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On a Wing and a Chair: An Epic Solo Flight Around Australia
On 5 June 2013, Dave Jacka became the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia, covering a distance of almost 18,000 kilometres, the equivalent of flying from Melbourne to London.
On a Wing and a Chair brings the reader into this thrilling adventure. We experience the highs and lows of six years of preparation; then the trials and rewards of an epic 38-day flight in Dave’s custom-adapted aircraft.
Turbulent weather, mechanical problems, sickness and fatigue were just some of the obstacles the team faced as they circumnavigated Australia, hugging the country’s majestic coastline.
At every stop along the way, the team received overwhelming support from local people who were deeply inspired by the flight’s mission and Dave’s courage.
After a near-death experience of getting caught in terrifying turbulence that tossed his aircraft around like a cork in a churning ocean, Dave had to overcome immense fear and anxiety in order to continue.
With insight and candour, Dave shares his moments of triumph and of self-doubt. No matter the challenge, Dave will find a way; the book exemplifies his guiding philosophy of setting personal goals, navigating obstacles and stretching his capacity. As Dave asks, “Where do my limits lie? Indeed, where do anyone’s limits lie?”
On a Wing and a Chair is an inspiring story of tenacity, perseverance and self-belief. Through his remarkable example, Dave shows us what is possible when we dare to push our limits.
Just because someone reckons you can’t do something, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
In Six Percent, Dave Jacka tells the story of his journey from immobility in an ICU ward following a devastating motorbike accident, to realising his boyhood dream of learning to fly.
Upon discovering he has six percent of his muscles functioning, nineteen-year-old Dave becomes obsessed with finding out what six percent actually means. Does it mean he will have six percent of a life?
Six Percent takes us inside Dave’s mind as he reckons with his fate and begins to reimagine his future. Overcoming despair, daily frustrations and interminable obstacles, Dave’s perseverance and philosophy of ‘doing it differently’ enable him to progress from relearning how to feed himself to competing at the 1996 Paralympics. He then defies expectations and realises his ultimate dream—learning to fly.
Told with humour and insight, Six Percent is a remarkable story of tenacity and resilience—and what is possible when we think laterally and dare to dream.