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How to Dress for your Flight at Appalachian Amusement Center

You will have a more comfortable experience if you are dressed appropriately for flight. Flight in a Vertical Wind Tunnel is unique. The following is a guide to best way to dress for this unusual environment.

Jewelry. A flier must remove all jewelry and everything from their pockets. Jewelry can flutter at high speed in the wind and cause injury. This can include abrasion, blistering, and broken skin. Jewelry can be taken away by the wind, possibly injuring another flier or the instructor. Heavier jewelry can be a serious safety hazard in other types of VWT's, after bouncing off the propeller. The wind can easily take things out of your pockets such as money, papers, bags, etc. It is likely that you will loose anything from your pockets. Lockers are available to store your property while you fly, they are free. Use the key and give it to your attendant just after suiting up for your flight. The key will be returned after your flight. Remember your locker number.

Shirts. A long sleeve T-shirt is highly recommended. The collar of a button up shirt up can flutter at high speed, slapping your skin until it blisters. Buttons can also strike you hard enough to cause injury, or may be lost. Long sleeves protect your arm from abrasion from the fluttering jumpsuit. Loose strings can be dangerous. Strings or straps can slap you repeatedly, or tangle you in the net.

Pants. Durable long pants are suggested. Long Pants will help protect your legs from jumpsuit flutter. Denim is great but please avoid pants with rivets as these will damage jumpsuits.

Belt Buckles. Belt buckles also damage jumpsuits, and must be removed before flight.

Shoes. Snug, soft sole sneakers are required, High Tops are highly recommended. Soft rubber soles give you better traction on the net and are better if you accidentally kick the instructor or another flier. Loose shoes are easily pulled off by the wind, becoming a hazard and wasting your flight time. High Top Sneakers won't come off, give you better ankle support, and help protect your ankles from jumpsuit chafing. You need to double or triple knot your shoe laces as the wind can untie them very quickly. Loose shoe laces could possibly injure your instructor or another flier, and can become attached to the net, causing wasted time, and possibly injury.

Jumpsuits. You do not need to bring your own jumpsuit, but may do so. We provide a variety of jumpsuits for our fliers. Eventually, experienced fliers will want to own their own jumpsuit, there are several advantages. We have the airspeed to fly most in their skydiving jumpsuit, or without a jumpsuit (depending on height vs. weight).

Sweatsuits. Some people are now flying in sweat shirts and sweat pants. Sweats produce lift in a very smooth and gentle way. Back belts are used to hold the shirt down and pants up. They tend to shed debris (sweat-bunnies), and wear out in just a few hours of flight time.

Helmets. You do not need to, but may bring your own helmet or goggles.  Experienced fliers will want to own their own. Hard full protection helmets must be worn by all fliers. Some helmets have built in face shields, eliminating the need for goggles. In the summer helmets with face shields may fog. This will go away when you enter the air. Helmets with flip-up face shields are nice because you can close them just before entering the air (don't forget), eliminating fogging completely. When using our helmets, do not put them on the ground or rub the face shield as this will cause damage.

Gloves. Gloves are often worn to protect the hands from abrasion, and to increase the effectiveness of the hands in flight.

Cold Weather. Winter at AAC can bring low temperatures into the equation. As temperatures drop you will want to wear thicker socks; two or three thicker T-shirts; a capaline balaclava and glove liners. A capaline undershirt and (turtlefur or fleece) outer shirts and neck tube increase warmth. Common winter gloves, such as those sold by Wal Mart in fall, work well, though they produce a lot of extra lift. Capaline glove liners help a lot when the temperatures get even lower. Helmets with face shields keep the wind off your face and out of your sinuses. Helmets that don't let in much air are best when it's cold. The more humid it is the warmer you need to dress. We have seen many fliers stay warm, comfortable and happy at 40F without dressing warmly. Ski pants can be worn as part of a jumpsuit when temperatures warrant it. Unfortunately ski jackets are usually too bulky, and are not flexible enough. They let in a lot of air at the waist. One piece ski suits are great. The are easy to find for girls and children, and can also be found for adults who should search for the Sportcaster brand. As you bulk up, your lift will increase. Low temperatures also increase lift. You may need to fly at a lower airspeed in the winter.

Hair If you have long hair you should tie it with two or more hair ties. Experienced fliers use several hair ties, one every  inch or two. Don't use hair ties with balls as they will not fit under your helmet. VWT's are very efficient at tangling loose hair. Using a good conditioner helps to remove tangles.

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Last updated 6-29-2006

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