Dave Jacka


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Day 11 – Reuniting the team

I found it hard to sleep as I was concerned about Linda, Bob & Michael, who were in the Piper Lance support plane, getting back from Dunk Island to meet up with us at Ingham today. The wind was howling all night & it was bucketing down & I thought the chances of them getting back here was pretty grim.

Paul spoke to Michael at 4.30 am to discuss the weather & the probability of them getting out. I got up at 4 am just in case the weather was looking okay. If they could make it back, we could potentially all get up to Cooktown today. Paul relayed the message saying that they would determine if it could be possible at first light. At this point, it was just a waiting game.

I sat outside at 6.30 am willing the clouds to lift to give them a clear run, but at the time, the weather was looking very ordinary with low cloud & drizzle/rain. At 8.37 am, Linda sent me a text to let me know that a window had opened up in the sky & they would attempt to fly off. That was the last I heard from her.

At around 9.30 am, with low cloud & intermittent showers, Paul got a call from Michael saying they were 2 min away from Ingham. A minute later, I could hear the roar of the Lance’s engine in the distance & then it appeared & flew directly over our hotel where I was sitting, hoping they would make it.

Not a flying day.

It was damn good piloting skills by Michael with what I heard was a beautiful crosswind landing. It was great to reunite the entire team all together again. Certainly my stress levels reduced markedly, as well as the rest of the teams.

I was so happy to see my wife Linda (who is the project coordinator) again. It was a difficult situation for Linda & I to be separated because we depend on each other in the evenings to do all the media, social media side of the trip, which takes about 4 hours each night. On a personal level, the problem with flying with your wife is you worry too much about them, which makes certain circumstances more difficult when it comes to the risks in flying.

The team together again.

Once the team got back together, we quickly made the decision that we wouldn’t get off the ground today, & we would need to stay another night in Ingham. Cooktown will have to wait. We caught up for a team debrief & discussed all the learnings from the previous day:

  1. Keep the team together & land in one location when possible,
  2. Make sure we have food in each plane as we had parts of the lunch in each different plane but no one had enough to make one full sandwich.

… and we had a few other good learnings that will surely help us going forward.

Bob (L) & Gordon (R) checking maps for tomorrow.

With all the weather we’ve encountered, we are now 2 days behind in our schedule. This will now affect all our booked / donated / discounted accommodation throughout the rest of our flight.

Of course, this was to be expected as some stage (we’ve had a dream run so far) but it means a LOT of work for our base support (Brian & Roberta) to essentially replan everything based on our very vague dates that we can provide them with. Thanks so much to Brian & Roberta for working so hard today to get the next 3 nights accommodation sorted.

Hope we get up to Cooktown tomorrow. This will be a huge relief because the weather north of that is looking okay.

Over & out,


6 thoughts on “Day 11 – Reuniting the team”

  1. Hi dave ,good to hear your still in one piece.I think the weather god is female. What else can scare you that much and be that unpredictable! Following your journey everyday.good luck and best wishes

    1. Ha ha Glenn !

      I’ll add another bit. …….and have a profound respect for.

      Nice to see your post.

  2. Dave glad you are all back together again.Top job your mum and dad are doing heard from them again today.No hurry to get here we are going nowhere.Not real computor savvy this guy not sure how my name keeps appearing each day on Speak Your Mind ? See you saturday.

  3. As flyers, we’re always learning. Every time we go up its a unique experience and we’re chalking down another nuance or little tweak or even something bigger like nasty rotors coming into Shute Harbour.

    You’ve made great progress Dave and team and yes, the schedule holds up only that long.

    Continue to be safe. I know you and your group won’t take any chances. I always remember Ian’s now famous adage : It’s better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here !


  4. Great words of wisdom from a very wise man, Jonathan. Never sacrifice safety in favor of the schedule, Dave. Best of luck from the USA.


  5. Hi Dave and Crew Trip sounds great . Enjoy your dream all is possible with good support. cheers from porepunkah.

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