World 2009 - Pilots

Mike and James, proud owners of The Airplane Factory, will be flying the D6 Sling Aircraft from Johannesburg, South Africa, around the globe.


Mike Blyth

Mike, 50% shareholder in The Airplane Factory, is a fifth generation South African with a passion for aviation. A pioneer of early microlight aviation in South Africa, Mike has been involved in the aircraft business, designing, building and selling aircraft, aircraft engines and accessories, for 25 years. Mike is a past aviation world champion and has received numerous awards both for his contribution to aviation in South Africa and his aviation feats, as well as the films he has made to record them. To learn more about Mike’s aviation adventures see and Mike has owned the Rotax agency in South Africa for more than 20 years and is also the owner of Comet aviation Supplies ( based in Johannesburg.

The Airplane Factory is Mike’s latest, and he believes greatest, venture. For three years Mike has been pouring his passion and dedication into the development of the Sling. He is absolutely delighted with the results.

Mike lives in Johannesburg with his wife Charmaine and their daughter Alexandra. He also has two sons, Stuart (29) who lives in Dubai and Gregory (27) who lives in Johannesburg.


James Pitman

James, also a 50% shareholder in The Airplane Factory, grew up on a farm in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands of South Africa. He is a qualified lawyer who completed a university degree in science prior to studying law. More recently James has worked as a VP of a mining exploration company listed in London and Toronto. Following the successful sale of the mining business, James was able to give expression to his love of flying by joining Mike as his business partner in The Airplane Factory.

At a young age James developed a deep love of the outdoors and adventure. He has also always been a keen sportsman and traveler. For background information on some of his more recent adventures see

James has now dedicated himself to the success of The Airplane Factory which, along with his two children, he considers to be his most exciting project yet. That the Sling will offer the opportunity for him to see the world by trying to circumnavigating it by air leaves him in a state of ongoing excitement.

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