Although I’ve lived overseas for a good seven years of my life, I’ve never skydived, went paragliding, or involved myself in any sky activities. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m scared of heights; my fear lies in something going wrong and me taking the tumble from a height that I can’t save myself from.
So when I came across iFly Singapore, it solved my problem. There isn’t a need to take a plunge from crazy altitudes so I have some control over my life and I still get to experience free-fall conditions. Now that’s a win-win situation.
But it’s not any easier as compared to an actual skydive – there’s some technicalities you’ll need to know and professional training you need to get involved in before you literally take the leap from the world’s largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel (confirmed by the Guinness World Records).
Lots of prep
First, there's a video to watch, explaining the basics of what iFly’s all about and what you need to know before you advance to the next stage of it. For obvious reasons, if you’re preggers or have had any neck or back injuries along with some other criteria, you’re not allowed on the flight.
The video goes through some hand signals you’ve got to remember, because the gusts of wind through the flight chamber is noisy and strong (ranging between 160 to 190 km/h), so if you attempt to open your mouth to talk, the wind will mould your cheeks into funny faces. So to prevent all that trouble, and if you or the instructor’s got to communicate with each other, hand signals are the best way to go about it.
Once that’s over, the trained and certified instructor appears through a door – very much like a scene from Armageddon (and the instructors are just as hot too). They go through the body positioning you’ll need to be in during the flight. Else, you’re just going to sink or flap all over the place.
You need to be properly attired too – you'll be wearing a one-piece jumper, helmet, protective eyewear, and you need to bring your own covered footwear. But if you happened to be in Sentosa and it was a spur of the moment decision, fret not. They do have shoes to loan.
More after the break...
Leap of faith
You’re then off to the wind tunnel. You wait on your turn before you are summoned in. Once you get in, it’s literally a whirlwind. The instructor will be in there with you, guiding you through the entire flight. You get two rounds at this, which you actually need because the first feels like a trial to get the feel of it while you truly experience it during the second flight.
If you wish to, you can go for a third round on the 2 skydives package for an additional cost, where the instructor flies with you higher up the wind tunnel. The whole process was exhilarating and I certainly felt like I was defying gravity. There was only one thing I didn’t like at the end of it – taking out the tightly knotted tangles from my hair.
After this, I don’t think I’ll ever need to partake a sky activity. I even got a certificate as proof. iFly, and now you can too!