Tue, Jun 01, 2004
Died On World Tour
Allen Honeyborne, a
34-year old ultralight pilot from South Africa, will be cremated in
China this week, after his ultralight went down in a lake near
Miluo. His partner, Ricky De Agrela, said on the mission's website
that he's haunted by the accident.
"The wreckage of the microlight is in a large deep river with
fast flowing silted water which makes it near impossible to find
and verify what went wrong. I write, verify, because he called on
the radio twice and said what was wrong. At the time we were at
11,000 feet. He said that he had lost his wing and was falling.
Those messages have been haunting me."
Honeyborne and De Agrela were on a 50-nation tour in their
ultralight Aerotrikes, modified with long-range fuel tanks,
hardened landing gear and improved four-stroke engines.
The 18-month long "Freedom Flight" journey began last December,
when the two men took off from Capetown, South Africa. They were
marking the tenth anniversary of the end of apartheid in South
Africa. They were also raising money for a Red Cross children's
hospital in Capetown.
It was the expedition's second safety incident, after
Honeyborne's trike abruptly lost altitude over Thailand. He
eventually landed safely at a military airfield north of
Honeyborne's mother is headed for China this week to make
arrangements for his cremation. "My husband and I cried
uncontrollably this weekend when we saw Allan's body on a Chinese
television program," Jocelyn Honeyborne told reporters. "It was
lying on an open piece of grass after it was hauled out of a lake.
I could clearly see the emblem of the South African flag on his
helmet. There was a slight dent in the helmet. We're just thankful
Allan wasn't mangled in the accident."
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