iFLY vertical wind tunnel in Minnetonka. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Students often look for classes they can float through, but only one will literally suspend them in the air.

For the first time this semester, the Sport, Fitness and Health Program offered Introduction to Body Flight, a new course that introduces students to skydiving through the use of an indoor body flight facility, according to the website. Body flight consists of a vertical wind tunnel that suspends participants in the air.

“It’s like skydiving, but it’s not. It’s so different. Skydiving is that one jump out of the plane but this, you can do it for hours. It’s skydiving without the risk,” Bud Prenatt, skydiving instructor at Ohio State, said.

Prenatt has taught skydiving for the past 18 years and said he is broadening his horizons as the new instructor for the course. He said Body Flight’s perk is that it’s not constrained by weather conditions or time of day because it is indoors.

The one-credit course will teach students risk identification, indoor skydiving positions, skydiving techniques, safety requirements, skydiving sign language and the history of indoor skydiving tunnels, according to the website. 

Christina Pagan, SFHP assistant, said the class offers an alternative to the existing skydiving class. 

The course does not have any prerequisites, and Prenatt said it would be a great class for students interested in experiencing what skydiving is like who may not be ready for the rush of jumping out of an airplane.

The course spans four days — three days of lecture and instruction and one day of flying, according to the website. The class costs $60, and fly time costs $89.99; however, students are not required to actually fly in order to receive credit.

Prenatt said he saw the opportunity to bring the class to campus when he realized it is not offered many places and this could be the first step for students wanting to learn to fly. 

While students’ main goal is to learn how to fly, Prenatt said there is a physiology to the practice he wants his students to grasp: managing their fight-or-flight response.

“If you can manage the process, you can do anything; that’s the cool part,” Prenatt said.

Students can enroll for the summer session of Introduction to Body Flight at https://www.skyhighscholars.com/schools/ohio-state/, where dates, times and location are provided.