Dangerous Memorial Day Weekend...

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South African Ultralight Pilot Dies In China On Round-The-World Trip...

While the X PRIZE celebrates the urge to explore, a few stories this week remind us all that aerial adventures come with real risk ... and sometimes a terrible price is paid. South African pilot Alan Honeyborne, 34, who was flying around the world in an ultralight, was killed last Friday when he crashed into a lake in central China. The Cape Argus news reported that Honeyborne told his flying partner, Ricky de Agrela, 42, by radio that he had lost a wing and was going down. The flyers were reportedly on their way to Wuhan after being diverted from their original destination by bad weather. They had launched a href="http://www.safreedomflight.com" target="_blank">Freedom Flight 2004 last December, to honor the abolition of apartheid in their homeland 10 years ago. The flyers also raised funds for the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town. Although early reports said de Agrela planned to return home, he said Monday in a message posted at the project's Web site that although he is dealing with "a lot of emotional and frightening realities" right now, he hopes to find a way to continue the expedition. "We have traveled so far and done so much," he said. The pair had expected the flight to take 18 months, and had already traveled along eastern Africa and across the Middle East, Asia and Australia.