None of us have ever experienced a vertical wind tunnel and none of us have ever attempted skydiving. With that said, we had a short but sweet time in an Aerodium vertical wind tunnel.
The people at Aerodium did a fine job gearing us up for our adventure. We watched a short instructional video, donned a flight suit, ear plugs, safety glasses and a helmet. We felt a little geared up but it was for everyone’s safety. Following this, the instructor reviewed the various hand signals needed for a fun experience.
We walked up the aluminum steps to the open-air vertical wind tunnel. The diesel generator started and multiple large fans spun into action. I was the first one up. The instructor led me to the edge of the wind. I stood looking up and let myself fall face first into the wind. (That is the way you are supposed to do it.) The wind immediately grabs you and gently lowers down. From then on, it is you and the instructor; everything else falls away from your attention.
I found the most difficult aspect to be positioning my arms and hands. I took to heart the content of the instrutional video and relaxed my body. What I didn’t realize was that in order to fly, you have to do a sort of push-up and hold it. Then, you naturally raise into the air. It felt sort of like doing a push-up on a really fluffy pillow. I know it sounds odds but it works.
The instructor led me safely through my experience.
Note: If these videos do not play back smoothly, use the provided links to download them.