Dave Jacka


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Day 18 – Reached Darwin, the midpoint of the flight!

Leaving Nhulunbuy

It was an easy day flying with light tailwinds, & blue skies.

It was only a short leg today from Nhulunbuy to Darwin, with a short stop in Maningrida to refuel & have lunch. It was hot! I definitely needed my sweat in a bottle (water spray bottle) today!

We had problems getting fuel at Maningrida but managed to get the right guy to help us out. I found it difficult to keep cool. In particular, when I got into the aircraft to take off. I felt like I was in a greenhouse.

Arriving into Maningrida Airport.

I quickly did my checks & took off so I could get some altitude & get some cool air flowing into the aircraft.

It was only a 2 hour flight from there to Emkaytee Airfield, close to Darwin. We followed the coast & then went inland. When I started going inland, my oil temperature went quite high, so I had to slow my engine down to try to reduce the temperature.

The countryside changed from mud flats & mangroves to bush & rock. There was certainly no where to put the aircraft down if there was an emergency. This is always in the back of your mind but you don’t think about it & just focus on flying.

Views while flying.

View from my GoPro Camera.

It was a relief to land into Emkaytee Airport as this signaled our arrival at our half-way point of the trip!

We arrive in Darwin – our midpoint stop!

I’m so excited to have reached Darwin! From our starting point at Tooradin, near Melbourne back on 29th April, we’ve flown around Tassie, up the east coast to the northern tip of Australia & along the Gulf of Carpentaria.

So far, I’ve crossed the most southerly point of Australia (South East Cape of Tassie), the most easterly point (Cape Byron), & the most northerly point (Cape York).

We’ve been on this trip now for  18 days (11 flying days, 7 rest/catchup/weathe- delayed days).

So far… we had some great weather, I had a scary landing in Airlie Beach, support planes got separated & then reunited, got delayed in a rainy Ingham & now finally, so happy to have reached the midpoint.

Arriving in Emkaytee, Darwin.

I’ve been so looking forward to the 4 nights – 3 full days – in Darwin to have a proper rest, get my jab serviced & catch up on emails & facebook.

Welcome Josh!

Darwin is also the swapover point for the personal support role. Lida fulfilled this role for the first half of the trip, from Tooradin to Darwin & Josh has now taken over from Lida for the second half of the trip. Thanks to Lida for all her help in the personal support role for this first half! Welcome Josh!

Josh will now be traveling with us from Darwin, around the west coast & along the southern coast, the Great Australian Bight, all the way back to Tooradin.

Because of our delay, Josh has had a few extra days to explore Darwin & surroundings while waiting for us & is ready to go!

We all got together tonight for a lovely meal to celebrate this midpoint.

We’d like to greatly thank Darwin Central Hotel for very kindly donating the rooms for our 4-night stay in Darwin!

So exhausted, time for bed & looking forward to a great sleep in.

Over & out,



16 thoughts on “Day 18 – Reached Darwin, the midpoint of the flight!”

  1. Dave & Team,
    Hope you all enjoy your stay in Darwin. I am told you do not need blankets in Darwin. I have not been there so it hard to imagine. Look forward to the rest of the trip. Wish I was there! The pictures are great! As I have said before: “this is a flight of a lifetime”. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Dave,

    A cooling vest (one such as those with MS wear) could be the answer to some of your problems in the warmer weather. Hoping that you might be able to locate on your few days off – maybe a chemist could help?

    Keep up the great work. I so look forward to ready your daily updates. You are truly inspiring!

    Enjoy the trip, safe flying to you and the team and we look forward to seeing you back at Tooradin on Sunday 2 June 2013.

    Bec Green and Laurie Jones

    1. Hi Bec, thanks for the suggestion. The most effective thing for me in the heat is a simple water spray bottle to spray water on my face & neck. This cools me down really well. Thanks for following along & glad you like the blogs. Keep an eye on the “Follow the Journey” page on the website, just in case the date when we arrive back in Tooradin changes. We will update this webpage if any dates change. Would be great to see you. Cheers, Dave.

  3. Hi there Dave and crew, Congratulations on reaching the halfway point !….Darwin has always been an interesting town, so enjoy it while you all have the chance …..oh, and by the way, the weather you experienced around Ingham a week ago is being duplicated at the moment, and may even be a little more widespread, so don’t feel too bad about getting stuck there for a couple of days. Dave,you do take such nice aerial photos, I hope you are taking a lot more, it would be nice to see them all in a book one day !………….Cheers …enjoy the rest…………..Ross Millard Townsville Qld…gorgous one day..bloody wet the next !

    1. Hi Ross, yep, glad we managed to get out of Ingham & continue on our journey. Its sometimes easy to forget just how lucky we have been with the weather! I’m looking forward to setting off tomorrow for the second half of the trip. Cheers, Dave.

  4. Congratulations to all the team ! I wish you the best for the following journey !
    A special hurrey for David ! Well down ! I never have any doubt about your success ! Cheers, Myriam

  5. Hi Dave
    I have been following your flight since day one and aside from one hairy landing you are having a great trip. Congratulations on reaching half way. You are certainlyy a wonderful role model foe people with similar disabilities. Having spent many hours in light aircraft as a passenger and understand the challenges you face. Have a great trip down the west coast and then home

  6. Hi Dave and the Team,

    Hope you enjoy your rest days in Darwin, it’s a really great relaxed city with great food to boot!

    Congratulations on the halfway point, with 3 milestones ticked off, wish you blue skies and tail winds to follow you on the rest of your wonderful journey, and keep posting those amazing photos!


    1. Hi Julie, thanks for your continued support. Its great hearing from you. Will try & get some extra pics up. Linda has been looking through her collection today to add some more to facebook.
      Look forward to seeing you when we get back to Tooradin! Dave.

  7. Hi Dave,

    Great to see you’ve reached your halfway point. Rest well, hydrate heaps and enjoy the tropics !

    Continue keeping the oil temp in the green and also watch that CHT gauge. I wish Jab had thrown in an EGT gauge as well just for good measure. Ah, well, it is what it is so just play safe as always. You’re probably burning off a fair bit of oil up there.

    By the way, I’ve got a customer up in Port Hedland. I will tell her that you are passing through and if you need any assistance there let me know.


    1. Hi Jonathan, yep, always got my eye on the gauges. The jab certainly burns more oil in the heat. I’ve just got to watch it until I get down south. Thanks for letting people know about our flight. Will let you know if we need any help around Port Hedland. Cheers, Dave.

  8. Hi dave, congrats with making it to Darwin,all you have to do is fly home now! If cooling down is a problem, try a six pack of Darwin stubbies,Casa might let you fly in about a week,enjoying the updates,just be a bit more humble when talking about the warm weather, it’s freezing down here. Regards glenn wattie

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