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A remarkable story of survival and beating the odds.


John Cavaick Martin was born in 1962 in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. He was brought up around aircraft throughout his childhood years.

In November 1973, when John was just 11, his father was killed in an aircraft crash.

At age 13 John cycled around the East Cape, as his father had before him. In 1979 John made his first parachute jump. He successfully completed New Zealand's first Base Jump in 1982. From 1987 John was employed as a Commercial Pilot and by April 1989 he had completed over 600 parachute jumps and 1500 hours flying.

On April 15, 1989, while on a topdressing assignment, John experienced a crash and burn plane accident. He received third-degree burns to most of his face, hands and body and spent three months in an induced coma. This led to ongoing, unpleasant hospital treatments for the following four years.

Following his accident, John returned to flying and entered partnership in an Air Charter business, servicing Motiti Island. In 1990 John sold out of the partnership and set up his own successful Tandem Skydiving Business.

Current work
John was 27 years old when he became a crash and burn plane victim - given a 25% chance of living. Old enough that the experience could have sent him to the depths of depression. How is it that a positive approach and 'never say die' attitude can help the human spirit wing it through unimaginable horrors? What do we need to draw on to be the best that we can be - no matter what the odds? John has a few of these answers. John is living proof...

John wrote a book about his ordeal titled Out of the Ashes which has been put up for review with the Curriculum Information Service for use as a student resource.

John has been described as inspirational, motivational, humorous, captivating and courageous. He can tailor his presentation to fit your brief - whether it be a corporate audience, business function, club or young people.

John is Inspirational, he is authentic, real and courageous. His story moved our people and taught us much Signature Homes
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