Written by Kristine Tarbert
The first indoor skydiving facility of its kind in Australia has switched on it’s wind tunnel for the first time in Penrith.
Excitement is building towards the grand opening of the facility next month with all involved gathered to witness the first human flight.
IFLY Downunders’ parent company, Indoor Skydive Australia Group Limited is headed up by Ex SAS Soldiers Wayne Jones and Daniel Hogan.
Chief operating officer Daniel Hogan said it all started with a one-liner back in 2007.
“It was during the 50th anniversary of the SAS regiment – that’s where we both served, and from about 2009 that’s when we really solidified the idea and came up with the plan,” Mr Hogan said.
Chief executive officer Wayne Jones said they have used similar facilities for military training overseas and they wanted to bring the same opportunity to Australia.
“Penrith is the adventure capital of NSW, of western Sydney, it’s a growing area and there’s huge opportunities here,” Mr Jones said.
“There are so many activities to do between the Blue Mountains, the Regatta Centre, Wet ‘n’ Wild and the Wake Park just behind us.
The experience is already proving to be a huge success with over 500 hours of tunnel time sold in the last few months.
“The response has been overwhelming. We can’t wait to fly the whole of Australia because that’s who can use the facility: anyone from three years old to 103 years old, boys and girls, birthday parties and corporate events,” Mr Hogan said.
“The overall one-hour experience includes training, fit out of equipment, and then you fly twice – each flight is just under a minute which is the equivalent of a flight from 14000ft,” Mr Jones added.
After the first flight both men were clearly relieved and excited for others to experience the feeling of flight.
“It was beyond expectations, that was absolutely fantastic. You hear the statement ‘a dream come true’ and you never really look at it like that, but when you get to feel it, well now I know the comment,” Mr Hogan said.
Watch the video here.