Aviator arrives on a wing and a chair

CHANGING ATTITUDES: Whitsunday Aero Club president Stan Wright (right) welcomed Dave Jacka to the Whitsundays on Tuesday. The pair are pictured at the Whitsunday Airport (Flametree) in front of Mr Jacka’s Jabiru, in which he is flying around Australia on an awareness-raising mission.
CHANGING ATTITUDES: Whitsunday Aero Club president Stan Wright (right) welcomed Dave Jacka to the Whitsundays on Tuesday. The pair are pictured at the Whitsunday Airport (Flametree) in front of Mr Jacka’s Jabiru, in which he is flying around Australia on an awareness-raising mission.

A 44-YEAR-OLD Melbourne man who has only limited arm function and cannot move from the armpits down, successfully landed his light aircraft at Flametree's Whitsunday Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

Dave Jacka aims to be the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia with his charity 'On a Wing and a Chair', in an effort to raise expectations about what people with disabilities can do.

In 1988, at just 19 years old, Mr Jacka was thrown head-first from his motorbike into a tree, shattering his fifth vertebrae and leaving him with high-level quadriplegia.

"When I had my accident I had to re-learn how to feed myself, pick things up, brush my teeth - all the simple things," Mr Jacka said.

"And when you achieve a small goal, the next goal gets bigger."

Learning to fly became one of Mr Jacka's biggest goals, but his greatest hurdle was finding instructors who would take him on.

"A lot of people wouldn't give me a go. With a disability, people didn't think I could do it, so that's how a Wing and a Chair started - I wanted to change people's attitudes," he said.

In 2006 Mr Jacka received his pilot's certificate and in 2008 he bought a Jabiru J230 and designed its interior functions to suit his own particular needs. He controls the rudder with his left hand, steers with his right and manages the throttle by sucking and blowing into a tube.

On April 29, Mr Jacka and his support crew including four pilots and two additional planes, departed Tooradin, Victoria, for their round-Australia awareness-raising trip. On Tuesday, which was day nine of the mission, Mr Jacka completed the leg from Caboolture to the Whitsundays with a refuelling stop in Gladstone.

He was welcomed to the region by members of the Whitsunday Aero Club who said the trip was a great inspiration for able-bodied people as well. To follow Mr Jacka's progress visit

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Damaged but not defeated

BACK ON TRACK: Airlie Cove employees, Tara Craig, Sue Sloan, Betty Lightfoot, Christine Wickham, Michael Quigley, Sue Large and Bianca Paradies outside the pool which had eight trees fall in during Cyclone Debbie.

Airlie Cove is back and running despite being battered by TC Debbie

Free mulch is still available

Free mulch is still available across the Whitsundays, including the site at Gailbrath Park Road.

Free mulch is still available to Whitsunday residents.

Everyday Gourmet cooks up a storm in Airlie

TASTE TEST: Co-owner of Fish D'Vine, Kev Collins joined Justine Schofield on her television show Everyday Gourmet this morning.

Everyday Gourmet paid a visit to Airlie Beach

Local Partners

He survived Cyclone Debbie only to sadly lose cancer battle

THE man who for a while in March was the face of Cyclone Debbie in Airlie Beach has been commemorated.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

LISMORE songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by the kindness of strangers.

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Chart toppers to rock Airlie

FEEL THE BEAT: Aussie hip hop act Bliss N Eso are headed to the Whitsundays and will rock the crowd at Magnums next Tuesday.

Bliss n Eso will arrive in Airlie Beach for their show on Tuesday

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Origin nights set to go off around Airlie

RIVALRY CONTINUES: Amie Warner and Jennifer Davis will be on opposite sides of the fence at the Reef Gateway Hotel on Wednesday night for State of Origin.

Whitsunday gears up for big night of sport.

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!