Indoor Skydiving at Aero Gravity Milan
This Christmas, my husband surprised me with an awesome gift: a session with him at the biggest indoor skydiving facility in the world: Aero Gravity in Milan. I have been visiting Milan quite often and learning more about it as I was developing a walking audio tour for VoiceMaps, but I never knew Milan had indoor skydiving. And no wonder, it only opened last March.
It started with four skydivers eager to share their love of skydiving. How? By letting people try it for themselves without having to actually jump out of a plane. They came up with this idea that enables anyone to experience the adrenaline, adventure and safety all in one place.
What is it?
Basically, the indoor skydiving takes place in a huge tunnel. It’s 21 meters high and about five meters in diameter: Enough space to do flips and turns in. There are six turbines that generate efficient energy to push out air at a maximum of 370 km/hr creating an environment similar to what you would experience if you were to jump out of a plane at 4,500 meters.
Who is it for?
Kids from the age of four can enjoy this flying experience. There is no medical certificate required and in fact, even if you have a disability, there is nothing stopping you from flying.
This makes a great birthday gift (or Christmas gift) as my husband so brilliantly thought. However, Aero Gravity also pitches their indoor skydiving activity to schools and companies who want to do team building activities. If you work for or have a company that does invests in team building, your employees will love you after this experience.
Where is it?
The indoor skydiving facility is located near the old Expo site in Pero (MI). It’s just outside the city centre, about a 30 min drive to the main Duomo square.
How does it work?
By visiting aerogravity.it, you can book a single two-minute session, a couples session, a group or family session or a training session. On your fly date, show up an hour before your fly time to sign in, fill in some paperwork and watch other people learn to fly. It’s a great chance to understand the best form to maintain while you’re in the tunnel. About 30 minutes to your fly time, an instructor will call all the people scheduled to fly at the same time and will take you down the stairs to explain the procedure, the hand signals (because you can’t hear anything in the tunnel), and give you your suit, goggles and helmet.
Once you’re suited up, you head back up the stairs and wait until you’re called again to head into the pre-flying chamber. Before you enter, they give you ear plugs for the noise (six turbines can get noisy!).
One at a time, the instructor calls you up to enter the tunnel. The time on the clock starts. One minute. You enter with your hands up, falling towards the tunnel. From there, the instructor tells you exactly what you need to correct so he can eventually let go of you. If you can manage to get a hang of it well before your time is up, the instructor can let go of you and you can fly freely! If not, no worries, you have a second chance.
The second time around gets more exciting because this time, the instructor will waste no time to fly you up the wind tunnel and spin you all the way down giving you the closest experience you can get to skydiving.
How much does it cost?
All the prices are on the website. A two-minute flight for one person starts at 59 Euro.
My Personal Experience
I appreciated the fact that the two-minute flying time was split into two sessions. I also enjoyed watching other people fly. Once in a while, the pros would jump in and fly around, do spins, flips and wow the crowd. We also managed to see people signed up in the Aero Training program, something my husband and I are considering signing up for (once or house is complete and we have an extra 600 Euros to spare).
Some instructors were really strict about the time spent in the tunnel. In reality, you spend 50-55 seconds in the tunnel at one time because of entering and exiting. Other instructors were more lenient about the time as they got caught up in showing first-time flyers how to turn or do other moves other than staying still. I happened to get a strict-time instructor but I still had loads of fun!
If you get a chance to fly at Aero Gravity, you’ll want to keep these five tips in mind:
- Get there an hour early to watch how the first and second flight works.
- Bring light sneakers or runners to wear that won’t fall off easily.
- Go with someone that can take pictures and/or videos while you’re in the tunnel.
- During the flight, stay as still as possible keeping your legs slightly bent, chin up and arms bent in front of your face.
- Wear something light beneath the suit. The air in the tunnel is around 25 degrees Celsius.
Documenting Your Flight
Luckily, my mom was in the bleachers watching my husband and I fly for the first time. She recorded the whole experience and naturally, we posted to Instagram almost immediately.
There is also a photographer snapping photos in the door of the tunnel to hopefully capture a good shot of you. I say ‘hopefully’ because with 200 km/hr winds keeping you afloat, opening your mouth slightly can make you look hilarious on camera. Not to mention, opening your mouth will also cause any saliva to trickle down your cheek – making for another funny photo.
Up the stairs above the reception booth, the photographer table is set up to have you review your photos. You can get one photo for 6 Euro or a pack of ten for 50 Euro. They send you the digital files within three days.
Have you done this before? Would you do it? Better yet, have you been skydiving?