A Classy Guy Says 'Thanks' In A Very Classy Way
The following letter
was sent by Jon Johanson, now safe at home after being stuck for a number of less
then pleasant days, in the Antarctic.
Since returning to Adelaide last Tuesday afternoon I haven't had
time to think, let alone work out what day it is. I am only just
becoming aware of the tremendous amount of help that so many people
offered to the "mission control" team in Adelaide over the past
eleven days - A mission control like no other, as so many people
around the world have discovered.
Thank you does not seem to cover my gratitude adequately; still
all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.
What an amazing couple of weeks it has been. On the 17th of
December the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight -
achieved by a couple of home builders in their experimental
aircraft, the Wright Flyer. On the 8th of December, almost 100
years later, it was another home built, experimental aircraft that
was flown solo over the South Pole. RV-4TE VH-NOJ, the first
aircraft to be flown solo to the South Pole. It's all a bit hard to
Despite the years of planning and knowing that we could do this
safely, it has happened quickly enough for me to be tempted to feel
that it is all a dream.
Over the eleven days we were away, VH-NOJ carried me 8,282
nautical miles (15,338 km) in 61 hours and 15 minutes at an average
speed of 135 knots (250 kph). The years of planning to conquer the
South Pole safely have paid off with even the bureaucrats getting
their moment in the sun. In time the bureaucracy will be forgotten,
as it should be, and only the achievement will be remembered.
Something that should never be forgotten though, is the
generosity of one adventurous spirit to another - Polly
Vacher and her team's selfless generosity in allowing me
to use some of their fuel to safely complete my polar flight. How
disappointing it must have been for Polly not to be able to reach
her goal, but how typical of a team who have dedicated their time
to helping disabled people gain their ultimate freedom through
FLYING SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE DISABLED email@example.com
May I again say thank you to everyone and wish you season's
greetings and a happy, prosperous new year.
An ordinary Australian doing extraordinary things