It was back in 1895 that an Indian scholar, Shivkar Talpade, flew a plane he himself had built over Chowpatty in Mumbai. After 122 years, it is again in Mumbai that a man will fly an indigenously built aircraft. Though it took six years of intense determination, Captain Amol Yadav has successfully managed not only to build a plane all by himself but also get a licence to fly it.
Amol is a senior pilot working with a private airline. According to NDTV, a statement issued by the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said,
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has provided a registration certificate to pilot Amol Yadav.
On Fadnavis’ request, PM Narendra Modi himself intervened to make sure that Amol did not have to move around in circles with the aviation regulator.
While speaking with Dainik Bhaskar, Amol said,
I built a two-seater aircraft once in 1998 and later in 2003. However, the trial run was not successful for both, though I learned a lot during this phase and began building the aircraft for the third time after forming my company.
Amol is extremely grateful to his family and friends who always stood by him. While speaking with India Today, he said,
Whenever I was in need of money for research, my family came in with great support. My mother had kept her mangal sutra as mortgage so that I could buy the engine for my first aeroplane. Now we are making a new 19-seater plane for which my brother has kept his flat as mortgage.
His aircraft was displayed at an exhibition organised under the Make in India scheme. However, it was quite a while before he was able to carry out a test flight. Amol alleges that the DGCA not only sat on his application for a long time but also modified a few rules to ensure he could not fly an aircraft. It was his persistence that drove these roles to be changed.
Since the backing he received from the Maharashtra CM and the PM was immense, he has decided to dedicate his aircraft to both. The aircraft has been registered under the name Victor Tango Narendra Modi Devendra or VT-NMD.