I’m at iFly Indoor Skydiving Orlando… All I can hear is the howl of the wind in my ears. I smile from ear to ear and try as I might I can’t keep my mouth closed because I’m laughing and screaming yet no one can hear a word I’m saying. I’m weightless as I hang in a simulated free fall within a 12-foot, open flow, 1000 horsepower vertical wind tunnel.
Let’ face it – we aren’t all dare-devil adventurers willing to face our fears by scaling mountains, swimming with sharks and jumping out of planes… some of us are big chickens! hands up
iFly Indoor Skydiving is a simulated skydiving experience within a wind tunnel and perfect for a chicken like myself. In fact, on the day we “flew” a boy of about five years of age was there right along side of us. If he can do it – I certainly hope I can too!
Our adventure begins with check-in and the standard signing of the waivers. Quick and efficient because it’s all completed via touch screen computers in the main trailer of the office.
Once Hubby and I were all signed and sealed, we climbed the stairs to the top of the wind tunnel for our lesson with our instructor Dan who guided us through the proper body formation for optimum lift.
Head and chin up, knees bent, hips forward, arms out at a 45 degree and RELAX….
Now about Dan – we were in good hands he said, and I totally believed him! Dan has had hundreds of hours within the wind tunnel as well as hundreds of hours skydiving out of planes. We could tell that he was a pro that knew exactly what he was doing. He joked with us and made us feel comfortable throughout the entire lesson and thoroughly instructed us on what to do and what not to do.
After our lesson, we were suited up with our helmet, earplugs, eye protection and flight suit – a jumpsuit with little grab handles all over it that we put on directly over our clothes.
At iFly Orlando — iFlew
After we had all our gear on and were all dressed appropriately, we walked over to the flight chamber, and each waited for our individual turn.
Dan entered the tunnel first, the wind machine started, and we were told to basically just stand at the door and fall in as if you are doing trust exercises. (Only I’m trusting a man I just met about 30 minutes earlier!)
With a big gulp (and a little prayer) I stood at the door and fell into the tunnel…
Whoosh the wind pushed me up in the air as I quickly tried to remember my instructions. I panicked a bit at one point and started to move my legs which made me start to lose control – I had to force myself to take a deep breath to relax and stabilise myself. Dan the whole time leading me by way of the grab handles on my flight suit to ensure that I didn’t collide with the walls and giving me hand signals to correct my body position.
Pointing to chin = Head up
Two fingers bent = Bend your knees slightly
Two fingers straight = Straighten knees slightly
Big smile = Enjoy the experience!
As the clock ticked down, Dan guided me to the open doorway as I tried to get a hold of the door opening to pull myself out of the tunnel. Not an easy feat I might add as the wind pressure is so strong!
At first, it seems like a lot of work for just 1 minute of flight each time but when you are in “flight” it really doesn’t feel like 1 minute it all, it feels much longer. The only indication of time, while we were in the tunnel, was the digital timer that was counting down the seconds.
After our two flights, we were given the option to go back in again for an additional flight for an extra fee. We both looked at each other and shook our heads. Honestly — I was exhausted! I was so surprised that after just 2 – 1-minute flights I was really tired — the wind takes a lot of the energy out of you (but I’m also not in the best of shape so that might have been another reason).
So, How was my experience at iFLY Indoor Skydiving Orlando?
Freaking amazing! Not to toot my own horn but Dan said I was a natural ;) With adrenalin pumping through my body; I had a huge grin on my face the entire time and I know I would totally love to do it again. BUT, I truthfully would never do the real thing and skydive out of a plane unlike my crazy friend Adventure Girl Kim. This chicken still prefers the ground!
Pro Travel Tips:
- Jewelry should be removed and pockets should be empty
- Lockers are provided for your belongings but for safety sake its best to leave anything expensive at home
- Wear comfortable clothing – iFly recommends pants, shirt with no collar and lace up running shoes
- Tie your hair back If you have long hair. I didn’t bring a hair elastic for my long hair and regretted it afterwards because it was all knotted in the back from the wind
- Be aware that you are offered extras throughout the experience such as photos, extra flight time etc. at an additional fee
- Most importantly – Relax and have fun!
There are over 25 iFly Indoor Skydiving locations available worldwide, the most recent location being on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines new ship Quantum of the Seas.
iFly Indoor Skydiving Orlando
6805 Visitors Circle, Orlando, FL 32819
Have you been skydiving out of a plane or in a simulator?
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