Sunday, November 26, 2017

This Mumbai pilot’s experimental aircraft could take to the skies soon

Mumbai: Seated inside his comfortable duplex home in Kandivali, Shivaji Yadav (71) welcomes each passing visitor with a smile. In the past week, the number of visitors has increased as acquaintances arrive to congratulate the family for getting a certificate of registration for his son Captain Amol Yadav’s indigenous aircraft, claimed to have been built on the terrace of his residence in Sukant Co-operative Housing Society in Charkop.
“We are very happy as we have achieved the impossible. We have achieved the first step of an impossible task that took 17 years to see the light of day. A certificate of registration certifies my son’s hard work. We now await a licence to fly it,” says Shivaji, who runs a construction company. Amol (41), a commander with Jet Airways since 2005, received the licence of registration for the six-seater aircraft, TAC 003, on November 17 from the DGCA.
“The major turn in our lives came when the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) Section 2-Series F-Part XVIII, 1992 under the Airworthiness Criteria was deleted from the DGCA website in 2013. The rule allowed for anybody in the country to manufacture an aircraft on an experimental basis. My son made the aircraft under this criteria. While he had applied in 2011, we got no reply. After its deletion, his hard work saw no value,” Shivaji recalls.
In a letter dated December 16, 2015, the DGCA wrote to Amol to pursue a ‘type certification’ for his aircraft from the Aircraft Engineering Department. However, Amol believes his aircraft does not require to be certified for its type as it has been made on an experimental basis.
“When the CAR was deleted, I was shattered. I recall writing multiple letters to the DGCA to understand the reason for its deletion. They replied saying the CAR was deleted as they wanted to regulate the manufacturing of experimental aircraft in the country. Without this CAR, my aircraft did not qualify under any other aviation regulatory standard in the country. It was the darkest moment of my life but my family helped me through this,” Amol recalls.
“The legalities are different for experimental aircraft. Type certification is a process that comes later. Also, amateur-built airplanes need not be built from scratch. You can build them from artificial kits available in a way that qualifies them to fly. Encouragement should be given to build experimental aircraft in the country,” says Captain Vicky Randawa of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
26/11/17 Neha Kulkarni/Indian Express