Microlight adventure: three men in their amazing flying machines

2010-05-19 00:00

THREE men from KwaZulu-Natal have taken off on a week-long microlighting journey, aiming to circle the eastern and central parts of South Africa without a back-up vehicle.

Craig Lang from Setaka, Norman le Roux from Pietermaritzburg and Matthew Greef from Hilton began their journey on Sunday.

The first stop on the trip, which started from Howick, is Morgans Bay. From there the three will fly inland to Cathcart and Cradock, then follow the Kei River to the Fish River to the Gariep Dam. From the Gariep Dam they will follow the Orange River to its confluence with the Vaal at Douglas. They will follow the course of the Vaal River to Bloemhof Dam.

Their next stops will be at Welkom and then Bethlehem. There they will begin the last leg of their trip, flying over the Drakensberg and back to Howick.

Said Lang, “We are hoping for wind to help us along the way.”

The microlighters have been sponsored by Fairfield Dairy, Engen and Caledonian Insurance.

They say they are doing the trip “just because we can”.

The men will cover about 3 000 kilometres, and will stop to rest whenever they feel like or whenever they run out of fuel.

They are not concerned about running out of petrol, something normally handled by a back-up crew, as they are sure people will give them lifts to a petrol station.

Lang said the best thing about microlighting is that “you see the country slowly, and you have the best visibilty of any aircraft”.

Greeff praised the fact that one can land anywhere, and “your microlight is also an umbrella for when it rains”.

“Microlighters and pilots are a very friendly community,” said Le Roux “so should we run into problems, we will probably be helped out.”

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