IFly

    “I’m learning to fly.
    But I ain’t got wings.
    Coming down,
    Is the hardest thing.”

    Seriously, if you don’t like Tom Petty, you and I could have issues. And if you don’t relate to the concept of this song than, quite frankly, I have to question your humanity! Who hasn’t dreamt about flying through the air, unfettered by ropes and cords and without being trapped in an aluminum tube? Flying dreams indicate happiness and a carefree attitude, and I can only imagine how unfettered flight would make one feel free. I sometimes wish flight wasn’t wasted on the birds.

    But, my fear of falling has me unwilling to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, and fear of a breaking bungee cord quickly crosses bungee jumping off my list. My dream of flight seemed doomed until I heard about Indoor Skydiving.

    Indoor Skydiving is a safer and somewhat cheaper form of skydiving. IFly, which opened a Tigard Branch in November of last year, is the leading indoor skydiving company in the world. The concept is simple: Put on a flight suit & helmet, and enter a glass enclosed wind tunnel and let the giant floor and ceiling fans guide your body, unfettered through the air.

    It’s anunpretentious concept but, of course, nothing is that easy. On the day I arrived for my two one minute flights (One minute on paper is short, but, as I would find out, it’s an eternity when you’re flying.), I checked in and was quickly ushered into my flight training class.

    Here, a certified flight instructor let us know what to expect, and, of course, showed us how to position our bodies for maximum flight enjoyment. Because of the loudness of the wind tunnel, he taught us hand signals so we could heed his instructions for maximum enjoyment and safety. I felt a little like a World War 2 pilot.

    “The biggest thing,” he said. “Is relax.”

    Our group dressed for flight and took our seats along the bench and waited for our turn. Admittedly, my first flight was a bit of a disaster. As soon as I hit the wind tunnel, I lost all sensation in my limbs. This was a cool feeling, but also forced the instructor, who was in the wind tunnel with me, to use frenzied hand signals to keep my body from flailing wildly. I had fun, though, and I was looking forward to my second flight, which was only a few short minutes away.

    We upgraded to the “high flight” meaning, on our second flight, our instructor grabbed onto our flight suits and spun us high into the air. My fear of heights was momentarily gone and I was able to enjoy, on this second flight, the freedom that a bird must feel. High above the earth, a weightlessness and freedom that I have never experienced. But I do warn you: don’t look down!

    All in all, My IFly experience was amazing and I hope to do it again soon. At $69 for two one minute flights, it might be a big budget stretch to do regularly, but well worth the experience. Book your flight today by visiting….

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