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A group of South African teenagers has successfully built a homemade airplane and is now taking a shot at flying it from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
The whole expedition is being led by 17-year-old Megan Werner. She established the U-Dream Global, a non-profit organization that aims to encourage young people to reach for their dreams and discover their true passions. Through her organization, Werner held an audition for teenagers who want to join the expedition.
Out of 1,000 applicants, Werner selected 19 teenagers to help her build the homemade airplane. For three weeks, the teenagers assembled the four-seater airplane from an aircraft kit manufactured by The Airplane Factory, a South African company selling planes.
Six of the teenagers, including Werner, obtained a pilot’s license to fly the plane. They are set to journey 7,455 miles to Egypt for six weeks. The expedition will have various stops, some of which are in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Kenya. Then, the teenage pilots will take a different route on the return journey.
To ensure the safety of the young pilots, professional pilots will fly alongside them during the expedition.
According to Werner, the goal of the expedition is to inspire the youth and teach them important life skills. She plans to meet people from poverty-stricken communities during their trip. She also wants to conduct motivational talks for young people after the expedition.
Despite the advocacy, the expedition’s announcement has drawn mixed reactions from the public. According to one of the teenage pilots, people from her community were skeptical about the project at first but later on became very supportive of her.