Florida on a Tankful: Fly like a super hero at iFly Tampa

By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, June 16, 2017, 2:31 PM EDT

 Have you ever wanted to fly like a super hero? Now you can.

“Who didn’t want to be a super hero?,” asked Jon Dixon, the operations manager of iFly in Tampa.

Inside this 50-foot-tall wind tunnel, the bonds of gravity are no match to athletes of another kind.

"We train people to fly their own body, Dixon said. “Be a true ‘body flight athlete.’”

iFly in Tampa creates the sensation of skydiving, without the need to jump from an airplane. Instead, all you need is an instructor, like Drew Hanson.

“Stand on up. We’re going to practice this body position,” said Hanson, an iFly Instructor with the disposition of a surfer, and whose instruction comes rapid fire.

"Feet, shoulder width apart, hips forward. Arms above your head like this.”

“It’s going to build your confidence. All positive things,” Hanson said.

Next, get your helmet on, and then step into the chamber. Fans in the floor and ceiling create wind speeds up to 160 mph--that's hurricane strength.

“Here, it’s a constant speed that we control at all times,” Dixon said.

Instructors like Hanson hold on to “body flight athletes,” keeping folks floating in winds that on average reach 130 mph.

Passengers buy flight time in packages, much like a cell phone plan. More minutes in the wind tunnel, equals more money.

At the end of each session, Hanson shows off his own moves like dancing, swirling and diving from top to bottom.

The sensation of flight at iFly leaves you wanting to fly for real.

Tankful on Television:
Catch Florida travel stories like the one above on TV four days a week across Central Florida. The award-winning Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais airs on News 13 Thursday through Sunday. See new segments in the Bay Area as well on Bay News 9. Stories air beginning at 6 a.m. on both channels as a Spectrum exclusive.