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Skydiving Rules Changing Nationwide For Minors

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The U.S. Parachute Association will increase the minimum age for first-time skydivers nationwide to 18 years starting May 1, replacing a provision that allowed younger teens to jump with parental consent.

USPA spokeswoman Nancy Koreen says the change isn’t related to the recent incident in Oklahoma where a North Texas teen plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground after her parachute malfunctioned. The teenager, Makenzie Wethington, survived and is recovering from her injuries.

(credit: Baylor Institute For Rehabilitation)

(credit: Baylor Institute For Rehabilitation)

In an email to The Associated Press, Koreen says raising the age limit has been an issue that the USPA and the skydiving industry “have been struggling with the past couple of years.”

Koreen says skydiving equipment manufacturers have already instituted 18 as the minimum age for use of their gear “in reaction to an increasingly litigious society.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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