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From Cape To Cairo on a plane built by teens

Published Jun 5, 2019


While teenagers are usually associated with rebellion, a group of 20 young South Africans are proving to be rebels with a cause.

In celebration of Youth Month, 20 teenagers have built a Sling-4 Plane for a 5 week long trip across Africa.

They will depart Cape Town on June 15. Countries they will visit include Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Teen pilot, author and motivational speaker Megan Werner came up with the brilliant idea last year while chatting to her parents, who are both in the aviation sector.

“I told my parents about the idea, and they offered me advice on how to go about the process of building my own plane.

“I wanted to teach South African teenagers from different backgrounds the necessary life skills needed to grow. Our aim is to show people that nothing is impossible. If we can build a plane to travel to Africa, then what is stopping them?”

The team chose a prototype of the Sling 4.

The plane took three weeks to assemble and uses ordinary motor fuel.

The 17-year-old, who obtained her student pilot’s licence when she was 16-years-old, will use the travel trip to create awareness on her foundation U Dream Global Foundation, a youth-based organisation that will uplift, empower and transform the lives of youth on the continent.

“The trip is an opportunity to see our beautiful continent, but also provides a chance to interact with disadvantaged communities and impart some motivational message to them,” she said.

For those who are worried about safety features, the plane has undergone safety checks by top engineers, and a support plane will fly with the team to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

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