Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to jump out of a plane and skydive? I know I have, but I would NEVER in a million years actually try it. I’m deathly afraid of heights and not a fan of flying in general. But now it’s possible to try it without the fear of stepping out of a plane, iFly locations across the country. It’s a 14ft climate-controlled and re-circulating vertical tunnel with 1600 horsepower. And trust me, it’s worth it.
We recently brought the family and even my hard to please eye rolling teen son loved it! What a rush!!
When you first arrive (and you must arrive 1 hr before your scheduled flight time), you’ll fill out the required waivers and then head upstairs to watch a brief training video and learn some basic hand signals (it’s too loud to talk in the actual wind tunnel). Afterwards, they’ll outfit you in a flight suit, goggles, ear plugs and a helmet. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing and have sneakers. I wore yoga pants and a t-shirt which was perfect. You and your group will then enter the chamber surrounding the actual wind tunnel. The instructor will demonstrate how you enter the tunnel and the correct form to assume for your flight. Then it’s flight time!
When it’s your turn, you approach the entrance to the tunnel, and lean into the chamber and attempt to assume flight position. This is actually trickier then it seems with the winds gusting. It can definitely feel like you’re flailing around for a few seconds but the instructor is there to guide you the whole time. Each flight lasts about 1 minute. That doesn’t seem very long but when your cheeks are fluttering (they actually really do flutter) and you’re trying to maintain flight position in the gusting winds it seems like a much longer period of time. But, don’t get me wrong, it is exhilarating! The basic package “earn Your Wings” includes 2 flights and is $69.95. There’s an option for a high flight (which is $10 additional) that I highly recommend you purchase. In this experience, in the last 30 seconds of your second flight, the instructor holds on to you and spins you up the 3 story tunnel 2-3 times. It gives you the true flying sensation.
The instructors are all experienced sky divers and our instructor, Josh, is a member of the US National Sky diving team. The whole crew was super patient with me (the nervous mom), and the kids. Josh was especially incredible with Little and it’s clear from this photo that she absolutely loved flying!
They all did and so did I. What a great bonding experience for us as a family. It’s so rare that I find activities that can appeal to the wide age range of my kids and this one definitely did just that. I loved that the kids saw how nervous I was to enter the chamber and then to watch me overcome my fears. And, I loved that the older boys saw their little sister accomplish something right alongside them. They definitely gave her props when she came out of the chamber.
iFly is perfect for a family outing, a bonding experience with the kids and I’m predicting the new place for small birthday parties! It would also make a great Father’s Day gift. Make sure to inquire about the family package.
Note: Anyone from age 3+ can fly, providing you don’t have shoulder or neck problems.