Dave Whyte as a 13 year old attended the Avalon Air-Show and posed for a photo next to a C17 and in 2015 he is the pilot of one. EFTM caught up with Dave on his path to achieving his goals.


13yoDaveWhyteAbove is the image that Dave posed for many years ago. It is just amazing to think that like many who as kids dream of being a fighter pilot or working in the airforce that this man has done just that.

The Road to C17

The process to flying the C17 began not long after that photo was taken. Dave put his head down from year 9 in school to work towards a decent score that would later allow him to get into the ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) and begin his studies towards flying aircraft. From here the following planes were flown by Dave on the way to the C17:


  • CT4 – At basic flying school

AFIR number: 000-155-527_02

  • PC-9 – At advanced pilot training


  • B737 – Where Dave flew the worlds leaders, Kings, Queens, and Prime Ministers – this was at age 23!

Behind the Wheel of a C17

This plane is a beast, the Boeing C17 Globemaster III is huge:

  • Weight: 128 tonne
  • Width: 51.75m
  • Height: 16.8m
  • Length: 53m
  • Carrying capability: 77 tonne which could be 102 paratroopers or six Armor Security Vehicles or even entire helicopters


Dave told EFTM that the C17 is actually relatively light to fly “Its light on the controls, and you really forget the huge aircraft behind you is as large as it is.  This is thanks to the great fly by wire electronic flight control systems and to some super smart engineers who really did an amazing job designing the aircraft.”

Dave has flown the C17 into war torn Afghanistan where he had to manoeuvre the aircraft through huge mountain ranges, high temperatures and the threat of being shot down. An amazing service to Australia and the USA whom he was flying for at the time.


Just a couple of weeks ago Dave flew the C17 into Avalon for the 2015 Airshow where he hopes has provided inspiration to other 13 year olds out there.

Dave’s advice to those kids out there “if you want something in life and are prepared to work towards it, then just do it and don’t look back”. We couldn’t agree more.

What’s next?

Dave has a real soft spot for the C17 however would love to get behind the controls of the new B787 Dreamliner, or an A350 and A380. We can’t imagine just how much better this resume of aircraft will get for Australia’s Dave Whyte.

Dave, you’re an absolute legend, living the dream and serving our country. Thank you and we’ll keep an eye out for you in the skies.