Matt Whitesel, 17, of Shoreline, left, skydives with help from an instructor at iFLY Seattle, an indoor skydiving facility in Tukwila, during an all-abilities night on Monday. HEIDI SANDERS/Tukwila Reporter

Tukwila’s iFLY offers indoor skydiving for physically disabled

About 30 people with physical disabilities and their families had the chance to go skydiving indoors during an all-abilities night at iFLY Seattle in Tukwila on Monday night.

While the facility welcomes anyone with a disability to fly any day, Monday’s event catered to those with special needs.

iFLy Seattle has offered all-abilities nights quarterly but plans to increase have the event more frequently to reach more people, said Darren Dos Santos, iFly Seattle’s general manager.

“People don’t think they are capable or know that it is available to them,” Dos Santos said. “It is available. It is just about knowing and understanding what to do and how to do it. It is a lot like swimming. Some people would be like, ‘Oh it is not for me,’ but we explain it and go through it. Everybody is able to do it. It is a great equalizer.”

Even those bound to wheelchairs were able to fly with help from iFLY instructors.

Among those who participated, were teens and young adults from Seattle Adaptive Sports, a nonprofit organization that gives physically challenged individuals the opportunity to participate in athletic and recreation activities. The group, which draws members from across Western Washington, plans monthly activities in addition to adaptive sports leagues such as wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, power soccer, wheelchair tennis and track and field.

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