Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

Q: What is indoor skydiving and what can I expect with my first flight?

A: Indoor skydiving is a unique sporting and athletic experience that combines elements of skydiving into a safe and controlled vertical wind tunnel environment.

All first-time flyers receive one-on-one instruction from a Certified Flight Instructor, select all flight gear, including flight suit, goggles and helmet, and get the chance to fly in the vertical wind tunnel with two or more flight rotations – the equivalent of free-fall time of approximately three skydives.  

Once in the tunnel, the instructors provide a safe one-on-one flying experience, guiding flyers throughout the duration of the flight.

Q: How long has the sport been around?

A: The sport of indoor skydiving (or bodyflight as it has been named) has experienced phenomenal worldwide growth since its inception in the late 1970s. There are now at least 26 facilities in the United States, more than any other country, followed by France, Germany and Spain. Worldwide there are more than 80 in operation, and as many as 60 currently in development, according to Indoor Skydiving Source, an industry group that maintains tunnel statistics.  

Q: What is the difference between outdoor or traditional skydiving?

A: While they sound similar, the two sports differ in many ways. A vertical wind tunnel uses powerful turbines to generate the vertical wind flow for indoor skydiving. Wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour simulates the conditions of a freefall without the need to jump from a great height. The controlled environment of a wind tunnel has many benefits, including who can fly, how often and at a significantly lower cost compared to skydiving.

Even during favorable seasons or mild climate locations such as San Diego, conditions such as cloud cover, wind, rain, or snow will ground any flights and cancel any skydiving attempts.

The free-fall time from a typical skydive from 10,000-13,000 feet lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 seconds. The average duration of a single flight in the wind tunnel is 75 seconds, and all packages include a minimum of two flights, providing the equivalent of three free-fall skydives.

Q: How does an indoor skydiving wind tunnel work?

A: Indoor skydiving technology hasn’t changed significantly in the last 15 years, leaving today’s flyers with a less-than-optimum – and sometimes dangerous – experience. Well before starting construction, Airborne San Diego hired leading wind tunnel engineers to design the best air quality in the market, giving the truest experience to skydiving as possible.  In the process, the team created not only the world’s best experience but also a significantly more efficient and environmentally-friendly system.

The wind tunnels at Airborne San Diego use a single, high-efficiency motor and fan system. This format is a preferred configuration among large scale wind tunnels. A single fan design allows for reduced wind noise giving participants a quieter environment to fly in, while also making it highly energy efficient.

Q: Who is the typical indoor skydiver?

A: First-time flyers include anyone seeking the thrill of flight in a safe, controlled environment. The minimum age to fly is 3 but we recommend an age of five years old and up – and only a minimum physical safety requirement.

Novice and professional skydivers take advantage of the convenience of the tunnels for rapid skill advancement. One hour in the wind tunnel can equal as much as one month of time for traditional skydives.

Groups, organizations or company managers who seek team-building opportunities in a fun, unique environment. Airborne San Diego can organize events for almost any size group.

Military personnel use the wind tunnels for training skill development purposes, often times with backpacks and combat gear, to help prepare for the rigors of skydiving with heavy equipment during combat operations.

If you are uncertain if you, your child or your group is able to fly or not, please contact us for any additional questions.

Q: Who can fly in the tunnels?

A: Anyone who is physically healthy. The recommended age to fly is five years old and up, and seniors well into their eighties can fly in the tunnel under the supervision of our certified flight instructors.  

FLYING IN THE TUNNEL, FLIGHT TIMES AND COST

Q: How long does a flight last?

A: The entire experience for the INTRO TO FLYING package is roughly 1 to 1.5 hours. This includes an introductory training consultation, gear selection and time in the tunnel.

Note: It is strongly encouraged to arrive at the facility one hour prior to your scheduled flight time.

Q: How much time do I get in the tunnel?

A: The INTRO TO FLYING package includes two flight rotations of 75 seconds each, the equivalent free-fall time of approximately three skydives.

