The desi chopper-maker Pradip S Mohite (above) a during his felicitation function at Aero India. He is also seen with HAL chief R K Tyagi (first photo) and company's Chef Test Pilot Wg Cdr (Redt) Unni Pillai. Photos: Tarmak007
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Saturday recognized the talent of a youngster, who has shown exceptional plane-making skills. At the penultimate day of Aero India 2013, HAL latched on to Pradip Shivaji Mohite, the 28-year-old mechanical genius from Sangli (Maharashtra), who built a helicopter and later proved its ability to levitate for few seconds. (See Express Exclusive report dated February 7, 2013).
HAL chairman R K Tyagi honoured Pradip with the Dhruv Award for Indigenous Talent – an event watched by around 200 onlookers. Pradip was on Cloud 9 seeing the shutter bugs, the crowd and the show. Only fluent in Marathi, Pradip with the help of a translator shared his chopper story to the audience.
Most of the onlookers were clueless as to what the event was and many thought Pradip was an HAL employee. HAL said that Pradip has constantly innovated and improved his machine to bring it to a flying stage, using his own resources and his own visualized concepts.
“I spent around Rs 3 lakh in the last four years building this helicopter. I am happy that HAL recongnised my talent. Right now, HAL has promised to help me to improve my helicopter engine. Otherwise, there are no financial commitments from HAL,” Pradip said during media interaction. HAL’s PRO said that ‘talks are on with Pradip,’ when quizzed about the company’s plan on backing the talent.
Ever since Express broke Pradip’s story, and his possible arrival to Aero India, HAL completely went underground and refused to share any information on the mechanical genius. The managers and liaison officer handling Pradip too refused to give out any details.
owever, Tyagi said that HAL will support Pradip, after observing his future progress. “We have given him exposure by taking him to some of our facilities in Bangalore. At Aero India, he saw some of the best planes in the world. He also saw how a chopper is being made, how it flies, the technologies involved and the people who make it. We are not making any financial commitment now. But, we will be with Pradip in his mission forward,” Tyagi said.
Copyright@The New Sunday Express