Back in 1964, Jack Tiffany became the first indoor skydiver at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio — the first human to fly in a vertical wind tunnel. In the early 1980s, indoor skydiving became an activity that people could do for fun, and over the years it has grown into something we’ve become very good at. There remains a very strong connection between indoor skydiving and tandem skydiving, as wind tunnel training is an excellent way to develop skills for the air.
But indoor bodyflight has also evolved into a legitimate sport with its own techniques and abilities. The very best flyers appear to have magical powers, able to fly with total freedom and precision, but everyone starts at the beginning. One of the best things about this sport is the accessibility it offers; there are some considerations, but you might be surprised at how inclusive indoor skydiving can be.
Vertical wind tunnels allow for precise control of the wind speed and flying environment. This means that the minimum age to participate is just three years old. Indoor skydiving is an excellent way to introduce kids to the sensation of freefall, but to jump from a plane you need to be at least 18. The wind tunnel can sometimes seem daunting young children, but our indoor skydiving instructors are experienced at flying with people of all ages. Also, the indoor environment has the added advantage of family members standings just feet away in the staging area. There is no maximum age limit for indoor skydiving, and you are never too old to fly.
For the safety of both the flyer and instructor, there is an upper weight limit of 250 pounds for people under 6-foot and 260 pounds for people over 6 feet tall. This isn’t small, so most people are good to go. But if you do happen to be over the weight limit, perhaps this is a good reason to shake off a few pounds. Indoor skydiving is an amazing experience, and you never know where it might lead. Plus, having a particular goal in mind is the way to find excellent motivation.
One of the best things about bodyflight is that it represents a level playing field for all. Everyone starts from the beginning, and it doesn’t matter how young or old, or how big or small, you are. Indoor skydiving with a disability is something that can be done, as we work with students of all ability levels and are confident in our instructors’ skills to get you flying. If you do have any concerns about what is involved, the best thing to do is give us a call and talk with our team who can explain the process is detail.
There have been many examples of people with varying physicality that have learned to fly using a wind tunnel. Various skydiving teams have formed over the years made up of limbless veterans (and also civilians) that have then competed on both the indoor and outdoor competition circuit. Marine Corporal and triple amputee Todd Love initially learned his skills in a wind tunnel and established a successful skydiving career against what seemed like impossible odds.
Indoor skydiving with a disability is something that can definitely happen, and doing it provides access to a very rewarding activity. Using the wind tunnel to move around in three dimensions is a challenging but satisfying pursuit that can be very addictive as you improve your skills. While a lot of people use vertical wind tunnels to practice the skills used for skydiving, there are many indoor skydivers that have never jumped from a plane who find indoor skydiving compelling and fulfilling in its own right. The best way to find out how much you like it is to visit us and give it a try!
Categorised in: Indoor Skydiving
This post was written by Skydive Perris