When asked why he’s called Super Dave, Dave Mathieson relaxes and begins an amazing tale.
He was just 18 years old and flying a Cessna 180 float plane when the steering wheel broke off. Super Dave had to fly the plane by opening and closing doors and the manual effort of leaning back and forth. Despite several failed rescue efforts, Dave flew the plane for 52 minutes that way before beautifully landing the plane. Once on the ground he fainted.
From the age of eight, Dave knew he wanted to fly. A glider flight and watching a Snow Birds performance, he was hooked.
Thanks to Air Cadets’ pilot’s license scholarship program, Dave had his glider license at 15 and his power license at 16, the earliest age a person is legally allowed to fly.
“As a career it was all about flight, at 18 I had my commercial license,” he said.
He’s been a pilot for Air Canada Jazz, a bush pilot, started a float plane business in Greece, then went on to fly United Nations relief into Sumatra, charters in the Arctic, the Carribean and Maldives Islands.
With more than 16,000 commercial hours of flying time in more than 160 different types of airplanes, some in test flights, he’s now a full time air show pilot. Super Dave is one of the featured performers at Quesnel International Airshow, Skyfest 2013, Aug. 3 – 4 and he said he’s quite looking forward to the show.
“Quesnel has a great airport, its clean, well organized and has a smooth runway,” he said.
All elements important to the pilots.
Super Dave said this type of flying is totally fun, but a lot of hard work.
“Lots of hard time on the body – very unforgiving,” he said.
“But this profession is very safe, everything is scripted and overseen by Transport Canada. Every pilot is evaluated through the Aerobatic Competency Evaluation.”
He added he’s practiced his manoeuvres thousands of times.
“I have a life wish, not a death wish,” he said with a big smile.
For each air show the designated air boss provides an air box with all the regulations and specifications for the show.
Super Dave pilots a Scheyden MX2. It’s his third season in this plane which is the only one of its kind in Canada.
“It’s completely constructed of carbon fibre which makes it lighter and stronger. You can’t break it in the sky,” he said.
“My plane has the highest roll rate at 500 degrees per second. With 385 horse power I can fly at 300 miles an hour.”
And Super Dave does love to fly.
Beginning with the Twilight Show on Friday night, July 31 (tickets are limited, so don’t miss out) and moving into two days of sensational action with gates opening at 10 a.m. and show start at noon watch for Super Dave and the other jaw-dropping, spectacular performances..
Tickets (adult, youth, family and weekend camping package) for Skyfest 2015 are available at Circle ‘S’ Western Wear, the Tourist Bureau or online at www.quesnelskyfest. ca/tickets. Mustang tickets can be purchased at various venues including Integris Credit Union, Cariboo Ford, Circle ‘S’ Western Wear, Cap-it, Co-op, Quesnel Visitors Centre or contact any Skyfest director.
Parents watch for youth tickets included in year-end elementary report cards for students Grades 1 – 7 (children six and under admission is free.)
Download the Quesnel Skyfest app to your smartphone and receive updates as they are posted or visit the Skyfest 2015 Facebook page.