Free Fallin’

Team TMN voluntarily threw themselves into the world’s largest wind tunnel to get a taste of what the real-deal skydiving experience feels like…

What: Inflight Dubai, Indoor skydive experience

Where: Skydive Dubai Desert Campus

When: Inflight Dubai is open all week, from 10am until 7pm

The Promise: With a team of world-class instructors, state-of-the-art facilities and the most advanced vertical wind tunnel on the planet, experience the thrill of skydiving without actually jumping off a plane.

Did it Deliver?

With Dubai’s presence increasingly growing on the ‘places-to-visit’ map for tourists around the world, Skydive Dubai has made a mark for itself with the infamous photograph of a person floating over the Palm Jumeirah, which is given as a memoir to each of those fearless residents or tourist that decide to take the leap. While each member of Team TMN has dreamt of hopping off that plane and updating our facebook cover photo to show-off our bravery to the world, not many of us have mustered the courage to give it a go. However, when we were introduced to Inflight Dubai, the world’s biggest vertical wind tunnel with fans that whip up a wind speed of 282kmph, we were eager to try it out.

Flyers, first time or experienced can book their appointments online via the ‘Booking’ tab on the website. Inflight Dubai welcomes individuals as well as families and large groups to participate – packages range from the minimum, which is two minutes of flight time at AED262, all the way up to one-hour tunnel time that can accommodate up to 24 flyers (one at a time). We booked ourselves a ‘Buddy Package’ for two, with two minutes each.

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by an enthusiastic lot at the reception of the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus who briefed us on the wind tunnel and inquired about any health conditions that could get in the way of our flying experience. Instructors at Inflight Dubai are trained to work with flyers of varied fitness backgrounds and disabilities, as long as they’re older than three years of age. We were made to sign a waver to confirm that we’re physically able to withstand the wind-draft and were then introduced to our instructor for the day, Jennie.

Extremely spirited and kind, Jennie took us up to the locker room and zipped us into a flight suit and a funky little helmet. We were asked to empty out our pockets and take off all jewellery to avoid it getting misplaced. It’s best to come wearing lace-up trainers, however, Inflight Dubai provides rental shoes if the flyer’s footwear is not flight-appropriate. After we were armed with our flight-gear, Jennie proceeded to give us a presentation on safety as well as demonstrated the right posture that needs to be maintained while in the tunnel. She briefed us on hand signals and gestures that would be required in-flight and made sure we’re all set for our flight, which included steps on how to enter and exit the tunnel.

We headed downstairs to the entrance of the massive tunnel, where we were provided with earplugs and goggles to protect ourselves from the blast of wind that we were about to encounter. Jennie went over the safety instructions once more and then helped us plunge into the tunnel and stay afloat and eventually swivel all the way up to the top. We started at roughly three feet off the ground and soared up to easily 20 feet above! In-tunnel cameras record the entire process and snap several pictures of you while you’re in there.

Once our minutes were done and we departed the tunnel, we stepped out of our jumpsuits and headed back to the reception where they showed us the footage from our flight and honoured us with personalised flight certificates claiming that we’ve ‘defied gravity at terminal velocity in the world’s biggest windtunnel.’

The Verdict: It may seem incredibly short in real-time, but two to eight minutes of in-flight time is more than enough to experience the thrill and adrenaline of skydiving. Team TMN is sure to head back since return flyers enjoy a massive discount following the first visit.