I have just chatted to James and Mike in their hotel room in Soa Tome. I find it hard to put my emotions in words as these two good friends take on a mammoth adventure while simultaneously setting new standards for light aviation. I have had the pleasure of being intimately involved with this project for the final, frantic 28 days, experiencing all the enthusiasm and their intelligently applied hard work in a very enjoyable environment, which has culminated in the most practical, yet sexy, light sport aircraft I have ever flown.
After spending four weeks in close proximity to the Sling I had the pleasure of flying alongside Mike and James on their first hop from Springs to Pilansberg. Finally I fully appreciated the elegant lines of the completed aircraft (having only fitted the spats the night before). It outshines even established old favourites like the RVs. Mike’s philosophy, “if an aircraft looks good it will fly well” is holding true with glowing colours.
Safely on terra firma in Soa Tome James told me a little of their dark, horizon-less flight over Africa with no GPS signal and spiral dives with them facing back home after recovery. Any IFR pilot knows the gripping fear that must have been present in that cockpit through the very long night.
Both James and Mike completed their instrument and night ratings only days before departure, then elected to make their first leg in the scarcely tested Sling through the night over Africa. They were reliant on the locally developed MGL Voyager instrument. All I can say is that their faith astounds me. They have proved what immense power their mental outlook can provide.
Mike and James, It has been an eye opening honour to have been involved with you in preparation for your trip. I believe that you have lit a wild fire, your beautiful Sling will capture the imagination of the worlds’ enthusiastic sport pilots, and your trip will open their minds to the new possibilities of light sport aviation. You have shared some of your vision of the future for the Airplane factory. The Sling as your first product is a good indication that your dreams of the future are truly viable.
Give it horns boys, but take care and I look forward to your safe return.