Covid-19 lockdown gave people enough time to explore their unexplored interests. Some indulged themselves in activities and some devoted their time to inventing something new. A man from Kerala, now based in London devoted his time, energy, and money to making an aircraft. The 38-year-old Ashok Alisheril Thamarakshan completed the aircraft during the lockdown and is now travelling across Europe with his family.
Thamarakshan is a licensed pilot and worked relentlessly to make his dream aircraft in his garden. The couple has two children, Tara and Diya, aged six and three respectively. His wife, Abhilasha Dubey started saving money for the same since the first lockdown. The family took to the skies in their aircraft “G-Diya” for the first time to Newquay this January as their first family trip. Thamarakshan has travelled to many places including Germany, Austria and Czech Republic.
About the aircraft:
Thamarakshan completed a four-seater single-engine ‘Sling-TSi’ aircraft in 1,500 hours and 18 months at a cost of 14 million, reports The Sun. He has named his aircraft ‘G-Diya’ in honour of his younger daughter. “Girls had only flown a few times but never with their dad as a pilot,” said Dubey, reports The Sun.
Being a licensed pilot since 2018, Thamarakshan used to rent a two-seater aircraft for trips. But with time as his family increased they required a four-seater aircraft. “Initially I used to rent small two-seater aircraft for trips but since my family comprises my wife and two daughters, I required four-seater aircraft. But they are rare and even if I could get one, they were very old,” Thamarakshan was quoted by The Sun.
This made him brainstorm and research the idea of making his own plane in his garden. He then visited a Johannesburg-based company as he got to know they were about to launch a new aircraft, Sling TSi in 2018. Thamrakshan ordered a kit to build his own plane and having plenty of time in his hand he made his dream project come true.
The son of MLA A V Thamarakshan, Ashok Thamarakshan relocated to US in 2006 to pursue his master’s degree after completing his BTech from Palakkad Engineering College.