Flying High In Denver

No, no, no. I don’t mean that. It’s getting to be a little too cold for camping and not enough snow for skiing. So what does one do in between seasons?

Go indoor sky diving! Don’t fancy throwing yourself out a plane and falling to the earth at a horrendously fast pace? Try this.

We headed down to Lone Tree (South Denver) and went to Sky Venture Colorado. This re-circulating 1200 HP wind tunnel, is fairly new, I believe it was finished in March of this year.

After arriving at this towering complex, we signed the usual waivers – No, we won’t sue if we die. We’ll be dead, how can we sue? If you head up to the observation area, you can see what you are about to get yourself into. I see these young teenage girls flying in the air and figure, “Hey, I can handle this”. It’s really not as scary as you would think, it’s fairly contained and you don’t have to worry about plummeting to the ground. I am starting to like this.

First time flyers are required to watch a brief video showing the various beginner hand signals – bend your knees, straighten your legs, chin up and relax. It’s so loud in the tunnel, there is no way to hear any instructions and so you must rely on the instructor hand signals. During the training, you have an opportunity to hop up on the ‘practice’ table and have the Instructor put you in the correct flying position. It feels awkward but definitely helps later on.

You are provided with all the flying gear you will need, knee and elbow pads, a jumpsuit, ear plugs, helmet and goggles. You look goofy but hey, it’s part of the experience, right? Our group age, ranged from 73 to 13 and everyone couldn’t wait to get started. At the entrance of the wind tunnel, you are instructed to tuck your hands under your chin and just sort of fall into the wind. There is an instructor inside the tunnel with you at all times. Phew! If you are able to stabilize yourself, they let go and you fly on your own. On a side note, it’s surprisingly difficult to breath inside the tunnel.

As for pricing, it’s about $50 for the flying lesson and two flights of one minute each and $90 for 4 minutes of flying time and a DVD of the session. There are many different packages you can buy and don’t forget the souvenirs! If you’re up for a good laugh later on, I’d recommend getting the DVD. It’s quite funny to see yourself struggling inside this glass wind tunnel, as the instructors make it look so easy. It’s not!

Overall, a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

1 Comment so far

  1. (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 8:17 am

    That sounds perfect for me since I’ve long wanted to jump out of an airplane, but am continually thwarted by my fear of airplanes under the best of circumstances…

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