Is there a weight limit for performers that want to fly?

Not at all. Our systems can be configured to hold a wide range of people and scenery. But since the weight of the performer is one of the first things we consider when creating your system, it is always good to let us know how much your flyers weigh as soon as you can.

Can we fly in a space that is not a theater?

Absolutely. From arenas and churches to cafetoriums and studios – and even venues outdoors – we are used to working in non-traditional spaces. Give us a call at (317) 509-3220 before you dismiss your space as “Just impossible!” We may have a solution for your particular production’s needs.

Do we need special insurance to fly?

No. All business and producing groups should carry general liability insurance. We carry double the state limit. And as in driving a car or playing sports, participants in flying must accept the inherent risks of the activity. And those who participate understand that like the instructor or coach, the Flying Director – in this situation – will help participants through the process of learning and rehearsing to minimize any risk of injury.

Should we consult a structural engineer before we fly?

It is never a bad idea to seek guidance about anything if you have doubts, and a structural engineer may be a great source for that. However, that sort of report isn’t required for flying people. Engineers are good at figuring out forces, but are often not well versed in rigging or the considerations of flying performers. Any report by an engineer, architect or even the building’s contractor will be used to help us design and rig systems so as not to exceed the limits of the structure. If one doesn’t exist, don’t worry. With decades of training and experience, we will be able to make a sound judgement on how to safely and effectively fly performers for your production.

Will my audience see the wires?

If they look hard enough, they will. That is just a fact of life that those wires have to be there. However, a production can do a lot to minimize how noticeable the wires are, and we will work with your team to achieve that. Lighting, scenery, and staging can all be integrated to downplay how noticeable the fly lines are and to distract the audience from looking for the wires. We always want them to concentrate on the story being told on stage and not want to peek behind the curtain to see how that story is being told.

What does it take to be a system’s Operator?

Not as much as you may think, but manual flying systems are physical and do require someone up to the task. As a good rule of thumb, we have the saying that a system’s operator has to have ‘good knees, a good back and can pick up a heavy suitcase.’ (That is about 50 – 75 lbs. for reference.) If you are physically up to that standard alone, you should be physically up to the task of flying people. And finally, don’t forget to consider what you will be wearing to do this work. As an operator, you’ll need comfortable clothes you can move in and a decent set of gloves to protect your hands and help you grip a rope.

Can our system operators be high school students or parent volunteers?

Sure they can. But we have to admit not everyone is cut out for that task. See above for “What it Takes to be an Operator.” But just because someone is in high school or not a professional stagehand, it does not automatically mean they cannot be a system operator. This even applies to people who are under the age of 18. Enthusiasm and physical endurance combined with a good head on their shoulders for understanding and appreciating the responsibility involved are the first characteristics we consider. Minors will also need their parent or guardian’s permission. We know you will make this process easy for us too, as any producer or director will certainly want to only consider people they know are responsible enough for this task. We will work with you for everyone involved, but reserve the right to be the final judge on operators for our systems.

What should I wear to fly?

Definitely something! When it comes to wearing a harness, uncomfortable should be expected but painful should not be. Performers will want to wear something under their harness that helps keep it as comfortable as possible. For the ladies, t-shirts or workout wear with a full sleeve (not a bare shoulder) work great on top and yoga pants, tights, or workout wear are  great for the bottom. For the gentlemen, T-shirts are the standard on top and workout wear, bike shorts, or even boxer briefs (when in costume) work well on the bottom. Baggy clothes that can bunch up, jeans, or bulky tops like sweatshirts and hoodies should be avoided.

In performance you will also want to plan on wearing something under your harness. Follow the same guidelines listed above and your costume will then be worn over all of that. We will help your costume designer and crew come up with the best solutions to integrate the flying as safely and discreetly as possible into the needs of your costuming.