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California Skydiving Centers Must Ensure Instructors Are Certified

Morgan Sherwood / Flickr

Morgan Sherwood / Flickr

The death of a young man and his unlicensed skydiving instructor in Lodi has led to changes in the rules for California skydiving centers.

A new California law says skydiving centers must make sure instructors are certified.

In July, 2016, Tyler Turner and his instructor Yong Kwon fell to their deaths during a tandem jump when their chutes didn't open.

Ed Scott is the Executive Director for the U.S. Parachute Association. He says Kwon had taken an unaccredited class in jumping.

"We found out pretty quickly as we began to investigate the fatal accident, as we investigate all fatal skydiving accidents. that the tandem instructor had not been certified either by us -by the U.S. Parachute Association- to be a tandem instructor or by any manufacturer of tandem skydiving equipment."

Scott says Robert Pooley was the instructor in question and that Pooley has been stripped of all licenses and certifications.

Pooley did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S.P.A discovered another 140 people who believed they were properly certified, but were not and had them take the proper training and submit paperwork.

The new law is also known as "Tyler's Law" and mirrors federal law.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in August 2017 that it could not sanction the Lodi Parachute Center for the deaths of the men.

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