A recent tandem fatality in California, USA has lead to great concern that scores of skydivers who present themselves as Tandem Instructors may not actually be certified at all. The United States Parachute Association has taken action and put out an announcement of that action today 9/1/2016.

If you are currently flying skydivers in the USA you must read this and verify the currency and authenticity of the tandem instructors you drop. Should there be an incident with a tandem you drop you are exposed. FAR 105.45 is quite clear about tandem skydiving.

§105.45   Use of tandem parachute systems.

(a) No person may conduct a parachute operation using a tandem parachute system, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow any person to conduct a parachute operation from that aircraft using a tandem parachute system, unless—

(1) One of the parachutists using the tandem parachute system is the parachutist in command, and meets the following requirements:

(i) Has a minimum of 3 years of experience in parachuting, and must provide documentation that the parachutist—

(ii) Has completed a minimum of 500 freefall parachute jumps using a ram-air parachute, and

(iii) Holds a master parachute license issued by an organization recognized by the FAA, and

(iv) Has successfully completed a tandem instructor course given by the manufacturer of the tandem parachute system used in the parachute operation or a course acceptable to the Administrator.

(v) Has been certified by the appropriate parachute manufacturer or tandem course provider as being properly trained on the use of the specific tandem parachute system to be used.

Please read this announcement from USPA here.