iFly Flight School

What kid (or adult) hasn’t dreamed of flying? At iFly, the dream of flight can become a reality.

This nationwide flight school just opened a brand-new facility in Liberty Township, and we couldn’t wait to check it out. I was pleased to discover that my 8, 6 and 5 years olds were all cleared to participate in iFly Flight School, as my 5 year old is easily the most adventurous of my crew.

At iFly, flyers can be as young as 3 years old. They provide the flight suits, helmets, goggles and instruction — all you need to bring is an open mind and willingness to take the leap.

My kids were eager to get started; I, however, was more than a little trepidatious. Class began with a short safety video, which our instructor (and iFly owner) Steve elaborated upon with demonstrations and straightforward hand cues. Since you’re flying inside an incredibly loud vertical wind tunnel, you’ll rely on these hand cues instead of verbal directions.

Then it was time to fly. We were in a group with a mom and her two twentysomething kids, and we all lined up on a bench just outside the flight chamber doors. We would each take out turn with Steve, who  was inside the chamber for the entire flight, guiding us into position and encouraging us to fly on our own. I went first, literally taking a trust fall into Steve’s arms and floating into the chamber as the wind picked up. From there I moved into flight position, following the hand cues and trying my best to relax. And somehow, I did. And although the Flight Chamber is literally in the middle of a viewing room and it was loud and I wasn’t alone, I felt free. It was one of the most peaceful moments I’ve had in a long time.

Then it was time for the kids: Harvey went first and it was incredible watching as he literally levitated before my eyes. Julian followed, and then Mary. Throughout the process, Steve was helping guide them into position, keeping them calm and centered so they could fly unassisted. They were very in the moment, adjusting their arms and legs as needed and breaking into big smiles as they flew inside the flight chamber. They looked – and felt – like real-life superheroes.

The camaraderie in our group was wonderful — after each person’s flight, they were met with a round of applause. The experience really bonds you with your group, which is rare. There are no phones allowed  in the flight area, so you really do live in the moment and enjoy it in a way that’s really hard to do anymore. (There are professional photos and video available after your flight, and you can also have someone take your video from the viewing area.)

At its core, iFly is about empowerment. Being able to literally lift off the ground in free flight is such an incredible and momentous experience. And it’s something owner Steve Hunt believes should be open to everyone. In fact, iFly is open to anyone, of any ability. They offer all abilities programs for kids with special needs, physical or mental, with specially trained flight instructors and special accommodations. This program happens the first Sunday of the month at 5 pm and is truly something wonderful for people with special needs in Greater Cincinnati.

As a parent, I want nothing more than my kids to be confident and happy. So I will always jump at the chance to do things that push them out of their comfort zones — and iFly quite literally does just that. Not only does the iFly experience allow your kids to be real-life superheroes, it also gives them an adrenaline-packed punch of superhero confidence. iFly truly is for everyone, and I guarantee you and your kids will feel stronger, more capable and positively powerful after this experience.

iFly Cincinnati is located at 7689 Warehouse Row in Liberty Township. Call 513-901-4359 or visit iFlyworld.com for more information.

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