(This is a guest post written by my nephew, AussieJJ, who lives in Sydney, Australia. He and his family enjoy taking short trips across their country, and he enjoys writing about them. Have fun reading his debut post!)
A couple of months ago, my family took a trip to iFLY Downunder in Sydney. iFLY is a company that runs indoor skydiving experiences for all ages worldwide. It had been on our minds for a long time to try indoor skydiving, and finally, we had the opportunity to! A family friend was willing to join us!
iFLY runs its sessions using massive wind tunnels. Multiple mighty wind turbines at the bottom and top help to create the wind tunnel effect. The tunnel where we went, iFLY Penrith, was approximately 14ft or 5m high. (The tunnels are enclosed by glass, making it easy for anyone in the corridor to look in and enjoy! Unlike skydiving, there is no jumping or falling; the flyer is gently lifted onto a cushion of wind. Each guest gets two chances to enter the wind tunnel).
After a simple online booking at this website the week before, we were all set! Off we went my parents, younger sister, me, my friend and his family. We were asked to arrive an hour beforehand. After signing the waiver and confirming our details, our flight instructor showed us into a room to watch an instructional video. The tutorial informed us about the hand signals we’d use during flight and the body position we were to hold in the wind tunnel. Soon, we were geared up (in a flight suit and helmet) and ready to fly.
The excitement was building now! The noise of the wind tunnel got louder and louder as we entered the corridor to the tunnel. All of it is glass, so transparent. There are seats along the sides to wait for our turn. The excitement was now clashing in my veins. I was second to have a go, my sister calling shotgun. Younger than me, I was worried she wouldn’t be able to go in, but to my surprise, she did without a fuss! She looked super eager to try it out, and as the instructor lifted her into the wind tunnel, she looked as calm as anything!
It is a new feeling when you first get in. The wind pushes you up. And you are floating! The wind blowing onto you is a unique but exciting feeling! It is hard to describe. The position they ask you to hold makes you feel as if you are levitating! It is said to simulate a free fall from 30 000 feet! It is a delightful sensation almost to be floating. It’s akin to a feeling of flying! You feel free!!
Once the instructor sees that you’re comfortable, they slowly let go (but they will still make sure you stay stable), and that’s when you truly feel free. It’s the real deal! The fifty seconds pass by so quickly. My friend was next to have a go, and even though he found it a bit challenging at first, he said he loved the wind blowing onto him! Very soon, it was our turn to go again. We all felt much more comfortable and thus enjoyed it more.
After the experience, we remained in the corridor; the instructor said she’d give us a flying performance in the tube! She asked my sister to keep both her hands on the glass. It soon became evident why. Donning a helmet, she leaned gracefully into the wind tunnel and began flying. She flipped, flew upside down and round in circles until she went up to the very top of the wind tunnel. She once again flipped backward and came shooting down. Swiftly curving before she reached the bottom, her hands high-fived my sister’s hands from the other side of the glass! After a few more elaborate moves, she flew out of the wind tunnel to a round of applause (it was evident that they are true professionals; the smoothness and elegance of the increasingly complex routine make it seem so easy).
We exited the glass corridor and changed out of the flying gear. We exchanged congratulations with the other flyers and got a flight certificate afterward. It tells us our flying skill level, where we got up to on that day, and the ranks we can work through.
iFLY wants no one to miss out. They accommodate people of all ages 3+ and with all kinds of disabilities. I was impressed with iFLY for the whole experience.
So, if you are thinking of doing this sort of thing, I say: definitely try this out! There is no danger involved, but see if it’s for you. Relax and have fun. The instructor will make sure you are settled and comfortable. The 50-second rides will go by in a flash, and you will not regret it.
Until next time, folks!