What's the issue?
Recently, several people with epilepsy have got in touch with us about skydiving – the sport of jumping from an aircraft and landing by parachute.
You told us you wanted to reach for the sky only to have your hopes plummet to the ground.
The British Parachute Association says you can take part in a tandem jump (where you are attached to a professional) if:
- You have been seizure free for the last two years, and
- You have not had any changes to your medicine in this period
- You get your doctor to sign a medical certificate.
These rules clearly stop a number of people with epilepsy from taking part.
The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) says that you may apply for a driving licence if you have been seizure free for one year. Some of you told us you didn’t understand why you were allowed to drive a car, but not do a tandem skydive.
We have also found out if you have been seizure free for one year you can (once you’ve had lessons of course) hold a licence that allows you to fly a plane on your own.
What we are doing
Epilepsy Action has written to the British Parachuting Association asking them to explain why their rules are so strict. We have also suggested that they review their rules and bring them in line with the DVLA’s. We haven’t heard anything yet, but we will report back when we do.
How you can help
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your skydiving stories – have you done one? Have you always wanted to but have been prevented from doing so by these rules? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.