Kerala Man Takes Family To Europe On A Plane He Built During Covid Lockdown
A Kerala man is going places in an aircraft he built himself. It took him nearly 18 months to build the four-seater single-engine Sling TSi.
In a remarkable incident, a Kerala man is going places in an aircraft he built himself. Yes, you heard it right. Not a bike or car, but a four-seater single-engine Sling TSi.
Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, a London-based mechanical engineer, is a native of Alappuzha in Kerala. Reportedly, the man has built a four-seat airplane in a project that took nearly 18 months to complete.
Ashok and his family, his wife and their two daughters, now use their home-built airplane to travel across UK and Europe.
The few countries they have flown to so far include Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Ashok has named his creation “G-Diya” after his younger daughter Diya.
The 38-year-old is the son of former Kerala MLA AV Thamarakshan. Ashok and his wife Abhilasha moved to the UK in 2006 and are currently nurturing a family of four in London.
According to the man behind the plan, it was during the covid lockdown when the idea of building an aircraft came to him. “Initially, I used to rent small two-seater aircraft for trips after acquiring my pilot license in 2018,” Ashok said explaining that two-seater planes became redundant once his family grew.
In order for his family to accompany him on his travels, he needed a four-seater plane. But, such aircraft are rare and hard to find. Therefore, Ashok thought it would be a great idea to build one himself.
He stated, “I learned about a Johannesburg-based company Sling Aircraft launching a new aircraft named Sling TSI in 2018.”
After his visitation to the factory, Ashok ordered a kit to build his own plane. The lockdown was a boon to him as he got plenty of time to work on his big project.
In an interview with The Sun, Abhilasha said, “We started saving money during the first lockdown, and we knew we always wanted to have our own plane, and in the first few months we were saving a lot of money so we thought we would give it a go.”
The couple stated that the project cost them an estimated amount of Rs 1.8 crore In Indian currency.
After the completion of the aircraft, the engineer took his first flight in February this year. Ashok said that traveling in home-built aircraft in the US and Europe does not pose any problem.