South African teenagers who built a plane in three weeks from a kit that came with thousands of small parts assembled and manufactured in South Africa by an Airplane Factory were denied landing in Kenya.
The idea of building a plane, conceived by 17-year-old Megan was worked on by a group of twenty students in different backgrounds who put together a four-seater Sling 4 plane that flew from Cape Town to Cairo and made its first stop in Namibia. Normally, the task would take 3,000 man hours to assemble, which equates to twenty-five days.
The six-and-a-half hour flying range plane other destinations on its way to Egypt were Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea, but the Kenyan aviation officials denied the South African teenagers the chance to land their homemade plane in Nairobi due to issues related to routing.
“The authorities in Kenya say they were not happy with our routing and thus denied us entry. We do have the option to change routings but we just don’t have the time for it. Our feeling is that if they are difficult then we just don’t go there. It is after all their own country that misses out in terms of our team interacting with and inspiring youth in their country. We are slightly behind schedule but will catch up. If all goes well we hope to be in Cairo around 7 July,” said Des Werner the team leader, father of 17-year-old Megan Werner who founded of U-Dream Global, an aviation outreach initiative.
The teens plan on stopping in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia on their way back to South Africa as the flying conditions have generally been good and the team has been in high spirits