Tuesday, March 11, 2014

iFly Dallas Indoor Skydiving Review

Have you had the urge to skydive but are too scared to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?  Then iFly Indoor Skydiving might just be your speed.

I had the chance to experience indoor skydiving with Cowboys players Jeff Heath and Gavin Escobar for a story. Shooting the story at iFly in Frisco was actually Jeff's idea and it was a brilliant one.

Candidly, I had no clue what to expect and I thought I might lose my lunch.  Turns out the experience was the most fun four minutes I have had in a long time.

What Exactly is iFly?
The iFly concept delivers true free fall conditions in a huge wind tunnel which is similar to the ones members of military and professional skydivers use for training.

You fly in an enclosed flight chamber which has fans that generate wind speeds in excess of 175 miles per hour and let you experience true weightlessness.
The iFly Dallas Experience 
Before you can fly, you have to go through a thorough, yet simple training session.  None of it is too complicated. Our instructor was engaging and made sure everyone in our training session, which included a child under 10, understood the hand signals and correct body positioning required for our flights.

It shocked me to learn that people as young as three years old can participate.

Jeff Heath, me and Gavin Escobar in "uniform"
Once we gear up in what I must admit are uniforms that do a body no favors, our "class" entered the wind tunnel seating area.  The wind tunnel is quite loud.  You really can't hear anyone if you try to talk.

Jeff Heath flying
Each of us received a flying session with our instructor that lasted about 90 seconds to two minutes.  During the first session, our instructor guided us the entire time.

After everyone flies once, we go again.  Each of us paid for the "high-fly" package which allowed us to fly high up into the tunnel.  In the second go-round we were able to fly unassisted, lying horizontal similar to Superman.

Our photographer, Daniel Royas, flying
We weren't able to do any crazy, acrobatic maneuvers that the flight instructors are capable of performing.  We were just lucky to remain horizontal and not run into the wall.

What It's Like 
In short: it's amazing.  I could not stop smiling the entire time while in flight.  Both Gavin and Jeff thought it was awesome, too.  I never once felt queasy.  It's truly that free feeling of flying with a cool wind blowing in your face. Just spectacular.

The instructor indicated we might be sore the next day because we were using back and abdominal muscles we typically don't engage.  While the flight is a workout, there was no soreness at all.  I felt fine.

The only downside is that the actually flying time is pretty short, roughly less than five minutes. Everyone in my group was a first-timer, so we participated in the First Time Flyer package which included the training session and gear rental. There are also Return Flyer and Experienced Flyer packages.  You can purchase up to one continuous hour of flying time.

The Cost 
Because we were shooting a story, the team at iFly was nice enough to give us a complimentary session.  A First Time Flyer family package for five people (the one we had) is $269.95.  The same package for a single person is $59.95.

I would do this on my own in a heartbeat.  It was the experience of a lifetime that I can't wait to try again.

The Details 
iFly Indoor Skyding is located at 8380 SH 121 in Frisco.  It's right off 121.  You can't miss it.

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