Skydiving facility lets people leave wheelchairs to fly

  • 21/10/2016
Skydiving facility lets people leave wheelchairs to fly

Twice Robert Drescher's life changed in an instant.

Once when an injury left him unable to walk. Then again on Thursday night (local time) when he flew.

"For me being in a chair and stuff like that, I never thought I'd be able to do such a thing," he says.

"After my injury I was thinking I wouldn't be able to keep up with everyone else." 

iFly Loudoun, an indoor skydiving facility in Ashburn, Virginia, hosted an All Abilities Night to give around 24 people with special needs a special experience.

"To have the wind coming through your hair, across your face, to absorb that feeling is so special," Mr Drescher says.

Daniela Shirmer originally went to iFly on Thursday just to watch.

"I was scared at first, I wasn't going to do it. I was just going to watch my boyfriend do it," she says.

"Somehow I ended up in a suit with goggles on. At that point I was like, well I better just do it."

And what they feared might be difficult has actually made life a little bit easier.

"If you do skydiving your next obstacle is that much easier to overcome," says Mr Drescher.

Josh Basile founded Determined to Heal, a support organization for para- and quadriplegics.

They get together and do things like this and it gets them back to living, by getting them out of their comfort zones.

"So often you get used to your daily life and you don't want to change your routine. But this fully changes your routine," Mr Drescher says.

Not only your routine - it also changes your perspective.

"You're not looking forward always, you're looking down, you're looking around," Mr Drescher says.

But it's not just where you look - it changes how you see.

"It's a better outlook on things that I can do, and I'm able to and I don't have to be held back," Mr Basile says.

CBS News