A Gold Coast motocross rider has driven his bike out of the back of a plane into thin air and parachuted down to earth in a daredevil stunt over the Darling Downs. See astonishing video.
Jimmy `James’ McFarlane took his dirt bike for a spin last week but it was no ordinary ride.
Instead of going to a track with dirt and jumps, the 26-year-old rode out of the back of a plane more than 4km above the ground in Westmar, west of Dalby.
While it seems insane, the Gold Coast daredevil said he simply wanted to combine his two favourite sports motocross and skydiving.
“Who wouldn’t want to ride a motorbike out of a plane?” he said.
With plenty of air time before he needed to pull his chute, McFarlane made the most of his mammoth motorcycle leap on Thursday, trying a number of tricks he usually wouldn’t be able to do from a jump off the ground.
“I did a front flip out of the plane then the bike got a bit stable so I did a superman and a ruler (a handstand on the bike’s handlebars).
“But after I was up in that ruler the bike started spinning out of control, so I bailed.
“At least I’ve got a photo of it at 14,000 feet. But I think everyone gets the idea when they see the parachute on my back.”
To make his sky ride authentic, McFarlane dressed from head to toe in his motocross gear, despite the disadvantage the heavy and bulkier gear brought with it.
While he touched down safely, McFarlane knows how dangerous the jump was.
“When you throw something out of a plane that doesn’t get thrown out that often, you just don’t know what it’s going to do whether it’s going to fall really fast or spin out of control.
“It could have quite easily gone pear shaped, like if the bike started spinning out of control and whacked me in the back of the head.
“If you can’t pull your chute, you’re in all kinds of trouble.
“Or say the handlebars got hooked through my rig or something, there’s tons of stuff that could go wrong.
“We just did what we could to try and make it as safe as we could.”
That included fitting the bike a 1984 model YZ 250 bought specially for the jump with a self-deploying chute so it touched down safely, albeit with a small thud.
Along with the chute, McFarlane fitted the rundown bike with some fresh mudguards and plastics.
“We just made it look a bit faster,” he said.
McFarlane’s jump was part of the Funny Farm sky diving event that attracted the sport’s top athletes from around the world.
For eight days the sky divers diced with death, trying daring new moves such as McFarlane’s sky ride.
“We did tons of stuff, it was just hectic.”
While he looks like a seasoned pro, McFarlane has surprisingly only been skydiving for a year.
He clocked up his 250th jump at the Funny Farm event and said he’s got many more to come.
“I’ll probably get to thousands and thousands. The sky is the limit,” he said.
The plumber, who jumps most weekends at Byron Bay, said skydiving was the ultimate challenge and rush.
“Free flying is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
“The good thing about Byron is you can go down there on a Saturday morning and do five jumps so you can still go riding and do what ever in the afternoon.”