My family has been wanting to try iFLY for so long. When iFLY Fort Worth (located in Hurst, TX) invited us to check out their indoor skydiving center, I jumped all over that! This particular location opened in October 2016, but there are currently over 60 locations. These are represented over 10 countries and even at sea as an on-board cruise activity.
iFLY Indoor Sky Diving: The Experience
My husband was probably the most excited about iFLY, at least initially. I scanned the website and saw that kids as young as 3 are able to participate! WOW! While we were provided with 2 complimentary first time flights, I purchased fly time for 3 more in my family so that my husband and four oldest kids (aged 5, 7, 10, and 12) could try it out.
I stayed out of the tunnel to chase after my 2 year old, but they let me sit in on their training session. The instructor, Walt, was lively and fun. He has flown over 3,000 times and clearly loves what he does. His wisdom and experience shines, but I was mostly grateful at how good he was with my rambunctious 5 year old.
When we walked in, I immediately checked everyone in at the front desk. We had filled out the waiver online ahead of time, so that saved us from having to do it when we got there. They also have kiosks so multiple people can fill out the required paperwork (electronically) before-hand.
Once we were checked in, we looked around the tunnel area to see what we were about to get ourselves into. There is only one tunnel at iFLY Hurst, and we were told that the ideal number of flyers during any given scheduled time is around 10-12 people.
I got a sneak peek at the wind tunnel. Wow!
Next, we were taken to the pre-flight training room. During the brief training session, everyone watched a quick video which explained a bit about iFLY and the experience, the hand signals used during flight, the ways to maneuver and adjust your body for the best experience, and more.
After the video, Walt called a few people up to demonstrate proper body alignment and posture on a little padded table prop at the front of the small classroom. He also demonstrated how he would use the hand signals to tell the flyer what to do. These hand signals were also posted on the wall for reference . My kids, and husband, got the hang of them pretty quickly.
Once we were all done in the pre-flight training, they sent us to the area where they would need to suit up! My husband was told he could wear his glasses under the provided goggles. They got to put on a flight suit and helmet. iFLY even provided ear plugs to help cancel out the loud wind in the tunnel itself. I love that these items were included with the price of the experience.
The only thing I would mention is that you should wear pants or shorts (not a skirt), as well as running shoes that fit well as these will be exposed during your flight. Also, jewelry and anything that might go flying has to be removed prior to getting in.
Everyone got suited up at the gear shop and then headed to the tunnel with two instructors to start their flight time. Walt was there, and we were also introduced to Preston. Walt told me that Preston had done at least 2,500 flights, so he was highly experienced as well. Instructors go through rigorous training to learn how to stabilize their body and help others do the same for theirs. They also have to learn how to walk in the wind. That can’t be easy!
All of the participants sat on benches just outside the tunnel, and they closed everyone in to the covered area. One by one, Walt took each person through the open door to the wind tunnel and helped them to get a feel for flying. The first stage of flight here is to learn how to belly fly. Eventually flyers learn to turn, go side to side, and maneuver up and down.
Each person got one minute of flight time with Walt, one person at a time. Next, Preston came in. He gave a brief demonstration on some fun tricks and how to get some height in the tunnel, which was really cool! Then he took each flyer out, one by one, and assisted them in some basic flying, and then held on and did fun tricks with them. My kids LOVED this.
My oldest son had been really nervous about flying high in the tunnel and had even asked during pre-flight training if they had to do that part. Walt had told him that they wouldn’t make them do anything, but that it was the BEST part. He was RIGHT! Michael enjoyed it immensely when he decided he was brave enough to just go for it. He had a smile on his face the whole time!
It was so cool to be able to watch them all do this together as a family.
Once each of the participants were done with their second flight, Preston did a few tricks in a mini show for us, and then exited the tunnel. The air was turned off and each person came out and were then able to take off their flight clothes and equipment.
Now that they’re hooked….
If someone really enjoyed this and wanted to spend more time at a later date flying and continuing more seriously, they would be able to work through the different flight stages over time. You could even work yourself into doing all sorts of tricks and competitions. We were told to check out TunnelFlight.com for more info on indoor skydiving as a sport or serious hobby.
My 5 year old’s first flight:
The Nitty Gritty
iFLY Fort Worth is located at 663 Northeast Loop 820 in Hurst, TX. You should really secure your reservations online, and fill out your waiver while you’re at it. However, if you want to fly last minute, give them a call at (817) 818-4359 to book your flight. Their current hours are:
If you need a location for a corporate meeting place with a fun mid-afternoon team building experience, check out iFLY Fort Worth. They do have a conference room available that can seat up to 14 people. They also offer birthday party packages, bachelor or bachelorette parties, scouting events, and holiday parties. You can even get your school or daycare involved with educational STEM-based programs. Give them a call for all the details. Customization is their specialty.
Who Can Fly?
Flyers aged 3-103 are welcome to enjoy the iFLY experience. You must weigh less than 300 pounds. They even have All Abilities Nights for flyers with special needs.
Who Shouldn’t Fly?
Pregnant women should not fly. Back, neck, and heart problems are a good reason not to fly, as are recent surgeries or people with staples or stitches. If your shoulder has ever been dislocated, please don’t chance it!
We just booked another visit for my husband and four oldest kiddos as a Father’s Day present. I haven’t told anyone yet, but I wrote it on our dry erase calendar in our living room. I wonder how long it will take for someone to notice it. I’m going to have 5 excited people on my hands for sure!
iFLY is a terrific experience. My family loved it and every single kid begged for me to throw their birthday parties there. My daughter even wanted to take private lessons. My husband brought home a paper with pricing and showed everyone at work his video. It was really that great, no exaggeration necessary.
Share this post with your friends and family so they know what to expect when you guys go to iFLY together!
Have you ever done indoor skydiving before?