A group of South African teen took the world by storm when they decided to tour Africa in their homemade plane. The group left South Africa in June as part of nonprofit U-Dream Global’s inspirational Cape To Cairo crowdfunded project that saw a group of teens build an aircraft and fly it from South Africa to Egypt and back.
Sling 4 Plane first stop was in Luderitz, southern Namibian coastal town and among other destinations on its way were, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Just over a month and a half later, the two directors of the nonprofit U-Dream Global, Des Werner and Werner Froneman were killed during the organization’s Cape to Cairo expedition.
The plane reportedly went down shortly after taking off in Tanzania en route to Malawi over the weekend. The two experienced adult pilots manning the support air plane accompanying the teens died in an accident in Tanzania. According to U-Dream Global, Werner U-Dream founder and teen pilot’s father and Froneman, the U-Dream Global project director and coach, were on their way to join up with the U-Dream Global teen pilots and their self-built plane in Malawi. They were all on their way back to South Africa.
“It’s difficult to speculate on what happened, why it happened, other than I understood they had engine failure. My take of Des Werner is that he was a highly qualified airline transport pilot. I understand he had something like 15,000 hours under his belt. I was really looking forward to the homecoming party in which we would celebrate the achievements of Megan and her friends. And I’m just so sorry that it’s ended in this tragedy,” said Athol Franz, editor and owner of the African Pilot magazine who had been following up on their up.
They had both signed up for the mission because the initiative changes lives, but the journey was not always easy.