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.
Super Dave will be in Williams Lake Saturday in the skies above to open the Daybreak Rotary Williams Lake Stampede Parade, representing Quesnel’s International Airshow, Skyfest.
Skyfest also has a float in this year’s parade featuring the Mustang they will be raffling off at the show.
From the age of 8, 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 Skyfest Aug. 3-4 and he said he’s quite looking forward to 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.”
Tickets are available at www.quesnelskyfest. ca/tickets.