Dave Jacka


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Day 5 – Flying from Bairnsdale to Wollongong

Leaving Bairnsdale

It was great to spend time with members of the East Gippsland Aero Club who really helped us out. We got down to the Bairnsdale Airfield early & we were ready to leave around 9.30 am.

It was great to also meet a talented flyer, Chloe Higgins. At 9 years of age, she has her goal set to get her pilot’s license as soon as possible. Thanks to Chloe & her father Martin for seeing us off in their RV. They could only follow us down Lakes Entrance as she was running late for school.

John & I swapped caps so now I have an East Gippsland Aero Club cap!

Chloe Higgins (left), Dave & John Chester (right)

Heading up to Merimbula

We had perfect flying conditions today – blue skies & light winds. We were even lucky enough to get a tail wind traveling east & then a slight northerly as we turned north up the coast to Merimbula.

When we stopped at Merimbula for lunch, it was awesome to meet Neil Bourke & other members of Frog’s Hollow Aero Club. They put on a lunch for us & we all had a chance to chat. We did this all in Rex Koerbin’s hanger where he has Merimbula Aircraft Maintenance.

I felt so relieved to be heading north & I was already feeling warmer. I felt a lot better today after getting so cold yesterday & I think I was a bit dehydrated too as its a challenge to drink enough water in such a cold environment as Tasmania.

(L-R) Drew Done, Brian McWhae, Dave, Col Hazell & Neil Bourke


Arriving in Wollongong

After leaving Merimbula it was a case of just following the coast to Wollongong. We were fortunate that Nowra military base restricted areas were inactive so we could then go coastal all the way instead of having to head inland avoiding these areas.

Today was the easiest day of flying so far which is great. I could really enjoy the experience & the beautiful coastal views. I’ve been playing around with my GoPro cameras & tried some different shots (see here).

GoPro on my wing looking down.


We landed at the Illawarra Regional Airfield (Wollongong) around 3pm, & refueled the planes. We were lucky enough that Gordon Griffin offered us hanger space during our stay. We even managed to fit all 3 planes in which is fantastic. We caught up with members of the Illawarra Flyers for a quick snag before we headed to our accommadation in Kiama for an early night.

With Wings Over Illawarra on Sunday, we will need to get to our planes at the airfield early & depart as soon as we can as this leg on this day is one of longest: from Wollongong to Caboolture. This is around 6 hours flying time.

Looking forward to a rest day here tomorrow before leaving very early Sunday.

Over & out,


7 thoughts on “Day 5 – Flying from Bairnsdale to Wollongong”

  1. Hi Dave,

    Sorry could not make it to Bairnsdale as the Texan rego is still awaiting renewal by RAA. Great to see your progress so far and good luck with the run to Caboolture. I’m interested to know how you intend to route yourself past YSSY. inland via Bankstown? Extended forecast is looking pretty good for your route.


  2. Really love to hear about youngsters with a passion like Chloe!
    Your flight reports are a great read Dave! As a pilot myself, I’m on a trip this week but I look forward to your latest entry when I get to my hotel in the evening. Tailwinds Dave!

  3. Thanks for you wonderful reports Dave, it is such a privilege to “fly” along with you. I’m glad you are already enjoying some warmer weather. The photo from your GoPro is really beautiful! Have a great flight to Caboolture.

  4. Hey Dave and Linda. Ria and I have been keeping up with your progress. BRILLIANT stuff and LOVE the shots. Keep it up and keep an eye on fatigue, something many don’t consider being a major issue.

    Our best wishes with you all

    Kind Regards

    Peter & Ria

    1. Hi Peter & Ria,
      Great to hear from you! Glad you like the shots, we have a lot more. We are starting to get into a better routine, personally & as a team so that should help us manage better with fatigue.
      Over & out, Dave.

  5. Hey Davo and Linda,

    A bit worred regarding the oil leakage issue on Flinders, but you got through it. you are definitly on ya way now so hopefully that is the only hitch.

    Glad you are thru’ tassie and going up the eastern seaboard to warmer climates. Sorry to hear about the infection, hope you are feeling better.

    Remember they are very wary of deviantss in QLD.

    Keeping an eye on ya trip

    Sugar Daddy

    PS we had a great aprty in ya house last night.

    1. Hi Sugar Daddy,
      Thanks for your comment. All aircraft issues seem to be fixed now as well as my own issues.
      Thanks for following my journey & thanks for your support.
      Over & out, Dave.

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