Originally uploaded here
If you’re a regular to this blog, you probably know that I have strong fear of heights that I screamed while riding the cable car in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park and that I chickened out in Macau Tower’s bungee jump. But I realized that my phobia is remarkably fading when I tried chairlifting in Ski Dubai.
With the presumption that I’m now ready to face one of my biggest fears, I was too excited when I learned that one of the few indoor skydiving facilities in the world is located in Abu Dhabi.
After some googling, I noticed that the chamber in respective countries which have indoor skydiving facility practically look like the same. I also took note of the peculiarity among the remarks I gathered between outdoor and indoor skydiving, the adrenaline rush of jumping out of the plane or helicopter versus the fun of really, really flying in the made-to-be windblowing and mindblowing alike experience, respectively. So, we decided to try indoor skydiving a day after my natal day.
I snapped this one before going to the registration. I was amused and slightly scared by the amount of air noise coming from this part of the vertical wind tunnel.
How is flying made possible in this case? According to our friend Wiki,
A vertical wind tunnel (VWT) is a wind tunnel which moves air up in a vertical column. It is a recreational wind tunnel, frequently advertised as “indoor skydiving” or “bodyflight”. It is also a popular training tool for skydivers.
Vertical wind tunnels enable human beings to fly in air without planes or parachutes, through the force of wind being generated vertically. Wind moves upwards at approximately 120 mph, the terminal velocity of a falling human body belly-downwards, although this can vary from person to person. A vertical wind tunnel is frequently called ‘indoor skydiving’ due to the popularity of vertical wind tunnels among skydivers, who report that the sensation is extremely similar to skydiving. The human body ‘floats’ in midair in a vertical wind tunnel, and this is called ‘bodyflight’ or ‘body flight’.
I almost wanted to back out when we were already at the registration. I reminded myself a million times that this would be one of the best gifts I could and should ever give myself: to conquer a fear. I oddly thought that the actual flying may not kill me, but I might die of heart attack (although I don’t have a heart ailment heehee) or due to crazy nervousness. Lol.
So we registered, signed the waiver and were toured to pre-chamber area. The place is neat and there are lockers offered at no extra charge. The session is by batch and there’s this guy-kiddo who went with us because his companions didn’t qualify to the 90-kilo or lighter requirement.
Before the instructional video was played, our instructor re-introduced himself, “Hi everyone, I’m ___ and this is my first day in Spacewalk Abu Dhabi!” What? Scary! I didn’t think out loud though. 😀 Well, I must be too nervous to have not immediately discerned that he was just trying to kid us to establish the needed level of comfort. At that point, my fear resurrected. I felt like having a fever and about to pee. Wahahaha.
Since the instructional video says that the mother rule is to relax, so I did. I’m generally obedient, but not as obedient as Harry (Potter) is to Dumbledore. 😀 A number of positions were demonstrated and standard signals were reiterated, i.e. to chin up, straighten or curl up legs, etc. These hand signals are very important because inside the chamber when you are already lambasted by strong air, there is no other means to communicate but through these.
We were asked to wear a knee cap, flying suit, helmet, goggles and earpiece.
The session was comprised of two parts, you will be taught to do the balance and establish a reasonable comfort at first, then you will be given the chance to really fly. Picture-taking is allowed only outside the chamber. The wall is too thick though so expect blemishes in your snaps.
When it was my turn to go in, I was not scared at all. It helped that I was the second to try in our batch and saw that the first one had fun. When I went in, I remember like throwing myself and not just walking. The next thing I knew I was already flying. Ang lakas ng hangin. I went up, down, bumped to the wall and whatsoever motion. I just kept my chin up. Don’t look down or else in case your head bumps, you’ll miss the fun. And please don’t close your eyes. We tend to do that when we’re scared, aren’t we? Like when watching horror films or anticipating the unknown.
In the second (final) session, you and the instructor will fly together almost 10 feet above, (up and down in a circling motion). In general, the lighter you are, the bigger the chances of flying high. By the way, the whole session is being recorded and a copy of the DVD will be provided to you. It will cover not only your own fly, but of the whole batch. If you have any issues with it, you have to inform the receptionist right away. Just like in our case, even if I signified my preference beforehand, my/our fly was also in that stranger’s DVD. I wish I could share my fly’s video, but I’m tooo shy to do so. Haha. I just noticed that I was grinning the whole time I was in the chamber and in some parts I saw my facial muscles dancing. As in gumagalaw galaw ang pisngi ko sa lakas ng hangin. And my feet moved a lot during the training. Parang lumalangoy. Haha. So before I re-entered the chamber, the instructor demonstrated the proper feet movement.
I don’t have a photo of that amazing up and down fly and since I’m not willing to share my video, I’m borrowing this photo from the Gulfnews:
Exciting, isn’t it?
While waiting for the DVD at the reception, only then we noticed that the other LCD was actually airing the batch’s session real time. So, the receptionist saw my giddy fly. 😀
Watching those who were currently in the chamber was like seeing ourselves. You will notice that it’s really blurry due to thickness of wall. She’s being trained to achieve proper balance.
