Sunday, March 4, 2012

First Indian to build a plane was from Jamnagar!

Well, it may be true, according to Mumbai-based Harshida Desai.

Mumbai-based Harshida Desai is daughter of Mansukhlal Parekh of Jamnagar. She had written recently to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), for correcting the records and set the name of her father, Mansukhlal Parekh of Jamnagar as pioneer of aviation in India. According to her, Mr. Parkeh build his own plane in 1930.

JRD Tata received a B License for commercial flying, this was India's first commercial flying licence, in 1934. Mansukhlal Parekh also passed the B License test along with JRD Tata. The B licence will allow anyone to fly across India. JRD Tata was 23 then, while Parekh was only 19. This new was also reported in the local news paper of Karachi, 'The Sind Observer', dated January 10, 1934.

About Mr. Parekh, he was born in a family of jewellers in Jamnagar in 1911, though he dropped from school after fourth standard and yet taught himself English to read the American monthly 'Popular Science'. Inspired by Wright brothers, Mr. Parekh decided to built a plane in India, he imported engine and propeller from US and build a small plane, a British pilot was requested to test the plane, the plane did made first sortie at 200 ft. height.

Jam Digvijaysinhji (Jamnagar ruler) was impressed and was sent to flight training in Karachi.

Ms. Desai had submitted all required documents to DGCA, supporting her statement.

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