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Indian man tours Europe on plane be built during Covid-19 lockdown

At a time when the aviation industry is recovering from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a man from India, Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, is travelling through Europe with his family on a home-built plane.

The plane was built by Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, who is now based in London, during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Thamarakshan, a native of Alappuzha in Kerala, took nearly 18 months to build the four-seater aeroplane.




The four-seater aircraft model “Sling TSI” has been named “G-Diya”, with Diya being the name of his younger daughter.

Mr Thamarakshan – who has a pilot’s licence – has visited Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic so far in the four-seater with his family.

Speaking about how he zeroed in on the idea to build an aircraft, Mr Thamarakshan said, “Initially, I used to rent small two-seater aircraft for trips after acquiring my pilot licence in 2018. 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.”



This difficulty in finding a proper four-seater aircraft made him research the subject during the lockdown and learn about home-built aircraft.

To build his own plane, the 38-year-old visited the factory of Johannesburg-based company Sling Aircraft upon learning that they were launching a new aircraft, Sling TSI, in 2018. After the factory visit, Mr Thamarakshan ordered a kit to build his own plane.

With plenty of time at hand due to the pandemic-induced lockdown and the money saved during this period, he got the opportunity to work on the ambitious project. The total cost to build the aircraft is estimated to be $225,000.