Similar to entering the flight chamber, during the early stages of your flight progression, the tunnel instructor will assist you for your exit to ensure that it is performed correctly. As your flight time increases along with your comfort level, learning how to exit solo will be a natural part of the progression. Completing these exercies will ensure that you are able to exit the tunnel safely and efficiently each time.
Learning to exit the wind tunnel without the physical assistance of the wind tunnel instructor is one of the building blocks of solo belly-flight, along with being able to enter. Prior to learning this skill, you will need to be able to fly on your belly in a neutral, stable position, controlling your heading and up and down movements.
The primary goal for this skill is to be able to safely and successfully transition from stable belly-flight to the door, exiting the flight chamber to the staging area. Being able to comfortably fly the requirements listed in the pre-requisites are key elements to being able to conduct a solo exit.
It is preferred that for the first few exits until you are comfortable, you begin in the center of the flight chamber at approximately waist to chest level, facing the doorway in your neutral position. It is at this point that you are prepared to exit.
You can utilize one or more flight rotations to practice an entrance followed immediately by an exit and repeat this until you feel comfortable with both.
Technique and Drills
- Begin in your neutral position, facing the doorway at waist to chest height
- Begin a forward movement to approach the door
- Remember that as you start forward drive, the opportunity to gain altitude exists, so manage your arch position accordingly
- Avoid reaching your arms out to grasp the door-frame too early as this can generate unwanted lift
- When you get to the door, stop first then place your hands on the sides of the door frame
- Bend your legs, driving your knees down underneath you, and place your feet on the net
- Finally, stand up and walk out of the flight chamber
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- How did your performance match the initial objectives?
- Were you able to maintain stability throughout the exit?
- During the exit, were you able to maintain an altitude no higher than chest level or lower than waist level?
Each time you fly, you will get the opportunity to master exiting the flight chamber, you may discuss with your instructor other exiting techniques that you may work on as you are progressing through more belly flying skill.
What skill level is next?
Now you are a stable and controlled solo belly flyer, it is now time for you to begin learning to master that control while flying with a partner. 2 way flying opens many doors within your belly flight progression, allowing you to fine tune your control and learn to balance each skill aspect in order to successfully complete 2 way flight rotations.