She was flying on her own.
I’ve got two, I’m sending one to the Philippines. I’ve already watched this plenty of times and it always felt like watching it for the first time. 😀
Here’s a glimpse (training):
How it should be done:
This kid had a training in synchronized spacewalking:
It’s truly intimidating and scary at first but it’s absolutely fun. I hope though it’s not that expensive because I want to repeat this amazing experience. And better yet, I want to learn synchronized flying/spacewalking. 😀
How’s the feeling? It’s like being a charming yet powerful bird or Peter Pan or Tinkerbell (without the pixie dust), worry-free and all that you see are bed of roses that you wish it’s not going to end.
Indoor Skydiving/Spacewalk, Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club
Landline: +971 2 446 3653, Email: email@example.com
Check pricelist here
0 thoughts on “The day I literally did fly”
wow! i like that jo. i can do that again and again all day. Hahaha
this looks (and i bet it is) awesome! ano, next naman yung Zero-G!!! 😀
what a feat! congrats Ms. Jo!
Now I ask myself “Am I willing to conquer my fear of heights” My answer “not yet… hehehehe…”
seems not frightening hehehe. nagsalita ang may takot din sa heights. pero mukang hindi sya ganung nakakatakot.
It looks like a lot of fun. Kakainggit! 😀
Wow that is exciting! I want to try this myself! Thanks for sharing your wonderful flying experience!
Wow!!! I would like to try this one out. Looks and sounds cool. 😀
jo! im sooo proud of you!! yay! does it mean na wala ka ng takot sa heights! yay! galing galing! apir! 🙂
btw, how long sya? share mo na yung vid! tayo tayo lang naman eh hehehe 😉
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wow…that looks amazing and you did it!
wow!!!jo, i’m sure this is sooooo exciting. i want to try this, too. but i also hope na soon, i can try a real skydiving act. not that this is not real, but you know what i mean.
i can only imagine how mordsith envies you right now. hehehe.
That. Is. Awesome! Crazy awesome!
My friends and I have been talking about skydiving for years now! But all we do is talk. Somewhere deep down takot lang pala!
The first session is around 10K last time we asked.
This is absolutely amazing ! Man, I’d love to try this out 🙂
Wow so brave of you! Congrats on conquering your fear. Galing! 🙂
Wow! Astig! I’m so proud of you! What a spectacular birthday gift to yourself nga. Congratulations and good going!!!
whoa. gusto ko yan.
sarap naman, kakainggit.he he he, gusto kong lumipad.
enjoy na enjoy sa video!
congrats! would love to do that too! ayaw mo talaga i-share video mo? 😀
Wow, super huwaw!
great experience! pang birthday gift nga sa sarili.
“I felt like having a fever and about to pee.”- naisip ko rin ‘to. Buti na lang nakaya mo
It sure looks exciting and fun (and yes, scary!). How much is expensive, if I may ask?
this is so exciting. it’s one of those things, very few exciting things that I really would like to do one of these days.
good for you, fly girl.
grabe! looks fun! i’ve always wanted to try this since my friend in the US told ma about this. i want! i want!
congrats wits, on your first step to conquering your fear of heights! 🙂
Congrats for finally conquering one of your fears. That’s a great gift to yourself indeed! Pwede ka na yatang mag-skydiving ng totohanan na, ano?
Very nice!!! I love how you just did it and that you were set to enjoy every second of it. Winner! I should do that soon. Thanks for sharing all the info with us. 🙂
Wow! Si Ms.Jo sinubukan ang “adrenalin rush”. Go for it! We only pass this path once!
congrats! 🙂 you conquer it 🙂
galing galing!!! 🙂
wow! congrats on defying gravity! what an exhilarating experience! i think that’s safer than skydiving in open air! that would seem suicidal! 😛
what a great gift to yourself! congrats!
saw this dati sa sports unlimited. looks fun kaya lang naiisip ko pa lang parang nagsisikip na ang dibdib ko. 😎
pareho tayo, i also chickened out of the macau bungee haha. but hey, this one looks so much fun! congrats, tinkerbell! =)
omigod!!! that is so cool. ang galing galing mo naman. what an awesome bday gift 🙂
p.s. ako din takot sa heights. kaya ko kaya yan?
Excellent piece which I really enjoyed reading and which would be of great interest to our readers too. I’d be honoured if you’d consider reposting it on our blog http://www.acceleratedfreefall.com/blog
shucks, i want to try that too! and no jumping off planes!!! lucky you!
I did that when I went to Malaysia last 2007. It was the best! It has been my dream to go skydiving but since I don’t have the budget + full courage yet, I tried this. I went at it twice and it was a lot of fun. In Malaysia though, they didn’t show us any videos. They just had this expert talk and demo to us how it’s being done. Then, turn na namin! Haha! That fast. But it was the best and most exhilarating experience for me. 🙂