By Tamas Mondovics
No parachute? No problem. Local residents who would like to taste the thrill of skydiving, but are not brave enough or have the means to take the leap out of an airplane from 10,000 feet up, will soon have a chance to come pretty close to the real thing.
Continuing its mission to make the dream of flight a reality by giving its customers “wings” in a safe and reliable environment, iFLY, an Austin, Texas based experiential entertainment company that created indoor skydiving, is building its newest Premier Indoor Skydiving facility in southeastern Hillsborough County.
Indoor Skydiving Source (ISS) an independent go-to-resource, which helps flyers from all around the world to find a wind tunnel in its database and to learn about the sport of bodyflight, announced on its website that iFLY Tampa is currently under construction by ARCO/Murray Construction Co., which built the Topgolf facility and is now working on the Tampa General Hospital’s healthplex nearby.
Adding to the ever expanding list of attractions in Riverview and Brandon, iFLY Tampa is the third location in Florida, scheduled to open later this fall, on Palm River Road, just off I-75, near Topgolf and Bass Pro Shop.
The 57 ft. tall indoor facility will feature a vertical 14-ft. (4.3m) recirculating wind tunnel powered by giant fans that can generate up to 175 mph winds, with the force adjusted for body weight.
According to iFly Orlando General Manger Amanda Siegel, the entire first time flight experiences takes about 1-2 hours.
Upon arrival and checking in, flyers take part in a personalized training session then gear up, which includes a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and earplugs.The flight is assisted by an instructor accompanying the rookies. Additional runs can be made solo or with friends.
Based on the flight cost at the company’s Orlando facility, prices start at around $60 per person for two flights several minutes each.
According to the iFLY website, the first time flyer package is a freefall equivalent of three skydives from 12,000 ft.
Siegel emphasized that, of course, the entire experience is much longer and that while “these costs might seem steep at first, almost unanimously, indoor skydiving customers agree that their first tunnel experience was worth the money.”
Soft opening is hoped for around Thanksgiving, followed by a traditional grand opening. Visit iflyworld.com and indoorskydivingsource.com.