Young pilots return self-built plane to SA after Cape to Cairo flight fraught with tragedy

2019-08-26 07:55
Cindy Werner, 21, Belinda Werner, widow of Des Werner, Nadia Froneman, widow of Werner Froneman, their 4-month-old baby, Kiara, and Megan Werner.

Cindy Werner, 21, Belinda Werner, widow of Des Werner, Nadia Froneman, widow of Werner Froneman, their 4-month-old baby, Kiara, and Megan Werner. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Seventeen-year-old pilot Megan Werner and her co-pilots were treated to a hero's welcome at Lanseria Airport on Sunday after completing their Cape to Cairo flight in a self-built aircraft, Netwerk24 reported. 

Werner, pilot and founder of the U-Dream Global project, initially returned to South Africa in early August following the death of her father, Des, 49, in a plane crash in Tanzania on August 3. 

News24 reported that Des Werner and fellow project director Werner Froneman were killed when the support aircraft they were piloting crashed.

U-Dream Global is a programme Megan founded to promote and facilitate innovation among young people.

PICS: SA teens to make history with flight from Cape Town to Cairo... in a plane they built themselves

Along with fellow teens Driaan van den Heever and Hendrik Kotze, Megan built a four-seater Sling 4 plane in three weeks.

"The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it," said Megan on U-Dream Global's Facebook page.

Their vision was to build and fly plane from Cape Town to Cairo. On July 8, the team of teens landed safely in Cairo after visiting several countries. 

Following the death of her father, Megan left their plane behind in Malawi and returned to South Africa for the funerals of her father and Froneman. 

On Thursday, Megan, Driaan and Hendrik returned to Malawi and flew their plane back to South Africa, according to Netwerk24. They reportedly landed in Cape Town on Saturday and at Lanseria in Johannesburg on Sunday. 


Hendrik Kotze, Megan Werner and Driaan van den Heever in Cairo. (Facebook) 

Megan told Netwerk24 she wanted to inspire young people with her project and convey the message that anything is possible. 

She reportedly said that it was difficult to accept that she will never again fly with her father.

The young pilots will now focus on their exams, but are reportedly planning on writing a book about their adventures. A documentary film is also being planned.

Megan is a Grade 12 pupil at Hoërskool Noordheuwel in Krugersdorp.

She has written a motivational book, It's up to Me.

Compiled by Riaan Grobler

Read more on:    u-dream global  |  megan werner  |  air travel

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