Saturday, May 11, 2019

50 years of actualizing flying dreams of many

Thiruvananthapuram: Captain TKR Nair, the man who played a notable role in the realization of flying aspirations of many a young mind over the past few decades, is now much elated about a gathering which is about to take place in the capital city - at Udaya Suites at Shanghumugham at 4pm on Saturday.
Around 50 of his students from across the country who have attained their flyer’s licence from Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology (RAGAAT) will be attending a mega alumni get-together marking the academy’s 50th anniversary. Expected to be a platform for interaction between trained pilots and aspiring ones, the meet will also underscore the need to ‘restore the past glory of the flying academy’.

Captain Nair, who secured Kerala government’s first free flying scholarship in 1956, was the chief flying instructor of the academy for 21 years. And, during his tenure as the chief flying instructor, the academy produced several CPL (commercial pilot licence) and private pilot’s licence holders including women.

But, from the ‘90s till date, RAGAAT has been losing its sheen due to unavailability of flying instructors and increased commercial operations at Thiruvananthapuram airport. The instructors do not stay for long as they are offered a low salary by the government, and students seek better institutions as their training programme will always be behind schedule.

“The mega meet aims to introduce the institution to people out there, especially the youngsters. Most of them don’t know even about the existence of this government-aided flying academy,” said Nair. This meeting was planned by a group of old students who wanted to bring back the past glory of the academy, he pointed out.
11/05/19 Times of India
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