Jumping Out of a Plane at 14,000 Feet!

Whoever said that jumping out of a perfectly good aeroplane at 14,000 feet isn’t insane?

The year 2010 was a huge year. Experiencing a major flood whilst living on the boat in the Brisbane River. Surgery on my thumb from the trials and tribulations of learning how to ride a motorbike. Indulging in an incredible adrenaline-rush Jet Fighter Top Gun 25 Mission flight. How can I top this in 2011?

Well…what better way to start 2011 off than with throwing myself out of an aeroplane at 14,000 feet?

If I survive to tell the tale, then set off on some long-term travel with one month in Morocco and 9-plus months in South America – amazing?

Why jump out of a plane?

Why indeed.

You may think I’m mad. Others may relish the thought of skydiving. But let’s be clear, I didn’t jump solo for my first jump – and the last, for reasons that I’ll explain later – I’m not completely mad. Of course, it’s a tandem jump.

Seeing the sheer exhilaration and incredulous expression in my partner’s face after this jump last year, I want to jump myself. So, without further ado, it’s time to share with you this skydiving adventure.

Jump prep

Briefing and instructions are provided at Jump the Beach office. A chunky harness is then latched on to the top of my body and strapped down between my thighs.

The harness is my tether and lifeline umbilical cord to the Tandem Jump Master – hope he’s done thousands of jumps.

Jump the Beach’s shuttle bus delivers anxious jumpers to the small local airport. The anticipation is killing me.

Waiting for the aeroplane to arrive with my partner in crime, I can’t stop smiling. A nervous reflex perhaps? Somehow over a few drinks, we conjured up that jumping out of a plane would be an excellent idea, so here we are today.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

Finally, the small Cessna arrives and uneasy jumpers pile in, smiles are melting away. Five Jump Masters and five jumpers – no pun intended and we’re ready for take-off.


Half-smiles gravitate to nervous grins as the plane begins to climb higher – at least it’s a clear sunny day and glorious weather.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Noise bounces around the aircraft’s shell – it feels as though we’re in an auditorium or a rattling can.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Finally reaching the 14,000-feet mark, the door slowly slides open…

Ready to jump

One guy and his saviour are first in line – they jump. Together with my saviour, I’m next.

The point of no return and the unnatural slow-motion rolling out of a perfectly good aeroplane hits home – it’s the most bizarre sensation.

Feel as though I’m being pushed out of the plane in this photo…

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

…for me, this roll is worse than the actual free-fall, which is a total adrenaline rush – although I’m still smiling at this point, or is it screaming?


Free-falling at awesome speeds of approximately 200-kilometres per hour for up to 60 seconds is indescribable. The upward pressure of gravity’s downward pull is intense and certainly strange.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

Wondering if you’re going to survive this fall or hit the earth splatting flat into a pancake, does play on your mind. Still, too much is happening at an alarming speed to really ponder life’s mysteries!

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

An uncanny resemblance to the many hilarious faces of the donkey in the ‘Shrek’ movie comes to mind in these funny photos.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

Notice that my mouth is wide open in all the free-falling photos?

The pain

No one advised me to close my mouth during the free-fall. And once you’re free-falling, it’s really difficult to close it because of the immense pressure.

After what seems like an eternity but really is only around 60 seconds, it’s with massive relief that I feel the chute finally open. What a glorious sight. The pain in my ears calms down a tad.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

Although my ears are still throbbing, the next part of manoeuvring whilst serenely floating down to earth is calming. Sitting back, finally relaxing to enjoy the scenery at this height, which is stunning. Love this part of jumping.


A gorgeous sliver of Sutton’s Beach along the Redcliffe peninsular as far as the eye can see, unfolds as an emerging canvas…

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

…until we hit the sand with a thump. There isn’t anything graceful or elegant when landing, even as a tandem.

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

Relieved to be safe on terra firma the jump’s experience propels me to an unimaginable high during the following days!

skydiving, Sutton Beach, Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Jump the Beach

My ears

Although the pain in my ears eases a little, it feels and sounds as though I’m walking around in a vortex, so I visit the doctor for a verdict.

Keeping my mouth wide open and not equalising, the excruciating pain I felt during the short free-fall is due to haemorrhaging both eardrums. Evidently, this is not common.

The doctor sends me to an ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat) Specialist to confirm. Prescribed antibiotics as I’m flying to Morocco in two weeks, the specialist is concerned that I may contract an ear infection from dirty water. The consequence? Suffer a total loss of hearing – serious stuff.

I take the pills.

I’m ‘told’ never to skydive again. If I want to scuba dive in the future, I need a full examination to ensure my ears are ok to dive – bummer.


Regardless of the pain during the free-fall and the nuisance afterwards, the adrenaline surge you feel during the skydive is unbelievable.

Do it!

2019 update

After some research, Jump the Beach changed its name to Adrenaline if you’re in the area and thinking of jumping.

Getting there

Kangaroo point to Redcliffe peninsular, Queensland, AustraliaFrom Kangaroo Point in Brisbane’s inner-city southside, it’s around an hour’s drive along the northern peninsular to Redcliffe.

