By Aaron Cowan and Sherri Barth
What is the last crazy, extreme thing you did for your birthday? If you can’t remember or had difficulty answering, maybe it’s time you tried indoor skydiving.
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, located at 3930 Pan American Freeway NE, opened in September of 2019. Since then, it has offered customers the ability to fly around inside a large transparent tube they call a skydiving simulator.
While some of the clientele for their trampolines tend to be teens or younger, the skydiving simulator is something that adults, and people of all ages, can try. It delivers the thrill of skydiving without the risk of your parachute failing to open or your plane crashing. It is supervised by a “flight instructor” who is always inside the simulator with you and a second operator outside who can shut down the air turbine at a control panel if anything goes wrong.
The simulator looks pretty intense, dominating the central portion of the building like a pillar that holds up the roof. It is an eight-foot-wide, clear plastic tube that stands about 20 feet tall and has a glass double door to enter at the bottom. The floor is made from elastic mesh, similar to a trampoline, and has air blowing through the holes from a fan in the basement. The fan sounds like a jet engine and can produce wind speeds over 120 miles per hour.
So, what exactly does it take to do skydiving, and is it scary or dangerous? The answer is that it doesn’t take much and feels neither scary nor dangerous, so long as you follow the rules at Urban Air Trampoline. Anyone up to 300 lbs. can fly. You don a skydiving suit, a one-piece, zip-up coverall, similar to what NASCAR drivers wear. You will also have to put on some goggles, a helmet and insert some foam earplugs since it gets noisy. You remove your shoes and fly only in your socks, so make sure you have a clean pair, or they can provide you with some for an additional fee. You do not want loose items in your pockets or jewelry when you are in the simulator, so using a cellphone inside it for video is definitely out of the question. Still, the helmets do have a mount for a go-pro-style camera. Better yet, you can get someone to record your experience from outside of the tube.
My twin brother and I decided that we should try something a bit more memorable and different for our birthday this year. So, we each coughed up $29.99, which gave us two 1-minute flights in the simulator. It might not seem like that is a lot of time, but in my experience, it felt like more than enough to get started in the sport. This deal is not advertised on their website, so you will have to request it from the cashier at the front desk.
The flight instructors at Urban Air Trampoline were very friendly and approachable. They went to great lengths to assure us that everything was extremely safe and that we could stop at any time with a “thumbs down” hand signal. After about 10 minutes of instruction on techniques and hand signals, we were cleared to fly.
The senior instructor, Floyd Cody, says he started skydiving recreationally about four years ago when he lived in Phoenix. “I was a welder by trade,” said Cody, “but I lucked out and found [Urban Air], and this is my passion.”
They teach skydiving techniques Monday through Thursday, and people who purchase memberships can fly for half price. The other instructor operating the controls, John Cook, has been training under Cody since May of 2021 and says he had no background in skydiving aside from this. “All the experience I have in this is through Urban Air,” Cook said.
Yet, both fly remarkably well and are all too happy to demonstrate their solo flying skills since nobody else was there. Readers are encouraged to check out the videos of Cody and Cook to get an idea about what is possible to learn more about Urban Air Trampoline.
Featured Image Photo Credit: @urbanairalbuquerque
Find out more about Urban Air Trampoline here!
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