- Asmelash Zeferu aims to fly his own homemade airplane to his wedding
- With no formal training, it took him over 10 years to build the aircraft
- Zeferu has practiced take off using YouTube flight simulators
(CNN)How does one arrive at a wedding? Car? Carriage? How about homemade airplane?
That's the plan for aviation geek Asmelash Zeferu. After an aborted attempt earlier this year, he is taking to the skies in K-570, his handcrafted light aeroplane.
On November 28 the intrepid Ethiopian will fire his engine at an airstrip near Addis Ababa, and if all goes well, marry his fiance Seble Bekele the moment he lands.
What makes it truly remarkable? The fact that Zeferu has never, ever flown before.
Back with a bang
The Ethiopian's second attempt comes five months after he first taxied to a runway 40 kilometers from the capital. That time a broken propeller -- sculpted from laminated wood -- scuppered his chances, but now he's back and more confident than ever.
His engine has been upgraded to a model salvaged from a Volkswagen Transporter, doubling his power to 78 horsepower. Moreover, he's sought professional advice to help him in the air.
Captain Solomon Gizaw of Abyssinia Flight Services and Captain Abera Lemi of the National Aviation College both confirmed to CNN that they had been helping out the budding pilot. Their mentorship sits alongside that of Rene Bubberman, chairman of the NVAV, the Dutch Experimental Aircraft Association -- part of an international cohort backing Zeferu's endeavor.
It's been a long and remarkable journey, and for the Ethiopian a successful flight will be a moment over 10 years in the making.
Refusing to take no for an answer
Zeferu, 35, says that ever since childhood he'd wanted to become a pilot. He was on the right track, but when the time came, Zeferu was denied for the most arbitrary of reasons.
Leaving Alemaya University with a Bachelor's degree in Public Health, he tried to enroll at the Dire Dawa branch of the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy.
"I couldn't fulfill the air school height requirements," he explains. Zeferu was a centimeter too short.
Despite this setback, Zeferu was unperturbed.
"I decided to build my own aircraft if I couldn't be a pilot," he reasons, "then I'd be able to fly high in the sky."