Experience flying at iFLY in RosevilleBy: Brody Fernandez, Lead Reporter for South Placer
- Where: 118 Harding Blvd., Roseville
- When: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Mondays - Thursdays; 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Fridays; 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Sundays
- Info: 916- 836-4359 or iflyworld.com/sacramento
Nearly two years ago, iFLY in Roseville made its way onto the scene mystifying local residents by offering indoor skydiving lessons.
“It’s fun here,” said Avery Scott, an iFLY sales coordinator. “The people are awesome and it has a nice family feel to it.”
iFLY offers an array of programs for future skydivers.
“One of my favorite programs we offer here at iFLY is the All Abilities Program, which helps facilitate lessons for our disabled or special needs community,” Scott said.
The All Abilities program at iFLY also allows anyone in the special-needs community a chance to skydive like a pro. This program has been custom-designed for those with physical and cognitive challenges to create an environment of support and inclusion, while focusing on making what seems impossible, possible. This is just one of several programs at Roseville’s iFLY.
Other programs include flight school, military flights, educational STEM field trips, tour and travel, and the new Virtual Reality Experience that simulates a flight to Hawaii, Southern California, the Swiss Alps or Dubai.
Roseville’s iFLY general manager Rusty Cramer talked about iFLY’s history.
“iFLY ’s parent company ‘Sky Adventure’ was the first company to create the indoor flight tunnel. They were first designed for government agencies and then even NASA,” Cramer said. “Shortly after investing in those major institutions, Sky Adventures launched iFLY and they soon invested in these indoor tunnels for recreation so everyone could soon experience what used to be a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity. These (tunnels) are basically the indoor skydiving tunnels designs you see today at all of our locations.” Speaking of locations, iFLY has 37 locations in this country and 70 abroad, including two tunnels on remote cruise ships.
The iFLY in Roseville has 22 employees, with nearly 80 percent of the staff working full time. iFLY nationwide has more than 1,200 employees.
Cramer prides iFLY’s focus on safety.
“Here, our flight instructor’s attention to detail and universal safety training will ensure your safety and well-being while providing an experience of a lifetime simultaneously,” Cramer said. “You will always have the instructor with you when inside the tunnel in case something goes wrong. We take safety very seriously here.”
iFLY flight instructor Brendan Packheiser, 21, joined the Roseville team by pure happenstance. Wanting to do something special for his birthday, Packheiser decided to celebrate with his father by taking an indoor flight at iFly.
“At first, I was deciding between a rock concert or maybe trying out an indoor trampoline place for my birthday but then I saw this indoor skydiving building and I had to try it,” Packheiser said. “When I first got into the tunnel and started my flight, the lead instructor at the time thought I was such a natural that he offered me a job on the spot. I was thrilled and at first thought he was joking.”
“The biggest reward we get here is watching the little kiddos and their reactions when they get into the tunnel,” Packheiser said. “However, we get that same reward when I have 90-year- old clients in here for the first time as well.”
Packheiser is one of 10 full- time flight instructors. They provide hands-on training while facilitating flight school programs and educational-based events.
From ages 5 to 90, the sentiment at IFLY is that indoor skydiving is for everyone.
Recent customer and Roseville resident River Rogers shared his experience at iFLY.
““This place is always a great experience, and definitely worth the time and money,” Rogers said. “The staff there are super cool. Brendan especially, and from knowing him when he first started, not only has he progressed a great deal in a short amount of time but he’s become quite the teacher too.”
“He’s helped me progress more than I probably should have in the few times that I’ve been there,” Rogers said. “iFLY is something I would highly recommend.”
Another happy customer, Don Hugh, explained why iFLY is a must-see experience for any adrenaline junkie.
“I am definitely a thrill seeker,” Hugh said. “Having run with the bulls in Pamplona, cliff diving in Hawaii and bungee jumping, iFLY offers the thrill of flying without the buzz kill of hitting the ground. Not only do you hover, but with enough practice, anyone can actually fly. You really get a bang for your buck!
And, Hugh said, “The good news is that it is right here in our Roseville backyard.”
For more information on iFLY, visit iflyworld.com/sacramento.