Thursday, March 02, 2017

Age no bar for this sprightly 81-year-old pilot

Bengaluru: "There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old-bold pilots." Try telling this to 81-year-old Air Vice Marshal Ajit Lamba (retd) and he'll laugh in your face. Such is his undying spirit.

"At the moment I am not flying very regularly because of non-availability of aircraft. I have been flying off and on any time I can get hold of an aircraft," Lamba told IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded Aero India defence exposition, where he made quite a splash when, dressed in blue overalls, he flew an indigenous Hansa single-engined trainer aircraft, swankily painted in grey and blue.

Having flown in some seven to eight editions of Aero India, Lamba had to keep away from last couple of editions as the Hansa was grounded -- and almost didn't make it this time around too.

"A week before the show, somebody called me up and said I could fly the Hansa during Aero India. I was only too happy to grab the opportunity. It came as a pleasant surprise," Lamba said.

"Now, at my age, I can only fly these small airplanes, I have been doing that whenever there has been an opportunity. My principle has been, I don't want to pay for flying to flying clubs. I don't mind not getting paid," he said with a wicked smile.
02/03/17 Anjali Ojha/daijiworld