We recently took part in a group challenge where eight microlights and three support vehicles traveled from Perth to Brisbane over a five week period to raise awareness and money to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Leukemia Foundation.
Married to Jacqui with two sons aged eight and five. Jon ran his own IT business for many years but sold this in 2003 and now works in ‘Software’. Jon is ‘just shy’ of fifty but learnt to fly specifically for this challenge and has purchased a P&M Aviation GT450S ready for the trip. Jon was one of the original planners of the trip back in 2005 along with Ian & Angus
The inspiration behind the trip, the original idea was started by Ian and following a conversation with Jon Ingram the vision expanded into the Australia Challenge 2008. Married to Lusinda with two daughters aged ten and eight. Ian has had a varied past, he has worked as a ‘roadie’ for Iron Maiden, worked for corporate business and now runs his own recruitment company. Ian is also nearly fifty and flies a P&M Aviation Quik 912.
Ian and Jon have known each other for twenty years or more and are firm friends who share many similar interests. Both have always been goal or ‘target’ oriented. This project is something different and definitely a challenge! The bonus to both will be raising money for a worthwhile charity from personal and corporate sponsors….
David turned fifty in 2006 & is married to Sharon. He has two daughters & two sons. An Aircraft Technician in the RAF for 16 years, he now works as a Quality Engineer at Honda UK in Swindon. David accumulated many hours hang gliding experience both in the UK & Europe in the 80's & 90's, & obtained his Microlight Pilot license in 2001. He is very much looking forward to this phenomenal experience and to help raise money for our chosen charities.
Married for about 30 years, until he lost his wife to cancer, his partner of 2 years also lost her husband to the disease. Derek has both a Daughter and Grand Daughter! He gained his NPPL some nine years ago, and has flown in South Africa, France and New Zealand since. He is an Electronics Engineer based in the West Midlands. Derek is looking forward to this challenge because when his Grand Daughter asks what did you do when you were younger Grandpa? He can tell her he wasn’t a ‘Miserable Old Git’ all the time!
Western Australian Team
Based in Western Australia Angus has previously completed part of this trip and is keen to join the adventure. Providing the local knowledge to help put the plan together, Angus is a key part of the team. Because he is based on the West Coast, Angus will be completing a full circumnavigation, and is still looking for others who would like to continue the trip from Brisbane to Perth via the Southern Coast.
Married to Jackie with a daughter Melissa, and two sons Brice and Robert. He lives in Bunbury Western Australia 2 hours South of Perth by car. He has been flying Microlights for the last 10 years and will be joining Angus for the full circumnavigation. He turned 50 last year and he also retired last year, so with time on his hands he is looking forward to this adventure.
Howard (Howie) Watts
A triker based in Perth. Current member of the Western Microlight club which includes Angus Horwood, Howie flies an airborne Redback with a 582 Rotax with a Streak II wing. He will be completing the circumnavigation with Angus. Hobbies are 4x4 Driving and flying trikes. Although he has been airborne in the 4wd a few times, he likes to keep them separate. Originally from UK but have been living in Australia for just over 20 years, (Perth and Sydney), officially he is now an Aussie, but still, never goes anywhere without his HP sauce.
Another 50 year old who lives in Perth, (Morley), and works as an orthopaedic physiotherapist at Swan Districts Hospital. A member of the Superlight Aircraft Club based at Bindoon, Western Australia.
Rob & Fiona Donaldson (that's us!)
Rob and his wife Fiona are very excited to be joining the expedition. They have been flying Microlights since July last year and are due to pick up an Airborne XT912 Outback with Streak 3 wing shortly. Rob has been flying on and off since he was 15. In fact, he had to get his mates to drive him to the airport before he was allowed to drive a car, only then to be ‘pilot in command’ as he flew them around the Victorian countryside! His practical flying experience dropped off over the years until recently when he discovered not only the enjoyment, but also the affordability of Microlights. He introduced his wife to it and when she came back from her trial flight with a grin bigger than a Cheshire cat, he knew she was hooked as well. They have been flying, weather permitting, ever since.
Richard Baldwin - Documentary Cameraman
Richard is an independent cameraman, with experience in both the production and direction of television documentaries. His love of travel has enabled him to film all over the world including Hawaii, South America, Thailand, North America and now Australia. Richard will be filming the trip and then producing a documentary type program that can be sold to any interested TV Channel. Much of the proceeds will go to our chosen charities.
Brisbane Ground Crew
We have a ground support team who will be following in a 4x4, for the whole trip from Perth to Brisbane.
Married to Margaret, with three grown-up daughters, he is now “sort of retired”. John spent 24+ years in the Australian Army Reserve working in Infantry, Transport and Signals. He has been round and across Australia before – mostly in uniform. John will be managing the logistics of the trip and has thus far, been invaluable.
Len (Lennie) Nuttall
Retired entrepreneur, Len now lives in Brisbane. Having lost his first wife to Cancer , he is looking forward to the opportunity to raise funds for Leukemia Research.
Married to Len, Diana will be helping with Administration support.
We had a great time and too many adventures to mention here. We met a great bunch of people and saw some amazing scenery. It is just a shame that it all ended so soon. We stayed with the group until Darwin when we had to leave and return home to WORK of all things.