Anyone can fly!
COME Fly with Me could have been singer Tony Dee's theme song as he tried indoor skydiving to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Wheelchair-bound Tony (aka Tony Doevendans) experienced indoor skydiving at an all-abilities session at iFLY Westfield Chermside.
Born with Spina Bifida and confined to a wheelchair, Tony is passionate about living life to the full.
"It was a milestone birthday and I wanted to do something special like jump out of a plane, but we settled on this,” said Tony.
The all-abilities sessions are a regular monthly feature at iFly Chermside, and according to Tony, you just have to give it a go.
"Just about anyone can do it, and it is so much fun. It is an experience to be supported by almost nothing.
"It is easy to get into the wind tunnel. You just lean your upper body in, and the wind supports your whole-body weight. There are people to help the process too. I could relax and hold a position then let the wind do its work.
On his second flight, Tony was able to travel up and down in the tunnel and even spin around.
"I would not recommend iFLY for someone with pain issues, but it is not a problem if you have mobility issues.”
Tony, who lives at Deagon, loves putting a smile on people's faces with his favourite swinging tunes from the early jazz days to the 1950s. His singing influences are Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat "King” Cole and Elvis Presley.
While iFLY was a local highlight for Tony, his singing career has seen him travel the world. Tony has performed in New York, London, Queenstown, Singapore and most recently San Diego. His other memorable moments include sharing the stage with Guy Sebastian and Tina Arena for Australia Day 2017 and the Brisbane Lord Mayor's Christmas carols.
The iFLY experience at Westfield Chermside is an hour of fun for everyone from age three years upwards. Participants simply put on a flight suit over their clothes and remove everything from their pockets before flying. According to iFLY the sessions are suitable for most people but do check the list of exclusions.
Disability Action Week from September 15 to 22 acknowledges important contributions from people living with a disability. It aims to empower people with disability, raise awareness, and improve access and inclusion throughout the community.