Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

Dirk, Heather and Jens Meinecke are taking part in the Outback Air Race 2001 to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Air Race Underway

To follow their progress click on any one of the following links:

Air Race Background

The aim of the air race is to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is a not-for-profit charitable service providing aeromedical emergency and primary health care services together with communication and education assistance to people who live, work and travel in regional and remote Australia.

The Service depends on funds provided by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and contributions donated by the general public, businesses and the corporate Sector.

The Outback Air Race Inc. is a major contributor to the fundraising of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and guarantee a minimum of 85% of donated money goes directly to the services and facilities provided to all Australians and Overseas Visitors by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Your donation of $2 or more is tax deductable in Australia.

Corporate Donors

The following companies have made significant contributions toward Double Trouble's fundraising efforts:

Jensware Pty Ltd is a software development company specialising in the market research industry. The homepage is

Double Trouble Team

Dirk, Heather and Jens will compete as Double Trouble and sacrifice their holidays to participate in the air race and contribute their own funds toward the running cost of the aircraft and their accommodation.

Any donations made to their team will go directly to Outback Air Race Inc, the organisers of this event.

The Participants

Jens and Dirk were first fully licensed to commit aviation in 1990 and 1986 respectively. Both of them hold multi engine command instrument ratings while Dirk went on to also obtain his commercial licence.

Although having flown extensively in Central Australia, neither of them has competed in any air race in the past and they both look forward to maintaining their unblemished record of never having won any race before.

They will be competing in Beechcraft Bonanza VH-FWL (aka The Fowl) of which Jens is a part owner and which is normally hangared at Tyabb on the Mornington Peninsula, South of Melbourne.

Jens runs his own software development company in Melbourne, while Dirk works as an architect in Sydney.

Notwithstanding this normal separation in their lives, they hope to be sitting next to one another for the air race. The first one into the aeroplane on any given day will be flying while the other will be acting as navigator or flight attendant as necessary.

For part of the way (Bourke to Shute Harbour) their take-off weight will be increased marginally, as they will be joined by Jens' wife Heather. Heather's aeronautical experience is limited to putting on a brave face and supplying refreshments en-route. During the day Heather works as a mathematician and statistician for a stock broking firm, trying to figure out why they lost as much money as they did.

The Route of the Race

The Route for this year's air race is through Central Australia, starting in Alice Springs and ending in Mount Isa. The distance covered in the race itself is 2546 nautical miles (4583 km, 2864 miles).

Dirk and Jens, in order to get their plane to the starting line and back home from the finish line, will have to cover another 2267 nautical miles (4080 km, 2551 miles), making it a total distance of 4813 nautical miles (8663 km, 5415 miles) which is just over a quarter of the way around the world. It is a similar distance as any of the following city pairs: Tokyo to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to London, London to Rio De Jainero, Rio De Jainero to Paris, Paris to Mexico City, Mexico City to Lisbon, Lisbon to Capetown, Rome to Hong Kong, or Sydney to Calcutta.

Map Date Leg Distance
nm km miles
11 Aug Tyabb - Alice Springs 1041 1874 1171
13 Aug Alice Springs - Oodnadatta 240 432 270
14 Aug Oodnadatta - Marree - Broken Hill 412 742 464
16 Aug Broken Hill - White Cliffs - Reola Station 165 297 186
17 Aug Reola Station - Bourke 144 259 162
18 Aug Bourke - Charleville 218 392 245
19 Aug Charleville - Longreach 209 376 235
20 Aug Longreach - Hughenden 157 283 177
21 Aug Hughendon - Shute Harbour (Whitsundays) 257 463 289
23 Aug Shute Harbour - Undara 267 481 300
24 Aug Undara - Adel's Grove 347 625 390
25 Aug Adel's Grove - Mt Isa 130 234 146
26 Aug Mt Isa - Tyabb 1096 1973 1233
Total 4813 8663 5415