A man from Kerala is travelling across Europe with his family on a plane he built during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, a native of Alappuzha in Kerala, is now based in London. He took 18 months to build his own four-seater aeroplane.

Thamarakshan moved to the UK in 2006 to pursue his master’s degree and is currently working for the Ford motor company.

The four-seater aircraft model ‘Sling TSI’ has been named ‘G-Diya’ as Diya is his his younger daughter’s name.

Thamarakshan has a pilot’s license and has so far visited Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany in his four-seater aircraft with his family.

“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,” Thamarakshan said.

The difficulty he faced to find a four-seater aircraft forced him to research on the subject and learn how to go about it.

In order to build his own four-seater aircraft, Thamarakshan visited the factory of Johannesburg-based company Sling Aircraft upon learning that they were launching a new aircraft, Sling TSI, in 2018. After his visit to the factory, the 38-year-old ordered a kit to build his own aircraft.

With all the time during the Covid-19 lockdown and money saved, Thamarakshan finally got the right opportunity to work on his ambitious project. The total cost of the four-seater aircraft is estimated to be around Rs 1.8 crore.

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