Dave Jacka


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Naracoorte, CASA, Plane Mods & Natfly

A Talk in Naracoorte, SA

Last weekend, I was invited to give a talk at Naracoorte by Leon Brice. For me, this highlighted why On a Wing & a Chair is so important.

Leon Brice’s son Charles had a motorbike accident in 2010 leaving him with quadriplegia, of a similar level to mine. Back in 2010, Leon contacted me about his son. I’ve been in contact with Leon, a top guy, since this time but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet his son Charles. Charles had been keen to be a pilot before his accident. When I look back to my accident, there were many similarities to Charles’.

Me presenting at Naracoorte

This weekend, I finally got to meet Charles & many people from the community who have supported the Brice family.

The venue was packed with about 80 and they had to limit numbers as no more would fit. We had a great dinner together, & I gave my presentation. I really enjoyed this weekend because I had the opportunity to share my experiences & hopefully show that life doesn’t stop when you have a serious accident, its just the beginning of a new one.

Charles has just started flying again – which is fantastic! Nothing better than freedom!

Jock McNeil (left), Charles Brice (centre), Me (right)

Checkout Charles’ website: briceybestrong.com. Please donate & help support him.

CASA Approval for Exemption

With a month to go, I still don’t have my exemption to fly through controlled airspace – which is purely for safety reasons.

The frustrating part is that I put this in motion over 1 year ago & maybe I’ve just wasted time & money with this. I was told it would be a few days, a couple of weeks ago. I think CASA uses a different time scale.

At this point, I’ve almost run out of time to get any training done as I have so many other things to complete before the flight takes off 29th April. I am finding it a bit tough to get everything done while working full time.

Plane Modifications

One of the problems with flying up north will be the heat as I can’t control my body temperature. The cockpit of the Jabiru gets stifling when the sun is beating in on a hot day so I need to be well prepared.

A couple of weeks ago, my trusty mechanic Geoff, installed an air vent in the window to get more air directed onto me to help cool me down. The Jabiru vents just don’t let enough air in. I got a chance to take the plane up & try this out & it was fantastic! It really blasts air in!

Air vent in pilot’s side window

In addition, as I can’t sweat, I need to spray water on myself to help cool myself down. I call it “sweat in a bottle”. Therefore, the second modification I’ll need to make is to install a water spray system (powered by my existing pneumatic system for the brakes) as when I fly solo, I won’t have anyone who can help spray me down with water.

These two modifications will save my life when its really hot!

What’s Next! Natfly, Temora

This Easter Weekend, I’m heading to Temora for Natfly with Josh, who is one of the magnificent 7 flight team members. We will have a display there & I’ll be giving a talk on the Saturday. If you happen to be going along, please drop by & say G’day.

We’ll have OWC caps for sale & all profits raised go to help supporting the flight & spreading our message: raising the publics expectations of what people with disabilities can achieve & providing inspiration for all. Linda will be having some much needed time off as she’s been working on the project full time for awhile now.  We will be hoping to try out the Spider Tracks tracking system this weekend on this flight. Stay posted for more about this.

Over & out!


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