Return flyers enjoy a discounted rate and bypass the introductory training segment. Time in the tunnel can be purchased by the minute at a discounted rate. See package options here.

Q: How much does the entry-level package cost?

A: The INTRO TO FLYING package is $69.95 and last a total of 1 to 1.5 hours.

Our most popular package is the $79.95 INTRO TO FLYING PLUS.  In addition to the one-hour experience, we capture your flying with digital video and photos, which you can upload directly onsite to your Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account.

Q: Can I purchase time in the tunnel in bulk?

A: Yes, flyers can purchase bulk time in the tunnel. See package options here.

Q: Is there a discount for return flyers?

A: Yes, return flyers can save $15 on the ADVANCED or 2X THE FLIGHT TIME package.

Q: Is it safe to fly in the tunnel?

A: Yes, Airborne San Diego’s tunnels are operated by trained professionals, and safety is paramount for our customers and instructors.

Q: Is there an instructor with me the entire time I am in the tunnel?

A: Yes, as a first-time flyer, you required to have an instructor with you at all times, including inside the flight chamber.

Experienced flyers may be given more freedom to fly in the tunnel, but an instructor will always be in the tunnel door for spotting purposes.

Flyers with professional status are allowed to fly freely in the tunnel without an instructor or spotter.

Q: Will you provide me with all necessary equipment?

A: Yes, we provide the jumpsuit, safety helmet, goggles, and earplugs as part of any flight package.

Q: What should I wear if I am going to fly?

A: Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing should be worn with secure, lace-up shoes that cover your toes. Do not wear sandals. Flyers with long hair should secure it back.

Q: Is it difficult to breathe when flying in the tunnel?

A: No. There is a significant amount of wind flowing through the tunnel, but this should not impair your breathing.

Q: Should I book a reservation in advanced, or can I just walk in and make a reservation?

A: We recommend making a reservation in advance, especially if you plan to fly on weekends and evenings, but we will always do our best to get you and your party flying as soon as possible.

Q: How high do we fly in the tunnel?

A: As a first-time flyer, you will be flown within arm’s reach of your instructor in the lower half of the 30 foot tunnel. This ensures your safety, makes it easier to communicate and allows your instructor teach you how to fly your body in the proper position.

An optional Superman Flight™ – which can be added to any intro package – allows you to fly higher in the tunnel. Flyers should be comfortable flying at this height, and should discuss with their instructor before making a decision.

Q: Is there a weight limit?

A: Yes, the recommended weight limit is 260 pounds. The actual weight allowed can vary depending upon the height, shape, and build of the flyer. 

If you are uncertain if your situation will allow you to fly or not, please contact us for any additional questions.

Q: Who should NOT fly in the tunnels?

A: Women who are pregnant, and individuals with serious back problems, shoulder injuries or other physical limitations are strongly advised not to fly as it may aggravate the injury. 

Please note, there are some physical and/or medical conditions that may prevent individuals from flying in the tunnel.

If you are uncertain if a medical condition may prevent you from flying, please consult your doctor or contact us with any additional questions.

GROUPS AND EVENTS

Q: Can you host groups or special events?

A: Absolutely! We can host just about any type of group activity or special event. With over 26,000 square feet spread over three floors, the facility is equipped with private conference and party rooms, a full service café and bar, and a third-floor terrace complete with BBQ and views of downtown and Petco Park.

Q: Can those in my group who are not flying watch flyers in the tunnels?

A: Absolutely! Airborne San Diego was designed to give spectators the ultimate viewing experience, with multiple viewing platforms and seating areas throughout the facility.

Q: Can I fly with my group at the same time?

A: For safety purposes, all new flyers will fly one at a time with a qualified instructor. Each tunnel will offer programs that teach you the proper body position so that you can eventually fly with other people, friends, and family.

Q: How do I arrange a group event?

A: You can email groups@airbornesandiego.com or call us to set up an appointment. We’re happy to arrange any type of event, whether celebrating a birthday, a bachelor or bachelorette party, or developing team building exercises or large-scale corporate events.

For any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or ask your instructor.