Dave Jacka


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Day 15 – Burketown & the State School

Leaving Weipa

After the previous tough flying days, it was great to wake up to a day of few clouds, light wind & perfect blue sky. Our friend from Weipa SES, Trevor Snodgrass, dropped us off at the airport to enable us to get away early. Thanks also to Trevor’s wife, Pam, who looked after us & prepared sandwiches for the team for the day.

Me with Trevor.

We got in the air by 9 am. The day was going to be hot so Paul helped me install my new spray system to cool me down (as I can’t regulate my body temperature). But unfortunately the system was leaking air & we didn’t have time to investigate it. This will have to be a job for a rest day (which never ends up to be a rest day). This meant I had to rely on old faithful – my pump-up spray bottle (my sweat in a bottle)!

Refueling at Normanton

We were initially planning to refuel at Kowanyama but we found out they were out of fuel. We checked alternatives & decided to land & refuel at Normanton & eat our lovely Pam-made sandwiches there. Normanton was 3 hours south of Weipa. By this stage, my bum was killing me. I felt relieved to get out of the cockpit!

On our flight to Normanton, we saw the most spectacular scenery that is so unique to the Australian outback. The shapes, colours, textures & patterns were like art! I really enjoy flying in the outback because the scenery changes & you never know what is around the corner. Also this part of the world is so remote. It’s natural beauty is unchanged by man.

View from my plane.

Great views!

Thanks Burketown State School!

Early in this trip, when I was flying up the east coast of Australia, I found out that the kids (grades 4-7) of Burketown State School were following me & our trip around Australia.

Their teacher had spoken to Linda as the kids were really keen to visit when I landed at the Burketown Airport. The students had written a letter to their principal to persuade him to allow them to come to the airfield & see me.

They all came down & gave me the most wonderful gifts – a poster, picture, letters… & some lovely chocolate biscuits that I will need to hide from the team (as they are all chocoholics)!


My gift from Burketown State School.

Meeting the Burketown State School kids & getting the chance to talk to them & be questioned by them so openly was one of the major highlights of my trip! Burketown State School is a small school of about 30 kids & about 11 from grades 4 to 7 were there to greet me. I really enjoyed showing them how I fly the plane. I was so thrilled that they’d come to see me!

Thanks to Burketown State School!

Thanks so much to all the kids at Burketown State School, to their teacher & their principal!

I’m off now for a very early night. Tonight we are staying at Savannah Lodge which is lovely & a very welcoming place. Thanks to Amanda from Savannah Lodge for helping us out & working with us when our trip’s schedule changed.

Tomorrow I have to get up really early for the long flight to Gove so now its time to get some sleep.

Over & out,



6 thoughts on “Day 15 – Burketown & the State School”

  1. Great read tonight Dave, and just great to hear those kids in Bourketown are with you all the way. Must have made their day to see you in the flesh so to speak. I guess we on the east tropical coast should be relieved now that you are out of our “watch’…even though I thought we turned on some great tropical-type rainy weather for you all !!! …just to see if you could all hack it up here. Hell we even got one of you strandedon a lovely tropical Island for a day or two. Anyway it was all too short…fly safe and enjoy the rest of your great trip….some great scenery ahead aslo of course…………………….Cheers to all Ross Millard 010233 Townsville NQld.

  2. Well done Dave and a great blog. When do you expect to arrive in Robourne and is there any thing I can help you with?

  3. Dave
    When you leave Roebourne towards Karratha you will pass my work place at Cape Lambert, soon to be the biggest iron ore exporter in Australia Take a few picks for us. If you get chance have a look at Delambre Island.
    Look out for the helicopter traffic from our place out to the ships anchored off. They usually only run Karratha/Cape Lambert/Seaward. There is also a skydiving school operating out of Roebourne with their DZ off the beach at Point Samson.

  4. Great shots Dave. Reminds me of our trip a couple of years ago to the Back O’ Bourke and up the Paroo and Darling catchments. Remember that one?

    Your shots above also remind me of our trip around Lake Eyre’s Warburton and Cooper Creeks and the view around the Birdsville Track.

    Following your adventure makes me want to drop what I am doing and just take off for a couple of weeks. Can’t wait to do just that !


  5. Dave,
    Great to hear your school story. Those kids will know see anything is possible. Truly inspirational! I am sure they asked many direct questions which adults do not ask. Love their drawings.
    Love the shot of the river systems. Where was that?
    Regards to the Team,

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