In February 2014, Joyce Kang, host of Joy in America on the ICNTV network, a Chinese travel show featuring the best of what the United States has to offer, came out to experience the new sport of jetpacking. Jetpack America president Dean O’Malley provided some history on the jetpack equipment as well as the evolution of the sport.
Although Joyce had some difficulties picking up the activity, Jetpack America lead instructor James Gibeson proved that every effort will be made to get each person flying by jumping in the water to do what’s known as “shadow flying” and “puppet flying”.
With shadow flying, an instructor faces the pilot in the water and holds the control arms in an attempt to keep the pilot stable until they can get enough momentum to control the pack on their own. Often, all it takes is a little bit of assistance to get the pilot going before they’re up and flying on their own. Sometimes though, shadow flying isn’t enough, so the puppet flying technique is employed.
Puppet flying is accomplished by having the instructor straddle the jetpack hose and control the arms from the back. This allows the instructor to get the pilot flying and the jetpack actually has enough power to get both people into the air.
While the goal is always to have the individual do all of the flying, each person has a different skill level (and maybe comfort level) with the flying techniques, so these techniques can be very effective to give those people the flying experience.
As more and more Chinese tourists make the trip to visit the United States, the adventurous ones will undoubtedly come out to fly with Jetpack America in Newport Beach or San Diego. It’s a truly once-in-a-lifetime superhero experience that will most certainly entertain their friends and family back home.
To book your jetpack flight experience with Jetpack America, click HERE.