India– A Kerala man is making waves online (and in the air) for his unique style of holidaying – in an aircraft he built himself.

Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, an engineer who hails from Alappuzha and is now based in the United Kingdom – not only built his own plane, but also tours with his family.

Ashok built the four seater ‘Sling TSI’ model in about 18 months, which is named after his daughter, ‘G-Diya’.

The son of former MLA AV Thamarakshan, Ashok relocated to the UK in 2006 to study. He now works for the Ford Motor Company, The Times of India said.

“Initially I used to rent small two-seater aircraft for trips after acquiring my pilot licence in 2018. But since my family comprises my wife and two daughters, I required a four-seater aircraft. But they are rare and even if I could get one… they were very old. This made me explore options and learn about home-built aircraft.”

Ashok built the aircraft at home – an idea that came to him during the Covid-19 lockdown.

He said he learned about a Johannesburg-based company called Sling Aircraft launching a new aircraft named Sling TSI in 2018. Afte a visit, he ordered a kit for himself and set up a workshop that was routinely observed by civil aviation authorities.

He was able to complete construction in February and take his first flight soon after.

With family and friends, Ashok has been to numerous locations in and around the UK on his plane, which cost Rs.1.8 crore to build. He has flown to Germany and Austria. At present he is in Alappuzha with his family, and hopes for flexible laws for home-built aircraft in India too.

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