Dave Sykes took off in a flexwing microlight from Rufforth airfield in northern England on 28 April 2011 with one goal - Australia. Flying in a P&M Quik, Dave was about to attempt a journey that would take him through 18 different countries and over thousands of miles of water.
Few have achieved this feat, but Dave had to overcome physical disability as well as all the other more normal obstacles. Following a road accident in 1993, Dave lost the use of his legs and has since relied on a wheelchair for his daily transport - hence his nickname 'Wheely Dave'. No other paraplegic has ever succeeded in flying from the UK to Australia in a microlight and, to underline the enormity of this achievement, Dave was flying solo.
The original plan was 55 days' flying. After sickness, monsoons and bureaucratic delays and, despite being airborne often for 8 hours each day, Dave reached Sydney 119 days after leaving Rufforth. This outstanding achievement is testament to Dave's endurance and stamina and proof that determination can overcome disability.