Leaving the car close to the Jump the Beach’s office, the company’s shuttle bus then takes you to the small local airport for the memorable jump.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

65 responses to “Jumping Out of a Plane at 14,000 Feet!”

  1. lisa Avatar

    This is a very helpful and awesome post! We have already planned our trip to Dakak on the third week of August and we’re surely gonna check out some of these 🙂Viaggio Baja California

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks you for your comment. Hope you have fun in the Philippines.

  2. lisa Avatar

    Hi, Tons of great tips and points mentioned here. We are setting off on our 2 year trip in Sept so are currently running around trying to get everything figured out (just got our yellow fever vaccine this morning) and while right now it’s easy to imagine that we’ll be able to sight see and travel from place to place every few days I’m sure we will get tired quickly and need to take days off and lounge around and rest and re-charge!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your feedback. The vaccines are an evil necessity.
      At the start you’ll get tired but as your fitness level increases with the travel activities, you won’t get so tired and you’ll have longer-lasting stamina.
      Hope you have a wonderful trip and look forward to reading your posts in the future.

  3. Smitha V Avatar

    Wow! Congratulations on the sky dive. Found your post very interesting because it’s real- talks of everything- the good and the bad unlike most who talk about the ‘exhilarating’ feeling when one is up. I’ve asked myself ‘why?’ too. And the answer wasn’t good enough to make me want to do it. But congratulations to you. And hope your ears are better.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the great feedback! 🙂
      I always try and write an honest experience for my readers, whether good or bad.
      Although I was advised not to skydive again, I’m not sure how my ears are with scuba diving as I haven’t done it in an age.

  4. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    You are incredible!!! Another adventure experience off the list – it’s really unfortunate about your ears but thankfully you didn’t suffer full hearing loss!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Just love to try everything once! And yes, I’m glad I didn’t suffer total hearing loss. Imagine not hearing music again or everything else that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing…

  5. Cherryl Avatar

    Very brave well done!!! 🤩 That must have felt amazing.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback Cherryl and yes, it was an amazing feeling.

  6. gillmorris Avatar

    looks exciting Nilla, but not for me. Hope you are well xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha funny – many people commenting here say the same. What about a Jet Fighter flight?
      All cool (no pun intended) here and hope all is well with you? x

  7. Felipe Adan Lerma Avatar

    What an incredilble story & images, Nilla! It must have been amazing see the earth appear closer and closer! Had no idea the ear thing could even be a problem! Do hope your ears stay healthy and your travel curiosity strong! 😊

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Adan, thank you for your great feedback and comment!
      Yes, it’s quite an unusual experience seeing the earth come closer at an alarming speed – lucky my jumpmaster knew what to do. 😉

      1. Felipe Adan Lerma Avatar

        Ahhhaha, I “thought” about doing something like that decades ago, but am very happy to read and see your experiences of it, lol! But I’ve always loved the views of the earth from an airplane, so I can just image seeing it “live” – and – racing to you! Wow! 😊

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I know exactly what you mean about the views. You may want to check out the Jet Fighter ride as I’ve included a couple of really cool videos tat you might like. 😉

      3. Felipe Adan Lerma Avatar

        Oh my gosh! What a thrill on that jet! I would’ve soaked my whole suit; you did pretty darn good to say the least! 😊

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha the photo doesn’t really show how soaked my jumpsuit was… 😉

  8. Dave Ply Avatar

    When you mentioned adrenaline rush on the fighter jet story, sky diving was the first thing that came to my mind. When I tried it way back before they did tandems.

    I was going to send you the link to the story of my jump, but I just went back and checked – looks like I already did, last May.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ah yes, I remember reading your story although just went back for a re-read today – it’s a descriptive and engaging post!
      Mentally, it would be much harder to do a solo jump than tandem – you’re braver than I am.

  9. equinoxio21 Avatar

    It is insane, but then so are many good things in life. Sorry you can’t jump again… 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Absolutely right!
      Yeah, me too and think it’s the reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would of if it wasn’t painful. The worse part is if I can’t dive any more, I won’t know until I go for another test or a dive. 🙁

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        No diving would be a shame. Have you tried snorkeling and going under a few meters to see how your ears react? Or even in a swimming pool at the deep end?

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        No, I haven’t tried that and should do as it definitely would be a good indicator.
        I’m not a big fan of public swimming pools but have good friends in the mountains with one at their house so I’ll try in the summer. Thanks for the heads up… 😉

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        It’s an easy test. Make sure you have a Doctor close by in case your ears bother you again…

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you!

  10. Brooke @ wreckingroutine Avatar

    You are so brave! I do not think I could ever do that.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Brooke, I’m sure you could if you put your mind to it… 😉

  11. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad Avatar

    Ahh, amazing!! I’ve done two skydives now and was absolutely TERRIFIED the first time. My mum didn’t think I’d ever do it. Fast forward 10 years and I did another one in New Zealand and I just loved it. A bit of mild fear as I hung out the door haha, but the views were a good distraction!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Clazz, you’re braver than I am but I hear it’s an addiction also…I have a good friend that’s done over 2,000 jumps but has hung his gear these days.
      I wasn’t terrified, but definitely afraid on that roll out the door.
      I’m sure the NZ views were amazing. Was that in the north or south island?

