any other doctor will certify you as fit. Without your doctor's certificate, you should not jump. This is for your protection. If your doctor wishes to discuss this with the Association's Medical Adviser, your doctor can telephone BPA HQ for contact details. The Association's Medical Adviser will not try to alter your doctor's decision in any particular direction but will simply provide advice.


Q: My own GP is not sure whether I am fit to jump.

A: Your GP can telephone BPA HQ for contact details for the BPA Medical Adviser.


Q: Can I skydive with asthma?

A: You will need to take advice from your own GP or specialist, using Form 115B. Please also download BPA Form 252 'Asthma & Skydiving' (enter '252' or 'asthma' in the Forms Search Box in the header of this page). Ensure your doctor has sight of both documents before you see your doctor.


Q: I have a medical condition and I'm not sure if I will be OK to jump or to get a medical certificate. Can you tell me if I will be OK to jump, to save me contacting my own doctor?

A: Sorry, NO. Your own GP or specialist has the most detailed technical information about you. Please take BPA Form 115B to your own GP or specialist for advice.


Q: I have a medical condition that is not mentioned on BPA Form 115A but would like advice on whether it affects my fitness to jump. Who can advise me?

A: Approach your own GP or specialist with BPA Form 115B.


Q: I have obtained a doctor's Form 115B stating I am fit to jump but am still concerned that I may not be fit to jump. What should I do?

A: Do not jump unless you are happy to do so and to accept the risks that are always attached to a parachute jump. If you wish to discuss further, please contact the BPA Medical Adviser. BPA HQ can provide contact details for the BPA Medical Adviser.


Q: My doctor wants to charge me £80 for this medical but my friend's doctor did his for only £10. Why don't you have a low fixed price for this sort of thing?

A: In Britain it is against the law to try to set a fixed price for this sort of service. It is between the doctor and applicant to negotiate a mutually acceptable fee. You are free to shop around.


 (ii) From relatives/friends/group organisers:


Q: I am organizing a jump for a friend/relative as a surprise but they have a medical problem. Can someone advise me if they will be fit to jump?

A: NO. You will NOT be able to do this as a surprise. The person making the jump will need to approach their own doctor with BPA Form 115B.


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 (iii) From Doctors:


Q: My patient has approached me with form 115B but I am still unsure about their fitness to jump.

A: Please contact BPA HQ to obtain contact details for the Association’s Medical Adviser.


Q: My patient has asthma and I am not sure whether they are fit to jump. Can I have some advice?

A: Please download BPA Form 252 'Asthma and Skydiving' from the BPA website. If this does not answer the question, please telephone BPA HQ for contact details of the Association’s Medical Adviser.


 (iv) From Instructors or Drop Zone Operators:


Q: My student has a doctor's certificate but the doctor has added extra information to the form. What does it mean and where does this leave me?

A: Any additional information or riders on the form will invalidate it. A Parachute Training Organisation or parachute instructors are not expected to interpret medical information (even when the handwriting is legible!). If the student is unable to obtain a 115B free of additional statements, they should not jump.


Q: My tandem student has a doctor's certificate of fitness to jump but I don't feel they are fit / I feel they are not up to it / they can't do all the things I need them to do. What should I do?

A: A medical certificate gives you permission to take the student if you feel happy to do so, but does not oblige you to take them. Never take anyone on a tandem jump unless you feel they are up to it and it is within your own skill set to keep them safe. BPA HQ can provide contact details for the Association's Medical Adviser if you need further advice.


Q: My tandem student has a signed doctor's certificate but no doctor's stamp. Is this valid?

A: There are some doctors who do not possess a rubber stamp but who are still qualified to give a medical assessment. The purpose of the stamp is to allow clear and legible identification of, and contact details for, the signing doctor. Provided hand written details meet this criterion, they are acceptable.


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A tandem descent

Updated 25 April 2019

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