Kerala man builds a plane during Covid lockdown, flies his family to Europe
Ashok from Kerala is flying his family across Europe in a home-built aircraft at a time when the aviation industry is still struggling to recover from the negative effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ashok Aliseri Thamarakshan, a native of Alapuzzha in Kerala built the plane over the course of 18 months during the Covid-19 lockdown. He is now based in London.
According to The Times Of India, the four-seater "Sling TSI" aircraft has been given the moniker "G-Diya," with Diya being the name of his younger daughter. Mr. Thamarakshan, who is currently employed by Ford Motor Company, travelled to the UK in 2006 to complete his master's degree.
Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan is the son of former MLA A V Thamarakshan.
The four-seater has already taken Mr. Thamarakshan and his family on trips to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. He is a licenced pilot.
When asked how he came up with the concept to build an aircraft, Mr. Thamarakshan responded, "At first, after getting my pilot's licence in 2018, I used to charter modest two-seater aircraft for vacations. However, since my family consists of my wife and two daughters, a four-seater aircraft was necessary. However, they are uncommon, and even if I could find one, it would be very old.
During the lockdown, he did some study on the topic and learned about home-built aircraft due to his difficulty locating a suitable four-seater aircraft.
The 38-year-old went to the Sling Aircraft plant in Johannesburg to build his own aircraft after learning that they will be releasing a new model, the Sling TSI, in 2018. Mr. Thamarakshan placed an order for a kit to construct his own plane following the factory tour.
He had the chance to work on the big project because of the pandemic-induced lockdown, which gave him lots of time and allowed him to save money. The aeroplane is expected to cost a total of 1.8 crore to produce.