This past weekend, my daughter and I had the time to visit with Imperial Flyers for their Open House. 20 prospective flyers, including about 6 who had done it before, showed up for the open house. The event is capped at 20 and routinely sells out. I had not signed Diya up and was fortunate to grab her the last spot.
Tony, Dillon, Ludwig, Sunshine, Jon and the other 4-5 club members were incredibly friendly and helpful. The facility is non-descript, tucked away in a corner of Westminster on a fair sized lot between a couple of houses. In addition to the rig, they have a shed, picnic bench, canopy and some chairs. They also have a port-o-let that came in handy for this nervous first timer.
The first rule was to Not Walk Under the Net!
We started by getting fitted with belts, which are a kind of safety harness. Then we did ground school, which consisted of getting feet shoulder width apart, hips forward, chest tall, grabbing the "bar", bending knees, and on the command "hep", simulate jumping with your feet through a basketball hoop. Diya was going to be held for release due to her size.
Then it was the first attempt on the rig. As advertised climbing up the 25' ladder was the scariest part and having someone hold you while you lean forward to grab the bar was no less scary. Once I took off, it took me a couple of swings to relax and then it was kind of fun.
After everybody's first attempt, we learned techniques on the practice bar. These included knee hangs and others. I actually went through the practice rig 3X before my second attempt and was more successful with a closer grip, and bringing my knees around the outside of my arms rather than a standard grip and bringing knees through the middle. It was very unnerving to let go and hang from my knees and then pull myself up.
After the practice bar, we took turns on the rig. My 2nd time, I got the knee hang. My 3rd time, I missed it. I was very surprised at how many first timers could get the knee hang and then release and be caught, hence the name "flying trapeze."
I would definitely go back again. After an Open House, flyers are welcome to pay the drop in rate or get a membership. Both of these options are very reasonably priced. It is truly a club where everybody just enjoys getting together and flying and being around flyers. The coaching queues are a lot to take in. I felt safe the entire time and look forward to bringing my younger daughter to an Open House event.