Kansas Citians can now skydive without ever getting in an airplane.
IFly Kansas City, an indoor skydiving chain, had a soft opening Saturday in a new 6,000-square-foot building in The Met at 435, 10975 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.
The company was founded in 1998 in Orlando, Fla., and now has 41 locations, including 18 in the U.S., and a history of more than 7 million fliers. It says anyone from “ages 3 to 103” can feel the rush of free-fall skydiving without the risk of jumping out of an airplane. Its customers can include families, corporations hosting team-building events, skydivers who want to improve their skills and military service members learning to skydive.
One youngster was planning a February birthday party at iFly but was a little apprehensive, so he stopped by with his father to get an advance peek.
Customers have a brief training session in a classroom, then they are outfitted with a jumpsuit, a helmet, goggles and earplugs before entering a wind tunnel with their certified instructor.
First-time iFly customers will float on a column of air and learn basic flying skills, including moving forward and back, and turning. On additional visits, customers can progress to group flying and even advanced aerial gymnastic maneuvers.
Prices start from $69.95 for first-timers for two flights of about 60 seconds each. It also has group rates.
Adam Greer of Shawnee skydives on a regular basis and has visited iFly in Denver to practice moves that are harder to try when he is “plummeting to Earth” during an actual skydive. But he said it is also a way for people who have never skydived to have the experience without the risk.
The company said it utilizes U.S. and international patents to create the skydiving experience. Four high-efficiency axial fans are mounted at the top of the building to channel air through a 14-foot-wide circular glass flight chamber. The column of air extends fully from one wall of the glass flight chamber to the other and supports fliers as they float, spin, turn and move.