Sunday, October 21, 2007


Six weeks into my trip, I've finally completed my first adrenaline-pumping activity (unless you want to count beekeeping). Fly By Wire puts you in control of a small fan-driven "plane," which you send careening around a valley, as you are tethered to a cable hanging about a hundred meters or so above the valley floor. Here I am getting strapped in:

And ready to go:

Once you're all harnessed in, they lift you up and pull you up along the side of the hill. About 75 meters up.

You're nearly vertical, hanging face first toward the ground. The ascent stops. Then you squeeze the release trigger and the accelarator and begin your flight, first swinging back and forth between the sides, building up height and speed (up to 170 km per hour, or about 100 mph), in a figure eight. Then they have you start turning the same direction on each pass, allowing you to start swinging out into the open air, away from the hills. At the peak of each pass, you're weightless for a few seconds, before you hurtle back toward the other side. It doesn't feel like you're falling because you're going so fast. And when you're done, the engine cuts, and you slowly swing back and forth, until they bring you back to the ground. Feckin awesome!

No comments: