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Ashok Aliseril Thamarakshan, a native of Alappuzha in Kerala, took nearly 18 months to build the four-seat aircraft.

Speaking about how he zeroed in on the idea to build an aircraft, Mr Thamarakshan 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 four-seater aircraft. But they are rare and even if I could get one, they were very old.”

This difficulty in finding a proper four-seater aircraft made him research the subject during the lockdown and learn about home-built aircraft.

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

With plenty of time at hand due to the pandemic-induced lockdown and the money saved during this period gave him the opportunity to work on the ambitious project. The total cost to build the aircraft is estimated to be ₹ 1.8 crore.

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