      1. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad Avatar

        Oh wow! I’m assuming he was an instructor?? I used to be a big wimp but I’ve got so much better with things like that! I think the first one was great proof that I could do it. The second one was on the south island – so absolutely beautiful over Wanaka lake with the mountains all around!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        No he isn’t, just loves the thrill of jumping, but no longer does it as it’s got too expensive.
        That sounds gorgeous!

      3. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad Avatar

        That’s really impressive!! But yeah, way too expensive to keep that up haha.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Definitely – my ears would be stuffed also! 😂

  12. Emily Young Avatar

    That’s crazy! Still contemplating whether I should do this or not haha

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Do it!
      Just keep your mouth closed when you roll out of the plane as it’s almost impossible to close it during the free-fall…

  13. Justine Avatar

    Wow! What an incredible experience! I could never do it with my fear of heights (I think I have anxiety just seeing the pictures haha) but I’m sure it’s a once in a lifetime rush!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Justine, agree with you it was a once in a lifetime experience for me also… 😉

  14. Megala Avatar

    OMG! This is amazing! Just can’t imagine that I could ever try this even in my wildest dream. 🙂 But it is really inspiring to see women doing Adrenaline, kudos for such a bold attempt.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Never say never Megala! You may want to try it in the future.
      Thank you for your feedback but I have to say, I enjoyed the Jet Fighter ride much more than the this jump. 🙂

  15. lillyevechristie Avatar

    Wow, brave you! I couldn’t do it, well done xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Lilly, I try (almost) everything once – life is too short not to! x

  16. nitinsingh Avatar

    Excellent information n writing ya a amazing experience

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the kind feedback!
      Have you ever taken the leap?

      1. nitinsingh Avatar

        Not till now , ya you give hope to me n many ppl 🙂🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        There’s always a first time for everything and thank you for the great feedback! 🙂

  17. Lisa Dorenfest ~ One Ocean At A Time Avatar

    My feet were tingling, especially in the arch area, through the entirety of this post. Given my fear of heights, I have enough trouble getting into a plane let alone jumping out of one. You are a brave woman. The high at the end of such an experience was well-earned.

    You look exhilarated through the entire adventure. The joy shines through. That must have been a weird sensation to face such immense pressure on the way down. I never thought about the need to close the mouth during a free fall. And your eardrums; oh my!

    Did you ever dive underwater again?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Lisa, it was indeed an intense experience and adrenaline rush although I enjoyed the Jet Fighter ride much more.

      If only it was my feet tingling during the free-fall. Never thought about the ears either and wish I’d known, but if it’s not common then maybe the jump master didn’t know either.

      No, haven’t been diving since as haven’t had the opportunity and sadly, don’t have my gear anymore, but I’m sure I can always hire the gear… 😉

  18. easterntrekker Avatar

    That’s a Wow!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and yes, it was a wow! 😉
      Have you ever tried a jump?

  19. mydustyflipflops Avatar

    Wow!!!! A great description of the experience, it gives a good insight into what it’s like to do a jump. I hadn’t really thought about problems you might get with your ears when doing one, I hope everything sorted itself in the end. Huge congratulations for doing it… I know it’s something I wouldn’t be able to do… I have enough problems getting into an aircraft, let alone throwing myself out of one!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the great feedback! The ear problem isn’t common apparently – just lucky I guess.
      Think it’s something I’d only do the once, unlike the Jet Fighter ride. 😉
      It’s not for everyone, but I really wanted to try it the once.

      1. mydustyflipflops Avatar

        Well, I’m always really impressed with anyone who does it!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks! 😉

  20. Island Traveler Avatar

    Oh, wow! Perhaps one day will try this too.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hope you do, it’s an incredible experience!

  21. Giovanni Augello Avatar

    Really Amazing…You are great!!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Giovanni!
      Have you done one of these jumps?

      1. Giovanni Augello Avatar

        Never! To tell you the truth… I don’t have the gut 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, it certainly is an exhilarating experience! 🙂
        I much preferred the Jet Fighter ride.

  22. Mohamad Toutounji Avatar

    Oh my god Nilla!
    I can’t believe you actually managed to do this!
    Many congrats to your amazing courage
    I’ve been actually waiting for this post since the last Sunday when you told me about it
    Keep it up!👍

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, thank you Mohamad for your great feedback as always – this was another intense experience!
      Thank you also for waiting all week for my post and taking the time to read it – much appreciated! 🙂
      Hope you get to experience a jump but just remember to keep your mouth closed when rolling out of the plane and until the shoot goes up.

      1. Mohamad Toutounji Avatar

        Thank you
        I’ll make sure to keep your advice in my mind in case i had to experience such an amazing adventure

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        No problem and thanks again for your support!

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