A popcorn seller in Pakistan is waiting for the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to allow him to fly his homemade plane after the police had stopped him from performing an unauthorised take-off.
On April 4, the police had returned the plane they had confiscated from Mohammad Fayaz on March 31, after stopping him from taking off using a link road as a makeshift runway near his village, Efe news reported on Monday.
The 30-year-old had dreamed of becoming an air force pilot and flying a plane since he was in school. However, he had to drop out before he could finish his senior year due to poverty.
“Whenever I looked up to watch planes overhead, I longed to fly one myself. And then I thought I should use the creativity that God has bestowed on me to build my own plane and fly it,” Fayaz told Efe news.
Fayaz, who lives in Punjab province’s Pakpattan, spent around 90,000 rupees ($636, Dh2,335) by taking a bank loan, selling a piece of his land and few of his savings, to build the plane.
To fulfil his childhood dream, he took on a job as a night watchman, alongside selling popcorn in the day.
Fayaz began to build his plane over a year ago at home without any technical help from anyone.
He learned the basic rules of air pressure and flying techniques with the help of experiments that he carried out on his own, including one when he was in the fifth standard and was riding on the passenger seat of his father’s motorcycle on his way to school.
Fayaz also watched National Geographic channel’s ‘Air Crash Investigation’ show to learn about why planes crashed and to understand the different parts of an aircraft and their functions.
He had also closely examined a grounded Pakistan International Airline plane that was displayed for public viewing at the Chauburji square in Lahore.
Fayaz had initially planned to take off on his maiden flight with his single-seater plane - which sports a national flag on March 23.
However, his application to the police and other security agencies seeking permission for the flight was never acknowledged.
Fayaz said he conducted an unauthorised test flight around a year ago with a smaller engine and made some rounds of his village.
The CAA said they appreciated the passion and skills of the ‘mini airplane’ maker and would provide him the required guidance to achieve more expertise in the field.
Under the New Aviation Policy 2019, developed in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, every effort will be taken to promote the sector and support innovation, it added.