Travelling to different places or countries can be expensive but if you have your own plane - there is no need to worry. A man from Kerala is living his dreams by travelling with his family through Europe on a home-built plane. Yes, you read that right!
At a time when the world was making Dalgona coffee and streaming movies or series during coronavirus lockdown, Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan was working hard and building a plane. He is the son of MLA A V Thamarakshan, who moved to the United Kingdom in 2006 for his master’s degree after completing his BTech programme at Palakkad Engineering College.
Thamarakshan decided to build a private plane during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020. After spending almost Rs 1.8 crore, 18 months and approximately 1,500 hours, Thamarakshan built a four-seater aircraft to go on holidays with his family.
“We started saving money during the first lockdown, in the first few months of lockdown, we were saving a lot of money so we thought we would give it a go,” Thamarakshan, who is currently based in London asserted while speaking to The Sun. He further described his experience of owning a plane as having a new toy.
Thamarakshan has named the four-seater aircraft model - Sling TSI as G-Diya, with Diya being the name of his younger daughter. So far in the four-seater, the 38-year-old has visited Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic with his family. He currently works for Ford Motor Company and also has a pilot’s licence.
Explaining why he decided to build the aircraft, Thamarakshan said that after acquiring his pilot licence in 2018, he and his wife used to rent a small two-seater aircraft for trips. But as his family grew to four members (including his two daughters), it became hard for him to find a four-seater aircraft. That is when he thought of coming up with a home-built aircraft.
During the process of building his plane, Thamarakshan occasionally visited the factory of Johannesburg-based company Sling Aircraft. At that time, they were launching a new aircraft - Sling TSI. Post his visit to the factory, Thamarakshan got more serious, did more research, and ordered a kit to build his own plane.