Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Soaring in the sky!

It was Captain Praphulla Raj Singh’s childhood dream of making a career in the sky. Having graduated from the National Defence Academy, Singh served the Indian Air Force (IAF) for 15 years, although he later quit his job to take up commercial flying.

After working as a pilot in various private airlines for over 20 years, his constant penchant for adventure activities in aviation attracted him towards paramotoring.
“Being a pilot is the most gratifying profession,” says Singh with a smile, adding, “But I always wanted to do something different and be adventurous in aviation. There are so many branches where you can fly and be a little different. I was fascinated with paramotoring.”

Unlike paragliding, paramotoring doesn’t require one to walk to the top of the hill and come flying down. The engine and propeller give the required thrust to take off from the ground, and it is this facet that attracted him towards the sport.

Four years ago, Singh went to Goa to pursue his passion, and on his return to Hyderabad, he started to practise near the backwaters of Himayath Sagar. “It was then that I realised that I can participate in competitions too,” he chuckles.

Soon, the 55-year-old participated in the Asian Championship in Thailand (2017) and won a silver medal in paramotoring. “The win encouraged me to participate in the World Championship in Thailand in 2018,” he shares.

Apparently, the Indian team created a record by winning a bronze medal in paramotoring (Economy & Navigation category) for the first time in a World Championship, which is tipped as the ‘Olympics of Paramotoring.’ He was also featured on the cover of his company’s (IndiGo) in-flight magazine.

“Getting the opportunity and experience to compete at the highest level is inexplicable,” recalls the Hyderabad-born and raised Singh, who ascribes his success to his fitness levels and being athletic.
07/05/19 Sashidhar Adivi/Deccan Chronicle