Rustenburg’s helicopter man’s dream comes true


Get all the details from Vusimuzi Mbatha’s dream first flight in a helicopter.

Nico Cloete, a trainee helicopter pilot from Cape Town, also started a Facebook group to raise money so that Mbatha can fly in a helicopter.

He went as far as opening a separate bank account for donations to pay for Mbatha’s trip to and flight in the Mother City.

Xoliswa Ndwandwe posted on the group, “This has to be by far the most beautiful story of what a rainbow nation should be about. Its moments like these that make proudly South African”, while Aidan Malloch-Brown said, “Incredible endeavour, this chap is a true aviator at heart!”


Vusi’s dream of taking flight in a helicopter came closer to reality with the help of Bidvest Protea Coin.

“The guy wants to fly and it seems like he wants to become a pilot one day, so let’s just take our stuff there, park next to him, take a photo or two, get him in our chopper, get him in the air, and take a flip so he can see what it’s like,” the company’s chief operations officer Waal de Waal said a few days ago.

Since Mbatha’s dream went public last week, News24 readers and even companies have come forward offering their help. Lerato Sedumeni, from SADS Aviation, said last week the company were hoping to make contact with Mbatha.


Vusi made headlines last week when News24 reported that he had started to buy parts, bit by bit, and used scrap metal to build his own helicopter.He’d been waiting for aviation experts to take a look at it to see if it was safe to fly.

The helicopter sports a television set, a clock situated on the back of a seat, and a two way-radio. It has a green and a red light on its tail that flashes at night. Its engine is powered by petrol and a motorbike battery is used to propel the rotor.

The rotor hub is housed in an old soft drink crate.The cockpit is also built out of soft drink crates. A fire extinguisher is located on the left side of the helicopter. The helicopter stands on a four-wheeled trolley built out of scrap metal.


“I am very happy my dream has come true,” says Vusi.


The helicopter returned to ground at 11:16 says News24 reporter Naledi Shange.


Vusi takes a look inside the helicopter.


People watch as Vusi takes a look around inside the chopper.


Vusi has been presented with a uniform.

People ululated and shouted in glee as he took off.


And Vusi is off!


The helicopter Vusi will be flying in.


Hundreds of villagers have gathered in Rustenburg to see Vusimuzi Mbatha take flight.

Last week, 35-year-old Vusimuzi told News24 that all he wanted to do was fly in a helicopter, so he built his own.

The unemployed Rustenburg man built a helicopter out of recycled materials is now going for a ride in the real thing.

“I am extremely happy. It is like a dream to me,” said Mbatha when he was told he would be getting a ride in the chopper.

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