Novice flyers Chris and Kathy Littlemore built their own ultralight, raised more than $25,000 for charity and narrowly missed out on winning this year’s Outback Air Race from Alice Springs to Broome.

Story By Kathy Littlemore

Broome Tower, this is Jabiru 4304, we are clear of the runway,” came the call from the ultralight. “Jabiru 4304, this is Broome Tower. Bet you’re pleased to be on the ground.” There is no denying that. We’ve just completed our first Outback Air Race, and the comment from the tower is prompted by our engine failure over Doubtful Bay, WA. We spent 12 days as part of a fleet of 16 aircraft flying from Alice Springs, NT, over the Barkly Tableland, up to Kakadu National Park and on to the Kimberley region, WA, and, at times, things had indeed looked doubtful.
My husband Chris and I decided to buy a plane when we moved to Balranald, in south-west New South Wales, in 2004. But we could only afford a new one if we built it ourselves. With an ultralight pilot’s licence gained in six weeks, 40 hours’ flying time and a passion – no, an obsession – Chris coerced me into helping him build a Jabiru J200 two-seater.

This story excerpt is from Issue #50

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2007