Jabiru Owners at Sun'n'Fun '99

By Vic Leggott

Kevin Pearce of S.T.Aviation (UK)  came up with the idea of getting together a group of Jabiru owners and friends to go to the Sun'n'Fun show in Lakeland Florida.

Two Villas were booked in Kissimee and others other made their own accommodation arrangements. Claire and myself met Andy, Kevin & Ray, John & Kathleen and John at London Heathrow and we flew to Tampa via Washington. Andy, Claire and myself stayed over in Tampa for the night, Kevin and party drove to their Villa in Kissimee. We all met up the next day. Phil Ainsworth (M.D. Jabiru Aus.) arrived at our Villa in the evening, where he would be staying for the week.. He had got to Florida earlier in the week to set up the Jab stand at the show.

Vic, Andy and Kevin

Claire and Phil

Sunday was the opening day and for some of us it was our 'first time'. The variety of aircraft on display along with tools and accessories, was vast.

Phil had the 2200 and the more recent 3300 engine on display at the Jab stand and was kept busy by the steady flow of enquiry's.

After going round some of the aircraft stands we realised we were going to have to pace ourselves!

The daily airshows started at 2:00pm in the spectacular style you might expect. The sky was never empty, as one formation flew by, another came in from a different direction.

On Monday we were back, Kevin went to the airport to collect the last member of  the party staying in our villa - Keith from Scotland. Tuesday was the day arranged on this web site for the Jab owners to get together at the show in the morning. We had the chance to meet Karl from Marco Island and some of his friends that had flown in, in a Beach Bonanza. Karl tried to fly in on Thursday in his Jab, but had to give in due to very bad visibility. Just as well he didn't make the trip as the airfield was closed later due to grass fires close by.

An impressive row of Mustangs on the flight line

To give us a bit of a rest day, Andy, Claire and myself went Jet Skiing, Kart racing followed by a round of crazy golf - heaven knows how you get round a full size golf course in that heat!

On Friday we all got together to visit the Kennedy Space Centre on the East Coast. It was a very full day and very interesting.

Inside the 'clean room' where they are constructing part of the Space Station

Apollo 15 Command module

The gang at an evening BBQ

Some members of the group went for an airboat ride near Kissimee, to get close to the local wildlife! followed by a couple of plane rides around the Kennedy space centre.

The rest of the Jabiru group flew home on the Monday. Claire and myself had planned to stay another two weeks and we hired a Cessna form Merritt Island and got permission from the NASA shuttle landing facility, to fly over to & along side, the Shuttle landing runway down to 500 feet! .




Merritt Island


The following week Claire and myself drove over to Marco Island  via the Everglades (and an airboat ride) to meet Karl and he took us flying in his Jabiru over the Everglades and around Marco Island which was excellent!


Monte Lazarus, Karl Geng, Wayne Korn, and George Gemberling.

Karl introuced us to some of his friends at Marco Airport and invited us to fly to the Weeks air museum at Tamiami airport. We all piled into Waynes' very nice Beech Bonanza and were there in no time at all.

Many thanks to them all - we had a great time!