High on a plane

High on a plane

There cannot be many people in the world who haven’t at some point or the other wished that they could fly. Defying gravity, rising above ttake off An increasing number of people are taking up flying as a hobby.he horizon, being free, being one with yourself and a 100 other cliches attempt to capture the essence of flying.

The truth though is simple. We aren’t birds. We can’t fly. Other than in big, old airplanes that are designed to give you a feeling of being on ground. You might as well ride the bus. This is where clubs like Mysore Aero Sports and their sister concern Bangalore Aero Sports come into the picture. This Club along with Agni Aviations is the only other service provider in the City.  

Vintha Mariappa, one of the founders of the Club says, “It's a dream. As children, most of us wanted to fly. People want to train and share that experience with their loved ones. It’s very addictive. It’s not as expensive as it is perceived to be. Besides, it’s more of a passion. It would cost you about five to six thousand
rupees an hour. Today Bangalore is a hub with a large number of Microlight Pilots, who have chosen to fly out of here.”

The Club was started by three passionate aviators, Retd Wing Commander Ashok Mehta, Audrey Maben and Mariappa in 1997 and provides facilities for recreational flying and training on Microlight.   

Bangaloreans are taking up  aviation as a hobby. Vibhav Navaghare, an IT professional and hobby flier says, “People are getting more adventurous and the standard of living has increased. Besides, given a chance, who wouldn’t want to fly.” Talking about how often he flies, Navaghare says,
“Two to three times in a 15-day period and you do what is called capsule flying, which means you fly on consecutive days. Right now, I am taking a break to get my papers in order.”

Paperwork for flying? Mariappa explains, “There are two aspects to flying. You need to have flown for a minimum of 40 hours and then there is the paperwork.”

 Mariappa adds, “Paperwork consists of a medical clearance, police clearance and clearing a few theory papers.”

Given how arduous the process sounds, one wonders why they do it at all?
Sanjay Mansa recounts a story that clarifies the doubt. “When I flew my first solo flight, initially, I was busy going through the checklists and checking the engine and other such things. Once that was done, I realised I was on my own and that I better get it right. But it was beautiful. The sun was setting as I was landing.” You observe nostalgia wrap a warm cloak around him as he recounts the story. 

Mansa has many interesting anecdotes as well. “Once as I was taxiing down the runway. My fuel line burst and there was fuel everywhere, even on my windscreen.”

If you think that scared him enough to give up, you’d be wrong. He got his mean machine fixed and headed out.

Talking about safety, he says, “It’s better than an airliner because there is so little that can go wrong with the Microlight.” Microlight seems to be  the machine of choice among hobby aviators.

So if you wish to fly to Mysore for lunch like Mansa, visit bangaloreaerosports.com You don’t need to own a plane. Just make sure you get an appointment prior to your visit to the Jakkur Aerodrome. Unsolicited visits will not be encouraged.

All contact information is available on the website:
Vani Sreekanta

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