Skydivers set to soar

Flying: Elise Brown indoor skydiving.

Flying: Elise Brown indoor skydiving.

Jumping out of a plane with nothing but a parachute stuffed into a bag strapped to your back.

For many it’s a nightmarish prospect, but for others it’s a thrill they live for.

However, there is a safer, inside version of skydiving on the rise and Macarthur’s home to some of the best indoor “flyers”.

Four Macarthur residents will take to the “tunnel” – the box where indoor skydivers fly –  for two consecutive days beginning on Friday, August 18 for the third annual Indoor Skydiving Championships in Penrith.

Representing the region will be Minto’s Greg Hamilton, Spring Farm’s Kurt Gregson and Eschol Park resident Diego Quevedo.

However, the youngest of the lot will be Narellan’s Elise Brown.

Skydiving runs in the 17-year-old’s veins.

Both her parents were skydivers meaning Elise “pretty much grew up in the drop zone”.

As a primary school-aged child she began counting down the days until her 14th birthday – the minimum age required to jump out of a plane.

However, on her ninth birthday she received the best gift imaginable. She was selected as part of a pilot program allowing kids under the age of 14 to take part in a tandem jump.

”I was super scared but also super excited,” she said.

“On the way up in the plane I was really nervous but I just kept looking out the window at the awesome view.

“As soon as I jumped out of the plane I could just feel the wind in my face and it was so fun.

“Since about the age of seven or eight I wanted to try it but the limit at the time was 14 years of age.”

A young Elise Brown leaps from a plane.

A young Elise Brown leaps from a plane.

The results from the program proved so successful the minimum age limit for eligible skydivers was dropped to 12.

And for three years Elise held the record for the youngest female skydiver in Australia.

But in recent years she has turned her attention to indoor flying.

At the championships she will compete in the freestyle open category, which basically means she has free rein to go wild in the tunnel.

“I pretty much do a routine that’s based on dancing, figure skating and yoga,” she said.

“It’s judged on how nice it looks to the eye and the difficulty of each move.”

The year 12 Elderslie High School student said she would use to competition as a springboard to meet other skydivers, however the ultimate aim was to eventually become an indoor instructor. 

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