G’day. My name’s Michael Atkinson or ‘Mike’ as my friends call me. I’m 42 years old and married with two kids. Up until recently I was a fulltime pilot in the Australian Defence Force. During an 18 year career I was lucky to enough to fly everything from helicopters to fast jets to big jets. Throughout that time I also taught survival skills to pilots and members of NORFORCE, a predominately Aboriginal unit that patrols northern Australia. I also put my skills to the test outside the military during many extended private expeditions around the world.
The extreme outdoors, photography and filming are my passion. This led me to start filming my own adventures. When I watch TV and the internet, what I see doesn’t capture what it’s really like to be alone in the extreme outdoors. Nearly everyone you see is being followed by a film crew and it detracts from the realism of what could otherwise be something interesting that I’d like to watch!
I’ve just released my first film about the Kimberley expedition. It was my first full-up attempt to capture one of my own adventures in a high quality video production. I planned it for years and used the latest in camera and drone technology to film it. I’m extremely happy with the result. Can’t wait to show it!
As an Australian Army chopper pilot and survival instructor I visited many remote locations. I learned bushtucker and survival skills directly from Aboriginal people. I’m very grateful to Aboriginal people for sharing their knowledge
I continued to instruct survival as a pilot and flying instructor in the Royal Australian Airforce
Knowing how to survive in the outback comes in handy if you eject or crash in the middle of nowhere!
I like to test survival theories in extreme environments like here in Antarctica. There are lots of myths about survival. A lot of the stuff you read in books and see on TV is rubbish
Surviving 50°C heat in Saudi Arabia is on the other end of the heat spectrum