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Man from Kerala takes family on Europe trip in home-made plane

Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan and his family standing next the plane he built

Fond of visiting places, Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan from Kerala has built a four-seater plane for his travels during the Covid lockdown.

Hailing from Alappuzha in Kerala, 38-year-old Thamarakshan is based in London and has used this home-built plane which he put together in 18 months, to travel through Europe. He moved to the United Kingdom in 2006 to do his Master’s degree and is currently working in Ford Motor Company.

The aircraft model is Sling TSI and has been named G-Diya by Thamarakshan on his young daughter. 

With pilot licence in his belt, Thamarakshan has visited Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic so far with his family in his plane.

Talking to the media on how he hit upon the idea of building a plane, 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.”

Unable to find a suitable four-seater aircraft made him research on the subject and learn about home-built aircraft. In order to make his own plane, Thamarakshan visited the factory Sling Aircraft Sling in Johannesburg and when he came to know about their new craft Sling TSI, he ordered a kit to build his own plane.

During the lockdown as he had plenty of time in hand, he worked on putting together the plane and built it for Rs.1.8 crore.

Incidentally, he is the son of former MLA of Kerala, A.V. Thamarakshan.