Sat Oct 22 11:10:54 SAST 2016

Backyard flying machine takes shape

By Moyahabo Mabeba | Oct 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

INSPIRED by R Kelly's hit song, I believe I Can Fly, three men from Ga-Masemola village in the Sekhukhune area of Limpopo are at present building a chopper to satisfy their desire - to fly!

The think tank comprises two carpenters and a self-taught auto electrician.

For the past few months the men, two of them self-employed, have been assembling a chopper during their spare time.

Moses Seete, a carpenter, said: "We have spent more than R2000 so far, buying metal sheets and rods and welding them together - and now we have a chopper."

Kota Mokalapa, an auto electrician, said: "We still have a long way to go before we can fly.

"We must fit windows, paint the helicopter white and then instal an engine."

They said the idea to build a flying machine was suggested by their carpenter friend, Lucas Kutu.

Asked who would pilot the chopper on its maiden flight, Seete said he was definitely not in the running.

"I have never been on an plane," he said.

"While I was still working for a company in Johannesburg my managers wanted to send me on emergency carpentry work in Cape Town on a plane.

"I refused and asked my supervisors, 'what if the plane crashed?'"

Instead of giving me any answers, they laughed and booked me on a bus to Cape Town instead"

Mokalapa, who in 1990 flew from Polokwane to Johannesburg with his employer, said he and Kutu would have no fear of flying in the chopper.

"On the day of my first flight I only panicked during take off and when it was landing," he admitted.

"But the rest of the journey I enjoyed."

Though they can only work on the chopper in their spare time they say they hope to fly it before the end of the year.

At the moment school children, motorists and other curious onlookers are waiting eagerly to witness the home-made flying machine reach for the skies.


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