Two South African pilots who played a key role in a project to have some teenagers build their own plane have died in a plane crash.
The pilots died in a plane crash in western Tanzania, according to the organization running the project.
Des Werner and Werner Froneman were in a support plane that was following the teenagers when it went down in Tabora region.
They have been accompanying a team of teens that has been on a project to fly a four-seater plane from Cape Town to Cairo.
The crashed Sling plane, according to officials entered Tanzanian airspace from Uganda en route to Malawi.
But it made a distress signal about engine failure and then disappeared from radar, according to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).
“The pilot and passenger, both South African citizens, were killed in the plane crash that occurred shortly after take off from Tabora airport at around 7:30 am,” Sikonge district commissioner Peres Magiri told ITV television station.
The plane was then destroyed by fire after the crash. Only the engine and some parts were recovered.
U-Dream Global team
Owners of the plane, U-Dream Global has confirmed the crash in a statement on it’s Facebook account.
It said in a statement that “Cape to Cairo Challenge is devastated to report that there has been an accident of the flight support aircraft and that the Project Directors, Des Werner and Werner Froneman, have lost their lives.”
“No one else was involved in the accident. We kindly request everybody’s understanding at this incredibly difficult time. Our love and thoughts go to Des and Werner’s friends and families,” it added.
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Project to fly homemade jet
In July the organization was excited after an aircraft built by some twenty South African teenagers finally landed in Egypt’s capital cairo after a tour of parts of Africa.
The four-seater aircraft built this year by the teenagers begun it’s journey across the continent in June.
The plan was for the teens to fly in the plane covering over 10,000 km across countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Cairo was the main destination for the journey and then the teens intended returning to South Africa in the plane.
17-year-old founder of the project is Megan Werner. Her father Des Werner was one of the pilots killed in the plane crash.
The program aims to inspire young South Africans in the aviation sector.